Tax-defaulter Najam Sethi to meet Dr Shahid Masood’s fate – disgraced in public office discarded in journalism

By Raza Ruman

Islamabad, June 26 ( Geo TV anchor and ‘caretaker’ PCB chairman Najam Sethi who is facing humiliation after the revelation that his is an income tax defaulter of Rs10 million is likely to be booted out by the court as his appointment is based on nepotism.

Intoxicated by the power he enjoyed being caretaker chief minister Punjab Sethi does not want to leave the power corridors. He does not feel ashamed of getting the post from Sharif which should otherwise be managed by a person having some background of cricket.

Lust for power has blinded Sethi as he does not know that the people cannot be fooled and as an anchor he will be worthless once he is booted out like that of Dr Shahid Masood who was discarded by the people after he accepted the PTV managing director bribery from the PPP regime.

Sethi is however gloating over being called ‘honest’ by Nawaz Sharif. “Nawaz Sharif has called me honest,” overly-joyed Sethi told media. His honesty will be further exposed like that of the one who has appointed him with teh passage of time.

The Transparency International Pakistan has also raised questions on Sethi’s appointment by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif saying it is “against all norms of transparency and merit” because in the board’s constitution only board members can replace the chairman, TIP chairman Sohail Muzaffar said.

Sharif also asked the new acting chairman to represent Pakistan in the annual board meeting of the International Cricket Council in London this week.

Last month, the PCB elected Zaka Ashraf as its new chairman for a four-year tenure. However, Ashraf’s election was challenged in the Islamabad High Court by a former cricket official from Rawalpindi and the judge ordered the government to replace Ashraf and appoint an acting chairman.

According to the PCB’s new constitution, which was also approved by the ICC, if the office of the chairman is vacant for any reason other than his death or resignation, “the board of governors may elect and appoint an acting chairman from amongst its members, who may only have limited powers during the absence or till the appointment of the chairman.”

But Sharif ignored that when he stepped in.

The ICC wants all cricket boards around the world to run their affairs on democratic lines and free from government interference.

Sethi is a prominent journalist and also served as caretaker chief minister of Punjab province during the interim government before the general elections in May.

He took charge on Monday and said he believed his appointment was in accordance with the new constitution.

He also said he has no plans to “play a long innings” and would go home once he attends the ICC meeting, gives approval of the team for next month’s tour of West Indies, and conducts fair and transparent elections for chairman.

But TIP said Sethi has no experience of cricket and also alleged he has not paid rupees 10.6 million ($100,000) to the Federal Board of Revenue on undisclosed income in 2009.

Syed Adil Gilanithe, a TIP advisor, said that over the last 15 years Pakistan cricket had been “mismanaged by chairmen not having any experience of cricket, or were closely related to ministers … at this point of time Pakistan cricket needs a person of spotless integrity.”

TIP said it forwarded Lord Woolf’s report to the previous two chairmen of the PCB and asked them “to adopt its recommendations of prioritising good governance, anti-corruption and ethics in the affairs of PCB, which unfortunately were not adhered to by both of them, to enhance transparency in their tenures.”

TIP also said that unless the government reviews its decision, the Supreme Court will have to step in to reverse Sethi’s appointment. – Pak Destiny


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