LAHORE - The in-charge officer of famous Bagh-e-Jinnah has been replaced after the Chief Minister Office has rejected to re-extend the deputation of a university teacher after seven good years.

Before being posted as the project director in 2009, Shahid Iqbal worked in University of Sargodha as an assistant professor, and had been posted on deputation.

Despite being in the office for seven consecutive years after getting multiple extensions, the officer desired more relaxation in the deputation policy. However, he has now been replaced by PHA Deputy Director Tajjamul Javed.

Sources in Parks and Horticulture Authority say the secretary of Housing and Urban Development– parent department of Parks and Horticulture Authority - had already rejected the PHA proposal to again extend his deputation, finding it in violation of three years prescribed period of deputation.

The Services Wing of the S&GAD and Finance department had also followed the suit by writing note against the extension in the PD deputation. The services secretary wrote that last time the deputed officer was granted extension for one year.

According to the rules, the deputed officer does not have an unfettered right to continuation of deputation for an indefinite period. “Repeated extensions to deputation as a matter of routine constitute major departure from the prescribed period of three year of deputation as lad down in the Deputation Policy of 1998,” the establishment secretary held.

On these remarks, Secretary to Punjab CM Imdadullah Bosal wrote: “Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has seen and is pleased to agree with the view of Secretary HUD&PHED, Secretary (Services) and Secretary Finance.”

In the same case, Bosal wrote: “The deputed officials cannot be allowed to continue for unlimited period as it will not only create a bad precedent but also encourage others to make similar requests. Therefore, the departments should avoid submitting proposals which are against the deputation policy.”

Sources told The Nation that Shahid Iqbal had, during last year, had approached the CM office using political contacts for another extension. Overruling all the rules and regulations, the CM gave him another extension on March 2015.

Last year, the Supreme Court had issued directions that the officers on deputation should be withdrawn and repatriated to their parent departments. The Establishment division had acted on it and many officers appointed on deputation had to report to their parent departments. Those officers were working in different federal institutions like FIA, PIA, NAB, Pakistan Steel, Establishment Division, SSGPL, Agriculture Bank of Pakistan, EOBI, and Port Qasim Authority.

There are also several courts orders about the deputed officers who get extensions after relaxation in the policy violate promotion rights of the borrowing departments.

“The promotions of PHA officers working in the department for years are at stake,” said an officer in S&GAD, conditioning anonymity. The Punjab government should not allow violation of rules just to oblige some persons, he further said.

Another officer in S&GAD, on the extension granted to deputed officers, said: “The federal government had directed all the lending and borrowing departments to strictly monitor these postings and violation of rules if any.”

The officer further observed that there were many instances of government officials remaining on deputation for many years, moving from one department to another and even to other statutory or autonomous bodies while their stay in their parent department remained very limited. “This practice and misuse of the relevant rules damages the performance of their parent departments,” he added.