Punjab authorities spent 17 years to verify bogus appointment letter


ISLAMABAD: Punjab Irrigation Department and Anti-Corruption Establishment duo have spent more than 17 years just to verify contents of a bogus appointment letter of an ‘official’ who had received salaries and incentives worth more than Rs 30 million by false means.

Interestingly, Punjab Irrigation Secretary Ali Murtaza has expressed his ignorance about this case, though he had received written instructions from the Chief Minister’s Inspection Team a month ago to issue orders of termination of bogus employee immediately and recover Rs 30 million from him.

“I do not know about the particular case and I will let you know in the evening,” he told this scribe.

Documents available with Pakistan Today revealed that Malik Nazeer Ahmed, an official of the Punjab Irrigation Department, has been working as a sub-engineer at Thal Canal Circle, Mianwali on ad-hoc basis since 1993.

The ad-hoc services of Nazeer had been terminated in pursuance of the judgement of Supreme Court on 16 October, 2001. But somehow, Nazeer ‘managed’ to continue his services in the same position as a regular employee of the department.

In 2003, on a complaint, the Irrigation Department and Anti-Corruption Establishment had initiated an inquiry against Malik Nazeer. During the inquiry, Nazeer submitted a fake letter issued by Punjab Irrigation Secretary, as a proof of his appointment as a regularised official.

On the basis of a fake appointment letter, Nazeer continued to enjoy all the benefits and perks as a regularised government official without any hurdles. In 2013, on a complaint to Sargodha Anti-Corruption Regional Director regarding the fake appointment letter, an inquiry was again initiated against Nazeer.

Although the legal branch of Irrigation Department and Punjab Service Tribunal had submitted in their reports that the appointment letter of Nazeer was bogus, the Anti-Corruption Establishment did not take any step further in compliance of the said reports.

From 2015 to 2017, the Mianwali Irrigation department, Irrigation Department Secretary, Anti-Corruption DG and NAB DG Lahore had also received complaints seeking perusal of the pending inquiry.

The NAB has also been alleged of doing nothing except asking the Anti-Corruption Establishment to submit a report of the pending matter. When this scribe approached NAB Lahore, one official told that the Bureau had also forwarded this matter to the Chief Minister’s Inspection Team.

When asked, one official of inspection team said that we have completed our inquiry and sent the recommendation with the approval of CM Punjab to secretary irrigation Punjab. The CMIC asked secretary irrigation to remove the sub-engineer from services apart from recovering an amount of Rs 30 million.

Sub-engineer Nazeer Ahmed, while talking to Pakistan Today, said that he had given a statement against the complainant and others who were involved in embezzlement case so the complainant had submitted applications against him. “I have been cleared by the authorities from all the charges made by the complainant,” he added.