ISLAMABAD -  In view of the volatile political milieu in the country, senior blue-eyed officers of the government are in a hurry to get promotions to grade-22, apprehending any upheaval at the political front could frustrate their chances of elevation to the top ladder of civil service.

According to sources, the Establishment Division has informally been conveyed that a meeting of the High Powered Selection Board (HPSB) was going to be held shortly, The Nation has learnt.

Sources said that all sections of the Establishment Division have prepared panels of grade-21 officers along with their service records and other details and they have been informed that the HPSB meeting will he held on December 11 under the chair of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Following the direction of the PM Office, the Establishment Division issued a circular on December 5 with the subject “High Powered Selection Board meeting”, mentioning that “the next meeting of the board is going to be held shortly”. It also stated that updated information of senior officers of grade-21 of different services groups to be provided on the same day.

PM Abbasi chaired the HPSC last meeting on October 5 and approved promotions of around two dozen officers of various cadres to grade-22.  Interestingly, the PM had dropped name Secretary to PM Fawad Hassan Fawad and some other officers from the promotion list due to the seniority issue.  

A senior official said that the circular regarding the HPSB meeting has raised eyebrows among the officers because the federal government was going to convene the meeting just after three months. He said ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif did not call the HPSN meeting for 10 months. He claimed that the board meeting, in all likelihood, is held after every six months and the upcoming meeting was being convened only to “promote the officers who have good links with Sharif family”.  

The sources said that a few senior bureaucrats are restless to get promotions to grade-22 as soon as possible because the political position of the government was going week day-by-day. The sources said that Fawad was 44th on the seniority list issued by the Establishment Division prior to the last HPSB meeting and Fawad will be on the list of most senior officers. An official said that almost seven to eight grade-22 officers will be retiring by the end of this year and in the first month of the next year.

Talking to The Nation, Establishment Division spokesperson Dr Masood Akhtar Chaudhary said that goings-on regarding the HPSB meeting were under process. He said that it was a routine activity and the HPSB meeting depended on the availability of vacancies for accommodating promoted officers.