ISLAMABAD - Authorities have short-listed names of five career bureaucrats for slot of principal secretary to the prime minister.

The list includes names of Secretary Establishment Shahid Rasheed, Chairman CDA Nadeem Hassan Asif, Federal Secretary Akhlaq Tarar, Secretary Interior Ch Qamar-u-Zaman, and Secretary Cabinet Mohammad Sami Saeed. The Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who is currently visiting Turkey, will give approval of any of five abovementioned names for the slot.

Khawaja Zaheer, Advisor to the Prime Minister, has been given the task to find a trustworthy and competent bureaucrat suitable for sensitive and influential slot of Principal Secretary to the PM.

Senior bureaucrats are said to have been active lobbying to grab the most influential and top slots and principal secretary to the prime minister is considered as the most influential and top bureaucratic slot.

Muhammad Sami Saeed, incumbent secretary cabinet, has served as Personal Staff Officer (PSO) to Nawaz Sharif during his last tenure as prime minister. Secretary Interior Ch Qamar-uz-Zaman is one of the top bureaucrats and has been serving as secretary interior since 2009. He has been in hot waters during the last tenure of PPP due to his good reputation.

Secretary Establishment Shahid Rasheed is an experienced and confident officer of PM Nawaz Sharif. Insiders say both are the most favourite candidates for the slot and Nawaz Sharif has been fully trusting both of them.

Akhlaq Tarar and Nadeem Hassan Asif are also potential candidates for the slot. Chairman CDA Nadeem Hassan Asif had worked with the previous government of Punjab and served as Principle secretary of the CM and he also considered one of the confident and loyal to Sharifs.

There are so many attractive jobs in the federal capital and abroad and every bureaucrat is trying to get some lucrative job. These include federal secretaries, heads of autonomous bodies, positions in various public sector enterprises, commercial counsellors or economic ministers in foreign embassies, and posts in the Prime Minister's Office. Various bureaucratic lobbies are at play seeking to get their allies installed at key positions.

The sources said that Hamza Shahbaz is being approached by hopefuls. Some bureaucrats have recently approached Hamza for the heads of important departments.

According to sources in Establishment Division, Hamza just makes one call to secretary establishment and within seconds the desired letter is faxed to his office. Even he is not bothering to consult any minister. Some ministers have already complained to the PM about Hamza's attitude, a senior official informed.