ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi approved the promotions of 52 officers from the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS), Secretariat group and police service recommended by the Central Selection Board (CSB) and also undid notifications of their supersession and deferment issued in 2015.
The promotions were from the CSB of 2015 where about 97 civil servants were deferred, superseded or rejected for a variety of reasons by the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.
The recent promotion orders were issued Monday night in which 21 officers of Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) were promoted to the rank of 20 and 21, 16 civil servants from the secretariat group were also promoted to the same grades, while 15 officers of the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) were likewise promoted.
With the new notifications several transfers and postings have also been notified for the officers who have been serving across the country in different ministries and divisions.
The CSB meeting was held in June after the Supreme Court asked them to reconsider promotions of 1,164 civil servants of grades 19, 20 and 21. On April 13 this year, the Supreme Court had given 10 weeks to the Establishment Division to devise a new policy for promotions.
The court had set aside the promotions of over 300 bureaucrats that were notified in May 2015 after dozens of civil servants had approached the court against the CSB for allegedly favouring its blue-eyed boys.
However, the Supreme Court in its verdict did not de-notify the promotions of all officers, but it directed the Establishment Division to re-examine the 2015 promotions.
Meanwhile, sources told The Express Tribune that the CSB did not go through all the 1,100 names but only reconsidered about 100 names which were ignored for several reasons by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
The Establishment Division has also forwarded details of the CSB to the apex court it had asked for while handing down the verdict. With these promotions, it is expected the controversy over promotions which has surrounded the bureaucracy for the last two years would end.
Interestingly, another high-powered board headed by the PM which recommends promotions from Grade 21 to 22 is yet to meet. The meeting of that board was to take place by the end of June but it could not be held as former premier Nawaz Sharif was embroiled in the Panama case.
It was not the first time that the civil servants moved to court against decision of PM. All previous three CSBs — held under the current government in 2014, 2015 and 2016 — have been mired in controversy with allegations of promoting civil servants of choice.
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