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CDA says no to hire law ministry-recommended lawyer as adviser

CDA says no to hire law ministry-recommended lawyer as adviser

Islamabad : The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has refused to hire a female lawyer as its legal adviser, who has been recommended by the Federal Law Ministry for the post.

On December 18 last, the ministry wrote a letter, a copy of which is available with The News, to the CDA chairman, seeking the civic body’s views and comments on the CV and enrollment card of Amna Ali as the high court advocate for appointment as its legal adviser.

Amna Ali is a diehard worker of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and contested for a lady councilor’s seat in the last local bodies elections from the Union Council 29 [F-10/F-11] of Islamabad on its ticket. “We have decided to turn down the proposal and will send a formal negative response in this connection will be sent to the law ministry because we don’t have any vacancy,” a CDA official told The News on the condition not being named.

He said the summary to the effect would be presented in the meeting of the CDA board for approval. He pointed out that the CDA already has its legal adviser, Kashif Malik, and is satisfied with his performance. Asked about Kashif Malik’s resignation, the official said that if he steps down, the normal procedure would be followed meaning that a request would be sent to the law ministry for suggesting names for his replacement.

However, the official said that when Malik quit sometime back, he was asked by the CDA to continue as it was not prepared to let him go. Sometime back, the law ministry had recommended Shahid Nasim, advocate, for appointment as legal adviser in place of Kashif Malik. However, the CDA chairman had declined to oblige. Nasim had contested the July 25 general elections for the Punjab Assembly seat PP-67 Mandi Bahauddin on the PTI ticket and lost.

An aide to Prime Minister Imran Khan had told The News that the PTI government has been facing a lot of problems from the political appointees of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). He had claimed that Kashif Malik’s appointment as legal adviser by the previous government was purely political. Malik was closely related to former Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and his father was a National Assembly candidate of the PML-N from Attock, the premier’s associate said.

On October 18, Kashif Malik tendered his resignation but the CDA chairman called him next day and directed him to continue as not only he but all the members of the board of the civic body want him to stay due to his professional assistance.

Kashif Malik had been reluctant to continue as legal adviser as he did not want to be embroiled in any controversy. While serving as the legal adviser, he successfully defended CDA’s interests in many high profile cases relating to Grand Hyatt (Constitution One), Safa Gold Mall, encroachments by influential owners of shopping and residential plazas and hotels, land acquisition and housing societies.

The government has decided to appoint a new CDA chairman, who would be a non-bureaucrat. The incumbent CDA chief, Afzal Latif, who has applied for leave, will continue till that time.

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