MULTAN: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar during a surprise visit to the city on Saturday suspended Nishtar Hospital Medical Superintendent (MS) Dr Shahid Mehmood Bukhari over poor health facilities in the hospital and Multan Waste Management Company (MWMC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdul Latif Khan allegedly over poor cleanliness in the city.

According to an official handout, the CM arrived here from Turbat and stayed in Multan on Friday night. He visited the city in a private vehicle on Saturday morning without protocol as even the civil administration and the police were unaware about it.

He visited the Nishtar Hospital and expressed displeasure over the health facilities and arrangements.

According to an order issued by the specialised healthcare and medical education secretary, Dr Bukhari was suspended on administrative grounds and Tariq Saeed Pirzada of the same hospital assigned additional charge of the post.

The handout stated that Mr Buzdar also expressed displeasure over the poor cleanlinessof the city and directed the authorities concerned to issue suspension letter of Mr Latif Khan.

However, no justification was given for his suspension in the official order issued by the local government additional chief secretary, a copy of which is available with Dawn; it was stated that the services of Mr Khan were no longer required.

“Therefore, he is suspended with immediate effect with the direction to report to the Services and General Administration Department, government of Punjab,” the order concluded.

Sources said that the CM had wanted to suspend Mr Khan during his last visit on Sept 18 for allegedly taking back the additional charge of manager (admin and human resources) on Sept 3 from Deputy Manager Aqeel Ahmad. An explanation was also sought from him over his“loose” administrative control over cleanliness/field staff.

The sources said Mr Ahmad, who used to introduce himself as the brother of CM Buzdar, was actually a neighbour of the Buzdar family in Green Villas located on Multan Public School Road. Through a family member of the CM, Mr Ahmad had conveyed a complaint against Mr Khan and over the CM’s intervention the order of taking back the additional charge was withdrawn on Sept 7.

During his last visit, the CM had directed the authorities concerned to suspend Mr Khan; however on the intervention of some local administration officials, he directed to issue him an explanation letter. Since then, it had been assumed that Mr Khan will be punished for hurting the feelings of the CM’s ‘brother’.

Ahmad had reportedly been hired in the MWMC in December 2018 on the recommendation of a close relative of CM Buzdar despite a ban on recruitment in provincial departments at that time.

Sources said Muqarab Iqbal was appointed as manager (admin) at that time and as Ahmad was eying the post, he used his influence and Iqbal was forced to resign over allegations of tampering with the minutes of a meeting of board of directors of the company.

Ahmad was then given the additional charge of the post and since then he did not let any CEO advertise it.

The sources said that after assuming the charge of CEO, Mr Khan decided to advertise the post on Aug 15, which was resisted by Ahmad. Hiring against the post was yet to be done and Ahmad was one of the candidates, but he does not fulfil the criteria.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2020

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