Political uncertainty in the country has led to administrative collapse all over Pakistan, especially in the centre and the largest province, Punjab.
Once again the news that the top civil and police chiefs are being transferred has surfaced on the canvas. Does the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government want to manipulate its numerical position in Punjab? But the methodology the government is most likely to exercise may not give desired results because of the polarisation within the PTI itself.
Some quarters had conveyed that desired results to manipulate the election of chief minister Punjab could not be achieved from the present chief secretary and the inspector general. In order to manipulate the political numbers game, this correspondent has learnt from reliable sources that the government has decided to replace them with their loyalists.
The civil servants are expected to be loyal to the system, state and the constitution. The same was reiterated by the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam.
As reported, both CS Kamran Ali Afzal and IG Rao Sardar have refused to manipulate the election of the Punjab CM by forcing the MPAs to vote for the ruling party’s candidate.
Party chief Imran Khan had time and again blamed his opponents and political parties of ‘Changa Manga’ politics, horse-trading and manoeuvring. And he has also accused the political opponents of buying the conscience of his party leaders and other members of the ruling alliance. But there exists no evidence of using money to win support of MPAs. The PML-Q has blamed that some dissidents had been confined to a local hotel and the same was challenged in the LHC by Kamil Ali Agha of Ch Parvez Elahi group. Elahi, currently speaker, contests for the CM office.
IK’s handling of the provincial affairs, wrong selection of the person for the chief minister’s slot and involvement of Farah Khan in the transfers/postings and posting of corrupt bureaucrats at lucrative slots, had been the root causes of the downfall of Buzdar’s government. This scenario also damaged Khan in Islamabad.
As reported, Usman Buzdar has forwarded three names each for the top administrative and police slots.
The officers include former Punjab chief secretary and presently federal interior secretary Yusuf Naseem Khokhar, Chairman Planning and Development Board Abdullah Khan Sumbal and former principal secretary to the CM, Tahir Khurshid. Khurshid (popularly known as TK) is reportedly the favourite one because of his personal contacts with Farah Khan. Sumbal has refused to be a runner.
Imran Khan should not forget that there is a hot debate on ‘monetary-engineering’ for transfers and postings in Punjab. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and his principal secretaries especially TK (former) and Amir Jan (present) have been under fire for their close association with Farah Khan and her husband Ahsan Jameel Gujjar. Farah as well as her husband Gujjar have already fled the country to Dubai and America.
Inquiries are pending against Khurshid in the National Accountability Bureau for his alleged corruption in contracts while he was secretary C&W under Buzdar and as principal secretary and also assets beyond means.
Moreover, he has political affiliation as his son-in-law belongs to the ruling party.
Avoiding political and administrative manoeuvring, Imran Khan should focus on his agenda for the upcoming elections and how to motivate the new generation.
After the failure of Wasim Akram plus because of his incompetence and choice of corrupt bureaucrats, acting on advice of Usman Buzdar at this crucial juncture is likely to create a disaster for the PTI as a political party.
When a chief minister resigned from office and his cabinet ceased to exist, best course of action was to wait for the outcome of the voting for the CM in the provincial assembly.
Imran Khan should realize that his handling of country’s economy and affairs of the biggest province of Punjab were poor pitches for the Imran Khan government.
The Buzdar government has only focused on transfers and postings. Just take the provincial capital Lahore where six commissioners and six deputy commissioners were transferred during the PTI government. Saif Anjum, Dr. Mujtaba Piracha , Zulfqar Ghumman, Asif Bilal and Usman Yunus were among commissioners frequently transferred. And as many as five principal secretaries had been transferred that included Dr. Raheel Siddiqui, Shoaib Akbar, Iftikhar Sahoo, Tahir Khurshid and Amir Jan. There is a long list of administrative secretaries, additional secretaries, deputy secretaries, section officers etc. The same was true about the police force. The acts of the Buzdar government were violation of the Supreme Court order in Anita Turab case.
The party leadership should review and analyse the reasons as to why it could not achieve its goal of bringing reforms in the system.
PML-N Opposition Leader Hamza Shahbaz has challenged the Punjab government’s move to transfer the CS and IGP in the Lahore High Court. The PTI should wait for the decision on it.
Naseer Ahmad advocate, while talking on the current situation, said that political wisdom should always override the personal whims. He was of the view that the incumbent government should avoid manipulating the political process through official hands. Let the political process take its way and no political party should violate due process of law and constitution, he desired.
Sadiq Ali, a political worker of the Muslim League, said that all is not well in the country. He said that PTI was violating the democratic norms in the country. The transfer of the officers was just to further manipulate the political scenario.
Ejaz Hussain, a PTI worker, said that all acts of opposition both in Punjab and centre with foreign hand show that some politicians are for sale. He said that they must be banned.
An officer of the Services & General Administration confirmed that ten commissioners in DG Khan, the hometown of CM Buzdar were transferred during over three years of the government. Commissioners in Lahore, Gujranwala and Rawalpindi were also frequently transferred. There are serious allegations that Farah Khan used to get millions on the posting/transfer of a deputy commissioner.
Rana Gulzar, Tahir Khurshid, Asad Ullah Faiz, Mudassir Riaz Malik, Naseem Sadiq, Sajid Zafar, Dr. Irshad Ahmad, Sarah Aslam, Zeeshan Lashari, and Liaquat Ali Chattha were among the commissioners transferred by Buzdar in his home division. Likewise, a number of other officers like ACs, DCs were also transferred without any apparent reasons.
The PTI government came to power having a manifesto of change. The frequent transfers and postings after allegedly greasing the palms of the principal secretaries and Farah Khan are making newspaper headlines. At this critical juncture, posting of Khurshid as chief secretary of Punjab would just reinforce the present perception about Khurshid’s personal equation with Farah Khan in the transfers/postings in Punjab and also about shelter of national leadership of PTI government in such a dirty game. The PTI should avoid this trick for its ideological politics.