Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has ordered an inquiry against a senior joint secretary of the Cabinet Division for posting "objectionable comments" against the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on a social media platform.
According to a statement of allegations issued by the Establishment Division on Monday, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, BS-21 officer Hammad Shamimi had posted a comment on a social media page/platform that was tantamount to misconduct under the Civil Servants (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules, 2020.
In a separate notification issued by the Establishment Division on Monday, an inquiry has been ordered against Shamimi in light of the said allegations.
A copy of the 'statement of allegations' against senior joint secretary issued by the Establishment Divison.
The inquiry order against him reads: "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."
It said the inquiry should be completed within 60 days, while the inquiry officer must "submit a probe report to the Authority within seven days of the completion of the inquiry with clear findings".
The Establishment Division had on Aug 25 issued a notification — a copy of which is available with Dawn.com — barring government servants from participating in any media platform except with the permission of the government.
The notification had said that instructions were not intended "to discourage any constructive and positive use of social media by a government organisation for engaging the people to solicit feedback on a government policy, suggestions for improvement in service delivery and resolution of their complaints".
"But such an organisation shall maintain their social media platforms continuously or frequently to remove offensive, inappropriate and objectionable remarks," it had said.
The notification gave detailed instructions to government employees under Government Servants (Conduct) Rules, 1964, governing participation of government servants in different media forums including social media platforms for compliance.
Referring to Rule 22 of the Servant Rules, the Establishment Division had said that "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 programme or radio broadcast delivered by him or her."
The notification had warned all government servants that violation of one or more of these instructions would be tantamount to misconduct and lead to disciplinary action against the delinquent government servant under Civil Servants (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules, 2020. Besides, it said, disciplinary proceedings would also be held against the serving government servants in case they were administrators of a social media group where any violation had been committed.