In a new development, the name of Haroon Rashid is being tipped as new Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Petroleum as the government’s top decision makers have invited him to Islamabad for interview purposes.
Top sources, who are privy to the development, told The News that Haroon Rashid being Energy business leader with extensive global experience has also visited the Prime Minister Office where he was interviewed for the slot of SAPM on Petroleum. He has held meetings with the government’s powerful ministers Shaukat Tarin and Asad Umar.
Haroon Rashid is the Chief Executive & Managing Director of Shell Pakistan Limited (SPL). He has just been posted to Malaysia, but the government has decided to engage him as SAPM on Petroleum which is why he has deferred his going to Malaysia to head Shell business. At present he has resigned for the post of MD Shell Pakistan not from Shell organisation. Haroon has also been an active member of the Prime Minister Energy task force in 2019-2020.
He has been a Director on the Board of SPL since 2011. He is also the General Manager Lubricants for SPL. He joined SPL in 1995 and has held several senior leadership roles in Downstream across marketing, consultancy and aviation for Royal Dutch Shell before returning to Pakistan as the General Manager Supply & Distribution for the Middle East South Asia Region.
Haroon is a graduate from INSEAD and The Lahore University of Management Sciences. He has also been Director in Pak Arab Refinery and Pakistan Refinery Limited. When contacted Haroon Rashid refused to confirm his meetings with top decision makers of the government and offered no comments.
The top officials said that this time the government wants to appoint those as SAPMs both on power and petroleum separately who possess international and national level exposure. They said that SAPMs will not be hired on an honorary basis rather they will be paid reasonably and the government wants new SAPM to give their ownership to the government initiatives which will lead to the structural reforms in the Energy sector.
The government earlier considered the name of Waheed Ahmad Shaikh, ex-CEO of HASCOL, for SAPM on Petroleum. HASCOL is currently under fire in the wake of a mammoth default of Rs54 billion, including the amount of Rs28 billions of four commercial banks. However, the name of Waheed Ahmad Shaikh has been put on back-burner.
Tabish Gauhar was made SAPM on Petroleum also when Nadeem Babar quit under the directions of prime minister on account of an inquiry into the petrol crisis that hit the country in June 2020. Tabish Gauhar resigned on September 21, 2021 and the slots of SAPM on Power and Petroleum are vacant since then.