KARACHI: Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday requested Prime Minister Imran Khan to direct the Establishment Division to fill the shortage of federal officers from BS-17 to BS-21 and depute requisite number of officers to the province.
In a letter to the PM, he also said that the provincial government considered the Nov 9 notifications of officers’ transfer and postings in the province as ‘proposals’ from the prime minister and did not agree to them to withdraw four BS-20 officers of the Pakistan Administrative Services (PAS) and seven BS-20 officers of Police Services of Pakistan (PSP).
The CM wrote to the PM that the provincial government had to respond within 30 days on the ‘proposals’ of transfers as per the Civil Service of Pakistan (Composition and Cadre) Rules, 1954.
He said that the provincial government did not agree to the proposal to withdraw four PAS officers — Hassan Naqvi, Zahid Ali Abbasi, Dr Kazim Hussain Jatoi and Khalid Hyder Shah — and seven BS-20 PSP officers — DIGs Abdullah Shaikh, Nouman Siddiqui, Saqib Ismail Memon, Javed Akbar Riaz, Naeem Shaikh, Maqsood Ahmed and Omar Shahid Hamid.
Demands more PAS, PSP officers to fill shortage in Sindh
However, the chief minister stated that the provincial government agreed to the proposal of sending four PAS officers — Atif Rehman, Khalid Saleem, Noreen Bashir and Ali Hussain Malik — and four PSP officers in BS-20 — DIGs Muhammad Karim Khan, Shahzad Akbar, Muhammad Zubair Dreshak and Syed Khuram Ali.
Giving the legal aspect of the issue, Mr Shah stated that it was evident that the rules necessitated “meaningful consultation” between the prime minister and the chief minister with regards to placement/withdrawal of federal officers from and to a province.
He said that for posting of a chief secretary, the prime minister had to send a name or a panel of names, and the chief minister had to respond to the proposal within 15 days.
“It is also laid down in the Rules that if the chief minister does not respond in 15 days, it will be considered that the chief minister has approved the proposal,” Mr Shah said, adding that this explicitly meant that the chief minister could disapprove the proposal but within 15 days.
Furthermore, he said, it was obligatory for the chief minister to seek approval of the provincial cabinet before responding to the prime minister in case of withdrawal from or transfer to a province of officer other than the chief secretary.
He said that the federal government had not posted the requisite number of officer as per the rules in the last several years. He said that out of 67 seats, only 20 PAS officer were presently available to Sindh, while only 22 BS-20 PSP officers were posted in the province against a total strength of 26.
The CM recalled that the provincial government had approached the federal government several times and wrote to the establishment division to provide the requisite number of officers against the posts reserved for them.
He wrote: “On 25-10-2021, the issue was brought into the notice of Supreme Court, wherein Attorney General of Pakistan assured that sufficient number of officers would be posted in Sindh government on receipt of details of vacant posts from the Sindh government. The Supreme Court directed the Attorney General to ensure that the problem was resolved. Consequently, the Advocate General, Sindh vide his letter dated 27-10.2021 addressed to the Attorney General communicated the details of vacant posts in Sindh government with the request to provide PAS officers of BS-17 and BS-21 as per the share.”
The CM said that while the response to provincial government’s request was still awaited, the establishment division issued notifications on Nov 9 withdrawing four PAS and seven PSP officers of BS-20 from Sindh.
“It may also be mentioned here that recently five PSP officers of BPS-20 were withdrawn from the province. Thus, the proposal of withdrawing more PSP officers would mean that half of the officers in BPS-20 will be new to the province and would know nothing about the administrative challenges.
“Dear Prime Minister, kindly consider the above as the response of the government of Sindh to the proposal of the federal government and direct the establishment division to issue necessary notifications. The establishment division may also please be directed to fill the shortage in BS-17 to BS-21 by deputing requisite number of officers to the province of Sindh,” the chief minister concluded.
Published in Dawn, November 24th, 2021