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Imran Khan assured to end political interference in civil bureaucracy

15 September, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday assured to end political interference in the affairs of the civil bureaucracy and asked the civil servants to support the new government in meeting grave economic challenges confronting the country.

“I am not concerned about your political affiliation, but your performance. If you deliver, I assure to stand by you,” the Prime Minister told civil servants belonging to different occupational groups, here at the PM Office.

The Prime Minister said political interference in the past had put a negative impact on the quality of bureaucracy where appointments were made by ignoring the principles of merit.

He said Pakistan could become a destination of investment and tourist attraction within two years, provided its governance system was reformed.

“Coming out of the financial debt trap and bringing change in the colonial mindset of ruling elite is important to address challenges,” he said, adding that it was important for bureaucracy to implement the policies of new government in true letter and spirit.

PM Khan pointed out that the country was facing a huge debt trap of Rs30 trillion that had swelled from six trillion rupees in a decade. He said the previous government borrowed loans to start projects such as Orange Line project that regularly require huge financial input.

He said immediate steps were needed to be taken to come out of the debt trap, and quoted a verse of the Holy Quran which points that the Allah Almighty does not change the condition of a nation, which does not do anything to change itself.

“We are at a crossroad. The government has not even been left with any money to run its day to day affairs,” the Prime Minister said, and pointed that now it was time to change the mindset of the ruling elite to address the new challenges.

He said the civil servants need to understand that they were here to serve the masses and not to impress them with their power and authority, as was done by the British rulers in the Indian subcontinent.

He said the civil service can only change when it starts to think several times before spending even a penny from the public funds. “Think of the 43 percent of the children with stunted growth and the 25 million children without access to schools,” he said.

He said the task force on civil service reform needs to bring about world class reforms in Pakistan so that the country could compete in a knowledge-based economy.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said third world economies could not improve because of their rampant corruption. On the contrary, he said, western democracies were progressing, because their institutions were strong.

He said he was cognisant of the concerns of the civil service and had asked the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman to ensure that no bureaucrats were intimidated or harassed. He said even if the NAB was conducting any inquiry, it should proceed discreetly without humiliating any one.

He asked the civil service officers not to be wary of taking chances. “Everyone makes mistakes, I also do, but you should be clear that there should be no corruption of any sort.”

Imran Khan mentioned the reforms in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police, which he said, had led to the Police Department emerging as a professional force with no political pressure. He said the department was allowed to function as a professional entity, with a focus on merit, and merit alone. He vowed to replicate the reforms in the Police Departments of other provinces too. Referring to the emoluments of the bureaucrats, Imran Khan said the officers once used to have enough money to meet their needs without problems, however, the situation had changed overtime.

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