Rs 25 Million Meant for Poor Students Spent on Elite Club Membership in Islamabad - Capital TV

June 4, 2023


Rs 25 Million Meant for Poor Students Spent on Elite Club Membership in Islamabad

Mahnoor Tariq

Four influential officials with the National Endowment Scholarships for Talent (NEST) officials have been fired from their positions for spending at least Rs25 million on the exclusive Islamabad Club, which has also landed two senior bureaucrats in hot waters.

What is NEST?

NEST is a separate organization that is led by the additional secretary of the Ministry of Education and Professional Training which facilitates deserving and talented students. 

Back story: 

According to documents made available to Dawn, the NEST board of directors approved corporate membership for NEST at its meeting on November 3, 2021. They initially proposed four executive officers—Athar Hussain Zaidi, Faysal Qasim, Qamar Safdar, and Quratulain Talha—for the issuance of complimentary cards for the club membership. The BOD had also agreed that ‘the NEST corporation has to pay the monthly subscription charges of the executives.’ To carry out the BOD’s directive, the administration and human resources manager sent a letter to the Chief Financial Officer on March 8, 2022.

Who approved the amount?

This request was forwarded to the-CEO Mohiyuddin Wani by the CFO, and approval was given as a result. Later, Mr. Wani was appointed chief secretary of Gilgit-Baltistan. His successor, Asim Iqbal sanctioned the release of Rs. 25 million. After the amount was released to the Islamabad Club, the ministry of Education asked the Establishment Division to suspend Mr. Iqbal. 

Action against the CEO:

Following up on the request, the Establishment has asked FIA to verify Mr.Wani’s signatures on the amount release document.  The ex-CEO told Dawn News that he did not release a single penny for the corporate membership to the Islamabad Club. 

What’s next?

Concerning the four former NEST employees, they appealed their dismissal from employment before the Islamabad High Court (IHC). Dawn was informed by their attorney, Shuaib Shaheen, that none of the four officials were involved in securing the club membership.

The hearing on this petition was postponed to January 25 by IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb as the court awaits a response from the Ministry of Education and Establishment Division.

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