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PESHAWAR, Jan 11: Treasury members in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Friday expressed reservations about appointment of retired officers in the provincial ombudsman secretariat and that too without advertising the posts.

During question-answer session, MPA Noor Sahar pointed out that the provincial ombudsman had hired services of retired and aged officers for key posts in the secretariat. She said that these vacant posts had not been advertised.

She said that a large number of qualified people were jobless therefore the government should make fresh appointments instead of hiring services of retired people. MPAs Shazia Tehmas, Shagufta Malik, Nighat Orakzai and Mufti Kifayatullah of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal supported the mover and demanded to refer the question to the committee concerned.

Law minister Arshad Abdullah explained that the existing law empowered the ombudsman to fill some posts, including that of advisers and consultants, on contract basis. He said that only regular posts could be advertised.

He said that the ombudsman secretariat was enjoying autonomy according to the law and the newly-established secretariat required experienced advisers and consultants at this stage. According to the written reply, the incumbent ombudsman has appointed retired district and sessions judge Shahjee Rehman as advisor-I on a fixed monthly salary of Rs80,000.

Advisor-II Faqir Hussain, retired additional inspector general of police, is also getting Rs80,000 while six more posts of consultants and investigation officers had also been filled on contract basis.

Meanwhile, the lawmakers criticised Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain for “ridiculing” Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in his speech and demanded the Supreme Court chief justice to take suo motu notice of the MQM chief’s statement.

On a point of order, MMA legislator Mr Kifayatullah said that Altaf Hussain had carried out a “drone strike” on the Founder of the Nation and tried to make his position controversial. He said that the MQM chief had finally unveiled his “Jinnah Pur” plan by warning of division of Sindh province.

He alleged that the MQM had planned to make Jinnah Pur comprising Karachi, Hyderabad and other Urdu speaking areas of Sindh.

He alleged that the MQM had set up a death squad and people of other ethnic groups were being murdered in Karachi and Hyderabad. He demanded of the chief justice to take action against Altaf Hussain.

MPA Nighat Orakzai said that leaders of other political parties, including Benazir Bhutto and Mian Nawaz Sharif, had also adopted self exile abroad, but never applied for passports of other countries. She said that Altaf Hussain had dual nationality and he had tried to defame Quaid-i-Azam. She also demanded a suo motu action against him by the apex court.

Sardar Shamoon Yar of PML-N criticised the electronic media for telecasting the speech of Altaf Hussain, who tried to tarnish the image of Quaid-i-Azam. He asked the British government to take action against the MQM chief.

Information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain also flayed the statement of Altaf Hussain and said that he had tried to distort history. “Unfortunately history is being distorted and facts are not told to the nation,” he said, adding that many leaders who had played a great role in the freedom of sub-continent were declared traitors.

He said that Quaid-i-Azam had British passport because Pakistan was not created at that time and the country remained under the domain of British Empire till 1956. He also termed march of Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran undemocratic and unconstitutional.

LEGISLATION: A bill concerning child marriages restraints (amendment), 2013 was withdrawn after the information minister said that the proposed law would open up a “Pandora’s box”. Treasury member Munawar Sultana was introducing the bill.

Moreover, child protection and welfare (amendment) bill 2013 and prevention and control of women trafficking bill, 2013 being introduced by MPAs Noor Sahar and Shazia Tehmas, respectively were kept pending.

Meanwhile, the information minister has become parliamentary leader of Awami National Party. The seat had fallen vacant after assassination of senior minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour.