In a rare example, Ayesha Zehri, the former Assistant Commissioner Dalbandin has been issued a show-cause notice for what the officials call addressing an unauthorized press conference. Ayesha Zehri, in a video claimed that the levies station had refused to take smuggled chemicals and other goods into custody on what she claimed on the directives of the then deputy commissioner Chaghi. The AC’s video went viral and got a public response, criticizing the Balochistan government in February this year.
This prompted Chief Minister Balochistan, Jam Kamal Khan to form an inquiry committee to probe into the matter. The press conference, which went viral on all types of media brought embarrassment to the government, which is tantamount to misconduct as defined under the BEDA act, mentioned in a show-cause notice served to her the other day.
The show-cause notice issued from the Chief Secretary Balochistan’s office further said, “you had failed to inform the concerned deputy commissioner prior to conducting the raid, you had only 3 sepoys (Levies personnel) along with your 15-year-old brother during the raid”.
However, the former assistant commissioner had earlier claimed that she had refused to distribute ration/foodstuff on a political basis, referring to political interference in post-coronavirus relief work.
The commissioner Rakhshan division, Ayaz Mandokhail had also written a letter in support of the former assistant commissioner and called for the cancellation of her transfer order.
Now the question arises, Ayesha Zehri is not the only officer addressing an unauthorized press conference. This seems to be not an exception since administrative officers in remote areas do interact with media without the permission of their bosses. The officers also operate their Facebook and Twitter accounts, expressing their opinion and views about various issues.
Some officers also speak to people running Facebook pages regarding masses issues or their own performance. Since the evolution of social media, thousands of FB pages are being operated by people, portraying themselves as journalists.
It has been witnessed that officers respond to FB pages demands, inquiries in certain cases, and actions relating to various issues. In those cases, the government is yet to take action or fix limits for the officers.
Had the government fixed limitations for the officers when it comes to interacting with media or going live on social media, Ayesha Zehri’s video would have never gone viral. If the government intends to fix limits for the government officers, then, it has to be across the board.
Posting of female officers on such key positions in strictly veiled society appears to be a good omen for the development of society in Balochistan. Despite all odds, Ayesha Zehri passed the provincial competitive examination for assistant commissioner through Balochistan Public Service Commission. Balochistan is already legging behind all other provinces in education in general and female education in particular.
Chief Minister Balochistan, Jam Kamal Khan deserves to be appreciated for taking notice of the issuance of show-cause notice to the assistant commissioner. Spokesman CM Secretariat in a statement in the wee hours on Monday said that the Chief Minister has made it clear that “no injustice would be made with female officer”.
This is indeed the right step in the right direction. Justice must be done with all, across the board. In this specific case, the matter needs to be thoroughly probed plus the allegations levelled by the female assistant commissioner in her earlier video.