Pakistan’s Supreme Court has asked the government how it allowed former army chief General (retd) Raheel Sharif and ex-ISI boss Lt General (retd) Shuja Pasha to take up jobs abroad despite a law barring officers from accepting employment for two years post-retirement, according to media reports. Hearing a case of dual nationalities of Pakistan government employees, a three-judge bench, headed by chief justice Saqib Nisar, observed that Sharif and Pasha found employment abroad within two-years after retirement.
While Sharif after his retirement in 2016 left for Riyadh to head a military alliance of Muslim countries led by Saudi Arabia, Pasha worked with a multinational firm based in the UAE after retiring in 2012. According to Pakistani media reports, the former ISI chief is currently serving as group chief adviser to a Lahore-based firm owned by a Pakistani politician.
“According to the law, government officers cannot sign an employment contract abroad for two years after their retirement. Generals Pasha and Sharif, both, found employment abroad. Is the law not applicable to army officers?” chief justice Nisar asked.
Defence secretary Lt Gen (retd) Zamir-ul-Hassan Shah informed the apex court that both retired officers had obtained a no-objection certificate (NOC) prior to leaving the country for employment. However,he admitted he was unsure of the rules barring government servants from obtaining foreign employment till two years after their retirement.In response, the chief justice noted that those who serve the country at top positions are privy to sensitive information. “Individuals who have headed sensitive departments should, in fact, be provided security,” the report quoted Justice Nisar as saying. “We will see how the permission was granted, and what is its nature and duration. These individuals should have obtained the cabinet’s permission prior to their departure,” noted Justice Nisar.