ISLAMABAD: A reporter of the state-run news agency has moved the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to ascertain the cause of ‘sudden’ death of agency’s managing director (MD) Khalid Sarwar three days before his retirement during the last month.
Rehan Sarwar, a reporter at the Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), in his petition, a copy of which is exclusively available with Daily Times, says: “Khalid Sarwar was the chief executive of Associated Press of Pakistan, Islamabad, and was likely to retire on May 14, 2014. That on May 9, he performed his duties with robust health without any ailment but on May 11, it was heard that he died within a few minutes after returning from office.”
“That it was later disclosed that he attended the office at night of May 11 and remained in the office for the whole night and that on Sunday morning, he came back home and suddenly died.
“That it has raised several doubts about the sudden death of Khalid Sarwar. The important mystery needed to be resolved as to whether his death was natural. Why he worked on Saturday evening (May 10) and passed the whole night in the office whereas he had never attended the office on weekends? Was there any emergent task which could not be carried out on working day/next day? If his condition was not satisfactory, why he was not escorted home in time at night? Who remained present in the office on the said night? Whether he passed that night in the office voluntarily? What assignments had been done on the said night? Had he taken breakfast in the morning? If so, who provided him the breakfast and what? And many more other questions.”
The petition adds: “That, however, some facts have been revealed from employees that on May 10, personal drivers of Khalid Sarwar, namely Sher Zaman and Mumraze, had been sent on leave and he was provided another driver, namely Aslam, who is a contract employee. His personal secretary, namely Ishfaque, and clerk Asif were in his office. Besides, Executive Director (ED) Muhammad Naeem Chaudhry APP Union President Aftab Zahoor and Secretary General Majeed Chaudhry were also in the office. It is pertinent to mention that all of them belonged to Adil Group of the APP Union. As per statement of Saiful Islam, he himself left the office May 10 at 8.30 pm. Yet, it also needs to be verified.”
It further states: “That the wife of Khalid Sarwar (late) told that her husband was escorted home between 8.30am to 9am on May 11 in a very critical condition, hence he was taken to the hospital, but he could not survive. “That there is a polluted politics in the department and there are two groups; Adil group that usually wins the union elections and rules the department so that even the MD remains constrained to take decisions on the directives of the APPC Union.
“That during the time Khalid Sarwar remained in the office, the union officials remained present there and if some emergent work was to be done, then officials concerned should have been there. Why the union official remained there had prima facie raised doubts and the apprehension that his death was not normal and that the employees of APP are discussing this matter since then.
“That the petitioner and one of his colleagues, Razaq, were talking loudly about the fake degrees of the union president and the secretary general and that sudden death of Khalid Sarwar and the apprehension raised on May 26 that the group of ED Muhammad Naeem Chaudhry flared up and gave a harsh beating to Razaq and created mess in the office which was reported to the acting MD but she took no notice as she was also scared from him and his group.”
“It is pertinent to point out that ED Muhammad Naeem Chaudhry, who has achieved several out of turn promotions was dominating the department affairs and was compelling the chief executive to take decisions of his choice with the help of his union group and on the night mentioned above, he may have obtained the signatures of Khalid Sarwar on different files under coercion; hence the cause of his death has to be determined in the interest of justice.
“It has to be investigated further as to what decisions had been taken on that night and on the retrospective dates. It may be further probed as to what decisions having been taken with the approval of the competent authority which have not yet been circulated and implemented by the orders/approval of the deceased MD,” it concluded.
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