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Thread: It is a Punjabi bureaucracy

  1. #1
    Senior Member Express's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    Pakistan Pakistan

    It is a Punjabi bureaucracy

    If you want to judge the Punjabi dominance in Pakistan, the armed forces may not be the best indicator as is generally assumed. It’s the top civil bureaucracy through which Punjab dominates this country.

    For the starters, the per capita Pashtun representation in the top military hierarchy exceeds that of Punjabis. In other spheres, the population edge of the Punjabi legislatures in the National Assembly is partially balanced by equal number of members from each province in the Senate. Media and the judiciary may not be the exclusive Punjabi clubs. Even a cursory look at the Club-22 of bureaucrats will tell you that it’s a Punjabi monopoly.

    Out of the 58 civil officers heading 44 divisions and the President and Prime Minister’s secretariats, there are just six Pashtuns, five sindhis, three of them Muhajirs and just two Baloch, one of them again a Punjabi settler. In Balochistan’s case, the trend is not likely to change as not a single Baloch based in Federal Secretariat is in Grade 21, just one in Grade 20 and then no one even in Grade 19. No question of a Christian, Hindu, Sikh or an Ahmadi coming 5000 yards close to this exclusively Muslim Club—Alhamdulillah.

    The list includes Grade-22 officers on contract and the acting heads in Grade 21. This in the so-called Sindh dominated PPP government. Imagine when the overly clannish Lahori Kashmiris takes over. It will be reduced to a re-do of Takht Lahore—Seraiki province be damned.

    This comes to about 80 percent Punjabi representation. The affirmative action in the shape of quotas allotted to smaller provinces and less developed areas as Azad Kashmir in the competitive selection examinations gets whittled down as the officials go up in promotions. The Punjabi brethren ensure that the ‘martial race’ remains dominant.

    Another trend that keeps the top official structure lopsided is the sectional monopoly of the DMG Group now called as Pakistan Administrative Service (PAC). Of the 37 regular Grade-22 officers based in Islamabad, there are just two from the Customs, one from the Foreign Service (the Foreign Secretary) and the one from Information service stands retired. The three Office Management Group (OMG) members in Grade-22 exist because of an anomaly. The OMG, which remains one of the least-opted services in the competitive examinations, remained suspended for ten years and hence got ‘unusual promotions.’ A ruling from the Federal Service Tribunal, incidentally given by one officer from the OMG, helped making it mandatory for the other cadres to get the seniority from the time that they will join the Secretariat Group.

    The DMG/PAC cadres guard the turf watchfully. The Supreme Court asked the government to make some minimum basis for the promotions. This was after 54 officers in Grade 22 were promoted in one go. The ‘rule-framers’ dominated by the GMG/FAS made it mandatory for a minimum of two years service in Grade 21 and a three years service (plus six months training) in Grade 20 for a move-over. This suits the DMG/PAC because they ensure that the promotions in other groups remain slower. This will make the structure even more lopsided in the coming years as only the DMG/PAC officers will fulfill the requirement.

    The recent summary by the Establishment Division to remove the condition of three years for the Grade 20 officers, now deferred by the Prime Minister for one year, was an attempt to correct the growing imbalance. But the mighty DMG/PAS, backed by the misunderstood media criticism, stalled what may have been a right step.

    The primary concern should be to skim the best cream out of the existing government machinery. Amidst this fight over sectional interests, the war over the cadres and turf, the biggest casualty is the quality of officers that come out of it.

    Of course, the DMG/PAC babus are right that being the most superior service they should be given some precedence. But to the extent that this structure has become lopsided in their favour is maddening if not callous.

    Officers improve and deteriorate in accordance with their exposure, hard work and circumstances in life. The whole government machinery cannot be held hostage to one examination (on average 35 years ago) in the beginning. No mid-level re-evaluation exists. The results of the two senior management courses in Grade 20 and 21 only make a partial difference in promotions.

    Former State Bank Governor Ishrat Hussain in a study on official reforms suggested that the cadres should be given another examination at Grade 19 to re-evaluate their capabilities and performance. Some countries borrow talent from private sector at mid-level. But we do it as one-off favour as was given to Dr Waqar Masood. Waqar remains the most hated person among the cadres because of his lateral entry by Benazir Bhutto straight in Grade 21 and later got promoted by Farooq Leghari in Grade 22 in 1997. This makes the longest serving Federal Secretary in the country’s history. Normally, if an officer gets to serve for five years in Grade 22 he or she is lucky. He stays at the top for the last 15 years with another four to go.

    It may not be a bad idea to include members from the provincial services also. They may not be efficient in paperwork or less articulate in King’s English but they bring a treasure of local exposure. Now, how can Islamabad make any policy on Balochistan when it has only three officers in the top three grades from the province. The two in Grade 19 are here on deputation from the provincial service.

    None of the recommendations was accepted. And as things stand today, there is little chance of this happening in near future also. Long live Takht-i-Lahore.
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    Last edited by AgNoStIc MuSliM; 17th February 2013 at 23:46.

  2. #2
    Retired AgNoStIc MuSliM's Avatar
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    Pakistan United States

    re: It is a Punjabi bureaucracy

    Interesting article - here is another one with a few more actual statistics on the demographic breakdown of the Federal bureaucracy:

    Federal bureaucracy: Rural Sindh grabs more than its share
    By Our CorrespondentPublished: February 1, 2013

    For grades 21 and 22, 298 of the 507 employees have a Punjab domicile, that is 73 per cent of the positions in these grades.

    ISLAMABAD: Candidates from rural Sindh marked the greatest annual increase in the number of federal government employees in 2010-11, in defiance of the quota specified for them.

    According to the Annual Statistical Bulletin of Federal Government Employees 2010-11, the number of employees from rural Sindh, which excludes Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur, increased by 29.23 per cent from 2009 to 2011.

    The bulletin is maintained and released by the Establishment Division’s Pakistan Public Administration Research Centre. Sindh has a total quota of 19 per cent, which is divided 60-40 between rural and urban areas.

    Of the 449,964 employees in grades 1 to 22, 46.58 per cent or 201,636 belonged to Punjab including Islamabad, according to the bulletin. For grades 17 to 22, the share of Punjab including Islamabad rose to around 57 per cent, which is more than the 50 per cent quota reserved for Punjab in the government’s general recruitment policy.

    Punjab dominates bureaucracy’s upper echelon. For grades 21 and 22, 298 of the 507 employees have a Punjab domicile, that is 73 per cent of the positions in these grades.

    In the 207 autonomous organisations, semi-autonomous bodies and corporations under the federal government, Punjab’s share was 54.4 % among 369,285 employees. The statistical bulletin noted that the share was against an employment quota of 50%, but it cannot be said with certainty whether the excess was a violation or if employees hired on merit had a Punjab domicile.

    Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) is second with 27.9 per cent employees. Around 94,000 employees of the civil armed forces, which includes the Frontier Corps and fall under the Ministry of Interior, have a K-P domicile, according to the bulletin statistics.

    Sanctioned federal government posts stood at 509,239 in 2010-11, a 1.86 per cent increase compared to 2009-10. Around 12 per cent of these posts remained vacant during 2010-11.

    Women’s representation
    Although, the number of female employees increased in the federal government, women still have a long way to catch up with their male colleagues.

    The actual strength of female employees increased to 21,133 in 2010-11 from 20,257 in 2009-10, their percentage share of the total workforce is still below five percent, according to statistics.

    However, the actual number of female employees in the federal government increased at the rate of 16.6 per cent from 2007 to 2011. Around a quarter of the female workforce is employed by the education division.

    According to the Federal Public Service Commission’s general recruitment policy, 10 per cent quota will be reserved for women from the share of each province or region.

    The number of female employees, working for autonomous bodies and corporations increased by 15.8 per cent in 2010-11 to 15,114.

    Published in The Express Tribune, February 1st, 2013.
    Federal bureaucracy: Rural Sindh grabs more than its share – The Express Tribune
    The Following User Says Thank You to AgNoStIc MuSliM For This Useful Post: Wajid47

  3. #3
    Retired AgNoStIc MuSliM's Avatar
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    Re: It is a Punjabi bureaucracy

    So here is the follow up question to the authors' claim of a 'Punjabi biradri at the top of the bureaucracy protecting its own', is it the biradri or our corrupt political elite that is responsible for out of turn and undeserved promotions that put sycophants and corrupt bureaucrats at the helm, as the article below suggests?

    Promotions in bureaucracy challenged in SC
    By Nasir Iqbal

    The Supreme Court of Pakistan building in Islamabad.-APP file

    ISLAMABAD The recent reshuffle in bureaucracy in which 51 bureaucrats were promoted to grade-22 was challenged in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

    A petition filed by Advocate Dr Aslam Khaki on behalf of Member Income Tax (appellate) Tribunal Nazir Ahmed Chaudhry requested the court to declare the promotions as void and order fresh promotions on the basis of merit.
    On Sept 4, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani reshuffled almost the entire top brass of bureaucracy, replaced over a dozen federal secretaries and announced changes in several other ministries by promoting 51 civil servants to grade-22.

    The federal government through the establishment division and the prime minister are respondents in the petition.
    The petitioner, who had passed the CSS examination in 1976 and was promoted to grade-21 in 2006, is still working in the same position.

    Nazir Chaudhry requested the court to call the record of the 51 civil servants who had been promoted to grade-22 through the Sept 4 notification and said that bureaucrats who had been ignored and civil society had strongly protested against what he called massive injustice, rather `corruption`.

    He claimed that at least two officers — Agha Sarwar Raza Qazalbash, secretary religious affairs, and Aneesul Hasnain Moosvi, secretary sports and culture — who were junior to him had been promoted to grade-22 in complete disregard of the principle of seniority.

    Article 25 of the Constitution, the petition said, ensured equality of citizens and required the authorities, especially the public authorities dealing with the rights of the people, to make decisions on the pedestal of justice and fairness and not on the basis of contacts.

    Similarly, Article 4 of the Constitution provides for application of law to all citizens. It is to be noted that `contacts` and `favours` are not laws but impediments to the course of law, the petition deplored.

    It said that every authority, including the respondents, was bound to give cogent reasons for the exercise of its prerogative or discretion and that too in the public interest.

    The act of promotions ignoring senior civil servants (including the petitioner) by the respondents amounts to their `condemnation` without allegation or charge-sheet, the petition said.

    Promotions in bureaucracy challenged in SC | Latest news, Breaking news, Pakistan News, World news, business, sport and multimedia | DAWN.COM

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