PESHAWAR: A row has erupted between the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Directorate of Information and the Peshawar District Administration over setting up offices in the information directorate’s building.
The K-P government had issued directives to Peshawar Deputy Commissioner (DC) Zahirul Islam to move the district administration’s offices from the municipal corporation building to the information directorate building on Thursday. However, according to a senior official at the information directorate, Information Director Imdadullah Khan gave charge of the building to the DC on Wednesday without consulting other information directorate officers.
“Imdadullah did not take into confidence other officials and allotted the information directorate building to the DC verbally,” claimed the official, requesting anonymity.
According to another information official, the additional chief secretary has banned the entry of the directorate’s staffers transferred to other departments recently, but despite these orders some of these employees came to the building and interfered in official work.
Around 138 information directorate employees were transferred to other government departments earlier this month, under the provincial government’s ‘rationalisation’ policy. These officials are not happy with the government’s decision and have contested the transfers in court.
A press release issued from the information department on Thursday stated the provincial government had sidelined information officers by allotting the information directorate’s building to the district administration. It added that the directorate would submit a petition in the Peshawar High Court against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led provincial government.
Meanwhile, DC Zahirul Islam confirmed to The Express Tribune that the government had allotted the information directorate building to the district administration. He added that at the moment they had only moved furniture to the new office.
This is the second row to emerge over an office building during Islam’s tenure. In February, the DC’s staff allegedly occupied an under-construction building meant to serve as provincial headquarters of the Rescue 1122.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2014.