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Only officers of three federal service groups can be posted to Gilgit-Baltistan

By Tariq Butt
December 12, 2021
Only officers of three federal service groups can be posted to Gilgit-Baltistan

ISLAMABAD: Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid has sought the appointment of certain federal officials in GB in violation of the rules and policy, documents show.

The GB Rules of Business 2009 say the posts of chief secretary (CS), Inspector General of Police (IGP), Additional CS and secretaries of planning and development, finance and home departments are reserved for officers of the All-Pakistan Unified Grades (APUG).

The APUG officers include officials of the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS), police and secretariat groups. Only officers of these professional groups can be placed in GB under the rules.

As against this rule, the GB chief minister has sent a requisition of two officers of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) for transfer to GB on a deputation basis, documents show.

On GB’s request, the establishment division has written a letter to the FBR chairman calling for the requisition of Agha Ahsan Mehmood, grade 18, presently serving as Assistant Director (Audit) Headquarters, Directorate of Post Clearance Audit (Central) Lahore.

In the other case, the establishment division has sent a letter to the AGP, requisitioning Muhammad Tayyab, grade 20, currently working as director, administration, Office of the AGP, Islamabad

The letters say that the GB government intends to utilise the services of these officers on a deputation basis on standard terms and conditions.

They sought no-objection certificates, information on the prescribed proformas for the lending departments and service profiles of the two officers since joining government service.

The GB rules say the establishment division in consultation with the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and GB will be responsible for all transfers of federal government officers to GB in line with the laid down policy for such transfers.

The finance secretary, additional CS and the planning and development department secretary will be appointed in consultation with the finance ministry and planning and development division of Pakistan respectively.

The rules further say the posting and transfer of officers working in departments and autonomous bodies whose subjects fall under the legislative jurisdiction of the GB Council will be done in consultation with the Council.

An old hand in the bureaucracy explained to The News that officers of all the professional groups of the federal service cannot be sent to the federating units or GB and Azad Kashmir under the rotation policy. For example, he said, the officials of income tax or customs can’t be posted in the provinces as well.

He said that the “locals” - officers of GB or Azad Kashmir - can’t be given the positions when it has been clearly mentioned in the rules that these slots will be filled by the federal officials belonging to the APUG.

The official said that this policy has been introduced keeping in view the sensitive nature of GB and Azad Kashmir and the considerations that the local officers would not be able to perform for various reasons and resist political pressure.

He said that since the federal officers posted in GB and Azad Kashmir were answerable to the Pakistan government, they usually adhered to the rules instead of implementing what the ruling politicians urged them to do.