Mojaan hi Mojaan for babus-VIII
40 extra officers promoted to 21 for Zardari brother-in-law
In the mad rush to oblige as many as possible, the PPP government has promoted extra 40 officers from Grade 20 to 21 just to promote President Asif Zardari’s brother-in-law, Fazlullah Pechuho.
Fazlullah was at number-132 down the promotion ladder but a dubious board was created to promote him. What if this may have elevated a few undeserving dozens besides killing the chances of many abler officers who were caught off-guard? This set into motion a wave of sulking among deserving officers from Peshawer to Karachi, many of whom had not done their courses in time.
This may have been one of its-kind operation where, over night, such a huge number of officers were elevated in absolute disregard of all procedures. In sum, over 100 officers got promoted to Grade 21, nearly 84 of them from just one group alone—the all-powerful District Management Group (DMG) now called as Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS). Already, over 170 officers wait in Grade 21 to be promoted.
Imagine the strength of the exclusive Club of grade 22 officers if the trend continues. The Club-22 already stand at around 60 if one includes those rehired on contract—the likes of fossilized Salman Farooquis who will never give way.
More important, Prime Minister Pervaiz Ashraf is being pressured to promote another batch of officers to Grade 22 before he leaves. The PM had already obliged his sons-in-law and it was now his time to reciprocate.
A board meeting was scheduled to take place on Monday to get the beleaguered PM do this final job, among a host of other hasty steps he may have taken in the last days of the government. One such thing was to allow two plots to each member of the exclusive Club of Grade 22 officers. Another was to allow salary increases to elite departments.
The bureaucrats who wants their promotion to Grade 22 at every cost—for many this is the last chance—the agenda could not be achieved today but they have not given up. A new effort will be made on Tuesday to get the job done whatever it takes. Who cares how this will impact the structure of the bureaucracy; how its top will become so heavy with so much extra expense; how will the state constantly bear the constant ballooning of the bureaucratic size.
All of this in times when we are trying to have devolution of resources to the provinces. Yet nobody is willing to go to FATA, let alone Balochistan. It seems there is no end to their greed as they keep crating their own vacancies.
We are told the provinces were asked to seek more posts so that Fazlullah could be adjusted. The provinces were asked to multiply their demand as the number was much short of the requirement. Such is the camaraderie among the babus that nobody in the province protested at such outrage. The more the better seems the mantra.
Until the final reports came in, the decision has been challenged in the courts. But those who want to be in grade 22 before this week are all set to make it happen. Hectic lobbying was on till the filing of this report. The officers who are in the race include those who have been in jail for corruption charges; another one is not even from provincial service.