ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court has issued notices to the federal government and Saeed Ahmed in a petition challenging his appointment as the chief executive officer of the National Bank of Pakistan.

Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb issued the notices on a petition filed by the officers association of NBP.

The petitioners cited the federation of Pakistan through the prime minister, finance minister, finance secretary, State Bank governor, FIA director general and President/CEO of NBP Saeed Ahmed as respondents.

In the petition, the petitioners maintained that the finance ministry advertised the post of the president/CEO of NBP in different newspapers, prescribing experience of at least five years at the senior level as executive vice president and above or equivalent in the banking sector.

They said a committee headed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had scrutinised and short-listed candidates for the appointment after the minister along with the finance secretary and others conducted interviews and recommended Ahmad as the CEO NBP.

The petitioners informed the court that Ahmed holds dual nationality by virtue of possessing British citizenship as per his own statement submitted to British authorities.

“He neither possesses the required experience nor fulfils the requirement,” they maintained, adding Ahmed was allegedly involved in money laundering as stated by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) constituted by the Supreme Court for probing the Panamagate scandal.

Moreover, they said, Ahmed was also running a company in the UK. Therefore, his appointment was a clear case of conflict of interest, In addition, he was not a fit and proper person to be appointed on the slot, the petition added.

“Ahmed is bound by oath and pledge under the British laws and a person with such conflicting loyalty cannot be appointed as head/president/CEO of the largest scheduled and government-owned bank of Pakistan.”

The petitioners requested the court to direct the finance ministry and the SBP to explain under what authority of law they endorsed and concurred the selection and appointment of Ahmed, adding that the FIA director-general may also be directed to investigate the matter, regarding ‘illegal’ selection and appointment.

The petition prayed the court to set aside the notification, appointing Ahmed as the CEO.

 

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