PCS officers wait for Punjab CM amid fading hopes
ISLAMABAD (March 26, 2011): PCS (provincial civil service) officers of Punjab, protesting against the “dominance” of the DMG (district management group) officials of the federal government posted in Punjab, pin high hopes on Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif as he returns home on Sunday, but he may not help.
“A three-member committee formed by the chief minister, which holds almost daily meetings in view of the PCS officers’ protest, has been regularly sending reports to him in London,” a Punjab government official told The News.
He believed that Shahbaz Sharif would have nothing to offer to the PCS officers whose association’s office bearers wanted a meeting with him to personally apprise him of their demands. “I don’t think the meeting would be held.”
The three-member committee, headed by Adviser Sardar Zulfikar Khosa and comprises Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Senator Pervaiz Rashid, which has frequently met, heard the PCS Officers’ Association and redressed its grievances to a large extent. A PCS officer said that their pen down strike that entered the sixth day on Saturday would continue till the acceptance of their demands. He said a meeting with the chief minister could lead to the end of the protest if the complaints were taken care of.
However, the Punjab government official said that the protest was uncalled for when most of the demands of the PCS officers have already been accepted and implemented.
He said that it was clear to everybody even among the PCS officers that the protest has tremendously waned and would further fade with the passage of time. He said the protesters were guilty of indiscipline because of being government servants, they were barred from such agitation.
It was in the chief minister’s absence from Pakistan that several PCS officers were picked up by police when they observed strike in Lahore. They were released later but several of them are facing cases for rowdiness.
The official said that many such officers were now approaching concerned authorities to repent their strike with the request of a lenient view of their action. Nearly 1,200 PCS officers in Punjab are pitched against some 300 DMG officials of the federal government and want every post held by the later for them while it was the chief minister, who has deputed them. In most cases, he personally interviewed when he assumed this office and requisitioned them from the federal government.
A PCS officer said that the PCS association did not recognize the three-member committee as a body that understands their problems. That is why they have expressed no confidence in it and want the chief minister to directly alleviate their grievances.
The DMG officer said that in no other province, the PCS officers have followed such an aggressive policy as they have in Punjab despite the fact that almost their every complaint has been removed. Nowhere, he said, such a large number of PCS officials have been promoted over the last three years as in Punjab.
The protesting PCS officials are also under pressure to call off their protest because of the suspension and serving of notices on several officers for violation of the official discipline.