Controversial appointment: Rana takes oath as auditor general

Published: August 27, 2011

Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry administering oath of office to Akhtar Buland Rana as Auditor General of Pakistan. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD: Akhtar Buland Rana took oath as the new Auditor General of Pakistan on Saturday after Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry accepted his appointment earlier made by President Asif Ali Zardari.

The appointment was accepted after the president sent a reply to the CJP’s letter clearing the allegations against Rana.

In the letter, the president mentioned that Rana was acquitted in a harassment case, and assured that Rana’s dual nationality will not create any obstacle in his performance of official duties.

The chief justice accepted the reply of the president.

Rana was appointed as the new auditor general by President Zardari on August 23 on Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s advice and the chief justice was approached for administering oath to the new auditor general. However, the chief justice wrote a letter to the president on Friday saying that the president might be unaware of the allegations against Rana at the time of his appointment.

The CJP raised several objections against Rana in his letter citing seven charges against him.

The letter alleged that Rana obtained a Canadian nationality without seeking prior permission from the government and travels abroad on three Pakistani passports and two national identification cards. It included that Rana attempted sexual assault on a subordinate woman during service and also pointed out that he did not qualify for his promotion to grade-22.

The Supreme Court Registrar on Saturday said the chief justice wrote the letter to the president after the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) sent their reports on Rana’s credentials.

The Registrar said the CJP had sought report on an anonymous application sent to the HR cell of the Supreme Court. The CJP had also stated in his letter that he will administer oath to Rana if the president insisted upon the appointment.

The Registrar said the CJP also told the president that once appointed, Rana could only be removed by the Supreme Judicial Council under Article 109 as in the case of a judge of superior judiciary.

“The response of the president has been received along with communication from the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. Therefore, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, in discharge of administrative function, without prejudice to anyone and subject to all just exceptions, will administer the oath,” the Registrar announced before the CJP administered oath to Rana.

Earlier, leader of the opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali also objected to Rana’s appointment. He stated the government was trying to steer clear of its financial irregularities by appointing him.

Talking to the press, Rana said he was willing to face any legal proceedings while referring to the statement linking the oath to “all just exceptions”. He said that he had been exonerated of the charge of sexually assaulting a colleague. He added that his dual nationality in no way obstructed his appointment as the auditor general.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani promoted Rana to grade-22 so he could qualify to be the auditor general of Pakistan after the former Auditor General Tanvir Ali Agha resigned amid a controversy.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • Mahmood SaeedMahmood
    Aug 27, 2011 - 3:16PM

    This stinks even more than NICL or Haj Scam or Cotecna or SGS

    Ya Allah hum Pakistanee-on ko muaaf kurr dayn. Aameen. Hummayn nayk hukamraan naseeb kurr dayn. Aameen. Ya Allah bud kirdaar bud afaal hukumraan-on saey nijaat dill dayn. Aameen.

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  • M.AKRAM KHAN NIAZI
    Aug 27, 2011 - 3:39PM

    Dual citizenship should not be a hurdle as the overseas Pakistanis are the main source of income for Pakistan.A man is innocent till the time allegation has not been proved.

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  • mueed
    Aug 27, 2011 - 4:13PM

    @Mahmood SaeedMahmood: God helps those who help themselves. This nation deserves it. They are not appointed by God, we had selected them in elections.

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  • Usman A.
    Aug 27, 2011 - 4:22PM

    @Akram Khan Niazi

    Dual Citizenship might not be a hurdle but it sometimes make a person less stakeholder especially in state affairs. And i completely disagree to your statement that implies him to be a Innocent man. If he was innocent, he should have faceed the trail and proved himself. And due to his controversial affairs, he was held not eligible for BS-22 but Gillani promoted him ignoring all the charges.

    Well this is a useless debate, all key posts are being held by people of dubious characters. Recommend

  • H.A. Khan
    Aug 27, 2011 - 4:27PM

    What about a person holding Three Pakistan passports and two CNIC cards as is being reported in press.Now if this is true,it is definitely violation of law .I wonder is all intel reports could be wrong. this is a constitutional position and a sensitive post

    CANADIAN CITIZENSHIP OATH

    OATH OF CITIZENSHIP

    I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty
    Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada,Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully
    observe the laws of Canada and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen

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  • rasheed
    Aug 27, 2011 - 4:46PM

    Chief Justice should cancel his illegal and quick promotions from grade 20 to 22.

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  • Chengez K
    Aug 27, 2011 - 4:51PM

    This is taking the preesent disgraceful governance to new lows….

    Auditor General should have an unblemished record. This post requires someone of integrity & clean professional reputation.

    Can’t the Prime minister find anyone in 180 million Pakistani’s more suitable than this gentleman who cannot pass ethical audit himself?

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  • ali
    Aug 27, 2011 - 5:14PM

    Government must be allowed to exercise its authority – I wonder why CJ paid so much of heat o ISI report, its is the same elite agency that reported against Mr Ch in the past and it was ISI chief who demanded Mr Ch to step down from his portfolio.
    All shame, after all it takes so many years to be promoted to grade 22, If we could have a dual nationality PM, not once but twice than why can not we have a dual nationality AG.
    Let us come out of conspiracies.Recommend

  • ali
    Aug 27, 2011 - 5:18PM

    I strongly disagree with lead news,
    Its not CONTROVERSIAL APPOINTMENT, rather Mr Rana is the senior most person in his department.
    Its a MERITORIOUS A PPOINTMENT.
    apologies to all those who seek conspiracies through the simpler issues.

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  • Blithe
    Aug 27, 2011 - 6:04PM

    Shame!

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  • Shahzad Ahmad
    Aug 27, 2011 - 6:31PM

    If I was Mr. Rana, i would have refused to take oath from a person like CJ Iftikhar whose past is full of double standards. A Person who penalised 110 Judges for doing an act which he did twice(taking PCO oath). Now he is talking of morality & interests of Pakistan. I will quote a saying of Prophet Muhammad(SAW) ” Your deeds depend on your niyat/faith”. Whatever he is doing is not in good faith rather its for cheap publicity making Headlines & see his name flashing in Breaking NEWS on various channels. I hope nation will consider my point of view.
    @ET I hope you will post my remarks.

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  • kami
    Aug 27, 2011 - 7:06PM

    Wish a Pakistani National gets such high profile post in Canada as being awarded to Canadain National

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  • Uzair Javaid
    Aug 27, 2011 - 7:22PM

    What a shame – it appears that these days, government has a prerequisite of having a dual nationality so that if requirement is to run away topping up your suitcases with looted money of corruption, it may not be a worry.
    This man might be corrupt keeping in view the position and his promotion to grade 22Recommend

  • Mukhtar Ahmed
    Aug 27, 2011 - 7:40PM

    Government is bent upon to disregard all Supreme Court orders come what may I think for the sake of country all judges of apex court should quit as a protest “Total andher nagri hai

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  • Steven
    Aug 27, 2011 - 8:25PM

    @kami: Perhaps you do not know that there have been sitting members of the Canadian parliament who are Pakistanis- both at the provincial and federal levels. Moreover there is a Pakistani woman senator of Pashtun backghround who currently sits in Ottawa.Recommend

  • MH
    Aug 27, 2011 - 9:21PM

    Is this why everyone fought to reinstate Chaudhry? Democracy really is the best revenge against the people of this country.

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  • Aug 27, 2011 - 10:01PM

    Another unique achievement CJ administering oath to yet another accused in the name of democracy

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  • Seher Siddiqui
    Aug 27, 2011 - 10:37PM

    We had two Prime Ministers having dual nationalities. They came,they conquered and went away. what commitment,what loyalty and what service they have done to this country. they improved their pricing.It may be remembered that were Pakistani by birth which was not their conscious decision and not controlled by them. taking oath of allegiance and loyalty to another country was a conscious and chosen decision by these people. Think of the commitment of such people to Pakistan.They finished their office in the afternoon and took a flight to the country of their choice the same evening. We have currently SBP Govenor,chairman SECP, chairman PTA, Finance Miniser and a host of diplomats,and a couple of secretaries holding second nationality. Canadian nationality of Mr. Buland Akhtar Rana should not be a surprise. Rana’s case is different in that his is an office of oath. YOU CAN HAVE A CAKE AND EAT IT TOO. Enjoy here and enjoy there.

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  • kami
    Aug 27, 2011 - 10:52PM

    @ Steven: So we have lot many Parlimentarians with dual Nationality, but AG is responsible to scrutunize the corruption of entire Government>>>Is there any example in Canada or else where?

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  • Khalid A Kazi
    Aug 27, 2011 - 11:12PM

    As far allegations are concerned, there were allegations against CJ and he was asked to resign by Mussharaf. But every thing was proved to be wrong and CJ is still CJ. So this rule applies to every one. In Pakistan allegations are the easiest thing to form. Yes if something is proved then you can say.

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  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Aug 27, 2011 - 11:28PM

    Canadian Citizenship is a proof of Mr. Rana’s integrity and innocense. It means Mr. Rana is not a criminal, otherwise he would not have been awarded Canadian Citizenship. Canadians do not allow criminals and other offenders to fall through cracks. Sometimes a simple traffic violation delays the process for months. Mr. Rana will do the job honestly and faithfully, because he knows watchful eyes of Candians are focused on him. Pakistanis should clean their house first before talking about demerits of Canadian Citizenship. Canada is not a place, where criminals find safe heavens.

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  • khaki
    Aug 28, 2011 - 12:45AM

    @M.AKRAM KHAN NIAZI: Dual nationality is not bad as long as they don’t take country’s money out. He will be working in Pakistan and his family is in Canada. Will they live on benefits??? Tax payers money will be used to feed his family abroad

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  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Aug 28, 2011 - 1:53AM

    I think that we must learn from India where no dual national is allowed to take oath to serve the country in any capacity.

    Though Sonia Gandhi is the leader of her party and have the power to nominate as who should be the Prime Minister of the country, but her place of birth was not India, therefore according to the Indian law, she could not run for the office of the Prime Minister and have left no choice except to nominate some one else.

    Had Sonia Gandhi would have born in Pakistan and at the same time would have dual nationality of some other country (except India) she would have been eligible to contest in the general elections and would have become member of Pakistani parliament.

    It is unfortunate that we in Pakistan do not care about such matters which are very sensitive. Similarly a Pakistani born Christian also cannot become the President of the United States of America.

    We have no legislation on this matter in Pakistan. What it should be that any one holding a dual nationality should not be allowed to become a parliamentarian and at the same time should not be allowed to serve as a bureaucrat as well.

    Had I been the President of Pakistan, I would have relieved all such people from the government who are presently holding dual nationality.

    It is a understood fact that any one who holds a dual nationality can not serve the interest of Pakistan. It is a very simple equation to understand, provided if people sitting at the helm of affairs understand how to run a sovereign Pakistan with honour and dignity.

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  • Copper
    Aug 28, 2011 - 2:28AM

    @Nadeem Ahmed:
    By the same standards, I guess you would say Altaf Hussain isn’t a criminal, coz UK won’t grant nationality to a criminal? Also, with your standards, there is no job left for police and judicial departments as there is no criminal in Canada!

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  • basharat
    Aug 28, 2011 - 5:35AM

    The President, under Article 168 (1) has authority to appoint auditor General of Pakistan on the advice of the Prime Minister, this appointment is not subject to the approval of the Chief Justice by any stretch of imagination. Before entering into the office he is required to make oath before the Chief justice. It was constitutional duty of the Chief Justice to administer the
    oath without undue delay after he had been requested by the President in this regard, but he preferred to resist the appointment due to the accusation raised in an anonymous letter, received in human rights section of the Supreme Court. On the base of this anonymous letter, delaying the administration of oath, is a surprise, a unique privilege of PPP Government.
    Punjab Government is being run, perhaps by angels, their act good as well as otherwise, have never been questioned. Mian Shahbaz Sharif was disqualified to be member of the assembly, by the Election Commissioner,
    the disqualification order had been suspended, and Mian Sahib is running the government of Punjab, for more than three years on stay order. Theoretically at least, the final judgment could be against him also. This situation is also unique.Justice should not only be done but it should appear to have been done.

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  • Mirza
    Aug 28, 2011 - 6:27AM

    This nomination is the decision of the executive and nothing to do with judiciary. However, the overzealous PCO CJ stepped in to make it controversial. According to CJ the appointee has a criminal record. However, soon CJ had to eat a crow and offered him the oath of the same office. When he had no basis then why make a big deal out of nothing? If the CJ was right to make his allegations then he should not have flip flopped? So quickly the CJ went back on his written legal words and compromised, one wonders why?

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  • Saleem
    Aug 28, 2011 - 9:08AM

    Can’t government of Pakistan find a suitable person for this job in 160 Million people?

    Having a dual nationality is legal but it underscores the fact that a person willingly opted for another citizenship, over his/her Pakistani citizenship. So at best a person with dual citizenship can be described as one having dual allegiance. He/she no longer has Pakistani interest only in his/her mind. If an opportunity comes then he/she will dump Pakistani citizenship over other one. After all he/she was not satisfied with Pakistani citizenship, which he/she got due to birth right. Rather person opted to get another citizenship and took oath of allegiance to that country. So if a person with dual nationality has to choose one country’s interested then which county that be? Of course it will not be Pakistan. Then why would Pakistan give its key posts to people with dual nationality?

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  • Waqar Ahmad
    Sep 15, 2011 - 2:39PM

    I personally feel Rana Sahib was the most suitable person amongst all the officers of PAAS. He deserved this posting since he is the senior most officer of Pakistan Audit & Accounts Services. Rana Sahib is personally known to me. He is a very upright person. The CJP shouldn’t involve into such controversies.Rather, he should go by law which amply binds the President of Pakistan to appoint the AGP on the advise of PM. It is not understood as to why Ch. Nisar of PML(N) is so furious about this posting. The whole media campaign is being organised and monitored by ex-AGP and those who Agha Sahib benefited a lot. May ALLAH bless Rana Sahib and empower him to take the right decisions.

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