ISLAMABAD - The domination of Pakistan Administrative Service (famously known as District Management Group) in the bureaucracy has been giving heartburn to other service groups.
Particularly, since Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz took charge of the federal government, the DMG group has been ruling the roost and other service groups have been expressing their severe concerns about such domination of one service group.
From Spokesman of Prime Minister to additional secretary in the PM Secretariat; from Principal Secretary to PM to Secretary to CM Punjab; from Establishment secretary to Supreme Court registrar, it is the DMG who is commanding.
Normally, a senior officer of Information Group is the spokesman of PM but at present this job is being done by a grade 20 officer of DMG, who happens to be a joint secretary in the PM Secretariat.
Other service groups say that the group has so much penetration into the policy affairs that even the retired DMG officers are being appointed as Federal Tax Ombudsman, National Accountability Bureau chairman or even as Special Assistant to the PM. It is normally believed that DMG cannot see beyond its nose.
Many senior bureaucrats while talking to The Nation complained that the bureaucracy in Islamabad is being run by mid-career officers. Some bureaucrats say that it is a group of four officers, who in fact are controlling the entire bureaucracy while others only follow the instructions.
One of the main bureaucrats from DGM, who controls almost everything, is the additional secretary at PM Secretariat, Fawad Hasan Fawad. He is so influential that a special post was created to accommodate him. His influence can be judged from the fact that he is the member of the government’s peace committee tasked to negotiate with the Taliban.
Sources in the Establishment Division say since long the DMG have not allowed any non-DMG to occupy the post of Establishment secretary and Establishment joint secretary.
Recently, the tenure of Haj director general expired and a summary was sent to prime minister to appoint a new Haj DG but because there was no DMG officer in the proposed summary and the Haj DG whose tenure has expired is from the DMG, the baboos in Islamabad have not let any non-DMG officer to get the post. Thus, the DMG officer continues as Haj DG even after six months of expiry of his tenure.
The posting of Tahir Shahbaz, a DMG officer, as Supreme Court registrar also invited the criticism of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and the bar also passed a resolution against the SC registrar saying that this posting not only enhances sense of deprivation among SC staff but also gives access to DMG regarding affairs of the apex court.
The SCBAP has highlighted that the principle that executive should be separate from the judiciary has also been violated in this posting as now a DMG officer would control the affairs of the apex court. The SCBAP president had said that now the DMG/Executive has been given access to the SC and there are numerous cases of DMG in the apex court, raising question that how an officer can remain unbiased in such situations.
The sources said that it was strange that only the retired DMG officers get the lucrative and powerful posts as in the recent past, Special Assistant to PM Khawaja Zaheer is from DMG, Federal Ombudsman Rauf Chaudhry and National Accountability Bureau Chairman Qamar Zaman Chaudhry are also retired DMG officers.
Just two months ago, a DMG-specific SRO was issued by the Establishment Division, making changes in the service rules of the civil servants which also fumed the anger among the Police Service of Pakistan, Secretariat Group and the Provincial Civil Service as all these groups have been left in the lurch by the DMG by their reserving the lion’s share in the bureaucracy for themselves.
The Secretariat Group and the PCS officers have declared the very formation of the DMG as unconstitutional and devoid of any legal backing. The PCS officers are even fighting their case in the Supreme Court against the creation of the DMG as they believe that Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah abolished the Indian Civil Service after the creation of Pakistan and there remains no room for the DMG/PAS.
A senior DMG officer, while responding to the allegations of other occupational groups, said that every group have cadre posts and those posts are declared therefore saying that DMG has encroached anyone’s share was wrong.
The DMG official maintained through the SRO a wrong was committed 40 years ago has been rectified and the Supreme Court in Orya Maqbool Jan case also directed the government to streamline the promotion criteria, which was done accordingly. The official maintained that it was untrue that only DMG is occupying the key posts, as officers from all groups have been posted in the capital. “DMG officers are more in number that is why they are more visible than others,” the official claimed rather incredulously.