EPA official sacked without prior notice

ISLAMABAD - In an unexpected move, Ministry of Environment, Friday, fired Deputy Director of Pakistan Environment Protection Agency (Pak-EPA), TheNation has learnt. It is further learnt that sacking of more officials is also on the cards. The axe fell on Deputy Director PAK-EPA Dilawar Khan Azad who was fired without any prior notice. According to sources, Ministry has a plan to fire senior officials of its federal implementation agency and in this regard a notice has been sent to the Establishment Division by the Ministry for sacking Deputy Director Pak-EPA, Asif Shujja Khan. It is further learnt that a committee was set up for completely closing down the smoke emitting brick kilns business near Benazir Bhutto International Airport. The committee comprised officials of the PAK-EPA, Faheem Riaz Khan, Hasan Rafi Kayani and Dilawar Khan Azad. A month earlier, the committee suggested the Ministry that it could not completely close down brick kilns business from the areas, as there were so many issues involved in the matter. It told the Ministry that the case of the brick kilns was in the Environment Protection Tribunal and environment laws did not allow them to take any action against the kiln owners. Upon this, the sources informed, the Environment Secretary and other senior officials moved a file to the Law Division for advice on the said issue. So far, the Law Division has not given any advice to the Ministry. It is further learnt that on that reason, the Ministry fired Dilawar Khan Azad form the post of Deputy Director PAK-EPA. Sources with the Environment Ministry also informed that the Ministry is planning to close PAK-EPA and before dismantling the agency has started phase-wise firing of its officials to avoid any untoward situation. Despite several attempts Secretary Ministry of Environment Kamran Lashari could not be contacted, however, when approached another official within the Ministry informed that at present around 7 officials of the Federal EPA were working as permanent staff while in US-EPA as many as 22,000 staffers are working. The Ministry must appoint technical staff in the PAK-EPA instead of sacking or transferring its already technical staff, he added.

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