Rawalpindi-The guards of Pakistan Railways have demanded antedate promotions as guard grade II and III by following personnel manual and revised promotion policy by the ministry concerned.

In this regard, a good numbers of guards have submitted an appeal to the Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed and Chairman Railway seeking promotions on merit. However, the big wigs of Pakistan Railways have not been paying attention on the genuine demands of guards sparking unrest among them, sources informed on Tuesday.

Sources disclosed that the high ups of ministry have overlooked the genuine guards deserving for promotions and had allegedly promoted the departmental workers having third division in Matriculation as guards in a sheer violation of rules and regulations. They said as per policy of Pakistan Railways, any departmental worker with Matriculation in 2nd or 3rd Division is illegible for post of guard in the department. Sources said the guards are planning to launch a protest demonstration against the minister, chairman and divisional superintendent for not redressing their genuine demands.

According to the appeal, sent by the guards of Pakistan Railways to the minister with subject “Request for antedate promotion as guard grade II and guard grade III by following personnel manual and revised promotion policy number I/I/2012-CP-II dated 29.1.2016 produced by ministry of railways dated 01.02.2016”, the applicants mentioned that they were working as guard grade II in Rawalpindi Division and were promoted a guard between the period of 2006 and 2007 whereas departmental workers were promoted as guard between the period of 2007 and 2010.

They said they were also declared senior in seniority list of 2008 and 2010 accordance with the Civil Servant Act, 1973 and seniority rules 1993 which is as under “Seniority in a post, service or cadre which a civil servant is promoted shall take affect from the date of regular appointment of that post”. They told the minister and chairman that instead of promoting them, the department took a complete U-turn and relegated our seniority position of 2008 and 2010 by the seniority list of 2012. The guards further apprised that Federal Service Tribunal in a judgment that passed on 26.7.2018 also remarked that impugned seniority list 2012 is not in accordance with the Civil Servant Act, 1973, therefore is not sustainable in the eyes of law and also mention in the judgment that the appellants have impugned the seniority list of 2012 which has adversely changed their seniority without notice to them therefore any subsequent seniority list issued during the pendency of appeal, if contrary to seniority list of 2008 is also not tenable in the eyes of law.

The guards further told the minister and chairman that they had also filed appeals No.1840 to 1843 (R) CS/2012 with FST which were admitted on 4.6.2012 and the final decision of these appeals were announced on 28.7.2018. They mentioned that all the departmental workers were promoted during the pendency of the appeals with FST. The promotions of departmental workers (juniors) are illegal, they said in the appeal.

Talking to The Nation, a guard, who is waiting for promotion, said four guards namely Saif ur Rehman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Muhammad Khurshid and Muhammad Munsha are seniors but working in 14 and 15 grades, which was an injustice. He disclosed Ejaz Shah, Muhammad Aslam, Gulraiz Khan and Muhammad Irshad are juniors but working as senior guard in grade 16 in Rawalpindi Division.

Many other guards expressed their deep concerns over criminal silence on part of federal minister for railways, chairman and the divisional superintendent and threatened to stage huge protest for acceptance of their demands.

They also appealed Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to look into the matter and provide them justice.

When contacted, DS Railways Rawalpindi Munawar Shah confirmed that the appeals of guards for promotion are pending with the ministry. He said he is taking concrete steps to mitigate the grievances of these guards. “I have formed committees on divisional level which sought applications from all these guards seeking promotion,” he said. He stated that he has also intimated the high ups of the ministry regarding the concerns of the guards. Despite repeated attempts, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed was not available for his comments on the issue.