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PM Gilani, don’t appoint a man of doubtful integrity as head of the supreme audit institution – by Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa

The 1973 Constitution seems silent on defining a criterion for appointing an auditor general. Article 168 of the 1973 constitution says that the president shell appoint an auditor general. Article 168(3) says an auditor-general cannot be removed.

Perhaps, Raza Rabbani should have looked beyond just reducing the tenure of the auditor-general from 5 to 4 years and specified a criterion. It seems that the PM secretariat might use the lacunae to appoint a man of dubious character and dual nationality to the position. Although the PM cannot appoint another Auditor-General while the incumbent has not finished his tenure. The law division has already given its ruling in this regard. The incumbent will retire in November 2011.

However, the PM secretariat and the establishment division seem to be earnestly pushing the case for the promotion of one Mr Buland Akhtar Rana, currently appointed as secretary Human Rights, mainly because he is a friend of the prime minister and from his home town of Multan. The gent was charged for sexual harassment the inquiry of which was quashed by the prime minister without taking into account available evidence. A case is already pending in the Supreme Court accusing the PM of trying to appoint Mr Rana as the head of a national institution and promote him to BPS-22 against specified laws.

The report of the ISI dated August 2010, which is attached with the said case in the Supreme Court, describes Rana as a dubious man holding four different passports (3 Pakistani and 1 Canadian) and using 2 national ID cards. Under the rules of the government of Pakistan no civil servant can approach a foreign mission leave alone seek another nationality without prior permission.

In this case, Buland Akhtar Rana holds threemultiple passports and his two ID cards in itself is a criminal activity. Canadian Passport no. is JQ-104864. This he obtained when he was on forced leave during inquiry in the case of sexual harassment. Later, when exonerated by the PM he started a vilification campaign against the lady officer he had harassed and the auditor-general. His Pakistani passports no.s are KB-274440 and KB 274550. Ministry of interior has his record and details of his travels including on his Canadian passport .The same letter also says describes Rana as a man who harasses officers. Just imagine what transparency and accountability would such an appointment bring to Pakistan. We will again be a laughing stock of the world. The head of the supreme audit institution cannot be a man of questionable integrity.

Since the establishment division ruled long ago in another case that an officer cannot attain another nationality, a possible Auditor-General certainly cannot. This is the office responsible for the entire accounts and audit of the government of Pakistan. Worse, once appointed he cannot be removed for the next four years. Is this the future of accountability in the country? And what will be the future of female officers of the department – or does the PM recommend opening up of a brothel in the Audit House on Constitution Avenue? For those who are for improvement of accountability and security of women please stand up and speak before Mr Gillani destroys it completely.

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  • Thanks Ayesha for pointing towards this man of dubious credentials and PM favorite hobby of awarding his own men, seems PM believes in Govt by Few-Pals not People.

  • Ministers should have credibility so that people know that their money is being used properly. If you appoint any leaders then it will not only make the current situation go from bad to worse but the government will also lose support!

  • it is vital that we finish corruption in the country. politicians need to come forward with a clean heart and finally work for the interest of country!!

  • My early comments of Pakistanpress blog: “I think Ayesha Siddiqa’s email ID has been hacked. because i am sure she never mind dual nationality. AS is an strategic policy maker and she had never targetted an individual character.

    NB: Moderator should verify this from AS”.

    She trusts ISI report or she has any personal grudge against Buland Akhtar Rana.

  • Without prejudice to Dr. Ayesha’s stand that appointment of such an important post like Auditor General of Pakistan, the nominated person/s should be a man of integrity, nonetheless, there is a thin line between accusation and integration. A universal maxmim of justice is audi artem partem (hear the other side).

    I happen to watch a talk show where Buland Akhtar Rana was contacted online and explanation to accusations against him so highlighted by Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa, was sought for. What I gather from Mr. Rana’s explanatory reply is:

    1. The sexual harrasment charges could never be proved and the charge stands dismissed
    2. The ISI report is based on the apprehention that perhaps Mr. Rana would not compromise on transfers of unutilized budgeted fund under different civil heads to the Military account in the name of Defence strict requirement and would unnecessarily raise objections
    3. He never had more than one Pakistani passport. The two passports attached to one another, one is old and expired. He was sent to Canada on deputation and this special assignment required to travel on a special passport which was surrendered as and when he returned.

    Let me declare loud and clear that I never knew and perhaps would never know this gent called Buland Akhtar Rana. If he had a dubious character in real and still the government was desirous to appoint him on such a sensitive post, it would have been a worst kind of nepotism. But, to condemn a person on hearsay is also not justified. When some person declare that this man is black but he says he is white, a dispute has been created and the issue can only be settled in a court of law.

  • He never went to Canada on deputation. He was there for 5 years and he is a canadian citizen. His family is still there.

    He used all these passports during the period between Apr 2004 and Dec 2009. Following is the letter from Ministry of Interior in this context.
    ———————
    No. 7/102/2010-FIA
    Government of Pakistan
    Ministry of Interior

    Islamabad, the 10thFebruary, 2011
    The Director General,
    Immigration & Passport
    Islamabad .

    SUBJECT: UNDESIRABLE ACTIVATES OF EX CMA OFFICER (ENQUIRY NO. PC-376/2010-FIA, AHTC, ISLAMABAD

    Dear Sir,
    I am directed to say that an enquiry was conducted by FIA against Mr. Muhammad AkhtarBulandRana, Deputy Auditor General (BS-21), an officer of Pakistan, Audit and Accounts service and to say that PISCES Record of FIA reveals that he holds two national identity cards, 27215-2270858 and 36302-36357279 and three Pakistani passports KB274440, KB274550, AA9797271 and a Canadian passport JQ-104864, which were used by him at different times during his traveling abroad during the periods from April 2004 to December 2009.

    It is requested to take disciplinary action against the defaulters who issued three passports and additional/dual CNIC to Mr. Muhammad AkhtarBulandRana.

    It is further requested that additional passports/CNIC may please be cancelled.

    Yours Truly
    Sd/-
    Abdul Hannan
    Section officer ( FIA)
    Tel-051-9207852
    Copy for information to
    1 Auditor General of Pakistan Islamabad
    2 Director General FIA Islamabad

  • That the case of sexual harrassment was not proved is a classic example of how Currupt people are protected by this Govt.

    The fact of the matter is that Akhtar Buland Rana was posted as Chief Controller Military Accounts in GHQ. The controller Military Accounts Karachi , a lady, was one of his subordinates. He ,for months, kept on pressing her to accompany him to Pannu Aqil Cantt “” to relax “”. MAG ,Raja Gul Muhammad, apponted Mr. Ghulam Ambia, a grade 20 officer withimmaculate reputation, as inquiry officer. The charge was established.

    When the case was sent by MAG to the Auditor General, The Auditor General appointed Mr. S.M.Arif, another honest officer, to investigate. The accused, however, “requested ” PM to appoint an officer outside Audit Department. The PM appointed Mr. Ishtiaq Khan , the then Additional Secretary Cabinet Division, as inquiry officer. He “”exonerated “” the accused. Mr. Ishtiaq Khan immediately after this great deed was promoted to grade 22 and posted as Secretary Election Commission.

  • O my God What a country !!!

    A canadian Citizen posted inside GHQ as Chief Controller Military Accounts !

    Didn’t the Military Intelligence know it?

    No wonder Pakistan’s Sensitive Defence installations are attacked every now and then

  • First of all Mr. Rana explained in detail in his live interview and Ayesha Siddiqa was also present in the studio that he went to Canada first on Ex Pakistan leave with government’s approval and during his leave he obtained Canadian citizenship. He also explained in detail how he has two id cards and multiple passports. These passports are not illegal or fake, they are under the same name, expired and issued by government.

    On the case of sexual harassment what Fareeda Malik said is true somewhat but not completely. Mr. Rana was asked by that lady officer that why is he going there for almost a week so Mr. Rana said that after that inquiry I’ll relax there for bit. That relaxation part was strictly for himself. Later he asked that lady officer that why don’t you join us for the inquiry. That was the comment which was taken as harassment. I think subordinate has to accompany their officers for any official inquiry. You think that lady officer had not accompanied any officer out of town before.

    One more thing which most of people are not familiar with that the lady officer belonged to the group who did not want Mr. Rana to have any inquiry because many big names were involved in that corruption case. Plus that lady officer was very close friend of a high position GHQ officer who himself wanted to come forward and take the seat of Auditor General. All they wanted was to defame Mr. Rana so he can never get any promotion and get out of their way. They tried their best to maneuver all the reports against Mr. Rana.

    On the comment of Canadian citizen inside GHQ.. if it is that critical then it should be in constitution that no government official can have dual nationalities. If there is no such thing then you can not blame anyone for having dual nationalities. And Pakistan’s sensitive defense installations are never attacked by Canadians. Those are different political games and most of well informed people know what they are and what for.

  • Mr. Kamran Fiaz says that ,according to Mr. Rana, he went to Canada on ex-Pakistan leave. Mr.Khalid Humayun, on the other hand, quotes Mr. Rana that “” . He was sent to Canada on deputation and this special assignment required to travel on a special passport “” Mr. Rana can never prove that he was sent to Canada on deputation!

    Mr.Kamran Fiaz will agree that Ministry of Interior never orders to cancell ” expired” passports and take action against those who issued these.According to FIA , Mr. Rana used Passport No.KB 274550 on 20 Apr 2004, 23 Sep 2006 and 08 Sep 2007. But in between the period he used Passport No.AA 9797271 on 29 Nov 2005. It is therefore obvious that he was using different passports simultaneously.

  • Mr.Rana never went to Pannu Aqil to hold any inquiry.

    He has been clarifying to all his colleagues that ” when he asked the lady to accompany him to relax, he did not mean any thing bad” In the inquiry conducted by Mr.Ghulam Ambia it was established that he said this to the lady officer.

    Mr.Kamran Fiaz is right when he says that constitution does not mention about dual nationality. Mr. Rana must take oath as Auditor General of Pakistan because luckily constitution does not also mention that a person using multiple passports during the same time period can not hold a constitutional post. Instead of Chief Justice of Pakistan the oath should be conducted by the Queen because to obtain Canadian citizenship Akhtar Buland Rana has already taken the following oath:

    “”I swear that I will be faithful
    and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty
    Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada,
    Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully
    observe the laws of Canada
    and fulfil my duties as a Canadian citizen””

  • Is Mr. Rana the only officer with dual nationality? No, there is a long list of government officials who hold high positions and have dual nationalities. Would you question their patriotism too? Having dual nationality is not a sin and no one should be punished for it.

    About the passports Mr. Rana explained everything in detail that how he got 3 different passports. One expired passport was attached to the renewed passport because it still had some valid visas so that makes it two passports. Another special passport was issued to him when he had to travel abroad during hid official training for grade 21.

    When he clarified himself in live interview then Ayesha Siddiqa did not question his explanation or said anything regarding that. What does that suggest???

    It is good to bring out the truth in front of people. But not without the proper investigations. People look up to these journalists and columnist to make up their mind. So it is their duty to investigate everything in detail. They should also investigate the root cause of all the allegations rather than just copy pasting of any document which has become available to them for some specific reasons. They should bring the complete picture in front of people.

    People are just writing comments and questioning his character, do all of them know him personally? No, they just believe what they are reading without listening the story from another side. And I am sure most of the people who are saying Mr. Rana is a bad person have ties to different countries somehow.

    The only thing i request from all of you is that Please do not question someone’s character without knowing the complete story. I am not saying that Mr. Rana is a saint, I just want to bring the true facts in front of all those people who are just buying one sided story.

  • What is Mr Kamran Fiaz ‘S view on the letter issued by Ministry of Interior the subject of which is “Undesirable activities of——-“?
    ———————
    No. 7/102/2010-FIA
    Government of Pakistan
    Ministry of Interior

    Islamabad, the 10thFebruary, 2011
    The Director General,
    Immigration & Passport
    Islamabad .

    SUBJECT: UNDESIRABLE ACTIVATES OF EX CMA OFFICER (ENQUIRY NO. PC-376/2010-FIA, AHTC, ISLAMABAD

    Dear Sir,
    I am directed to say that an enquiry was conducted by FIA against Mr. Muhammad AkhtarBulandRana, Deputy Auditor General (BS-21), an officer of Pakistan, Audit and Accounts service and to say that PISCES Record of FIA reveals that he holds two national identity cards, 27215-2270858 and 36302-36357279 and three Pakistani passports KB274440, KB274550, AA9797271 and a Canadian passport JQ-104864, which were used by him at different times during his traveling abroad during the periods from April 2004 to December 2009.

    It is requested to take disciplinary action against the defaulters who issued three passports and additional/dual CNIC to Mr. Muhammad AkhtarBulandRana.

    It is further requested that additional passports/CNIC may please be cancelled.

    Yours Truly
    Sd/-
    Abdul Hannan
    Section officer ( FIA)
    Tel-051-9207852
    Copy for information to
    1 Auditor General of Pakistan Islamabad
    2 Director General FIA Islamabad

    Mr.Rana should go to court of law againg Secretary Interior and the Minister.

  • I thinj this discussion should stop now.

    An interesting question is :if that lady was really grieved, why she did not go to court of law?

    Further, what is the guarantee that this letter from Interior is reall or fake? Is some Abdul Hannan there or he simply does not exist ?
    The decision is to be taken by the president. Please leave the matter to him. Pl stop firing from both sides. Every side has presented its point of view. Mr Rana is a pakistani also.Let us stop all this against him.
    I request all to stop this debate now.

  • esko hargz na auditor genral banaya jai qk eska irada he k me crpstion kraki canida bhag jao..qk eski 2 id cord bani hui he..ye log to pakistan ko tabha karte he..plz pm gilani sahab pakistan per rahm karo agr ese ofcer rakho ge to pakistan kaise chale ga….humari salah he ke Ex;Dy: auditor genral Saeed Ahmed Panhwer jo es waqat pakistan atomic enregy member finance he..ye bhot hanest or qabil admi he eska mazi bhot acha or emaaamdari se guzra he.agr ap awam ki salah lete ho to plz saeed ahmed ko auditor genral bana lo to behter he./…..hum eski apointment me khsh hee

  • The holy Koran alludes to the appoinment of characterless persons in the lead as a cause for the downfall of nations(Surah Nisah)In Pakistan this actually happening. Whether it is the Minstry of Haj, the NICL, the PIA,NHA EOBI or the Steel Mills, it is an everyday affair, if by design. Institutions meant for transparency and accountabilty have been rendered useless, the NAB, FIA etc. Why should Audit be any different? OGDC appointment of the chair by a similar person was stopped by the Supreme Court, but now that institution has also been rendered helpless.

  • Saw a programme by Dr. Danish on ARY News last evening on this subject. My God, the man is a criminal! It is the height of poor governance to have him in government’s service, let alone appoint him to a constitutional position equivilent to a Supreme Court Judge! Full marks to Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa for her research and for her courage.

  • It is interesting that leaving his own family in Canada, Mr.Buland Akhtar Rana is asking his subordinate ladies to “relax” with him! He is our expected Auditor General.
    What a country !

    Years back when I was working in Railway, we heard that this gentleman was caught red handed in a compromising position. No wonder his wife sent him back from Canada to Pakistan!

  • And how many of you know that Ayesha Siddiqa herself was in Audit and Accounts Service and got access to these documents through all those people who are out there to malign him. And having spent some years in Audit and Account Service , there is suspicion of bias on her part and her scholarly ethics demanded that she should not have written this article.
    The plot was created a few years back when the persons at helm of affairs at Auditor General’s office noted that when TAnvir Agha will be leaving , Buland Akhtar will be the senior most officer. Zahid Saeed, the present MAG and aspirant to the position of Auditor General was the leader of the gang , which set on a mission to malign him and they succeeded somewhat when they managed to deprive him promotion to BS – 22 three years back and someone else was promoted in his place. Then there was a long struggle on part of Mr. RAna to prove his innocence.

    We are waiting for the fireworks to begin at Auditor General’s office when he takes oath.

  • Thanks Usman for bringing out the truth. These folks do not know the truth behind Mr. Rana’s struggle.

    People who are cheering Ayesha Siddiqa I have a question for them?

    Do you people know her personally? Do you know her character? Then why do you believe everything she said.
    I am sorry to say but if I tell you the truth about her and her character then you people would hate her. I did not want to say that but I feel bad that people are judging Mr. Rana without knowing how authentic the source is.

  • Regarding the interesting nationality question, there are only one set of establishment rules that binds the civil servants to just ‘inform’ the government in case they are going to tie a knot with an Indian citizen. These rules were framed in early 1960s by the Ayub regime when the thousands of immigrants from India were still having intimate relationship with their families back in India and the country was increasingly facing animosity with its neighbour. The armed services, however, have stricter criteria that require ‘permission’ of the authority to marry a foreign citizen. There have been army officers particularly in the past who imported brides from India despite such restrictions.

    Secondly, Pakistan allows dual nationality under bilateral agreements with many countries. Once Pakistan bars certain privilege to its citizens including civil servants, the reciprocal step would be carried out by the respective foreign governments and the result would be that hundreds and thousands of Pakistanis abroad would lose either nationality, many of whom are working with the government and even with the armed services there. Pakistan would thus be risking losing its big source of remittances from abroad.

    How many of us know that the commonwealth countries where mostly the dual nationality is allowed do not mind or question the integrity of their citizens having more than one nationality.

    US and India have recently moved from the position of restricting their citizens to keep one nationality, and in Pakistan the people are given the impression that the people with dual nationality are of dubious character merely on this ground. Earlier the Indian Diasporas abroad kept only one nationality. The Indians hailing from the rural area could not keep the agri land ownership so they preferred to have Indian citizenship while maintaining the permanent resident status or green card status to enable them to work abroad. While other Indians preferred foreign nationality losing the Indian one because the foreign nationality would not deprive them the right to maintain urban land ownership.

    And by the way, the ‘scholars’ like Ayesha Siddiqa never conduct any research. They are provided documents by the vested interests and they become great authors just by reproducing them.

    There is no law restricting Pakistanis including the government servants from seeking immigration which is just a kind of visa. When the civil servants are allowed up to 5 years of ex-Pakistan leave, how can they go abroad without seeking an immigration visa. This is a fact well known to the government.

    The nationality arrangement is reciprocal with the multiple governments and revising this privilege unilaterally would harm the interests of Pakistan. To be in the government service of pakistan or of any country for that matter, one has to have its nationality. Having extra nationalities does not cast any negative impact on his or her integrity. For that, there are other strict criteria followed when one joins service or when one is promoted and the intelligence reports are counted.

    This is pathetic that the SC has also joined the bandwagon of all those talking nonsense and without revisiting the relevant rules. This is ironical that scores of times this point has been raised in the parliament questioning the nationality status of leading statesmen and the government has kept quiet instead of explaining the right legal position.

    All hullabaloos against Mr Buland Akhtar Rana is surely being raised by the vested interest on political grounds or on the basis of professional grudge. Let him come forward with the explanation of passports and id cards in his possession before commenting on his integrity. And let the law takes its own course adjudicating the accusations against him and decide accordingly. It is hard to understand that a senior civil servant would hold more than one passport concurrently. These cannot be issued by the authorities and these are only required by smugglers and not by the civil servants who despite having dual nationality and a high caliber prefer to serve their country of birth till the end of their career.

  • On three passports , it is government’s own practice to issue blue color official passport for visiting on official purpose.If holding dual passport ( one private and one official ) is a crime then this crime is done by all civil servants.

  • Merely a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw outstanding layout. “Individuals may form communities, but it is institutions alone that can create a nation.” by Benjamin Disraeli.