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Saturday, July 09, 2011

SECP -Abdul Rehman Qureshi [Sailor to sink Titanic]

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 SECP officials question impartiality of inquiry committee

Officials in the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) have expressed concerns over impartiality and fairness of an inquiry committee constituted by the prime minister to look into allegations of corruption against the top official of the commission.
Officials in the SECP and stakeholders have expressed concerns regarding impartiality of the inquiry committee as even before initiation of the inquiry proceedings, the inquiry committee had expressed full confidence in Salman Sheikh, Chairman, SECP, who is facing corruption charges.According to the minutes of the SECP Policy Board meeting held last month and made available to The News, the members, who also include the members of the inquiry committee, expressed concern over the ongoing situation, which had arisen out in the commission.It was pointed out that various kinds of communications were frequently being received by them from Commissioner Legal Tariq Husain, wherein he raised issues directly to the higher authorities and the members of the Policy Board.The Policy Board members, including those who are the members of the inquiry committee constituted expressed their full confidence in the chairman.Some SECP officials said that impartiality of the committee and transparency had become questionable as even before the initiation of the proceedings it had morally acquitted the SECP chairman.The inquiry committee consists of Ismail Qureshi, Secretary, Establishment; Nuzrat Bashir, Additional Secretary, Finance; and Munawwar Hamid, Member Policy Board. Additionally, the committee has been allowed to co-opt another member from the Law and Justice Division.The commissioner legal had expressed his reservations on the constitution of the committee, the minutes of the meeting said. He had raised lack of confidence in the chairman of the inquiry committee, who is said to be a relative of Abdul Rahman Qureshi, Secretary, SECP. In his letter dated February 17, 2010, the commissioner legal had alleged that Salman Sheikh was assisted by some senior officers of the commission, especially Qureshi in his acts of misfeasance.The commissioner legal also expressed no confidence in Munawwar Hamid, who is said to be a personal friend of the SECP chairman.The board meeting expressed full confidence in the SECP chairman and, in fact, expressed their concerns at the fact that the law commissioner is writing directly to the board and higher authorities, according to the minutes of the meeting.The majority of the Policy Board members whose fairness has become questionable agreed to take away the security of the tenure available to the commissioners and give unlimited number of terms to the SECP chairman. The question that arises is, if these persons have already expressed their full confidence in the chairman before even start of the inquiry proceedings, what is the object of inquiring into the allegations. The outcome of the inquiry seems to be predetermined and the proceedings are designed to be a whitewash. In fact, it appears that instead of the chairman, it is the commissioner who may be made an example for blowing the whistle, a senior official in the Finance Ministry said on the condition of anonymity.The ministry officials and the SECP stakeholders were of the view that the prime minister either order a judicial inquiry not only to look into the allegations against the chairman, but also to inquire into this attempt to cover up the frauds brought to light by the commissioner legal, or the Supreme Court should take suo motu notice of this issue.

Courtesy : The News...

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