The saga of Punjab chief secretary’s appointment reflects the fact that the federal and provincial governments are not on the same page regarding important matters, Pakistan Today has reliably learnt.
According to details, earlier this week the federal government first posted Cabinet Division Secretary Babur Yaqub Fateh Muhammad, a Grade 22 officer, as Punjab chief secretary. However, the very next day another grade 22 officer Khizer Hayat Gondal, who was working as Ports and Shipping secretary, was posted to the most coveted slot in the province.
In a reported “glitch” of the provincial bureaucracy, Babur was appointed to the post but later refused to take up the job, citing “domestic reasons”.
However, sources on good authority revealed that this has never happened in the history of bureaucratic appointments.
“The chief secretary is a representative of the federal government which issues the notification of his appointment. The provincial government only gives concurrence to the Centre’s decision as established practice. It is not possible that the chief secretary is appointed without the knowledge of the chief minister. Such a thing has never happened even during the previous tenure when two different parties were in power,” said a senior official privy to the development.
However, sources alleged that the federal and provincial governments were not on the same page and therefore, this incident occurred.
The clout of bureaucrats around the prime minister issued orders of Babur’s appointment which was later changed by the bureaucrats surrounding the Punjab chief minister, as both sets of bureaucrats had different priorities.
Moreover, Services Secretary Mohiyudin Wani was also made an officer on special duty (OSD) reportedly for not conveying the decision to the CM. Wani’s removal from the post was only the tip of the iceberg, sources added.
Punjab government’s Spokesman Zaeem Qadri and Punjab Information Secretary Momin Agha were not available for comments.