Don’t destroy time tested structure
The rulers/politicians self delusion that they must reject all that we have inherited in modern day Pakistan is incorrect. We had the symptoms of this mentality in various experimentation attempted in political system and time to time in administrative reforms. The short lived Basic Democracy, and Majlis-i-Shura systems were political innovations introduced in the past. The tinkering with Secretariat by inordinately increasing ministries and reckless feather bedding of officials that today it can be said that there are ten times more high grade officials in the government than ever in Pakistan’s history. Pleasing officialdom , or bribing them, by making every Tom Dick and Harry a high grade official whether you need it or not is the order of the day. Another similar experimentation was to abolish the time tested District Administration, and Magistracy system in the Districts. The District Administration system the British established was so successful that India adopted it after its independence. The name of designations of officials, Deputy Commissioner, Sub Divisional Magistrate, Magistrate, Section 30 Magistrate carried certain respect and authority. It gave the District an efficient administrative system. Inspector General, D I G, SSP etc for Police Officials carried a certain authority established over long years. The new designation have made those ranks greatly colourless and ineffective.The Russians after the Communist Revolution initially abolished all ranks ; just replaced them with “Tvarish” or comrade- but soon they had to return to the old names of the ranks. Again it was general, colonel, Ambassador, etc, not just Tavarish. Same happened in China. They abolished the name of the ranks. One was no longer General, Colonel, etc, just his name. Their experiment also failed, and the ranks were restored. When used over long time, the names of ranks take a certain image and prestige in the minds of the public. Devoid of that era district officials are devoid of that aura and consequently there is no effective administration in the districts. Is India less “democratic” that it has not weaken the old structure and designations of District officers. Our politicians think that “democracy” means no administration worth the name.
Now there has been devolution of federal functions to the provinces which as a former ambassador to Yugoslavia I shudder to think where it would take Pakistan’s federal links with the Provinces to. I saw Yugoslavia disintegrating into several states when provincial autonomy was taken to absurdity. Here cultural , educational functions and the H.E.C are being decimated to make each province carve out its own educational directions and of cultures. That reminds one of the experiment made in Akbar the Great’s days on what is the natural tongue of children . New born children were kept in isolation for a number of years so as not to be influenced by environment. When they were few years old they were brought out and it was found that they made mere sounds. Our politicians cater for cheap popularity without caring for bigger interests. They play to the gallery. The result is that in the name of so-called democracy we have weak administration. Does US, UK, Europe not have “democracy” where there are law courts and administration are firm and strict. The other day some foreigner asked me in a party “Is this true that the British controlled their Indian Empire –that is undivided India- with 400 ICS officers and 70,000 troops.” I had to say yes. I may add that administration was quite firm and timely decisions were taken , courts delivered judgment with speed- and reasonably fairly- compared to Pakistan administration and courts delivered decisions in good time. Any one who had lived in pre-independence India agrees with this over-all view of Administration and lower courts – with which public were mostly concerned. The demand for Independence was made because it was the rule of foreigners, and it in finl analysis served British interests. In Pakistan the politicians wanted to tinkle with the time tested administration because they wanted the Dy Commissioner and Police to be under their control. British India had 16 provinces and three Chief Commissioners Provinces, and except for Governors , Inspectors General of Police and some local administration and police heads, all the officials were “native” Indians. This is why in India the administrative structure of British days has been kept in tact only the Rule of the country and provinces called States has been Indianized. Rulers, decision making, policy making legislatures, has come to Indians to serve Indian interests and Indian aspirations but the old Indian Penal Code, Procedures Code and basic laws have been retained. In our case also they have been retained but the local politicians want the implementers to be under their control. The local politician abhors independence of administration and local courts, and when he denounces “ bureaucracy “ he is expressing his disgust with independence of Administration. This is the dilemma of partial administration vs independent administration. When X party is in power it wants administration to be subservient to it, when Y party is in power it wants the same for itself. This was the style of Communist Rule. Truth according to the Communist Party truth was what served the Party, there was no “truth”, or impartiality as such.
The citizen wants impartial administration, not politicized administration. Another example of double standard international political morality is the Western aggression on Libya. A news item dateline London says that a meeting of top diplomats ( of NATO & US) has decided that Ghaddafi must go. Now this means that it is for NATO to decide in which foreign country who will rule where, according to the list of persona non-grata of the rulers. The right to remove their rulers does not belong in Muslim countries to the people of that country but to NATO/ West/Christian world to remove those foreign rulers, whom they consider non grata. Of course this “principle” of power drunk was applied on Saddam and Iraq. The West can destroy the entire.country, murder thousands of locals –all that is justified. While I just approved of British basic grass root administration in India this imperial dace of the west is the other side of the coin. These days PCS Officers in Punjab are agitating against the DMG –or what was once called C S P- officers. Their main grievance is slower promotions and very limited opportunities for getting high posts in the Government compared to those available to DMG. This has become a burning issue in Punjab, although I am sure that this kind of grievance is nursed in other provinces also. Clamoring for equal opportunity with higher echelons is not limited to Punjab. I took 1950 Punjab PCS Competition, and after standing second in the Province, I was appointed an EAC Magistrate till I secured a high position in Pakistan’s first CSS Competitive Examination 1949 and first assigned to CSP and then switched to Pak Foreign Service, which was graded higher than although equal to CSP. Thus I had been in both services. The availability of greater opportunity to what is called Superior Services is not limited to the CSP/DMG but present in several other cases, for example in Secretariat, Armed Forces (Commissioned Officers as compared to JCOs) medical professions (medical doctors and para medical staff) and so on so forth/
Are these categorizations justified? Competitioners do not enter Superior Services through selection by powerful persons and sifarish, competitions are like Olympic race in which all contestants have equal chance but the best win the race. Any body with a university degree under a certain age can take the competition examination. The age limit in my days used to be from 21 to 24 – now God alone knows what it is now? – There is a constant demand to raise the age limit to 35! (Why not to 55?) Written tests are examined by persons whose identity is kept secret, papers are sent to the examiners under fictitious roll numbers, so it is intended to make the grading of the candidates beyond any iota of doubt. Ever care is taken that the entire examination process is kept in secrecy.