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Wednesday Dec 25 2019

Objections raised over appointments in Overseas Pakistanis Commission (OPC)

Photo by reporter

LONDON: One of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s founding members and former organsier for the United Kingdom and Europe has appealed to Prime Minister Imran Khan to abolish the newly formed body of the Punjab Overseas Pakistanis Commission (OPC).

Akram Dhareeja has addressed a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan and Saifullah Khan Nyazee, chief organsier of PTI, alleging that the newly formed OPC has been made without following any due process and merit.

Former Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif originally had formed the OPC.

Dhareeja alleged that the newly appointed members have started contacting community members flaunting their status and abusing their position. In some cases, he said, the newly appointed members are involved in approaching members of the community for resolution of their problems in violation of rules.

Dhareeja further claimed that some people belonging to Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have been appointed and the others have been appointed on recommendation of a few businessmen from the UK.

He writes in the letter: “As a long-standing member of PTI and one of the founding members of the party, under which I served as Chief Organiser of PTI UK & Europe, I believe it is my duty to voice my concerns over this newly formed body and the negative implications it will have on PTI UK and the British Pakistani community.”

He adds: “I believe that this UK body of Punjab OPC will cause huge divisions within PTI UK and further does not align with your vision for a united Pakistan. There is also a strong possibility that other provinces such as Sindh, Balochistan, KPK, AJK, Giligit-Baltistan and Islamabad may also decide to appoint their own separate bodies in the UK, resulting in further division within PTI UK and the British Pakistani community.”

He appeals: “I kindly request that the Punjab OPC UK Body is dissolved, and any necessary action is undertaken by senior leadership of PTI to ensure PTI UK remains the central overseas body for PTI in the UK.”

The notification on Nov 12 said the appointments have been made on the recommendation of the Advisory Council.

Akram Dhareeja and Sahebzada Jahangir are amongst a few people in the UK and Europe who helped found Imran Khan’s political party nearly two decades ago.

Dhareeja claimed that the governor Punjab’s office was involved in the direct appointment of several OPC officials and some of the officials were encouraging corrupt practices through cronyism.

A spokesman of the governor Punjab rejected the allegations and said that the governor had no involvement in OPC.

Punjab Overseas Commission through a notification, issued on 12th November, announced the following as a part of the Advisory Council for the UK: Syed Tariq Mahmood-ul-Hassan as chairperson; Nasir Mir, Asif Khan, Naeem Shehbaz Awan, Imran Khalil Malik, Asif Rahseed Butt, Syed Fayyaz-ul-Hassan, Nadeem Asghar, Iqbal Sidiqui for North England region; Umar Ishaq Rao, Muhammad Ahmed, Riaz Ahmed, Nisar Khan, Usman Hameed, Hameed Ali Shah, Haroon Rashid, Saif-r-Rehman for Scotland & Newcastle; Muhammad Riaz, Qaiser Abbas Gondal, Naeem Tahir, Muhammad Aslam Dogan, Manor Kiyani, Zafar Iqbal, Nadim Bashir, Sonia Arfan for South England region; and Abdul Latin Amir, Nasir Abbas Khan, Malik Iftikhar Ahmed, Tandem Baja, Imran Hussain Wraith, Malik Haseeb Ahsan, Riffat Mughal, Farzand Ali for Birmingham and Wales.

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