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March 27, 2012

Punjab welcomes officers from smaller provinces

March 27, 2012

ISLAMABAD: While the Gilani government is banking on Punjabi bureaucrats and greatly ignores officers from the smaller provinces against key appointments, the Shahbaz Sharif government deserves full marks for benefiting from the talent of officers from Balochistan and Sindh.
Although, the total number of officers posted in the Punjab is high, there are many key positions in the provincial administration that are presently held by officers from the other provinces.
Some of these appointees include Noorul Amin Mengal from Balochistan serving against the prized position of DCO, Lahore; Shaukat Ali, who is from the KPK is serving as Commissioner, Sargodha; Sher Alam Mehsud from Fata is Commissioner Social Security, Punjab; Dawood Beraich, hailing from Balochistan, is Special Secretary Health; another officer from Balochistan Saquib Aziz is serving as Special Secretary Local Government; Aslam Tareen from Quetta, Balochistan, is serving as Additional Inspector General in the province; Sajid Yousafani, who is from Sindh (rural) is officiating as Chief Executive Officer in the Punjab Investment Board; Haroon Ahmad Khan, who is from Sindh (urban) is Director General Archaeology; Momin Agha, also hailing from Sindh (urban) is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ashiana Housing Scheme; Joudat Ayaz, who hails from the KPK, is Project Director Laptop project; Asfandyar from Balochistan is Additional Secretary Health; Ikramullah Khan, who is from the KPK, is Additional Home Secretary; Mohayuddin Wani, who has an AJK domicile, is serving as Secretary Information Punjab.
Such inter-provincial transfers of government servants, belonging to all Pakistan services, is considered vital for national cohesion and to groom federal government officers in such a manner that they could have a better understanding of different regions/provinces and their cultures.
For the same reasons, inter-provincial transfers of District Management Group, Secretariat Group and Police Service of

Pakistan have been considered a must in the past, but since General Musharraf’s tenure no rotation policy has been successfully implemented.
In the past, the DMG and PSP officers used to start their services in provinces other than those of their domicile. Similarly, at different levels, they used to be rotated by the federal government in different provinces and at the Centre to enable them to be enriched with varied experience so that when the policies are finalised at the federal level through the federal secretariat, the needs and aspirations of each and every region of Pakistan are duly reflected.
However, presently because of the politicisation of civil bureaucracy, the vast majority of DMG and PSP officers manage to get their postings in the province of their domicile. Most of them even resist when transferred to other provinces for the reason that no merit is followed in the inter-transfer policy.
Of late, the Rawalpindi district coordination officer was ordered by the federal government to report to Balochistan because the DCO had annoyed an important friend of the rulers. Interestingly, the same DCO, after serving in Balochistan for over two years, had recently got posting in the Punjab.
During Musharraf’s government, a policy was introduced that every DMG and PSP officer would have to serve outside their province of domicile to become eligible for promotion. However, the policy was never implemented because of half-hearted enforcement of the policy in violation of merit.

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