PESHAWAR: The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa served a seven day termination notice to the managing director of Bank of Khyber (BOK), Shamsul Qayyum, on Wednesday.
The Bank of Khyber scandal took an ugly turn as the notice was served by the K-P finance department and Qayyum decided to challenge the government's move by submitting a petition in the Peshawar High Court.
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The decision came after a provincial cabinet meeting on Wednesday over a public spat between the K-P finance minister from Jamaat-e-Islami, Muzafar Said and BOK MD Shamsul Qayyum last year.
Qayyum had run an advertisement in newspapers in April 2016, alleging that Said was corrupt, had made illegal appointments, was using the bank’s resources for his party and interfering in the bank’s matters.
JI reacted sourly to the advertisement, rejecting the allegations and demanding the removal of the MD but there was no prompt action taken.
With the PTI left with a singular ally, the JI, the ruling party was forced to accept the demand of JI to level the score with Qayyum to save their fragile majority in the assembly.
The termination notice served to Qayyum reads, "the provincial government is pleased to issue you termination notice in light of section 7 of contract agreement for publication of a baseless allegations against the finance minister/government of K-P, which has been construed as misconduct.”
It further added that the provincial finance minister has lodged a complaint against Qayyum's act towards the provincial government and the cabinet considered the complaint of minister finance in its meeting on September 6 and unanimously decided to issue the termination notice.
"And after the expiry of the seven days’ notice, your contract agreement will cease to exist," it added.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Qayyum called the termination notice "totally illegal" and against the regulations of the State Bank of Pakistan. "My lawyers are preparing the case and we will challenge the decision in the Peshawar High Court as it is my legal right and I will exercise it," he said.
He also added that the managing director or bank’s president appointments as well as premature termination are made with the approval of the SBP.
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Qayyum further explained that under the Prudential Regulations for Corporate/Commercial banking issued by the SBP, the bank’s board of directors’ chairman has to approach the SBP two months before the premature termination of the bank’s president, chief or managing direct or giving reasons for the premature termination of the contract.
"If the state bank is convinced by the board’s reasons for termination then it gives its approval to the board and if the state bank is not convinced then it sends its own team for examination," he said.
"It depends on my lawyers how quickly they prepare the case. If they complete it today (Thursday) then we are going to file the case in the court on Friday," he told.
Qayyum also said that only 18 to 20 days were left in completion of his term as the MD of the bank, "Only 18 to 20 days were left in my term after which I would have silently gone to my home but they did not let that happen," he said adding that the JI wanted his removal for political gains.
Sources in the K-P government shared that JI knew that the issue would be taken to court but the JI Shura wanted the government to take the step in order to wash the scar of the scandal from its face.
When asked about the case, Muzafar Said said taking the matter to court is Qayyum's right but that he was punished for his step which harmed the reputation of the bank and the government.
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