Transfers and appointments: Lashari whisked away in bureaucracy reshuffle

Principal secretary to the premier not given a new assignment.

Sumera Khan July 07, 2012


On the two-week anniversary of his premiership, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf pulled the trigger on a major reshuffle in the federal bureaucracy on Friday – a reshuffle that has consequences for at least one major scandal currently under investigation.

Among the major moves was the one that saw the changing of the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister – the point man of the country’s top office. Special Secretary to the Prime Minister, Ayub Qazi, replaced Khushnood Akhtar Lashari, a man mired in a number of controversies, as principal secretary.

On his part, Lashari has not been given a new assignment because he has applied for ‘leave prior to retirement’. Interestingly, he doesn’t retire until next year – possibly in April. “It is difficult to say whether Lashari will be given another post because of his alleged involvement in the ephedrine scandal and ‘loud words’ in favour of former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani and his son Ali Musa,” an official told The Express Tribune.

Currently, there are conflicting reports about the Lashari’s whereabouts, with family saying that he is in the United Kingdom for treatment for a stomach ailment. A senior Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) official said Lashari’s “escape from the country” would not help him.

He is alleged to have played a two-pronged role in the scandal: first as health secretary in 2010 when the ephedrine quotas were allocated, and then as the PM’s principal secretary in 2011 when he allegedly tried to pressure ANF investigators to divert the inquiry against Ali Musa.

The allegations were mentioned in an affidavit submitted by ANF’s director general to the Supreme Court.

The official added that the apex court could summon Lashari any time and “if he did not show up, an arrest warrant will definitely be issued against him, no matter where he is or whatever disease he is suffering from.”

Other postings

The premier also posted Taimoor Azmat Usman as Establishment Secretary, while Chaudhry Rashid Ahmad replaced him as the new Information Secretary.

Rashid previously served as the Principal Information Officer at the Press Information Department.

Regulation and Services Secretary Javed Iqbal replaces Dr Waqar Masood as the Economic Affairs Division Secretary. Capital Administration and Development Secretary Imtiaz Inayat Ilahi replaces Iqbal, while Dr Masood has been posted as the Petroleum and Natural Resources Secretary. Israr Rauf, meanwhile, replaces Ilahi as the new Capital Administration and Development Secretary and Kamran Qureshi has been appointed as the Kashmir Affairs Secretary.

The premier also appointed Major-General Tauqeer as the Managing Director of the Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Service Corporation (Pasco).

“All postings have been made on an emergency basis as the posted officials had strong political affiliations and were involved in certain scandals which led to internal problems,” a senior official told The Express Tribune.

Munir Qureshi, a grade 21 officer of Customs and Excise Group, has been transferred from Board of Investment and posted as the Acting Secretary of the Commerce Division.

There were a number of senior officials sent back to the Establishment Division. Secretary, National Regulation and Services Division, Faridullah Khan, Secretary, Climate Change, Muhammad Javed Malik, Secretary, Petroleum and Natural Resource Division, Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry, all grade 22 officers, were among them.

Secretary, National Food and Security and Research Division, Shafqat Hussin Naghmi, has also been directed to report back to the Establishment Division.


Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2012.


Syed Faisal | 9 years ago | Reply

Pakistan is the only country in the world where CSPs has no specialization and hence they cannot bring reforms. Naghmi was in Cricket Board couple of years back and then he was in food department. This seems to make no sense. Israr Rauf was a hindrance in stock market reforms as member board FBR and suddenly he goes to CDA. These CSPs dont make any decisions and just enjoy perks. How can civil servants bring betterment in the lives of Pakistanis when they are not specialized in their fields. In Japan people spend their lives in one department and become specialists. They generate feedbacks even for the smallest of things which is then implemented. Whereas in Pakistan, the moment a CSP understands a certain field he is transferred to other department for which he is not trained. This adhocism leads to no where. These CSP do not deliever and thus lead political government to failure.

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