Islamabad - Around a dozen employees of the National Library of Pakistan (NLP) remained absent from duty for eight months and now the top officials are mulling over sending them back to their home department without any disciplinary action, an official said on Thursday.

The President Secretariat National Heritage & Literary History Division (NHLHD) and Capital Administration & Development Division (CADD) received an application regarding the absence of 11 employees of the National Library of Pakistan for around eight months. The grade of these officials varies from BS-18 to BS-3.

Earlier, after the devolution of Ministry of Education to provinces, the Department of Libraries (DoL) was given to the CADD Ministry. However, due to limited jurisdiction of the ministry, the NLP was transferred to the National Heritage and Literary History Division.

The Prime Minister had decided to transfer the National Library of Pakistan to National Heritage and Literary History Division in August 2016, and following his directions, more than 80 employees were ordered to report to NLP.

“Around 11 employees violating the orders refused to join the national libraries department and remained absent from duty,” the official said.

He also said that after the bifurcation of Department of Libraries and National Library of Pakistan, 103 posts in the latter department were allocated along with the budget, and 85 employees were transferred to the national libraries department.  The official said 11 employees submitted their request for retention of their services in Department of Libraries at National Heritage and Literary History Division.

“The national library was being run with only five officers,” he said.

The official also informed The Nation that these employees were released by the CADD to join the national library, but they had a strong support from their home department i.e. Department of Libraries due to which the national library was unable to take any action against them for not joining their positions. 

The documents available with The Nation also revealed that notices were issued to the employees over their wilful absence from the duties.

Later, a committee comprising senior officials from CADD and NHLHD was constituted to decide the fate of these employees and in the last meeting, the committee decided to transfer these employees back to Department of Libraries.

The documents states, “The committee decided that the 11 employees may be transferred back from NLP to DoL w.e.f the dates from which they were transferred to NLP i.e. November 15, 2016.”

However, the documents available with The Nation states that the minutes of the meeting were forged. The meeting held on August 09, 2017 recommended that one vacant post of Director (Technical Services) may be retransferred from NLP to DoL and one post of Senior Research Officer (BS-18) may be given by NLP to DoL in replacement of the vacant post of Senior Librarian w.e.f. the date on which the said posts were earlier distributed between the DoL and NLP i.e. November 15, 2016, to consider the concerned employees for promotion to the said posts.

However, these posts will be transferred back from DoL to NLP on vacation by promoting incumbents on their further promotion or retirement from service.

Names of the absent employees included Deputy Director Hafiz Khubaib Ahmed (BS-18), Research Officer Muhammad Siddiq-ur-Rehman (BS-17), Junior Librarian Murad Ali (BS-16), Assistant Editor Nida Mushtaq (BS-16), Junior Librarian Nadia Saddique (BS-16), Steno-typist Waqar Ahmed (BS-14), Urdu Typist Khalid Mehmood (BS-07), Urdu Typist Zahid Jehan (BS-07), Book Attendants Shamim Nazir and Rizwan Ahmed (BS-05) and Dusting Bearer Zafar Iqbal (BS-03).

Muhammad Bux Sangi, a senior official of NHLHD, talking to The Nation said that the division is ready to transfer these employees.

He also said that 11 employees didn’t join national libraries although they were being released from Department of Libraries. “However they didn’t relinquish the charge from the previous department,” he added.

He also said that the case of these employees has been sent to the CADD and final decision would be taken soon.