Top govt official in legal trouble over Facebook posts
Islamabad::The newly appointed member finance at the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) may have to lose his job after a petition was moved against him in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for expressing opinions supporting and criticising certain political parties as well as criticising the army on social media websites, including twitter and Facebook.
Petitioner Asghar Ali Chaudhry through his counsel Abdul Rehman Siddiqui contended before the court that Noorul Haq, who was appointed as OGRA member finance on July 23 by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, “being a government servant, is required to stay away from political activities and from passing comments for or against parties and leaders, as outlined under the provisions of the Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1964 but his record speaks otherwise. This is evident from his messages on social media attached (with the petition)”.
The petitioner submitted printouts of certain pages from Haq’s social media accounts.
In various posts, Haq had criticised the alliance between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) against a candidate of the Awami National Party (ANP) in local government elections in Buner, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In another post, Haq highlighted the preferential treatment given by the incumbent prime minister to his brother Shahbaz Sharif over other chief ministers.
He also criticised the government for the change in the planned route for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route, saying that it was against Pakhtun rights, the petitioner said.
IHC Justice Aamir Farooq issued notices to the federal government and OGRA authorities after initial hearing on this matter.
The petition further alleged that Haq is among those OGRA officials who are being examined for their alleged involvement in multi-billion rupee OGRA scam, in which former chairman OGRA Tauqeer Sadiq is the principal accused.
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