ISLAMABAD - In a bid to benefit a blue-eyed, babus at Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources have decided to offer lucrative contract job to its former Director Legal Bismillah Rai who is above 60 years of age, sources said on Friday.

“Though Bismillah Rai had retired from the ministry on June 2, yet, he, with the gentle consideration of few highups of the petroleum ministry is likely to assume charge of his new contractual appointment in couple of days as he had been an offered to assist Pakistan for two years in almost two cases in the International Court of Arbitration (ICA),” said the sources.

“During this new assignment, Rai is expected to efficiently fulfil new duties to save country’s skin on international legal forums against various cases while assisting legal brains hired by Pakistan.”

The sources, however, also told that he had been picked for a two year’s long contractual job, which is entirely different in nature from the jobs he had done so far despite the experience of litigation in country’s courts. While Deputy Director Nazir Malik had assumed the charge as acting Director Legal after Bismillah Rai reached on the age of superannaution and was retired from the slot of Director Legal. 

A senior official at the ministry of petroleum on the condition of not to be named, however, told that former director legal of petroleum & natural resources ministry had not done significant work in his career for the job he had been selected for. “Ye, he (Bismillah Rai) had worked for Sui Southern Gas Company Ltd and Sui Northern Gas Company Limited in different litigation cases in some national/local courts but to my knowledge not a single on international forums.” He also said that Rai had been benefited on the stand that he had worked in the formulation of Petroleum Policy and Exploration and Production (E&P) rules. But the fact is this that no evidence available to disclose about his significant role during the preparation of the above said documents.

“The ministry (petroleum & natural resources) would pay the salary of Bismillah Rai under its special funds usually use for the training of ministry’s officials,” he said, adding,” This offer was made in accordance to the wishes of few babus and Rai would be the beneficiary if the sweet will/favour of an Additional Secretary came true.

Naeem Malik, Additional Secretary Petroleum & Natural Resources, despite repeated attempts to get his version on this new lucrative offer to Bismillah Rai could not bear fruit as he was not available to respond to this scribe despite sending SMS repeated phone calls.

However, when contacted Bismillah Rai, he confirmed the information by saying,” Yes, I have been offered to assist Pakistan in two cases at International Court of Arbitration (ICA). I am trying my level best to serve the nation as a national cause while putting all efforts to save country’s interests on internal forum.” He, however, remained silent over a question to tell if any he had done in the past the experience about assisting the country at ICA or any international legal forum.

The sources also said the work efficiency level of the official is very poor if recall that the Islamabad High Court, few months past, had declared null & void the Gas Infrastructure Development Cess (GIDC) imposed by petroleum ministry through a notification. But the ministry due to Rai’s advice had kept silence and so far no development reported regarding de-notification of the GIDC and delaying tactics were made till this effect.

It is also believed among the officials of the petroleum ministry that the ministry might face contempt of court cases in the court of law (IHC) against its lethargic response, the sources said, adding, “It is interesting that precious money of a cash starved country would be wasted by giving job to a retired official-Bismillah Rai - while Nazir Malik is also available to the ministry without spending extra penny other than his salary.”