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LAHORE: The Punjab government has not relieved 17 senior bureaucrats who were replaced by the federal government last week, saying it cannot spare them at the moment because of shortage of officers, particularly during Muharram.

The issue has been conveyed to the federal establishment division and a summary seeking approval of the chief minister is pending a decision, official sources said.

The establishment division had withdrawn 17 officials, including Home Secretary Nawaz, secretaries of various other departments and divisional commissioners, including Syed Ali Murtaza, Saif Anjum, Asadulllah, Mujtaba Piracha, Nabeel Javaid, Ali Bahadur Qazi, Iftikhar Sahu, Khalid Saleem and Khaqan Baber.

Officials said that the federal government and the chief minister had been explained that the province was already facing a shortage of over 30 officers in BPS-20 and could not afford to lose another 17.

Changing the home secretary and divisional commissioners of Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi when Muharram was around the corner could also create administrative problems in ensuring peace during the holy month.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2018