KARACHI: Amir Tariq Zaman Khan, who was recently inducted as the additional secretary in the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom (MoIT&T), has on Monday been given the added charge of acting secretary of the ministry with immediate effect, The Express Tribune has learned.
A Grade-21 officer, Khan was appointed additional secretary a week ago, amidst speculations that he would be given the additional responsibility to look after the highest bureaucratic position in the ministry. Before his induction to MoIT&T, Khan served as joint secretary in the Corporate Sector Wing of the Ministry of Industries and Production.
The position of IT secretary has been lying vacant since February of this year, because of the departure of former IT secretary Saeed Ahmed Khan. Before Khan, Farooq Ahmed Awan was appointed acting IT secretary; but he, according to sources, did not enjoy good reputation in the industry for his controversial decisions.
Under Awan’s brief tenure, several officials working with independent subsidiaries of MoITT were suspended or sent on forced leave. Awan’s response to the Indian government also caused a delay in the recovery of $33 million that New Dehli owes to the Pakistan Telecommunication Company for telephony traffic services.
Some officials who were removed by the MoIT&T in Awan’s tenure held key positions in the Universal Service Fund (USF) and Information Communication Technology Research and Development Fund (ICT R&D). Of the officers removed, General Manager USF Asif Kamal and Member Telecom Ismail Shah were restored to their positions.
Former Pakdatacom (PDL) CEO Salman Malik was another official who challenged his removal by MoIT&T and was reinstated – before
he was suspended again by PDL’s board.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2012.