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Imran Khan must tear down the unethical reign of Pervaiz Elahi. Killing Muhammad Khan Bhatti’s appointment is the start

The re-appointment of Tauqir Shah on contract basis as principal secretary to PM is an act of nepotism.
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A story by Mudassar Changwani (Co-editor at Republic Policy)

It’s been more than four months that  the apex court of the Punjab province has been moved against the unlawful appointment of the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister. Yet, it’s been four months head-on that the illegal appointment still reigns high.

In this August, 2022, the petitioner Mian Dawood, an Advocate of the High Court, made the rightful attempt to stop the Chief Minister from committing himself harshly towards, no matter what, appointing Muhammad Khan Bhatti as his principal secretary. The act is as much unlawful & condemnable that it demanded the attention of the apex court. Mian Dawood, the petitioner, rightly asserted in the petition that he has “no other efficacious and speedy remedy except to invoke the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court.”

No sooner than the Supreme Court confirms Pervaiz Ilahi as the leader of the house & the Chief Minister of the Punjab province that Pervaiz Ilahi started making changes as to his liking. Among those changes, the appointment of Muhammad Khan Bhatti was among the first.

The urgency and the priority with which he was brought to the supremacy is in itself a manifestation of how much close MKB is to Pervaiz Ilahi. But above all that, if anyone is interested in locating the true humiliating level of cronyism and nepotism creeping inside the Punjab government, the appointment of MKB marks the signatory display.

Once appointed as a grade-7 employee, as part of a classic political favor shown to Ahmad Khan Bhatti, MKB’s elder brother, MKB was soon, in 1997, brought to the Punjab Assembly. It was to no one’s surprise as Ch Pervaiz Ilahi was speaker of the house.

But, it was just the start. The wheel on the movement of which his rise was fated has yet to move. In an unimaginable short span of a few months he landed in a BS-19 scale. The details are murky and opaque. As if BS-19 wasn’t enough a favor, the following few years saw MKB moving towards grades 20, 21, &, finally, 22; from middle cadre appointments and secretary of the Punjab Assembly to the forbidden post of CM’s principal secretary – ultimately making him the top bureaucrat in the province.

Needless to say that unlawful appointment of MKB creates an unwanted atmosphere where it becomes everyone’s belief that if a person is to seek higher role and responsibility, the way is through political loyalty, nepotism, and back-the-door dealings.

Nothing is more paradoxical and shamefully surprising that all this is being done under the watch of Imran Khan, the de facto ruler of the province. Imran Khan has been vocal about his policy of bringing fair play and meritocracy to the country. Yet, under his nose, as attested by MKB’s illegitimate position, so much is rotten.

In an ideally governed world, the appointment of Muhammad Khan Bhatti would have been easily discarded away. But, in an ideally constructed world of Imran Khan, would MKB continue to hold the position, against Khan’s narrative, anything concrete has yet to be seen. Making talking claims is one thing; walking the talk is another. So far, if MKB case is to be considered, the PTI is failing the people.

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