ISLAMABAD -  Senior officers of the Information Group have expressed their anger at the federal government for giving them the cold shoulder pertaining to the appointment for a top slot at the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and National Heritage.

The federal government on Thursday removed Informational and Broadcasting Additional Secretary (Incharge) Saba Mohsin Raza, replacing her with Dr Amir Ahmed, a grade-21 officer of Pakistan Administrative Service, as Additional Secretary Informational and Broadcasting.

Interestingly, Dr Ahmed, who was expecting powers with the responsibility, left in a fit of pique for Lahore for ‘lobbying’ to have powers (at least additional incharge) to discharge his responsibilities.

Dr Ahmed is also a close relative of a National Assembly member belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

According to media reports, the high-powered promotion board meeting held under the chair of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday also did not consider promotion cases of two senior officers — Rao Tehseen and Sheraz Latif of Information Group — from grade-21 to grade-22. A notification of the over a dozen promoted officers would be issued within a day or two.

The sources said that both Tehseen and Latif were also ignored earlier before appointing Saba Mohsin as additional secretary information.

A senior officer of the Information Group not only expressed his astonishment over the government’s latest move, but also blamed two of his fellow officers — currently deputed at the PID — for the flagging reputation of the group.

Talking to the Nation, he said on the condition of anonymity that the promotion board did not consider names of any officer of the Information Group due to their (the two officers at the PID) ‘tainted’ reputation.

He said that both the officers always remain busy in orchestrating propaganda against the opposition.  He said that there was a need to revive the reputation of the Information Group and the government must be convinced that the officers deputed at the PID or any other wing of the information ministry would only perform their official and professional duty. 

Another officer of the Information Group said that the government uses the information ministry only for negative propaganda against the opposition and it continues to avoid appointing a permanent head at the information ministry after the retirement of former secretary Dr Nazeer Ahmed in 2015.  

The Nation contacted Principal Information Officer Rao Tehseen several times on the phone and through text messages to get his version on the issue, but he did not respond till the filing of this report.