Prime Minister’s Red Warrant against MoMA bureaucrats

The Prime Minister’s office Islamabad has issued a warning (Red Letter) against various ministries including Ministry of Maritime Affairs (MoMA) on account of critical delay in completion of composite tasks assigned under PM’s directives.

The letter signed by Deputy Secretary (PMDU) Adil Saeed Safi stated that to acquire necessary information for determination of the baseline in various services and miscellaneous matters, the tasks were assigned to your Ministry/ Division for completion in 30 days w.e.f. 02-08-2019 on the Task Management System. To bring clarity and do away with any confusion in the matter, two briefing sessions were convened for the Focal Persons i.e. one for the main Mins/ Divs on 25-07-2019 which was prior to assignment of the tasks and another on 30-07-2019 for the Focal Persons of Attached Departments.

The composite tasks on services and miscellaneous matters included;

1.       Provision of the list of positions lying vacant at all levels for framing or update of recruitment rules.

2.       Provision of the list of positions lying vacant at all levels that could be re-designated, rationalized or deleted.

3.       Provision of the list of officers/ officials (all type of Ex-cadres) eligible for promotion not being promoted due to various reasons.

4.       Timely disposal of all disciplinary proceedings initiated against Government employees that are lying pending for more than three months.

5.       Provision of data on a prescribed format regarding record/ files to be archived, machinery, vehicles, equipment to be condemned and disposed-off as per approved procedure.

The Deputy Secretary (PMDU) further recalled that keeping in view significance of the tasks, a Yellow Letter (reminder) dated 17-08-2019 was timely issued to intimate that half of the assigned timeline has elapsed. Despite the above stated situation, the task got critically delayed and now lying overdue at your end. In the light of the above, it is desired to issue a ‘Red Letter’ and convey that no further extension will be granted in the timelines of the instant tasks. The same shall be completed in all respect by 9-9-2019 well before submission of a report on compliance to the Honorable Prime Minister.

It is further to convey that this ‘Red Letter’ will factor into the performance report of the concerned Ministry/ Division therefore all other tasks whose timelines are not yet expired shall specifically be looked into, the letter concluded.

According to informed sources after the 2nd ‘Red Letter’ formal proceeding as per service rules starts that may result in termination of certain officials in extreme cases where deliberate negligence of official is found. The sources said that Mahmood Molvi, PTI General Secretary Sindh and financer was appointed board member of PQA whereas he is also Advisor on Shipping to PM. He is a businessman (shipping and trading) with vested interest in PQA, KPT and PNSC. The real situation is known to everyone in shipping sector wherein no merit at any level but personal likeness and dislikeness only. On the other hand Federal Minister for Ports and Shipping Ali Zaidi visited Association of Builders and Developers, ABAD House, Karachi the other day that has no concern with the affairs of his ministry.  

It may be mentioned here that Pakistan National Shipping Corporation had advertised 27 different vacancies in early 2019. All of these vacancies remained vacant until recently as per previous practice of PNSC senior management by delaying for long time until all suitable candidates are tired of waiting and join somewhere else. This is done in order to accommodate their favorite and preferred candidates who were often not fulfilling the advertised criteria. This trick is well known practice by PNSC long standing board members and so far they yield their desired results.

The sources disclosed that during current week, PNSC Director Commercial Capt. Muhammad Shakil having additional charge of HR has made best utilisation of this practice to promote three of his most favorite officers to next rank under disguise of new recruitment against advertised vacancies. These officers were Mustafa Kizilbash (promoted from Manager Tankers to General Manager Commercial), Syed Hasan Fawad (promoted from Assistant Manager Tankers to Deputy Manager Tankers) and Muhammad Rizwan (promoted from Assistant Manager Commercial to Deputy Manager Commercial). These internal candidates had applied against the said positions and remained employed within PNSC as soon as it became clear that no other candidate was available for whatever reason, Capt. Muhammad Shakil availed the opportunity to promote them in disguise of reappointing them to next rank.

Generally, vacancies are advertised by organizations in absence of any suitable internal candidate whereas internal candidates are promoted as per promotion policy. But in PNSC, the management seems to have no regard for law of land or its own policies. It is pertinent to mention that many deserving officers were waiting for so long for promotion and since 2016 no meeting of promotion board held but favorite officers were appointed on next rank without any transparent process.

Capt. Shakil himself was appointed as Director Commercial in 2016 despite not fulfilling the qualification criteria on the same practice. He was working as GM Commercial (PNSC permanent employee). He was an internal candidate favoured by then Chairman PNSC Arif Elahi and resigned a day before his next appointment as Director within PNSC. This is a mystery why PNSC management does not hold meetings of promotion committee on prescribed intervals and instead follow this wrong practice with blessing of board HR Committee comprising of Capt. Anwar Shah (Ex DG P&S) and other renowned names. The reason is clear to favour few and promote them fast track while keeping others waiting for unlimited.

Capt. Muhammad Shakil holding additional charge of HR was appointed by PNSC board against prescribed Govt. policy, after the age of superannuation whereas PNSC board resolution to appoint persons above the age of superannuation was declared null and void by then Secretary Ports & Shipping. Interestingly, the current Secretary MoMA and Minister MoMA are hiding behind board resolution that was declared null and void by their predecessor.

The sources short-listed the following officials in PNSC who were appointed after the age of superannuation:

1. Capt. Muhammad Shakil – Executive Director Commercial & HR

2. Tariq Majeed – Executive Director Ship Management

3. Agha Nizam Pathan – GM Commercial Operations

On the other hand following persons were promoted on the basis of re-appointment:

1.  Mustafa Kizilbash – Appointed as Deputy Manager Chartering in 2010 wherein he was not fulfilling the published criteria. He did not sail as Master (2nd mate) whereas criteria was Master Mariner with sea going experience. He was promoted as Manager in 2016, given additional charge of GM Commercial in 2017 as he was not fulfilling published criteria for vacant post. He still not fulfills the experience criteria for GM Commercial.

2.  Muhammad Rizwan – Appointed as Assistant Manager (special projects and planning) in 2015 and transferred to commercial department despite no experience in commercial shipping; on behest of then GM Commercial Capt. Muhammad Shakil now Director Commercial. He does not fulfill the criteria and is promoted to next rank by re-appointment.

The affected officials sadly disclosed that PNSC is used to promote favoured candidates while keeping others at bay. Due to no meeting of Promotion Committee since so long, deserving officers are waiting but as no rule or law of land is applicable on PNSC and MoMA so whatever they do is right. This is all happening with the blessings of Secretary MoMA Rizwan Ahmed who is also holding illegal additional charge of Chairman PNSC and the Minister MoMA Ali Zaidi. Why PNSC was not short listing candidates through PTS? This will filter out their preferred and favorite candidates. The matter of short listing and filling of vacant posts may be investigated by NAB and FIA, the sources urged.

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