LAHORE: In a major development, the human resource general manager (GM) of the National Transmission and Dispatch Company (NTDC) resigned on Thursday after allegedly being pressurised by the board of directors (BoD) and the top management to either quit or face termination.
Mr Farid Iqbal is said to have resisted giving a clean chit to an officer who was charged with corruption in an inquiry. However, the senior management rejected pressurising the GM and claimed he resigned due to personal reasons.
“Reference to your resignation of Sept 9, it is to inform you that the competent authority has accepted your resignation with immediate effect as per clause 9 of your employment contract. You are requested to return/hand over all the assets/things belonging to the company that are in your possession to the HR department immediately. In addition, please provide any passwords and other information pertaining to accessing files and data on computer/software,” the NTDC managing director (MD) wrote to Mr Iqbal on Thursday while accepting the resignation.
An official source, however, said the situation at the NTDC head office in Wapda House, Lahore was quite tense on Thursday when Mr Iqbal was summoned and asked to either submit his resignation or be terminated by the board.
“He (Mr Iqbal) was on an official visit to Islamabad when the management called and asked him to report back immediately. He returned to the office and was called by the management where senior officials told him about his termination letter signed by the board. He was offered to either accept it or submit his resignation – with security guards present there,” the source told Dawn. “While leaving the meeting room, he was directed to delete all the data from his mobile phone.”
About the background of the case, the source said Mr Iqbal was a key member of a team that recently completed an inquiry against a senior official and some others on corruption charges.
“The team found the senior NTDC official and others guilty. Though the inquiry was completed in March, no action has been taken so far. The board then sent some questions to the team, which replied and stuck to its findings,” the source said.
According to another official source, the GM was one of the main hurdles in the way of those charged with corruption. But the guilty officers convinced the board as well as the relevant ministry officials to change the findings of the inquiry. “After they got the HR GM removed, their first priority will be likely to get the main guilty officer reinstated and appoint him the deputy managing director,” he stated. “It is a case of ‘money makes the mare go’.”
He said the language of the resignation acceptance letter clearly indicated the urgency with which it was sought. “Generally, whenever someone resigns on his own without any reservations, differences or problems, the management doesn’t ask them to hand over the record, passwords, data with immediate effect in the acceptance letter,” he pointed out.
Aizaz Ahmad, the NTDC MD, stated that Mr Iqbal tendered his resignation due to personal reasons. “I just know that he tendered his resignation and we accepted it. There is no other reason besides what has been mentioned by Mr Iqbal in his resignation,” he claimed.
Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2021