ON January 14, 2021 the Islamabad High Court in pursuance of Supreme Court judgment declaring appointment of former Chairman PTV Atta ul Haq Qasmi appointed by PML (N) government as unlawful, retrained the Federal Government from appointment of Naeem Bokhari because of gross violation of procedures, and his age being above 65 years. Naeem Bokhari’s appointment notification was withdrawn by the federal government within 24 hours. In the developed world only scientists, doctors and judges are allowed to work beyond the national age of superannuation, which in Pakistan is 60 years.
The almost $65 Million penalty on tax payers of Pakistan, which this country, already facing a serious financial crunch and COVID19 epidemic, has to pay to Broadsheet LLC for the criminal incompetence of those at helm of NAB who signed the agreement in 2000. Revelations about the role of Tariq Fawad Malik has shocked many. How do such criminals manage to get security clearance? This is the price which a country has to pay when cronyism dominates choice of appointments to State Owned Enterprises, assets and organizations.
As if this was not enough a PIA B777 on lease since 2015, which leasehold was bought by a company owned by Indian nationals in 2018, has been impounded in Kuala Lumpur because management failed to pay installments.
The PIA management should have exercised the Force Majure clause citing COVID19 and chosen to return back the aircraft, or any other option provided those at helm were well versed in rules and regulations involved in Leasing of aicrafts, which is a specialized field. Emirates airline has a separate independent company which deals with leasing and procurement with qualified experts at the helm.
There are numerous other state-owned organizations, which are 100% owned by the Federal Government, where individuals above 65 years and some over 70 years are heading them. Many of them hold foreign nationalities. One such organization is PIA Investment Limited whose head Najeeb Samie is over 70 years and he continues to be retained after getting several extensions. He also holds an American passport. PIAIL, a subsidiary of PIA owns Hotel Roosevelt located in Manhattan New York and shares in Hotel Scribe located in the upscale part of Paris.
According to legal experts after 2000 when PIA became exclusive owner of Hotel Roosevelt, after exercising option to purchase it after a period of 20 years and winning the case in New York and settlement with owner Millstein Brothers and their Saudi partner, there was no need for the Off-Shore Holding company, registered as owners in British Virgin Isles. Hotel Roosevelt because it was owned by an off-shore company is one of properties which are in the process of being attached in the Reko Diq case.
There is a long list of the other State-Owned Enterprises which are allegedly headed by overage senior citizens above 65 years. Some of these retired paid public office holders with no experience, skills or qualifications in diplomacy or international affairs are posted as ambassadors to foreign capitals which have contributed to our diplomatic isolation.