Centre-Punjab row over CS appointment heats up

August 19, 2022

LAHORE: Responding to the request of the Punjab government regarding appointment of new chief secretary, the federal government has delayed it taking plea that after the announcement of by-elections...

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LAHORE: Responding to the request of the Punjab government regarding appointment of new chief secretary, the federal government has delayed it taking plea that after the announcement of by-elections to National Assembly seats appointments on key administrative posts are not possible, a senior officer privy to the development disclosed here Thursday.

Chief Minister’s Principal Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti had sent a panel of three senior officers --- Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera (BS-22), Muhammad Abdullah Khan Sumbal (BS-21) and Babar Hayat Tarar (BS-22) on Aug 17, requesting the federal government to consider one of the officers for the post of Punjab chief secretary.

Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera belongs to the 17th Common and is presently working as secretary of the Cabinet Division, Islamabad. He had served in Punjab as secretary of the Implementation & Coordination (I&C) wing of the S&GAD, Principal Secretary to Governor, Sheikhupura DC, Chief Executive Officer of SMEDA and other key posts. He remained posted as director of the Staff College Quetta and federal information secretary.

Muhammad Abdullah Khan Sumbal belongs to the 23rd Common and is presently working as chairman of the Planning and Development Board, Punjab. He had served on key postings in the Punjab such as additional chief secretary, secretaries of Special Education, Higher Education, Information, Coordination CM Punjab Office and Finance, commissioner of Sahiwal and Lahore and managing director of the Ring Road Authority.

Babar Hayat Tarar belongs to the 18th Common and is presently awaiting new assignment in the Establishment Division, Islamabad. He had also served on key posts in the Punjab like Senior Member Board of Revenue (SMBR), secretaries of Local Government and Health, commissioner of Sahiwal and others

It may be recalled that sitting Punjab Chief Secretary Kamran Ali Afzal had written to the federal government to withdraw his services from the Punjab. Sources in the Punjab bureaucracy claimed that Kamran Ali Afzal had written the letter just to give an impression that he did not want to continue as chief secretary while in fact he was in good books of the PMLN and it (PMLN) wanted him to continue as CS in Punjab.

During the meeting of the Central Selection Board, he had a meeting with Dr Tauqeer Shah, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, who had assured him that he would continue as Punjab CS.

After the meeting with Dr Taqueer, he (Kamran Afzal) had written the letter just to give an impression that he was not interested to serve in Punjab and suggested the names of two junior officers ACS Home Capt (retd) Asadullah Khan and Irrigation Secretary Shehryar Sultan for the post of Punjab CS.

The sources in the provincial government claimed that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Imran Khan and incumbent Chief Minister Pervaiz Ellahi were not happy with Kamran Ali Afzal due to the crackdown on PTI office-bearers and workers during the long march and the role of police and provincial administration during chief minister’s election.

A senior officer was of the view that after the 18th Amendment the federal government was bound to appoint chief secretary from the panel suggested by the province concerned. However, as per law transfers and postings of chief secretary, IGP and local administration including commissioner, deputy commissioner, RPO and SP can’t be made during the elections, he maintained.



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