KARACHI: The High Powered Board (HPB) is set to convene on May 17, 2024, to deliberate on the promotions of BS-21 officers to the respected and highest BS-22 grade of among bureaucracy. The meeting has acquired sinister bloodshed of career files. Of particular importance are five BS-22 seats available in the Inland Revenue Service (IRS).

Chairman FBR, Malik Amjad Zubair Tiwana (BS-21), himself hailing from IRS who, despite being 23rd on the seniority list, appears to be ruthlessly outmaneuvering his superiors in seniority. The top spot on the list is held by Shah Banu, a highly regarded officer with a reputation for competence. Not only she has ably served in customs , coast guards, income tax, excise and adjudication, she is highly regarded by FBR employees as the officer incharge of IJP process that brought successful reforms and doubled stipend to highly demoralised fbr work force in 2005 to 2008 under the same biased regime of 2000 that had previously published a list of thousands under removal from service ordinance. Mrs. Shahbanu has been posted in virtual OSD posts since 2015. Even after her promotion to BS 21 in 2018 she was kept in a budget less post without any operational authority or access. Just before the High powered board she already virtual OSD got pushed to admn pool to keep her out of promotion board. Questions have been raised about the veracity of socalled intelligence reports that have been used to sideline officers like Shah Banu, who have not held functional postings in recent years.

Dr. Lubna Ayub, occupying the second position in the IRS seniority list , is the Director General of the National Institute of Management (NIM) in Karachi. Significantly both lady officers Lubna and Shah Bano hail from Sindh urban domicile. 

Asim Majid Khan, third on the seniority list, is also in the Admin Pool, alongside Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed and Dr. Hamid Ateeq Sarwar, who are fifth and sixth, respectively.

The chances of promotion for some, like Chaudhery Tariq, born in November 1964 and due for superannuation this year, seem slim. Similarly, Ghulam Abbas, 11th on the list, has only four months approximately left in service. Tariq Mustafa Khan, recently moved to the Admin Pool, is tenth on the seniority list, while Dr. Bakhtiar Muhammad, set to retire in December 2024, is 16th.

Amidst this backdrop, allegations have surfaced that Chairman Tiwana may be misguiding Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to secure his own promotion and retain his FBR chairmanship that has recently come under fire due to rise in tax burden of fuel prices and consequently energy costs leading to rampant inflation. Sources claim that Tiwana has allegedly misused the names of intelligence agencies to discredit his senior fellow officers. A move that has reportedly drawn the ire of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

Mr. Tiwana may be copying the tactics of his predecessor, ex chairman FBR Dr. Ashfaq of qazi faez essa fame; and currently himself in admn pool , being junior in seniority tried similar maneuvering against his seniors to get ahead on seniority list. Only this time Mr. Tiwana is openly being accused of targeting well-regarded officers under the guise of anti-corruption measures, attempting to bypass several on the seniority list. Furthermore, he is charged with undermining the proposed Federal Board of Customs by defaming Pakistan Customs Service (PCS) officers and painting the entire Customs department as corrupt. This department is critical to the IRS, and FBR collecting sales tax and income tax at the import stage, which constitutes a significant portion of the IRS- FBR’s performance metrics.

Previously a committee led by AD Khawaja currently on PM inspection team had reported on Afghan Transit Trade. His report committee included former DG I&I custom Mr. Abdul Rasheed Shaikh and former Member Customs Saeed Jadoon. That report has also come under scrutiny because the AD Khwaja’s committee’s report implicates senior Customs officers in the pilferage of transit trade, yet it has notably failed to investigate bonded carriers involved in such activities. This omission is particularly glaring given that EMovers, a bonded carrier company implicated in numerous pilferage cases, is owned by Mansoor Shaikh, brother of committee member Mr. Abdul Rasheed Shaikh.

Whereas, In an article published for the Jang newspaper, Mrs. Uzma Gul, daughter of late General Hamid Gul, also highlighted that 12 FBR officers were relegated to the Admin Pool, while 13 were reassigned to their home group, based on concocted dubious intelligence reports said to originate from military agencies who have nothing to do with FBR chairman’s drive to get promotion to grade 22 before his turn. The military agencies have denied producing or sending such reports. All the 12 officers in the list are in late 50s and by Mr. Tiwana’s self serving integrity assessment have spent over 500 years of their collective service in vain. While he was serving as Special assistant chairman office then member operations incharge and finally chairman himself responsible for good work and service integrity.

In response to what many see as a deliberate media trial based on false slanderous propaganda , IRS officers have undertaken lawful actions to protect the most elite revenue earning service of Pakistan. The Prime Minister is expected to exercise his discretionary powers judiciously and not for vested interests as per the Constitution of Pakistan as per binding constitutional provisions and state employees can not be treated as political appointees serving the pleasures of those in power.

This story is developing, and the outcomes of the HPB meeting shall have far-reaching consequences for the governance and integrity of Pakistan’s ace revenue collection apparatus and protection of its strategic assets.

According to the seniority list:


1.       Shah Bano Gm Khan


2.       Dr.Lubna Ayub


3.       Mr. Asim Majid Khan


4.       Mr. Sajidullah Siddiqui


5.       Dr. Muhammad Ashfaq Ahmed


6.       Dr. Hamid Ateeq Sarwar


7.       Ms. Amina Hassan


8.       Ch. Muhammad Tarique


9.       Mr. Shaban Bhatti


10.   Mr. Tariq Mustafa Khan


11.   Syed Ghulam Abbas Kazmi


12.   Dr. Aftab Imam


13.   Dr. Tauqeer Ahmad Memon


14.   Mr. Shahid Iqbal Baloch


15.   Mr. Ahmad Shuja Khan


16.   Mr. Bakhtiar Muhammad


17.   Mr. Anwar ul Haq


18.   Mr. Amjad Mahmood


19.   Ms. Ambreen Iftikhar


20.   Ms. Nabila Faran Baig


21.   Mr. Yousif Hyder Shaikh


22.   Mr. Mir Badshah Khan Wazir


23.   Malik Amjed Zubair Tiwana


24.   Mr. Hyder Ali Dharejo


25.   Ms. Sadia Sadaf Gillani


26.   Mr. Muhammad Azam Sheikh


27.   Mr. Mehmood Hussain Jafari


28.   Mr. Muhammad Iqbal


29.   Mr. Muhammad Abid Raza Bodla


30.   Ms. Aiysha Khalid


31.   Mr. Karamatullah Khan Chaudhry


32.   Mr. Abdul Wahid Uqaily


33.   Mr. Afaque Ahmed Qureshi


34.   Mr. Sajid Nazir Malik


35.   Dr. Muhammad Sarmad Qureshi


36.   Syed Syedain Raza Zaidi


37.   Ms. Tehmina Aamer


38.   Mr. Qasim Raza Khan


39.   Mr. Ardsher Saleem Tariq


40.   Mr. Muhammad Tahir


41.   Mr. Mohammad Farooq Azam Memon


42.   Syeda Naureen Zahra


43.   Mr. Nasir Iqbal


44.   Mr. Imtiaz Ali Solangi


45.   Mr. Khurshid Ahmad Khan Marwat


46.   Mr. Nasir Khan


47.   Mr. Abid Mehmood


48.   Mr. Faheem Mohammad


49.   Mr. Aqeel Ahmed Siddiqui


50.   Mr. Muhammad Tariq Arbab


51.   Dr. Shah Khan


52.   Mr. Asem Iftikhar


53.   Mr. Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan