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Food ministry officer suspended in wheat scandal attends int’l training in Korea

05:52 PM | 24 May, 2024
Food ministry officer suspended in wheat scandal attends int’l training in Korea
Source: File Photo

ISLAMABAD – A senior office of the Ministry of National Food Security & Research, who was recently suspended for his alleged involvement in wheat import scandal, recently represented Pakistan at an international event despite his suspension for 120 days. 

Sohail Shahzad, Director of Department of Plant Protection in food ministry, along with three other officers were placed under suspension for a period of 120 days over the import of surplus wheat during the tenure of the caretaker government, causing market crash, adversely affecting local farmers who were forced to sell their produce at lower prices in open market.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also approved their suspension in light of recommendations made by an inquiry committee investigating the scandal. Just last week, a notification for the suspension of Sohail Shahzad, a Grade-19 officer, was issued.

But, the suspension couldn't stop him from attending an international training programme, running between May 20-30, 2024, in South Korea. 

An official document shows that the invitation letter for the “2024 Training Program on Plant quarantine for Developing Countries including Asean” was received in March this year and the ministry had then nominated Shahzad and another officer to represent Pakistan in the event. The training is organized by the Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency (APQA) of South Korea to provide advanced lectures on fumigation treatment of plants.

The participation of a suspended government employee in an international event has raised questions over the accountability process in the country, with critics stating that the development has undermined the integrity of the disciplinary process.

As the situation unfolds, it remains to be seen how the government will address these concerns and ensure that the officials responsible for the wheat import scandal are held accountable. The public and stakeholders in the agricultural sector await further developments and actions from the authorities to restore confidence and integrity in the Ministry of National Food Security.

Daily Pakistan Global Web Desk

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Currency Rates in Pakistan - PKR to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, Riyal - 20 June 2024

Pakistani rupee rates against US Dollar and other currencies on June 20, 2024 (Thursday) in open market.

USD to PKR Rate Today

US dollar was being quoted at 277.50 for buying and 280.65 for selling.

Euro's buying rate stands at 296 and selling rate is 299 while British Pound rate is 349.7 for buying, and 353.25 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED was at 74.80 and Saudi Riyal at 72.80.

Forex Rates

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 277.50 280.65
Euro EUR 296.00 299.00
UK Pound Sterling GBP 349.70 353.25
U.A.E Dirham AED 74.80 75.60
Saudi Riyal SAR 72.80 73.55
Australian Dollar AUD 182.00 184.00
Bahrain Dinar BHD 741.18 749.18
Canadian Dollar CAD 204.00 206.00
China Yuan CNY 38.43 38.83
Danish Krone DKK 40.18 40.58
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.66 36.01
Indian Rupee INR 3.33 3.44
Japanese Yen JPY 1.90 1.98
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 909.34 909.34
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 59.30 59.90
New Zealand Dollar NZD 170.79 172.79
Norwegian Krone NOK 25.97 26.27
Omani Riyal OMR 723.88 731.88
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.42 77.12
Singapore Dollar SGD 203.65 205.65
Swedish Korona SEK 26.40 26.70
Swiss Franc CHF 311.90 314.40
Thai Baht THB 7.58 7.73

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