Job security and tenure security have become oxymorons in the higher echelons of bureaucracy, and after every regime change, the latter usually have to succumb to politicized approaches.
Although officers have been transferred but the scale of transfer is not so massive this time. Even the chief secretary, the additional chief secretary and the IGP are among officers transferred after a change of political masters. However, this time, astonishingly, Chief Secretary Kamran Ali Afzal, Additional Chief Secretary Ali Murtaza and IGP Sardar Ali Khan were not transferred.
The Minute Mirror’s investigations on frequent transfers and postings of officers revealed that though there are principles, but they are not applied in this regard generally. Either there is no government database on transfers of civil servants across the country or in Punjab or officers don’t like to share it.
The reported facts reflect that during the outgoing chief minister Usman Buzdar’s government, the transfers and postings of officers were more frequent. Dozens of officers, including the assistant commissioners, had been transferred in a single day without mentioning any reason. There were also allegations of minting of money for this notorious exercise as many say that was good for nothing.
CM Buzdar had in his own hometown transferred many commissioners, DCs and ACs. Farah Khan and Company, as many alleged, minted money against lucrative positions in the province. A good 10 divisional commissioners were transferred in Dera Ghazi Khan by the Buzdar government. Rana Gulzar, Tahir Khurshid, Asadullah Faiz, Mudassar Riaz Malik, Nasim Sadiq, Sajid Zafar Dal, Irshad Ahmed, Sarah Aslam, Muhammad Zeeshan and Liaquat Ali Chattha were among them.
During the PTI government, four commissioners, six deputy commissioners, six RPOs, and five City Police Officers were transferred in Rawalpindi. Also, six commissioners in Lahore and seven in Gujranwala were transferred by the PTI government. However, after the change in command both in Punjab and Islamabad, the PML-N government did not make a reshuffle on a massive level. Contrary to past practice, the chief secretary, the additional chief secretary, secretaries to different departments, inspector general of police and others were directed to continue in the offices they were holding before the regime change.
Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Aamir Jan was transferred and replaced by barrister Nabeel Ahmed Awan. Capital City Police Officer Fayyaz Ahmed Dev was also repatriated to the federal government.
Advocate General Punjab Ahmed Awais was also removed. Director General Anti-Corruption Establishment Punjab Manzoor Hussain Nasir was also transferred and posted as secretary of Special Education Department. Specialized Healthcare Secretary Dr. Ahmed Javed Qazi was transferred and posted as secretary industries department. Qazi, as some say, a competent and hardworking officer deserved posting in a demanding department, not Industries.
School Education Department Secretary Ghulam Farid was also transferred and posted as OSD until further orders. Ali Jaan Khan, who was awaiting posting, was posted as Specialised Healthcare secretary.
He will also hold the additional charge of the post of secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department. Jan had also served in the Health Department as secretary during the last tenure of Shehbaz Sharif in Punjab and has been facing charges in the procurement of medicine, etc, in NAB.
Secretaries, commissioners, deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners continue to hold their offices. Some officers were relieved of their duties enabling them to attend the National Management Course. The officers include Forest Department Secretary Shahid Zaman, Youth Affairs Secretary Aamir Jan Industries Secretary Wasif Khurshid.
On the condition of anonymity, a senior officer said that it would be good to not draw affiliation of the officers to a particular party. He said that the officers have no other option but to serve all the governments.
Those who become politically affiliated damage the collective cause of administration and serving people, he held.