Officers or trade unionists?
MOHAMMAD AFZAL KHAN
This is apropos of the PCS officers’ sit-in at the Civil Secretariat. I am at a loss to fathom the strange things happening with consistent regularity in our country. For example, the NAB director general admitted a few months ago to Rs12 billion of the country’s money being lost to corruption on a daily basis.
More recently, around Rs1 billion in cash in various currencies were recovered from the house of the Balochistan finance secretary and another significant among of cash and gold was seized from a bakery in Quetta. As if these events were not significant enough, PCS officers of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government (Grade 17 to Grade 20) have gone on a strike. This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that senior officers have gone on strike for more than 20 days.
During the strike, the officers involved vacated their offices (and by doing so, refused to acknowledge their duty to the public), and assembled in the government secretariat, shouting slogans as if they were a part of a labour union of a factory or some other commercial organisation. This action is illegal as these officers cannot form a union or go on strike. The issue has a very simple solution; the provincial government of K-P should take action against the officers involved in the strike. Instead, the provincial government has chosen to be a passive spectator while the drama unfolds. This incident has resulted in humiliation for K-P.
One of the primary demands of these PCS officers was that CSP or DMG officers should not be posted to the province. What a ridiculous demand is this that the cream of the nation should all be denied postings to the province and hence, should be pooled in Islamabad, the capital city. K-P would suffer a lot should this ever come to fruition. The provincial government, through its passive spectator approach, has allowed this situation to worsen. The day is not far when these officers on strike will mutiny against the government and take charge of posts of their choice by force. — Hayatabad, Peshawar