19 Sep, 2020 21:15 am

Political pickings

Political pickings
In the Anita Turab case, the SC had laid down some lucid principles in order to safeguard the civil servants from being politicised

It is pertinent to note that while most civil servants have been facing uncertainty regarding their tenure – there are also a number of bureaucrats who enjoy long postings on prized postings of their choice, allegedly due to their close connections with the ruling elite.Civil servants say that despite a federal cabinet committee being in place to keep an eye on transfers and posting of the key bureaucrats in accordance with the rules and regulations, assignments are being changed frequently without any care for their tenure, and in sheer violation of the famous Supreme Court’s order in the Anita Turab case.Calling the insecurity of the civil servants’ tenure a core issue facing the bureaucracy nowadays, Shumail Ahmed Khawaja, a former federal secretary, is of the view that “reasonable security of term for civil servants is essential for reliable delivery of services by them.Khawaja says an arbitrary exercise of executive authority for posting and transfers on a mass scale, is not only perilous for the smooth and effective working of the bureaucracy, but also destructive for the self-esteem of the civil servants, which erodes public confidence in the system.

Khawaja says rarely have governments adhered to the parameters set by the Supreme Court for posting and transfers of civil servants to safeguard their tenure, and to protect the bureaucracy from politicization.While informing the TNS, he recalls one of his briefings made to the government at the highest level in 2008, he had alluded to this core challenge of governance and the dilema of civil servants by citing and displaying images of the incumbency boards of some strategically significant positions in Punjab which then reflected the transfer status of nearly 30 education secretaries during 31 years and reshuffling of 24 P & D secretaries in 23 years.

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