Original Articles

Step aside President Zardari and PPP, Ansar Abbasi plays the “Sindh Card”

Pakistan’s apex investigative journalist and wannabe political advisor / strategist/ analyst / national builder / true muslim, Ansar Abbasi has written a special investigative report good enough to take the bragging rights of using the “Sindh Card” for the first time in reality. While the PPP and President Zardari are castigated time and again for their “threats” of using a “Sindh Card” just to prolong their rule, Ansar Abbasi has shown the reality to all of us. He says that PPP government led by PM Gilani has been relying on Punjabi Baboos for running the bureaucracy whereas there are just 3 out of 49 Federal Secretaries who belong to Sindh.

Now the report has been filed by looking at the domiciles of these Federal Secretaries. Can we dare ask Ansar Abbasi that does having a domicile confirm your ethnicity? Is it necessary for a Punjab domicile holder to be a Punjabi, Sindh domicile holder to be a Sindhi and so on? I for one know that both Waqar Masood Khan and Nargis Sethi both belong to Karachi and are in essence Urdu speaking. Does that mean that there is only one Sindhi as a federal secretary?

On one hand, Ansar Abbasi plays the role of a nation builder asking people to shun their nationalities and work towards a better Pakistan, and then on the other hand, writes this cheap essay that is nothing to fan ethnic tensions among people.

Please think before you write, Ansar Abbasi. Your reports are increasingly becoming irritating and worth trashing. And by the way, have you leased a space for yourself on the front page of The News and Jang, irrespective of the report?

Sindh card users banking on Punjabi Baboo brigade

Ansar Abbasi
The News, Monday, December 05, 2011

ISLAMABAD: President Zardari’s blessed Gilani government, which makes tall claims about serving the interest of the smaller federating units and leaves no opportunity to use the Sindh card, is betting on the brigade of top Punjabi bureaucrats to run his government as other provinces have either no or extremely low representation in the federal secretariat.

Out of the 49 federal secretaries, heading federal divisions, 43 belong to Punjab, three each from Sindh and KPK while there is not even a single bureaucrat from Balochistan leading any of the federal divisions. Two of the three federal secretaries, including Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi and Finance Secretary Dr Waqar Masood, have hardly or never served in Sindh in their whole career.

Punjabi bureaucrats never had a smoother sailing in the history of Pakistan than what they are presently enjoying under the PPP regime—a government which otherwise pays a lot of lip service to the ‘federation’ and the rights of the smaller federating units.

A who’s who of top-level federal bureaucracy reveals that the Federation of Pakistan has practically withered away as far as top-level bureaucratic placements are concerned. Despite all the much ado about the Balochistan package, Sindh mainstreaming and addressing the deprivation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the smaller federating units have practically nil representation at the policy and leadership level in the federal civil services and at the top policy making body of the country — the federal secretariat.

All the key civil servants posted in important bureaucratic positions are either direct ‘selectees’ of Prime Minister Gilani or ‘recommendees’ of Senior Minister Chaudry Perviaz Elahi as terms of engagement with the PPP have made it a point that all the Punjabi bureaucrats who were part of the Pervaiz Elahi team in Musharraf regime are given key positions in the federal government. This favouritism have totally disproportionate the share of the federating units in complete favour of Punjab.

It is shocking to see that out of 49 ministries and divisions surveyed, 43 positions of federal secretaries are occupied by Baboos belonging to Punjab, whereas three posts of federal secretaries are occupied by Sindhi bureaucrats, three by officers, belonging to KPK, and PM Gilani could not find even one single Baloch civil servant for a responsible position in Islamabad.

As per the Constitution, the share of provinces in the Federal Civil Services is 50 percent for Punjab, and 23 percent for Sindh, 11.5 percent for KP, 4 percent and 5% for Fata and 4 percent for Balochistan. Any government which wants to strengthen the federation should go beyond this proportion on the principles of affirmative action.

Interestingly, members of the federal cabinet, MNAs and senators have also turned a blind eye to this erosion of the federal civil service. President Zardari, who leaves no opportunity to play the Sindh card or smaller provinces card, also ignored this cartelisation of the federal bureaucracy. Even President Zardari’s own secretariat is stuffed with Punjabi bureaucrats.

One strange aspect of this scandalous under representation of smaller provinces at the top position in Islamabad is that all the major coalition partners of the PPP belonging to smaller provinces — the MQM, ANP, JUI, Fata representatives and PML-Q — have never raised a word against this historic injustice to the federation.

It is worth mentioning here that all major policy formulation bodies, like the federal cabinet, ECC, Ecnec, Planning Commission, depend on expert advice of all these federal secretaries, hence the smaller provinces are practically excluded from these important policy positions.

Following is the list of Punjabi Baboos ruling the roost under the PPP government: Junaid Iqbal Ch, Secretary Capital Administration and Development Division; Zafar Mahmood, Secretary Commerce; Anwar Ahmad Khan, Secretary Communications; Abdul Wajid Rana, Secretary Economic Affairs; Rana Asad Amin, Special Secretary Finance; Sarshar Ahmad Khan, Special Secretary, Military Finance; Salman Bashir, Secretary Foreign Affairs; Kamran Lashari, Secretary Housing & Works; Mrs Batool Iqbal Qureshi, Secretary, Human Rights; Muhammad Ahsan, Addl Secretary in charge, Human Resources Development; Taimur Azmat Usman, secretary Information and Broadcasting; Saeed Ahmad Khan, Secretary Information Technology & Tele-communication; Khawaja Siddique Akbar, Secretary Interior; Muhammad Arif Azeem, Secretary Railways; Babur yaqoob, Secretary, Kashmir Affairs and Northern Affairs; Muhammad Masood Chishti, Secretary Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs; Sohail Ahmad, Secretary Narcotics Control; Karamat Hussain Niazi, Secretary National Assembly; Anisul Hasnain Musavi, Secretary National Harmony Division; Javed Malik, Secretary National Disaster Management; Shafqat Hussain Naghmi, Secretary National Food Security and Research; Maj (r) Qamar Zaman, Secretary Overseas Pakistanis (Additional Charge); Muhammad Ejaz Chaudhry, Secretary Petroleum & Natural Resources; Javed Mahmood, Secretary, Planning & Development; Agha Sarwar Raza Qazilbash, Secretary Ports & Shipping; Raja Ikramul Haq, Secretary Postal Services; Maj (r) Haroon Rashid, Special Secretary, President’s Secretariat (Public); Maj (r) Malik Asif Hayat, Secretary, President’s Secretariat (Public); Khushnood Akhtar Lashari, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, Prime Minister’s Secretariat / Federal Secretary, Establishment (Addl Charge); Muhammad Ayub Kazi, Special Secretary, Prime Minister’s Secretariat; Shahid Hussain Raja, Secretary Privatisation; Muhammad Javed Iqbal Awan, Secretary Production; Maj (r) Qamar Zaman, Secretary Professional and Technical Training; Arif Azeem, Secretary, Railways; Shoukat Hayat Durrani, Federal Secretary, Religious Affairs; Salman Siddique, Chairman Federal Board of Revenue; Ikhlaq Ahmad Tarar, Secretary Scientific & Technological Research; Asif Bajwa, Secretary Statistics; Shahid Rasheed, Secretary Textile Industry; Maj (r) Khawaja Muhammad Naeem, Wafaqi Mohtasib’s Secretariat.

KP got a slightly better deal, because Federal Industries Secretary Aziz Bilour has two brothers as a federal minister and provincial ministers. The other two KP based federal secretaries being Amjad Ali Khan, Secretary Inter Provincial Coordination and Habib Ullah Kahn as secretary States and Frontier Regions.

The only Sindhi federal secretary is Imtiaz Qazi working as federal secretary Water and Power whereas Nargis Sethi, Federal Secretary Cabinet and Dr Waqar Masood Khan, Federal Secretary, Finance, too have Sindh domiciles but if not all, they served the most part of their careers in Islamabad.

About the author

Ahmed Iqbalabadi


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  • By creating ethnic hatred and false propaganda, what does Mr. Ansar Abbasi want to achieve?

    How much is he getting paid from the Hizb ul Tahrir to derail democracy and install Islamofascist Khilafah in Pakistan?

  • Some people are not motivated by money. They are motivated by destruction and derailment!

  • ansar abbasi ‘jamati dog’ and his gang has always written against sindh, Pakistan and humanity. And now this devil is talking about federation and rights of sindh. wow.! ansar devil and rights of sindh, wrong combination……..!
    If he is so passionate for sindh and federation then this devil ansar must write for status of karachi as capital of Pakistan. It is right of karachi to be the capital of Pakistan. In 1960, status of capital was snatched from sindh. It was first attack on federation and afterwards thousands of well educated young communist activists were brutally killed and to date no one knows about their burrials and graves. story does not ends there, GHQ and its sponsored allies molvi dogs have sent four dead bodies of beloved leaders of sindh…

  • yeh blog meray khilaf har waqt likhta hay. mayn iss kee forensic investigashion kraaoon ga kay yeh “Gaarment” kee “krupshion” chhupanay kay liye meray peechay paray rehtay hayn

  • One has to give Ansar Abbasi the marks for being persistent!!!

    Besides govt, Punjabi officers dominate all other sectors
    By Ansar Abbasi
    The News, December 6, 2011
    ISLAMABAD: The Zardari-Gilani duo has become a messiah for the Punjabi bureaucrats, who enjoy the top positions not just in the federal secretariat but also in nearly all other federal institutions.
    While The News had already reported on Monday that 43 out of a total of 49 federal secretaries are from Punjab, a look into key appointments in other federal institutions shows that the PPP government has failed to keep a balance of all federating units in key bureaucratic appointments to strengthen the federation and to address the sense of deprivation among the smaller provinces, particularly Sindh and Balochistan.
    The love for the Punjabi Baboos is such in the PPP-led Gilani government that it even chose most of the provincial chief secretaries from amongst Punjab bureaucrats. Three of the four provincial chief secretaries are from Punjab while the chief secretary of Gilgit Baltistan is also a Punjabi officer.
    All the key administrative positions in the Islamabad Capital Territory, including chief commissioner, chairman Capital Development Authority and deputy commissioner Islamabad, also go to officers from Punjab. Even the inspector general police Islamabad is a Punjabi officer but having a Sindh domicile.
    The organizations like the Intelligence Bureau, Federal Investigation Agency, National Police Foundation, National Highway Authority, Motorway, Nadra and many others are also led by the baboos from Punjab. We even have the auditor general from Multan whereas seven out of eleven members of the Federal Public Service Commission are from Punjab. It is heartening to see that at least the chairman FPSC is from Sindh.
    Apart from federal ministries and divisions, Punjabi Baboos also dominate in almost all important federal positions. Three out of four chief secretaries of provinces including Nasir Khosa, CS Punjab; Lt (Retd) Raja Abbas, CS Sindh; and Capt (Retd) Ghulam Dastagir, CS Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are from Punjab. Chief Secretary Gilgit Biltistan Siaf Ullah Chatta is also a Punjabi officer. The chief commissioner of Islamabad Capital Territory, a virtual chief secretary for National Capital, Tariq Mahmud Pirzada is again from Punjab. Deputy commissioner Islamabad Capital Territory and head of capital police all are Punjab origin civil servants.
    As per law, federating units must have the constitutional quota in all positions of Islamabad capital administration.
    Similarly Auditor General Pakistan is Akhtar Buland Rana, a friend of PM from Multan; Federal Secretary Ombudsman is Kh Naeem from Sailkot; Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Salman Siddique again is from Ravi Chenab corridor, and has a unique distinction of being a DMG officer who never served in any other province except Punjab. Rector School of Public Policy Ismail Qureshi who now heads Staff College, NIPA and Civil Services Academy — all premier institutions for training of senior civil servants from all over the country — again hails from Punjab and has been given a post retirement benefit of Rectorship of this prestigious federal institution. Under the new structure he even heads NIPAs in Quetta, Karachi and Peshawar.
    In the Federal Public Service Commission seven members out of eleven belong to Punjab, thus eroding the national character and composition of a federal institution. On the economic planning front too, the smaller provinces got a rough deal at hands of present government. Nadeemul Haq, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission is a private sector expert from IMF, again from Lahore/Washington, Chief Economist Dr Jaffer Qamar like his boss has spent all his life in US.
    The chairman of National Disaster Management Authority Zafar Qadir is again from Punjab, so is Chairman Erra Hamid Yar Hiraj. Hiraj belongs to Khanewal but heads an organization responsible for earthquake rehabilitation in AJK, and KPK. Chairman of Prime Minister Inspection Commission, is Amjad Noon, a political appointee from Sargodha.
    The MDs of Utility Stores Corporation, National Fertilizer Marketing Company and SMEDA all three federal institutions under the watch of Ch Pervaiz Ellahi, Senior Minister, are headed by Punjabi civil servants, namely Sultan Mahmud, Tariq Shafique Khan and Yousaf Naseem Khokar respectively. Nadra, a public sector authority responsible for national database, is headed by Ali Arshad Hakim, a Punjabi friend of President Zardari. Even his Deputy Chairman Tariq Malik is from Punjab. Chairman of another national authority, the National Highway Authority (NHA) is again Muhammad Ali Gardezi from Multan, who has been rewarded by PM Gilani for looking after his constituency as commissioner Multan.
    Pakistan Baitul Mal, a federal institution for poverty alleviation has a politically appointed chairman Zamrud Khan, ex-MNA from Rawalpindi. Zamurd, however, is unique in the PPP’s present ruling lot for doing miracles in the Baitul Mal department because of his hard work, dedication and honesty.
    Another important federal service, the postal service of Pakistan, is headed by Raja Ikramul Haq, Director General Postal Services of Pakistan, who too is from Punjab. General Manager of another very important but failing national utility Pakistan Railways is Saeed Akhtar, who is also from Punjab.
    On the Information side MD PTV Yousaf Baig Mirza; Head of PID Muhammad Saleem; and APP Director General Rao Tehsin Ali Khan also hail from Punjab. Institutions of art, culture and learning have also not been spared. Chairman Censor Board Shahnawaz Noon; DG Lok Versa Khalid Javed; DG Pakistan National Council of Arts Tauqir Nasir; MD National Book Foundation Mazharul Islam; Director General Federal Educational Institutions Atif Kiani all belong to Punjab.
    IG Pakistan Motorways Wajid Durrani is again a police officer from Punjab. Director General Intelligence Bureau Aftab Sultan, who is a very well reputed officer, incidentally belongs to Punjab, DG National Police Bureau Dr Waseem Kausar and DG FIA Tehsin Anwar Ali shah are again police officers from Punjab. So is IG Azad Kashmir Tariq Khokhar, who is from PM’s Home town Multan. Chief Commissioner of Pakistan Census Organisation is Khizer Khan reemployed after retirement again from Multan.
    Employees Old Age Benefit Institution (EOBI), is headed by Zafar Gondal, younger brother of PPP MNA Nazar Gondal from Mandi Bahauddin. Chief Executive of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TADP) is Tariq Puri, again a retired Punjabi bureaucrat. Another Punjabi officer Asaf Ghafoor is Director General Institute of Foreign Trade Training. Trading Corporation (TCP) is headed by Tahir Raza Naqvi, a DMG officer from Punjab. National Tariff Commission Chairman is Ikram Arif and Director General of Military Land and Cantonments, Major General Athar Hussain Shah, all hail from Punjab.
    Although the federal ombudsman’s slot is vacant, may be for want of a suitable candidate from Punjab, federal Tax Ombudsman Shoaib Suddle is a retired police officer from Punjab. Suddle’s hard work has changed the complexion of previously unimportant Tax Ombudsman department.
    Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Chairman Dr Muhammad Yasin is a Punjabi but have Sindh domicile; Pakistan Procurement Regulatory Authority MD Haffezur Rehman; Intellectual Property Rights Organisation DG Sajjad Ahmad Bhutta; Nepra Chairman Khalid Saeed and former PS to ex-PM Shaukat Aziz, Civil Aviation Authority DG Air Marshall (Retd) Khalid Chaudhry, all hail from Punjab.
    Chairman of Ogra Tauqir Sadiq recently removed on the orders of Supreme Court is also from Punjab. Strangely governor State Bank is a US national, whereas his predecessor Shahid Kardar was from Lahore. This shows that all important regulatory institutions which should have representation from all over the federation are also being treated in similar manner.
    Director General Gwadar Port Authority is again a DMG officer from Punjab Aslam Hayat. The premier national institution for energy conservation ENERCON Managing Director is Hamid Ali Khan, former chief commissioner Islamabad, again from Punjab. NEVTEC, the resource rich commission for skill and vocational commission housed in PM secretariat has executive director Tariq Shafi, again from Punjab. Besides the federation secretaries, heading the federal divisions, the vast majority of the additional secretaries is also from Punjab.
    The regional/provincial quota is though observed while making fresh appointments but it has always been the endeavour of successive governments to ensure the representation of all the provinces in key appointments. In the past we have seen the chief secretaries even of Punjab from Balochistan and Sindh but the bad governance of the present PPP regime is developing an extreme imbalance of federating units representation in key federal institutions — a trend which if not stopped and rectified would badly hurt the national cohesion.

  • Hey Guys….Wait!

    I find Ansar Abbasi very prejudiced against AZ and PPP no doubt about that. However the issue should not be clouded over personalities. The federal govt is v much Punjabi dominated this is a fact; there might be an error or two in his list ( domiciles of whatever) but by and large this is the true picture. I live in Islamabad and work with and through the govt…trust me these Punjabi Baboos are so prejudiced themselves…I many times had to fight out over small things like getting survey teams in Balochistan as they would say not possible due to security and at times not having a seminar or conf in Quetta at the pretext that there is just one flight to Quetta daily and one has to spend three days for one day meeting or event, completely isolating the province; they don’t let the provincial bureaucracy work as every other day they want them to come to islamabad to a meeting so much so that the provincial govt has asked for video conferencing facility. Much bigger issues are related to convincing donors to do projects in Punjab and then not getting capable people with the bias that there is “lack of capacity in smaller provinces” this is said all the time; remember the HEC issue!

    Therefore if AA has pointed out some inherent flaw in the system of appointments ( even if his purpose was just to bash PPP), which is not representative of the federating units…this cannot be shoved aside as this is a matter of serious consideration and these articles by AA give the smaller provinces an impetus to ask for their rights at the same time also alerts the federal govt to do better and to do more in this regard.

    Constructive criticism is always good. Though yes AA has mentioned Sindh card but the fact is the entire article doesn’t quite support this premise as it mainly points out a serious flaw. I think his first article and the one today are a service to Pakistan as a federation. That is if we wish to be a federation, trust me it is these things which have brought Balochistan to the situation it is in today. This Punjab dominance has to change after all it as through such criticism we got the NFC award changed which till now was only population based. Therefore we should not lose reason while criticizing our opponents and where PPP is wrong or lax or under pressure we should join in pointing that out.

    If I were LUBP I would have taken two approaches, a). taken these articles as a basis for questioning PPP? as we expect PPP to do better and b). analyzed the reasons, obstacles and pressures on the PPP govt for behaving like this, Because to me it was evident from these articles that it is not just the army but also the civilian side which are not letting the party have its way, then shouldn’t we raise voice against that pressure on PPP.

  • Agreed with Salma’s comment above… LUBP should be more focused with what PPP Government did for coping with such issues… specially one should question does their a need of still qouta system after Devolution per 18th amendment wouldn’t it be better that all provinces get equal share of Federal Government depart jobs, like Army Federal ministries like Foreign affairs, Finance etc.? or it should be based on merit no quotas at all so that at-least we have best minds their.

  • Tatom the issue is about federation and there is a certain share of each federating unit (province) in federal jobs and yes then merit of taking the best from those provinces. This is how a federation works. We are all educated people and understand that intelligence is not inherited and doesn’t belong to an X group; but this is what is being fostered here and it this doesn’t change then why we blame a people asking for freedom from Pakistan?

  • A senior and respect journalist must not provoke ethnic sentiments and work towards destruction of the national spirit in the people. I wonder that our media and journalists most of the time serving someones interests in the garb of betterment of Pakistan. This is a real shame on them while they talk about corruption and malpractices of government officials and politician they must look towards themselves and correct their community.

  • Ansar Abbasi was once branded as a Taliban by some analyst in a private discussion. I wondered then whether the comment was too harsh. Not any more.

  • Remarkable issues here. I am very satisfied to look your post.
    Thanks so much and I am looking forward to touch you.

    Will you please drop me a mail?