President Dr Arif Alvi’s son, Dr Awab Alvi, recently took to Twitter to announce that his family business, Alvi Dental, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bringing Smiles USA.
With the president in attendance, a debate started amongst netizens questioning if it was a direct conflict of interest for Alvi to be a president and promote the family business as well.
After receiving backlash from Twitterati, Dr Awab Alvi clarified that his father had resigned from the family business after he became president.
“The President resigned from Alvi Dental when he became President. This venture is between me & my Pakistani US diaspora dentist-alumnus friend,” tweeted Awab.
Awab further tweeted, “President encourages all startups much smaller than ours & is on record to have hosted a startup in dentistry at Presidency last year.”
However, when we checked the official website of “Alvi Dentals”, the president is still enlisted as a dentist and part of the Alvi Dental team. The website also provides an option to “schedule an appointment” with the president.
The Current talked to Shiagan Ijaz, a Lahore-based lawyer, to know if the matter was a conflict of interest for the president. “Yes, the perception that is being created very much puts the present scenario as a conflict of interest for the president.”
“Even if it was a private venture, the president was present there, which certainly gives the impression and can be perceived as misuse of his office. So there has been a misuse of his authority here,” said Shaighan.
The presidential oath also says, “As a President of Pakistan, I will not allow my personal interest to influence my official conduct.”