WITH Mian Shahbaz Sharif back in the saddle as Punjab Chief Minister, the entire province has fallen in the grip of a postings and transfers tsunami. A large number of high officials, who had been working in the civil and police administration before February 25 but were replaced during the Governor's Rule, are being brought back to their previous positions. Cynics would no doubt see the scenario as another dj vu instance of political favouritism and, in actual fact, the largescale changes, both during the Governor's Rule and now, would appear quite strange in the face of the well-established principle that government officials are supposed to be neutral. They should be faithfully discharging their functions in accordance with their charter of duties, without regard to the person or the political party in power. Nevertheless, Mian Shahbaz has some justification for effecting such a massive change. The five-week hiatus of his government witnessed two major terrorist incidents in the provincial capital, and in both instances it were the government security agencies that had been caught napping. And, strangely, in both cases they had been forewarned by the intelligence agencies about the possibility of militants striking. The inaptitude and negligence have been so glaring that one would be hard put to find a worse example. The incident that put the lives of the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team at risk was a classic case of listlessness and casualness displayed by those who were responsible for providing security to the honoured guests, as the terrorists had a free run of the area wielding guns and throwing rockets for 20-odd minutes before they left the scene unharmed. At Manawan Police Training Centre, things turned out to be somewhat better, not in the sense of precautions but in that that not all the intruding militants managed to escape. The combined Army-Rangers-police force managed to have the hostages released and overpower some terrorists. There is little doubt that a good shake-up in the administrative set-up was called for. The Governor's Rule had not proved up to the mark in providing security to the public; as it spent its energies in the exercise of garnering political support for the PPP in the unfulfilled hope of blocking the door for the PML(N) to stage a comeback and left the vital question of security totally unattended. However, it is hoped that there would be no victimisation and the Chief Minister would see to it that the bureaucracy, which serves as an important instrument of governance, does not get demoralised.