Zartaj Gul was elected to the National Assembly in the elections held last year and was inducted into the federal cabinet of PM Imran Khan on 5th October 2018. She was then appointed as Minister of State for Climate Change.
The federal minister, however, is in hot water ever since the revelation started circulating that she got her sister appointed as the director of the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA). Zartaj made an official request to appoint her sister in NACTA and the matter has become a controversial one as an official letter points to preferential treatment to allegedly be given to her sister Shabnam Gul.
According to the documents revealed, Sami Ul Haq, Principal Staff Officer (PSO) to Zartaj Gul, wrote a letter to Interior Secretary Major (r) Azam Suleman Khan on February 27 and gave reference to a telephonic conversation which took place between him and the state minister. He then asked him to take “necessary action” regarding the appointment of Shabnam Gul in NACTA.
As a result of this, Shabnam Gul was given the post in NACTA.
Shabnam was serving as an assistant professor at Lahore College for Women University in Grade 18 before this appointment, but her sudden appointment as a director of a counter-terrorism body of the country raised a lot of questions. The matter became more controversial when it was revealed that the studentship of Shabnam Gul for M.Phil in Kashmiryat was canceled on charges of plagiarism.
#NACTA #ZartajGul LAHORE, Feb 12: The Punjab University has disqualified its two researchers for teaching job in future in the varsity besides canceling one researcher’s studentship for M.Phil on charges of plagiarism. https://t.co/k8JbWIT1TI
— Zalland Khattak (@Zalaand) June 1, 2019
On the other hand, State Minister Zartaj Gul has defended the appointment and denied the element of nepotism, claiming that her sister is a BPS-19 officer doing her Ph.D. in terrorism and FATA. She added that “she has an M.Phil in International Relations and her thesis was terrorism. Her posting as director was against an advertised post by NACTA and she was only selected due to her specialization in counter-terrorism”.
She further argued while talking to Pakistan Today that, “NACTA always picks people from other government departments as they don’t have their own people. Shabnam was not given any preferential treatment. She was in government service before I became a minister. If people from any minister’s family are competent, should they be discriminated against?”
However, favoring her sister and getting her appointed to this job is being called an act of nepotism and people tell her to revisit the definition of the same if she doesn’t agree.
The minister for climate change has said that her sister was appointed a director in NACTA on merit – she should revisit the definition of 'nepotism'
Also, if she was appointed on merit, what is this letter? Did other candidates also have minister's PAs sending such letters? pic.twitter.com/lPfQiY0DeG
— omar r quraishi (@omar_quraishi) June 2, 2019
Ever since the surfacing of all these documents, people are generally not happy with this misuse of power
I don't care if her sister is deserving or not. Once you hold public office, you can't use your powers to support your family Members. Atleast 10% of ppl applying for any job are rightful contenders. I used to adore her but if it's the truth, shame on her. #ZartajGul
— Nouman Zafar (@nomitheone) June 2, 2019
They also point out that there is no difference between naya and purana Pakistan if the same things are happening now too
We couldn't see any difference in New & Old Pakistan @ImranKhanPTI
— Zohaib Ahmed (@ZohaibAhmed1986) June 2, 2019
There is nothing change in naya pkaistan and purana pakistan bcz elected are the same every one just want to come in power no one have the pain of people #ZartajGul
— Hamza Khan (@HamzakhanDk) June 2, 2019
A lot of people are also demanding for the resignation of Zartaj Gul from the position she is holding
1. #ZartajGul should be immediately removed from the Ministership
2. #ZartajGul and her sister Shabnam Gul both should face inquiries
3. #ZartajGul misused her position for personal gains, a court case is a must (i am sure there must be a law to prevent the misuse of power).
— Dr Atiqa (@Dr_Atiqa) June 2, 2019
— Dr. Ali Inayat (@FalconInayatale) June 2, 2019
I condemn this act of mis using of power. Say no to nepotism zartaj gull should be removed from the ministry of climate change.she is no more eligible for this post. Shame on her😡 #ZartajGul pic.twitter.com/WIyQo0vFwH
— Shazma Gilani (@ShazmaGilani) June 2, 2019
— Ehtasham Nayyar (@ComeOnSHAMl) June 2, 2019
Some also demanded that apart from removing her from the ministry she holds, her sister’s appointment should also be canceled
#ZartajGul Zartaj Gul has misused her office and appointed her sister as the director of NACTA. She has violated the rights of other candidates. She should be reprimanded and removed from her designation. Also her sister's appointment should be cancelled. 😡 pic.twitter.com/0ckB4YdYmx
— Mikaael Ahmad (@AhmadMikaael) June 2, 2019
PM Imran Khan has also directed Zartaj Gul to withdraw the letter written to NACTA regarding the appointment of her sister.
The PM has directed that Zartaj Gul shud withdraw her letter written to NACTA regarding the appointment of her sister. This was against the ethics of PTI which has always opposed nepotism. No one in the PTI govt is can promote their relatives/friends by using their positions.
— Naeem ul Haque (@naeemul_haque) June 2, 2019
The Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted out this update a while back, stating that the appointment was against the ethics of PTI. The stance presented by the government is that its policies are strictly anti-nepotism.
What do you think about this? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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