LAHORE - In what appears to be first order of this nature, the Services and General Administration Department has sought source of income of an officer who applied for leave to perform Umrah.

The admin wing of the S&GAD has also asked Shakeel Ahmed, who is district monitoring officer at Bahawalpur, to route his request for leave through the Commissioner of Bahawalpur, who is his administrative boss.

Shakeel heads all education and health facilities across the district. The government grants a DMO an allowance that is almost equal to his salary, as a result of which his salary is twice as much compared to any other officer of his rank.

"Since the DMO is a provincial service officer, the S&GAD raised such a point just to undermine him," said a senior PCS officer on condition of anonymity, clearly pointing out how the PCS officers are discriminated against. He said it was a common practice that officers visit their families, within the country or abroad, at state expenses. But the S&GAD has never asked them their source of funds.  According to some sources, intelligence agencies are also aware that many officers are living beyond means but they have not taken any step to curb the illegality.  It may be pointed out that with average accommodation in Makkah and Madina, Umrah can be performed with Rs 125,000.