Tuesday, November 28, 2023
ISLAMABAD: In a shuffle of the federal bureaucracy, President Arif Alvi has managed to get a secretary of his choice, reported The News on Tuesday.
Secretariat Group’s Grade 22 officer Muhammad Shakeel Malik, who was serving as Parliamentary Affairs Division secretary, has been transferred and appointed the secretary to President Alvi.
The appointment is effective immediately and until further notice.
According to the publication, the president selected Malik after interviewing him.
The post of secretary to the president fell vacant after Waqar Ahmad left the job and Additional Secretary Iram Bukhari was given the additional charge.
The president had initially sought the services of Grade 22 DMG officer Humaira Ahmad but she refused to take up the position following a controversy over two bills.
The key post became controversial in August when President Alvi in a startling revelation claimed that he never gave consent to the Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill, 2023.
The president revealed that he had not signed the two bills, triggering a massive controversy in the country.
“As God is my witness, I did not sign Official Secrets Amendment Bill 2023 & Pakistan Army Amendment Bill 2023 as I disagreed with these laws,” President Alvi had said on X, formerly Twitter.
“I asked my staff to return the bills unsigned within the stipulated time to make them ineffective. I confirmed from them many times that whether they have been returned & was assured that they were.”
“However I have found out today that my staff undermined my will and command. As Allah knows all, He will forgive IA. But I ask forgiveness from those who will be effected,” he had added.
Following this, President Alvi sought to surrender the services of Waqar Ahmed to the Establishment Division with immediate effect.
Hours after his removal, a confidential letter came to light in which Ahmed clarified his position regarding the bills.
The official further said that he "neither delayed above mentioned two bills nor committed any irregularity or negligence". He added that the files of the bills are still lying in the President's Office as of today (August 21).
He said that the president's decision for the surrender of his services was not based on justice. He also asked for an FIA inquiry to probe the facts and fix the responsibility for any lapse if committed by any officer or official.