–Fawad Chaudhry writes letter to nominated caretaker PM, CEC seeking annulment of Siddiqui’s appointment as envoy to US
–PTI asks caretaker Punjab CM, CEC to annul Asma Hamid’s appointment as Advocate General of Punjab
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has approached the nominated caretaker prime minister, Justice (r) Nasirul Mulk and Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Raza Khan to dismiss the appointment of Ali Jahangir Siddiqui as Pakistan’s ambassador to United States.
In a letter written to both officials, PTI Spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry stated that Siddiqui’s appointment was akin to “murder of national interest” as he was facing “NAB cases”.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi approved the appointment of Ali Jahangir Siddiqui, son of prominent businessman Jahangir Siddiqui, as ambassador to the US on May 8.
Siddiqui has served Abbasi as a special assistant, advising the prime minister on economic and business matters, and is chairman of JS Bank Ltd. He has previously been a director in Airblue — which is also connected to the prime minister’s family — Lucky Cement, Azgard Nine, and numerous other companies.
In the letter, Fawad demanded that Siddiqui’s appointment be declared void and that a “competent and seasoned” person be chosen to replace him. He also alleged in the letter that Siddiqui’s appointment came as a result of his family’s “close relations” with Abbasi.
Soon after his appointment, Siddiqui was summoned by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore on April 18 in cases pertaining to alleged corruption of at least Rs 55 billion.
In addition, NAB Karachi had moved the Sindh High Court to put his name on the no-fly list as “several inquiries were pending against him”. However, Siddiqui’s lawyer had argued that NAB was not authorised to hold an inquiry into the allegations since it was the domain of the Securities and Exchange Commission Pakistan (SECP).
Separately, PTI asked nominated interim Punjab chief minister Nasir Saeed Khosa and the chief election commissioner (CEC) to annul the appointment of Asma Hamid as Advocate General of Punjab.
The PTI, in a letter written to the caretaker Punjab CM and CEC, said that Asma Hamid was given the post because of her “cordial ties with the Sharif family”.
The Imran Khan-led party has maintained that the appointment wasn’t made on merit but on favouritism.
Hamid’s appointment was done hours before the end of Punjab chief minister Shehbaz Sharif’s tenure and followed an ambiguous procedure, the letter said.
It may be noted that both the appointments were made before the caretaker government comes into power as according to the Constitution, a caretaker setup cannot make any policy decisions.