Pakistan – Majority of top CDA officials hold dual nationalities

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ISLAMABAD: A report submitted by the civic agency before Justice Shaukat Aziz Saddiqui of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday revealed that majority of the top officials of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) hold foreign nationalities.

CDA produced the report before the court during the hearing of a petition filed against the appointment of Mr Kayani as Member Planning. The petition was filed in the IHC in December 2016.

The court had sought a detailed report on dual nationals working in the CDA.

CDA PRODUCES THE REPORT DURING HEARING OF A PETITION FILED AGAINST THE APPOINTMENT OF MEMBER PLANNING

According to the report, Mr Kayani also holds US citizenship since 2008. He joined the CDA on July 7, 1981.

CDA’s Director General (Design) Hafiz M. Ehsanul Haq has been a Canadian national since 2004. He joined the civic agency on Aug 2, 1984.

Similarly, CDA Director Administration Dr Mohammad Fayyaz Lodhi who is also working as executive director Capital Hospital holds a Canadian nationality.

He was employed in the civic agency in Feb 25, 1988 and obtained the dual nationality in 2008.

Ayaz Ahmed Khan, Director Parliament Lodges and Hostels, has also been a Canadian national since 2010.

In his petition, Advocate Arfat Ahmed contended that Mr Kayani, an engineer by profession with no background of planning, was not qualified to hold the post of member planning with the additional charge of estate management.

The petition said as per the CDA Ordinance 1960 and the Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners Ordinance 1983, only an eligible architect could run the directorate of planning.

Since Mr Kayani also holds the US nationality, he cannot become “the custodian of all maps of sensitive official buildings with national security importance, including the Presidency, Prime Minister House, Foreign Office, Air Force, Naval Headquarters, intelligence agencies headquarters and strategic divisions.”

The petition added: “Whether the respondent (Asad Mehbood Kayani) who is holding the public office of Member (Planning & Design), is legally entitled to hold the said office?”

Advocate Arfat contended before the court that Mr Kayani served in the engineering cadre and soon after joining the civic agency applied for an ex-Pakistan leave, purportedly for studying in the United States.

The same was granted and since then he has been obtaining leaves with regular intervals and on different pretexts.

During the course of hearing, CDA’s counsel informed the judge that the Supreme Court had also taken suo motu notice and had sought details of dual nationals working in different government and public sector organisations.

He said that the civic agency had already submitted details of dual nationals before the apex court where the matter is pending adjudication.

Justice Siddiqui observed that until the Supreme Court concludes suo motu proceeding in this matter, the IHC would not proceed further.

Subsequently, the court adjourned the proceeding sine die.

The Supreme Court last month sought complete details of senior government officers as well as members of the judiciary who have dual nationalities.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, while hearing a separate case, ordered Establishment Division Secretary Maroof Afzal to submit a report on names of dual national civil servants from Grade 17 to 22 within a fortnight.

Similarly, the registrars of all superior courts, including the Supreme Court, Federal Shariat Court and five high courts, were directed to furnish a similar list of dual national judges.

Published in Dawn, February 22nd, 2018