Pro PML-N bureaucrats take reigns of important govt posts ahead of elections

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ISLAMABAD: As the government completed its tenure and the upcoming polls scheduled for July 25, a number of government officers close to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) have been posted to important positions to get the desired results in the coming elections, it was learnt.

Sources told Pakistan Today that the federal government has posted Sohail Aamir, a BS-22 officer of Secretariat Group, as secretary to the prime minister, Syed Abu Ahmed Akif as Cabinet Division secretary and Dr Kazim Niaz as additional secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Meanwhile, Kamran Ali Afzal has been posted to Finance Division, Joint Secretary Hassan Baig has been posted as Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) director general (DG) and lastly, Fawad Hasan Fawad has been deputed as Civil Service Academy (CSA) Lahore DG.

According to sources, interim PM Nasirul Mulk has made these appointments with the consultation of Federal Ombudsman Tahir Shehbaz and Barrister Zafarullah, who are both very close to caretaker prime minister. Interestingly, however, the Nawaz led government had initially appointed Tahir Shehbaz as Federal Ombudsman for a period of four years in July 2017 when he was about to retire.

Sources also said that that PML-N government, in the last three days of its government, approved unconstitutional measures in two cabinet meetings and one meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).

Furthermore, Dr Kazim Niaz was again transferred to PM office even though he already served as joint secretary in PM office under Fawad Hasan Fawad.

According to sources, Kamran Ali Afzal works by the book which is why he was posted in Finance Division, while Fawad posted Dr Kazim Niaz in PM office to get latest developments during the interim setup.

They also said that Fawad Hasan Fawad kept the post of CSA DG for himself as he will probably control the Punjab based bureaucracy on the instructions of Sharif brothers.

Sources further said that the first day of the caretaker setup at the federal level has not given the right impressions for free and fair elections in the country, which is worrisome as it can jeopardize the impartiality of the interim setup in the very early stage of its existence.

“The Nawaz camp got a set back after withdrawal of Nasir Khosa’s name as Punjab CM by PTI but with the new transfers and postings made at the federal level, it appears that they have regained their position,” sources added.

The most important assignment at the federal level is that of establishment secretary where Maroof Afzal is still continuing despite his known close association with PML-N. Moreover, he is also a batch mate of Fawad Hassan Fawad.

 

With additional reporting by Shahzad Paracha