None Willing to take Education Ministry till-Date
KARACHI: Senior Peoples Party leader, works and services Minister, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani earlier refused to take charge of Education Department which lies vacant for more than three weeks.
According to him, the reason is that he cannot work with the ‘influential’ secretary of the department, Fazlullah Pechuho, who also happens to be a brother-in-law of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari. “It is difficult to work with the incumbent secretary of the department,” said sources quoting Bijarani registering complaints with the chief minister. “You first change him by appointing another competent officer as he does not coordinate with the minister and bypasses him in policy as well as administrative issues.”
The PPP leadership was unwilling to replace Pechuho. Meanwhile, Bijarani is equally unwilling to budge and take charge of the department. Bijarani, an influential leader of the party, has always swept the election from his home district, Kashmore. His son, Shabir Bijarani, is also an MNA from the area. “This kind of decisions will weaken the PPP in the future, especially in the local government elections that are about to take place,” said a senior PPP leader requesting anonymity.
A similar situation was witnessed during the tenure of former education minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro. He had protested before the party leadership on a number of occasions, complaining against Pechuho. But all had gone in vain. Finally, he has now been assigned the charge of the information and irrigation department.
Bijarani refused to comment on the issue. “I am now a minister without a portfolio,” he said. Last Tuesday, when MPAs had asked questions in the Sindh Assembly related to the education department, all eyes were on Bijarani’s seat for response. The minister was present in the House but had refused to answer, which compelled the minister for parliamentary affairs, Dr Sikandar Mandhro, to reply to the questions.
According to officials, the PPP leadership want to directly control the affairs of some departments by appointing their own bureaucrats, showing less trust in party ministers.
On the other hand, Pechuho told the media that he did not know why ministers were unhappy with him. “I am a government employee and work whenever my services are required,” he said.
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