ISLAMABAD - After facing pressure of the Interior Ministry under the ‘powerful’ Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan for around 40 days, National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) Chairman Tariq Malik resigned on Friday, claiming he was doing this in the larger interest of the organisation.
A source close to the outgoing Nadra chairman said he was facing pressure from the Interior Ministry bosses to tender resignation. Moreover, the ministry was creating hurdles in his smooth working as the head of the organisation, he said. The source claimed this was the basic reason of Malik’s resignation, adding Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan and Tariq Malik had not been enjoying good terms with each other for several months.
Tariq Malik had come in the headlines when on December 2, 2013; the federal government terminated his contract as the Nadra chairman without assigning any reason and Islamabad High Court granted a stay order against the government decision.
According to some media reports, the Nadra chairman was facing pressure from the government not to verify the thumb impressions of vote caste of some constituencies during the May 11 general elections.
According to an official of Nadra, Malik sent resignation to Interior Secretary Shahidullah and relinquished the charge of his office here on Friday. About 500 to 600 employees of the authority bade him farewell when he left the office after surrendering all his official vehicles, he added.
Under the official procedure, the interior secretary would send his resignation to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with his note for final approval as PM is the appointing authority of Nadra chief.
“After having served the country and this prestigious organisation for more than five and a half years with dignity, honesty and integrity, I believe I should resign from the office of registrar general of Pakistan and Nadra chairman in the best interest of the organisation,” a source said, quoting his resignation letter addressed to the interior secretary.
The sources close to the outgoing Nadra chairman claimed that he had decided to save Nadra from further disintegration as the Interior Ministry bosses were interfering in the smooth working of the authority. “The interior secretary and other senior bureaucrats of the ministry were directly seeking briefings as well as presentations from various director generals (DGs) of Nadra, undermining the authority of its chief,” the sources added. They said the Interior Ministry bosses had become personal and Tariq Malik was being targeted in different ways under the directions of the interior minister.
Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the country’s premier investigation agency working under the Ministry of Interior, had recently summoned the Nadra chairman to seek replies regarding his Canadian dual nationality and the passports under his possession. Interestingly, Azmat Khan, FIA’s Anti-Corruption Circle inspector, had recently asked Tariq Malik, the registrar general of Pakistan, to personally appear before him just to humiliate him under the direction of the Interior Ministry bosses, the sources added.
Neither any official word came from the Interior Ministry regarding the resignation of Tariq Malik nor could the version of the ministry be taken on the issue as it had no official spokesman after the transfer of former spokesman, Senior Joint Secretary Umer Hamid Khan.
Meanwhile, Imtiaz Tajwar, an additional Secretary of Bs-21 in the Ministry of Interior has been given additional charge of Nadra chairman. He will hold this responsibility for the next few days till Nadra Board meets to select an interim chairman, says an official handout issued by the Ministry of Interior.
The handout says that appointment of the new regular/ full-time Nadra chairman will be done on open merit through advertisement as per the Nadra Ordinance. The due process in this regard will be initiated in the next few days.