ISLAMABAD-The federal government has suspended Mayor of Islamabad Shaikh Anser Aziz for 90 days on the recommendation of Islamabad Local Government Commission. 

The Commission had advised few days ago to suspend the mayor as it decided to initiate an inquiry against him for his alleged involvement in the tendering process of bus stations. 

According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Interior, Mayor of Islamabad Shaikh Anser Aziz has been suspended for next 90 days for conduct of a fair inquiry against him. The decision has been made with the approval of federal cabinet and the summary was approved through circulations.  The Commission had decided to advice federal government to suspend Mayor of Islamabad Shaikh Anser Aziz from his office over a corruption reference. 

A meeting of the commission was held on Thursday with Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on CDA’s Affairs Ali Nawaz Awan in the chair.

The reference was moved by the Chief Officer Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) Syeda Shafaq Hashmi, which pointed out embezzlement of Rs40 million in a matter related to intercity bus station.   The matter was deliberated in detail by the commission and it was decided to advise the federal government to suspend Shaikh Anser Aziz being Mayor of Islamabad immediately by doing voting on the issue.

Both the members belonging to opposition benches Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed and Raja Pervez Ashraf were not present in the meeting. 

The Mayor Shaikh Anser Aziz has refuted the allegations upon him and criticized the role of Local Government’s Chairman Ali Nawaz Awan.

“The commission was formed to resolve the issues of MCI but it seems that it is to target me alone,” he said, adding: “They want to remove me and for this purpose they are making forged references one after another.” 

Mayor informed that the Islamabad High Court had already barred the commission from taking such steps when I challenged a similar move few months ago and said he will go to court again if feels necessary. 

Earlier, the previous Chief Metropolitan Officer Humayun Akhtar Khan, who was also the Member Engineering CDA had moved a reference containing series of allegations on mayor of Islamabad.

However, the said move was foiled as the court had issued a restraining order while some of the members of commission also object upon the minutes of the meeting and conveyed that no such decision was taken in the meeting. 

The commission according to the section 96-3 of the Islamabad Local Government Act, 2015 can recommend suspension of a mayor, deputy mayors and chairmen to the federal government in case of an inquiry against them to avoid their influence on investigations. 

Meanwhile, the federal government is not only entitled to suspend the mayor, deputy mayors and chairmen but it can also take any appropriate decision including their removal in case the allegations were proved during inquiry.