Pakistan

Defying PM’s orders leads to removing Power Secretary Irfan Ali?

Aftab Ahmed

Islamabad: Ex-Secretary Power, Syed Irfan Ali was made an OSD for defying PM, Imran Khan’s order? This multi-million-dollars question has some grounds and logic as two blue-eyed officers of the power ministry are reported to be the main reason for getting wrath of PM, Khan for ousting secretary power from the post.

The officials were removed from the ministry and purpose was that they should be sent to parent department or home. However, these officials became close aide of former secretary power Irfan Ali who found novel way of keeping them in ministry which may be major cause of removing him, officials say.

Officials familiar with the development in Power Ministry told Newztodys.com that Prime Minister, Imran Khan ordered the sacking of CEO, CPPA along with repatriation of Joint Secretary (Corporate Finance) but the then secretary power, had thrown away the orders of federal cabinet into dustbin and permitted both the alleged officers to work in the ministry, one without portfolio and signature authority and second became advisor.

There were also gossips in the corridors of A block of Pak Secretariat that PM, Imran Khan had to transfer secretary petroleum, Mian Asad Hayauddin and his team mainly responsible for petrol crisis from the last two months instead of secretary power.

Likewise, during petrol crisis in PMLN regime in January, 2015, rolled all the top brass of petroleum ministry from secretary to additional secretary, DG, Oil, MD, PSO and others in line with crisis but PTI Government instead of sacking officials directly responsible are busy in usual business and rather axe falls on power secretary.

One of the two blue eyed officials of Ex-Secretary Power is Ex-CEO, CPPA, Abid Latif Lodhi who was appointed as advisor to Power Ministry after sacking from CPPA following orders of the cabinet. However, former secretary power managed to appoint him as advisor to power division to sit in ministry and drawing salary one of the funds allocated by donor agencies, an official said but requested not to be named.

Another office, commonly known as “LapTop” advisor of the ministry since decades was also repatriated to his parent department of NESPAK but on the aspirations of the then secretary was posted in the Liaison office of NESPAK against the “non-existent” post of BPS-20. Interestingly the officer under discussion is sitting in the ministry but without signing authority and doing what it was doing in the last 20 years dealing with IPPs, the same official said.

Now coming to the newly appointed secretary power, Omer Rasul, serving as secretary Board of Investment (BoI), PM office, had already served in Power Ministry during PMLN tenure and because of outspoken on the issue, Mr Rasul was also sent on forced leave in PMLN tenure for publically saying that there is shortfall of over 5000 MW against the then PM Mian Nawaz Sharif’s claim of no load shedding.

Another official who previously served in the Power Ministry and with Omer Rasul was of the view that it would be difficult for PTI Government to compromise on Mr Rasul’s bluntness and outspoken nature. He went on saying particularly in the current situation when the power projects and number of issues are facing by the ministry.

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