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EXCLUSIVE: Punjab Govt Replaces Secretary Information Danyal Gillani With Farah Gogi’s Favored Bureaucrat, Ahmad Aziz Tarrar

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LAHORE: The Punjab government, led by Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif, has appointed Ahmad Aziz Tarrar as the new Secretary of Information and Culture, replacing Danyal Gillani. Tarrar, a Grade-20 bureaucrat from the Pakistan Administrative Service (formerly known as the District Management Group), was notably favored by Farah Gogi, the de facto chief minister during Usman Buzdar’s tenure, The Scoop (TS) has learnt. 

Additionally, Tarrar has been assigned the additional role of Director General of Public Relations.

Sources within the Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) told TS that in June of the previous year, the agency began investigating former Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, Farhat Shahzadi (also known as Farah Gogi), Ibrahim Maneka (son of Bushra Bibi), and other high-ranking officials from Buzdar’s administration under the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. Ahmad Aziz Tarrar was among those scrutinized.

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: Marriyum Aurangzeb Awards Rs 150 Million In Digital Ads To Blue-Eyed Company, Sidelines Non-Compliant Officials

These officials were under investigation for allegedly funneling Rs 450 million to Farah Gogi, facilitating unlawful appointments and promotions, and securing kickbacks and regular extortion payments to maintain their influential positions.

The ACE’s FIR implicated Usman Buzdar, Farhat Shahzadi, former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Tahir Khurshid, former Deputy Commissioner of Lahore Saleha Saeed, Ahmad Aziz Tarrar, former Director General of LDA Usman Muazzum, Sohail Khawaja, Ibrahim Khawar Maneka, and Farah Gogi’s personal secretary Muhammad Asif, among others.

Insiders disclosed to TS that Ahmad Mansoor Nawaz, Farah Gogi’s cashier, confessed in June 2023 that he deposited Rs 450 million in cash into Farah Gogi’s Silk Bank account at the Liberty branch in Lahore. This money, received from top bureaucrats such as Khurshid, Saeed, Muazzum, Tarrar, and Khawaja, was directly received at Farah Gogi’s residence in 99Y Block DHA, before being deposited in her bank account. Nawaz had also agreed to testify as a state witness in the then ongoing investigation.

An investigative officer familiar with the case also shared that Ibrahim Maneka regularly visited Farah Gogi’s residence to collect his share related to facilitating unlawful postings and collecting kickbacks and extortion money.

A senior official added that the cash deposits to Farhat Shahzadi’s account corresponded with the tenure of the implicated officials.

ACE sources had confirmed that the accused are implicated in corruption amounting to billions, with the discovery of Rs 450 million in bribes marking the beginning of a potentially more extensive investigation.

Has Marriyum Aurangzeb Replaced Farah Gogi in Punjab?

Sources believe that a new nexus in Punjab cannot be ruled out, with Senior Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb potentially replacing Farah Gogi. The same bureaucrats once favored by Gogi are now becoming favorites of Aurangzeb. The recent appointment of Ahmad Aziz Tarrar as Secretary of Information, replacing Danyal Gillani, is cited as an example of this shift.

 

Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi is an award-winning digital, print, and broadcast investigative journalist who is the co-founder of The Scoop. He also hosts his web shows 'The Scoop' and 'The Hassan Naqvi Show'.

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