PM holds promotions of 395 officers

Casts doubt on CSB chairman, board members’ eligibility and decision-making powers


Aamir Ilyas Rana March 01, 2017
The federal government saw transfers and appointments at secretary level. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has turned down Central Selection Board (CSB) recommendations for promoting almost 400 bureaucrats from grade 20 to grade 21.

Among the 395 affected bureaucrats are some 85 who were superseded. The CSB would not consider their cases [for promotion] again for at least one year.

The prime minister approved a summary recommending the deferral of the promotions of 301 officers.

While referring back the promotions of the other 94 officers, the PM expressed reservations about their eligibility and the decision-making powers of CSB Chairman Naveed Akram Cheema and other board members.

Moreover, four officers of the board could not get promoted to grade 20 whose cases were recommended by the CSB to the prime minister despite holding a clean record and fulfilling the promotion criteria.

This is because the vacant posts in grade 20 in the Foreign Service and Information Group on which these officers were recommended to could not be vacated since the prime minister has referred back the cases of grade 21 officers.

Among them are Raja Iftikhar of the Information Group who is set to retire next month, Sohail Ali Khan (also of the Information Group) and two officers of the Foreign Service – Adnan Ahmed and Sohail Siddiqui.

The prime minister also approved to expand the scope of Section 7 of the Civil Servants Act to cover all those employees who were recommended for promotions in the board meeting held on December 14, 2016.

All these officers – even if they retire – would also be eligible to avail the benefits.

The prime minister has also held back the promotions of those officers who have been deputed to the four federating units, Gilgit-Baltistan and other departments at secretary-level posts.

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Among them is one bureaucrat whose father was also a senior bureaucrat and a close aide to the prime minister.

Those affected by the PM’s order included: Iqbal Hussain Durrani, son-in-law of former Sindh chief minister Qaim Ali Shah; Gilgit-Baltistan IG Zafar Iqbal; Shabbir Ahmed Bhatti, a in-law of Cabinet Division Secretary Nadeem Hasan Asif; Tanveer Ahmed, a relative of former FBR chairman Nisar Khan; Punjab Transport Secretary Javed Akbar; Provincial Census Commissioner Arif Baloch; Punjab Taxation Secretary Ahmed Bilal; Punjab Planning Secretary Iftikhar Ahmed Sahoo; and Sindh Forests Secretary Manzoor Ali Shaikh.

Meanwhile, the prime minister not only ordered to consider the cases of ‘referred back’ officers in grade 20 and grade 21 in the next CSB meeting but asked the board to also make sure that the posts remain vacated.

In light of the Supreme Court’s observations regarding promotions in the bureaucracy, PM Nawaz Sharif had directed the board in 2014 to consider a candidate’s general views, practical experience and merit before recommending him or her for promotion.

While referring back the promotions of officers, the prime minister has observed that the CSB chairman and members of the board should have given consideration to talent, ability, honesty and general views of a candidate.

Annual reports, training reports and general views about a candidate should also have been given preference, it noted.

The PM’s summary observed that the board had recommended the promotions of those officers who acted against the interests of the general public as well as those whose cases were superseded and deferred by the board in 2015.

In one case, the CSB recommended the promotion of an officer whose departmental reports were all negative, the summary observed.

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