Azam Swati likely to take up Ministry of Science and Technology


–Senator Swati reports corruption, irregularities in ministry to PM Imran Khan

–Ministry officials brief senator regarding their performance in last two governments 


ISLAMABAD: Senator Azam Swati, an aspiring candidate to become minister for science and technology in the new Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, has briefed Prime Minister Imran Khan regarding the massive corruption and irregularities in the said ministry during the past 10 years.

Swati has also presented detailed evidence of the illegal appointments, promotions and financial embezzlements in the ministry and attached departments.

In a recent detailed meeting with Prime Minister Khan, Swati has informed the premier that hundreds of people had been recruited by the ministry on political bases. Swati briefed PM Khan on the massive embezzlement and violations of rules in the ministry and presented evidence of the alleged corruption by ministry’s senior officials.

Talking to Pakistan Today, Swati, who has also served in the ministry in past, said that it was prerogative of PM Khan to give the ministry to him.

“I had served in the ministry with dedication and honesty. I had not even consumed a single cup of tea on the expense of government during the past eight years,” he said.

Swati went on to say, “I had even sealed factories owned by the influentials producing substandard products during a countrywide operation against the manufacturing of substandard food items,” adding that the ministry has witnessed massive embezzlement and violations of rules in the ministry.

Meanwhile, as per official sources, the secretary of Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) has asked all departments concerned to prepare a brief summary about their performance. The ministry is also prepared a briefing regarding cases of corruption and irregularities under investigation.

“Since Swati is expected to head the ministry, the officials are expecting inquiries and transfer postings in the ministry and its attached departments,” said an official at the ministry.

According to insiders, reports and evidence of corruption, misappropriation and illegal appointments have already been provided to Swati, being member of Senate’s committee on the MoST, by various employees of the ministry and attach departments.

In case Swati is given the portfolio, he will initiate inquiries against the reported cases which include, illegal appoint of 35 officials by the previous government and appointment of over 80 employees by PPP-led government during 2008 to 2013, irregularities and corruption in Comsats Institute of Information Technology, National Testing Service (NTS), illegal appointments and corruption in Pakistan Standard Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) and many others. Some of the cases are already under investigation by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

“The new minister, in case he wished to uproot the menace of corruption in the ministry, needs to change the team of license branch and inspection team of PSQCA at ports besides making administrative changes in the authority. NAB and FIA which are investigating some cases regarding Comsats, NTS and others need to be facilitated by the ministry. There are mafias controlling affairs of these departments,” said an official at the ministry, on the condition of anonymity.

“NoCs and licenses are sold to companies without due inspection and substandard food items are cleared from the port without due lab test by the PSQCA employees after getting bribes,” he said adding that number cases of corruption and irregularities are still unreported in other attached departments.

Attach departments of the ministry include Council for Work and Housing Research (CWHR), Comsats University of Islamabad (CUI), National Institute of Electronics (NIE), National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), National University of Science and Technology (NUST), National University of Technology (NUTECH), Pakistan Council for Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET), Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST), Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR), Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC), Pakistan Halal Authority (PHA), Pakistan National Accreditation Council (PNAC), Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF), STEDEC Technology Commercialisation Corporation of Pakistan (Private) Limited and Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority (PSQCA).