ISLAMABAD  - A number of big shots at the Ministry of Interior and its subordinate departments, who had been either closely associated with the former PPP-led regime or with the then powerful interior minister Rehman Malik, fear losing lucrative postings in the backdrop of Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan's almost confirmed elevation as interior minister.

Most of them, who called the shots during the tenure of all-powerful former interior minister, are now battling for their 'professional survival'. Because of the general perception about Ch. Nisar that he is a strict and straightforward boss, such officials consider their postings 'under threat' and some of them fear losing their jobs also. As a last resort, they are waiting for the first response of the would-be interior minister after taking the oath before deciding either to voluntarily quit their present postings or continue with their assignments, background interviews with some key officials of the ministry reveal.

However, they are clear on one point that PML-N stalwart Nisar would be a powerful minister among the cabinet members of Nawaz Sharif and had a vast experience to run the affairs of a key ministry like the Interior Division as well as knows how to tackle the bureaucracy, an official of the ministry said. In addition to that, some close aides of the then interior minister Rehman Malik taking a quick decision has already taken 'shelter' in some attached departments of the Interior Division quitting their assignments from the ministry during the caretaker regime. The most significant among these departments is the National Database and Registration Authority, which is an autonomous authority, formed under presidential ordinance, but in fact is being run by the Ministry of Interior.

The top bureaucrat among such officers is the Secretary Interior Raja Mohammad Abbas who was very close to former PPP regime and had enjoyed the important posting of Chief Secretary Sindh during that period. The caretaker government has recently appointed him secretary interior after an upright bureaucrat Javed Iqbal was shortly removed from the post just because of his differences with caretaker interior minister Malik Habib Khan on some controversial postings.

Another officer is Wing Commander (retd) Tariq Ahmed Lodhi who is now posted as Director General (DG) of the National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) of the Interior Ministry. Mr Lodhi has enjoyed lucrative postings during previous regime in the Ministry of Interior as well as NADRA.

He remained as DG (Europe) of NADRA for more than two years and soon before the dissolution of the previous assemblies, he was again posted as additional secretary in the Ministry of Interior and then caretaker set-up appointed him as DG NACM. Interesting, he is a retired officer of Pakistan Air Force and had been appointed in NADRA on contract but Rehman Malik had got him appointed as additional secretary in the ministry. He also remained acting DG of Intelligence Bureau (IB) during March 2008 to August 2008.

Brigadier (retd) Javed Iqbal Lodhi is also another officer who was a close aide to the then interior minister Rehman Malik while working as DG NCMC. However, he acting shrewdly during the caretaker setup went back to NADRA fearing that he will no more continue with his assignment with the new regime. He is a contract employee of NADRA and is presently posted at NADRA Headquarters that is already packed with retired army officers and appointees of previous PPP regime.

A former additional secretary of the Ministry of Interior Shahid Hamid had also close association with the former interior minister Rehman Malik. Hamid, soon after his retirement in the last week of March 2013, got managed to get fresh appointment in NADRA during the last days of Rehman Malik. He is now working as member (finance) of the NADRA's board of directors. Chairman NADRA Tariq Malik is also an appointee of the PPP-led federal regime because of his family's close association with the PPP since 1970's and is still continuing with his job. However, being a foreign qualified and having the experience of working abroad, NADRA during his stint as chairman had achieved many milestones including the preparation and printing of voter lists for general elections 2013.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Islamabad, Bani Amin Khan, is also the appointee of the then interior minister Rehman Malik and was very close to him. The caretaker set-up even could not remove him despite the caretaker interior minister Malik Habib Khan from the very first day had announced to remove Habib Khan in the wake of the deteriorating law and order situation of the capital. He is about to reach the age of superannuation.

On the other hand, Saud Ahmed Mirza, the present Director General (DG) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) is the appointee of the caretaker set-up and prior to his present posting, he was working as additional secretary of the Ministry of Interior. He has also served in National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) and is being perceived an upright officer. National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) also works like an attached department of the Ministry of Interior and now is being run without any permanent head as Anwar Virk had refused to become its DG after his removal as DG FIA by caretaker government. It is now being run with acting DG.