ISLAMABAD - Such is the level of helplessness of officers of Office Management Group (OMG)/ Secretariat Group that the Establishment Division is not permitting them to even get registered their own association.

The Establishment Division, supposed to be dominated by the OMG, is in fact being ruled by the powerful District Management Group (DMG), and it has been unresponsive to OMG officers’ request for permission letter for registration of an officers’ association, The Nation has learnt.

The OMG believes that the DMG officers are deliberately delaying issuance of a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to them to maintain their dominance over other service groups. So far more than 1,200 officers have registered their names for being part of this association.

Around 250 officers of OMG, also known as Secretariats Group, attended a meeting last month regarding registration of an association to protect their constitutional rights, which have been allegedly snatched from them by the DMG through an SRO issued by the incumbent government. Showing their concerns in the meeting, the officers decided to pressure the government to withdraw the controversial SRO.

An active member of the Secretariat group informed this correspondent that OMG officers applied for an NOC with the Establishment Division but they were being denied the NOC at the orders of powerful DMG bosses.

He said the NOC issuance was not an uphill task that it has taken a month and the DMG attitude has forced the OMG officers to consider filing another petition against them in court of law. The officer added that a delegation of OMG officers has planned to meet the newly appointed Establishment Secretary Nadeem Hassan Asif, a DMG officer, to get the NOC. He alleged that federal government is damaging OMG officers’ career through the SRO to appease only two or three blue-eyed DMG officers, who masterminded the SRO for ruling the bureaucracy. He said that government was also strengthening the DMG through different other legislations.

The Nation contacted Establishment Secretary Nadeem Hassan Asif for official version of the division but he neither attended the call nor replied to text message.

Talking to The Nation another OMG officer commented that they would announce the names of president and secretary and other officials of the association after getting the said NOC. He said a caretaker body will conduct the elections within six months. He said OMG officers will be part of this association across the country and it would take steps for securing their constitutional rights.

The officer said that DMG suits PML-N government which strengthened the DMG in the past too and have been treating the other occupational groups as children of a lesser god. The officer regretted that the opposition parties in National Assembly have not raised any voice against the controversial SRO by the government. He demanded the government take back the SRO immediately and order Establishment Division to issue the NOC to OMG.

The Establishment Division issued a DMG-specific SRO a few months ago and made changes in the rules for civil servants, including Secretariat Group, Police Services of Pakistan and the Provincial Civil Services, hence making DMG more powerful.

The OMG officers have pointed out that the SRO says that the rules of 1954 are being revived, but the preamble should contain the words ‘Article 246 of the Constitution 1973, and it shall be deemed to have been substituted since August 14, 1973’. They say that the rules cannot be amended retrospectively, however, legislation could be.