ISLAMABAD: Mir Dostain Khan Domki, the state minister for science and technology, has rejected the prime minister’s request to withdraw his resignation.

“On Friday, I called on the prime minister, who asked me to withdraw my resignation, but I refused as I do not want to work with Federal Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanveer Hussain,” Mr Domki told Dawn on Sunday.

He also alleged that following his exit from the ministry, 35 appointments in grades 16 and above were made in the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA), a subordinate organisation of the ministry.

“The process was already initiated, but while finalising the lists the PSQCA administration tampered with the final list,” he claimed. Mr Domki also asked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to look into the matter.

While discussing his meeting with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, he said the prime minister told him that Mr Hussain was moved from the post of federal minister for defence production to minister for science and technology because the Ministry of Defence Production was going to be merged with the Ministry of Defence.

“I told the prime minister the reasons for my resignation, and despite his request I told him I would not withdraw my resignation,” he said, but added that his resignation has not yet been accepted.

Mr Domki claims current federal minister was appointed to obstruct his investigations into corruption

Mr Domki tendered his resignation on Nov 27, saying that the current federal minister was given charge of the ministry just as he launched an investigation into corruption at the ministry, including in the National Testing Service (NTS), to stop his “struggle against corruption”.

Mr Hussain served as science and technology minister before he became minister for defence production. He was appointed science and technology minister again recently, with additional charge of defence production minister.

Soon after his most recent appointment as science and technology minister, Mr Hussain also ordered an investigation into NTS affairs.

Mr Domki’s resignation letter states: “On receipt of a number of complaints from public representatives as well as general public of corruption, mismanagement in the Ministry of Science and Technology discreet enquiry/investigation was ordered specially against the NTS, Comsats and Pakistan Standards & Quality Control Authority [PSQCA].”

In the letter, the minister of state said that he was probing corruption and money laundering in the NTS, mismanagement and corruption at the Comsats Institute of Information Technology and the irregular appointment of director general of the PSQCA.

In his letter, Mr Domki wrote that it “shocked” him that a “full-fledged minister was given the portfolio of my ministry just to stop my struggle against corruption”.

Speaking to Dawn, he said that days after he formed a three-person committee to look into NTS affairs, a new minister was appointed through a late night notification.

The NTS was launched as a project of Comsats, which is a subsidiary of the science and technology ministry, during the Musharraf era as a non-profit organisation registered with the Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan.

NAB is also probing the NTS. A few weeks ago, the NAB chairman ordered its Rawalpindi branch director general to conduct an inquiry after he received several complaints against the NTS. The complaints included leaking of question papers, alleged corruption and failure to protect the interests of students.

Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2017

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