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Shahbaz asks Raja to avoid reshuffle in Punjab

March 22, 2013

Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif. — Photo by APP/File

LAHORE: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday asked Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to avoid posting federal officers in the province or pulling them out of the province and adhere to the spirit of fair play, neutrality and transparency.In a letter, the chief minister asked the prime minister to leave this important decision (of posting and transfers) to the upcoming caretaker setup.

His reminder followed a request made by Punjab Chief Secretary Nasir Khosa to the prime minister earlier in the day to withdraw him from the province for a posting in the federal government. The chief secretary was reportedly expected to go to the federal government early this month. But official sources at that time said he was asked to stay on against his will.

The chief secretary in his letter to the prime minister said that for a number of reasons it appeared appropriate that he should not serve in the province now. His argument was that any perception of continuity at senior positions in government would not be in public interest.

“Traditions are inter-generational and civil servants are custodians of the baton which is passed on. And in this march of time, civil service is a ligament that binds the past, present and future. It continues with the business of the state, particularly in times of transition, as the affairs of the state must be attended to on a daily basis, indeed continuous basis,” he said while requesting the prime minister to withdraw his services from the Punjab government for a posting in the federal government.

Sources told Dawn on Thursday that the chief minister did not want any change in the civil administration and police during the interim period. He did not want the removal of his team of federal civil servants and police officials posted during his tenure in the province and that was why he asked the prime minister to stop doing so.

“He does not simply want shuffling of the bureaucratic cards at this time of the game,” a senior officer commented.

In his letter to the prime minister, the chief minister said: “After the dissolution of the assemblies our role now is restricted and limited to day-to-day management and it refrains ourselves from any major policy decision.

“At this critical juncture I want to bring this fact to your knowledge that the federal government must now avoid placement or pulling of officer / officers in the provinces in the spirit of fair play, neutrality and transparency. The posting of officers in the federation and the federating units must now be carried out through a consultative process without compromising the principle of neutrality of the administration. The posting plan of two All-Pakistan services operate within the rule framework developed/ enforced by agreements and notified as Rules formulated in terms of Articles 146, 147, 241 and 268 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

“In case of CSP/DMG/PAS, the federal-provincial and provincial-provincial transfers must ensure compliance with Rule 15 of the CSP/ PAS (Composition & Cadre) Rules 1954 as agreed to be substituted by the IPC on 19th September 1993.

“Likewise, for the transfers of the police officers, the federal government must ensure faithful compliance with the consultative mechanism enshrined in PSP (C & C) Rules 1985.

“The federal government must leave this important decision to the incoming caretaker setup. The new governments must be allowed to bring their own teams through mutual consultation in accordance with law.”