ISLAMABAD - AHMAD AHMADANI - The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources has been virtually held hostage by an influential baboo who, despite gobbling ministry’s funds and getting countless unlawful favours, is still grabbing an official slot at the Ministry he is not more entitled to.

Reliable sources informed TheNation that influential Qammar Ali Khan a Private Secretary (PS) at the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources (MP&NR) had been nominated for a training to be held in London against the set rules. This would be the fifth training of the said official at a foreign land at the cost of the training fund established by oil and gas exploration companies for sending government officials for training abroad. The influential baboo had gotten approval from the concerned department of worthy $100,000 for the said training. They said making blatant mockery of set rules and policy, Qammar Ali Khan while utilising his position had gotten unfair favour from the ministry’s mighty top guns in the name of trainings and resultantly thousands of dollars had been wasted though the country was in severe grip of gas shortage, adding, that using his clout the influential baboo has so far been stick to his position though he had been promoted to BPS-19.

Sources were of the view that the job of PS requires an officer of BPS-18. However, Qammar Ali Khan is ostensibly found not ready to vacate the position of PS against the rules and policy, which also allows an official to serve his services for only three years at the post of PS. The said baboo is apparently involved in getting facilitations from various oil and gas companies under different heads, sources said, adding, that the mighty baboos would either bother to wake up from deep slumber and would realise the plight of inflation-stricken countrymen as the country is facing with gas shortage but the sorry state of affairs at the MP&NR told the other story as high-ups were found harping another note of favouritism and nepotism.

“The government may require that the holder shall provides training for government personal in order to develop the capability of such personnel to efficiently perform their duties related to the supervision of the petroleum industry. Such training shall cover both technical and management disciplines (e.g geology, geophysics, engineering, project management, accounting, legal) and shall also be in the form of on-the-job training and participation in in-house seminars,” notified Petroleum Exploration Rules said.

It was also learnt that after the transfer of Ejaz Chaudry from the MP&NR, as Dr Waqar Masood assumed the charge of Petroleum Secretary, he brought Muhammad Asghar as PS and Dr Amir as a Staff Officer to the ministry. However, influential Qammar Ali Khan is also there for the said slot while using his influence, as he is so far stick to the position of PS despite promoting to BPS-19 surprisingly. Again, a Secretary is not authorised to have two PS at the same time, sources said, adding, that the high-ups at the MP&NR had preferred to keep mum to the matter so far.

Secretary Petroleum Dr Waqar Masood when contacted was of the view that it would not be a new case even not strange if there were two PS in the ministry. He said we would make adjustments in this regard and also a Secretary was authorised to have more than one PS at the same time. Over a question, he replied that it would not matter if a PS had been promoted to senior grade as was in the case of Qammar Ali Khan. “A PS will remain PS even if he is promoted to even BPS 19,” Masood declared.

It was also learnt that Qammar Ali Khan while using his clout had ensured the induction of his three brothers in the attached departments of the MP&NR. Amongst three brothers Muhammad Mustafa who was appointed in Directorate General Petroleum Concession was dismissed from the post some two months back due to alleged corruption and unnecessarily pricking the oil and gas companies in the country. Sources have further informed that Qammar Ali Khan was allegedly involved in different business deals. While utilising his position he had leased his personal and rent a car vehicles to gas companies. Even few months back a private oil and gas company OPL had signed an MoU with a private company over the sale of low BTU gas of a field located near Fateh Jang/Attock, however the influential baboo along with his brother Muhammad Mustafa pressurised and threatened the company to cancel the memorandum of understanding (MoU) otherwise their licences would be got cancelled from the authority. Ironically, due to this serious threat and possibility of offensive measure, this low BTU gas is being wasted in the open air without any usage because it needs compression to travel in the pipelines of Sui Northern. Sources further said, as this gas was of low BTU so was not possible to inject it in Sui Northern Gas Pipelines transmission and even could not be sale out so far. Further, this low BTU gas can be utilised only by compressing for the use of CNG vehicles and in the kilns of limestone.

When contacted with Qammar Ali Khan, he, however, admitted that he had availed just three trainings abroad with the support of Ministry’s kind high ups. He also accepted that his brothers had worked with attached departments of the Petroleum Ministry but they were selected on merit and after due process. He also said that he was working as PS with the support of his hospitable bosses at the MP&NR and it was not new as many Secretaries had more than one PS at the same time.