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Old Thursday, December 16, 2010
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Default Civil Service in the news

This is an exclusive thread for any news items that relate to our beloved country's civil services.

DMG – Monolith Empire or Unsung Heroes? by Qudrat Ullah

Recently concluded shendful campaigning of Punjab chapter of PCS Officers against their more privileged counterpart- the District Management Group or more commonly called the DMG, has opened a new debate in the press about the extraordinary role played by the Civil Service of Pakistan in the national development and political affairs. Different opinions have already been expressed by media-men and the Columnists about the issue. One veteran Urdu columnist even went on to blame the DMG for all ills, especially the political frustration of Bengalis, consequently resulting in the ignominious surrender of Pakistani armed forces before Indian in 1971. However, what he did not know or fail to mention is that the DMG was officially created after the promulgation of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan by late ZA Bhutto in 1973 and therefore, it cannot be blamed for anything happening much before its making. Civil Service, in some way, is a victim of circumstances; it often has to work in odd or miserable circumstances as politicians have, time and again, proved their ineptness in judicious administration and therefore, Civil Servants are the only available option available to the people. In fact, Pakistani politicians’ approach towards governance is limited to pleasing their voters and rules are often violated to gain some political mileage. Lack of any parliamentary institution to train the politicians further aggravates the situation.

It is, therefore, important to objectively study the historical role played by the elite Civil Service of Pakistan in the debacle of 1971 and afterwards because they are the inalienable organ of the State.

Historically speaking, Eastern and Western wings of newly created State of Pakistan in 1947 were geographically separated by 1100 miles and a hegemonic enemy the size and might of India was in between them. Both wings were unlike in many ways; population and resources were totally imbalanced, and Eastern Pakistani elite felt culturally threatened when the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah announced that Urdu would be the sole national language. The mainly urban unrest over the issue of Bengali language set the future course of uneasy bilateral relations between the two antagonist wings till 1971, when violent disturbances gave India ‘the chance of the century’ to benefit upon. Bureaucracy in then East Pakistan cannot be solely blamed as decade-long Ayubian dictatorship realized to the majority Bengalis that West Pakistanis will never accept their legitimate demands. It may be added here that after the dismemberment of united Pakistan, 89 Bengali CSPs opted for the newly created state of Bangladesh in 1972, and 28 of them were senior Officers working in the federal Secretariat in Islamabad. The much debated Hamood-ur-Rehman Commission Report also flings ample light on the causes of separation of Eastern wing. It has never accused Civil Servants for East Pakistan tragedy.

It is particular to realize that Civil Servants, everywhere in the world, are taught to strictly follow the rules and policy instructions of the party in power. They gain their strength from the rule of law and popular public support. The British Raj gave them this necessary strength by strictly adhering to rules and regulations. The British successfully ruled India with no more than 1500 ICS when infrastructure was very inadequate and modest.

While, in the case of Pakistan, democracy remained mostly hostage to military interventions and lack of allegiance to rule of law added to the deteriorating of situation. In this tangible situation, civil Servants, alone, cannot be blamed for our national ills. The whole nation is also accountable for any breach of law as it has adopted an attitude of an impassive bystander; recent Sialkot lynching incident is but a valid proof of it. We should learn to struggle for the rule of law and give support to the competent and honest Officers so that mantra of good governance could be materialized.

Over the period of time after the turbulent 1971, DMG has emerged as the most powerful and prestigious service-cadre, being responsible for district administration because of their competence and professionalism. What they needed is political and public support for reforms. The 2001 Local Governance Ordinance, however, has dealt a severe blow to the power and prestige of the DMG by replacing the position of Deputy Commissioner with District Coordination Officer and transferring many of the powers of DC to Nazim. But the new system has also failed to deliver and died too early.

The Civil Servants are crème de la crème of the society who are chosen through a tough competitive examination. Their potentials are further polished, through trainings, to emerge as best leaders, team players and role models who could serve the people with dedication and competence. However, their function is limited within prescribed rules and regulations. Their life is not a bed of roses. Civil Servants often have to perform their duties in the worst situations like that of 1971 and now of Balochistan and restive parts of Swat and FATA.

The role of well trained, efficient and dedicated Civil Service for the well being of the people is self-evident. No good governance agenda could be achieved without an efficient Civil Service. This is what the British learnt in Sub-Continent, who effectively administered the vast continent with a small yet well-trained and professional Indian Civil Service. If we also want to make Pakistan a developed and prosperous State, then Civil Service should be allowed to work independently and according to rules and regulations.

This is what the media should project, instead.

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  #2  
Old Saturday, December 18, 2010
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Default PCS, DMG Issue

PCS, DMG Issue

Friday, September 24, 2010

By Babar Dogar


It seems the negotiations between the PCS officers association and the committee - constituted by Punjab chief minister to resolve the issues of 1200 PCS, PSS and PMS officers of the province - have reached a deadlock.

The inconclusive meeting held after inordinate delay has dismayed majority of the provincial officers.

Refusal of the committee to address the core issues of the provincial services has strengthened the perception among the provincial officers that the committee is more responsive to the vested interests of the District Management Group than the genuine rights of the provincial officers.

The committee is reportedly ready only to give peripheral concessions to the provincial officers, toeing the DMG line.

The meeting of the committee was held on Wednesday, with Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa,Advisor to the CM, in the chair. Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, Senator Parvez Rashid, Mian Ata Maneka and Shaikh Alauddin also attended the meeting.

It was one of the numerous meetings held by the committee during the last many months and remained inconclusive, as usual.

The meeting discussed issues regarding DMG officers occupying GOR-I, restrained entry of the provincial officers in the Civil Officers Mess, erratic postings, taking up power-sharing formula of the provincial and the federal services with the federal government, but failed to remove any bottleneck.

It is learnt that controversy has developed over recording of minutes of previous meeting of the Committee which decided various issues. Most of the contentious issues were decided in the meeting of the committee held immediately after province-wide assemblage of provincial officers.

The PCS officers allege that the minutes were differently recorded by S&GAD and later got approved from the chief minister.

The minutes were not even shared with the PCS officers association. According to PCS officers, it was decided in the meeting that DMG officers who had been transferred out of the province would retain the official accommodation in Lahore only for one year. However, the minutes got approved from the CM had stipulate that they could retain house for two years.

The stance of the PCS officers is that such a concession should be given to the DMG officers only in the federal capital where they belong to, not in the provinces.

The previous decision regarding the revision of controversial seat-sharing formula between the provinces and the federation has also been omitted from the minutes.

It was decided by the committee that the federal government would be requested to revise the formula.

PCS officers allege that the formula has no legal basis as it is neither part of any law nor is notified. No PCS officer was ever consulted while determining the formula and DMG officers and their cohorts acted as judge, jury and the executioner. They allege that DMG got allocated for themselves seats double than their sanctioned cadre strength which is unparalleled in the entire world. The other point on which DMG is not conceding even an inch and on which they have got the support of the political leadership, is the issue of erratic postings. It has been long-standing demand of the PCS officers that erratic postings should be ended and officers given posts according to their grades. However, almost all the DMG officers in grade 17 and 18 are working on one-step higher posts.

In many districts, grade-18 DMG officers have been posted as DCOs and their senior PCS officers in grade-19 are working under them as EDOs. The Higher Education, they claim, would have been posted as a section officer had he been at the Federal Secretariat as he was in grade-18 when posted as the secretary. Almost all the additional secretaries belonging to DMG are in grade-18.

Another long-standing complaint of the PCS officers that they are being relegated to unimportant posts has also not been addressed. There is not even a single PCS Commissioner in the entire province; not a single PCS secretary amongst 43 administrative secretaries. Majority of the DCOs are also from DMG.

The PCS officers who have made it to the higher grades of 19 and 20 are posted on unimportant posts. The PCS officers are not ready to buy the rhetoric that there are not suitable officers for posting on such posts. They say that the DMG officers surrounding the CM have poisoned his ears against the PCS. The apartheid-like treatment of shutting the door of the Punjab Civil Officers Mess on the provincial officers still continues.

The PCS officers association has already brought all the provincial associations, including PMA, Professors and Lecturers Association, Secretariat Associations and scores of other associations, under one umbrella.

It has been reliably learnt that, after cobbling similar coalitions in other provinces, the provincial services are planning to stage sit-in in front of the Parliament building and protest against what they claim is illegal and unconstitutional seat-sharing formula of 1993.

Talking to this scribe, PCS officers association president Rai Manzoor Nasir said that the provincial services had been driven against wall through relentless exploitation during the last 63 years. Now, the provincial officers would not sit still until they eliminated the gross injustice and exploitation. He strongly protested against DMG officers for changing previous meeting minutes in which leverage was given to the DMG officers.

Source:
http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrin...?ID=6348&Cat=5
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Default Civil Services Is No Longer An Alluring Career for Pakistanis

June 29, 2008

Civil Services Is No Longer An Alluring Career for Pakistanis

Raza Rumi

A little news item that appeared a few weeks ago was ignored by our all-knowing analysts and TV channels. Reportedly, the Federal Public Service Commission failed to recruit all the vacancies that were advertised for the CSS competitive examination held in 2007. Out of 290 available posts, the number of successful candidates in the 2007 CSS competition was merely 190, leaving almost 100 vacancies unoccupied.



In the photo above Founder of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah is seen talking to Pakistani Civil Servants (circa 1947)

Last year, too, the government could not get enough number of successful CSS candidates to fill in the available posts and 47 vacancies could not be filled. Such instances have occurred before but given the state of unemployment this is, to put it mildly, shocking.

The truth of the matter is that entering the civil service is no longer an alluring career option for the talented young men and women of this country. Perhaps, the greatest damage to the attractiveness of the civil service came in the wake of the devolution plan that rendered the most coveted service group — District Management Group – unpalatable. Within days, the district administrators had no prescribed career-paths and that they had to be subservient to small time political cronies of the central political elites.

But this would be too simplistic an explanation. The last decade has also witnessed Pakistan’s fitful integration into the global economy resulting in expansion of private sector opportunities with higher salaries. The remuneration of a new entrant into the civil service is three times less than what a telecom company would pay to its junior employee. With money as a new god in the age of globalisation, choosing a dysfunctional civil service would make little sense.

The almost sinister destruction of the DMG and the centuries old office of the district magistrate or its historical predecessor, the mansabdar, was ahistorical and reflected the petty tensions within the Executive where the rival services viewed the DMG as an unfairly privileged elite service. The martial mind viewed the DMG as an alternative power centre that needed to be neutralised for effective capture of civilian institutions.

Today all the major civil service training academies are headed by former army men; and most poignantly the civil service reform unit in Islamabad is headed by a general as well.

It is ironical that opportunities for rent seeking have multiplied under the newly devolved structures. The District Coordination Officer, the new avatar for the erstwhile Deputy Commissioner, and his staff have a wider menu of commissions and kickbacks along with the political honchos, thereby defying the faint possibility of electoral accountability. The testimony of this comes from none else than former Chief Minister Punjab. It is therefore not the lack of ‘extra’ income that has made DMG unattractive. It is the loss of the unique service culture where the DC and his team functioned as relatively neutral state agents, mediated between the citizens and the state; and could potentially resist political influence.

From the citizens’ perspective, two immediate after-shocks haunted the local governance patterns. First, the reconfiguring of the ‘system’ led to an unbridled and unchecked police force interacting directly with citizens with remote, little supervision. Second, the absolute collapse of local citizen interest regulation, which evolved over 150 years of governing experience. There are two to three hundred local and special laws, ranging from price control to natural resource management (water, irrigation and land) and from public health (adulteration, hygiene etc.) to environmental protection (forest, wildlife, pollution etc.). This is not to say that prior to 1999 the police was supervised effectively by the district magistrate or local regulation was optimal or efficient. In fact, decades of politicisation of civil service had resulted in ugly distortions of the so-called ‘system.’

If the old system was not delivering or a colonial relic there were other ways to handle it than to throw out the sick baby with the bath water and usher in multiple patronage seekers and distributors. After all, civilian administrations in India, Bangladesh, Malaysia and in many other countries continue with local adaptation and contextualisation. Why could we not learn from our much-feared neighbour especially the way its organic growth of local institutions blends grassroots democracy with a Raj administrative steel-frame?

Whilst these systemic tremors were felt by the citizens in whose name a reform was imposed from the top, the provinces felt completely bypassed thus reincarnating the old demons of troubled federalism. Services such as health, education were meant to improve. Whilst the budgetary allocations went up, the results were nowhere to be seen as the provincial secretariats appropriated more powers and local rent-seeking replaced the earlier patterns of malfeasance.

The much touted system of police accountability through the public safety commissions was a still-born concept. It never took off at the local level as the nominees to these institutions were selected along party and patronage lines thereby eroding the capability of these bodies. Where this Commission showed some teeth, its members were the first ones to bear the brunt of police excess. The naivete of appointing the provincial police officers through a panel, desirable as it is, and ensuring that he (indeed they are all men) completes his tenure foundered at the rocks of provincial politics.

The lure of raw power was reflected in the group allocation preferences that the CSS candidates indicated from 2000 onwards. Joining the Police became the top priority of those who appeared in the competitive examination followed by Customs and Income Tax. It was the Customs group that for some time became the prized service under General Zia ul Haq when the society ought to have become more spiritual in the face of a heavy dose of dubious ‘Islamisation.’ Alas, the monetisation of 1980s; and the brutalisation of ‘governing’ have been the direct results of these authoritarian spells.

Things have come to such a pass that there aren’t enough qualified candidates, in a country of 170 million, to fill in the entry-posts. If on one hand, this trend betrays the decline of institutions, on the other it spells doom for the future of Pakistan’s governance. There can be no compromise on a capable civil service to manage and implement policies. Yes, the private sector is more attractive and perhaps is always so, what about state’s regulatory and redistributive functions? The goal of a capable state cannot be compromised nor ignored.

There is no alternative to increasing the salaries of the civil servants and making the promotion policy and work-environment more attractive. Otherwise, it is a dangerous trend that has already set in. However, it is nor irreversible.

The political parties are now calling for a revision of the devolution system and the monstrous possibility of another disruption looms large. Another ‘revolution’ will further lead to systemic jolts and ensue painful period of transition that might fuel the current climate of instability. There needs to be a two-pronged strategy: implement civil service reforms at the central level and fix the gaps of the local government systems with attention to the way provincial governments set policy and supervise local bodies. The solutions are well known to all and sundry and there is no need for another Commission or a white elephant body to carry the changes through.

If only the political parties (and corporate media) would halt posturing, stop targeting or extolling individuals and focus on institutions. The prospects of this happening are remote but this is a fast changing Pakistan. The moment is now, or perhaps, never.

Source:
http://pakistaniat.com/2008/06/29/ci...or-pakistanis/
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Default AUTHOR: Writing to survive - Nyla Daud

October 29, 2006

AUTHOR: Writing to survive

By Nyla Daud

Three novels with another one in progress, more than half a dozen collections of short stories, a travelogue, an autobiographical snippet romancing a much physically and spiritually idealised bureaucratic stint in the small-time district of Pakpattan, Muhammad Saeed Sheikh’s field of creative vision is boundless. Sheikh picked up paper and pen seriously rather late in life: almost after 15 years of “roughing” it in the provincial civil service. It was a career to which he owes a lot in terms of creative produce. However, he can now look forward to the end with happy anticipation since he attaches infinitely more worth to his creative identity.

The universally accepted, demi-god-like, portrait of the run of the mill bureaucrat scatters to smithereens as, with humility rare to his breed, he makes the confession, “Yes, I admit that it was because of my official status that I got to see life so up close and in such detail. Those experiences would not have been possible anywhere else. The civil service exposed me to facets of life so profound and so various that they seeped into the sensitivity. So when I began to write, it was but natural that those experiences would be reflected in my work.” To be sure, the late Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi would not have remarked for nothing that, Sheikh has had access to things and places and people which a lot of writers cannot reach. Or perhaps dare not reach out to, even if they happen to be in a position to do so.

He came into the Punjab Civil Service more by default than actual ambition. “The headmaster of my school decided to speak for me when the newspaper people came around to interview me after I had got a first in the Middle Vernacular examination,” he says. The lad from small-time Kamoke had, at best, dreamt of a teaching career. “But they sort of put that idea up in and around my being as profusely as they had garlanded me and pushed me on stage that day and then pulled the ladder from beneath me. There was no way out.” Somewhere he writes how his appointment as a city magistrate suddenly elevated the family status. “I did go through life,” he muses, “with the realisation that my parents had no standing in their circle. So when I got into the PCS, I had basically achieved a lot by family standards. There had been nothing like it before.”

But the oomph did not last long; at least not for him. It turned into a monotonous journey, “Which the service actually is,” he agrees. Another 10 to 12 years and then tedium set in, as the charm of self opening doors and traffic cleared roads wore itself out. “I chose to write for survival. I was questioning myself ceaselessly whether getting to the 20th grade was all that there was to life? Especially when I was a daily witness to a system so unfair that even a cursory exposure to it can destroy the human spirit. Creative writing has given me a catharsis. It has been the answer to the voice of my conscience. It gives me a certain type of moral justification.”

Then the latent idealism made its presence felt; and with what vengeance. For as Sheikh began to write, he would feel the lightening of his torn conscience. The bursts of creativity, fashioned by exposures to the human condition he daily presided over in the course of official duty at times stretched over umpteen pages. Sometimes there would be painful delays in search for the first sentence. But ever since the weir learned to be washed aside, there has been no stopping of the pen. There have come short stories that are born out of incidents as rudimentary as the case of an innocent man sent to jail for a night, or the forest officer indicted on the testimony of a clerical mistake, or a woman pleading for clemency in support of an errant son condemned because he was guilty of a search for inner peace on the wings of home brewed liquor.

But while a lot of his stories are born out of the official experience, Sheikh’s own inherent sensitivity has also had a lot of say. Pampering this sensitivity on the wings of an infinitely enriching wisdom acquired over the years spent on magisterial assignments in the Punjab, Sheikh has penned stories seeing through the folds of social hypocrisy and consequent injustices in a system gone awry. He writes with equal sensitivity of the traumas of childless marriages, of Freudian relationships, of marriages of convenience. Out of the folds of the vast canvas of mortal experience and human misery and the vicissitudes of creature destiny that Sheikh has presided over, came his first novel: Aik Aur Darya. This reflected an outburst of uncontrollable creativity. A complex condominium of basic psychological complexes, of women pushed into matrimony for procreational assignments, of the feminine ethos in consummating remarriage under the spectre of being a war widow, of feudal mindsets and criminal whispering. It was as if un-satiated by the myriad nature of his short stories and their fields of vision, Sheikh wanted to say it all in one go.

But then he is, very obviously, also a man in a hurry, “I feel that I have got so much to say. I am not yet 60 but I feel I have lived twice over. I think I have lived the ages of all my characters. I have to write a lot more because I am also tormented by a recent sensitivity which I have not experienced earlier; that creativity may desert me,” he admits to the multiple layering of his first novel just as he defends his own moral justification to the vast spread of landscape normal to this genre. “A novel tends to lay bare the internals as well as externals of the self. Or perhaps in this first novel I was influenced by Marquez.” He also names Dostoevsky and Herman Heiss. “Aik Aur Darya has not been the result of any lack of focus. It was the result of the diversity of characters, each operating in its own world. There were so many threads once I started writing that I was committed to tying them up individually.”

In his next novel Rang-i-Jahan Aur, Sheikh was a different author. Here was a writer perhaps more in control of his creativity or was it that the subject, a seething comment on the hallowed lifestyle of a blue blooded bureaucrat, and on what it takes to live that hallowed life only to be treated ultimately like the proverbial fly in the ointment … has been a playing field he is deeply familiar with? And this is a field populated by scathing home truths like the rags to riches tale of a middle class boy buying off destiny in a matrimonial deal with a senior bureaucrat’s daughter and the vagaries of fortune that later disillusion him.

Sensitivity and sensibility come together on occasions like when he writes of the woman as a temptress. “Women normally like to live life on the physical, bodily plane,” he writes in DC Nama, the spiritually charged magnum opus born out of his association with Baba Farid during a Pakpattan posting. Very likely to be put in the dock for that highly gender in-sensitive statement, he is quick to defend himself, this time once again on the basis of home truth. “What I have said there is not a theory. It is a statement based on social trends and the crises of being a woman, especially in the rural setup.” Then almost as an afterthought he provides reasoning, “Rabia Basri, Bibi Maryam and Fatima were exceptional women but otherwise, the immediate issue a woman faces, is on the material and the physical plane. So she has to attend to that aspect of her life.”

In DC Nama, Sheikh becomes bolder too, in that out comes the ethos of another kind of injustice. “I feel that in our society injustice is not only done by the people in power over their subordinates. It is a universal phenomenon. Whether it is the stake of the central civil servant over his provincial peer or that of the thanedar over the wrongly indicted respondent in a civil case; injustice is a constant. Then it becomes the ground for self pity. This self pity gives an impetus for creativity. Had I been a central civil servant instead of a provincial one, I would probably not have gone through this path of discovering creativity. Self pity is a very strong motivating factor for a writer. I, too, have gone through it and I don’t rue it, because that has been my lot. So instead of being apologetic, I have used it positively to highlight the pitfalls in the system.”

Currently working as secretary co-operatives to the Government of the Punjab, Saeed Sheikh (like a lot of other civil servant writers) has had to face the allegation of using official assignment as a launching pad for creativity. A lawyer by training, he takes no time to counter these accusations. “It has worked both ways. My being a creative writer has helped me in becoming a more conscientious public servant. My sensitivity to the human condition is something that helps me see even the official world and its duties in a totally different light. This sensitivity has never hindered my efficiency, because I believe efficiency, even in the official sense of the term, does not mean how quickly you move a file but how far you can look beneath the covers, beyond the obvious. In the same way, my official positions have exposed me to all that makes up the world. When I use my sensitivity to help somebody by virtue of my official position, I feel I have written a short story. I believe this is a literary achievement in another sense. I would say of any other state servant who goes the extra mile to solve a petitioner’s problem that he has been creative in the real life sense of the term.”

Sheikh took the road less taken, whereas he could have been like one of the others. He could have, under the flimsy cover of official privilege; by-passed the real life world which most bureaucrats prefer to gloss over. After all it is a fairy tale world the Pakistani bureaucrat inhabits; one which evaporates the moment retirement rings the knoll. Instead of waiting for that time and day, Sheikh resolved to live there and then. The result has been some of the finest literature in contemporary times.
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Default REVIEWS: Political witch hunting - Nur Ahmad Shah

December 19, 2004

REVIEWS: Political witch hunting

Reviewed by Nur Ahmad Shah


The civil service, as an implementing agency for public policies and maintenance of order, is an important pillar on which an edifice of good governance is raised in any country. A distinguishing feature of the British administration in the subcontinent was its civil service which included some outstandingly upright, able and competent officers. They are fondly remembered even to this day for their just, impartial and detached dealings. Because of security and prestige attached to it, the people regarded the Indian Civil Service (ICS) as heaven born. Jawaharlal Nehru, though, found it neither Indian, nor civil nor service.

A.M.M. Shawkat Ali in Bangladesh Civil Service: A Political Administrative Perspective explains how the civil service, starting as a system of patronage in the subcontinent in 1757, in the days of the East India Company, gained virility due to an emphasis on meritocracy, job security and political neutrality. The rot, he argues, started soon after Independence in 1947. Politicization and patronage replaced merit. Neutrality vanished. Politicization, at the level of recruitment, promotion and posting, changed the complexion of civil service. In India, however, it managed to retain, to a large extent, its old ethos. The credit for this, the author gives to India’s mature political leadership and its ability to sustain democracy.

Focusing primarily on the Bangladesh Civil Service, Shawkat Ali draws on examples from other countries including the UK, USA, Australia and Canada. He highlights its different aspects besides his own experience as a member of the once elite Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP). By including a civil servant’s interaction with the judiciary, Parliament and, not the least, the ministers, he has made the study reasonably comprehensive.

The study is based on the empirical evidence collected by the author from Bangladesh. But this, as he himself points out, reflects truly the service conditions in any developing country not least Pakistan. In both the countries, says the author, weak political institutions, military interventions, repeated purges, tampering with civil service as an institution in the guise of administrative reforms or reorganization of services, promulgation of draconian measures like forced removal or retirement sapped the civil servants’ morale and made them vulnerable to the rulers’ whims. Arbitrary appointments to senior positions through lateral entry and induction of military personnel in civil administration in both the countries has distorted the structure of civil service and turned it into a hybrid system.

The author mourns a tendency on the part of political parties in Bangladesh “to enlist support of organized civil service unions of different cadres”, reflected in their desire to fill up important administrative and top management positions by “our men”. It brings in its wake political witch hunting in the shape of “shuffle and reshuffle, forced retirement and prosecution on grounds of alleged corrupt practices”. He castigates the abuse of the noble spirit behind affirmative action which is meant to provide jobs for those suffering from discrimination, by fixing quotas for freedom fighters and their wards in Bangladesh.

The inevitable result of all this, the author concludes, is a bad government. The obsequiousness and servility has made the civil servants akin to party activists if not personal servants. Inefficiency, corruption and maladministration thrive unabated. Few, if any, civil servants engage themselves in the economic development of the area in their charge. Improvement in the lot of the people does not seem to be on their agenda.

While discussing the issue in a comparative perspective with advanced countries such as the UK, the USA, Australia and Canada, the author concedes that there has been an erosion of the high ideals of civil service even in developed nations. There too the civil servants have to contend with political compulsions for their survival. But the system itself continues to remain, by and large, merit based and transparent.

Shawkat Ali is a former civil servant. He belonged to the prestigious and exclusive CSP cadre dubbed by the wags as Central Sultans of Pakistan. He, perhaps, out of class solidarity seems to have shown the civil servants as more sinned against than sinning. He has glossed over their follies which earn them contempt and account for their decline and fall. He has not touched the overweening arrogance and elitism of his compatriots, nor their indifferent and disdainful attitude towards the people. Nor a propensity for lust of power on the part of their opportunistic colleagues found hand in glove with a civilian or military adventurer at the perilous cost of good governance. Thus, the study lacks objectivity and judicious criticism.

Bangladesh Civil Service: A Political-Administrative Perspective
By A.M.M. Shawkat Ali
The University Press, Dhaka Available with Oxford University Press, Plot # 38, Sector 15, Korangi Industrial Area, Karachi
Tel: 111-693-673
Email: ouppak@theoffice.net Website: www.oup.com.pk
ISBN 984-05-1702-3
348pp. TK560
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Default How democracy became possible in India - Ilhan Niaz

November 03, 2007

How democracy became possible in India

By Ilhan Niaz


WHEN one thinks of democracy in South Asia, great leaders such as M. A. Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan, Jawaharlal Nehru, B. R. Ambedkar, and Vallabhai Patel come to mind. In Pakistan, few would probably have heard of Sukumar Sen of the Indian Civil Service (ICS), much less appreciate the role he played as the Indian republic’s first chief election commissioner in laying the administrative foundations upon which democracy in India has been built.

India’s political leadership led by Nehru and Patel grasped a paradoxical truth about democracy in a bureaucratic state like theirs. To enable the politicians have their legitimacy, it was vital that the actual administration of elections proceeded with as little political interference as possible. In other words, in order to ensure their survival and overall dominance the politicians needed to suspend politics when it came to the administration of elections.

Given that India’s leaders wanted to establish a strong — some would argue transcendental — central state, the quality and integrity of the national elections was the key to the success of the democratic experiment. The integrity of provincial and local elections were of secondary and tertiary importance, respectively, given their vastly inferior power and prestige.

Nehru and Patel, against considerable popular and political pressure, retained the ICS, renaming it the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), as well as the Indian Police Service (IPS) and made a few other cosmetic changes to the higher bureaucracy and military officer corps.

Though not always successful, Nehru took it upon himself to shield the higher bureaucracy against any arbitrary interference and allowed it to operate autonomously.

This approach paid handsome dividends. Sukumar Sen and his colleagues in the IAS developed and adapted the election machinery inherited from the British Empire in India in preparation for elections on the basis of universal adult franchise.

With their positions secure and their political master sufficiently enlightened to understand when to stop engaging in politics, a hierarchy of IAS officers employed at the central, provincial, and district levels in coordination with the police and village watchmen administered the largest exercises in the history of electoral democracy. The autonomy and integrity of the IAS was a crucial element in motivating opposition parties to participate in the elections and thus contributed to the credibility of the democratic exercise.

What is intriguing about democracy in India is that although successive elections have brought into power less and less worthy candidates, the electorate’s turnout has consistently increased. In the 1950s the turnout ranged from 40-50 per cent while in recent years it has stood at over 60 per cent. This is in spite of the perception shared by some nine-tenths of Indians that politicians are utterly untrustworthy.

No wonder, in the present Lok Sabha, nearly a fifth of the Congress and BJP MPs are charged with crimes. Almost half the Congress MPs owe money to public institutions. The average Congress MP has assets of over thirty million (Indian) rupees which shows that Indian democracy is a vehicle for the very rich to get elected by the very poor. The strength of India’s educated middle class of a few million households comes from its role as the recruitment pool for the Indian state services, not from the democratic process.

Less than one per cent in a thousand candidates in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examinations is actually inducted into the state service which is perhaps one reason why the Indian higher bureaucracy is held in much greater esteem than elected politicians.

Indians may not trust their politicians but they do trust, more or less, the administrative process through which the elections are conducted at least at the national level. For all their faults these politicians have maintained the British-era policy of insulation of the military from politics and civil administration. That said, the state apparatus in India has taken a battering since Nehru’s death and is in the process of being politicised with the North Indian heartland worst affected.

While democracy in India has been made possible and sustained by the relative autonomy of its administrative elite and the insulation of its armed forces, the Pakistani political leadership soon after independence turned its back on this “colonial legacy” that India’s politicians wisely cultivated in substance even if they condemned it in rhetoric.

Instead of ensuring the autonomy of the public service commissions and election administrations, the Pakistani politicians set about converting the executive function into an instrument used to perpetuate their own rule.

The 1951 elections in Punjab, the first one to be held on the basis of universal adult franchise in Pakistan, were a case in point. About fifty Punjab MLAs (members of legislative assembly) owed their election to administrative intervention on their behalf. The state apparatus was used by the ruling Muslim League as a political instrument.

This proved self-defeating in two mutually reinforcing ways. One, it undermined the credibility of the democratic exercise and rendered politics highly confrontational.

Two, it brought the administration and the military into politics and led, by April 1953 with Khwaja Nazimuddin’s dismissal, to the eclipse of the politicians and the ascendance of a clique of civil servants and military officers.

In 1972, the politicians got a second chance but instead of ensuring the autonomy and integrity of the services they set about converting the state into a personal estate with a vengeance. To paraphrase Bhutto, they wanted to break the back of the higher bureaucracy in general and the Civil Service of Pakistan in particular.

After five years of purges, lateral entries and unceremonious exits, an invertebrate and politicised bureaucracy — reeling from the purges of 1976 and intuitively aware that Bhutto had planned another purge for May 1977 — went out of its way to please its master.

By going beyond Bhutto’s own wishes, the apparatus produced such a heavy popular mandate that its lack of credibility in the face of a unified opposition brought the entire system to the point of collapse and precipitated another military intervention.

This is not to say that Pakistan’s military rulers have demonstrated a better understanding of the role of the higher bureaucracy in an administrative state. They have done much harm through their attempts to engineer a “managed” democracy suited to the “genius” of the people of Pakistan. Ayub used the administrative apparatus to deliver the ‘basic democrat’ vote and secure seats for his political clients.

It was partly for this reason that the politicians at the receiving end of the administration developed severe hatred for the higher bureaucracy — which they considered, and correctly so, as one of Ayub’s political instruments. Zia proved marginally more competent in that he didn’t use the local bodies as the Electoral College and seemed to understand at some level that Pakistan was an administrative state. His manhandling of national and provincial politics, however, cast a long and dark shadow over Pakistan’s subsequent development.

The present regime and its devolution plan have obliterated even the pretence of administrative autonomy and the nazims, like their basic democrat equivalents, can be expected to deliver their areas.

The question of democracy in Pakistan is not a political but an administrative one. Deals and power-sharing and other shenanigans are irrelevant given that none of the participants understands that democracy in a bureaucratic state is a function of an autonomous, effective, and sufficiently motivated administration. Moreover, in a centralized state like Pakistan the integrity of the national elections is of paramount importance to the success of the democratic enterprise. Pakistan does not suffer, to use the latest fashionable mumbo jumbo, from a “democratic deficit” or insufficient “trust networks.”

It suffers from an administrative deficit in terms of the autonomy of the executive function from political interference. Unless this administrative deficit is made up, the “democratic deficit” does not really matter. Putting this administrative deficit right would entail, among other things, removing the local administration from the control of the nazims, ensuring the autonomy of the Election Commission, and reinvigorating the higher bureaucracy. n

The writer is the author of “An Inquiry into the Culture of Power of the Subcontinent.” niazone@yahoo.com
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Default RememberingI.A. Khan - Nuzhat Rahman

September 8, 2002

RememberingI.A. Khan

By Nuzhat Rahman

I.A. Khan was a member of the erstwhile Indian Civil Service (ICS) from the batch of 1939-40. The ICS comprisied of eminent civil servants who rose to the highest ranks in the bureaucracy and judiciary. These included S.S. Jafri, M. Masud (Khadarposh), K.S. Islam and Anwar-ul-Haq (Justice). Like most Muslim ICS officers, I.A. Khan opted for Pakistan serving at the time of partition, as District Magistrate of Murshidabad, a Muslim majority area — which was unfairly given to India. Initially, under the provisional distribution, Murshidabad was declared as part of Pakistan, however in the final announcement it was allotted to India. In fact, I.A. Khan had the rare experience of first hoisting the Pakistani flag and then, quietly in the depth of the night, bringing it down to hoist the Indian flag.

Ikram Ahmed Khan, better known as I.A. Khan was born on the June 1, 1915 at Meerut. His was a family of great nobility. He was the son of Nawab Ismail Khan, a prominent Muslim personality whose cap later came to be known as the ‘Jinnah Cap’. Nawab Ismail, President of UP Muslim League, was himself a dauntless freedom fighter. He was one of the closest associates of Quaid-e-Azam. He twice served as Vice Chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University. His father, Nawab Ishak Khan, was the fourth successor of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan as the Treasurer/Secretary of the M.A.O College. He himself was the grandson of renowned Urdu and Persian poet Nawab Mustafa Khan Shefta.

Ikram’s early schooling was in Faiz-i-Aam at Meerut and then onto Aligarh in 1930 where he excelled both in studies and sports. He played cricket, hockey and tennis for Aligarh and was also elected to the office of President of the Student Union — a most sought after office for the students at Aligarh. An outstanding student, he graduated with top honours and obtained a First division in BA and First Class First in MA.

As the son of Nawab Ismail Khan, I.A. Khan was privy to the inner circles of the Working Committee of the All India Muslim League. His father made him responsible for the arrangements for the League’s session at Mustafa Castle, besides seeing to the creature comforts of the Quaid-e-Azam and other Muslim leaders.

His professional career started after he joined the elite ICS and completed his training at Cambridge. His first posting was in the Bengal Cadre. The events of the first few years of his career unfolded against the backdrop of the great political drama that led to the creation of Pakistan. I.A. Khan served in Bengal for 18 years in various capacities in Faridpur and District Magistrate Comilla where he was instrumental in setting up the Rural Academy, headed by Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan. After serving as Secretary, Government of Bengal, I.A. Khan was transferred to West Pakistan in 1955 taking over as Chief Controller of Imports and Exports from Dr I.H. Usmani. He held this position with distinction for five years. Thereafter, I.A. Khan was made leader of Pakistan’s first trade delegation to India, which led to opening of trade between the two countries. Later in 1961, he was again posted back to East Pakistan, this time as Chairman Jute Board, headquartered at Narayanganj, taking over from his batch-mate K.S. Islam.

In 1962, I.A. Khan was selected as a fellow of the Eisenhower Exchange Programme which took him to USA for a year. For I.A. Khan it was rather unexpected to have been picked up from the remote jute centre of Narayanganj. In 1966, he moved to West Pakistan taking over as Secretary Economic Affairs Division from S. Osman Ali. During three years as Secretary, I.A. Khan successfully organized the Colombo Plan Conference at Karachi in 1967. In 1969, after the first bureaucratic reshuffle by President Yahya Khan, I.A. Khan was appointed Chairman WAPDA, taking over from A.G.N. Kazi. As Chairman, he saw through the successful implementation of the country’s largest project, Tarbela Dam.

At the age of 58, I.A. Khan retired honourably in 1973 under the most troubled days of bureaucracy. After retirement, he never sought any other office, nor recognition and distanced himself from active public life. His contributions to Pakistan were recognized when he was awarded the Sitara-i-Quaid-e- Azam in 1958 and Sitara-i-Pakistan in 1969. But these contributions extend beyond the bureaucratic confines.

I.A. Khan’s involvement in cricket and hockey continued long after his Aligarh days — perhaps playing the longest innings as a force behind the development and organization of cricket in Pakistan. In 1967, as Federal Secretary, I.A. Khan was nominated as Manager of the Pakistan cricket team touring England. At the time, his appointment was considered quite unusual for such a high ranking officer. It was later learnt that President Ayub Khan himself made the choice. As Chairman WAPDA in 1969, I.A. Khan took over as President BCCP (now PCB) from Syed Fida Hassan. It was during his tenure that BCCP permanently shifted to Lahore. It was I.A. Khan who appointed A.H. Kardar as the Chairman of the Selection Committee in 1969, thus bringing Kardar back into the cricket fold. Known for his firm grip on matter of discipline, for I.A. Khan the honour of representing Pakistan was supreme, as cricket in those days was still considered a gentleman’s game. He strongly opposed the Kerry Packer adventure. He also took considerable interest in the promotion of Table Tennis at Islamia Club, being a patron and its founding member along with top ICS Officers like Akhtar Hussain, Abbas Khalili, S.M. Yusuf and S.S. Jafri.

Throughout his career, I.A. Khan remained President of various cricket associations and also served as President of Karachi Hockey Association. All along he was a selector of the cricket teams and also served as Chairman of the Selection Committee. While Kafiluddin Ahmed of PWD was instrumental in the establishment of the National Cricket Stadium at Karachi, I.A. Khan played that role in East Pakistan in establishing the Dacca Cricket Stadium. He even designed the emblem of the Cricket Board. He also initiated the Patrons Trophy and the formation of teams such as Karachi Whites and Karachi Blues. I.A. Khan was also a permanent feature of the bygone days of Karachi Gymkhana and a member of its cricket team.

An illustrious career spanning over four decades, whether as Chairman WAPDA, or President BCCP or any other, official or non-official capacity in his long service of devotion and dedication, I.A. Khan gave his best to Pakistan. He appreciated the finer things of life, whether it was the latest English novel or a book of enchanting Urdu poetry, or a piece of music or sports like golf, tennis and of course cricket. He devoted himself as honorary Chairman of Meerut Cooperative Housing Society for as long as twenty years. A selfless man, gentleman to the core, I.A. Khan was an example of grace, dignity and self-respect. He had tremendous style and sartorial grace, he was an epitome of a modern enlightened Muslim, at home with eastern and western culture. He passed away peacefully on Friday 7th September 2001 at Karachi. He is survived by his wife and five children. May his soul rest in eternal peace.
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Default Thoughts on police reforms - Ikram Sehgal

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thoughts on police reforms

Ikram Sehgal


None of the reforms suggested by eminent retired police officers, without exception all belonging to the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP), addresses their despicable treatment of the overwhelming majority (92 per cent) of Provincial Police Officers (PPOs). Without any shadow of a doubt, that is the root cause of the police system’s failure to perform in accordance with its capacity and potential. This recurring failure over the years to rectify this blatant discrimination has destroyed the effectiveness of our law enforcement machinery as it once was, and should be in the present and for the future.

The Police Order of 2002 increased senior police posts almost by 300 per cent. More than 15 per cent of the police budget funds police administrators in the form of a long chain of supervisors above the DSP (and SHO) level-i.e. ASP, SP, SSP, DIG, Additional IG and IG. By putting in place a similar rank-structure as the armed forces, the police hierarchy is trying to run a community service along military lines. These ranks do not exist in crime-free societies. No organisation, not even in the private sector, can afford or perform efficiently with multiple layers of supervisors. Their output can be gauged from the adverse reports appearing in the media on a daily basis.

All developed countries have a local “community-based” model of policing. Under the law, the interface of the police with the state ends at the level of the police station, because the final report of the investigation of any registered case is submitted to court by the officer in charge of a police station. The investigating officer has an authority delegated by the magistrate to collect evidence for the ascertainment of facts and present it before the magistrate for further action. With the additional chain of supervisers in a society heavily dependant upon client-patron relationships, the moment a complaint gets filed, rival parties approach their respective contacts in the police hierarchy to try and influence the enquiry, and the investigating officer starts getting conflicting instructions from his many bosses. Or, as one SHO in Karachi’s elite DHA/Clifton area put it, “Previously I had to look after the SP, now I have to ensure water tankers are delivered to six houses, the ASP’s, SP’s, SSP’s, DIG’s, AIG’s and the IG’s.”

When the British created the Imperial Police Service to control the provinces and the communities, they did so in a manner that best served their colonial interests and accommodated the white man at top jobs. The policing arrangements under the Police Act, 1861, passed by the Central Legislature was kept quite simple and flexible, leaving the option to the provinces to adopt it as a provincial law and improve upon it according to local cultures and conditions.

Consequently, three different models of the police organisation-the Commissionerate, the Directorate and the Inspectorate-came into being in South Asia. The worst one of them, the “Inspectorate,” was based on the Irish Constabulary. It was designed to be militaristic, the prime aim being to crush people. Unfortunately, this was adopted in Pakistan with the creation of One Unit. Previously, it had been applicable only to Punjab Police, Sindh and Balochistan being regulated under the Bombay Police Act.

The Police Order 2002 focused on the perks and promotion of senior ranks, rather than on the reform of the police organisation to enable it to become more approachable by citizens. The focal point of the service, the police station, has been ignored in terms of resources and professional staff, with the consequent deterioration in the quality of leadership.

PSP officers control all promotions and postings with an overwhelming bias against the PPOs. Notwithstanding their performance of the most hazardous duties, the PPOs have virtually no prospects of promotion. A graphic illustration of the frustration is disciplinary punishments within the police department. Up to 28 per cent of the personnel receive punishments every year. In three years all members of the department’s staff have been punished in one way or another. Incidentally, not a single superviser, a PSP officer has received punishment in any form.

With all avenues of vertical promotions capped by the Establishment Division, PPOs and other departmental ranks have become completely frustrated, and therefore do not put their heart and soul into public service. The police being exclusively a provincial subject in the constitution, how is the Establishment Division able to make rules and carry out promotions for provincial police departments?

The general perception prevailing among provincial ranks is that performance of duty, the sacrifices entailed and punishments are meant for the PPOs while the luxuries and comforts of bungalows and cars are for those who really have no stake in the system. Even if allegations of corrupt practices are proven against any PSP officer, the officer is posted to another province or some federal agency, rather than be subjected to disciplinary action.

In the Sialkot incident of Aug 15, the DPO stated openly in court before the chief justice that since he is a PSP officer no one can do anything to him. Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had to beg Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani for days for the suspension of a Grade 18 PSP officer. In such circumstances, how can the provincial government be responsible for law and order when it has no, or very limited, control over police officers?
The service-entry exam does have merit, but that does not by itself make an officer superior for his entire life. His advancement must be based on performance. The annual policing plans and police-administration reports, and the Police Gazette are important public documents that record the expenditures being made. These should be transparent and available for public consumption. In the UK the Home Office ensures publication of these important documents in newspapers and on the Internet.

Oversight by the district magistrate over the police was taken away in Police Order 2002 and replaced by the Public Safety Commissions and the Independent Police Complaint Authority. While promotions to senior ranks and expansion of the police organisation have taken place, these two entities are still non-existent. This being despite the Supreme Court’s directions for early establishment of such institutional arrangements.

Provincial Civil Service (PCS) officers are agitating for their rights in Punjab. If they go through with their threatened strike in support of their demands, the PSP will sit back and instruct the PPOs to quell their protests. Overwhelming majorities in their respective cadres, and both PCS and PPOs, are victims of injustice at the hands of a minuscule majority. In the “divide and rule” gambit they will be used against each other.

Rather than attempts to reform the laws, what is really required is a drastic reorganisation of the service structure of the police to reduce the layers of command, and bring the police under the actual control of the provincial governments.

Only a well-trained and efficient police force not being subject to influence can combat our steady slide towards anarchy. Is this possible when more than 92 per cent of the police officers remain aggrieved at the injustice being meted out to them by less than eight per cent?

The writer is a defence and political analyst. Email isehgal@pathfinder9.com
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Default Samuel Martin Burke (1906-2010): Civil Servant, Diplomat, Historian

December 1, 2010

Samuel Martin Burke (1906-2010): Civil Servant, Diplomat, Historian

Adil Najam


I wish I had heard of Samuel Martin Burke before he died at age 104 a few weeks ago (on 9 October, 2010).



He was, by everything I have now found about him, a remarkable man. I am sure there are other Pakistanis who have also never heard of him. For them, I wanted to write this belated obituary post so that they may be introduced to him. I hope there are also those amongst our readers who have not only heard of him but know more about him and his life. I write this belated obituary post for them too; in the hope that they may share their own thoughts and rememberances of Samuel Martin Burke with us.

This obituary of Samuel Martin Burke, published in The Telegraph, gives us the rich essentials of his rich life. It is worth quoting in full:

Quote:
Professor Samuel Burke, who died on October 9 aged 104, was one of very few Indians to become a senior official in the Indian Civil Service under the British Raj; following Partition, he helped to set up the Foreign Office in Pakistan and became an ambassador for the country, serving in 11 different capitals. After retirement from the diplomatic service he became an academic in the United States, publishing a number of books on the history of India and the politics of Pakistan.

Samuel Martin Burke was born on July 3 1906 at Martinpur, a small Christian village near Faisalabad in what is now Pakistan. His father was the headmaster of a school and wrote poems under the pseudonym Burq (“lightning” in Urdu), which was adopted as the family’s surname. Exceptionally bright, Samuel took a first class degree in History and a masters at the Government College of Lahore before passing the Indian Civil Service (ICS) exams in 1931.

He rose to be a High Court judge and, in the closing phase of British rule in India, served as chairman of the three-man election petitions committee for the Punjab, set up to consider appeals against the results of the general election of December 1945, which had pitted the Congress Party, supporting a united India, against the Muslim League, campaigning for an independent Pakistan.

The commission had been appointed on the recommendation of the then prime minister of the Punjab, Sir Khizer Hayat Khan, whose Unionist Party was propped up by the Congress Party, and was thus regarded with suspicion by the Muslim League. But Burke did not hesitate to give judgments in favour of the League where he felt they were warranted.

While the commission was still sitting, Indian political parties agreed to the formation of Pakistan, and a circular was sent to members of the ICS asking whether they wished to serve India or Pakistan or to retire. Burke felt that the only way he could assure leaders of all the political parties of his continued impartiality was to make it plain that he was not interested in government service in either country. Accordingly, he became the only Asian civil servant who decided to retire on August 15 1947.

By this time, however, his reputation was such that he was invited by both Congress and the League to come out of retirement. Since he had been born in what became Pakistan, he decided to serve in Pakistan.

The West Pakistan government offered him a ministry to represent the Christian minority, but he chose to join the newly-created Foreign Service. He was given charge of the two most important portfolios: India (with which innumerable partition disputes were in progress), and the United Nations (where the Kashmir dispute was being debated in 1948).

His first appointment abroad was in 1949 as counsellor to the High Commission in London. At a time when Pakistan was still wrestling with matters arising from Independence this was the country’s largest foreign mission. In 1952, he was transferred to Washington as counsellor, but was soon promoted to the rank of minister.

Because of recurrent crises with India, Pakistan had decided to request military assistance from the United States, and to earn American goodwill Burke and his English-born wife Louise undertook nationwide speaking tours, his own Christian faith helping to undermine negative stereotypes about his country. His efforts soon began to bear fruit. In the food crisis of 1953, America promptly shipped a large quantity of wheat to Pakistan as a gift.

After Washington, he served as Chargé d’Affaires in Rio de Janeiro, and as Deputy High Commissioner in London. He then became the first Christian head of a Pakistani diplomatic mission, as Minister to Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark from 1953 to 1956. When the Commonwealth heads of mission in Stockholm gave a reception during a state visit of the Queen, they chose Burke to escort her during her walkabout.

After a spell in south-east Asia as first resident ambassador to Thailand, Burke was appointed to his final diplomatic posting, as High Commissioner in Canada from 1959 to 1961, when he signed an agreement for the peaceful uses of atomic energy which enabled Pakistan to purchase uranium from Canada.

Burke retired from Pakistan’s Foreign Service to take up a new chair in South Asian Studies created for him at the University of Minnesota.

His books include Foreign Policy of Pakistan, and he also advised on the compilation of A Historical Atlas of South Asia. Burke continued to write after he and his wife moved to England. Akbar the Greatest Mogul, published in India, won a commendation from Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. With Salim Al-Din Quraishi, he also wrote Bahadur Shah, the Last Mogul Emperor of India; The British Raj in India; and Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, His Personality and His Politics, in which he argued that, contrary to received wisdom, it was Gandhi, not Jinnah, who introduced religion into Indian politics and ultimately drove Muslims and Hindus apart. Burke was appointed to the Sitara-e-Pakistan, Pakistan’s highest honour, by President Ayub Khan.

He was predeceased by his wife, whom he married in 1933, and by a daughter. Three other daughters survive him.
Another obituary, in The National, adds some more details (some excerpts):

Quote:
Samuel Burke was the longest lived member of the Indian Civil Service and one of the few Punjabis to have served in a senior position under the Raj. He went on to distinguish himself as an incorruptible jurist, one of Pakistan’s first ambassadors, an academic and an author… he was the son of Janab Khairuddin, a headmaster and the village’s first graduate. Burke’s grandfather had been the first Christian convert in his family. Janab Khairuddin wrote poetry using the nom de plume Burj (Urdu for “lightning”), which was anglicised to Burke.

Young Sam won a scholarship to Government College in Lahore (now Government College University). He initially studied science with a view to medicine, but found it left little time for cricket. He switched to history, philosophy, Persian and Urdu and achieved first-class honours. A master’s degree in history followed. In 1928, he sat for the Indian Civil Service exams and was selected to study administration and law in Britain. He returned to India and made progress as a rare, non-white “burra Sahib” in British India. As a district head and sessions judge he was hailed for his honesty.

… At 103, by then in a nursing home in Watlington, Oxfordshire, near one of his daughters, he recalled, eight decades earlier, bowling out the maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh, a passionate cricketer. In awe of the maharaja and in spite of Burke’s appeal, the umpire claimed not to see it.
A third obituary, written by Nisar Ali Shah on the FT website adds yet more detail and nuance (some excerpts):

Quote:
… As a young man he helped rule what was then British India, first as a district officer and later as a judge. At the time of partition – when millions were on the move, often amid great violence – he won the respect of politicians in both India and Pakistan for his scrupulous fairness, not least in settling disputed election results. As a diplomat representing his fledgling state to countries that had barely heard of Pakistan, he put his nation on the global map, forging strong ties with the US in particular. As an academic he wrote the biographies and the histories for which ultimately he may be best remembered.

… He pressed Pakistan’s interests in the US even after becoming an academic. In 1970 he had an extraordinary confrontation with Chester Bowles, the US ambassador to India, who wrote in the Minneapolis Tribune urging the US against supplying military hardware to Pakistan. Burke took him to task in the same newspaper, sending both articles to President Richard Nixon of the US. The sale to Pakistan of 100 tanks went ahead.

…He was approaching 100 but still writing when I last visited him at his home in England. In his autobiography, never made public, he wrote: “If I had the chance of living my life all over again, I would like to marry the same woman and have the same careers in the same order in which they actually happened.”

Source:
http://pakistaniat.com/2010/12/01/samuel-martin-burke/
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There are some good articles already posted elsewhere on the forum. Here are a few.

1 - Fall of the DMG empire by Iftekhar A. Khan

2 - Balancing the civil service By Ikram Sehgal

3 - Reforming Pakistan's Civil Service, a report by Crisis Group

4 - Civil services in tatters by Ansar Abbasi

5 - Javed Akbar ko jurm tasleem ker laina chaiye by Javed Chaudhry

I will keep adding to them if I find more.
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Last edited by Viceroy; Friday, December 24, 2010 at 11:39 PM.
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