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February 23, 2018
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PM dissatisfied with bureaucracy promotions

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February 23, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s observations about the recommended promotions of officers from different services groups in higher grades (grade 20 and 21) of Central Selection Board (CSB) has raised questions about credibility, impartiality and accuracy of the Board.

Abbasi, while approving the recommendation of CSB held in January 2017, has called recommendation as unjust, as some of the officers were ignored, The News learnt reliably. Sources in Pakistan Secretariat confided to this correspondent that Prime Minister in a letter addressed to Secretary Establishment stated that some of the recommendation were unjust for certain officers. Similarly some officers were recommended for promotion in the next grade against the laid down criteria for promotion.

Some of the officers were given extra-ordinary marks in interview just to ensure their promotion. Not only this, in at least two cases, officers was considered for promotion who according to court ruling should have been promoted without consideration by the CSB, The News learnt.

The Prime Minister observed the treatment meted out to certain officers was prima facie unjust. Not only this, in some cases court orders not placed before the CSB, while the officer was being considered for promotion.

According to details of the letter addressed to Secretary Establishment, consideration of ACR 2017 in respect of some officers before its becoming due in terms of Revised Promotion Policy 2007, has resulted in advantage to certain officers, while non-availability of the same in respect of other officers has been mentioned as a reason for their deferment of supersession. Then ACR for 2017 was not due on the dates when the CSB was convened and it is also not normally possible to get the report initiated, countersigned and submitted to the Cadre Administration in the first week in which the report becomes due, the letter reads.

A glaring example of favouritism by the CSB was that some officers were given extraordinary marks in interview just to ensure their promotion. The PM’s letter stated, “In a number of cases, the officers have not achieved the minimum threshold required for promotion, but contrary to the settled practice, while recording the reasons of their suppression, the particular reason has not been recorded; rather, suppression has only been based upon the placing of such officers in Category C. However, in upholding each one of these recommendations, the PM has based his decision on the ground that the concerned officer failed to meet the minimum required threshold for promotion.”

The Prime Minister has pointed out that CSB showed incompetence while recommending promotion cases of IRS, and Pakistan Constituency Service. The letter reads many officers who were deferred or superseded due to pending disciplinary proceedings, while previous CSBs have either been promoted, or deferred, nearly on technical grounds, based on the argument that LHC had directed to consider their case or the case is similar to the one in which such direction had been issued.

In all such cases, the departmental representative informed the Board that the FBR had initiated disciplinary proceedings against these officers without approval of competent authority. The FBR moved a summary for ex-post facto approval of the PM, but the Sindh High Court suspended operation of the assembly on the petition of an officer in 2016. The FBR filed an appeal which is pending at judicator.

Now, pursuant to the direction of the Lahore High Court, the FBR sought clarification on the legal status of the disciplinary proceedings initiated without approval of the competent authority, from Ministry of Law and Justice. The Ministry opined that these proceedings are “void ab initio”. The content of these charges are still to be examined, and inquired into comprehensively, but the officers have been given benefit on technical grounds. While the decision of the High Court had to be complied with, the FBR appears to have made no efforts for getting the appeal heard before convening of the CSB, even though the same is pending for over 18 months.

According to the PM in his observation, he pointed out incompetence, and negligence of CSB in cases of Noorul Amin Baloch, Nasheeta Maryam Mohsin, Masood Akhtar, ChaudharyMubarak Ali, Shafqat Rehman Ranjha, Hazrat Masood Mian, and many other civil servants.

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