The Peshawar government’s decision to move the Supreme Court (SC) against the High Court’s order directing the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe alleged irregularities in the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project comes with a lot of criticism that has been surrounding the project since its inception. The amount of money that was injected into the project surpassed the limit initially decided by the authorities, leaving a sum of multi-billion rupees being spent on the lack of planning & designing, negligence in the execution of work, and poor management of the project. The probe would allow the authorities along with the public to understand how public funds were spent and whether or not the project was feasible, to begin with.

The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) government certainly wanted to join the list of regimes that provided such services to the masses as opposed to the projects of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) - the only regime capable of execution of such mass projects. The Peshawar BRT controversy started right when the government was not able to choose the right track for the bus service, as the path right now chokes the entire city, leaving very little green patches and increasing air pollution by manifolds, resulting in inconvenience for the public along with the inception of respiratory diseases caused by dust and pollutants from the traffic.

The government should allow the probe as it will help them improve their own governance and planning. Governments in power need to be able to accept where there was a mismanagement of projects and a lack of effective planning to be able to execute these mega plans. If the SC decides against the order of the Peshawar High Court (PHC), this will give the impression that the government is misusing power to manipulate verdicts in their favour - a precedent that PTI government does not want to set.

Opening up to scrutiny is one of the core principles in a democratic setup - where no party is above the law. This was one of the first promises of the PTI government and it is important for them to set the precedent according to what they promised the people of Pakistan. Governments are bound by the law of the country - A BRT probe has been pending for a long time as several pieces of research have pointed towards the inadequacy of the project.