LAHORE - Punjab power-sharing agreement recently brokered by the coalition partners started unfolding on Thursday as the PML-Q Ministers got new administrative secretaries of their choice raising concerns among the PTI’s Ministers who don’t have such an option.

Hafiz Ammar Yasir and Muhammad Rizwan are the two PML-Q Ministers in the provincial cabinet having portfolios of Mines and Minerals and Environment departments respectively.

The Punjab Government on Thursday changed Secretary Mines and Minerals Hassan Iqbal and Secretary Environment Saima Saeed on the verbal recommendations of the PML-Q leadership.

They have been transferred and made OSDs. Both these officers were also attending 112th National Management course besides discharging their duties in their respective departments.

But this is a normal practice in bureaucracy. It is seldom that an administrative secretary will leave his or her charge of the department to attend the course.

Again, on the verbal recommendations of the PML-Q leadership, Mr Amir Ejaz Akbar, an OSD, has been posted as Secretary Mines and Minerals while Zahid Hussain has been posted as Secretary Environment.

Both these officers belong to the provincial service unlike their predecessors who were from Pakistan Administrative Service.

Similarly, DG Mines and Mineral Muhammad Akhtar has been made OSD and Zafar Javed Mulghani has been posted as DG on political grounds. 

In a cover up and to make it a routine matter of transfer and postings, the government has also changed Secretary Irrigation Syed Ali Murtaza who has been made an OSD.

He was also attending 112th National Management Course. Secretary Population Welfare Muhammad Aamir Jan has been given additional charge of the post of Secretary Irrigation.

Surprisingly, Mr Aamir Jan is the fifth officer to take charge of the post of Secretary Irrigation in the past 18 months.

Insiders confirmed that neither Irrigation Minister Mohsin Khan Leghari nor Social Welfare Minister Raja Basharat were consulted before making this new arrangement for their departments. 

In a related development, the government has also decided to fill some 126 posts lying vacant in Mines and Mineral department.

It may be recalled here that following many rounds of talks spreading over months, the PTI government had this Monday agreed to give full administrative and political control to PML-Q Ministers in their respective departments.

Under this agreement, the governing rights of the PML-Q were also accepted in the three districts under its political influence.

Likewise, the government is also under the obligation to transfer the officers creating hurdles in the work of PML-Q Ministers.

Under the agreement, government will also post officers of PML-Q’s choice in three districts- Gujrat, Chakwal and Bahawalnagar. But the PTI will have the right to transfer any of the officers on any complaint in consultation with the PML-Q leadership.

Also, for new postings of administrative heads in these districts, the Punjab government will give four names for each post and the PML-Q will have to pick one name.

Under the power-sharing deal, the government shall take the PML-Q leadership into confidence over important policy decisions and issues of public concern.

Besides, development schemes will be executed in the provincial and national constituencies held by the PML-Q lawmakers, according to the agreement.