Tahir Khurshid Group rules the roost in Punjab bureaucracy
File photo of Punjab Secretariat, Lahore.
The Punjab bureaucracy is predominantly divided into three groups and the most powerful group among them is the group that enjoys the blessings of Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, said a special report prepared by Senior Reporter Qaisar Khokhar for City42Digital, a sister organization of 24NewsHD TV channel.
According to the report, there are three prominent groups in bureaucracy namely: Tahir Khurshid (TK) group, Jawad Rafiq Malik Group which is Punjab chief secretary’s group and the third group is Nawaz Sharif loyalists’ group who had worked with Shehbaz Sharif during his tenure in Punjab. The TK Group has got the blessing of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.
In the past, Nasir Mehmood Group and Nasir Mehmood Khosa Group had been active in Punjab. The prominent personalities like Fawad Hassan Fawad, Sikandar Sultan Raja and Dr Tauqeer Shah had been the part of Javed Mehmood group. But after that Nasir Mehmood Khosa group came into existence in which officers like Shahid Mehmood, Dr Shujat Ali and Tariq Bajwa became prominent. Nasir Mehmood remained chief secretary for 3 ½ years and showered undue favors on his group.
The most prominent member of TK group is Additional Secretary Punjab Iram Bukhari. Ms Iram is grade 21 officer and she will be promoted to grade 22 soon after the budget. The second most important figure of TK group is Secretary Energy Muhammad Amir Jan who is quite influential in the group and enjoys Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s trust. The third prominent figure of TK group is Saleha Saeed. She is DG excise and is grade 19 officer.
Another key figure in KT group is Zafar Nasarullah who is the secretary housing. He also enjoys a very good relationship with Punjab CM and Punjab CS. Noorul Amin Mengal also belongs to KT Group. It is believed that Tahir Khurshid brought Mengal to Punjab and appointed him as secretary local bodies and he basks in special attention of TK group. Waqas Ali Mehmood is secretary excise and taxation. He is in the good books of Chief Minister Buzdar as he is holding a very important government office.
LDA DG Lahore, Ahmad Aziz Tarar, Secretary Local Bodies Mengal and DC Lahore Mudassar Riaz Malik now have become part of the kitchen cabinet of TK group. The trio takes its directions from TK group and all decisions are taken on the advice of TK group.
The second group is that of Chief Secretary Punjab Jawad Rafiq Malik’s Group. This group is regarded somewhat a weak group as compared to TK group. But this group still exists in Punjab and the most important member of this group is Secretary Higher Education Nadeem Mehboob who enjoys good rapport with chief secretary Punjab. Another prominent member is Wajih Ullah Kundi who is currently undertaking a staff training course. The third important member of the group is Secretary I&C Ahsan Bhutta who enjoys special blessings of the group members and chief secretary.
Saima Saeed is another key member of Rafiq Malik group and she is known as special officer of the CS. She handles administrative affairs of the CS. Secretary Labor Ahmed Javed Qazi also belongs to this group. When CS Rafiq Malik was commissioner Lahore, Mr Qazi was SC Lahore and chief secretary wanted to appoint him as commissioner Lahore.
The third group belongs to PML-N loyalists. Among them is Secretary Specialized Healthcare Nabeel Ahmed Awan who enjoys a good relationship with PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif. Another prominent member of this group is acting Secretary Information Raja Jehangir Anwar who was regarded as loyal to Shehbaz Sharif and remained a part of DMG-N group in the past. But now he has switched sides and took allegiance to TK group. He has become part of the TK group and is running administrative affairs with the help of TK group.
Secretary Specialized Healthcare Nabeel Awan who was part of the PML-N loyalist group also seems to have sworn allegiance to Punjab Health Minister Yasmeen Rashid and is doing her biddings.
Likewise, senior member Board of Revenue Babar Hayat Tarar and Additional Chief Secretary Home Momin Agha who had been loyal to Shehbaz Sharif and been part of his kitchen cabinet, seem to have been picking no sides and are regarded independent. Because of their neutral position, a powerful group is all ready to oust them from Punjab.
Amir Karim, former PSO Shehbaz Sharif, was very close to Shehbaz and when the latter visited Burewala, he did not go anywhere, he went straight to Mr Kareem’s house. But now Mr Kareem has officially joined TK group and has become part of Usman Buzdar’s kitchen cabinet.
Secretary Labor Ahmed Javed Qazi who used to work as secretary coordination under Shehbaz has now joined the Jawad Rafiq Malik group. And Jawad group despite all its hectic efforts could not appoint him as commissioner Lahore.
TK group accidentally appointed Captain Usman as commissioner Lahore because the group failed to appoint Secretary Primary Healthcare Sara Aslam as commissioner Lahore. So the group picked Mr Usman and he accidentally became commissioner.
So this is the scenario of Punjab bureaucracy which is divided into small groups.