ISLAMABAD: Hours after his nomination by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government as the next governor of Balochistan on Saturday, Dr Ameer Muhammad Khan Jogezai declined to accept the gubernatorial office, apparently after media highlighted reports about his alleged involvement in a 2015 corruption inquiry by the National Accountability Bureau.
In a late-night video statement, Dr Jogezai said he had decided to not accept the offer for the sake of his as well as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s honour. “There is no [truth in] reference or inquiry or an FIR against me in NAB,” he insisted.
And in yet another somersault, Dr Jogezai told Geo News in a phone-in interview that he was going ahead to accept the PTI governor offer.
A paediatrician by profession, Dr Jogezai remained the chief executive of Kidney Centre, Quetta, from January 2006 till July 31, 2015.
In January 2015, the executive board of NAB had ordered an inquiry against him, Mumtaz Ali Khan, former secretary of the Workers Welfare Board, Balochistan, and others for their alleged involvement in embezzlement in the procurement of medical equipment and misappropriation of funds released for the Kidney Centre that caused a loss of Rs61 million to the exchequer.
In his statement, Dr Jogezai thanked PM Khan and the Balochistan Awami Party for nominating him as governor.
“I am sitting here with peace until NAB completes its inquiry,” he said.
Earlier on Saturday, the PTI announced that Dr Jogezai would be the next governor of Balochistan.
He was supposed to replace incumbent Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai who is a brother of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai.
Following the formation of its government at the Centre, the PTI had announced that it would replace all the four governors.
Before approving of Dr Jogezai’s name, PM Khan, who is also chairman of the PTI, had nominated Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar as governor of Punjab and Imran Ismail and Shah Farman as governors of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, respectively.
Dr Jogezai obtained his medical degree from the Bolan Medical College in 1982 and started his career as a paediatrician in the Civil Hospital Quetta and soon became the head of the paediatric department.
He is currently the president of a non-governmental organisation, HELP Balochistan (the health education and livelihood promoter).
Though he belongs to a political family which played an important role in the Pakistan Movement, he was not interested in politics and had paid full attention to his profession. His father Sardar Baz Muhammad Khan Jogezai was a leader of the All India Muslim League.
Dr Jogezai’s elder brother, Sardar Gul Muhammad Jogezai, was associated with the Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League. In 1991, Nawaz Sharif after becoming prime minister for the first time, had appointed the elder Jogezai as the governor of Balochistan.
Earlier in the day, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Muhammad Qasim Suri — a PTI MNA elected from Balochistan — met Dr Jogezai at Balochistan House and congratulated him on his nomination.
The two expressed their confidence in Mr Khan’s leadership and vowed to work jointly for progress and prosperity of the province and welfare of the people of Balochistan.
Published in Dawn, August 26th, 2018