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October 27, 2018

NAB team raids Sindh Information Department

Top Story

October 27, 2018

KARACHI: A special team of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Karachi on Friday raided the Sindh Information Department, seized record of advertisements of the last three years and record of alleged illegal recruitment of 43 information officers who were directly recruited in grade 17 in 2012.

The NAB team arrived at the Information Department around 11:00am and remained there for two hours, seized the record and questioned two senior officers, both dealing with advertisement and human resources — a director and a deputy director. The NAB Karachi is inquiring into various matters of Sindh Information Department regarding corruption of billions of rupees, financial misappropriations and other irregularities including illegal appointments of grade 17 information officers.

The NAB sources informed that recently the Bureau initiated two separate inquiries of alleged corruption in advertisements from 2015 to 2018 and illegal appointment of grade 17 officers and in this regard despite various correspondences of the NAB, the Information Department was reluctant to provide complete information. Sources in the NAB informed TheNews that its team seized useful record of the said irregularities which would be helpful in further investigation.

According to the official record, copies of which are available with The News, the NAB in an official letter asked the secretary Information, Department Sindh to provide complete details of contractual appointees along with their qualification and experience, their salary details including the details of head from where they were paid salaries and asked to provide information that whether these officers were appointed during the ban by the Election Commission.

According to the Sindh service rules, the post of information officer is specified only for the candidates who possess the degree of Mass Communication or Journalism and the position could be filled after the competitive examination of Sindh Public Service Commission and in this process both the basic conditions were violated.

According to the documentary evidences available with The News, in 2012 when these illegal appointments were made; a summary was moved to then chief minister by quoting CM’s powers to change the qualification or criteria for the position of information officer in rule number 3, sub-rule 3 of ‘Appointments, Promotions and Transfer Rule 1973’ but in reality the rule did not exist, and the department misguided the then CM Sindh only to accommodate favourite candidates." Majority of those officers are the sons, brothers and close relatives of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaders and also include some blue-eyed journalists too.

Though there is no official word of the NAB on Friday’s raid, but according to video clips available with The News, the NAB team arrived at Information Department and after the passage of few hours left along with files. Despite several phone calls to Secretary Sindh Information Department Abdul Rasheed Solangi and Sindh government’s Information Advisor, Murtaza Wahab, to get the official version regarding the issue, both preferred not to respond.

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