Company politics: G-B Assembly speaker accused of assaulting Chinese staffer

Sost Dry Port Company Director Karim Ullah Baig contests version of events.

Shabbir Mir July 05, 2014


Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Assembly Speaker Wazir Baig was accused on Saturday of breaking into the office of the deputy chairman of Pak-China Sost Port Company and assaulting a staff member.

Wazir Baig was reportedly accompanied by G-B lawmaker Mutabiat Shah, Sost Dry Port Company Chairman Zafar Iqbal and 20 party workers when he forced his way into the office and slapped a female Chinese employee, alleged Gul Sher Khan, a spokesperson for Pak-China Sost Port Company.

He said the firm is a private limited company that has more than 150 employees on its payroll. Khan claimed the reason for making this mess was that Baig wanted his friend Zafar Iqbal to be elected to a senior post.

“Baig and his team terrorised the whole office by breaking doors and beating the female employee. Therefore, they must be arrested and tried under anti-terror laws,” demanded the spokesperson.

Sost Dry Port Company Director Karim Ullah Baig had a different story to tell.

“Sost Dry Port Vice Chairman Zafar Iqbal was attacked by a Chinese [employee] as he stepped into his office,” he claimed, adding Iqbal sustained minor injuries as a result.

Karim Ullah said that after dry port elections, Zafar Iqbal was elected vice president but was not allowed to take up his duties by the rival group. As a result, a case was filed in the G-B Chief Court which subsequently allowed Iqbal to work in the dry port.

“Today, when he along with speaker Wazir Baig and others reached his office, a Chinese  staffer who was his opponent attacked him with a knife.”

He said that as per the agreement signed in 2002, Sost Dry Port’s management was handed over to China for ten years. According to it, China had to cede the management by 2012 but it did not do so.

However, after elections in 2013, the new management took over with Iqbal as the vice president. In Sost Dry Port, 60% of the share belongs to China while Pakistan retains the rest.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2014.


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