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ISLAMABAD: The government has appointed National Assembly Secre­tary Jawwad Rafique Malik, a BS-21 officer of Pakistan Administrative Service, new chairman of the National Highway Authority (NHA).

He will assume the charge of his office in a couple of days and will replace Shahid Ashraf Tarar.

Mr Malik was appointed secretary of the National Assembly Secretariat (NAS) in April where he served for seven months.

A notification issued from the Establishment Division on Wednesday said: “Mr Jawwad Rafique Malik, a BS-21 officer of Pakistan Adminis­trative Service, presently posted as Secretary, National Assembly Secretariat, is transferred and posted as Chairman [of the] National Highway Authority, under Communi-cation Division, under section 10 of Civil Servant Act-1973, with immediate effect and until further orders.”

It further said: “The appointment/posting of the officer is subject to ratification by the National Highway Council (NHC) in terms of section 9 of NHA Act-1991 (as amended in 2001).”

A source in the NHA said that many names were coming forth for the post of NHA chairman but Mr Malik’s name was not in the loop.

The change in NHA’s top office has been made at a time when the authority is implementing a major part of $56 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

The outgoing chairman, Mr Tarar, came to the NHA in 2014 and in Oct this year he was made Executive Director of the Washington-based World Bank for three years. However, he continued to serve as NHA chief because Nasir Mahmood Khan Khosa, also a DMG officer, is still holding the post at the World Bank.

The World Bank assignment is considered to be a prized one as the official acts as executive director or alternate executive director on annual rotational basis on behalf of Afghanistan, Algeria, Ghana, Iran, Morocco and Tunisia and envisages an annual salary starting at $250,000 excluding perks.

Published in Dawn, November 30th, 2017