Federal govt withholds decision to remove NBP president


–Caretaker setup considering to transfer SBP governor, federal ombudsperson, AGP


ISLAMABAD: Federal government on Saturday withheld the decision of removing National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) President Saeed Ahmed, a close aide of former finance minister Ishaq Dar from his post.

Sources told Pakistan Today that the finance ministry had presented a summary for the suspension of Saeed Ahmed to the federal cabinet, but the government could not make a decision in this regard.

“NBP President Saeed Ahmed may be suspended from service in terms of the general clauses act as he can be suspended from service only because the federal government had appointed him on this position.” This proviso of general clause act was invoked in the case of Zafarul Haq Hejazi, SECP ex-chairman, as the law division had advised that an accused, in criminal law, was presumed innocent till proven guilty, and he may therefore not resign.

It is pertinent to note that Saeed Ahmed is a co-accused in an illegal assets reference case against former finance minister Ishaq Dar. The court had reserved the verdict till July 7, 2018, over his acquittal from the case.

Sources said the finance ministry had presented two names i.e. Faisal Ahmed Topra and Rehmat Ali Hasnie, for the provisional charge of NBP president in the cabinet meeting for a stop-gap arrangement and NBP board members had vigorously lobbied for Faisal Ahmed Topra even though the finance minister was not happy with it.

Faisal Ahmed Topra is a regular employee of the bank. He is currently posted as HRM group chief.  In terms of experience, professional soundness and being a regular employee of the institution, he is the most suitable executive. On the other hand, Rehmat Ali Hasnie is more suitable among the construal employees.

It has therefore been proposed that Faisal Ahmed Topra or Rehmat Ali Hasnie may be given the provisional charge of NBP president until a new president is appointed.

Sources further told that the NBP board had prepared a panel of six senior executives that included both Faisal Ahmed Topra and Rehmat Ali Hasnie besides Tariq Jameel, Sultana Naheed, Amir Sattar and Shahid Saeed.

It is pertinent to mention here that the government is sidelining close aides of the outgoing government, especially the former finance minister, in a bid to maintain transparency in the polls.

Amid the transfers ahead of general elections, the government on Friday transferred FBR Chairman Tariq Pasha and sources privy to the development informed the caretaker government was now considering changing the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor, federal ombudsperson and Auditor General of Pakistan as they are considered close to the outgoing government.