G-B official keeps demotion secret, enjoys perks and privileges for whole year

Abrar Hussain held Additional Chief Secretary, Secretary Planning posts and received salary of grade-20 officers

Shabbir Mir April 09, 2021


A senior government official, reverted to grade-19 in April 2020, kept his demotion secret for whole year, illegally enjoying perks and privileges of grade-20 officers in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B).

“Syed Abrar Hussain was promoted to BPS-20 on regular basis, in that service, is hereby cancelled/withdrawn ab-initio. The services of Abrar Hussain (PAS/BS 19-19) will remain at the disposal of the government of G-B w.e.f. 28-01-2019 and until further orders,” reads a letter issued by the establishment division Islamabad on April 21, 2020, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune.

The scam, first of its nature in G-B, has raised serious questions over the regional government’s performance as Abrar also held two key portfolios of Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) and Secretary Planning and Development simultaneously.

The influential officer, however, managed to keep the notification confidential with the connivance of his staff and Muhammad Khuram Aga, the then chief secretary who had also been copied in the notification sent by the establishment division.

“Until recently, he had been receiving salary of a grade-20 [officer],” a senior official in the G-B government, requesting anonymity, told The Express Tribune this week.

This was corroborated by Abrar’s salary slip of July 2020 – three months after the demotion – wherein he has been shown in the grade-20 slab. A copy of the salary slip is also available with The Express Tribune.

Abrar’s posting to G-B and then his elevation to the position of ACS came during Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman government of PML-N that ended in June 2020. But the ex-CM did not have any idea about his demotion though it happened while he was the chief minister. “I wasn’t aware about his demotion,” Rehman told The Express Tribune on Friday.

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The former chief minister confirmed he wasn’t provided Abrar’s ACR (Annual Confidential Report) either. “I'm now sure the former chief secretary was involved in this scam as he didn’t share Abrar’s ACR or his notification of demotion with me.”

Rehman demanded an inquiry at the highest level into the scam that not only involved financial embezzlement but also misuse of authority.

Despite repeated attempts, Abrar Hussain could not be reached as he was out of his office.


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