ISLAMABAD: Waheeda Shah, who was recently disqualified by the Election Commission for slapping a female staffer at a polling station, on Tuesday issued a warning to the role model civil servant Anita Turab, who is fighting for the cause of getting the bureaucracy depoliticised, for taking the former’s issue to the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
In the Courtroom No 1 during the break of court’s hearing of Waheeda Shah case, Turab was approached by the PPP leader from Sindh and told that she would not be forgiven for dragging Shah in the apex court.
Turab, however, told Shah that she had nothing personal against her but has become party in this case to get the bureaucracy depoliticised so that the civil servants should serve for the best interest of the people and country and be respected. Turab is a reputed mid-career civil servant known for her struggle to regain the respect, dignity and honour of the bureaucrats as servants of the state instead of being treated as slaves/personal servants of the political masters.
According to a source, Anita Turab was approached by Waheeda Shah, who warned the lady officer that she would never be forgiven and forgotten for dragging her in the Supreme Court and for snatching her seat of the Sindh Assembly. Turab was also told by Shah that her ruling PPP is standing behind her. She was also accused by Shah of targeting her for monetary gains.
When approached, Turab told The News a strongly worded conversation did take place in the Court Room No 1 while the court was in recess. Without sharing further details, she said that she would be formally informing the registrar of the Supreme Court about this incident to place the matter on record.
The source, who had witnessed the incident in Courtroom No 1, said that the incident could be verified from the CCTV camera installed in the courtroom. Waheeda Shah was approached at her mobile number but she did not pick up the call from The News. An SMS message was also send to her but she did not reply till filing of this report. In the crowd of around three million generally indifferent, impotent and insensitive members of the civilian bureaucracy in Pakistan, the lone voice of the daring lady officer Anita Turab had approached the Chief Justice of Pakistan in Waheeda Shah slapping case for a remedy to the humiliation impacting the complete civil services and law abiding citizens.
Belonging to the Office Management Group, the young lady officer had sought from the Chief Justice of Pakistan suo moto action against the Sindh government and the contesting candidate Waheeda Shah, who had slapped an election commission’s lady official inside the polling station in Tando Adam.
Instead of dealing with the Waheeda Shah incident in isolation, Anita expected from the topmost judge of the country to address the core issues pertaining to restoration of dignity of civil services and civil servants to enable them to play their part in the electoral process with utmost dignity and confidence. In this regard, she believes, ensuring security of tenure, apolitical placements and transparent promotions are a must.
“Extraneous influences, like political persuasions, threats, inducements and temptations must be eliminated. The incident of 25th February is a typical example of the present state of morale of the civil servants since shorn of any protection of law to ward off recourse to similar degradation,” she had pleaded in her petition.
She added that most civil servants wish to work in an environment where their self respect and dignity is not made vulnerable by all and sundry. ìA number of us feel committed to stand by a self-imposed code called ‘the moral revival’ being the flagship commitment to restore the lost dignity of the civil servants, to reclaim the classical independence of the institution through internal and external reforms,î her petition had added.
To her great success, the Supreme Court on Tuesday on Turab’s request almost agreed to constitute a commission headed by the chairman, FPSC for which she has been asked to prepare within a week time a draft of Terms of Reference (ToR) for the commission, which is expected to be set up after the apex court gets response from the federal and provincial governments.