The prime minister has shuffled two top bureaucrats, replacing Balochistan Chief Secretary Ahmed Bakhsh Lehri with Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad, in an apparent move to fix the law and order situation in Balochistan.
However, an official notification is yet to be issued.
The decision to change the Balochistan chief secretary comes at a time when Lehri was assisting the Supreme Court in several high-profile cases, particularly the suo motu case on the “deplorable law and order in the province.”
Interesting, newly appointed Babar Yaqoob, a BPS-21 officer of the District Management Group, is a first cousin of Pakistan Peoples Party lawmaker Chaudhry Tassadaq Masood Khan.
The development came soon after a ‘meeting’ between Masood and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani at the Prime Minister House on Saturday afternoon. A spokesperson for the prime minister confirmed the news through a text message.
“Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad, presently the Kashmir and G-B Affairs secretary, has been posted as the new chief secretary of Balochistan,” he told The Express Tribune.
However, he neither confirmed nor denied when asked if the posting was politically motivated. An official notification would be issued on the next working day.
Lehri, however, told The Express Tribune that he was not aware of any such development. According to him, he has not received any verbal instructions or an official notification so far.
“I was performing my duties as being directed by the government. I don’t know what I did that earned me the wrath of the government,” he said.
Lehri has been assisting the Supreme Court with some key cases for the past two years. While the apex court was satisfied with Lehri’s performance, it expressed deep concerns over the performance of Inspector General Police Balochistan Amin Hashim. The court has directed Hashim to submit a satisfactory detailed report on “each missing persons in Balochistan”.
Officials associated with the Prime Minister Secretariat said that Lehri, who was summoned by Islamabad on Friday, has been directed to report to the Establishment Division on Monday.
The government was not satisfied with Lehri’s performance saying that he could not deliver when it came to controlling the law and order situation in the province. Lehri, who will get superannuation in 2014, was appointed as Balochistan chief secretary on February 10, 2010.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 25th, 2012.
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