Chairman rules PRCS without managing board, prescribed procedures

Juniors head key departments on acting charge basis

ISLAMABAD: In blatant violation of its own rules, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS) is operating without its managing board for the last five months, while not only hampering the smooth flow of its routine operations but also raising serious concerns over the transparency and accountability process within the organisation, Pakistan Today learnt on Sunday.

According to sources, PRCS Chairman Abrarul Haq has misused his position by introducing cronyism in the organisation and toying around with its resources in violation of the rules and procedures.

The tenure of the previous managing body had expired on September 10 last year, but the chairman did not bother to convene an Annual General Meeting (AGM) just to push his agenda in the organisation, the sources said.

Prior to the expiry of the tenure, the previous managing body had written a letter to the President House through Ministry of Health and nominated six members to be appointed to the managing body.

On the management’s continued requests to appoint their nominated persons, the President House in its letter dated November 6, 2020 had directed the PRCS to elect its new managing body according to relevant rules, which require election of members by holding an AGM. “It is requested to process the case for selection of members of PRCS managing body in the light of relevant rules,” reads the letter.

However, sources said that the process for election of managing body’s members has not been initiated so far despite a lapse of almost five months.

“In the absence of the managing body, the chairman is using all its powers, including the financial powers, and this is why he is not bothered to convene an AGM as it would elect independent board members. The chairman has declared a state of emergency in the organisation, which empowers him to take extraordinary decisions in the wake of any disaster in the country,” the source said.

“The scope of the emergency clause is limited and it is traditionally applied in the wake of any disaster in the country, but the clause is being used on the matters, which do not fall in the purview of any emergency. This raises very serious questions on transparency and accountability within the organisation. It is also interesting to note that the chairman did not convene even a single meeting of the managing body during his tenure despite the fact that the previous board was very much functional,” the source added.

Sources also said that almost all the key departments in the PRCS are being run on acting charge basis and several part-time advisors are hired by the incumbent chairman on attractive salaries.

“Joint Director Operation Abidullah Khan is heading the finance department on acting charge basis for the last several months, Deputy Director MRE Adnan Zaman is looking after the administration department, Deputy Director PMER Javed Mazhar is occupying additional charge of the fleet department, Deputy Director Response Atif Ali is supervising the CVA department, and Deputy Director Organizational Development Raja Rehan is holding additional charge of the procurement department,” the source revealed.

“Even the most senior post of secretary general (grade-21) is occupied by a junior officer, Dr Adeel Nawaz, whose original post is deputy director first aid (grade-18).”

When contacted, the chairman, in a written statement, admitted that the organisation’s managing body is non-existent for almost last five months. “The process for constitution of the board was initiated soon after the completion of the previous board’s term in the second week of September last year. The first letter in this connection was written by the PRCS on September 11 last year to the President House. Since then we are in continuous contact with the office of the president in the matter to remove constitutional ambiguities. Soon the board would be in place as the president has given approval of calling the AGM to complete the process,” the statement reads.

However, the chairman failed to explain the delay in constituting the managing body even after receiving clear instructions from the President House three months ago. “The PRCS is running smoothly, efficiently and without any hindrance. The PRCS is committed to ensure professionalism, transparency and competence, and to eliminate nepotism and corruption from the organisation,” he said.

Mian Abrar
Mian Abrar
The writer heads Pakistan Today's Islamabad Bureau. He has a special focus on counter-terrorism and inter-state relations in Asia, Asia Pacific and South East Asia regions. He tweets as @mian_abrar and also can be reached at [email protected]
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