Ayub Qazi new principal secretary to premier
ISLAMABAD, July 6: It has taken Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf nearly two weeks to appoint his full-time principal secretary. On Friday, he transferred eight federal secretaries and appointed a new managing director of the Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Supplies Corporation (Passco).
At the time of Mr Ashraf’s election as prime minister on June 22, Khushnood Lashari was holding the charge of Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, but was abroad on leave reportedly for medical reasons.
When Mr Lashari, who is one of the accused in the ephedrine scandal, prolonged his stay in London, the prime minister started looking for his new top aide and eventually appointed Ayub Qazi, a BS-22 officer of the District and Management Group (DMG).
A soft-spoken man, Mr Qazi was already working as special secretary in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat looking after the PM’s development funds.
Many believe that Mr Lashari is prolonging his stay in London to avoid the ANF-led investigation into the scam which also involves Musa Ali Gilani, son of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, and Textile Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin.
Mr Shahabuddin was federal minister for health and had Mr Lashari as his secretary when the unaccounted for quota of ephedrine was imported.
Another significant reshuffle of the day was of Taimur Azmat Usman who has been transferred from the ministry of information to the establishment division. Choudhry Rasheed Ahmad, a well-known figure of the information services, will now work as secretary information.
According to the grapevine, Mr Usman’s differences with Director General of Radio Pakistan Murtaza Solangi, a PPP loyalist, have led to his posting out of the ministry. Radio Pakistan falls under the administrative control of information ministry.
Otherwise, he was a good fit with Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira.
Dr Waqar Masood, who was directly inducted into civil services by the late Benazir Bhutto during her first government and is known as a PPP favourite, has been moved from the economic affairs division to the ministry of petroleum and natural resources. He has been replaced by Javed Iqbal, another DMG officer who had worked as chief secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and later as secretary of Pakistan Railways.
Mr Iqbal’s differences with Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmad Bilour are quite a known story in the federal bureaucracy. “Mr Bilour wanted a complete ‘yes man’, which Mr Iqbal known for his clean reputation, refused to act like and hence he was eventually posted out of the ministry,” said a federal secretary who didn’t want to be identified.
Ijaz Choudhry, who was working in the petroleum ministry, for the time being, has not been given any new assignment.
The posting of Israr Rauf, a BS-21 officer of income tax, as secretary of the Capital Administration and Development (CAD) under Nazar Mohammad Gondal, is being seen as the most intriguing in the bureaucratic circles.
Most of the time of his service, Mr Rauf has worked for the Federal Bureau of Revenue.
“Mr Gondal has especially asked for Mr Rauf who is known for developing quick rapport with politicians and then milking them to his favour,” said an official close to Mr Rauf.
Imtiaz Inayat Ilahi has been transferred from the CAD to the regulation and services ministry under Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan. It is a less attractive assignment, compared to Mr Ilahi’s earlier posting as chairman of the Capital Development Authority, where he had served for three years.
Maj-Gen Tauqeer was appointed managing director of Passco.
Kamran Qureshi has been posted as secretary of Kashmir Affairs.—Khawar Ghumman