PM appoints son-in-law to key World Bank post



Islamabad: Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has appointed his son-in-law Raja Azeemul Haq to the prestigious post of Executive Director (ED) of the World Bank in Washington.

Official sources said that Ashraf appointed his son-in-law to the post by using his discretionary powers.

Press Secretary to the Prime Minister, Shafqit Jalil told The Express Tribune that the premier approved the summary for appointing Raja Azeem as the executive director of the World Bank, adding that there was nothing unusual about the move.

The decision was taken despite resistance shown by Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who tried to convince the premier to change his decision.

Officials said that the finance minister told the premier that his son-in-law was "junior" for such an important position. The official added that the concerned people could not resist the move beyond a certain point and the premier eventually put his foot down.

Furthermore, Economic Affairs Division (EAD), the department which was asked to formally move the summary by the prime minister's Principal Secretary Ayub Qazi, also opposed the move. The department suggested that a head-hunting committee or selection board should be formulated under the Establishment Division to select a suitable candidate.

Raja Azeem is currently serving in the PM Secretariat as the additional secretary on a grade 21 post, a position that a civil servant usually gets after serving for two to three decades.
Raja Azeem allegedly got 'out of turn' promotions. Belonging to the Income Tax Group, he was inducted in the Employees Old-age Benefit Institution in BPS-20 and then was promoted to BPS-21.

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I think it is not the only example of nepotism. Take the case of the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA). Against the Sanctioned Strength of 207, about 770 people have been appointed. Every retired Brigadier, a Col, a Lt Col, even Majors have been appointed at salaries of about Rs 150,000 per month. Not only this, they are enjoying luxury vehicles in spite of the Audit Objections. The Development Budget meant for reconstruction of the affected areas is being used for paying salaries of huge staff. Not only this, they are demanding that they should be regularized, which means a Retired Brig in BPS 21, a Retired Major in BPS 20, so on and so forth. By the way, the Deputy Chairman, ERRA, can appoint against posts up to BPS 19, but who cares? The appointments are are not advertised in any newspaper. Only relatives are appointed.

The budget meant for reconstruction is decreasing, but the posts are increasing.

The plunder of the budget is an other issue. In June 2012, a fake bill was submitted and got approved amounting to Rs 25 lac against the repair of an Electric Generator, which never needed a repair, and never opened for this purpose. It was only removed from its place and placed at a distance of about a few ft for some days and then placed back to its place. The amount Rs 25 lac was pocketed by a Brig. Audit will never be able to detect this fraud. Only an investigation by a professional team will find out that the Generator was not repaired but the bill was charged and the money went to the pocket of a Brig.

If these things are being done by small officers, the PM of Pakistan may be forgiven to do some favour to his son-in-law. After all he is one of us.




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