LAHORE: National Transmission & Despatch Company’s former managing director Zafar Abbas who resigned last week says anonymous applications against him to the ministry made him quit the job Submitting his resignation, Abbas had said he wanted the government to find a suitable and permanent candidate for the post. Following the development, the government appointed Dr Khawaja Riffat Hussain (General Manager, Project Delivery) as new NTDC MD under a stopgap arrangement.

“Actually some people were sending anonymous applications to the ministry, stating wrongly that I am creating hurdles in the way of the appointment of a permanent MD for NTDC to pave way for my continuation as head of the company. They (the applicants) started this move in February when the ministry started the process to hire MD,” Mr Abbas told Dawn.

He said during the shortlisting process, three candidates were finalized for interview. But none of them could succeed in getting this top slot of the company. “But the anonymous applicants unnecessarily propagated against me and termed me as hurdle behind the scene,” he added.

Zafar Abbas said when the ministry again advertised the post in print media, fixing May 7 as the last date for the submission of applications, he personally met the Federal Secretary (Power Division) and “voluntarily submitted resignation with a request to allow me relinquish the charge so that no one could raise a finger at me. Finally he allowed me. And now I will focus on my prime duty as joint (transmission).

According to a spokesman for the company, Mr Zafar Abbas resigned from the post due to his engagements at the power division as joint secretary.

Mr Abbas had also resigned from the office on Aug 1, 2018, due to extensive workload. He was replaced by Dr Aamer Ahmad Khan (the then additional secretary). But later, he again took over as NTDC chief after the government requested him to do so for completion of various important projects related to power transmission, dispatch and grid systems (220/500kV). A grade-20 officer of 25th Common (Office Management Group), Mr Abbas was appointed as Joint Secretary (Transmission) in Power Division about six years ago. He first took over the additional charge of NTDC MD in July 2017 after the company’s board of directors (BoD) removed Dr Fiaz A. Chaudhry citing lack of professionalism allegedly on his part in executing various projects concerning the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“During the last couple of years, Mr Abbas did his job enthusiastically and devotedly. When he joined as MD, the country’s power transmission and dispatch system had the capacity of bearing load up to 18,000MW. And now it has jumped to 26,000MW,” Power Division Secretary Irfan Ali told Dawn.

“He has a done a lot for this organization. And I really appreciate him,” he added. He said Abbas would continue to work as the JS in the power division.

Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2020

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