ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has directed the Board of Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) to terminate Director-General Monitoring and Evaluation Muhammad Zubair who got himself recruited on the basis of fake documents.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), available with Dawn, has also directed the PPRA board to recover all benefits including salaries from Mr Zubair.

The MoFA identified the irregularity in appointment as Mr Zubair had applied for the post of Deputy Secretary in the Pakistan Foreign Mission in Tehran, Iran.An official of PPRA, on the condition of anonymity, said that Mr Zubair was appointed to the PPRA on the basis of fake/forged documents and has been working since 2018.

The PPRA board scheduled its meeting for Wednesday.

Rejecting the allegations, Mr Zubair told Dawn that bureaucracy got annoyed as he had applied for a foreign post. He also claimed that he was working in an independent body but unfortunately bureaucracy wanted to get control of the PPRA, so a baseless case was moved against him.

The PMO has also directed the MoFA that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Ombudsman Secretariat for Protection Against Harassment at Workplace (FOSPAH) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) may be approached to expedite the cases against Mr Zubair.

The PMO letter stated that the appointment of Mr Zubair be declared null and void ab initio and the same recommendations may be forwarded to the PPRA board to be placed as an agenda item in the next meeting by the PPRA managing director.

It is also suggested that disciplinary proceedings may be initiated against Ali Taimur (Deputy Director-Admin) for misapprehending facts in front of the selection committee for the appointment of Mr Zubair.

“However he applied for the post of Deputy Secretary in Pakistani Foreign Mission in Tehran, Iran, due to which MoFA verified his documents and learnt that the appointment in PPRA was on the basis of fake documents and there were a number of complaints against him including harassment. Then matter was referred to the PMO with a request to allow the MoFA to initiate a new appointment process.

The PM Office has referred the matter to PPRA with a recommendation to sack Mr Zubair and initiate disciplinary proceedings against Mr Taimur who had verified the documents at the time of Mr Zubair’s appointment,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 20th, 2022

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