PMSA president, Rai Manzoor Nasir, waves to supporters from a police van. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ABID NAWAZ
There is a noticeable elitist silence in Pakistani media and blogs on the current protests by the PCS officers in Punjab (PCS slaves of the Takht-e-Punjab), whose legitimate demands for respect and equality are being met with naked brutality and harshness which is a characteristic of the historical union between the PML-N (corrupt trader politicians) and DMG (corrupt brown sahib bureaucrats). In the following post, we offer an update and context of the PCS officers demands and an overview of the reaction by the PPP and PML-N.
PCS Officers’ stance
The PCS officers, including the president of Punjab PCS Officers Association, Rai Manzoor Nasir, were arrested on Friday while protesting against the Punjab government and the District Management Group (DMG).
“The government’s attitude cannot stop us from agitating rather it will push the (provincial services) officers to protest more strongly for their rights. I am surprised why the government is giving extraordinary importance to the DMG and ignoring a majority of PCS officers, protesting for their rights for a long time,” Mr Nasir said while talking to this reporter.
Giving a chronology of what he called a just struggle for the PCS officers’ right, he said the association’s office-bearers had started holding meetings in December 2009 to press for their demands.
“We held the first meeting in this connection on December 31, 2009, with the then chief secretary, Javaid Mehmood, who
strongly supported our stance and accepted all our genuine demands,” he said.
He said after removal of Mr Mehmood, the association held several meetings with the new Chief Secretary Nasir Khosa, who parroted the promises made by his predecessor. Mr Khosa constituted a committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Sami Saeed in January 2010 to settle the issue.
After a series of meetings, Rai Nasir said, the ACS promised to submit the committee’s report by March 10, 2010, to the Punjab Assembly which, he claimed, was in favour of PCS officers. “But the committee in its report sent to the Punjab Assembly on April 22, 2010, disagreed with all demands of the PCS officers,” he said, terming it a “fraud” with the association.
He said the association continued its struggle for the rights of as many as 1,200 PCS officers across the province and held a grand function in Lahore on July 10, 2010. He said the government, after witnessing participation of hundreds of officers in the event, constituted a political committee headed by Sirdar Zulifqar Khosa.
Mr Nasir said the political committee agreed to all demands of the association and pledged implementation of its recommendations by July 31, 2010. However, he said, no steps were taken in this regard even after passage of the date. Later, the government flatly refused to accept any of the demands, he added.
He said due to the drastic flood hitting the country, the association didn’t give any strike call last year. “We unanimously decided to formally start our strike from March 18, 2011 (Friday),” he maintained.
He alleged that some of the DMG officer tried to pressurise the association to get postponed the strike but in vain.
“On Friday, we had just gathered the officials at the Punjab Civil Secretariat so as to finalise our strategy and distribute protest pamphlets among the officers. As we were standing about 300 feet away from the Chief Secretary’s Office, a police team led by DSP Aun Muhammad came there and arrested three of our officers, besides thrashing a clerk,” Mr Nasir said.
He said as the protesters started dispersing, a number of police officials shut all Secretariat gates and arrested more than 100 officers/officials including him, additional home secretary, additional secretary (regulations), APCA Punjab president and others.
He said the police also barred all the arrested officers from offering Jumma prayers and registered a case against them under sections 353, 431, 506, 186, 148, 149 of the PPC, besides 16-MPO, 29-A and 25-B.
He said the arrested officers were kept at various police stations along with criminals already detained there. He said the police disallowed the detained officers to contact their family members.
Mr Nasir said the government on Saturday suspended 10 PCS officers from service, including him, who played a leading role in launching the protest. (Source)
Punjab government’s stance
Meanwhile, the Punjab government said that section 144 remains clamped in all the provincial departments including provincial civil secretariat. Throttling the voice of the striking officers has been ordered, whosoever officer would take the law in his hand would be arrested. (Source)
March 21: The PPP’s Sajida Mir said the Punjab government was allegedly favouring the DMG officers and was victimising and disgracing the PCS officers. Interestingly, she kept on using the word ‘DGM’ officers instead of saying DMG officers. She said the ‘DGM’ group had taken the province hostage, adding that the province was not personal property of the ‘DGM’ group. She said the PCS officers were also well educated but the government was disgracing them. She added Ahad Cheema, a BPS-18 officer of the ‘DGM’ group, was posted as the DCO Lahore against a BPS-20 post. ‘This is sheer injustice’, she went on to say.
Faiza Malik of the PPP said action against the PCS officers was condemnable and no strategy was evolved to address their issues during the last three years. (Source: The News)
March 19: PPP MPA Faiza Malik on Saturday submitted a privilege motion in the Punjab Assembly against the arrest of PCS officers.
Ms Malik said the arrest of the Punjab government`s officers showed the level of tolerance Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had. She said the opposition would protest the issue in the assembly on Monday (tomorrow) and force the chief minister to stop ruling the province “by force”.
“The Sharifs want to rule the province like a king. The chief minister has no respect for the rights of the people,” she said. She also criticised them for denying their role in Davis`s release.
PML-Q parliamentary leader Chaudhry Zaheeruddin said Shahbaz Sharif was treating his own officers like criminals. “Do not consider the PCS officers your political opponents,” he said while blaming the chief minister for targeting the officials to extend favour to his “favourite ones”. (Source)
Rana Muhammad Afzal of the PML-N, defending his government, said that during the last three years, the Punjab government had taken record initiatives in favour of the PCS officers, adding that both the DMG and PCS officers were asset to the province.
At this, the members of the Opposition chanted slogans of ‘shame, shame’.
The chair asked Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan to brief the House about progress of the committee which was formed to address the issues of the PCS officers.
Rana Sanaullah said the committee, formed by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, held nine consecutive meetings during the last year and majority of issues of the PCS officers were resolved. He said their biggest demand was related to the delay in promotion cases, adding that 320 PCS officers were promoted after the meetings. He added that another issue of the officers was related to the length of service which was also resolved and rules in this connection with re-notified.
The law minister said the PCS officers also demanded change in rulers of the Officers Mess at the GOR and the demand was accepted. He said another demand of the officers was related to 50 percent quota of the PCS officers for the posts of DCOs and commissioners. He claimed the issue was also resolved as it was decided that in a panel of three officers for any of the posts, one would be from among the PCS officers.
‘Therefore, DCOs of 13 districts of the province are from among the PCS officers,’ he said while claiming ‘It never happened in the past.’
Rana Sana further said that another demand of the PCS officers was related to amendment to the Moeen Qureshi Report, adding that the PCS officers were assured that the Punjab government would take up the issue with the federal government.
Explaining the reason of action against the officers, he said some PCS officers, in connection with their strike, distributed pamphlets, allegedly based on foul language, within the Punjab Civil Secretariat on Friday. He said when they were stopped, some 200 to 250 officers gathered and allegedly broke open the lock and held a protest outside.
The law minister said the FIRs were registered against 73 people for the illegal act, adding that all of the arrested officers were released on bail the next day. He further said the PCS officers had given a call of strike on Monday (March 21), however, the official work continued across the province and at the Punjab Civil Secretariat as per routine.
Rana Sana further said the Punjab government did not have any ill will against the PCS officers and it had accepted many of their demands and was ready to talk further to resolve their issues. (Source: The News)
PCS Officers – by Nazir Naji
پی سی ایس افسران
پنجاب کے وزیراعلیٰ شہبازشریف کی انتظامی اہلیت و مہارت کو شک و شبہ سے بالا تر سمجھا جاتا ہے۔ حیرت ہے کہ ان کے دور میں بھی صوبائی گزیٹڈ آفیسرز کا دیرینہ مسئلہ حل ہونے کے بجائے مزید الجھتا جا رہا ہے۔ اس کے اثرات‘ ظاہر ہے صوبے کی انتظامی صلاحیتوں پر پڑیں گے اور آخر کار نقصان غریب عوام کا ہو گا۔میرے نزدیک پی سی ایس افسران کے مطالبات کا غیرجانبداری سے جائزہ لیا جائے اور ان کے بارے میں مشاورت کرتے وقت کسی دوسرے سٹیک ہولڈر کو شریک نہ کیا جائے‘ تو معاملہ خوش اسلوبی سے حل کیا جا سکتا ہے۔ پی سی ایس افسران کی اصل شکایت ڈی ایم جی افسران سے ہے کہ وہ صوبے میں اپنے متعینہ کوٹے سے زیادہ عہدوں پر فائز ہو کر پی سی ایس افسران کی حق تلفی کرتے ہیں۔
جو بھی حکومت آتی ہے‘ وہ اس معاملے پر مشاورت بھی ان لوگوں سے کرتی ہے‘ جن سے پی سی ایس افسران کو شکایت ہے۔ ظاہر ہے کہ کوئی اپنے مفادات کے خلاف دوسروں کی شکایت کوکس طرح جائز قرار دے سکتا ہے؟ ہر مرتبہ جب یہ معاملہ زیرغور آتا ہے‘ تو ڈی ایم جی افسران کیس ہی اس طرح تیار کرتے ہیں کہ صوبائی ملازمین کے مطالبات ناجائز قرار پائیں۔ حالانکہ ان میں کوئی پیچیدگی نہیں ہے۔ وہ صرف یہ چاہتے ہیں کہ صوبائی اسامیوں میں وفاقی ملازمین کا جو کوٹہ مقرر ہے اس کے مطابق تعیناتیاں کی جائیں۔ وفاقی سروسز کے افسران کو سول سروس آف پاکستان (کمپوزیشن اینڈ کیڈر) رولز 1954ء کے تحت صوبوں میں تعینات کیا جا سکتا ہے۔ ڈی ایم جی گروپ کے افسران کی تقرری کا ایک پراسرار فارمولا جو کہ زیرعمل ہے‘ اس کے بارے میں کسی کو معلوم نہیں کہ اس کی قانونی حیثیت کیا ہے اور نہ ہی وہ نوٹیفکیشن کی شکل میں کہیں دستیاب ہے۔
میری معلومات کے مطابق حکومت کی طرف سے ایسا کوئی بھی فیصلہ ہوتا ہے‘ تو دفتری امور پر قابض ڈی ایم جی افسران‘ اسے فائلوں کے اندر ہی دبا دیتے ہیں اور نوٹیفکیشن نہیں کیا جاتا۔ شہبازشریف جیسے مستعد وزیراعلیٰ کی نظروں سے یہ ابہام اوجھل کیوں ہے؟ صوبائی خودمختاری حاصل ہو جانے کے بعد کیا یہ ضروری نہیں ہو گیا کہ صوبائی حکومتیں اپنی انتظامی ضروریات کے بارے میں خود کوئی فیصلہ کریں؟ کیا یہ بات عجیب نہیں کہ صوبے کا نظم و نسق چلانے والے اعلیٰ افسروں کے بارے میں یہ بھی واضح نہیں کہ وہ کتنے مناصب پر‘ کس تناسب سے متعین ہوں گے؟ پہلی بات تو یہ ہے کہ وفاقی افسران کو ‘ وفاقی عہدوں پر ہی کام کرنا چاہیے۔ یا پھر ایسے عہدے‘ جن میں صوبے اور وفاقی انتظامیہ کو مشترکہ ذمہ داریاں انجام دینا پڑتی ہیں‘ ان میں کوئی کوٹہ مقرر کر دیا جائے۔ مگر خالص صوبائی ملازمتیں‘ پی سی ایس افسران کے لئے ہونا چاہئیں۔ کیونکہ صوبائی نظم و نسق کے ذمہ دار وہ ہیں۔ ان کا کیرئیر‘ ان کا مستقبل‘ صوبے سے وابستہ ہے اور صوبے کے مستقبل میں ان سے زیادہ کس کو دلچسپی ہو سکتی ہے؟ وفاقی حکومت کا ملازم خرابی کرے گا تو اسے واپس وفاق میں بھیج دیا جائے گا۔ جیسا کہ ہوتا رہتا ہے۔ اس کا کیا بگڑا؟ اس کے برعکس صوبائی افسر سے کوتاہی ہو گی‘ تو وہ یہیں پر سزا و جزا کا مستحق ٹھہرے گا۔ یہ معمولی سا نکتہ سمجھنے کے لئے دلائل کی ضرورت نہیں۔ شہبازشریف سے زیادہ کون جانتا ہے کہ وفاقی افسروں کی جوابدہی کا اختیار صوبوں کو نہیں ہوتا۔ ان کی سروس بک بھی صوبوں کے پاس نہیں ہوتی۔نوازشریف کی وزارت اعلیٰ کے دور میں وفاقی افسروں کی طرف سے انہیں کیسی کیسی مزاحمت کا سامنا کرنا پڑا؟ کیا یہ یاد دلانے کی ضرورت ہے؟
آخر میں ایک اور بات بھی عرض کردوں کہ کسی بھی سروس کے ملازمین کو ناانصافی اور حق تلفی کا مسلسل احساس رہے‘ تو ان سے معیاری کارکردگی کی توقع نہیں رکھی جا سکتی۔شریف برادران صوبائی خودمختاری کے زبردست علمبردار ہیں۔ انہیں اپنی سوچ کے مطابق صوبائی سروس کو مستعد‘ فعال اورکارکردگی میں بہتر بنانے کے لئے نو آبادیاتی روایت کو ختم کرنا چاہیے۔ یہ بیرونی حکمرانوں کی ضرورت تھی کہ جو مرکزی سروس‘ براہ راست ان سے رابطے میں ہو‘ وہ ادب آداب اور خوئے غلامی میں مہارت رکھتی ہو۔
اس بنا پر ان کے لئے عمدہ تربیتی مراکز‘ حالات اور اساتذہ خصوصی طور پر فراہم کئے گئے۔ جبکہ صوبائی ملازمین کا تعلق مقامی حکومت چلانے والے بیشتر مقامی لوگوں سے ہوتا تھا۔ لہذا سلیکشن کے تحریری مقابلوں اور انٹرویوز میں‘ ان کے لئے زیادہ سختی رکھی گئی جبکہ ان کی پیشہ ورانہ تربیت کا کوئی اہتمام نہ کیا گیا تاکہ وہ ”گورے صاحبوں“ کی چاکری کرنے والوں کے سامنے دبے رہیں۔ اب گورے صاحب تو چلے گئے۔ سیاستدانوں میں کالے صاحب بننے کی گنجائش نہیں ہوتی۔ نتیجہ یہ ہے کہ گورے صاحبوں کی خالی کردہ جگہ‘ ان کے چاکروں نے لے لی ہے اور وہ آج بھی صوبائی ملازمین کو نچلے درجے کے لوگ سمجھتے ہیں۔ شہبازشریف کو یہ کلچر بدلنا چاہیے اور یہ ٹکسالی الزام ختم ہونا چاہیے کہ جو بھی اپنا حق مانگے‘ اس پر صوبائیت کا الزام لگا دیا جائے۔
Source: Jang, 22 March 2011
Relatively speaking – by Asha’ar Rehman
There was another group in the province for a change quite vocally contesting their employment status. Not on the basis of their worth and purely in the context of work hierarchy, the Provincial Civil Services or the PCS officers who refused to be treated as paramedics quite often are in comparison to the more privileged doctors. The PCS officers have long been irked by the rulers` preference for the federal DMG — District Management Group — officers.
The sentiment boiled over after the government held a promotion board for the DMG officers, ignoring the right of the PCS officers to have a similar board. In the wake of insistent PCS officers, they were also eventually granted a promotion board of their own but their grievances are actually far too deep-rooted to be addressed by one simple concession.
The PCS officers demand good postings and promotions and feel deprived by the `blue-eyed` DMG boys. They say the `biased` DMG officers control their fate since it is these federally routed appointees who sit at the senior positions responsible for postings and transfers. In recent times, these feelings have grown as out-of-turn postings have become somewhat of a norm with the Punjab government.
The Punjab government`s reaction to the protest calls by the PCS officers has been quite harsh and has become harsher with time. By yesterday, the government had ordered its employees to turn up at the offices at 7am to thwart a strike call by PCS officers. Some 100 protesters were earlier detained for some time and many of the more active protesters transferred to remote areas in an apparent attempt to punish them and to weaken their campaign.
As per routine, the so-called dispute between the DMG and PCS officers is considered by many to be too big an issue to be settled without Mr Shahbaz Sharif`s intervention. This has been consistent with all problems Punjab or Lahore has been faced with from crime and law and order to fighting the encroachers.
Lahore is right now in the middle of a clean-up operation the magnitude of which one more time indicates that the city alone needs a score of people and more with Mr Shahbaz Sharif`s authority to run it with some kind of order. Ultimately, they will have to be found from among the people at large. (Source: Dawn)
The protest continues
PCS officers have announced that they would continue the peaceful strike until getting their constitutional and legal rights. PCS Officers Association’s secretary information, Asifa Murtuza talking to Geo News said that the transfers of the PCS officers were vindictive and malicious act. She said that they would neither comply the orders relating to transfers and suspensions nor would offer any apologies.(Source)
March 21: Officers belonging to the Punjab Civil Service (PCS) cadre on Monday observed what they claimed a complete strike across the province under the banner of PCS Officers Association.
A majority of the officers did not attend their offices at the Civil Secretariat and other departments in the provincial capital and at all district headquarters. “The strike remained successful and we will continue our drive till acceptance of our demands,” association president Rai Manzoor Nasir told Dawn in the evening.
He said the officers staged protest camps in Rawalpindi district and entire PCS officers staged a sit-in to press the government for accepting their genuine demands.
He alleged that government and the DMG officers tried to pose the situation normal at the Civil Secretariat and other departments by getting police in the civvies and other lower-cadre staff seated in offices of various PCS officers.
“But, their drama remained useless. The government must remember that such tactics couldn`t force the officers to withdraw their demands, and it will have to accept these demands if it desires to calm down the situation,” Nasir added.
Nasir said the government had already suspended 29 officers including him, additional home secretary Shuaib Warraich, deputy secretary (confidential) Naeem Ghaus and various directors and section officers.
Besides, he said, the government had also issued show-cause notices to 60 or so officers and ordered them to reply within seven days. “It seems that the government wants to dismiss the officers at a latter stage instead of conducting an inquiry into the matter as per law,” he said.
He said the government had also given messages through some backdoor channels to the association to end its strike. “But, we have clearly told them to accept our genuine demands and withdraw false and baseless cases registered against the officials on Friday,” he said.
About association`s further strategy, Nasir said the officials would continue their strike with massive support of the All Pakistan Clerks Association (APCA).
“To support the PCS officers, APCA has also given a call to observe strike on a daily basis from Tuesday (today) in a protest gathering at Khanewal on Monday,” he said.
He said the officers had also even offered to submit their resignations to the association stating that it would be better for them to quit instead of working under a pro-DMG and discriminating attitude of the Punjab government.
He alleged the government had not even spared capturing a blind officer besides a cardiac patient, deputy secretary Aftab Hussain. “The police officials didn`t provide medicines to Aftab during detention, that resulted in his shifting to Punjab Institute of Cardiology later,” he deplored. (Source: Dawn)