THIS is apropos of the letter, ‘Promotion policy’ (Feb 9) by Abdul Kabir Kazi. The bureaucracy is considered an agent of change.

The bureaucracy in Pakistan has always received laudatory comments for its role in initiating economic development and promoting political stability.

The bureaucratic elite and public institutions are expected to provide leadership, order and stability.

Again the Pakistani bureaucracy stood the test and fulfilled these expectations.

The print media started portraying bureaucracy as an instrument of oppression. This portrayal had an impact on public consciousness.

Bureaucrats were seen as being inimical to their interests. This is not true; yet the print media is right to contend that the bureaucracy must be changed and restructured from within.

This would be accomplished by restructuring public organisations to redefine their purposes, enhance accountability, provide incentives, re-organising distribution of power and, most importantly, change their cultures.

What is important to recognise is that the traditional concept of governance, i.e. hierarchical, authoritarian, and emphasising the chain of command, is undergoing a change.

Instead, reinvention is possible only through collaboration. But the fact is that the erstwhile DMG is least interested in such collaboration. Finally, it must be understood and appreciated that civil service is a profession where one is expected to work for the welfare of fellow citizens.

It is not simply managerial professionalism. It has an ethical and human dimension too.


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