LAHORE: Punjab is under the junior bureaucrats’ control as merit and seniority has been bulldozed and appointments being selectively made, Tehlka TV reported. According to the report, the pick and choose policy has taken away the senior bureaucrats’ rights as by appointing junior officers on senior positions led to unserious policymaking. Junior officers brilliantly designed the briefings for the chief minister and the chief secretary to impress them and once appointed – as secretary, special secretary, commissioner, district coordination officer (DCO) or head of a department – they spent time by praising the rulers and even performed illegal tasks for them. They attended meetings called by parliamentarians and gave favourable decisions to Lahore Development Authority (LDA) and even granted a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to the Archaeology Department for the metro train project – which was later stayed by the Lahore High Court (LHC), the report added. Junior bureaucrats dominated the chief minister’s secretariat meetings which either deprived the senior officers from important posts while some were granted special duties, the report further said. “Almost all the important posts in Punjab are occupied by junior officers who also head all the province’s projects (started in the last few years),” it said. These officers get from Rs 1 million to Rs 2 million in monthly salaries but only a few enjoy the government’s complete trust, the report said and added, “However, their wrong decisions were being noticed by the courts on daily basis.” Several senior officers have been side-lined with only a few working on important posts in Punjab because of their strong contacts with the chief minister’s office. According to Services and General Administration (S&GAD) Department, 13 officers of grade 19 are working as secretaries – of grade 20 – in Punjab, two of the same grade as commissioners – of grade 21 – while 11 grade-18 officers have been posted as District Coordinating Officers (DCO) of grade 19. – ‘The Secretaries’ – The ‘Secretary’ level is a grade-20 post and according to Tehlka TV the chief minister’s Secretary (Implementation) Ahmed Javed is a grade-19 officer and so is Special Secretary (CM’s secretariat) Sajid Zafar and Zahid Saleem Gondal and Special Secretary (Specialised Health) Sajid Chohan. The report states that Primary Healthcare Department Head Ali Jan Khan, Special Secretary Local Governments Sara Aslam and Special Secretary Schools Imran Sunder, Secretary Iftikhar Ali and Secretary Archives Ahmed Raza Sarwar are all grade-19 officers. Special Secretary (Finance) Usman Chaudhry and Saifullah Dogar, the report said, are also the grade-19 officers enjoying grade-20 posts. – ‘District coordinating officers and commissioners’ – Rawalpindi’s Commissioner Azmat Mehmood Khan and Commissioner Gujranwala Muhammad Asif are the grade-19 officers who’re enjoying posts of grade 21. Ahad Cheema and Rashid Mehmood Langaryal receive Rs 2 million monthly salaries each as they did not accept the official pay scale. Tehlka TV reported that the District Coordinating Officer (DCOs) of Narowal –Rafaqat Ali, Hafizabad –Muhammad Ahmed Rajwana, Rawalpindi –Talat Mmehmood, Sargodha –Daanish Afzal, Kasur –Ammara Khan, Sheikhupura –Arfa Tariq, Nankana –Saira Umar, Sialkot –Asif Tufail, Khushab –Kinza Murtaza, Mianawali –Shozeb Saeed and Layyah (Wajid Ali Shah) are of grade-18 but are working at grade-19 posts. Meanwhile, the junior officers’ appointment at senior posts was also creating a vacuum in the province’s administration, the report said, as officers of the federal government and other provinces were not fitting in and were not willing to serve in Punjab while some officers are which the Punjab government does not accept for their lobbies. “This culture of posting junior officers on senior posts is being promoted by the chief minister and that is why the accountability departments have been ignoring the junior officers’ suspicious and illegal activities,” the report concluded.