Sindh CM’s role in rescuing corrupt STEVTA officials perplexes NAB



KARACHI: The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) seems perplexed over the role of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in rescuing the officials of Sindh Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (STEVTA) charged with over 1,100 illegal appointments, Pakistan Today has learnt.

It is pertinent to mention that NAB Sindh, a couple of months ago, had arrested the former managing director and director of the STEVTA for making illegal appointments of more than 1,100 persons.

According to sources, the NAB has been investigating into the illegal appointments made by former MD Hafeezullah Abbasi, who is currently posted as chief economist of the Planning and Development Department, and Director Finance Yousaf Baloch for over 1,100 illegal appointments including 31 on Grades 16 and 17.

Allegedly, the mastermind of the whole episode is former STEVTA director (administration), who is presently serving as principal of Swedish College, Karachi, and is on bail. He has appointed his relatives, brothers and sons on Grades 16 & 17, depriving the deserving candidates who had passed the National Testing Service (NTS) test in 2012, sources disclosed.

The investigators have been interrogating STEVTA authorities and have been chasing the real culprits of the illegal appointments. The STEVTA administration has deputed a senior officer namely Akhtar Hussain Ghouri to coordinate with NAB and to provide all the relevant documents to them, the sources said.

After perusing those documents, the NAB team arrested former MD Hafeezullah Abbasi from Sindh secretariat while he was heading to his office, whereas Yousuf Baloch was picked up from authority’s headquarters located near Nipa Chowrangi.

Interestingly, sources said that Sindh CM Murad Ali Shah visited NAB Karachi office on March 14, 2018, regarding investigations against STEVTA officers, stating that a sub-committee was constituted which had recommended the ratification of amendments in STEVTA recruitment policy.

The statement issued by NAB had said that the investigation was initiated on complaints against illegal appointments in STEVTA in different grades during 2012, resulting in arrests of Hafeezullah Abbasi and Yousaf Baloch.

Accordingly, a reference was filed in Accountability Court, Karachi.  Later on, STEVTA board ratified the illegal actions of former MD.

The chief minister in a follow up of STEVTA board meeting gave ex-post facto approval of ratification of the amendment in STEVTA recruitment policy.

A senior officer of NAB, requesting anonymity, told Pakistan Today that the NAB filed a reference with all pieces of evidence against those involved in the illegal appointment. However, giving approval to all illegal activities of former MD by the chief minister was beyond imagination.