PESHAWAR - Managing Director (MD) of Bank of Khyber (BoK) on Friday challenged the termination notice issued to him by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government in the Peshawar High Court.

Shamsul Qayyum has challenged the termination notice through his counsel Abdur Rauf Rohaila and Abdul Latif Afridi.

In his petition, Qayyum pleaded that the termination notice issued by the KP finance department was unconstitutional, and he should be allowed to serve for another two years keeping in view his ‘exceptional’ performance as MD BoK.

It was also stated in the petition that the notice has been issued maliciously as there still left 24 days for the expiry of his contract. 

The petitioner said that according to regulations amended through Banking Policy and Regulations Department 2008, the respondents including the provincial government, the secretary finance, and the finance minister have to inform the State Bank of Pakistan at least two months prior to the implementation of a decision and the expiry of a contract period. Thus, the termination notice was illegal and liable to be set aside, he contended.

The petitioner has made the provincial finance minister, the chief secretary, and the finance secretary as respondents.

A day earlier, the provincial finance department issued the termination notice of Qayyum in the light of the provincial cabinet decision which met on Wednesday with Chief Minister Pervez Khattak in the chair.

The notice served on the MD said that “the KP government is issuing you the termination notice in light of section 7 of the contract agreement for publication of baseless allegations against the provincial finance minister, which has been construed as misconduct”.

On April 16, 2016, Qayyum through an advertisement in newspapers had levelled serious allegations against KP Finance Minister Muzaffar Said, who belongs to the Jamaat-e-Islami, a coalition partner in the PTI-led government. Said had lodged a complaint with the provincial cabinet against the former MD.

Qayyum had accused Said of corruption, nepotism, and interference in affairs of the KP government-run bank. The advertisement was apparently given in reaction to an interview of the finance minister on April 14, 2016, where he had said that he was not taken into confidence on the issue of the voluntary separation scheme (VSS) by the bank management.

Later, the bank management floated another advertisement seeking an apology for the publication of the first advertisement. However, it could not satisfy the JI leadership, which even threatened to withdraw from the coalition if the MD was not removed.

On Wednesday, the KP cabinet considered complaints of the JI leaders and the KP finance minister and unanimously decided to issue a seven-day written termination notice to the BoK MD. The notice further said that after the expiry of the seven-day notice, the contract agreement will cease to exist.