LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government has removed former PML-N legislator Dr Saeed Elahi from the chairmanship of the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) short of completing his tenure without assigning any reason.
President Dr Arif Alvi, in his capacity as head of the PRCS, removed Dr Elahi and appointed PTI leader Abrarul Haq chairman of the Society for three years.
The PTI officials say Dr Elahi has been removed for openly criticising the government. Dr Elahi claims that his removal is illegal because he had neither completed his tenure nor was there any cogent reason to remove him from the position.
Dr Elahi was appointed by the PML-N government as the PRCS chairman in 2014 and granted extension for another term in 2017. His term was to complete in March next.
Speaking to Dawn, he claimed that he would challenge his removal as well as new chairman’s appointment on the grounds of conflict of interest and nepotism. He said the president’s order was illegal because he could not be removed in the middle of tenure without assigning any reason.
“The president can only make a new appointment when the chairman’s tenure is completed, or he resigns or is removed while assigning a valid reason,” Dr Elahi said.
He said Abrarul Haq’s appointment was a conflict of interest because he was running his Sahara Trust as well as a medical college. He said the PRCS also work through collecting donations and was running a medical college near Lahore.
According to a PTI spokesman, Dr Elahi has been removed from his position for openly criticising the government policies. He alleged that Dr Elahi had been accused of corruption and nepotism during his two tenures. On the other hand, he said, Mr Haq had earned a name in the field of serving humanity during peace and natural calamities.
He said Mr Haq had been recognised for his services for humanity a the international level and had served as the first ambassador for human rights at the Organization of Islamic Conference.
He said Mr Haq’s Sahara for Life Trust’s services had been recognised by the United Nations.