ISLAMABAD - A Senate committee has recommended the PML-N-led federal government to revisit its decision of the reappointment of Special Assistant to PM on Aviation, Shujaat Azeem, saying it was violation of Supreme Court’s order and also opined that the matter of his appointment be referred to the SC.

Senate Standing Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges that met on Tuesday under the chair of Senator Tahir Hussain Mashhadi took up the matter of the reappointment of Azeem on the privilege motion moved by Senator Saleem H Mandviwalla. Mandviwalla had moved the motion regarding submission of wrong reply by aviation division before the Senate about the details of all actions taken by Azeem during his tenure as advisor.

Azeem had resigned as Advisor to PM on Aviation voluntarily in July last year when Supreme Court had taken the suo moto notice over his appointment amid some reports that he was dual national. However, the federal government again reappointed him as special assistant to PM on aviation in January this year, only six months after his resignation.

The committee was seized with the matter how the actions taken by Azeem in aviation division could be declared valid when the Supreme Court declared his appointment invalid.

The chairman committee surprisingly said, “The Supreme Court found a person (Shujaat Azeem) to be unfit for becoming advisor to PM on aviation. He resigned and later he was appointed again.”

A committee member Hayadat Ullah remarked when the advisor to PM had been removed, all his actions taken during his tenure could not be declared valid. “The committee is at a loss to understand the reason as to why a person, who resigned before SC when he was found unfit for his job, was appointed again as special assistant to PM on aviation and requests the government to revisit and reconsider its decision as it is violation of apex court order,” the committee recommended.

The committee also opined that the matter of appointment of the same individual as special assistant be referred to SC for its decision on the matter. However on the assurance of Managing Director Pakistan International Airlines that no structural changes were made in the airline on the previous orders of special advisor to PM, it was directed that Managing Director Pakistan International Airlines would carry out coherent and comprehensive review to ensure that no such orders were implemented.

The committee while disposing of the matter regarding submission of wrong reply by aviation division before the Senate decided that breach of privilege had been committed.

On another privilege motion moved by Dr Saeeda Iqbal regarding decreasing security protocol of the chairman Senate, the committee also disposed of the matter and directed the ministry of interior as well as capital police to enhance the number of personnel from 16 to 23 for security of Chairman Senate Nayyer Hussain.

The committee viewed that present security provided to the chairman Senate, who was at number 2 after the president of the country on order of precedence, was insufficient as real security threat existed for him as advised by country’s premier intelligence agency.

It was also directed that mobile escorts from Rangers be provided to all VVIPs like chairman Senate to ease burden of security on local police.

The ministry of housing was directed to allot house number 34 in the Ministers’ Enclave, being the most appropriate and secure residence, for chairman Senate as the personal residence of the chairman in Bhara Khau area of Islamabad had become a security threat for him. It is the advice of an intelligence agency that the chairman should be moved to a safer place.

The SSP (Security) Islamabad informed the committee that 250 police personnel were on the security duty of President Mamnoon Hussain. The lawmakers were surprised why the security of chairman Senate was low in number as compared to president.

However Additional Secretary Ministry of Interior Imtiaz Tajwar told the committee that under the Blue Book only prime minister and president were VVIPs and chairman Senate did not fall in the category.

It was also recommended to amend suitably the Blue Book to allocate suitable security for chairman Senate as well as speaker National Assembly and for other VIPs.