ACCORDING to media reports, a bench of the Supreme Court ordered the establishment division to furnish a list of retired civil servants who have been reemployed by the government after their superannuation.
In Pakistan, the age of superannuation stipulated in the Civil Servants Act 1973 is 60 years. It means that a civil servant who has completed 60 years of his recorded age cannot continue the service of Pakistan, in terms of section 14 of the Civil Servants Act.
However, this rule is blatantly violated in practice. Favourite retired civil servants and army officers are appointed in various organisations under the control of the government generously without regard to established norms, rules and laws.
The most-sought-after positions are in the Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission (PMIC), the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC), provincial public service commissions, Federal Service Tribunal (FST), provincial services tribunals, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), regulatory authorities, the National School of Public Policy, the national institutes of management, PIA, Pakistan Steel Mills, Karachi Port Trust, Planning Commission of Pakistan, etc.
It may be interesting to note that the NAB chairman, PMIC chairman and secretary/chief executive of the BISP are in their late 70s and 80s. They are holding positions concerned with the affairs of the federal government, thus in violation of the provisions of the law.
There is no secret about it that these appointments are made on political and personal considerations without regard to merit and law. Many federal secretaries manipulate prestigious and lucrative appointments after retirement.
These appointments not only breed frustration in the civil service but also are against Article 25 of the Constitution. This is also the context of the petition of Khushdil Khan, who has been relocated from the interior division.
If we want rule of law and good governance in the country, merit and only merit must prevail in appointments and promotions. There is also an urgent need to evolve an oversight mechanism for monitoring crucial and strategic appointments in government organisations.
ASGHAR MAHMOOD Islamabad