Yesterday, Federal Minister Shafqat Mehmood announced measures taken by the incumbent government on civil service reforms. During election campaign, the PTI chief had pledged to bring about wide-ranging reforms in the system and introduce a system of internal accountability to encourage competent officials and weed out inefficient people. After, assuming premiership, Imran Khan set up a task force headed by Shafqat Mahood, Federal Minister for Education and Professional training to revamp bureaucracy.
According to Mehmood the government has introduced new rules and procedures for next promotion, cafeteria for premature retirement, efficiency and discipline, appointment in MP scale, transfer and strength of Pakistan Administrative Service. The Prime Minister Imran Khan manifesto was to eliminate the political influence with in the ranks of civil servants along with putting an end to association of civil bureaucrats with certain political parties. Unfortunately, it has been observed that the government’s reforms were aimed at tighten the rope to get the bureaucracy inline with politician’s desires instead of the rule of law and merit. The reforms must develop a faith in service, sense of security and dignity in civil servants instead of fear of humiliation and disgrace.
It was rightly said by the Prime Minister that Policy of depoliticization of institutions, meritocracy and transparency offered a great opportunity to bureaucracy to improve its performance and play its due role in translating political vision into reality. The intention are exactly right but government must emphasis and encourage the government’s servants to exercise, promote and stand for the rule of law.
The reason for poor performance of bureaucracy is continuous political involvement in administrative affairs ranging from recruitment of unsuitable employee to posting, from operation of an institution to its future planning all aspects runs on politics. This trend has seriously damaged our institutions and politicized the civil bureaucracy. Therefore, until the lawmakers refrain from meddling in local administrative affairs and assume their due assignment of legislation and oversight on domestic and international affairs. However, one can hope that the government efforts will bring positive changes in civil bureaucracy, and it’s dividends will be transferred to the general public in future.