ISLAMABAD, Nov 14: A 'dead' man who managed to rise to a high office in the federal bureaucracy looks to be on his way out.

Officials of the Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (Erra) were not amused when Dawn approached them to check the amazing resurrection of their Director Finance, Syed Aimal Shah.

They suddenly realised that the walking dead man was "surplus" to their staff requirements and must be sent back to his "parent department".

That would mean Aimal Shah returning to the Pakistan Sports Board where he started his adventurous career in the mid 1980s? He was removed from there in 1991 for going on 15-day leave to take his ailing father to the United States and vanishing there.What he did during his stay in Chicago and Los Angeles until April 1992 is not known. But it is known he contracted a health insurance policy there with the Monumental General Insurance Group of USA.

That turned out to be monumental when almost a year after his return home his mother filed a claim with the insurance company in August 1993 for $51,000, supported by a death certificate and an FIR declaring that Aimal Shah died in a road accident in Islamabad on June 7, 1992.

Both the certificate and the FIR were discovered to be fake by a Pakistani company engaged by the Monumental General Insurance to investigate the claim.

That surely killed the claim, but not the spirit of Aimal Shah.

Resurrected in 1993, he got himself reinstated in Pakistan Sports Board in November 1994. This happened even though some officials of the Sports Boards were aware of the 'death claim'. His time-barred appeal against his 1991 dismissal was granted and in 1997 he was promoted to Grade 18.

His present employer, Chairman Erra Altaf M. Saleem, told Dawn that he had no knowledge of his director finance's past doings.

But he added the officer would be surrendered to Pakistan Sports Board, along with what has become known about him, for "appropriate action".

Another senior Erra official confided that though inducted as director finance, Aimal Shah was never allowed to function as such. "From day one the Director-General Finance had refused to accept him. His role was confined to evaluating PC-1s of reconstruction, that too under strict checks," he said.

(Dawn has the relevant documents to prove the story).

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