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FIA’s ex-DG Tariq Khosa quits all-important task force

Updated March 06, 2019

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Tariq Khosa's resignation is being seen as a protest over Centre's decision to exclude police from civil services exams. — Photo courtesy TNS/File
Tariq Khosa's resignation is being seen as a protest over Centre's decision to exclude police from civil services exams. — Photo courtesy TNS/File

LAHORE: Federal Investigation Agency’s former director general Tariq Khosa has resigned from the Task Force on Austerity and Restructuring of the Government (TFARG).

The resignation of Mr Khosa, who is the elder brother of Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Asif Saeed Khosa, is being seen as a protest against the federal government’s move to exclude the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) from the civil services examination.

The high-powered TFARG was constituted by Prime Minister Imran Khan in September 2018 and Mr Khosa was appointed as one of the 18 members of the task force. Headed by former governor and adviser to the prime minister on institutional reforms and austerity, the TFARG has been tasked with giving recommendations to the government as to how its expenses could be curtailed and what steps are required for restructuring of the government departments.

Mr Khosa confirmed to Dawn that he had resigned from the task force. “I resigned from Task Force on Restructuring of Government before my brother took oath as CJP; not on account of the matter about separate police service examination,” he said. However, he said, the separate police service examination was an unwise move that would demoralise the country’s top force.

“In my view, excluding police from the common civil service exam is a dangerous move toward bureaucratic elite capture,” he told Dawn. He said he had a great respect for Dr Ishrat Hussain (the task force head) and adviser to the prime minister Arbab Shahzad.

“However, in meetings of Task Force on Civil Service Reforms and Government Restructuring, I begged to differ about creating a separate service stream of police,” he said.

“Policing, unlike military, is not a force. It is a management and service delivery instrument. Unlike in India where the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and the Indian Police Service (IPS) are inducted through one central examination, we are venturing into an area which will have impact on the federation,” Mr Khosa said.

He said the police would be marginalised to initially a provincial service and eventually a local government institution as is the case in the US. He suggested that the Pakistan police should remain part of the general administration group.

“The Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) should accept us as part of a policy delivery mechanism. We should be inducted through one common examination as is being done now,” he said. “I had to resign from Task Force on account of principles, otherwise I would have continued to oppose this move,” he said.

Answering a question, he said Dr Ishrat was reluctant to accept his resignation but he requested him that he should not be associated with any government initiative while his youngest brother was the CJP.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2019