The Quaid’s guidelines for public servants | By Muhammad Zahid Rifat


The Quaid’s guidelines for public servants

WITHIN 8 months of creation of an independent and sovereign state of Pakistan, its founder and first Governor General Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had announced the guidelines for the civil servants of the country.

In his message to the civil servants of Pakistan on April 14, 1948, the Quaid-i-Azam said inter alia: “Whatever community, caste or creed you belong to you are now the servants of Pakistan.

“You have to do your duty as servants, you are not concerned with this or that political party, that is not your business.

It is a business of politicians to fight out their case under the present constitution or the future constitution that may be ultimately framed. You, therefore, have nothing to do with this party or that party.

“You are civil servants. Whichever gets the majority will form the Government and your duty is to serve the Government for the time being as servants not as politicians.

How will you do that ? The Government in power for the time being must also realize and understand their responsibilities that you are not to be used for this party or that.

“I know we are saddled with old legacy, old mentality, old psychology and it haunts our footsteps, but it is up to you now to act as true servants of the people even at the risk of any Minister or Ministry trying to interfere with you in the discharge of your duties as civil servants.

“I hope it will not be so but even if some of you have to suffer as a victim. I hope it will not happen.

I expect you to do so readily. We shall, of course, see that there is security for you and safeguards to you. If we had that it is anyway prejudicial to your interest, we shall find ways and means of giving you that security . Of course, you must be loyal to the Government that is in power”.

On October 14, 1947, the Quaid-i-Azam had reminded the public servants of rendering selfless service and performing their duties as being the most essential , eliminate the dangerous epidemics of irregularity and indiscipline at the earliest work unitedly and selflessly and never forget this principle of Unity, Discipline and Faith.

In a broadcast statement from Radio Pakistan on October 30, 1947, the Father of the Nation had asked everyone to work continuously day and night hard,…it now depends on you to work, work and work and our success is sure.

Above last two quotes have been taken briefly from Urdu version but these still convey the sense of what the Quaid-i-Azam desired every Pakistani to be doing for their newly created motherland .

Public servants or in other words bureaucracy is an important pillar of the government, be it as the national or provincial level.

The government formulates policies, plans and programmes, take appropriate decisions and these are to be implemented and executed by the bureaucracy down the line from the level of the Secretary to a junior officer in the Ministry or Division of the federal government or of the administrative departments of the provincial departments in letter and spirit to the maximum extent selflessly, devotedly and dedicatedly for achieving the desired cherished objectives underlying the decisions of the federal or provincial government concerned.

And extracts from address of the Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to the public servants are also on display in the Committee Room of Lahore Radio Station though the occasion and date are not mentioned.

However, these extracts are still relevant and worth mentioning here for the guidance of all concerned.

“You should not be influenced by any political pressure by any political party or individual politician, if you want to raise the prestige and goodness of Pakistan, you must not fall victim to any pressure but do your duty as servants to the people and the state , fearlessly and honestly. “ Service is the backbone of the state.

Governments are formed, governments are defeated, Prime Ministers come and go, Ministers come and go, but you stay on, and therefore, there is very good responsibility placed on your shoulders.

“Make the feel that you are their servants and friends, maintain the highest standard of honour, integrity, justice and fair play.

Work honestly and sincerely”. These some of the guidelines of the Father of the Nation for the public servants have been reproduced here as a reminder to all employees of the federal and provincial governments and ministries/divisions and attached departments down the line at the national and provincial and district levels with the request to them to read these guidelines and try their utmost to adhere to them to the maximum extent possible.

It is a matter of bitter record that the majority of the public servants from top to bottom are directly and indirectly politically influenced and as such they are more interested and concerned to serve their political gurus’ directions rather than the federal and provincial government concerned.

Undue and unwarranted political influence and interest exercised by the majority of public servants has reduced the official work and business at all levels to the barest minimum which is quite regrettable and deplorable.

Federal and provincial ministers as well the parliamentarians should also stop exerting their undue pressure for posting of their favoured government functionaries particularly police officials in their constituencies illegally and unconstitutionally and not following prescribed rules of business.

This hopefully will improve working in all government offices and the problems and concerns of the people will be addressed more importantly rather than their individual political interests, please.

—The writer is Lahore-based Freelance Journalist, Columnist and retired Deputy Controller (News), Radio Pakistan, Islamabad.

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