PESHAWAR: Saeed Ahmad Khan has been appointed as the new chief executive officer of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company (KPEZDMC) by its board of directors on Wednesday.
The company is owned by the provincial government and has been setup aiming to rapidly industrialise K-P by generating jobs.
The board of directors held its 17th meeting at the chief minister house Peshawar under the chairmanship of K-P Secretary Industries Fahim Wazir – the acting chairman of the BOD.
Khan was selected among a panel of three shortlisted aspirants including Javed Iqbal Khattak and Khurram Khaliq.
According to sources privy to the development, the majority of the board’s private members were in support of Javed Iqbal Khattak —currently serving as the General Manager Out-Reach in the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) — however, the human resource committee had put Khan ahead of the rest.
With a majority vote in favour of Khan, the board decided to select him in between the three. Saeed is an engineer by profession having experience of working abroad.
His dual nationality was questioned in the meeting, however, the law does not place any bar on the selection of dual nationals for the top job.
The post fell vacant in July last year, when Muhammad Mohsin Syed resigned after being detained by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in a case implicating him to a land purchase issue in Punjab.
Syed, however, continued to work as the board wanted him to continue working in the capacity until the appointment of the new CEO.
The board removed its former chief financial officer Shahid Iqbal Khattak and chief human resource Jawad Amin in August of last year over a dispute with the board’s chairman at the time.
NAB has also been conducting an inquiry against the company over financial and administrative irregularities.
Consequently, chief minister dissolved the board on grounds of incompetency last year after which this new board was constituted.
In a recent meeting, the reinstatement of Khattak and Amin was also discussed with both being removed on grounds of incompetency.
Interestingly, both the executives were given performance bonuses a month before their removal.
Sources say that the HR committee which was conducting the hiring process of the CEO was also tasked to look into this matter as well.
Sources say that a member of the HR committee was against their reinstatement and wanted the Peshawar High Court to decide the matter which is currently under trial.
However, the other three members were in favour of their reinstatement.
The issue will be taken up once more in the next meeting. The chairman of the board Fahim Wazir was not available to comment in this regard when contacted.