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Friday, June 14, 2024

Who’s the new Principal Secy of PM Shehbaz Sharif?

The new prime minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif will retain his old bureaucratic team which previously served with him when he was Chief Minister Punjab. As a result, he has already selected his personal secretary.

Newly appointed prime minister Shehbaz Sharif selects Dr. Syed Tauqir Hussain Shah as his Principal Secretary (PS). Federal Establishment Division has also issued the appointment notification of Dr. Tauqir Shah.

“Dr. Syed Tauqir Hussain Shah, a BS-21 officer of Pakistan Administrative Service, presently awaiting posting in Establishment Division, is transferred and posted as Secretary to the Prime Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, under section 10 of the Civil Servants Act 1973, with immediate effect and until further orders,” the notification read.

Reacting to the development, PML-N leader Miftah Ismail endorsed the appointment of Dr. Tauqir Shah and called him a “rockstar of a bureaucrat”. Important to note, Dr. Tauqir Shah already served Shehbaz Sharif as his personal secretary when the latter was Chief Minister Punjab. He also served as Pakistan’s representative to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva.

Read more: World Trade Organization witnesses US-China trade standoff

Allegations against Dr. Tauqir

Pertinent to mention, Dr. Tauqir Shah has faced his share of controversies. For instance, he was named among those responsible for the Model Town Massacre.

In 2014, the PML-N government sent the Punjab police to carry out an armed operation at the head office of Minhaj-ul-Quran International (MQI) and the residence of Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri in Lahore. The operation continued for approximately fifteen hours.

The Punjab police gunned down at least 14 workers of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), including two women, one of whom was pregnant. More than eighty-five people were injured by live firing and aggression by the police.

Read more: Model Town Massacre: Will the victims ever get justice?

During that time, Dr. Tauqir Shah served as then CM Punjab Shehbaz Sharif’s PS. According to reported details, as the CM, Shehbaz Sharif commanded the police operation, while Dr. Tauqir Shah coordinated his instructions to the field actors. After a lot of criticism, he was removed from the post. However, later, became the ambassador to WTO.

Moreover, the PTI government also targeted Dr. Tauqir Shah as it set out on its witch-hunt against the Sharif family. Interestingly, former PM Imran Khan appointed him as federal health secretary but withdrew his decision amid criticism.

Furthermore, Dr. Tauqir Shah also came under scrutiny during the Rawalpindi Ring Road (RRR3) scandal. In short, a fact-finding report accused Dr. Tauqir Shah of directly benefitting from the realignment of RRR3.

On the other hand, Dr. Tauqir Shah rejected the content of the report and said that his name was put in the inquiry report to defame him and he had the right to challenge it.