While investigating into the unseen factors behind continuous loss of Pakistan Telecommunication Ltd. (PTCL) soon after its privatization, it has been revealed that junior staff of PTCL is also one of the major factors behind this loss. They are illegally using telephone lines and internet connections with the support of senior but private management, thus causing a huge loss of business is suffered by private consumers.
For ordinary amounts, these junior employees are ruining the businesses of the public. The fact was revealed by Mr. Khurram Rana owner of a private IT service provider and a young entrepreneur of Rawalpindi to State Views along with proofs. He is among one of many other private businessmen who has suffered huge loss due to such practices of these junior employees of PTCL. According to Mr. Khurram Rana, back in 2012, he got a PTCL connection for his business of selling online products and earned a huge profit every month.
Mr. Khurram further told that “Later on in 2015, a junior employee of PTCL Mr. Saddam Shah and some other employees start interpreting my internet connection every now and then. On complaining, they demand Rs. 500/- per visit which was totally illegal at first place, while such disconnections cause me huge loss at the second place”. When such practice becomes their habit I refused to pay them one day, due to which they shut down my connection. I informed senior management and an inquiry was started against Mr. Saddam Shah and others leading to permanent disconnection of my connection. Mr. Khurram termed this as a war against the corruption of PTCL and told State Views that this war makes me defaulter from a successful businessman.
He further told State Views that same practice is going on since long in whole Gangal Exchange and there are more than 50 consumers paying them such illegal speed money. There are so many illegal connections given in areas of Satellite Town Exchange and all are facing the same situation, and paying such illegal maintenance fees to these employees of PTCL. He said, “This is not only the case of one exchange in Rawalpindi, as I am sure that such practice is going on almost in whole Pakistan.”
Another illegal act of PTCL employees was also exposed by Mr. Khurram Rana. He told State Views that, “Employees of PTCL are also distributing illegal redistribution licenses to consumers without bringing into information of higher management”. He gave an example that this redistribution is like, “If I have 5 MB connection I will redistribute to four more people illegally and pay speed money to employees while receiving bills from these illegal consumers”. He told that “This practice is going on in whole Pakistan and can only be nailed out by conducting a proper sting operation against these culprits”.
While telling his story Mr. Khurram further told that besides business loss I have to face harassment even at my house as soon as the inquiry was started on my case. One day a man came to our house and pointed a gun on me to stay away from this case and someone threw stones on our house. When I didn’t act the way they want me to, they tried to lodge an FIR against me in Sadiqabad Police station under Anti-Terrorist Act.
On questioning about the main nominees behind such act he named, Ghulam Asghar, Faisal Adnan, and Sadam Shah along with Mr. Dilawar Khan. He further told, “One I got a call from 1218 who told me that there is no complaint registered against your number as the internet connection is still running on this line”. On further inquiry, it was revealed that the same number and connection was working since last seven months at some different location without informing me.
Mr. Khurram also told State Views that, “One day I received a call from Mr. Shahid Mehmood (Executive Vice President) who informed me that we are dismissing your complaint as you didn’t show up in front of inquiry committee”. So, I told him that I didn’t get any invitation about this committee, on which they send two persons to my home the very next day who listened to my story and asked me to visit office tomorrow. On the next day when I reached their office they offered me a job at PTCL on Rs.150, 000/- per month if I forgive mistake of nominated personnel of PTCL. He further told these officials that, by shutting down my connection and involving me in different issues they have ruined my business so I will never forgive them. I just requested them to fulfill my losses which I have to face due to their crime. On this, the officials threatened me that if I don’t take my complaint back they will use force to stop me.
On further exploring into the case, he told State Views that, ” Mr. Danial Ritz (private CEO) and Mr. Mazhar Hussain (CHRO) who are drawing extraordinary salaries from PTCL are also running another private company to hire employees for PTCL on contract basis”. He further narrates that, ” The only pay half of the salary to these contract-based employees while keeping the other half in their own pockets”. On asking a question about to whom Mr. Khurram submitted his complaints he told, “He has submitted his application to Executive Vice President Mr. Shahid Mehmood and General Manager Mr. Arslan Haider who owns many petrol pumps via email but didn’t get any reply”.
While concluding his story Mr. Khurram told, “Before privatization of PTCL and involving private officials on senior positions the company was earning 29.5 Billion Dollars as profit which is decreasing every month now”. He suggested that the company should conduct in-depth inquiry and operation against these culprits from senior and junior levels if they want to save PTCL from going into disaster. Mr. Khurram also challenged Prime Minister Imran Khan to conduct an inquiry against these senior officers of PTCL via NAB and reshape this important institution into a profitable business. As according to him, “If PM rectify PTCL, this means the whole country could be rectified”,
The State Views also contacted officials of PTCL for their narrative on this case but no response was given by them even after two days.