MUZAFFARABAD, Feb 26: Ilmuddin Bullo, a BPS-21 officer of the Central Superior Services, assumed the office of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) chief secretary, here on Tuesday.
He replaced Mohammad Shehzad Arbab, who had been attached with the Establishment Division for further posting, after his recent promotion in BPS-22.
Mr Bullo, who belongs to Sukkur, was serving in Sindh as secretary population welfare, before his transfer to AJK.
Prior to that, he had held the posts of secretary for education, labour, culture as well as secretary to the Sindh chief minister.
Officials told Dawn that President Asif Ali Zardari had brought Mr Bullo in AJK against the coveted position.
On his arrival to his office in the New Civil Secretariat, Mr Bullo took salute from a smartly turned out police contingent, in a tradition that appeared reminiscent of colonial era practice to many.
However, an AJK official said that since the chief secretary also happened to be the AJK home secretary, the police saluted him on assumption of office.
The chief secretary is the most important tool in the AJK’s administrative machinery and has the wherewithal to frustrate the working of the government.
Also on Tuesday, Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed gave a grand sendoff to Mr Arbab, the outgoing chief secretary, at a local hotel.
Two police bands played music to amuse the guests that included ministers and senior government officials including the new chief secretary.
Mr Arbab, who belongs to a prominent political family of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and is esteemed as a polite and down to earth bureaucrat, recounted experiences from his 33-month service in AJK, during which he worked with three prime ministers. — Tariq Naqash