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October 8, 2016
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Abid Saeed new KP chief secretary

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October 8, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: Senior official Abid Saeed, who has been preferred by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government as its new chief secretary, has not worked for a single day in this province during his bureaucratic career.

He is a nephew of Minister of State (without portfolio) Barrister Usman Ibrahim, who was elected as member of the National Assembly from NA-95 Gujranwala on the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ticket in the 2013 general elections.

Abid Saeed, an officer of Punjab origin belonging to the District Management Group (DMG), has been given the new assignment after protracted consultations between the federal and KP governments. The central government generally has no objection to the selection of the provincial set-up.

Last year, Abid Saeed was suspended, later restored, by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif when acute oil shortage crisis occurred. At the time, he was Secretary Petroleum and Natural Resources. At present, he is serving as the Secretary Kashmir Affairs.

Informed bureaucratic hands say that during his first tenure as the chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif had removed Abid Saeed as the Deputy Commissioner of Lodhran when the officer had allegedly attended the wedding reception of a local landlord where violation of one-dish policy took place.

Abid Saeed’s elder brother Nazir Saeed, an influential officer at one time, was extremely close to Nawaz Sharif and worked as his PSO (personal staff officer) in his first tenure as the prime minister.

Senior bureaucratic circles claim that left to himself, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak would have chosen an officer from the KP.During Chaudhry Pervez Elahi’s tenure as the Punjab chief minister, Abid Saeed was appointed as the chief executive of the Punjab Rural Support Programme (PRSP) on a hefty market-based salary, much above the government scales. He served there for many years.

At the time, Jehangir Tareen, now Secretary General of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), was a key adviser of the chief minister and was calling the shots in the PRSP, a rural government initiative started by Shahbaz Sharif way back in 1997.

In 1997, Abid Saeed came close to Tareen when he was posted as the deputy commissioner of Lodhran, the hometown of the PTI leader, during Shahbaz Sharif’s term as the chief minister. Tareen has a 1,500-acre farm in Lodhran, primarily comprising the lands of military grantees and Islamabad victims.

Keen bureaucracy watchers believe that Abid Saeed is the choice of Tareen, who recommended him and the top party boss approved him. Outgoing KP Chief Secretary Amjad Ali Khan became a casualty of his inability to balance the recommendations and demands of Bani Gala, Islamabad, and the Chief Minister’s House, Peshawar.

When he was relieved, it was stated that the KP government was a tale of two governments, two groups, two policies and two opposing strategies with the bureaucracy caught in this tussle between Bani Gala and Khattak.

Amjad Ali Khan was the second KP chief secretary who fell out with the provincial government. The root-cause of problem was a below-the-radar conflict between the PTI chairman and Khattak, who has put together a group of his own, ensuring that even if the party chief wants to show him the door, he can’t, it was stated.

 

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