LAHORE: The government finally filled the important post of the deputy commissioner (DC) of Lahore city district after a month, appointing Danish Afzal as the new official.

It subsequently relieved Muhammad Asghar Joiya, the additional deputy commissioner (ADC) revenue, of the additional charge he was holding since the transfer of former DC Saleha Saeed on Sept 21.

A Grade 19 officer (on acting charge basis) of Pakistan Administrative Service’s 35th Common, Mr Afzal worked on various important positions in the province, including additional secretary (coordination) to the chief secretary.

According to an official source, the government had a hard time looking for a suitable officer to run the administrative affairs of the city after various officers, including two former Lahore DCs, refused to serve on the post again.

“After Ms Saleha Saeed, who was transferred on the pretext of not making adequate and timely arrangements to control dengue, the government entrusted ADC (Revenue) Mr Joiya (a Grade 18 officer of PAS’s 38th common) with the additional charge of DC on Sept 21 and started searching for an officer for the post. It also contacted two former DCs of Lahore who served well on the post in the past, but both excused themselves,” an official source told Dawn.

“The way this government is working and the several inquiries initiated by the National Accountability Bureau, anti-corruption, Federal Investigation Agency etc against many officers for taking important decisions and over other allegations have forced most of the officers to stay away from important posts. That is why the appointment of a new DC took time,” the official, who requested anonymity, claimed.

He said there was also a proposal to appoint Mr Joiya as a regular DC since he performed well after transfer of Ms Saeed. But someone advised the government to appoint a senior officer as the DC. He said the new DC, Mr Afzal, is set to face various challenges related to dengue control and other administrative and functional affairs of Lahore.

Published in Dawn, October 22nd, 2019