LAHORE - SNGPL Managing Director Arif Hameed yesterday reportedly challenged his removal from the ministry of petroleum and natural resources before the Lahore High Court.

The managing director claims the notification is violation of the merit. It is being said the MD has had severe reservations on Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s much advocated LNG-deal as he opposed the agreement terming it against the country and company’s interest.

There are also reports that SNGPL’s powerful Board of Directors is backing the MD against the ministry. The notification of his removal would not be valid till the approval of BoD, some company officials seeking anonymity say. They say a meeting of the BoD scheduled to be held at SNGPL head-quarter on Monday was cancelled and is now to be held in Islamabad. It is likely the ministry validate its order in BoD’s next meeting in federal capital.

The ministry in a notification on Saturday removed Arif Hameed as Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited MD and appointed company’s chief financial officer Uzama Adil as new chief. She was likely to take charge yesterday but Arif Hameed refused to be de-seated.

Ms Uzma is also retiring after two months.

Sources in the SNGPL say the DMD-Services Amir Tufail and DMD-Operations Amjad Latif have been separately offered the top post prior to Ms Uzam’s appointment but both the senior officers rejected the government offer.

On the other hand, the removal notification of Arif Hameed is being seen as important development following arrest of Dr Asim on corruption charges, the former minister who appointed Mr Hameed as managing director of the Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited in PPP’s tenure.

Sources in the company say that the FIA is also after the MD and seeking details of all the residential and commercial properties in the name of him.

“Mr Hameed enjoyed two yearly extensions in PML-N ongoing tenure though he was appointed during PPP’s regime. But his sudden removal before the end of his second extension tenure is clearly an indication that some important development is going to be happened in next week,” said an official source.