Censuring Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah for “using indecent and intimidating language”, Sindh Assembly opposition leader Haleem Adil Sheikh said on Friday he did not have any personal conflict with Shah, but it was a battle of the people against “criminal governance of the Pakistan Peoples Party that is indulging bureaucracy in corrupt practices”.
Talking to media along with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s lawmakers at the Sindh Assembly, he said the masses in Sindh were all set to politically avenge themselves on the PPP for “its transgressions and bad governance” in the province and they would not find any place to hide.
“The Sindh government has plundered public exchequer and resources mercilessly and now they are playing the Sindh card to cover up their wrongdoings, but their tricks will not work anymore.
The PPP’s Sindh government does not tolerate honest officers and is trying to keep those officers in the province who are part of their corrupt systems,” said Sheikh, who is also the PTI’s central vice-president.
Naming several civil and police officers belonging to Sindh, he said AD Khuwaja, Kaleem Imam, Sanaullah Abbasi, Bashir Memon, Najaf Mirza, Sultan Khuwaja, Abdul Khaliq Sheikh, Dr Waliullah Dal, Touqeer Naeem, Aamir Farooqui, Aftab Pathan, Ameer Sheikh and others were either got transferred out of the province or declined postings.
The provincial government in the presence of a grade 22 officer, Naheed Durani, posted a grade 20 officer, Hassan Naqvi, as chairman P&D because he was part of the CM’s system, he said, adding that Sindh had become “a cemetery of careers of honest officers”.
Referring to the Sindh High Court’s judgment on the constitutional petition numbered D-1555 of 2021 filed by Muhammad Rashid Bohio, Shiekh said the apex court clearly mentioned that Establishment Division as an employer may transfer any officer and place him in at any position of the corresponding grade under terms and conditions of the service.
“Postings and transfers are a norm in the civil service, particularly in police and administrative service being a shared resource between the federation and the federating units, as these officers are bound to serve in federation as well as in provinces and require to be rotated,” he said. However, the Sindh government was attempting to politicise postings and transfers made under the rotation policy that was meant to counter the elite culture exercised by these two influential groups of civil servants.
In order to ensure equitable distribution of these officers, the rotation policy of PAS/PSP officers was introduced in the year 2000 and later reformed in 2020 in consultation with all chief secretaries and other stakeholders, the PTI leader said and added the policy also enabled the officers to gain a variety of experience in different provinces before occupying positions at the highest levels in the federal government.
He said civil servants joined the service knowing the terms and conditions and mobility requirements as well as the perks and privileges, but complaining officers insisted only on the latter and actively undermined the former. If these civil servants were not willing to move in the exigencies of service, they should have joined the provincial civil service or the provincial police service, he said.
Sheikh said that long tenures of service in a particular government lead to development of individual vested interests, which is evident in Sindh, where certain officers, instead of imparting public service on the principles of merit, neutrality and fairness, and harmonising relations between the federation and the provinces in the best public interest, have attempted to prolong their tenures to protect their individual vested interests.
He said 62 officers who were transferred in two phases by the Establishment Division stayed in one government for an extended period ranging between 11 and 22 years, while equally capable and experienced officers were provided as replacement so that the government functioning did not get disrupted. “The demand of the Sindh government for retaining only the officers of its own choice is also resulting in politicisation of civil services.”
Sheikh alleged that the PPP had adopted an approach antagonist to the federal government. “The PPP has become a security risk as its leadership is conspiring against the federation.”
He said the PPP was putting the career and future of all officers at stake just for the sake of the protection of their own corruption and collaborating officers. “Our stance is clear that corrupt officers should not be posted in Sindh,” he said.
The PTI leader said that it was regrettable that heirs of Fahmida Sial reached the Sindh Assembly in search of the assassin of their murdered family member. PPP lawmakers termed the murder a consequence of a tribal feud, but it was quite illogical as tribal disputes arose between Sardars and Zardars (clan chiefs and affluent persons), while victim family was a poor family that could not afford a dispute with the Sardars, he remarked.
Sheikh said that the widow of Nazim Jokhio had complained about risks to her life and threats by the nominated influential Jam family on Thursday evening and then her phone was turned off and she went out of contact. PTI MPAs Dua Bhutto and Adeeba were going to the residential village of the victim's family to personally observe the situation, he added.
The PTI leader said that the brother of Nazim Jokhio capitulated to pressure from influential Jams and withdrew the name of Jam Karim from the FIR, but the widow and mother of the Shaheed Nazim were committed and wanted justice, so they were being pressurised and intimidated. Both the women had become a symbol of resistance against the atrocious Sardari system in Sindh, and it was crucial to provide them security, he said.
The PTI parliamentary leader in the Sindh Assembly, Bilal Abdul Gaffar, said that the attitude and rhetoric of the CM were regrettable. They were raising a hue and cry as their corruption had been exposed while audit reports indicated embezzlement and misappropriation of billions of rupees, he said.
The opposition will submit a resolution regarding the murders of Fehmida Sial and Nazim Jokhio in the assembly so that the issue of brutal murders by influential politicians could be discussed on the floor of the house, Gaffar said.
Sindh Assembly member Dua Bhutto, speaking on the occasion, said Sheren Jokhio, widow of Nazim Jokhio, through a video message, had raised concerns about her security and wanted safety while later she went out of contact.
The PTI stood shoulder to shoulder with Sheren Jokhio, who is a brave daughter of Sindh and has dared to challenge the appalling and repressive Sardari system, Dua Bhutto said, adding that PTI female lawmakers would visit the village Salar Jokhio to verify her wellbeing.
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