Irfan Nawaz Memon confronts Noor Alam Khan after being snubbed in meeting

ISLAMABAD   -  Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Irfan Nawaz Memon was grilled by the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Noor Alam Khan on Thursday. Khan recently took over this highest accountability forum in the Parliament.

Apparently, the Chairman PAC went to the next level in humiliating the bureaucrat due to his absence from the committee proceedings but the deputy commissioner while responding to him hinted that he is being targeted because of a ‘certain background’ but said he doesn't want to disclose it at this forum.

Irfan Nawaz Memon tried to avoid a direct clash in the beginning but later in return of Mr Khan’s strict remarks he said; “Sir, you are now becoming personal with me”, adding; “I am informing you that I was in Islamabad High Court and I was also not informed to attend this meeting.”  Sources close to the development informed that the newly appointed Islamabad Deputy Commissioner came under fire for sealing a petrol pump on Srinagar Highway over curtailing its sales during the recent price hike of the petroleum products.

A meeting of the PAC to discuss the audit objections related to the Capital Development Authority and Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad was held at the Parliament House in the chair of MNA Noor Alam Khan.

During the discussion on audit paras related to the MCI, Chairman PAC inquired about the absence of Irfan Nawaz Memon, who is also the administrator of the corporation. He expressed his displeasure and asked the concerned officers to call the deputy commissioner immediately in the meeting.

After some time, the deputy commissioner made his entry and quietly seated. Noor Alam Khan, when noticed his presence, asked the deputy commissioner to ‘stand up on your seat’ and questioned; “Who allowed you to sit, did you get permission first”.    Mr Memon tried to explain his position but Chairman PAC hardly allowed him to speak and passed strict remarks while in return the deputy commissioner complained that Chairman PAC is becoming personal with him.

Chairman PAC however further grilled the officer and told him that he was not a king but a public servant and answerable to the committee and the media as well. He said where you come from and after knowing that Mr Irfan is transferred from Baluchistan, he sarcastically remarked; “It is not your fault because you come from Quetta.”

However, the deputy commissioner was later allowed by the Chairman PAC to sit in the meeting but remained quite unpleasant throughout the meeting towards him.

Meanwhile, the PAC declared that the city managers are ill-prepared about audit objections and came up without the due deliberations and referred the paras back to the Departmental Accounts Committee for further scrutiny within one month.  It is worth mentioning here that the Deputy Commissioner was not alone, who faced anger from the Chairman PAC but he also expelled about a dozen CDA officers, who came to assist their high ups by declaring their presence ‘unnecessary’. Noor Alam Khan opined that they should be suspended for one week.  However, Chairman CDA Amir Ali Ahmed at this point came on the front foot and defended his subordinates by asking that if the presence of his officers is unnecessary then why a bench of officers from audit and PAC secretariat are present in the meeting as well.

 On the other side, the Chairman PAC while taking notice of the presence of junior officers from the Federal Investigation Agency first asked to call their Director General in the meeting on an emergent basis but when he did not come, he directed the officers present to leave the meeting. Chairman PAC directed Secretary Interior Yousaf Naseem Khokhar to ensure the presence of the heads of his subordinate departments next time.