Amidst controversy on official picked by Alvi ‘refuses’ to work with him

amidst controversy on official picked by alvi ‘refuses’ to work with him

amidst controversy on official picked by alvi ‘refuses’ to work with him

The controversy surrounding the approval of two contentious bills in Pakistan has taken an unexpected turn as an officer appointed by President Arif Alvi has refused to serve as his principal secretary. This development comes in the wake of President Alvi’s revelation that he did not sign the Official Secrets Bill, 2023, and the Pakistan Army Bill, 2023.

President Alvi had requested the Prime Minister’s Office to replace Waqar Ahmed, his principal secretary, with Humaira Ahmad, a grade-22 DMG officer who currently holds the position of federal secretary of the national heritage and culture division. The President’s Secretariat announced that the services of Waqar Ahmed were no longer required and were surrendered to the Establishment Division.

However, the controversy intensified further as sources indicated that transfers and postings, including this replacement, might require permission from the Election Commission of Pakistan after the dissolution of the assemblies.

Hours after being removed from his position, Waqar Ahmed released a confidential letter clarifying his stance on the bills. He stated that President Alvi neither assented to nor returned the bills for reconsideration by the parliament. The Pakistan Army Bill was sent to the president on August 3, with a 10 day period for his decision. Similarly, the Official Secrets Bill was sent to the president’s office on August 9, with a clear timeline for decision-making.

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Ahmed denied any delay or negligence and expressed his willingness to undergo an inquiry by relevant agencies to ascertain the facts surrounding the bills.

As the controversy deepens, the President’s House has not responded to the principal secretary’s assertions. This development has raised questions about the transparency of the process and the implications of such controversies on Pakistan’s political landscape.

President Alvi’s revelation that he did not sign the bills, despite his staff’s assurance of their return, has ignited a significant public debate, further emphasizing the need for clarity and accountability in the legislative process.

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