ISLAMABAD, Aug 22 (PTI): Pakistan President Arif Alvi’s decision to sack his secretary after a
controversy erupted about the signing of two key bills was made to clear his name, media reports
said on Tuesday, as the dismissed official claimed innocence and sought an inquiry.
President Alvi sacked his secretary Waqar Ahmed on Monday, a day after he said he did not
personally sign the Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and the Pakistan Army (Amendment)
Bill, 2023 and had instructed his staff to return them unsigned within the stipulated time to make
The President’s Secretariat said in a statement that Alvi asked for the replacement of Secretary
Ahmed, whose services were “no more required”.
Ahmed’s removal is being seen as a punishment for his alleged impudence, but there was no direct
reference to his involvement in the matter, the Dawn newspaper reported.
Meanwhile, Ahmed called his removal from the post “not based on justice” and, in a letter, asked
Alvi to reconsider his decision to remove the secretary from his post.
Ahmed also urged the president to initiate an investigation into the matter through the Federal
Investigation Agency (FIA) or any other agency to uncover any misconduct, The Express Tribune
”I want to set the record straight that I am not responsible for any irregularities regarding the bills,”
the former secretary stated in the confidential letter.
”The decision to surrender my services isn’t based on justice,” Ahmed stated, claiming that contrary
to allegations of delay and insubordination, the documents pertaining to the bills are still present
within the presidential chambers.
Ahmed said the files related to the Pakistan Army Act (Amendment) Bill were not returned to the
secretary’s office until August 21.
Stressing that if any wrongdoing is proven, those responsible should be held accountable, Ahmed
said, "I am prepared to testify before the Supreme Court or any other court. I will present a record to
establish my innocence.”
Ahmed clarified that the Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill, 2023, was received by the Presidency on
August 8 after the official hours, adding that it was forwarded to the president on August 9. ”The
President is fully aware of the facts surrounding both bills,” he said.
Under Article 75 of the Constitution, the president has to approve a bill within ten days, and under
the same provision, he can send back a bill to the Parliament for reconsideration within the same
amount of days.
Speaking to reporters in London about the controversy, former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Shehbaz Sharif said an official inquiry should be launched into the
Sharif said a transparent inquiry should be held into Alvi’s conduct “to determine facts through a
transparent probe”, the report said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Babar Awan, in a video message, requested Chief
Justice Umar Ata Bandial to take suo moto action. He said that the president of the country was the
head of state, a part of Parliament and the supreme commander of the armed forces, while the
country’s agreements were also made using his name.
“A very serious crime has taken place,” he said, adding that this amounted to “constitutional
insubordination” which would fall under Article 6 (high treason).
The report quoted some retired bureaucrats as saying that a “discreet” inquiry was required against
those found guilty of involvement in the controversy and that repatriating the secretary to the
Establishment Division was a “routine” matter.
According to former bureaucrat Shoaib Suddle, the transfer was a routine matter and had nothing to
do with the controversy surrounding the two laws. Suddle said the president should have asked for
an inquiry, and the accused official should have been given a fair chance to explain his position.
“This is the normal practice if such an offence is committed by any government official,” he was
quoted as saying.