These falling stars!

‘Abrupt posting and later on unceremonious exit of several officers, all competent and gentlemen to the core, have not been treated well by these jinxed corridors’

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Some places are jinxed. I’m 100 percent convinced. Earlier, I didn’t believe in new or old superstition that a certain number is unlucky or the old building down the lane houses ghosts.

The recent developments have, however, made me a firm believer of these superstitious beliefs.

You believe it or not, that is you’re your cup of tea. Forgive me for not being polite.

Let me make my point: certain seats of power in the present setup have not been so kind to their occupiers. These are jinxed spots. What about the offices of chief secretary and inspector general of police? The abrupt posting and later on unceremonious exit of several officers, all competent and gentlemen to the core, have not been treated well by these jinxed corridors.

While taking a walk in the power corridor of Punjab, when one comes across the highest information handling office, the matter of doomed posting strikes again.

The office has been so unkind to several people.

Just last week, the workplace sent marching orders for our friend Fayyazul Hassan Chohan and welcomed Hasan Khawar. Let us pray the incumbent spokesperson for the Punjab government is spared the fate of his predecessors Chohan, Dr Firdos Ashiq Awan, and so on.

There are contradicting views about the competence of Fayyazul Hassan Chohan. A section of the media thinks he has never been the right man for the office he occupied. His only credential that won him a high berth in the PTI was to castigate his neighbor and PML-N stalwart Hanif Abbasi of Rawalpindi. Now that Abbasi is dormant, it is hard for the government to defend Chohan, whose job was to defend the government. The other section sees Chohan, a fearless political worker and media workers’ friend.

Hassan Khawar is now the new spokesperson of the Punjab government. A former bureaucrat, Khawar has experience in international development and public policy. His profile includes carrying out development projects in Pakistan, US, Korea, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

He has worked for reforms and innovations with the UNDP to improve public sector performance.

He has vowed to perform with a difference for the Punjab government. Punjab needed an educated and qualified person to be its spokesperson. A spokesperson is basically the face of the province.

Khawar was already working as Special Assistant to the Chief Minister (SACM) on Information and Special Initiatives.

However, the manner to replace Chohan with him leaves much to be desired. Chohan was at a press conference when reporters told him that TV channels are reporting that he has been replaced. So embarrassing!

Almost similar was the fate of Firdous Ashiq Awan. She was also told about her removal through the journalists she was addressing a press conference. To add insult to injury, she was even not allowed to enter the Punjab Assembly in full public view. She could have been conveyed official decisions in a manner that could have saved her public humiliation.

After her removal, a federal minister kept on issuing insulting statements against her, which amounts to kicking her when she was down.

Ms Awan had replaced Chohan back in 2019.

After his third removal from the office, we can only hope that this fate does not befall Hassan Khawar.