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National

February 15, 2018

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No trade officer from Balochistan in Pak missions, Senate told

ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers in the Senate Wednesday agitated on finding not a single trade officer among the 56 posted in Pak missions abroad from Balochistan, and questioned criterion of making such appointments.

Out of these 56 officials, 34 are from Punjab, 12 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, seven from Sindh, two from AJK and one from Fata while two trade officers seats in Warsa and Kuwait are vacant.

Senators also wanted to know what exactly had been the input of these officers to promote Pakistan’s economic interests and boost trade abroad.

During the question hour, senators from Balochistan, PML-N’s Kalsoom Parveen, Mohsin Aziz of PTI, Mir Kabeer of the National Party and PkMAP’s Sardar Azam Musakhail questioned if merit was the basis of all these appointments.

“When such excess continue, people then disobey orders of the elders. Why is there none from Balochistan capable of making his way to a Pak mission abroad as a commercial attaché,” Senator Kalsoom wondered.

Responding to their questions, Rana Afzal explained that all the posts were filled by following an open merit policy for there was no quota for provinces as such. A private institution conducted tests. He insisted these officers’ job was to enhance Pakistan’s trade abroad.

Replying to another question by Senator Sirajul Haq, Minister In-charge of the Aviation Division said there was no specific procedure laid down exclusively for appointment of retired officers and officials from the armed forces and that the appointments in Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority are made in accordance with CAA Services Regulations.

He said a total of 46 armed forces personnel had been appointed in CAA by adopting the laid down criteria and procedures during the last five years.

In response to a question by Senator Muhammad Talha Mahmood, the minister said that financial support given by the government since 2013 towards debt servicing and Capital Expenditures to PIA was in term of the government sovereign guarantee amounting to Rs. 32 billion and Rs. 20 billion respectively, as equity.

“No significant improvement has been seen so far due to huge legacy of loans and requirement to pay their contracts. However, PIACL is in the process of finalizing its Strategic Business Plan and it is expected that it will help the airline become a profitable entity,” he said.

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