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October 18, 2020

Illegal appointment of DMD: FIA arrests PIA’s ex-MD Ejaz Haroon

Top Story

October 18, 2020

KARACHI: PIA’s former managing director Ejaz Haroon along with Haneef Pathan, the former director administration and human resources, has been arrested by FIA’s Corporate Crime Circle Karachi, for illegally hiring his friend as deputy managing director on a hefty package and perks in violation of rules inflicting a heavy financial loss to the PIA.

The FIA sources said both the officers were arrested when they came for recording their statements for alleged involvement in financial irregularities and illegally recruiting personnel in the airlines. According to the FIA sources, both the former officers are also under investigation in at least five more cases of financial corruption and misuse of authority. The Judicial Magistrate 8, Malir granted three-day physical remand of the accused to FIA authorities.

The FIA had launched an inquiry against Haroon in 2018 for allegedly committing massive corruption, involvement in money laundering, and accumulating assets abroad beyond known sources of income. Haroon had stepped down as MD of PIA in 2011 after the PIA employees protested against his appointment. According to the FIR, following the Inquiry No. 28/2015 of FIA Corporate Crime Circle, Karachi, FIA initiated an offshoot of case FIR 08/2014 of FIA CCC, Karachi. It transpired that in 2009 both the ex MD and Director Human Resource Administration and Coordination at PIA Head Office, Karachi while abusing their positions dishonestly appointed accused Salim Sayani (Passport No: 135368090) as Deputy Managing Director (DMD), PIA in violation of rules of Personnel Policies Manual, against a hefty salary package and luxurious perks.

According to the FIA inquiries, the HR Department of the PIAC did not follow the required appointment process for Salim Sayani as DMD showing undue favour at a salary of USD 20,000 USD per month, with full medical cover, a five-star hotel room for three months, family accommodation at Dubai on PIA expenses and other perks. The HR department published no advertisement with reference to DMD's appointment for selecting prospective candidates in accordance with PIA rules. Even the HR department did not hire services of any consultancy firm to ascertain the market-based salary for the post. The FIR alleged that the HR and Finance Departments were in league with the accused and did not object to Sayani's appointment. The payment of salary in dollars while he was working in Pakistan also amounts to another illegal act. The approval of the federal government was not obtained in clear violation of PIA Act 1956. Yet another violation of rules and law was the signing of the contract between PIA and accused Salim Sayani which cites July 16, 2009, whereas the approval by the HR Board Committee and Board of Directors was sought post-dated.

Interestingly, while his appointment was under process, according to the FIR, accused Sayani, participated in meetings of the HR Board Committee and Board of Directors as DMD. Against this backdrop, the FIA concluded that both accused ex MD Muhammad Aijaz Haroon and Muhammad Haneef Pathan committed offense punishable under section 409/109 PPC read with Section 5(2) PCA, 1947.

Meanwhile, on the same day (Saturday) Yousif Pathan son of Hanif Pathan was arrested by Preedy Police Station when he quarreled with the FIA officials at their lockup where his father was lodged. A formal FIR against Yousif Pathan was registered at the complaint of Gulsher Mugheri, SHO, FIA Corporate Crime Circle.