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Fate of bureaucracy in new Punjab setup

An officer who had worked with ex-Chief Minister Buzdar said that CM Hamza’s tenure would be a tough period for bureaucracy as he is immature

Lists of officers who worked on key positions in the previous government is being prepared with a good number of them expected to be transferred or replaced by the officers loyal to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz in Punjab.

Many officers working in Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s office have already been transferred back to their parent departments or the federal government. The Establishment Division is also prepared to replace officers in Punjab. Former Principal Secretary (PS) to the then chief minister Shehbaz Sharif and former Health Secretary Punjab Nabeel Awan are already awaiting postings.

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Official sources in the Civil Secretariat disclosed that the matter of administering oath to Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, who has been elected Chief Minister, is still in the doldrums but a de facto order is in place since the provincial assembly elected him Chief Executive. Background investigations and interviews of some officers show that the new government has already started issuing instructions to its officers. The Hamza-led Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) coalition government is waiting for the nod of the Governor or a representative nominated by the President to start working officially.

An officer who had worked with Ex-Chief Minister Buzdar told this newspaper that CM Hamza’s tenure would be a tough period for bureaucracy as he is immature. He said that he has decided to go on a long leave or avail premature retirement. Sources further revealed that Tahir Khurshid and Aamir Jaan, both former principal secretaries to Usman Buzdar, have already been removed from their offices. Khurshid was previously serving as Incharge Secretary in Islamabad. He said that he expects that they will be tried in the accountability process soon. Moreover, he also told that former Capital City Police Officer Fayyaz Ahmed Dev was also relieved from his duties as he always stressed going by the book.

Talking about the officers who will be reshuffled include the chief secretary, some secretaries of different departments, some commissioners and deputy commissioners and a good number of Assistant Commissioners. A number of district police officers and regional police officers besides other departmental heads would also be reshuffled.

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PML-N lawyer Naseer Ahmad said that the outgoing ruling party was creating hurdles in the way of the newly elected governments. He was of the view that the courts had to interfere to streamline the constitutional business that was the sole discretion of the Parliament. He accused the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leadership of creating a constitutional crisis in Punjab. A PTI worker, Mohammed Umair, denied that his party had done so. He said that his party does not accept this “imported government” and raised questions about its legitimacy. The present setup, he said, could not even start its journey despite the lapse of three weeks. The coalition government would have to go for fresh polls, he stressed.

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