Although Usman Buzdar has reportedly succeeded in winning Prime Minister’s confidence to continue as Chief Minister Punjab, his distrust towards bureaucracy has not been over yet. He considers and declares the bureaucracy responsible for all the problems that are impeding the wave of “change in Punjab” and for this reason he has been busy in making reshuffle in provincial administration at breakneck speed right from his inception as CM.
Various IGs were posted and transferred in just 2 years and the wave of cynicism and wariness did not even spare the Secretaries and Chief Secretaries who have been rotating like Ping-Pong in the province of Punjab. In recent development the services of Secretary Services, Dr Shoaib Akbar and just appointed Lahore Commissioner Asif Bilal Lodhi (July 13) were surrendered to the Federal Government on Saturday evening. Sources claimed that Dr Shoaib was sacked from his portfolio on account of posting Asif Bilal Lodhi as Lahore Commissioner on the direct instructions of Cm Buzdar; without taking the Chief Secretary Jawwad Rafique Malik into confidence. However Shoaib Akbar negated any such news and revealed that the Chief Secretary himself had finalized Asif Bilal’s name for the said post.
Chief Secretary himself gave Bilal’s name as the Lahore Commissioner, says Dr Shoaib
Moreover, the Punjab Government also sought resignation from the Provincial Minister for Wildlife and Fisheries Asad Ali Khokhar for alleged misuse of power by recommending Lodhi as commissioner who also became the chairman of Lahore Ring Road Authority (LRRA).
As per sources, a property tycoon had made backdoor settlements with the authority to stop the construction of Ring Road Phase-III for he did not want the Ring Road to pass by the Bahria Town. It is said that the current transfers are indirectly connected to the Ring Road Project too. No response from Mr Khokar has been received yet on his resignation and same is the situation with the Chief Secretary and his spokesperson as both are also silent on the issue.
Many senior civil servants are considering the option of leaving the civil service due to government’s humiliating behavior with them
Prime Minister Imran Khan was also present in Lahore on Saturday and had reportedly directed Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to obtain the actual feedback about corruption and governance from the public representatives without trusting the bureaucracy.
The notification stated that Asif Bilal Lodhi was also relieved of his additional charge as Chairman LRRA and his services were surrendered to the Establishment Division with immediate effect. Dr Shoaib Akbar was also directed to report to the Establishment Division for further orders and was also relieved of the additional charge of Secretary Punjab Human Rights and Minorities Affairs Department. He had also served as principal secretary to CM Buzdar earlier.
Internal source in bureaucracy disclosed that there was already a feel of disturbance and anxiety among the bureaucratic circles and the transfers of these senior officers added fuel to the fire by bringing disgrace to the civil service. He regretted that the self-respect of the honest and senior civil servants was ruptured by making the transfers in the “darkness of night”. He added that the PTI government was insulting the bureaucracy through its abrupt and distrusting stance and various bureaucrats were seriously thinking of saying good bye to the civil service.