ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi has dismissed his secretary after a controversy erupted over the signing of two bills.
The President’s Secretariat has written a letter to the principal secretary to the prime minister that the services of serving secretary to the president are no more required.
“The services of Mr Waqar Ahmed, Secretary to the President, are no more required and are surrendered to the Establishment Division, immediately,” read a statement issued by the President’s Secretariat.
“It has also been desired that Ms Humaira Ahmed, a BPS-22 officer of the Pakistan Administrative Service, may be posted as Secretary to the President,” the statement added.
It has also been desired that Ms. Humaira Ahmed, a BPS-22 officer of the Pakistan Administrative Service, may be posted as Secretary to the President.
President Alvi stirred a controversy after denying personally signing two pieces of legislation – Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill 2023 and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2023 — a day after they became acts of parliament.
Both the bills were approved by the Senate and National Assembly and sent to the president for his approval amid criticism by opposition lawmakers a few weeks ago.
President Alvi pointed the finger at his staff, saying he was duped by the presidency staff who did not return the said “unsigned” bills despite repeated his directives.
“As God is my witness, I did not sign Official Secrets Amendment Bill, 2023 and Pakistan Army Amendment Bill, 2023 as I disagreed with these laws,” the president said in post on social media site X, formerly Twitter.
He claimed he had asked his staff to return the bills unsigned within the stipulated time to make them “ineffective”, but his staff did not do so and lied that the bills had been returned.
“I confirmed from them many times whether they [the bills] have been returned and was assured that they were. However, I have found out today that my staff undermined my will and command. As Allah knows all, He will forgive Insha’Allah. But I ask forgiveness from those who will be affected,” the president added.
Hours after President Alvi’s statement, a gazette notification issued by the Senate Secretariat surfaced, stating that the two bills were “deemed to have been assented by the president”.