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Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani talking to Raja Mohammad Abbas who called on him at PM's House.-APP

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has appointed Raja Mohammad Abbas as chief secretary of Sindh, says a press handout released by the Prime Minister Secretariat on Friday.

The post had been lying vacant for almost a year. In September 2010, Kamran Lashari was appointed to the top bureaucratic position in the province, but the government had to reverse its decision within days following Mr Lashari’s indictment by the Supreme Court for his alleged involvement in irregular construction in Islamabad.

Some attribute the delay in filling the position to the highs and lows in the relationship between the PPP and MQM and the appointment was made when the two parties appear to be settling down to a working relationship.

Raja Abbas, the federal secretary of housing and works, has worked in Sindh only for a few years which will make it a challenging assignment for him in a province plagued by target killings and serious law and order situation in Karachi.

“His only relevance to Karachi is the time which he spent with the Pakistan Navy before his induction into civil services and joining the district management group (DMG),” remarked one of his colleagues.

Not wishing to be named, he said the selection of Raja Abbas for the top job in Sindh had come as a surprise for many in the federal service.

The prime minister should have sent one of his best officers to Sindh considering the magnitude of the crisis the province is facing, he said.

Mr Abbas is known to be a close friend of Mr Khushnood Lashari, the principal secretary to the prime minister.

According to the official handout, the prime minister asked Raja Abbas to use all his ability to ensure good governance in the province.