Who is heads the interior ministry? Ejaz Shah wonders

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Navid Miraj

DNA

ISLAMABAD, SEPT 9 – The Federal Interior Minister Brig (retd) Ejaz Shah is upset with constant encroachment into his domains by the Advisor to the PM on Interior and Accountability, Shahzad Akbar and has missed a couple of cabinet meetings in the last few weeks.

Sources in the ministry of Interior claimed that Ejaz Shah has been complaining to his close quarters that most  of the line departments of his ministry now directly report to the Advisor to the PM, Mr. Shahzad Akbar, from Director General FIA to IB report to him and now even now postings and transfers of the officials is being handled by Mr. Akbar.

Mr. Akbar’s name has also been associated with the recent ruckus in Lahore where the CCPO Lahore Umar Sheikh’s appointment is credited to Mr. Akbar.

Mr. Akbar’s appointment as the Advisor to PM on a Ministry that already has a Federal minister is quite a departure from the norms as two officials with the same status (Federal minister) in one ministry.

This unique step by Prime Minister Imran Khan has created quite a confusion of reporting lines for the officers in the ministry. Mr. Akbar was given this position since PM Khan wanted him to be able to speak in the parliament and counter the opposition on the question of accountability.

But since his appointment Mr.  Akbar has taken over most of the tasks of the interior ministry which to him is now a tool that he wants to use to the maximum effect to suppress the opposition.

Mr. Akbar because of his crucial role in accountability, which is the ‘passion’ of the prime minister and his go to political narrative, over rides many ministers when it comes to reaching out their line departments. For example, for tax related issues of various opposition leaders and one critical case of a justice, even the Chairman FBR reports to Shahzad Akbar.