ISLAMABAD - The All Pakistan Provincial Management Service Officers’ Association has invited the attention of the prime minister and other high-ups towards posting of District Management Group (DMG) officers in provinces in violation of the Constitution.

The All Pakistan PMS Officers’ Association president has written a letter to the president, the prime minister, the National Assembly speaker and chief ministers, requesting them to intervene to protect the rights of PMS officers. 

According to the letter,  a copy available with The Nation said,  “It is very humbly submitted that an all-powerful group of civil servants of the federal government called ‘District Management Group’ has been holding most of the important administrative posts in connection with the affairs of the provinces in blatant violation of the spirit of the Constitution of Pakistan. Consequently, provincial service officers are being robbed of their legitimate right to career progression. Article 240 (v) of the Constitution empowers provincial assemblies to regulate the terms of services for the posts in connection with the affairs of provinces while in stark contravention whereof, DMG officers serving in the provinces are not subject to any control or regulation by the provincial assemblies. Surprisingly, even the chief minister of the province is not empowered enough to take disciplinary action against even a grade-17 officer of DMG”.

It said: “The provincial service officers are subjected to worst kind of discrimination in every aspect of service, be it portion, posting, training, capacity-building, intuitive or fringe benefits. A provincial civil service office has to wait for 10 to 15 years in grade-17 for promotion to next grade. A DMG officer, on the contrary, is promoted to the next grade against the provincial post before completion of a mandatory period of the service. They have thus established an extra-legal structure of “bureaucratic apathy” flagrantly dividing the officers interested in similar duties.”

The letter further said, “The DMG identifies itself as All Pakistan Service. According to article 240, “All Pakistan Service” means a service common to the federation and provinces which were in existence immediately before 14 August 1973, or which may be created by an act of Parliament, whereas, the DMG was established vide SRO 2-02-1974 ARC, on February 23, 1974. Hence, the creation of DMG through an office memo instead of an act of Parliament is a blatant violation of the Constitution. Further, after the abolition of the concurrent list through the 18th amendment, there remains no rationale behind creating an All Pakistan Service for the provinces.”

It also said in order to grape the provincial positions, the DMG seeks refuge in an agreement reached between the then-governor General of Pakistan and provincial governors in 1954 whereby the provinces surrendered a certain number of posts in connection with the affairs of provinces to the Federation.  “However, subsequent legal and constitutional developments have rendered the said agreement “void”. Even the terms of the said agreement cannot prevail over the express provisions of the statute. Thereafter, the then interim prime minister in consultation with only the DMG officers at a meeting of IPPC on 19 September 1993, decided a highly discriminatory formula sharing appropriating the lion share of the posts in BS-19 and above for the DMGs,” the letter said.

“In the light of the above, you are requested to intervene in the matter in order to ensure the rule of law, federalism, and rights of the provincial civil servants,” the letter said.