LAHORE - Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Director General Ghulam Hassan Baig has been accused of making transfers/postings in violation of merit and not attending his office.

In a letter addressed to the prime minister, NAB chairman, CAA Board chairman and aviation secretary, a former director of the CAA Human Resource Department has said that Baig attended his office hardly four to five times over the last five months. The letter says that Baig makes four to five requests for transfers/postings in violation of merit on a daily basis. Baig took additional charge of CAA director general’s office on June 1, 2018. The official said in his letter that he was transferred from HR Department to Engineering Department immediately after he put up resistance to Baig’s illegal orders. He alleged that Baig posted controversial officer Samar Rafique acting director of HR Department and Alqera Atique acting director of commercial and estate. He said former CAA DG and CAA board had given adverse remarks about the performance of the two officers in 2017.

CAA DG Ghulam Hassan Baig forcibly got issued orders from the HR director for deputation of another three officers from PIA and ASF whereas deputation posting in CAA was not a provision in the service rules. The letter reads:  “The CAA DG then directed me to issue NOC for three individuals for deputation to CAA from PIAC and ASF to which I had submitted that our regulations do not have provisions for the deputation of staff and we place our own manpower for the purpose. We had to issue the NOC under tremendous pressure from CAA DG and even then he was not happy with the contents of the NOC and therefore we had to amend it once again as per his wish.”

Alqera Atiq has been posted in place of Saadiqur Rehman and has been given acting charge of the post of commercial & estate director though he has an inconsistent service record and has just ten months to reach superannuation.

Interestingly, Mr Atiq was not considered fit to be promoted and eventually superseded against the same post of commercial & estate director in 2014.

The officer has not been able to get promoted even once in his 33-year service under the tenures of all CAA directors general. During the last Promotion Board held in 2017, the then DG of CAA Air Marshal (r) Asim Suleiman discussed his credentials and said that he failed miserably as acting director of commercial & estate during his tenure. Therefore, his placement as acting director of commercial & estate raises a question about the posting.

Samar Rafique has been given acting charge of the post of HR director though he too had been given adverse remarks by his superiors and declared unfit to be given sensitive appointments. And he too will reach superannuation in twelve months.

Minutes of the Selection Board Meeting for promotion in 2017, which are quite self-explanatory, sum up everything more aptly. His posting as acting HR director like that of Mr Atiq is astonishing and makes one wonder as to why a junior officer with questionable credentials was posted.

The intent of posting these two officers on acting charge basis is not in organizational interests at all but definitely its purpose is to get those people promoted who have the backing of the corrupt mafia in CAA and in the process will also get both of them promoted as well in spite of the fact that they have been repeatedly considered suitable for higher positions. “My presence in HR would definitely have given birth to resistance, hindrance in achieving such objectives,” the director alleged in his letter.

The story does not end here. In June 2018, the current DG of CAA forwarded the approval of posting of a few officers and “I was surprised because the minute was raised by the Section Officer and approved by the DG CAA in complete violation of the prescribed procedure. No one from HR processed the file. Moreover, there were serious issues with regard to posting of some officers and therefore I called the then PA to DG of CAA to seek time from DG for discussing the matter but I was flatly refused with the specific directions for issuance of the posting orders without further delay which were duly complied with.

The director alleged that DG CAA not only hired another controversial officer in sheer violation of rules but now efforts are being made to regluarise his services.

The letter further says, “After a few days of taking over of additional charge as DG of CAA, we were directed to hire an individual by the name of Hassan Askari with immediate effect. I conveyed to PSO to DG of CAA that every vacant post is advertised and therefore this would not be possible. Thereafter, he was selected on work charge basis at Islamabad International Airport Project and the individual has not gone there even for a minute. In fact, he sits in Aviation Division close to the DG of CAA or with DG of CAA at times and appears to act as his front man. Moreover, he is fully interfering in the day to day affairs of CAA, unnecessarily involving himself in unauthorized activities, regularly gets officials posted from one place to another, interferes in various official issues for personal gains and gets done various protocols of himself and other unauthorized people.

It has been learnt that the individual was removed from service from Air Ports Security Force (ASF). “Necessary efforts are being made to get him recruited to CAA on a regular basis and DG of CAA on quite a few occasions conveyed to me to find a way out and this must be done. On a number of occasions, I was conveyed to issue orders for his deployment as staff officer to DDCAA which I did not,” he said. However, he refers to himself as Staff Officer to DG of CAA while passing unlawful instructions to various offices in CAA and at different locations.

“Among other allegations are pressure for getting petty issues done such as illegal allotment of accommodation in CAA colony to unauthorized individuals, use of CAA Club Rooms and Aviation House without making payments, usage of Aviation House by the family members of DGCAA without making payments of even the food which was procured for the purpose, buying a mobile phone costing Rs185,000 citing entitlement of DG of CAA, procurement of Apple laptops for personal use costing above Rs300,000 for DGCAA which are being used at his residence. I was also under pressure for grant of 20% Additional Charge allowance to the DGCAA on Additional Charge through his PSO which I refused as he was not a CAA employee and any allowances, if any, has to be allowed by the Federal Government and from their own kitty,” letter reads.

Placement/Posting of Officers with questionable credentials at sensitive posts is indeed a serious matter. Massive postings/transfers are issued presently on daily basis in CAA through which mostly the incompetent people are being posted by the newly posted acting director HR at his choice of positions.

CAA DG Ghulam Hassan Baig could not be reached for comments despite repeated efforts. A message was left on his cell phone regarding the news but he did not respond. Spokesman for CAA Pervez George said it was a sensitive issue and he would be able to comment only on a working day, but he did not comment even after a lapse of five to six days. He requested that the news should not be published.