LAHORE/ISLAMABAD: The Shehbaz Sharif government on Friday removed the heads of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).

According to a notification of the Cabinet Secretariat Establishment Division, “with the approval of the federal government, retired Flt-Lt. Khaqan Murtaza, a BS-21 officer of Pakistan Administrative Service, presently posted as Director General of CAA is transferred and posted as Chairman of Employees Old Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) under Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Division in terms of section 8A(1) of the Employees Old Age Benefits Act 1976 and under section 10 of the Civil Servants Act 1973 with immediate effect and until further orders.”

Mr Murtaza had assumed the DG CAA charge in Nov 2020.

According to source, the government is considering the name of retired Air Vice Marshal Sajid Habib for the slot of the DG CAA.

The government has already announced outsourcing airports in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi in a bid to attract foreign direct investment and provide “world-class facilities” to passengers. The government is keen to implement its privatization policy in the CAA and other under-performing government units/departments.

On the other hand, the Director General Shoaib Khoso lost his job in a row between his department, Pakistan Sports Board (PSB), with it administrative ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC).

The IPC ministry terminated the contract of Khoso on Friday and the Establishment Division issued a notification in this regard. The ED also assigned the additional charge of DG PSB to Zahoor Ahmed, a BS-21 officer of Secretariat Group presently working as additional secretary in the IPC ministry for a period of three months. Earlier this week, after the return of Khoso, PSB challenged the authority of secretary IPC and termed the postings, assigning look-after charge in the board by the ministry as contradictory to the Establishment Division’s rules.

In the letter sent to the Secretary IPC on April 15, the Deputy Director General (Admin) of PSB Mansoor Ahmed Khan stated that while the DG PSB was on ex-Pakistan leave, the ministry assigned the charge to a junior officer of BS-19.

The letter termed this as against the Management Pay Scale Police approved by the Prime Minister that provides that “the current charge/additional charge of the position of Heads of Autonomous Bodies in MP-Scales only be granted to a civil or government servants of equivalent grade and that too with the approval of appointing authority which is the Prime Minister of Pakistan.”

It further said that the officer who had been assigned the look-after charge “requisitioned the services of various officers on deputation basis for PSB which is purely an administrative matter which also involved financial implications. Such decision does not fall in the ambit of look-after charge range, therefore, is violative of clarification of the Establishment Division.”

Sarfraz Rasoo, an Assistant Engineer of the PSB on April 17 challenged the posting transfers made in the Board by the acting DG PSB and the Islamabad High Court (IHC) issued a stay order in this regard. The appointment of DG PSB was also subjudice before the IHC, however, the IPC ministry terminated his service contract “by paying one month’s salary in lieu of one month notice, with immediate effect.”

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2024

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