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ISLAMABAD: The appointment of incumbent director general, Central Directorate of National Savings (CDNS), has been challenged in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The petitioner, a local citizen Mohammad Sharif, challenged the appointment of Zafar Masud as DG CDNS saying that Masud was a hand-picked of defunct minister for finance Ishaq Dar and his appointment has been made in violation of rules.

According to the petition, after the retirement of previous DG Savings Zafar Mehmood Sheikh, the finance ministry advertised the said post on Feb 2, 2015.

The criteria for the appointment were strict as the required degree was in economics and other related fields and with specified experience in finance and savings. In response to the advertisement 34 candidates applied for the post of DG CDNS.

It alleged that since the defunct finance minister Dar wanted to induct Masud, therefore, instead of calling some suitable candidates from 34 applicants, the CDNS issued another advertisement in which the required criteria have been relaxed to accommodate the incumbent DG.

As per the petition, CDNS then requested the Establishment Division to change the rules for the appointment of DG National Savings but the latter turned down the said request.

However, the finance minister, despite negative response from the Establishment Division moved a summary to the prime minister and managed its approval by misrepresentation, the petition alleged.

It said the prime minister approved the said appointment in MP-1 in which an official could draw Rs550,000 per month. However, the petition added, Masud managed an increase of the monthly salary from Rs550,000 to Rs1,852,000. It requested the court to declare the said appointment as illegal.

IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb heard the petition and has sought reply from the CDNS and other respondents by January 24 when the court will resume hearing in this case.

Published in Dawn, January 2nd, 2018