News Analysis |
In a new development, the Supreme Court (SC) of Pakistan took notice of the revelation regarding appointment of 305 people on 27 seats in Sindh Health Department. The court displayed utmost displeasure over the state of governance in Sindh.
According to details, Justice Gulzar expressed anger over the provincial government and said that officers are misusing their authorities. The government is appointing people when there is no money in the national exchequer, he added. The court also nullified the decision of Sindh High Court (SHC) and banned these hirings.
Meanwhile, the advocate general said that the notification has been annulled after the appointments in the department were proven illegal.
It is one of the many cases of misuse of authority in Sindh where Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is in the government for the 11th consecutive year. Inclusion of incompetent people is not only damaging the repute of the institutions but it is also costing a heavy price to the nation. In a similar development, a few months back the former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar found bottles of liquor from the hospital room of PPP leader Sharjeel Memon. However, Sindh government officials presented honey and olive oil in the bottles later on.
— PPP (@MediaCellPPP) February 23, 2019
Bad governance in Sindh?
This is not the first glaring example of improper governance in Sindh. Last year, the Sindh local government department reverted 11 officials from BS-17 and BS-16 to BS-5 and BS-4. Through a notification dated September 6, local government secretary Khalid Hyder Shah reverted 11 officials of HMC and sent back one of them to his parent department. According to a notification, the decision had been taken on the directions of the Supreme Court mandated Water Commission. “… on the recommendations of the inquiry report submitted by Additional Secretary (Admin) and in light of the minutes of the meeting held on August 29, 2018, under the chair of Commissioner Hyderabad and (further) in compliance with the Supreme Court’s order passed in criminal original petition 89/2011 on June 12, 2013”.
The BS-18 legal adviser Mukaram Khan has been reverted to BS-5 Typist, BS-17 health director Rafique Ahmed Rajput to BS-5 Junior Clerk, BS-17 taxation officer Abdul Wahab Rajput to BS-1 Naib Qasid, BS-17 Prosecuting Officer Altaf Baig to BS-5, BS-17 Chief Fire Officer Muhammad Yonus to BS-5 and BS-17 Assistant Director Health Aqeel Ahmed Khanzada to BS-6.
Similarly, two BS-16 office superintendents and a BS-16 assistant director for land have been moved back to BS-6 and BS-5 grades. One of them, Abdul Muqeem Shaikh, was sent back to his parent department – the District Council Hyderabad. According to media reports, 11 officers were reverted to the grades in which they were posted in 1994. According to another notification, the HMC has been directed to form a departmental promotion committee and process the promotion cases in accordance with the rules.
The water commission had ordered an inquiry into the promotions of these officials on July 5th. The inquiry committee on August 29 concluded its findings and recommended the reversions. According to sources, most of the reverted officers lacked qualification and experience in their respective fields. Rafique Ahmed Rajput, who was working as BS-17 health director, was posted as secretary to the mayor.
Analysts in Pakistan opine that Pakistan and particularly Sindh needs comprehensive reforms to strengthen its institutions. Political interference is one of the many causes of institutional breakdown and massive corruption in the province. Politicization of police across the province is another example of how political influence overrules merit and integrity of officers. It is now expected that after such humiliation, the Sindh government will take some effective steps to ensure meritocracy and rule of law across the province.