The federal government promises to cleanse the civil service of an arbitrary promotion process along with corrupt officers through the new reforms proposed by the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS). While the authorities may be on the right track, there are still certain concerns being expressed about the new reforms that must be heard and responded to. Such small, but necessary, actions let the people know that such initiatives are as consultative as is being claimed.
According to Dr Ishrat Hussain, the Adviser to the PM on Institutional Reforms, the CSS reforms were only passed after the expertise of more than 1900 officers was sought, in addition to over 60 sessions of intense discussions. As was needed, all the stakeholders came to the logical conclusion of there being a need to weed out all the causes of inefficiency with the CSS.
As such, to force all the fraudulent officers into retirement and creating a trackable promotion process was the right move forward and any controversy in this regard needs to be clarified immediately.
Otherwise, vital progress bears the risk of being derailed by those who claim that not only are the reforms outdated or repetitive but that the PAS has been in charge of the reins for a significant period of time since they were initially called the District Management Group—those in charge of creating such structures within the CSS. These internal bureaucratic squabbles should not tarnish a process that could bring positive restructuring.
It is imperative that the government, before taking any further steps to modify the CSS, takes a step back to assure the public, officials and relevant institutions that cooperation is its primary goal when embarking upon such tasks. Furthermore, it can clarify the credentials of the PAS to ensure that such misunderstandings are clarified immediately.