PESHAWAR: The recent enquiry report about the misconduct and irregularities in Peshawar Museum has established a confrontation between the heads of the two key institutions namely directorate of Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) and Directorate of Archeology in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The latter has called the report nothing but a ‘pack of lies’ aimed to serve ulterior motives of few individuals. The findings of the inquiry report, compiled by a former director of National Museum Pakistan, Dr Makin Khan, last month, pointed out a barrage of irregularities and traces of misconduct committed at the Peshawar Museum during the handling of precious antiquities. Speaking to Daily Times on Tuesday, Director Archeology Dr Abdul Samad out-rightly rejected the inquiry report. He said that the inquiry report would only have been considered transparent and free of biases, had it been conducted by experts on the subject. Elaborating further, he said that the ACE had initiated the inquiry on the complaints of a former contractual employee, Bilqees Begum. He said that the NAB had already investigated the matter, after these allegations were levelled by Bilqees Begum, and even cleared the museum of all charges. He, however, accused Bilqees Begum of using ACE to pressurise the department to accommodate her in the directorate of Archaeology, as a permanent employee. He maintained that the fact that she had served the department as a contractual employee did not qualify her for the position, as she had not passed all the requirements for the position she was seeking. Coming down hard on the directorate of ACE, the official said that had the intentions of the ACE been to conduct a fair and transparent inquiry, it would have called in experts on the subject in lieu of giving access to individuals, he alleged as smugglers, into the museum’s highly sensitive store. He claimed that the record of the Peshawar Museum was well-maintained and intact. The official added that each and every entry about all antiques including coins had been properly maintained in the accession register since 1994. “Only the in charge of the museum is authorised to access the register and make entries,” he said. He said that the inquiry report has mentioned only 80 replicas displayed at the museum. He added that they currently possessed 121 fake coins and the original were being kept at the store of the museum where non-authorized individuals were not allowed to enter. Criticising the enquiry team, he postulated that the inquiry team not only entered the store but also recorded the antiquities on videotape compromising the security of the vault. The findings of inquiry initiated by ACE and headed by Dr Makin Khan had highlighted that the coins on display in the Peshawar Museum were fake, and the accession register had no proper entries of their replacement. The report had also accused the authorities concerned of forgery, saying that the original antiques acquired before partition have been replaced with replicas. Dr Samad, however, challenged the credibility and expertise of the inquiry team and claimed that they would not have felt the difference between the fake and original if the museum staff had not told them about it. The report also alleged that the corruption was largely committed during the transfer and handling of the confiscated antiques, seized by the customs and police officials on various instances. The report also accused the official in charge for the missing documentation. It had also underlined the violation of rules in the appointments of candidates with no background in archaeology. Lashing out at Dr Makin, the director of Archaeology questioned how Dr Makin had served and retired from the position of director in National Museum of Pakistan when he had a background in only geography, not archaeology. The director of ACE, Ziaullah Toru, was contacted several times for his comments by this reporter, however, he has not responded yet.