ISLAMABAD - AHMAD AHMADANI - Defying the Election Commission of Pakistan’s order to remove managing directors (MDs) of both state-owned gas utilities SNGPL & SSGCL, Petroleum & Natural Resources Ministry has declined to remove them from top slots, sources said on Saturday.
Earlier, the ECP in a strong worded letter ordered Petroleum Ministry to immediately remove both Managing Director (MD) Sui Southern Gas Company Limited (SSGCL), Haroon Zuhair Siddiqui and MD Sui Northern Gas pipeline Limited (SNGPL) Arif Hameed from their lucrative slots, as the commission feared that both would influence the upcoming general elections through gas schemes. Ahead of fast approaching general elections, the ECP wrote a letter to the petroleum ministry following an application submitted by a common citizen of this beloved homeland requesting to send both babus on packing.
A deputy director in the ECP on Saturday, when contacted, told that the ECP had received a reply letter from petroleum ministry . “Since the ECP members were not present in the office so the ECP after analysing the reply letter in detail would decide what to do most probably on Monday,” he added.
He also told that now the ECP if thinks the ministry’s justification is satisfactory then it will automatically avoid further action but if it considers the ministry’s response insufficient to its satisfaction level then the ECP will write to the caretaker premier, viewing the gravity of the matter ahead of general election in the country.
The sources in petroleum ministry told this scribe that despite forwarding a summary to the caretaker Prime Minister, the ministry had preferred to simply send a reply to the ECP through a letter. And, the ministry in its reply letter had made it clear to the ECP that since both top slots are tenure basis so it is unable to immediately remove them from their respective offices. Moreover, the Ministry of Petroleum in its reply has said that since the allegations levelled against both of the MDs are baseless so they cannot be removed from their offices.
The ECP has ordered the caretaker governments in Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab to change the top bureaucrats who are likely to influence the general elections. They include chief secretaries Balochistan and Sindh, inspector general police KP and others. They have not been removed yet while IGP Islamabad Bani Amin is still performing duties despite that caretaker Interior Minister Malik Habib Khan had announced to remove him for his partisan track record based on rampant corruption.