PESHAWAR: The provincial bureaucracy and the caretaker cabinet is apparently embroiled in a tug-of-war over transfers and postings for heads of various departments in the province with at least one interim minister threatening to resign if orders of the chief minister on transfers were ignored.
The caretaker Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Agriculture, Irrigation and Food Minister Anwarul Haq has written to the Chief Minister’s Principal Secretary Akbar Khan — who also holds the charge of agriculture and
livestock secretary — expressing his annoyance over the disregard for the caretaker chief minister’s orders.
K-P’s interim Chief Minister Justice (retired) Dost Muhammad had directed to transfer Excise and Taxation Secretary Israr Khan and post him as the agriculture and livestock secretary.
In the letter, a copy of which was released to media and available with The Express Tribune shows that the caretaker chief minister had issued the transfer order on July 27, 2018.
Haq notes in the letter that the caretaker chief minister had also entrusted the additional charge of the irrigation department to Israr.
But the orders have yet to be implemented.
Haq says that Israr has already served once as the secretary of the provincial agriculture and livestock department, hence he has the relevant experience to run the department well. However, orders of the chief minister were not implemented.
The caretaker minister went on to expresses his annoyance over the matter and stated that he would prefer to resign than disobey the chief minister.
He urged that the orders of chief minister are implemented in letter and spirit and the notification for Israr‘s appointment is issued.
The letter has been forwarded to the chief minister.
When The Express Tribune tried to contact him, Haq was not available for comments.
However, Israr and the CM’s Principal Secretary Akbar Khan denied having any knowledge the letter.
“I am a civil servant and would serve wherever the competent authority directs me to serve,” Israr stated categorically, adding, he has already served on multiple positions in the agriculture department, including at the post of secretary for a year. Moreover, he pointed out that he also holds a PhD in agriculture, hence the post suits his background.
Akbar stated that being a civil servant, he is bound to follow the directives of the competent authority.
“I am doing my duties as a civil servant,” he stated, explaining that notification for Israr’s transfers may be subject to approval from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which was busy in the elections and they might not have had the time to look into the matter.
He added that the ECP was looking after all postings and transfers due to the elections.