ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has referred the matter of Indian nationals appointed on the board of a terminal company to the Ministry of Interior for security clearance.
Responding to queries, an SECP spokesperson told The Express Tribune that Rizwan Sultan Ali Soomar, an Indian national, and Devang Mankodi, also an Indian national, had been reported as directors in the Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) Pakistan Limited through Form 29 dated May 15, 2018 and Form A dated April 27, 2018.
Accordingly, their cases were sent to the Ministry of Interior for security clearance as per policy. However, according to the spokesperson, the company has later reportedly withdrawn the nomination of both the individuals. The SECP has also sent the matter of DP World to the Ministry of Interior for clearance.
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Ports are highly sensitive and strategic assets of Pakistan which cannot be given in the hands of nationals of an archrival. With such management holding of Indians, the electronic data and sensitive information like in and out movement at ports and other classified information can be shared with India.
A complaint had been lodged with the SECP chairman in November 2018 about the presence of Indian nationals in DP World - which holds management control of QICT - and specifically in terms of a high security risk.
These directors of DP World Karachi had been handling Indian ports in the past. Rizwan Sultan Ali Soomar, Chairman and Director of DP World Karachi, has been the head of APM Terminals Investments in India, has served as director of Gujarat Pipavav Port Limited, India and has worked as managing director of Maersk Line India and Sri Lanka.
Another Indian national, Devang Mankodi, is the director of DP World Karachi and has also served as director of Nhava Sheva International Container Terminal, India and has worked in Logistics Company, India.
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The SECP, in its letter dated December 4, 2018 sent to the interior ministry, admitted that with regard to the appointment of Indian nationals in the QICT, please be informed that the returns pertaining to the appointments have not yet been accepted by the concerned registrar and the case has already been forwarded to the Ministry of Interior for clearance. Further course of action will be decided after the receipt of clearance from the ministry, it said.
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