LAHORE: In a major development, Pakistan Railways Freight Transportation Company’s (PRFTC) chief executive officer Jawaid Siddiqi has resigned from the office, serving a one-month notice on the department.

Mr Siddiqi joined the PRFTC in July last year.

Sources held “typical bureaucratic behaviour” as responsible for the problems that forced the officer to resign.

“As far as I know Mr Siddiqi is a thorough professional having adequate capacity to head the PRFTC — a subsidiary of the PR — and increase the declining freight revenue of the department. But, unfortunately, he has quit due to PR’s decades-old obsolete system he found himself unfit for,” a former senior executive of the department told Dawn on Tuesday.

“He has served a one-month notice required under rules and regulations.”

Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati used to be a strong supporter of Mr Siddiqi as he himself defended his appointment after the decision was criticised due to his connections with a firm participating in the bidding of the PR’s freight wagons’ outsourcing project.

“…We selected him after interviewing many candidates. We have found him to be one of the best for this position,” the minister had told Dawn on July 16 while confirming Siddiqi’s appointment as CEO.

“There is no issue related to the conflict of interest since I am watching all things…”

As Mr Swati was not available to comment on Tuesday over Mr Siddiqi’s resignation, this reporter contacted PR’s Chief Executive Officer Nisar Memon who confirmed receipt of resignation from the PRFTC’s CEO.

“Yes he has tendered resignation through one-month notice period,” the PR chief said.

Asked about the reasons behind the resignation, he said “actually the people from private sector are used to taking prompt decisions since they mostly work in a company/firm run by a single businessperson”.

The PR chief was of the view that in public sector (like railways), certain procedures amid audits are involved requiring approvals from various departments/sections ahead of awarding or launching any project, activity or making any intervention into any affair.

“So I think it is the reason. But his resignation has not been accepted yet,” Mr Memon added.

Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2022

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