LAHORE: In a surprising turn of events, Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz has imposed a ban on transfers and postings in the province. The decision follows the transfer of Jhang Deputy Commissioner Abdullah Khurrum Niazi.

On Friday, the Punjab Services and General Administration Department issued a notification relieving Niazi of his duties to join the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on a two-year deputation. In his place, Deputy Secretary (Staff) to Chief Secretary Muhammad Umair was posted as the Jhang DC.

According to a CM office notification available with Dawn, “Chief Minister Punjab is pleased to impose a complete ban on all kinds of transfers/postings with immediate effect, till further orders.”

It further said: “In case of any posting/transfer, which is required to be made on extreme hardship/compassionate or administrative grounds, prior approval will be sought from the chief minister through a summary containing details of tenure of the officer and vacancy position, etc.”

A senior government official said the chief minister was not informed about this transfer. And when she learnt about it, she directed the issuance of a notification imposing an immediate ban on all transfers and postings until further notice.

The chief minister convened a meeting to discuss the issue and questioned why she was not informed about the transfer order of the DC.

Chief Secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman reportedly explained her that the proposal for the transfer and posting was made by the interim government on Feb 28, and the order was released later.

Maryam Nawaz, who was elected as CM on Feb 26, expressed her displeasure and decided to impose a complete ban on postings and transfers.

The senior officer confirmed that transfers and postings at the DC and commissioner level cannot be done without the knowledge of the chief minister.

Earlier, seven government officials, including Punjab Chief Secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman, were inducted into the Pakistan Cricket Board as caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar continues to take long-term decisions before an elected prime minister (who is also PCB patron-in-chief) takes charge on Sunday (tomorrow).

First, the caretaker PM nominated Mohsin Naqvi for the post of PCB chairman. At that time, Mohsin was also working as caretaker Punjab chief minister. Later, he was elected PCB chief on Feb 6, two days before the general elections in the country.

PRINCIPAL SECY: The Punjab government on Friday posted Sajid Zafar Dall as principal secretary to the chief minister.

Mr Dall (PAS/BS-20) was serving in the Punjab Housing Urban Development and Public Health Engineering department.

The Punjab government also relieved former principal secretary to chief minister Sumair Ahmad Syed (PAS/BS-19) of his duties in the provincial government with immediate effect, to join his new assignment as Joint secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office, Islamabad.

The government transferred deputy secretary (staff) to chief secretary Muhammad Umair and posted him as the Jhang DC.

(Mansoor Malik also contributed to this report)

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2024

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