News & Views
It is unfortunate that a few members of Parliament who benefitted most by holding positions in higher echelons in the government are critical of Pakistan military and intelligence agencies. They do not realize that at this point in time when they are rendering sacrifices in fighting the terrorists, criticizing means to demoralize them. Mehmood Khan Achakzai, chief of Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) held intelligence agencies and law enforcement departments responsible for the negligence and said: “Just blaming RAW for Quetta incident will not work as all anti-state elements are on payroll of agencies. I think Quetta incident is a result of failure of our intelligence agencies. Their officers should be fired for not delivering results.” He should know that even the US has enormous resources and scores of intelligence agencies yet it could not stop 9/11. Mind that no heads had rolled.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, without naming anyone, condemned the remarks but there was no confusion that he was referring to Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai’s address in the house on Monday. Last month, leader of Pakhtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMA) Mahmood Khan Achakzai in an interview with Afghanistan Times had opposed the government policy of repatriation of Afghan refugees saying that “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) of Pakistan belongs to Afghans and they can continue to live there without any fear. If Afghans are harassed in other parts of Pakistan, they should come here to the Pakhtunkhwa province, where no one can ask them for refugee cards, because it also belongs to them.” Whereas all politicians and even media in India and Afghanistan support the stance held by their governments, he blatantly said that KPK belongs to Afghans.
It is worth pointing out that Mehmood Achakzai is member of National Assembly; one brother Muhammad Khan Achakzai is Governor of Balochistan; other brother Hameed Khan Achakzai and his nephew Abdul Majeed Khan Achakzai are MPAs; one brother-in-law Spozemai Achakzai is MNA and other Hassan Manzoor is DIG Motorways police. Zia-ur-Rehman, brother of Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman was appointed as Commissioner Afghan Refugees (ARs-KPK) on the recommendations of Establishment Division in April 2016 reportedly without adhering to the prerequisite of coordination with provincial government. It has to be mentioned that he is a grade 18 officer whereas the requirement for the slot is Grade 20. Since his brother has strongly opposed the repatriation of Afghan refugees, there is a perception that the latter could exploit the situation and impede the repatriation process. According to a report, Zia-ur-Rehman was inducted in provincial management service (grade 17), using brother’s clout during MMA government.
Petitioner Muhammad Abbas Khan, a BPS-19 CSP officer of Secretariat Group had been serving as CAR KP till the April 13, 2016 notification regarding appointment of Ziaur Rehman as CAR. The petitioner nominated secretary Establishment Division, Ziaur Rehman, district coordination officer (DCO) Khushab and secretary Safron Division as respondents. The petitioner claimed that his professional career was excellent which is evident from his ACRs and recently he was awarded with scholarship to attend 84th International Refugee Law Course in Italy. He also claims to have also attended International Summer School in Forced Migrations from the University of Oxford. These facts would explain about competency of the petitioner regarding his job, he said. On April 13, 2016, the Establishment Division handed over services of Ziaur Rehman to Safron Ministry for his further appointment as CAR without any consultation with the provincial government.
As per a notification dated August 28, 2015, it is mandatory that the postings and transfers of provincial commissioner for Afghan refugees and respective commissionerate staff would be carried out by the Safron Ministry in coordination with the provincial governments. The petitioner alleged that while appointing Ziaur Rehman, no such coordination was seen. The petitioner has stated that the appointment of Mr. Zia was politically motivated. The high court had already admitted the writ petition for full hearing. The ministry of State and Frontier Region (SAFRON), also a Respondent in the petition, conceded in its comments that the appointment of Mr. Zia was against the prescribed rules and regulations. The ministry admitted that it had not given any approval for replacement of the petitioner. The petitioner had challenged the March 28 order issued by the NWFP chief secretary whereby Zia-ur-Rehman was appointed as project director (Repatriation).
According to website Siasat, a recent decision of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Service Tribunal to award seniority to a brother of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, chief of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, has created unrest among government officials. “The seniority of about 355 officers, working in different government departments, has been affected by the decision of the tribunal,” sources said. Officials filed a petition for leave to move Supreme Court after they felt that their seniority was affected by the decision of the tribunal in favour of Zia-ur-Rehman, who had filed an appeal against a notification dated July 8, 2010. According to this notification Zia-ur-Rehman had been absorbed as Provincial Management Group (PMS) officer with immediate effect. “The tribunal’s decision to regularise the service of Zia-ur-Rehman since 2007 affected the seniority of 355 officials, who got promoted in 2008,” the petitioner stated in his petition.
The petitioners say that the respondent while posted as assistant divisional engineer (BPS-17) in Pakistan Telecommunication, first managed his posting on deputation as additional commissioner of Afghan Refugees and then through a notification dated September 12, 2007 as section officer in the provincial service with immediate effect as a special case. The order was passed by the then governor in exercise of powers U/S 23, NWFP Civil Servant Act 1973. According to the petition, the authority concerned appeared to have been swayed so much by the political pressure that it lost sight of the fact that the said provision of law could not be invoked in the case of respondent as he was employee of a limited company and not a civil servant.“The senior officials, who were waiting for their promotion since 1996 and got promoted in 2008, would be affected by recognising induction of Zia-ur-Rehman’s service since 2007,” sources said.
—The writer is a senior journalist based in Lahore.