- Six-man strong government needs 10 out of 13 votes for Arif Hameed’s removal
The stand-off between Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL) Managing Director Arif Hameed took a new turn Wednesday when the federal government “secretly summoned” an emergency meeting of SNGPL Board of Directors today (Thursday) at the company’s head office.
Hameed was restored as the SNGPL MD on Tuesday by the Lahore High Court a couple of days after he was unceremoniously and ‘illegally’ removed from his position for demanding transparency in the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) import project.
According to law and procedure, the SNGPL Board of Directors has been empowered to oust the MD and to replace him with another suitable person. It is incumbent upon the board to give sufficient reasons for sacking the MD, the relevant portion of the law states.
According to Online, “on federal government’s behest, SNGPL Board Chairman Saeed Mehdi secretly summoned an extraordinary meeting of the board with the sole agenda to moot the issue of the MD’s suspension from service”.
In the 13 member board, the government has six members and it needs the support of 10 members for the decision.
Online further claimed that government’s machinery, including Finance Ministry, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Interior Ministry and Federal Investigation (FIA), is active to take the favor of private members in this regard.
The sources said that they considered Hameed as the “last hurdle in the controversial LNG deal”. For this reason the two deputy managing directors, including Amir Tufail, Amjad Latif and CFO Uzma Adil, have refused to take charge.
According to Online, no one from the government’s side agreed to speak on the issue while Hameed has also kept mum. However, none of the concerned spokespersons denied the meeting scheduled for Thursday (today) in Lahore, the agency report added.
The differences between Abbasi and Hameed cropped up over LNG import issue which is also being probed by National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
The reasons behind the abrupt sacking of Hameed, as elaborated by federal minister, are that he did not show any performance on the critical and vital issues looming on the company horizon.