Alhaj Muhammad Khan

Benign neglect

A.M. Khan

Amid celebrations in upper Chitral after bifurcation of Chitral into two separate districts on November 20, 2018, the issue of transfer of employees was raised. The establishment and shift of government offices remained a benign neglect. The major problem at that time and might be the case now of 70 percent offices yet to be established with employees in upper Chitral continues.

Many departments, except very few departments in their previous buildings operate, have no physical spaces in place, and in turn their employees. Operationalizing district finance and accounts is important, but administration is not limited to them. It requires a network of departments, institutions and administrative apparatus to remain functional and ease smooth office business.    

All government employees’ grand alliance attended by political representatives demanded for the transfer of government employees posted in lower Chitral came once again in discussion on media and social spaces.  Among other things they also referred to is the case of promotion of employees based in lower Chitral, and resentment and unrest among employees.

Taking exception to repeated demand of transfer of government employees, Tahreek leader announced convening all-parties meeting on the issue, and underlined the equal distribution and sharing of assets between existing and newly created district, and said, it’s unjustified.

The problem of transferring employees, hailing from upper, are posted in lower Chitral is as such no imperative than the demand for official setup in district upper Chitral should have sought public attention.

After bifurcation of Chitral, erstwhile tehsil headquarter— Booni, became district headquarter with the same space and resources couldn’t afford accommodating and sustaining district-level government employees in office spaces. Perhaps the health and police department, and judiciary has limited office buildings in Booni, and the rest of the departments are without permanent physical infrastructure delivering public services in rented buildings.   

We should accept the fact that who doesn’t like to serve in the nearest station to home than being in out-station. Besides demanding transfers of government employees, the political leadership in either lower and upper Chitral must realize the importance of ‘building spaces and employees’ in newly established district. The physical spaces and settings in upper Chitral are no different from Pakistan inherited after partition in 1947.

There must be consensus among civil society, political leadership and district administration about the long-term setup for public spaces and office settings in one place where public could benefit from public services from government departments. It requires a big budget outlay for establishing new established district. Naturally, given the existing space available in Booni as a district headquarter, at least it couldn’t afford district setups and network of offices to be established.

One Reply to “Benign neglect”

  1. perfectly right that first newly established district should have offices and resources, and then transfer should be demanded.

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