An inquiry against a senior joint secretary of the Cabinet Division has been ordered by the Prime Minister for posting “objectionable comments” against the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on a social media platform.
The Establishment Division on Monday issued a statement of allegations highlighting that BS-21 officer Hammad Shamimi had posted a comment on a social media platform that was equivalent to misconduct under the Civil Servants (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules, 2020.
The Establishment Division’s notification then reproduced Shamimi’s alleged post in Urdu, in which he had written: “A similarity between the PTI and the Taliban is that both are figuring out how to run the government only after assuming power. And the center of hope for both of them is Aabpara.”
According to another notification issued by the Establishment Division on Monday, an inquiry has been ordered against Shamimi pertaining to the said allegations.
The inquiry order against him states, “The Prime Minister in his capacity as ‘Authority’ is pleased to appoint Mr. Sanaullah Abbasi (PSWBS-22), Director General, FIA, Islamabad, as Inquiry Officer to conduct inquiry proceedings against Mr. Hammad Shamimi (SGTBS-21), Senior Joint Secretary, Cabinet Division, Islamabad.”
The timeline for the completion of the inquiry in the notification is of 60 days, while the inquiry officer is required to “submit a probe report to the Authority within seven days of the completion of the inquiry with clear findings”.
Earlier on Aug 25, the Establishment Division had issued a notification barring government servants from engaging on any media platform without the government’s permission.
The notification had stated that these orders were not intended “to discourage any constructive and positive use of social media by a government organization for engaging the people to solicit feedback on a government policy, suggestions for improvement in service delivery and resolution of their complaints”.
It added, “But such an organization shall maintain their social media platforms continuously or frequently to remove offensive, inappropriate and objectionable remarks”.
The notification provided detailed instructions for government employees under Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1964, governing the participation of government servants on various media forums including social media platforms for compliance.
Referring to Rule 22 of the Servant Rules, the Establishment Division had stated, “the rule restrains a government servant from making any statement of fact or opinion which is capable of embarrassing the government in any document published or in any communication made to the press or in any public utterance or television program or radio broadcast delivered by him or her.”
The notification served as a warning to all government servants that violation of one or more of these instructions would be tantamount to misconduct and result in disciplinary action against the delinquent government servant under Civil Servants (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules, 2020. Additionally, it said, disciplinary proceedings would also be held against the serving government servants if they were administrators of a social media group where any violation had been committed.