Caretakers asked to appoint those with ‘neutral outlook’ – Pakistan


• ECP asks rulers to keep away from hiring those with ‘recognized political allegiances’
• Letter comes after PPP presser assailing ex-bureaucrats’ induction

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: A day after former principal secretary to ex-PM Nawaz Sharif, Fawad Hasan Fawad, was inducted into the caretaker cupboard, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), in a letter to the caretaker prime minister’s secretary, suggested the interim authorities to chorus from inducting “individuals of recognized political allegiance”.

The letter is addressed to Tauqir Shah, the caretaker PM’s principal secretary, and referred to reservations expressed by a political get together which blamed the caretaker authorities for carrying on the legacy of the earlier political regime.

“A latest press convention held by a political get together is a pointer on this route, whereby they’ve blamed the caretaker authorities of carrying on with the earlier political legacy,” the ECP mentioned within the letter that bore the signature of Special Secretary Zafar Iqbal Hussain.

This was a reference to a presser, held by PPP leaders in Lahore on Wednesday, the place they’d assailed the induction of former bureaucrats similar to Fawad Hasan Fawad and Ahad Cheema within the caretaker cupboard.

While “deciding on a member of the [caretaker] cupboard due care needs to be exercised to keep away from individuals of recognized political allegiance”, the letter added.

Similarly, it additionally urged warning whereas deciding on senior civil servants for the appointment to key positions for the sake of a impartial caretaker set-up.

The letter added Article 218 (3) mandated the ECP to conduct the election and to make preparations to be sure that the election is carried out in accordance with legislation.

“This provision is definitely a clarion name to be sure that a stage enjoying discipline is offered to all political events and contesting candidates for elections,” it learn.

Though the ECP’s letter comes a day after the induction of Fawad Hasan Fawad, the interim cupboard has numerous ministers recognized for his or her shut affiliation with the PML-N. They embrace Ahad Cheema, Sami Saeed, Umar Saif, Shahid Ashraf Tarar, and Jahanzaib Khan.

The presence of former shut aides of the Sharif brothers within the caretaker set-up has strengthened the notion that it was an “extension” of the earlier authorities led by the PML-N.

Even although there are additionally some PPP males within the cupboard, the rising variety of ministers ostensibly shut to the PML-N has raised many an eyebrow; the PPP, a former ally of the PML-N, has additionally began questioning the caretaker setup’s choices favouring the PML-N.

“The inclusion of Fawad Hasan Fawad, who was the principal secretary to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif from 2015 to 2017, forward of his homecoming in October, has despatched a transparent message that the PML-N supreme chief has the blessings of the highly effective circles and placement of his confidant within the federal cupboard will make sure the safety of his pursuits,” a celebration insider informed Dawn on Wednesday.

Mr Hasan was arrested in 2018 by NAB within the Ashiana Housing rip-off and revenue past means case. In 2020, he bought bail and this February he was acquitted of all expenses within the belongings past means and the Ashiana Housing instances. “

“Since Mr Hasan remained staun­chly loyal to the elder Sharif even in captivity and has immense expertise in spearheading a number of infrastructure and power initiatives, the latter needed him within the caretaker cupboard to work alongside with PM Kakar to guarantee his get together’s insurance policies and pursuits are adopted and guarded,” he mentioned.

On the opposite hand, Dr Taqueer Shah, who was principal secretary to former PM Shehbaz Sharif, is at present serving PM Kakar in the identical place.

Similarly, Ahad Cheema, who’s an adviser to the PM on the Establishment Division, was additionally a particular assistant within the Shehbaz authorities within the Centre. He is maybe the one exception who was a part of the PDM authorities and can be Mr Kakar’s cupboard member.

Mr Cheema, a Grade-19 officer and head of the Lahore Development Autho­rity (LDA) was arrested by NAB in 2018 in Ashiana-i-Iqbal Housing Scheme and LDA-City scams and belongings past me­­ans case. He was launched on bail in 2021. After his launch, Cheema resigned from authorities service and Shehbaz Sharif inducted him in his cupboard in 2022.

Federal caretaker IT Minister Umar Saif is yet one more of Shehbaz Sharif’s blue-eyed technocrats who served in his authorities in Punjab because the Pun­jab Information Technology Board head.

A supply within the Sharif household clai­med that Fawad Hasan Fawad was not a favorite of Nawaz Sharif anymore. “Had he been a favorite of Nawaz, he would have been in Shehbaz’s cupboard,” he mentioned.

When asked concerning the ECP’s notion, caretaker data minister Murtaza Solangi informed Dawn that he didn’t know whether or not the ECP’s letter to the principal secretary to the PM was ‘real’ or not.

“The principal secretary can verify on this regard. If real, the one that is addressed within the ‘leaked’ letter will reply to it,” he mentioned.

Published in Dawn, September 14th, 2023

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