ISLAMABAD: Law Minister Babar Awan on Thursday formally removed Agha Tariq Mehmood, Deputy Attorney General of Pakistan, by issuing a notification. However, informally he had been sacked from his office two days earlier, sources in the ministry informed The Express Tribune.
He was appointed by then law minister and now Senate Chairman Farooq H Naik some three years ago.
The grapevine has it that the law department, particularly Law Minister Babar Awan and his legal wizards were not satisfied with his performance as DAG.
But what actually sealed his fate was word from the Presidency. “The President ordered the removal of the deputy attorney general when Federal Minister for Science and Technology Azam Khan complained to the President against him (Tariq),” sources in the presidency told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity.
The minister lodged a complaint against Agha Tariq, who helped a bureaucrat regain his post after being dismissed by Azam Khan earlier this month,” the sources added.
Attorney General Maulvi Anwar-ul-Haq, on being approached, also confirmed his removal on the complaint of the federal minister, but he did not disclose the name of the minister. The Attorney-General also said that Agha Tariq was an honest law officer and he showed efficiency in the cases of NRO and 18th Amendment. His performance was very good, the AG added.
“Yes I have been directed to sack Mr Tariq,” Law Secretary Masood Chishti said when approached to confirm the news. According to the notification issued on Thursday, the contract of the deputy attorney general had expired, which was not renewed as a result of which he was removed from his post.
Sources said that some top officers may also be either moved from their present position or removed in near future as Law Minster warned them to keep a positive frame of mind.
Sources said that a reshuffle of top legal officers was also a possibility as the law minister is understood to have talked tough with them. “The top officials, including Attorney General Anwarul Haq, can be the next target,” the source said.
Due to a tense relationship between the law minister and several law officers of the ministry and the Supreme Court, many have either resigned or been fired by the minister.
Former Attorney General Anwar Mansoor had told the media at the time of resigning that he was doing so because of uncivilized attitude of the law minister. Former deputy attorney general Shah Khawar also cited identical reasons when he quit his office.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2010.
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