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Top Story

October 9, 2018
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DG NAB Lahore survives transfer

Top Story

October 9, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: While the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has announced massive reshuffle yesterday (Monday) one DG who had supervised arrest of former Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, survived transfer despite facing an internal probe over his alleged fake degree on the orders of the Supreme Court.

NAB starts grilling Shahbaz, also summons his son Salman

NAB on Monday announced transfer of four DGs including DG Karachi, DG Balochistan and DG Headquarters and several other senior officials on the orders of the Chairman. However DG Lahore Major Major (Retd) Shahzad Saleem has survived the wave of transfers despite earlier indications from the NAB sources that he might also face some action.

Sources told The News that NAB Chairman Justice (R) Javed Iqbal had sought a report from his subordinates about the dubious degree of the Bureau’s Director General Lahore Major (Retd) Shahzad Saleem on the directions of the Supreme Court but so far no action has been taken on the issue since October 2017.

The apex court had sought a report from the Chairman while hearing a petition by journalist Asad Kharal, which alleges that the degree issued in 2002 is written in Calibri font which was commercially available only in 2007. The case has received fresh attention recently when the Assistant Attorney General-V Mansoor Tariq informed the Peshawar High Court during hearing of a case that Saleem Shahzad’s degree is not recognised by the HEC.

While contacted Major (Retd) Shahzad Saleem told The News that he obtained the MSC Computer science degree from Alkhair University in 2002 while still serving at the Bureau’s Islamabad office. However a spokesperson of the Higher Education Commission told The News that the commission does not recognize any campus of the said university outside Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

According to a report prepared by Secretary Establishment and submitted before the Supreme Court in March 2017, Shahzad Saleem neither obtain a no objection certificate to enroll for the program, nor was he on leave to pursue the degree from Mirpur campus of the University while being posted at Islamabad. Shahzad claimed that he studied in Islamabad campus of the university in the evening shift. However, it is pertinent to mention here that the Higher Education Commission only recognized Mirpur Campus of the said university.

Sources in NAB said the current DG Lahore was on duty during the annual university examinations and the record does not indicate his leave application for the said period. A report of the Establishment Secretary prepared in January 2017 for the Supreme Court in SMC13/2016 maintained that the degree of Shahzad Saleem was not available in NAB record. Strangely, the degree now produced by the officer shows attestation by HEC in 2015.

The NAB sources told The News that while the Bureau itself sent degrees of all its officers to HEC for attestation, DG NAB himself produced attested copy of his “degree”. The “degree” presented by Shahzad Saleem also does not mention any campus of Al-Khair University, causing further confusion about its authenticity.

Sources said the officer has yet to produce his original degree before NAB Human Resource department. NAB sources said the allegations of the fake degree is not the only source of trouble for Major (Retd) Shahzad Saleem as he is also facing action for illegal appointments in NAB.

He was serving as Deputy Director Administration in September 2003 when some senior NAB officials were illegally hired into the Bureau. In its decision on March 28th this year, the Supreme Court declared hiring of DG Lahore Bhurhan Ali, DG Quetta Tariq Mehmood, DG Karachi Shabbir Ahmed and DG Awareness and Prevention Aliya Rashid as illegal and instructed to sack them.

Sources said Major Shahzad Saleem was processor and beneficiary of the said illegal hiring but no action has been taken against him so far. They added that the senior NAB official himself filed references against Vice Chancellor of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan for illegal appointments but surprisingly he got away with his own involvement in illegal appointments in NAB.

When contacted, however, Shahzad Saleem said he was a grade 18 officer during the controversial hirings in NAB. “Being grade 18 officer, I was not the hiring authority. It was the decision of the than Chairman NAB so how could I be implicated in that case,” he said.

He said Calibri font issue has been added in petition against him just to spice up the case.”I don’t know in what font the degree is written.” While contacted by The News, NAB Spokesman Nawazish Ali Asim said the case is in the Supreme Court and he cannot offer further comment on the issue.

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