Govt likely to appoint ‘blue-eyed official’ as PARCO managing director

ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet, in its upcoming meeting, is likely to approve the appointment of Pak Arab Refinery Limited (PARCO) managing director, it was learnt on Monday.

According to sources, the federal cabinet will take up the Petroleum Ministry’s summaries with regard to fortnightly revision in per-litre prices of POL products as well as the appointment of PARCO chief executive officer. 

They said that the division has allegedly paved the way for the appointment of a “blue-eyed official” to the top position of PARCO. The Petroleum Division, in an apparent bid to declare favourite candidates suitable for the important position, had also constituted a four-member committee, they added. 

The Establishment Division had opposed this action of the Petroleum Division when the Prime Minister’s Office sought opinion on the matter, sources said.

“Ahsan Khan, a favourite candidate for the PARCO top slot, has relations with a federal minister and the Petroleum Division is going all out to ensure his appointment as next PARCO MD,” said an official source on the condition of anonymity.

Sources said a consultancy firm, Sidat Hyder Morshed Associates (Pvt) Limited, had earlier placed the names of Ahsan Khan and two others in the “not considered suitable” category as per their own method for shortlisting candidates.

However, they added, the Petroleum Division constituted a high-powered interview committee (HPIC), comprising Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan as chairman and Special Assistant to PM on Petroleum as its member, to do the needful in this regard. 

This committee was entrusted with the responsibility of conducting interviews of the shortlisted candidates and to recommend a panel of at least three individuals for the position of MD/CEO PARCO. The HPIC conducted the preliminary interviews of the 14 shortlisted candidates on 26th and 27th March 2020, and resultantly, five candidates were shortlisted who were re-interviewed on 3rd April. 

HPIC had recommended five candidates, namely Ahsan Khan, Shahid Mahmood Khan, Yacoob Suttar, Akbar Ali Khan and Syed Zawar Haider, for the appointment as the MD/CEO PARCO for a period of three years.

According to sources, although practical measures have been taken to end adhocism in state-owned companies on the advice of the prime minister, the Petroleum Division has been striving hard to secure “blue-eyed appointments” in companies in order to extract maximum benefits.   

Tariq Rizvi has been running PARCO from the year 2012 despite reaching the age of 72 years, sources informed, alleging that he enjoyed cordial relations with the Petroleum Division high ups which was why his term was extended for no particular reason.

PARCO is a public sector company registered under the Companies Act, 2017. The company was established as a joint venture between the Government of Pakistan (GoP) and Abu Dhabi Petroleum Investment Company (ADPIC) at a ratio of 60:40, respectively. PARCO is a special company whose affairs and operations are governed by a series of agreements between the GoP and Emirates of Abu Dhabi (EoAD).

According to documents, in terms of Article V2 of the participant agreements entered between GoP and EoAD, the Chief Executive Officer of the company shall be nominated by the GoP.

The advertisement for the post of CEO/MD was advertised on 27th October 2019 by a headhunter firm, Sidat Hyder Morshed Associates (Pvt) Limited (Consultants). Thereafter, the consultant received a total of 127 applications, out of which 14 profiles were shortlisted.    

Ahmad Ahmadani
Ahmad Ahmadani
The author is an investigative journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]


  1. If against law and rules of the Compny Proposed by the Petroium Ministry any name proposed for cabinet meeting.The action of the Government will take up in the Court of the law.

  2. It’s the practice of bad and corrupt governance to appoint a foreigner as EXECUTIVE of PARCO. Any foreigner never productive for our country because of lack of knowledge of environments and nature of working of the department. It’s totally a decision against the development of Pakistan. Being a PAKISTANI , I condemn the decision strongly and advise the concerned Authorities that all the heads of any department should be purely Pakistan based and never have dual nationality. We have many talented, skilled, productive, sincere and wella experienced people. So Khan sab please take it serious to appoint the heads should be single nationality and they will be only PAKISTANI .


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