On May 1, 2010, I had written a post on this blog titled “Ansar Abbasi, the undeclared spokesperson of Iftikhar Chaudhry”. That post was in response to Ansar Abbasi’s investigative report on the decision of Sohail Ahmed, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue to seek a long term leave as he was demoted from Grade 22 to 21 due to the “landmark” Supreme Court judgment.
In my post, I had talked about how Ansar Abbasi is trying to appease the bureaucracy by writing that the Supreme Court Judgment was against the procedures adopted by the Prime Minister in promoting civil servants and not against the bureaucracy itself. In that report, Ansar Abbasi had indicated that Suhail Ahmed was seeking a long term leave prior to retirement as he was unhappy due to the treatment meted out by the Supreme Court.
In today’s Jang, a very senior and relatively stable journalist, Hanif Khalid has reported about a private meeting between Dr. Hafeez Shaikh and Sohail Ahmed in which the sub headline is “Sohail Ahmed rukhsat kee darkhwast wapis lenay par aamaada”. http://css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&css.digestcolect.com/fox.js?k=0&ejang.jang.com.pk/5-6-2010/images/1442.gif
I personally feel that this report is to counter the earlier report by Ansar Abbasi. Again this report is based on sources, however, it clearly indicates that Sohail Ahmed’s thinking which is:
- Sohail Ahmed was asking for “leave” to defend himself in the Supreme Court as demotion of an officer can only take place under “Efficiency and Discipline Rules”.
- An officer can only be demoted after enquiry if charges of gross misconduct are proven
This is fair enough. Efficient officers, I am sure, must have been rubbed the wrong way after the Supreme Court decision. The Supreme Court must have realized that the judicial activism may lead them to confront another very important pillar of our state, the bureaucracy.
Ansar Abbasi may have realized that he may have over done his investigations. Jang Group may have realized the repercussions of messing with civil servants and that too the FBR. Word has it that the group owes around Rs 3 billion in sales tax and inquiries are already on for income tax evasion.
I am sure that this matter of bureaucrats demotion will be handled amicably and sensibly now by the Supreme Court as Jang Group will be a little soft on this issue going forward.
P.S. Mistakes in the above referred report are also evident as Hafeez Shaikh is mentioned as Hafeez Pasha.