ISLAMABAD: With just days left before the government completes its tenure, an apparent tiff between the elected ministers and the top bureaucrats in the capital have resulted in the transfer of the latter.
On Tuesday, the government notified that the secretary and the additional secretary of the Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) have been transferred.
According to the notification, Azhar Ali Chaudhry — a Basic Pay Scale (BPS) grade-22 officer from the Commerce and Trade Group who was serving as CADD secretary — has been transferred and directed to report to the Establishment Division pending his appointment to any new post which the government deems fit.
Similarly, CADD Additional Secretary Jamal Yousaf, BPS-21 officer, has been transferred and directed to report to Establishment Division.
In their stead, BPS-21 officer Mathar Niaz Rana, who is currently serving the government in Balochistan, has been posted as CADD’s additional secretary.
Chaudhry had taken 15-days leave for a foreign tour. He was supposed to resume his post on Monday, May 21. However, he never showed up, having sent a request for an extension in his leaves.
Reportedly, he skipped his duties in order to avoid signing a summary to forward to the federal cabinet which would have made daily wage workers permanent. Apparently, Chaudhry was against the move.
To resolve the issue, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi handed the task to Additional Secretary Jamal Yousuf. However, sources said that the bureaucracy continued to defy the government.
Moreover, last month while hearing a suo moto notice about the states of affairs at the cardiac and bone marrow transplant centres’ of the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), Supreme Court Chief Justice Saqib Nisar had summoned the Prime Minister’s Secretary Fawad Hasan Fawad to give assurances that the employees of Pims cardiac centre will be paid their salaries within a week and that no one will be harassed or intimidated.
The CADD officials, however, were unable to release the salaries despite orders from the court. The court had also stopped additional secretary from interfering in Pims matters.
Sources said that ultimately, a frustrated CADD Minister Tariq Fazal Chaudhary complained about the issue to the prime minister and the two officers were transferred.
Meanwhile, CADD officials said that the two officers will be unable to resume their duties for a while, hence, to let the government continue working, the officials were transferred.
“The CADD secretary is abroad due to family issues while the additional secretary is ill,” a CADD official said, adding that the officials will be on long leave but the establishment division transferred them for reasons best known to them.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 23rd, 2018.