The vanishing act: The curious case of plaque removal at CSA

Removal of trainee officer’s name who built a fountain irks fellow officers.

Ali Usman April 29, 2014
The fountain at CSA briefly displayed the name plaque (right), before it was removed.


The removal of a plaque at Civil Services Academy (CSA) Lahore has upset the trainee officers so much that they have voiced their disapproval at social media websites and passed a resolution demanding its restoration, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The CSA is the training institution for pre-service training of civil servants recruited by the Federal Public Service Commission through a competitive exam, knows as the CSS.

A total of 238 probation officers of the 41st Common are currently being trained at the CSA. Waseem Ahmed, a probationer of Pakistan Administrative Services, formerly known as the District Management Group, had conceived and executed a project to install a fountain at one of the lawns of the academy, said one of several officers who spoke to The Express Tribune. He said that Waseem was a member of Environment and Community Development Club, at the academy. All the probationers spoke on the condition of anonymity because they said they did not want to jeopardise their careers.

Another officer said that there was no fountain in the academy earlier and the idea had been to beautify the premises and use the fountain during various functions. “CSA Director General (DG) Farkhanda Wasim and Director Ahmad Kamal had approved the idea and allowed that the inauguration plaque would carry Waseem’s name.

The DG and the director were later transferred when the project was completed. The plaque carrying Waseem’s name which had earlier been approved, was installed without a formal inauguration of the fountain and stayed there for two weeks,” said the probationer. He said the new administrator of the academy had then ordered to remove the plate.

“This was very discourteous towards the club and Waseem,” said one of the trainee officers of Police Services Pakistan (PSP). “There is a café called 24 Café in the academy. A picture of a probationer from PSP of the 24th Common is placed there because he contributed to it. Many paintings donated by probation officers at the academy bear their names. The new in-charge Dr Muhammad Afzal ordering the plaque removed gives a message to the bureaucrats in the making to not take any initiative on such projects. Waseem paid for everything for installing the fountain. He even sacrificed his Sundays to complete it in time,” said the PSP officer.

Some 37 probation officer have passed a resolution stating that the name of the person who conceived and executed the project should be on the plaque and removal of the sign bearing his name was uncalled for, another probation officer stated.

“This has annoyed the probation officers. The news is out on social media as well. Many probation officers are tweeting and posting comments on Facebook about the incident. This is something unprecedented here at the CSA,” the probation officer said.

Dr Muhammad Afzal, who has the charge of the academy head, said, “The academy is a place where the civil servants learn about discipline and rules. They have to follow the rules.”

Dr Afzal said that those who worked on projects should get credit. He said that he had not ordered removal of the plaque. “I cannot share any more information. We have to seek permission from the Establishment Division before talking to media,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2014.


popo | 7 years ago | Reply

good stunt to copy.

probationer | 7 years ago | Reply

It's a very bad experience being part of this group,where people are more interested in all other things than training Every sort of moral corruption in most of the so called cream of nation . I dont expect any betterment of country from this lot where people come to lectures while they are drunk and cause trouble for others. I have serious reservations on the selection criteria,we are not selecting officers properly to run our country.

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