An amendment in rules authorising former chief secretaries (CS) residing outside Punjab to receive life-time facilities has come too late for Masood Nabi Noor.
On Tuesday, the application of the wife of former CS Masood Nabi Noor written on May 24 to extend facilities provided to other former CSs to the ailing former diplomat was approved via a change in rules, almost a month after his death. Noor had served as Punjab and Sindh CS in the 70s.
Earlier, in the first week of May, Chief Secretary Nasir Mehmood Khosa issued directives to the Services and General Administration Department (S&GAD) to provide life time perks and privileges to retired provincial CSs.
Subsequently, the S&GAD wrote letters seeking the consent of nine retired CSs; including Javed Ahmed Qureshi, Hafiz Akhtar Randhawa, Imtiaz Masroor, Pervaiz Masood, Aslam Hayat Qureshi, Kamran Rasool, Suleman Siddiqui, Najibullah Malik and Masood Nabi Noor.
They sought consent to provide them facilities as per a notification issued by the Welfare Wing on July 11, 2005.
After all nine agreed, officials found that Noor could not be extended the facilities according to the earlier S&GAD notification. He was residing in Islamabad while the notification did not apply to those living outside Punjab.
Rahit Masood, the wife of the late Noor, told The Express Tribune, “The perks offered by the government mean nothing to me since Noor died on July 5 after a protracted illness.”
“The attitude of bureaucrats and amount of red-tape is upsetting,” she said. She said she had written a letter to the current CS two months ago to inform him that Noor was bed-ridden and the family would appreciate being provided a driver to help take him to hospital for treatment. “We also requested a security guard for safety,” she said.
She said it was unfortunate that the policy amendment had come after the death of her husband.
She said Noor and the family had appreciated the government’s offer of facilities but they were never provided.
An official from the chief minister’s secretariat, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said a number of retired CSs had petitioned the provincial government in 2005 to provide them drivers since they could not afford them.
He said the government had decided to provide them a driver, security guard, free access to government rest houses, pick and drop facilities and a staff car for three days during tours to other provinces.
Asked why the matter was delayed and whether the recent rule change was due to Noor’s application, Mubashar Raza, secretary of Implementation and Coordination and staff officer to the CS, refused to comment.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2012.
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