ISLAMABAD - Thirteen posts of grade-22, including eight posts of federal secretaries and five posts of special secretaries, in different Divisions are lying 

vacant due to delay in the meeting of High Powered Selection Board because of Prime Minister busy schedule, The Nation has learnt reliably.

The meeting of HPSB was scheduled in the first week of July and the Establishment Division had also finalised the panels of grade-21 officers of different  services groups in this regard. The meeting could not be held on time due to the PM’s busy schedule in the wake of Panama case.

According to documents available with The Nation, four other officers of grade-22 including Abid Saeed Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Khizar Hayat  Gondal, Secretary Industries, Nyla Qureshi, Managing Director Printing Corporation of Pakistan and Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Executive Director NIPs will also retire  by the end of this year.

The eight key ministries are being run without permanent heads and the government has given the charge of these ministries to grade-21 officers. The federal  government handed over the additional charge of Economic Affairs Division to Shahid Masood. The post of Secretary National Security Division is also lying vacant while Amir Ashraf Khawaja has been given additional charge as secretary of the division.

The affairs of Petroleum and Natural Resources Division are being run without a regular head and the government has appointed Muhammad Jalal Sikandar, a  grade-21 officer, as Additional Secretary In-charge.

Similarly, the office of Secretary Interior is also lying vacant and Tariq Mehmood Khan is looking after the matters of the division as Additional Secretary Interior Division. Interestingly, the post of Secretary Narcotics Control Division could not be filled after the transfer of the last secretary.

The post of Secretary Privatisation Division/Commission is also lying vacant after the transfer of Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera to Information, Broadcasting  and National, last month the government once again gave the charge of this Division to Sukhera. Shoaib Mir was posted as Additional Secretary In-charge of the Federal Education and Professional Training Division a few months back.

Interestingly, the government yesterday Mian Asad Hayuddin as Additional SecretRY Incharge of Establishment Division after the appointment of outgoing  secretary ED as Federal Ombudsman last week.

Well placed sources told The Nation that the meeting of HPSB is necessary to conduct now because 18 federal secretaries will retire from their posts next  year and 13 posts of grade-22 are still lying vacant in federal bureaucracy. They said the PM should spare two to three hours and chair the board meeting to streamline bureaucracy. They said several competent officers of grade 21 are awaiting their promotions from last one year but incumbent government handed  over the additional charges of different divisions to its blue eyed baboos.    

They claimed that the HPSC will also review the promotion case of Rao Tehseen, who is facing an inquiry in the Dawn Leaks case and Joint Investigation Team in Panama case head Wajid Zia.

The PM had chaired last promotion board regarding in first week of February and had approved promotions of over a dozen of officers to grade-22.