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November 14, 2018

From bad to hilarious governance

Top Story

November 14, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Two officers, who were transferred four and five times in 15 days by the Punjab government, have received fresh orders regarding their postings only two days after The News highlighted their cases.

Three days after the two officers were given a marching order as reflected in The News story -- “Governance in disarray in Punjab”-- appeared on Sunday last, the Punjab government on November 12 issued a new notification.

The Nov 12th notification reads as: “Looking at by-election schedule of PP-168 Lahore-XXV and resultantly ban on transfer/posting imposed by Election Commission of Pakistan vide its notification dated 01-11-2018, the transfer/posting orders of Mazhar Ali Sarwar (PMS/BS-17), Assistant Commissioner, Model Town, Lahore, and posting of Abid Shaukat (PMS/BS-17), Section Officer (Services-III), Services Wing, S&GAD, as Assistant Commissioner Model Town, Lahore, in place of Mazhar Ali Sarwar, issued vide S&GAD’s notification of even number dated 09-11-2018, are hereby cancelled. Both the officers are allowed to continue working at their respective posts.”

Whether it is government’s incompetence, bad governance or hilarious handling of administration, what has happened to these two officers- Abid Shaukat and Mazhar Ali Sarwar- is considered unprecedented. It also makes a new record of how a government changed its mind about posting the officers not once, twice, thrice and four times but five and six times in a span of a few weeks.

Although for their repeated transfer orders before the latest one there is no reason mentioned for government’s repeated change of mind, the Nov 12th notification refers to ECP’s order of November 1. The same reason of ECP was there even before Nov 9 notification, which has been now cancelled, but still repeated transfers orders were issued by the S&GAD without bothering about what the Commission had said.

On October 25, Services & General Administration Department (S&GAD) issued a notification saying “Mazhar Ali Sarwar (PMS/BS-17), Assistant Commissioner, Model Town, Lahore is transferred with immediate effect and posted as Assistant Commissioner, Kasur, vice Syeda Amna Moudoodi.”

Five days later, on October 30, the S&GAD issued another notification announcing, “The transfer/posting orders of Mazhar Ali Sarwar (PMS/BS-17), Assistant Commissioner, Model Town Lahore, as Assistant Commissioner, Kasur, issued vide Notification No……. are hereby cancelled.”

A day later, on October 31, the S&GAD issued another notification to convey, “Mazhar Ali Sarwar (PMS/BS-17), Assistant Commissioner, Model Town, Lahore, is transferred with immediate effect and directed to report to Administrative Wing, S&GAD, for further orders.”

After six days, on November 5 (five days after the ECP ban on transfer) the S&GAD first placed Sarwar’s services at the disposal of Senior member, Board of Revenue, Punjab, Lahore but the same day issued yet another notification, cancelling the transfer/posting of Mazhar Ali Sarwar (PMS/BS-17), Assistant Commissioner, Model Town Lahore. The S&GAD said, “He is allowed to continue working as Assistant Commissioner, Model Town, Lahore.”

Four days later, on November 9, yet again the S&GAD issued another notification regarding the same officer and notified, “Mazhar Ali Sarwar (PMS/BS-17), Assistant Commission, Model Town, Lahore is transferred with immediate effect and directed to report to Administrative Wing, S&GAD, for further orders.”

Now, as per Nov 12 notification, the November 9th transfer order of Mazhar Ali stands cancelled and he is allowed to continue as AC Model Town, Lahore. In the case of the other officer - Abid Shaukat, again an Assistant Commissioner- he was transferred four times again within a fortnight before the latest notification of Nov 12.

According to S&GAD notification dated Oct 31, Abid Shaukat (PMS/BS-17), Assistant Commission, Nankana Sahab, was transferred and posted as Assistant Commissioner, Model Town, Lahore, vice Mazhar Ali Sarwar.

Five days later, on November 5, the S&GAD issued another notification ordering the cancellation of Abid Shaukat’s appointment as Assistant Commissioner, Model Town Lahore. The officer was further posted as Section Officer (Services-III) in the Services Wing of the S&GAD.

Four days later, on November 9, the S&GAD took another U-turn, cancelled Abid Shaukat’s appointment as Section Officer, Services Wing of the S&GAD and transferred him as Assistant Commissioner, Model Town, Lahore. Now after the Nov 12th notification, the officer’s posting as AC Model Town has been cancelled and he has been asked to continue as Section Officer in S&GAD.

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