The government has continued to run the affairs of Karachi Port Trust (KPT) on an ad hoc basis as it has now appointed its fourth chairman on deputation.
Earlier, the KPT chairman was removed by the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government over alleged differences with the maritime affairs minister but court suspended the notification of his removal.
After the tenure of regular KPT chairman ended on December 8, 2020, the additional charge of KPT chairman was given to Nadir Mumtaz Warraich (BS-22 officer) for three months or till the appointment of a new chairman, whichever was earlier.
Since then, KPT has continued to run on an ad hoc basis.
When asked for comment, KPT said only the maritime affairs ministry would be able to give comment as the matter pertained to the ministry.
Secretary maritime affairs ministry did not respond to a request for comment.
Recently, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led coalition government has approved the appointment of Syed Sayadian Raza Zaidi, (IRS) (BPS-21), as KPT chairman on deputation.
The Maritime Affairs Division, in a recent meeting of the cabinet, briefed participants that KPT was managed in accordance with the provisions of KPT Act 1886.
As per Section 6(1), read with Section 11 of the Act, the federal government shall appoint a person to be chairman of KPT board who shall hold office for such period as the federal government may from time to time decide.
In its decision in Al Mustafa Impex case, the Supreme Court defined the federal government as the federal cabinet, therefore, the approval of the cabinet was required.
In light of the Establishment Division’s notification issued on December 21, 2022, the federal cabinet on January 19, 2023 approved the grant of additional charge of KPT chairman to Syed Muhammad Tariq Huda, BPS-21, Additional Secretary (In charge) Maritime Affairs, for a period of three months.
The tenure of Huda ended on March 20, 2023. On expiry, KPT General Manager (Operations) Rear Admiral Muhammad Zubair Shafique was assigned the task of looking after the work of KPT chairman with effect from March 31, 2023 in addition to his own duties and till the appointment of a new chairman.
As per the instructions issued by the Cabinet Division on March 16, 2018, no trustee/ director of board of directors/ trustees could be appointed except with the approval of prime minister.
Accordingly, the PM approved the placement of matter before the federal cabinet for approval under Section 60, read with Section 11, of the KPT Act 1886.
The Maritime Affairs Division proposed that Syed Sayadian Raza Zaidi, an officer of IRS (BPS-21) presently posted as Member Headquarters, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Karachi, may be appointed KPT chairman on deputation on the standard terms and conditions.
The cabinet considered a summary titled “Appointment of Syed Sayadian Raza Zaidi, (IRS) (BPS-21), as Chairman, Karachi Port Trust, Karachi on deputation basis”, submitted by the Maritime Affairs Division, and approved the proposal.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2023.
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