Should we condemn PM Raja Pervez Ashraf allegedly for nominating his son-in-law as Executive Director (ED) of World Bank (WB) in Washington DC USA, or applauding Supreme Court for taking cognizance of such gross misconduct? The news that PM Raja Pervez Ashraf, using his discretionary powers, has nominated his son-in-law, Raja Azeemul Haque to work as ED with WB in Washington which has been picked up by SC, and it in turn has asked the Federal Secretaries of Establishment and Finance Divisions to appear before the court on January 4, 2013 with all the documents regarding the appointment. Raja Azeem was basically an Income Tax officer in BPS-18 when PPP took over, being the son-in-law of PM Raja Ashraf his rise to BPS-21, in four years does not come as a surprise to anyone.

Usually it takes an officer 25 years to be promoted to BPS-21, however, in his case an exception was made and Azeem was posted at one of the most prestigious positions of Additional Secretary at PM House. It is also reported that the Finance Ministry has objected to Azeem’s appointment at the World Bank because he is too junior to head such an important position with so much responsibility, but such objections were brushed aside and the PM approved the summary moved for his appointment as ED of WB, he will be getting US $ 220,000 per annum salary along with many perks and facilities which he had never dreamt of, but who can curb the passions of a PM?

Without prejudice to what line of action SC will take on January 4, in this case when both the federal secretaries are summoned to appear before the court in connection with WB appointment. The SC is forced to take notice of such blatant disregard of protocol or government norms. It is an already over burdened institution yet it has to step in where such gross irregularities have been committed on appointments and transfers. In the past SC had to take notice of illegal posting of officials in FIA in connection with investigations of some very important embezzlement and corruption cases, where the PM and Interior Minister had changed members of the investigation teams.

IQBAL HADI ZAIDI,

Kuwait, December 21.