The inside story of Khosa’s second disgraceful ouster
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister’s Adviser Sardar Latif Khosa, who on Tuesday had to quit office in disgrace for the second time during this government, was trying to rewrite government rules and if he had succeeded, present and future advisers to the premier would have become more powerful than their respective ministers.
But Prime Minister Gilani stopped Khosa before he could do any real damage. “When Khosa phoned Gilani the other day, he was told that he was there just to advise the prime minister and was not to take decisions relating to the Information Technology Ministry independently,” an informed source told The News.
According to the source, the prime minister told the adviser in unambiguous terms that since he himself presided over the IT Ministry and was competent to take decisions pertaining to it, it was his prerogative to allocate or not to allocate any powers to the adviser.
He said the prime minister further made it clear to him that the IT Ministry would not directly send any file to the adviser for decisions but would continue to dispatch every summary to the Prime Minister’s Office.
However, Khosa insisted that being adviser with the status of a federal minister, it was his legal right to have all the powers concerning the IT Ministry and take decisions alone about its affairs.
In the wake of this telephonic conversation, the Prime Minister’s Office also issued an order explaining the powers of the adviser and the authority of the minister in-charge (the prime minister in this case) of the IT Ministry.
This tangle led Khosa to his resignation, which he handed over on Tuesday but only after meeting President Asif Ali Zardari.
The source said the outgoing adviser was having a long running turf war with IT Secretary Najeebul Malik on the issue that who would run the IT Ministry.
He said the secretary did not send any file to the adviser pleading that this was not permitted under the Rules of Business, and instead used to submit all cases to the minister in-charge.
The source said Khosa repeatedly urged the secretary to show him all the files and summaries, and get his clearance on them before dispatching to the Prime Minister’s Office. The secretary stood ground and refused to oblige.
Repeated efforts did not make Khosa to attend his cell phone to give his side of the story. Previously he had always been accessible.
For quite some time ago, the adviser was caught in a serious controversy over appointments and dismissals of directors in some organisations under the IT Ministry apart from his row with some segments of the telecom sector. However, he proved to be a luckless diehard PPP leader, who earlier had to go as attorney general after he was accused of having taken Rs3 million from a litigant. The matter also came to the notice of the chief justice. At the time, as the prime minister got his resignation he made him adviser due to the backing of the president.
Informed circles cite as a major reason behind his exit the attacking role of the People’s Lawyers Forum (PLF) headed by Khosa against the appointment of Masood Chishti, a junior legal mate of the law minister, as federal law secretary. The Punjab chapter of the PLF, which is run by Khosa’s son Khurram, revolted to protest against Chishti’s nomination.
Though the president did not accept his resignation, Khosa is unlikely to resume his office unless Zardari will talk to prime minister on the issue. Khosa will be required to work within the bounds set by the prime minister.’
Source: The News