Though ‘changes’ in the highest offices of the provincial administration meant to maintain law and order was being anticipated for quite some time now, and rumours ran amok as well, but late Thursday night’s two changes of Home Secretary and Additional Inspector General Special Branch are being deemed less productive considering divergent issues marring the working of the law enforcement agencies.
Former Secretary Home Department Nadeem Hassan Asif – made Officer on Special Duty now – has been with the present provincial political dispensation since the PML-N formed government in the Punjab in 2008. Even when incumbent Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was disqualified on February 25, 2009 and later restored when the Supreme Court handed Punjab over to him again on March 31, 2009, carrying-cool-air Home Secretary was brought to the same position like six others, though later on all of them have been transferred to other posts. “The PML-N has claims of choosing men of the highest calibre, and clearly Nadeem was the last administrative secretary out of the bunch of the blue-eyed, who are no more in their previous slots,” opined an officer, while observing that the Thursday’s changes have actually caused more uncertainty among the officers. “I have no love lost for Nadeem, but I believe that he must have learnt quite a few ropes over a period to deal with the issues of the law and order in comparison to ex-Secretary Industries, who has no track-record of having any assignment concerning policing and terrorism,” maintained the officer.
During the Chaudharys’ regime, present Home Secretary Shahid Khan has served as Director General LDA, Secretary Food and DG Hajj in Jeddah. Another officer had no qualms in asserting that “nothing will change for better with transferring and posting officers by political bosses, who are fond of winning ‘hearts’ in the shortest possible period”.
On the other hand, deeming that dissatisfaction over the performance was the reason for AIG Col (r) Ihsan-ur-Rehman’s transfer, then the question is: Why was he posted as DG Civil Defence? Interestingly, the deposed AIG has a dubious appointment record when an ex-armyman invaded police pitch. Last year, on May 30, he was re-appointed for the second time in about two months in gross violation of rules. Col Ihsan was given the second posting of a higher scale while redesignating the post after terminating him from the first one of Director General Research and Reference, which was done in one go through one notification by the Services and General Administration Department. Firstly, he was re-employed as DG (R&R) Special Branch in BS-20 against the equivalence formula of the Establishment Division as per which an ex-army man should be given equal scale, that is, BS-19, in the civil administration as well. He was certainly considered ‘very important man of the provincial administration’ when for him the post of AIG (Establishment) was redesignated as AIG (Inspection and Vigilance), which made the Colonel first man to be posted against a post only meant for the PSP cadre, and is counted for promotion. This two-step higher posting has been unprecedented for a man, who has been now transferred after a year, seeing his ‘performance’. “This amply depicts how seriously the political government is making positive moves,” observed a senior officer.