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Pak coalition members upset at ISI being given powers to vet govt officials

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Islamabad, June 5 (Ajit Weekly News) Members of the Pakistan coalition have questioned Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharifs decision to grant the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) status of a Special Vetting Agency (SVA), thus empowering it to conduct verification and screening of all government officers before their induction, appointments and postings, as well as promotions.

Some members belonging to allied parties even criticised the premier for not taking the coalition partners and Parliament into confidence, vowing to take the matter to the court, reports The Express Tribune reported.

They quipped that Sharif should also consider including politicians in the notification as “most of the traitors” were there.

“This has been done behind the back of coalition partners and parliament,” Pakistan People’s Party General-Secretary Farhatullah Babar said, asking why the decision was taken as it is not a single-party government.

In a tweet, Babar said that the decision must be unacceptable to many coalition partners, and they must protest to reverse it, adding that unilateral alteration in civil service rules must be challenged.

He noted that the agency that “failed to detect Osama bin Laden hiding in Abbottabad” has been tasked with reporting on the competence and professionalism of civil servants.

He urged everyone to say no to the decision as it was “unacceptable”, reports The Express Tribune reported.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s former information minister Pervaiz Rashid also questioned the move in a tweet, saying that if the task of investigating civilian officers was included in ISI’s responsibilities, then the premier spy agency should also be placed under civilian control and be accountable to the parliament.

–Ajit Weekly News

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