PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Tuesday withdrew official private secretaries from four former chief ministers, who had been working with them for many years.

According to a notification issued by the establishment department, the private secretaries were withdrawn from former chief ministers Pir Sabir Shah, Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan, Amir Haider Khan Hoti and Pervez Khattak in line with a decision taken by the provincial cabinet on March 8.

Among them was Syed Haris Shah, who had been working with Pir Sabir Shah as the private secretary since 1994. He was sent back repatriated to his parent irrigation department.

Private secretary Ubaidullah Saleem, who had been working with Sardar Mahtab since 1999, was posted to the establishment and administration department against the vacant post.

Khadim Hussain, the private secretary to Haider Hoti, was repatriated to the establishment department, while Ali Hassan Qureshi, who worked with Pervez Khattak as the private secretary on deputation, was repatriated to the elementary and secondary education department.

Move comes in line with cabinet’s decision

The government decided in its first meeting to withdraw the perks and privileges of the province’s former chief ministers.

“As a poor country, we can’t afford to provide perks and privileges to former CMs. All these facilities, including guards and government vehicles, are being taken back [from them] here,” Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur told reporters after his cabinet’s maiden meeting on March 8.

REPLY SOUGHT: The Peshawar High Court on Tuesday sought a reply from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to the plea of former chief minister and chief of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-Parliamentarians Mahmood Khan against the withdrawal of official guards from him by the government.

A bench consisting of Justice Syed Attique Shah and Justice Syed Arshad Ali issued the order after preliminary hearing of a petition filed by Mr Mahmood requesting the court to declare the withdrawal of security from him illegal.

Senior lawyer Shumail Ahmad Butt appeared for the petitioner and said his client had served the province as its chief minister and was now heading his political party.

He added that current Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur, after assuming his office, ordered the withdrawal of security from all his predecessors.

“Chief Minister Gandapur declared that the former chief ministers should hire private security guards for themselves and the security won’t be provided to them at the government’s expenses,” he said.

The lawyer said in the past, a chief minister was entitled to two security personnel, which was later on increased to eight personnel.

Justice Arshad wondered whether deputing eight security guards for an individual won’t be in excess and a burden on the exchequer.

Mr Butt contended that provision of security to former chief executives of the province was necessary as they’re politicians and there were threats to their lives.

Justice Shah observed that in that case, the sessions judges, commissioners and deputy commissioners would also needing security.

He added that the sessions judges had been performing much tougher job, then they would need more security.

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

ICJ rebuke
Updated 26 May, 2024

ICJ rebuke

The reason for Israel’s criminal behaviour is that it is protected by its powerful Western friends.
Hot spells
26 May, 2024

Hot spells

WITH Pakistan already dealing with a heatwave that has affected 26 districts since May 21, word from the climate...
Defiant stance
26 May, 2024

Defiant stance

AT a time when the country is in talks with the IMF for a medium-term loan crucial to bolstering the fragile ...
More pledges
Updated 25 May, 2024

More pledges

There needs to be continuity in economic policies, while development must be focused on bringing prosperity to the masses.
Pemra overreach
25 May, 2024

Pemra overreach

IT seems, at best, a misguided measure and, at worst, an attempt to abuse regulatory power to silence the media. A...
Enduring threat
25 May, 2024

Enduring threat

THE death this week of journalist Nasrullah Gadani, who succumbed to injuries after being attacked by gunmen, is yet...