Almost two weeks after the repatriation of its board members, the federal government announced the appointment of Member Finance and Member Administration to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) on a deputation basis. These appointments come as a response to the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) directive to ensure transparent polls in the upcoming year.
Update: CDA Gets New Finance and Administration Members
In separate notifications issued by the Establishment Division, Tahir Naeem Akhtar, a BS-19 officer of Pakistan and Audit and Accounts Service, was appointed as the finance member on deputation. In contrast, Talat Mahmood, also a BS-19 officer serving in the Pakistan Administrative Services, was assigned the role of administration member. However, appointments for members of the planning and engineering wings are yet to be made, with officials indicating that these positions will be filled in due course.
The ECP’s intervention in the CDA’s board affairs came following a probe and report by a local newspaper highlighting an alleged land scam within the CDA Land Directorate. On September 5, the ECP issued orders for the removal of the board members, emphasizing the importance of transparent elections and the role of the CDA/ICT Administration in achieving this goal.
The ECP’s letter stated, “On perusal of the case, the commission has noted that the CDA/ICT Administration plays an important role in the conduct of free and fair elections. It has been desired as the general elections are at hand, the CDA members may be transferred to the Establishment Division, to the extent of those officers who are on deputation. Moreover, the officers of the CDA Cadre in such senior positions may be shuffled. In both cases, officers with good repute and neutral dispensation should be posted to ensure the conduct of free and fair elections.”
In response to these directives, the caretaker government initially transferred only one member, the member estate. This led to a show-cause notice from the ECP, which questioned the delay in implementing the orders. Despite reminders, the Interior Ministry and the Establishment Division remained inactive, resulting in a final three-day deadline for compliance.
Following this ultimatum, the board members were eventually repatriated, aligning with the ECP’s instructions. Notably, the government had already appointed Tariq Salam as the member estate instead of the repatriated member.
The newly appointed members, Tahir Naeem Akhtar and Talat Mahmood are expected to play pivotal roles in ensuring the smooth functioning of the CDA during the lead-up to the general elections, as the government works diligently to maintain transparency and accountability in the electoral process. The appointment of planning and engineering wing members is anticipated shortly as the CDA strives to fulfil its vital responsibilities in the coming months.
These changes reflect a commitment to democratic principles and the integrity of the electoral process, serving as a step towards a more transparent and accountable governance in Pakistan.