ISLAMABAD - Senior bureaucrats have started lobbying for the recently vacated post of Federal Secretary Information after retirement of outgoing secretary Muhammad Azam last Sunday, The Nation has learnt yesterday.

The government did not appoint new secretary information and did not even hand over acting charge of secretary office to any senior officer so far.

Sources in the Information Ministry informed The Nation that the notification of the retirement of Muhammad Azam had been issued a few months ago. Interestingly, the government did not ask the Establishment Division to move a summary for the appointment of a new secretary information.

Sources said that three officers of grade 21 of the information group, including Principle Information Officer Rao Tehseen, Director General Radio Pakistan Imran Gardezi and Additional Secretary Information Ministry Saba Mohsin were in race for the post. The government might appoint Saba Mohsin as acting secretary because she is in good books of the Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid.

Sources said that the new secretary information will be appointed with the consultation of Maryam Nawaz.  

A senior official of the Establishment Division told The Nation that several senior officers were busy in lobbying for appointment but Secretary Kashmir Affairs Abid Saeed was one of the strongest candidates. He said that Saeed was a younger brother of former secretary Dr Nazeer Saeed and close to Prime Minister. “The government neither asked to send summary for the appointment of the new secretary information nor to give the acting charge of the post to any senior officer of Information Ministry,” he added. 

He said that Information Ministry was one of the key divisions and it was surprising that the government did not bother to appoint the secretary of division.