ISLAMABAD, May 28: With the PML-N set to take over the charge both in the centre and Punjab, intense lobbying is underway to land what in bureaucratic lexicon are called prized positions.

There are officers who had closely worked first with the PML-Q (2002-2007) and then with the PPP (2008-2013) governments at key positions, but these days have other concerns to address.

After 2008 general elections, when the PML-N returned to power in Punjab, civil servants who had served under the chief minister, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, opted to transfer to the federal government.

However, such a category of officers are facing a dilemma at the moment.

With the PML-N ruling the roost in both Islamabad and Lahore for the next five years, they will either be handed over unimportant assignments, or sent to Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or Balochistan.

Talking to Dawn, a sitting federal secretary who had worked at important positions, both under the PML-Q and PPP governments said he was planning a long leave instead of spending last few of his service at a difficult station.

“I am trying through reliable sources, who claim to have good ties with the PML-N leaders, to at least remain in Islamabad after the new government takes charge. If a good posting is not possible, I have made up my mind to apply for long leave,” said the secretary with depression writ large on his face because of impending sweeping reshuffles in the federal bureaucracy.

Another senior civil servant who had typically enjoyed plump postings under the PPP government has approached the PML-N leadership through his trusted intermediaries, offering his complete dedication and loyalty.

The officer is hopeful that if not a good position, he will be able to keep himself posted either in Islamabad or Lahore.

He agreed this wasn’t an unusual development, as every political party had its favourite bureaucrats, who called shots on their behalf.

Meanwhile, after the media reported that Nasir Mehmood Khosa will be the principal secretary to the prime minister (PSPM) in waiting, Mian Nawaz Sharif, he is centre of attraction within the federal bureaucracy.

A DMG officer of the 6th Common Training Programme (CTP), Mr Khosa, as PSPM to Mian Nawaz Sharif, will be playing a key role in all future postings and transfers by the next federal government.

Bureaucrats who know Mr Khosa are meeting him personally, letting him know of assignments they are interested in.

Then there are civil servants whose relatives have won in recent elections on the PML-N ticket, have dropped their CVs with the party leadership.

Now with the new government in sight, it will be interesting to watch where federal secretaries like Nargis Sethi and Taimoor Azmat Usman, who remained at key positions during the PPP government, will be heading.

Ms Sethi for three years served as PSPM with the former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, followed with short stints at the ministries of defence and water and power.

Currently on leave, her last posting was secretary cabinet division.

Mr Gilani, has often waxed lyrical about Ms Sethi, so it will be interesting to see which assignment the PML-N leadership has for her, commented one her colleagues.

Another important name is of Taimoor Azmat Usman, who during most of the PPP’s time remained secretary information, and then secretary establishment division.

Under the caretaker government he has been posted as secretary food and security ministry.

Then there is Zafar Abbas Lak, incumbent Inspector General, National Highway and Motorway Police, known for his personal relationship with Chaudhrys of Gujrat.

He in the past had served at important positions in the FIA and ministry of narcotics control.

Other officers who at the moment are holding important positions, but, certainly will be reshuffled by the new set up are; Khawaja Siddiq Akbar, former secretary interior, who at the moment is working as PSPM to the caretaker prime minister and holding the additional charge of cabinet division, Jalil Abbas Jilani, current secretary foreign affairs, Agha Nadeem, sitting secretary information and broadcasting, Munir Qureshi, sitting secretary commerce, Khuda Bakhsh Lehri, present secretary establishment division, Yasmin Abbasi, secretary law, and Waqar Masood, secretary finance.

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