MQM submits corruption evidence against OPF minister


Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) submitted evidence of corruption and nepotism to Prime Minister (PM) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso against one of his cabinet ministers, Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Feroz Jamal Shah Kakakhel, seeking action against him alleging he was involved in “corruption, nepotism and witch-hunting” of some officials of the ministry of overseas Pakistanis, Pakistan Today has learnt reliably.
A well-placed source in the MQM told Pakistan Today that the party’s deputy coordinator, Dr Farooq Sattar, had handed over the evidence against Kakakhel to Interior Minister Malik Habib at Governor’s House last week, when the minister had represented the prime minister in a meeting to review law and order in Karachi.
“Dr Farooq Sattar handed over evidence against the minister and asked him to convey to the prime minister that MQM was perturbed over the targeting of competent officials who were being transferred and repatriated while Pashto speaking officials were being replaced,” the source added.
The source said the MQM leader reminded the minister that fresh appointments and transfers and postings of people of choice was not the mandate of the caretaker cabinet members who had been tasked to hold timely elections.
“This is the prerogative of an elected member under a long-term objective. There is no precedent of making new postings just to accommodate the near and dear ones by caretaker ministers,” the source quoted Farooq Sattar as telling Malik Habib.
“Farooq Sattar also told the minister that the series of transfers and postings based on linguistic origins, had triggered a tussle between officials of overseas Pakistanis,” the source said, adding that the situation may aggravate anytime and the prime minister should take notice of the matter.
When contacted, MQM spokesman Wasay Jalil confirmed that Dr Farooq Sattar had handed over documents to Interior Minister Malik Habib, adding that his party expected the premier to take action in this regard.
According to documents handed over to Habib, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, caretaker minister for overseas Pakistanis Feroz Jamal Kakakhel ordered termination of OPF Director General (DG) Azhar Hashmi with immediate effect on April 10. He also directed posting of Najibuddin Khilji, who was working as DG Audit and has now taken a position as DG Human Resource Administration in place of Khalid Gardezi, who was repatriated to his parent department.
The minister also directed to repost Shahina Masood at OPF Girls College, Islamabad. Masood had served at the same post in past. The minister directed implementation of his orders within two days.
Shahina Masood had been charged by the ministry in July 2012 over allegations of committing serious “omissions and commissions”. Internal audit also revealed massive losses due to incompetence, negligence and lack of commitment by Masood.
She was alleged for unlawfully obtaining Rs 25,000 from students of degree classes during April, May 2010.
On April 5, the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) was directed by the minister for purchase of kitchen items worth Rs 60,000 including new pots, pans and dishes for the minister’s house. However, the ministry provided Rs 30,000 for crockery.
Another order said the minister wanted keys of six cars of the ministry “within 15 minutes,” which was immediately complied with.
The source further revealed that the minister directed repatriation of Human Resource DG Khalid Gardezi to his parent department to save the skin of some of his cronies who were found guilty by a high level inquiry committee constituted to probe alleged irregularities in OPF.
“Mr Gardezi had been working on Supreme Court directives of implementing the findings of the inquiry report that dates back to 2000. The task was supposed to be completed on October 23, 2012 but the court gave extra time till May 25 for the implementation. His repatriation may cause further delay in implementation of court orders,” the source said.
The committee recommended termination of 16 high-ranking officials of the OPF who had been recruited and promoted in violation of rules. One Saifur Rehman Khan, according to the report, was appointed in 1985 against a post that never existed and was also given a promotion in 1990 without approval of the Board of Governors. The committee also recommended reversion of promotions of 23 employees who had been granted irregular promotions in violation of rules.
The Human Rights Cell of the Supreme Court had directed the OPF to submit implementation status on the inquiry report by May 27.