(Published in Daily English TheNews on Tuesday, December 07, 2010)
Hundreds of employees of Health Department in Khyber Agency have not been paid for the month of November because of the ongoing tug-of-war between the Fata Secretariat and Dr Shakeel, the agency surgeon who got a stay order against his transfer recently.
Dr Tahir, acting as Khyber Agency surgeon, has been unable to draw his salary for last three months after his posting order was suspended by the Services Tribunal Peshawar through a stay order issued on October 15, allowing the former agency surgeon Dr Shakeel to continue his job.
The Fata Secretariat is hesitant to restore Dr Shakeel as agency surgeon. Following the court order, the National Bank of Pakistan, Jamrud branch, refused to clear the salary cheque signed by sitting agency surgeon Dr Tahir and asked for cheque with Dr Shakeel’s signature who has been drawing his salary as agency surgeon.
Talking to this scribe, Dr Tahir said the bank was not accepting him as agency surgeon though he had showed the staff the administrative order of his posting. But Dr Shakeel was creating problems to block the salaries of the staff by copying the court order to the agency accounts office and National Bank, he revealed.
“I have spent more than Rs40,000 from my pocket as I have been hanging in the legal war between Dr Shakeel and Fata Secretariat,” he said, adding that he wanted early solution to the matter.
Dr Shakeel was transferred from the position Khyber Agency surgeon to the Health Directorate, Fata Secretariat, by competent authorities and Dr Tahir, the-then surgeon of Orakzai Agency, replaced him on August 23, 2010.
Dr Shakeel challenged his transfer order in the Services Tribunal and got a stay order on October 15, allowing him to continue his job as agency surgeon of Khyber and suspended the hearing till November 22.
But when Dr Shakeel resumed his duty, the political agent of Khyber Agency, assistant political agent of Jamrud and Directorate of Health Services of Fata, in violation of the court order, barred him from performing his duty, the counsel for the petitioner Arif Yousafzai told the court. He pleaded the court to take action against the officials concerned for violating the court order.
A two-member bench of the tribunal comprising of Abdul Jalil and Noor Ali served contempt of court notices on the director for Fata Health Services, political agent and assistant political agent of Jamrud for violating the stay order and directed them to appear in the court on November 11, 2010.
The last hearing into the case was held on December 3 and the case was adjourned to December 24. Heran Shah, the president of Class-IV Employees Association, and Naheed Khan, the president of Paramedical Association, Khyber Agency, termed the unnecessary delay in release of their salaries unjust and said they should not be punished. They demanded the governor and additional chief secretary of the Fata to resolve the issue of agency surgeon on emergency basis to avoid further delay in release of salaries.