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Karachi

February 17, 2017

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STBB chairman transferred for a third time

STBB chairman transferred for  a third time

The grade-20 chairman of the Sindh Textbook Board (STBB) Jamshoro has been transferred for a third time and replaced by a grade-19 officer with immediate effect.

Dr Syed Zakir Ali Shah was appointed as STBB chief on July 3, 2015, but harking back to a previous decision, the Sindh government has issued a notification to reappoint associate professor Qadir Bux Rind in Shah’s stead.

Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon said in a statement released on Thursday that Dr Shah was directed to report to the Services, General Administration & Coordination Department until further orders.

Dr Shah was first unseated in 2015 and then in 2016, but on both occasions the then education minister and the then education secretary opposed the notification issued by the then CS Siddique Memon, due to which Memon had to reappoint Dr Shah as the chairman.

However, with the change of the education minister and the transfer of one of the strongest education secretaries to the health department, such a move was widely expected.

The notification issued on June 24 last year said Dr Shah was transferred as special secretary to the education & literacy department, and Rind, an official of the directorate of private institutions in Hyderabad, was to be his replacement.

A similar notification issued on January 20, 2015 told of transferring Rind as STBB chairman, but the then education minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro and the then education secretary Dr Fazlullah Pechuho opposed the move and the announcement was withdrawn within three working days.

Rind has been surrounded by controversies and was unseated as STBB chief after allegations of corruption. “He has still not been acquitted from the charges as the investigation is still under way,” a senior education department official told The News.

He said Khuhro and Pechuho’s opposition was based on Rind’s alleged involvement in embezzlement, due to which the National Accountability Bureau had been investigating him since 2011.

The News learnt that on January 15, 2016 Khuhro had issued a memo warning of Rind trying to pull the strings for reclaiming the post of STBB chairman, and advising against considering him for any position in any department.

Khuhro’s memo said Rind was a non-cadre officer and was also being investigated by NAB for alleged massive corruption. Pechuho also had serious reservations over Rind’s appointment as STBB chief.

In January last year, the STBB office had written to the anti-graft watchdog, requesting it to take necessary action against Rind. The staff also claimed that Rind had been harassing them.

In their letter, they accused Rind of corruption and malpractice in collusion with former STBB chairman Mushtaq Ahmed Shahani and paper in-charge Muhammad Juman Memon. The STBB staff also said the relevant records had been confiscated by the investigating agency, revealing irregularities of around Rs75 million.

They claimed that Rind was a lecturer of English but enjoyed his posting at the STBB. He was deputed for three years but ended up assuming the office for more than eight years.

On November 22, 2013, the then STBB chief had told the then Sindh Board of Governors about at least four illegal actions by Rind, but no action has been taken against him to date.

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