As the results of the by-polls held Sunday predict a change of guards in Punjab with Ch Parvez Elahi wearing the crown, a large-scale reshuffle in bureaucracy is on the cards.
Sources in the power corridors reveal that the would-be chief minister, Ch Parvez Elahi, has started working on the task. Elahi has been aggrieved over the role of the Chief Secretary and Inspector General of Police during the election for the chief minister Punjab. For the first time in the history of the province and provincial assembly both of the top officers had played, as Elahi alleged, an extra-constitutional role on the direction of PML-N office bearers.
As speaker assembly, Elahi had demanded the two officers to come to the House and apologize openly. But they never turned up. Some members of the provincial assembly on Monday (yesterday) had also demanded of the House custodian, the speaker, to summon the administrative and police heads. Elahi as the chief executive would either force the top officers to apologize or surrender them to the Establishment Division, a top source confided.
Moreover, a senior officer close to Elahi disclosed on the condition of anonymity that the new CM would constitute his own team. All the officers who had a close liaison with the ruling Muslim League would not be included in it, he said. It must be noted here that when Hamza Shahbaz became the chief executive, although controversially, he had made a major change in the bureaucracy. Besides transferring eight administrative secretaries he had also transferred officers who were allegedly posted through Farah Gogi’s channel. However, a good number of such officers were posted to other lucrative positions.
The PTI had termed all these administrative decisions by CM Hamza as infructuous as the main opposition party was never ready to acknowledge the legal position of the chief minister. After consulting his father, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza also surrendered many officers in Punjab. Official sources also claim that the junior officers who were posted to upscale positions will also be transferred.
Hamza had posted grade 19 officers as secretaries or commissioners, ignoring grade 20 or 21 senior officers. He said that grade 19 officers, including Secretary Energy Ajmal Bhatti, Food Nadir Chattha, Information Mansoor Ahmed Raja, secretary CM Office Asif Tufail, Secretary Higher Education Najaf Iqbal, Commissioner Sahiwal Division Silwat Saeed and some others are also likely to be removed and replaced by senior officers.
Other officers on the hit list of Elahi maybe Additional Chief Secretaries Home and S&GAD, ACS South Punjab, Secretary to CM Nabeel Awan, Chairman P&D, some administrative Secretaries, Director General Anti-Corruption Establishment Abdul Jabbar, IG Prisons, DC and Commissioner Lahore Mohammed Usman, a good number of other Commissioners and DCs or ACs. Likewise, besides the Capital City Police Officer, the Regional Police Officers and District Police Officers posted by Hamza will also be transferred. He said that this time the political or private heads of the autonomous bodies or corporations will also be changed who could maneuver the upcoming general elections.
Those officers who were removed on purely political grounds like Secretary Mines Amir Ejaz Akbar and officers transferred from Gujrat or made OSD will be considered for postings. He further said that those police personnel who manhandled the PTI long marchers and peaceful protestors on the directions of the Interior Ministry will also be taken to task. Some of them, he said, may be sent packing after disciplinary proceedings. Responding to a query on the dissolution of the provincial assembly after the PTI-led coalition takes over in Punjab he said that the same was under consideration on serious grounds. The officer further said that there would be no compromise on the agenda this time, come what may. Another senior officer of the Punjab Assembly said that all the actions taken by the default PMLN administration, like undermining the legislature to the administrative department, would be reversed. A committee to probe the role of bureaucracy in manipulating the elections would further pave the way on how to act further.