Another bout of transfers, postings in CDA before polls

  • Usman Bajwa continues to head civic agency as chairman during caretaker setup

ISLAMABAD: Despite the caretaker government in place with all its portfolios taken, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) continues to be headed by Chairman Usman Bajwa who was appointed by the outgoing government of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) during the end of its tenure.

Bajwa was made chairman when Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz was barred from holding the office of the capital’s foremost civic agency chairman by the Islamabad High Court (IHC). CDA has now appointed Irfan Ullah, a deputationist previously suspended due to corruption allegations, the director for urban affairs at the Enforcement Directorate.

Imran Sikandar, another deputationist from the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA), has also been appointed as the director for rural affairs at the same directorate. On condition of anonymity, sources privy to the development told Pakistan Today that the posting of two officers who have good ties with former Capital Administration and Development Division (CADD) minister at pivotal positions is an attempt to keep a leash on the election campaign.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Enforcement Directorate regulates the camp offices, tents, banners, billboards and other such activities along with the Directorate of Municipal Administration (DMA) in the capital. A mere two weeks ago, Chairman Bajwa had ordered transfers and handed over charge of 29 officers, who were mostly newly-promoted and hailed from branches of accounts, environment directorate and planning & engineering.

With CDA Member Administration Yasir Peerzada away on a three-week leave and widespread rumours of him not returning, ad-hocism rules the roost as the chairman bids time until a new government brings in a permanent chairman. With dozens of investigations and inquiries pending with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and suo motu notices before the IHC and the Supreme Court (SC), watchdogs and courts continue to breathe down CDA’s neck as they look into the wheeling and dealing of its officials.

The drive initiated by CDA during the recent massive scale transfers and postings from one directorate to another seems to continue. Due to a shortage of the employees, the civic agency makes do with the age-old practice of giving additional charges to juniors. When contacted, CDA spokesperson Malik Saleem said that the transfers and postings were a routine matter and should be viewed as such.

“Best man for the best job is the motto we adhere to at CDA,” he said, adding that the deputationists have served the civic agency and people of the capital well, as most of them hail from superior services and have ample experience in the field.