Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Besides govt, Punjabi officers dominate all other sectors

ISLAMABAD: The Zardari-Gilani duo has become a messiah for the Punjabi bureaucrats, who enjoy the top positions not just in the federal secretariat but also in nearly all other federal institutions.

While The News had already reported on Monday that 43 out of a total of 49 federal secretaries are from Punjab, a look into key appointments in other federal institutions shows that the PPP government has failed to keep a balance of all federating units in key bureaucratic appointments to strengthen the federation and to address the sense of deprivation among the smaller provinces, particularly Sindh and Balochistan.

The love for the Punjabi Baboos is such in the PPP-led Gilani government that it even chose most of the provincial chief secretaries from amongst Punjab bureaucrats. Three of the four provincial chief secretaries are from Punjab while the chief secretary of Gilgit Baltistan is also a Punjabi officer.

All the key administrative positions in the Islamabad Capital Territory, including chief commissioner, chairman Capital Development Authority and deputy commissioner Islamabad, also go to officers from Punjab. Even the inspector general police Islamabad is a Punjabi officer but having a Sindh domicile.

The organizations like the Intelligence Bureau, Federal Investigation Agency, National Police Foundation, National Highway Authority, Motorway, Nadra and many others are also led by the baboos from Punjab. We even have the auditor general from Multan whereas seven out of eleven members of the Federal Public Service Commission are from Punjab. It is heartening to see that at least the chairman FPSC is from Sindh.

Apart from federal ministries and divisions, Punjabi Baboos also dominate in almost all important federal positions. Three out of four chief secretaries of provinces including Nasir Khosa, CS Punjab; Lt (Retd) Raja Abbas, CS Sindh; and Capt (Retd) Ghulam Dastagir, CS Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are from Punjab. Chief Secretary Gilgit Biltistan Siaf Ullah Chatta is also a Punjabi officer. The chief commissioner of Islamabad Capital Territory, a virtual chief secretary for National Capital, Tariq Mahmud Pirzada is again from Punjab. Deputy commissioner Islamabad Capital Territory and head of capital police all are Punjab origin civil servants.

As per law, federating units must have the constitutional quota in all positions of Islamabad capital administration.

Similarly Auditor General Pakistan is Akhtar Buland Rana, a friend of PM from Multan; Federal Secretary Ombudsman is Kh Naeem from Sailkot; Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Salman Siddique again is from Ravi Chenab corridor, and has a unique distinction of being a DMG officer who never served in any other province except Punjab. Rector School of Public Policy Ismail Qureshi who now heads Staff College, NIPA and Civil Services Academy — all premier institutions for training of senior civil servants from all over the country — again hails from Punjab and has been given a post retirement benefit of Rectorship of this prestigious federal institution. Under the new structure he even heads NIPAs in Quetta, Karachi and Peshawar.

In the Federal Public Service Commission seven members out of eleven belong to Punjab, thus eroding the national character and composition of a federal institution. On the economic planning front too, the smaller provinces got a rough deal at hands of present government. Nadeemul Haq, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission is a private sector expert from IMF, again from Lahore/Washington, Chief Economist Dr Jaffer Qamar like his boss has spent all his life in US.

The chairman of National Disaster Management Authority Zafar Qadir is again from Punjab, so is Chairman Erra Hamid Yar Hiraj. Hiraj belongs to Khanewal but heads an organization responsible for earthquake rehabilitation in AJK, and KPK. Chairman of Prime Minister Inspection Commission, is Amjad Noon, a political appointee from Sargodha.

The MDs of Utility Stores Corporation, National Fertilizer Marketing Company and SMEDA all three federal institutions under the watch of Ch Pervaiz Ellahi, Senior Minister, are headed by Punjabi civil servants, namely Sultan Mahmud, Tariq Shafique Khan and Yousaf Naseem Khokar respectively. Nadra, a public sector authority responsible for national database, is headed by Ali Arshad Hakim, a Punjabi friend of President Zardari. Even his Deputy Chairman Tariq Malik is from Punjab. Chairman of another national authority, the National Highway Authority (NHA) is again Muhammad Ali Gardezi from Multan, who has been rewarded by PM Gilani for looking after his constituency as commissioner Multan.

Pakistan Baitul Mal, a federal institution for poverty alleviation has a politically appointed chairman Zamrud Khan, ex-MNA from Rawalpindi. Zamurd, however, is unique in the PPP’s present ruling lot for doing miracles in the Baitul Mal department because of his hard work, dedication and honesty.

Another important federal service, the postal service of Pakistan, is headed by Raja Ikramul Haq, Director General Postal Services of Pakistan, who too is from Punjab. General Manager of another very important but failing national utility Pakistan Railways is Saeed Akhtar, who is also from Punjab.

On the Information side MD PTV Yousaf Baig Mirza; Head of PID Muhammad Saleem; and APP Director General Rao Tehsin Ali Khan also hail from Punjab. Institutions of art, culture and learning have also not been spared. Chairman Censor Board Shahnawaz Noon; DG Lok Versa Khalid Javed; DG Pakistan National Council of Arts Tauqir Nasir; MD National Book Foundation Mazharul Islam; Director General Federal Educational Institutions Atif Kiani all belong to Punjab.

IG Pakistan Motorways Wajid Durrani is again a police officer from Punjab. Director General Intelligence Bureau Aftab Sultan, who is a very well reputed officer, incidentally belongs to Punjab, DG National Police Bureau Dr Waseem Kausar and DG FIA Tehsin Anwar Ali shah are again police officers from Punjab. So is IG Azad Kashmir Tariq Khokhar, who is from PM’s Home town Multan. Chief Commissioner of Pakistan Census Organisation is Khizer Khan reemployed after retirement again from Multan.

Employees Old Age Benefit Institution (EOBI), is headed by Zafar Gondal, younger brother of PPP MNA Nazar Gondal from Mandi Bahauddin. Chief Executive of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TADP) is Tariq Puri, again a retired Punjabi bureaucrat. Another Punjabi officer Asaf Ghafoor is Director General Institute of Foreign Trade Training. Trading Corporation (TCP) is headed by Tahir Raza Naqvi, a DMG officer from Punjab. National Tariff Commission Chairman is Ikram Arif and Director General of Military Land and Cantonments, Major General Athar Hussain Shah, all hail from Punjab.

Although the federal ombudsman’s slot is vacant, may be for want of a suitable candidate from Punjab, federal Tax Ombudsman Shoaib Suddle is a retired police officer from Punjab. Suddle’s hard work has changed the complexion of previously unimportant Tax Ombudsman department.

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Chairman Dr Muhammad Yasin is a Punjabi but have Sindh domicile; Pakistan Procurement Regulatory Authority MD Haffezur Rehman; Intellectual Property Rights Organisation DG Sajjad Ahmad Bhutta; Nepra Chairman Khalid Saeed and former PS to ex-PM Shaukat Aziz, Civil Aviation Authority DG Air Marshall (Retd) Khalid Chaudhry, all hail from Punjab.

Chairman of Ogra Tauqir Sadiq recently removed on the orders of Supreme Court is also from Punjab. Strangely governor State Bank is a US national, whereas his predecessor Shahid Kardar was from Lahore. This shows that all important regulatory institutions which should have representation from all over the federation are also being treated in similar manner.

Director General Gwadar Port Authority is again a DMG officer from Punjab Aslam Hayat. The premier national institution for energy conservation ENERCON Managing Director is Hamid Ali Khan, former chief commissioner Islamabad, again from Punjab. NEVTEC, the resource rich commission for skill and vocational commission housed in PM secretariat has executive director Tariq Shafi, again from Punjab. Besides the federation secretaries, heading the federal divisions, the vast majority of the additional secretaries is also from Punjab.

The regional/provincial quota is though observed while making fresh appointments but it has always been the endeavour of successive governments to ensure the representation of all the provinces in key appointments. In the past we have seen the chief secretaries even of Punjab from Balochistan and Sindh but the bad governance of the present PPP regime is developing an extreme imbalance of federating units representation in key federal institutions — a trend which if not stopped and rectified would badly hurt the national cohesion. The News 6-12-2011

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