The PM has left but not his brother

Published Mar 26, 2013 08:22am

ISLAMABAD: The government and the prime minister have gone home but Raja Pervez Ashraf's brother continues hanging on to the executive's coat tails.

This was evident on Monday when he brought the news to the protesting non-teaching staff that the Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD) had issued a notification for their time-scale promotion.

In fact, he handed over the notification to the employees.

It is an open secret in the capital that Raja Imran Ashraf, brother of former prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, is hoping to contest the coming elections on the PPP ticket.

No wonder then the opposition is very critical of the manner in which Imran Ashraf, who held no position in the government, is acting as if he is an official.

The local leaders of the PML-N termed his move on Monday an attempt to gain an edge in the upcoming elections.

“PML-N leader Tariq Fazal Choudhry visited the sit-ins three times and spent hours in the ministry of finance for the issuance of the notification but now it was handed over to the employees by the brother of the former PM,” said Ali Khan, the personal secretary to Mr Chaudhry.

“I cannot understand in which capacity Mr Ashraf had distributed the notification. Though the PPP government has gone, it seems the bureaucracy is still following the instructions of the PPP leaders,” he said.

He added: “Everyone knows that the credit to get the notification issued goes to the PML-N leader.”

On the other hand, the non-teaching staff in 465 educational institutions seemed happy as they finally got the notification, which will benefit over 5,000 employees from Basic Pay Scale 1 to 15. It may be mentioned that on March 4, salaries of the employees of Pak Secretariat were increased by 20 per cent. After that, the employees of attached departments started protesting that their pay should also be increased. On March 6, the non-teaching staff launched their protest and staged sit-ins at FDE building, National Press Club, D. Chowk and in front of Supreme Court for around 20 days. Leaders of PPP Qamar Zaman Kaira, Zamarud Khan and PML-N’s Tariq Fazal Chaudhry visited the venues and expressed solidarity with the protesters. The Secretariat police registered a case against the employees and two leaders of the non-teaching staff - Mohammad Bilal and Sardar Sidique - were arrested.

Abdul Rauf, the senior vice-president of the non-teaching staff association, told Dawn that only one out of their three demands had been accepted. “However, Joint Education Adviser Rafique Tahir has assured us that after the completion of the interim government CAD will try to resolve the other issues.

“We have decided to postpone our strike because our major demand has been met. Now every employee will get promotion after every five years and those who have been working for the last 15 years in the same scale will get three promotions simultaneously,” he said.

Saddaqat Abbasi, the chairman of the association, said the non-teaching staff would resume work from Tuesday. “But still we demand that education allowance and 20 per cent increase in salary should be given to the employees,” he said. —Ikram Junaidi

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