In a major development, President Alvi has removed his secretary after the insubordination allegations. The President’s Secretariat said the services of Secretary to President Waqar Ahmed were “no more required” and that a replacement was sought.
According to the details, a statement was issued in this regard which has been posted on the President of Pakistan’s official account on X (formerly Twitter).
“In view of the definite statement of yesterday, President’s Secretariat has written a letter to Principal Secretary to Prime Minister that the services of Mr. Waqar Ahmed, Secretary to President, are no more required and are surrendered to the Establishment Division, immediately,” the statement said.
“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 further 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.
— The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) August 21, 2023
President Alvi caused a stir on Sunday when he claimed that he hadn’t personally put his signature on two contentious pieces of legislation, specifically the Official Secrets (Amendment) Bill 2023 and the Pakistan Army (Amendment) Bill 2023. This statement came a day after these bills had been enacted as laws by the 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.
In a tweet posted on X, President Alvi shifted the blame to his staff, alleging that he had been deceived by his presidential team, as they failed to return the mentioned “unsigned” bills despite being instructed to do so on multiple occasions.
“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 had said in his tweet.
“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 said.
As God is my witness, I did not sign Official Secrets Amendment Bill 2023 & Pakistan Army Amendment Bill 2023 as I disagreed with these laws. I asked my staff to return the bills unsigned within stipulated time to make them ineffective. I confirmed from them many times that…
— Dr. Arif Alvi (@ArifAlvi) August 20, 2023
The president’s extraordinary assertions triggered a wave of assertions and rebuttals, leading to a press conference over the weekend by the interim law and information ministers. A few hours after President Alvi’s declaration, a gazette notification released by the Senate Secretariat emerged, declaring that the two bills had been considered to have received the president’s approval.