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January 10, 2013

Woman officer suspended for calling a spade a spade

Sports

AFP
January 10, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The government has suspended Anita Turab – the woman officer who fought to get the bureaucracy depoliticised through the apex court’s intervention – for writing to the chief election commissioner about the job-for-votes policy of the government, writes Ansar Abbasi.
The Establishment Divisionhas issued the order of her suspension and set up an inquiry against her for approaching the CEC against thousands of appointments being made by the present regime just prior to the elections.
The lady, known for her courage to challenge the wrongs of her superiors and political masters, was serving in National Counterterrorism Authority under the Interior Ministry.
Although she has now been targeted for her recent letter (published in The News and Jang on Jan 4) to the CEC, she been on the hit-list of the present rulers after the heroic public stance she had taken against Waheeda Shah slapping case, the Islamabad ADC Maryum Khan’s premature removal, ex-secretary establishment Sohail Ahmad’s last year arbitrary transfer by the government for implementing the apex court’s decision in a FIA transfer case and for pursuing the case in the Supreme Court for the depoliticisation of the civilian bureaucracy.
It is said that the SC’s recent order in Anita Turab’s case for the protection of civil servants from being arbitrarily removed by the rulers, had annoyed many as more and more officers have started challenging their premature transfer orders.
On January 3, Anita dared to write to the CEC against thousands of jobs being advertised by the government for appointments just before elections. She had sought the former’s intervention to halt this process of appointments.
Without mincing any words and daring to challenge the powerful and the mighty in the present political set-up, Anita had asked the chief election commissioner that since the incumbent government has already begun campaigning for the elections of 2013, orders be kindly

issued banning further wide-scale employment, both temporary and permanent or otherwise, across provincial and federal government departments.
“Appointments in government departments should not be on a political basis at any time, and certainly not prior to an election,” she wrote in her request to the chief election commissioner.
Anita informed, “The federal government has advertised in the press for thousands of positions in government ministries and attached departments of which 8,816 are in the Ministry of Interior itself and its attached departments.”
Interestingly the government had banned all permanent appointments in government departments in the last five years on the basis of financial austerity and economic crunch but just a few months before the holding of elections, more than 20,000 posts are being advertised for appointment in departments like FBR, FIA, Islamabad Police, FC etc.