ISLAMABAD: While the dust has not settled on the issue of DPO Pakpattan's controversial transfer, another stunning case of political interference has emerged involving a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) parliamentarian from Chakwal.
Chakwal deputy commissioner alleged that MNA of the ruling party Sardar Zukfiqar Ali Khan is pressurising him to change dozens of revenue officials including Patwaris and Girdawars.
In a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Supreme Court (SC) Registrar, Chakwal DC Ghulam Saghir Shahid alleged that the PTI MNA had given him written instructions to transfer and post 17 Girdawars, Patwaris and readers and threatened him with dire consequences in case of non-compliance.
Talking to The News, the senior government official confirmed that he had written a letter - which went viral on social media - and claimed that he had attached all the necessary evidence to prove that the ruling party MNA was illegally interfering in government affairs.
On the other hand, MNA Sardar Zukfiqar Ali Khan did not deny allegation while contacted by The News. “I think the officer has transgressed by writing the letter against me,” Khan said. He said he would respond to the allegations on the proper forum but refused to divulge any further details about the allegations and his response. “I can’t comment any further as my response will be submitted at the proper forum,” the MNA told The News.
The letter addressed to the ECP, the SC and the Punjab chief secretary is titled “Political Interference in the administrative matter by MNA Sardar Zulfiqar Ali Khan from NA-64.
The letter alleges that Sardar Zulfiqar sent a sealed envelope to the DC on 31-08-2018 in which the MNA had recommended 17 officials of the Revenue Department (Girdawars, Patwaris and Readers) for their posting/transfer. “The list was duly signed by the MNA at 4:00pm on 01-09-2018. The MNA visited my office and again insisted on posting/transfer of revenue field staff as per list,” the letter says.
“Today 03-09-2018 at 11:18am he (MNA) made a telephone call from his cell No***** and asked me for cancellation of transfer order of Muhammad Aslam Patwari who was transferred from Tehsil Kallar Kahar and posted in Tehsil Choa Saiden Shah vide order dated 31-08-2018,” the DC added.
The DC said Aslam Patwari was transferred after the Assistant Commissioner Choa Saiden Shah made a written request for the same owing to acute shortage of Revenue field staff in the said Tehsil which was hampering the official work.
“The undersigned, being competent authority, transferred 5 (five) Patwaris from Tehsil Chakwal and Kallar Kahar and posted them in Tehsil Choa Saiden Shah on administrative ground and in the best public interest (copy of orders is enclosed)” the DC maintained in his letter to the ECP and the SC.
He further alleged that on Monday Sardar Zulfiqar All Khan MNA telephoned him for cancellation of the orders as the transfer was not recommended by him.
“I told him politely that posting/transfer of the revenue field staff is to be made by the District Collector or Assistant Commissioner concerned in accordance with the policy and MNA had no role in the posting/transfer. I politely declined him that I will not make posting/transfer on his recommendations. In response thereof, he resorted to threat and said that he has to get all the postings/transfers as recommended by him and he will see who wins,” the letter reads.
“The political interference in the administrative matters by MNA is unwarranted, unlawful and devoid of decency. It is therefore, requested that necessary action under the law may be initiated against the aforementioned MNA for repeated political interference in the official matters,” the letter says.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has made it clear before and after his election that under his government there would be no political interference in the matters of the bureaucracy. But this is the second incident where a PTI leader is accused of political interference in official matter. Earlier DPO Pakpattan Rizwan Gondal has alleged that he was transferred on the orders of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar after he refused to apologise to Khawar Maneka, over an incident involving police. However Punjab Information Minister Fayazul Hasan Chohan had denied any role of Chief Minister in the transfer terming it an internal matter of PTI.