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- Sunday, April 15, 2012 - From Print Edition


ISLAMABAD: The Establishment Division’s record proves that Adnan Khwaja got two appointments, including that of OGDC chairman, during the present regime on the orders of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani, who has conveniently been absolved by the Fasih Bukhari-led NAB.


Though Bukhari, who is being rewarded with a Rs100 million residential plot in Islamabad by Gilani, has failed to see the premier’s involvement in the appointment of Adnan Khwaja, the ED records shows that Khwaja was initially appointed by the PM as National Vocation and Technical Training Institution (NAVTTC) chairman.


The NAVTTC not only comes directly under the PM, but the fact remains that this jail-days friend of his had his office in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.


Later, Khwaja was made the OGDC chairman again on the orders of the Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. NAB tried to shift the whole blame on then Establishment Secretary Ismail Qureshi and his additional secretary, ignoring the very fact that even under the law these appointments are only made by the prime minister.


As is normally done, Qureshi got verbal orders for the appointment of Adnan Khwaja as OGDC MD from Gilani’s then Principal Secretary Nargis Sethi. Accordingly, the notification was issued and a summary was moved for the post-facto approval of the same appointment from the prime minister.


The sources said that the summary clearly reflected that Khwaja's appointment was made on the verbal orders of the prime minister, who, interestingly, approved the same and thus confirmed the fact that he was responsible for the appointment.


The tamed NAB under Fasih Bokhari is reported to have absolved the prime minister of any wrongdoing in the appointment of his under-qualified friend, Adnan Khwaja as OGDCL chief.


Ismail Qureshi when arrested by NAB, a few months back, had told NAB interrogators that PM Gilani and his former Principal Secretary Nargis Sethi were responsible for the appointment of the Adnan Khwaja.


The same day Qureshi had told this correspondent that on the appointment of Adnan Khwaja, he was contacted by Nargis Sethi and was directed that the prime minister had desired to appoint Adnan Khwaja as OGDC chief.


He had confirmed, “I got a verbal order for the prime minister through his principal secretary. As is normally done, I issued the notification for the appointment of Adnan Khwaja as OGDC chairman and later moved a summary for the ex-post facto approval of this appointmen.”


After a few days of Khwaja's appointment and following media controversy over his doubtful credentials, it was Qureshi who initiated another summary for the prime minister's approval seeking the cancellation of Khwaja's appointment. Khwaja was removed on the basis of the same summary.


According to Qureshi, neither the prime minister nor his principal secretary had ever mentioned about the fishy background of Khwaja, who was a convict and a jail mate of PM Gilani, besides having mere intermediate level educational qualification.


Once Fasih Bokhari was quite rude before the apex court in the NRO implementation case, which was heard on January 10, and had clearly told the SC that he would not proceed against those responsible for the appointment of Adnan Khwaja and Shaikh Riaz Ahmad. As a result he was seriously reprimanded by the court in its decision and told that he had committed misconduct.


However, after this reprimand, the NAB had sprung into action, but the same was seen even by the NAB insiders as mere eyewash.