KARACHI: While the establishment division has recently transferred 12 bureaucrats, including eight DIGs, posted in Sindh to other provinces under its rotation policy, the provincial government is reluctant to relieve them, considering options as to how to keep their services in the province, it emerged on Tuesday.
Sources said that majority of the transferred officials belonging to the Police Services of Pakistan (PSP) and Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) were unhappy with what they called growing trend of doing politics between the centre and province over an administrative issue.
They said that they work under the establishment division and they may face show-cause notice and other disciplinary action if they were not relieved by the provincial government.
On Nov 9, the services of DIG Maqsood Ahmed, DIG Javed Akbar Riaz, DIG Naeem Ahmed Sheikh, DIG Saqib Ismail Memon, DIG Noman Siddiqi, DIG Younis Chandio (currently working in the Federal Investigation Agency), DIG Abdullah Sheikh and DIG Omar Shahid Hamid along with Planning and Development Board chairman Hasan Naqvi and three other secretaries were transferred to other provinces.
Believes officers’ withdrawal may create governance issues; many officials concerned over politicisation
Officials sent as replacements to be retained
The federal government had also posted officers from other provinces to Sindh to replace the transferred officials.
On Monday, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah held a meeting with Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah and Inspector General of Police Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar to discuss the issue.
The sources said that the participants of the meeting were of the view that the province was already facing a ‘shortage’ of senior PSP and PAS officials and “withdrawal” of more such officers in grade-20 might create governance issues.
They said that it was decided in the meeting that the Sindh government would allow the eight DIGs and four secretaries posted by the establishment division to join their new assignments in the province. However, the government would not relieve the DIGs and secretaries already working in the province, they added.
‘Meaningful’ consultation sought
Also, the Sindh government has officially approached the federal government asking the latter for what it called meaningful consultation for placement or withdrawal of the services of PSP and PAS officers.
It regretted that the federal government had increasingly shown a tendency for frequent withdrawal and placement of senior bureaucrats and police officers without having any consultation with the province.
Additional Services Secretary Ghulam Ali Brahmani wrote a letter to the establishment secretary on Nov 15 stating that the Sindh government believed that the rotation policy could not override the already existed services rules.
According to the letter, a copy of which is available with Dawn, the transfer of an officer “shall be made by the federal government in consultation with the provincial government or government concerned”.
“Consultation will mean the intimation of a name or a panel of names of PAS officers to be conveyed to the provincial government concerned for such a posting, preferably in writing. If there is no response from a provincial government within 15 days, the federal government will proceed to make such an appointment of the named officer or any such officer named on the panel and it will be deemed to have the approval of the provincial government concerned,” it stated.
Cabinet to discuss transfer ‘proposals’ tomorrow
Quoting rules, the letter added: “Procedure of deputing to and withdrawal from any province of a PAS officer will be the same as indicated above, except that provincial government may respond to the proposal within a period of one month.”
It went on to read that the rules necessitated “consultation between federal and provincial governments with regards to placement/withdrawal of services of PAS and PSP officers. However, recently the trend of transferring/withdrawing officers on the basis of Rotation Policy has gained momentum and that too without meaningful consultation.”
“Policies do not override rules which enshrine the spirit of consultation in such matters,” the letter said, adding: “It is assumed that, as laid down in law, your office (the secretary establishment) has obtained the specific approval of federal government (which means federal cabinet in the light of Mustafa Impex case) before sending the provincial government the notifications dated Nov 9, 2021 regarding the PAS and PSP officers.”
“As per law, the Government of Sindh shall put up the matter before provincial cabinet in its next meeting,” it said, adding that the transfer notifications of DIGs and secretaries would be “viewed by the provincial cabinet as transfer proposals by the federal cabinet”.
“The provincial government will get back to the federal government well within the time stipulated in Rule 15 (V) of the Civil Service of Pakistan (Composition and Cadre) Rules, 1954,” the letter read.
The meeting of the Sindh cabinet is scheduled to be held on Thursday.
Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2021