civil service reforms
A broken record
Given the immediate spectre of violence and even civil war in the country, many are inclined to suggest that a 'deal' between 'moderate' forces is the only way out. But such an analysis is no less reactionary than the politics of the 'extremists'
By Aasim Sajjad Akhtar
the Supreme Court's decision to end Javed Hashmi's long-standing detention by
throwing out charges that he defamed the army -- supposedly considered a
crime no less than sedition -- General Musharraf hurriedly went into a
'high-level' meeting with his Corps Commanders. That there has been a spate
of high-level meetings in recent times speaks to the fact that the generals
and their sidekicks are up to their necks and struggling desperately for
what is new? One does not know whether to laugh or cry at just how familiar
all this sounds. A triumphant general takes over from an elected government
not allowed to complete its term, cheered on by a gallery including ordinary
people and politicians in the opposition. He vows to clean up shop, banish
the inept politicians from the country forever and have the unstained
guardian of the nation -- the army -- put Pakistan back on track.
or so later, the general stands discredited, increasingly isolated, yet still
looking to cling onto power. One suspects the end would come a lot sooner but
for the support that each of our esteemed military rulers has received from
the state's imperial patron. That having been said, imperialism too knows
when the writing is on the wall, and unfortunately for the generals, the
Americans have been known to desert the army camp when everything is already
case, the United States has not necessarily stranded the general, at least
not yet. Just about everyone else has. Credit is due to those who opposed the
coup of October 1999 from the very beginning, those who insisted that the
worst elected government is infinitely preferable to the best military
dictatorship, that so long as the military continued to act as arbiter in
Pakistan's wretched political life, things could never get better. Eight
years after the coup, things have gotten much, much worse, notwithstanding
the government's continuing claims that it 'saved' Pakistan from the brink of
today Pakistan is teetering on the precipice, and the military is
responsible. There are important differences between this episode of abject
failure of military rule and those that preceded it. Specifically, the
military's long-standing policy of creating 'strategic depth' in Afghanistan
is in tatters, US imperialism now hell-bent on doing away with its erstwhile
jihadi proteges, the very agents of Pakistani strategic policy. Perhaps more
importantly, the army has never before been subject to the kind of
unqualified criticism that it now faces, not just from columnists and
opposition politicians, but from the vast majority of ordinary people.
therefore, to the extent that it is possible to think about things in this
way, the present state of affairs presents a unique opportunity. The higher
judiciary has already indicated its willingness to finally be party to
democracy (although one wonders how long the honeymoon period will last).
There is thus a window -- which importantly could be shut sooner than one
might think -- to banish the military once and for all from the political
however, there are many reasons why this most desirable of all outcomes may
not be realised. First there is the ever reliable United States. While it may
appear that the United States is no longer willing to trust the Pakistan army
to faithfully do its bidding as it has done in the past, how can one ever
trust the most powerful and destructive empire in human history to ever
consistently take a stand for an open political process in Pakistan?
Washington likes to harp on about democracy, but one which does not
necessarily throw up the results it wants? The Americans want their interests
in the region served, and will privilege those political actors that can best
do the job. This has nothing to do with what is right or what Pakistan needs.
there is the possibility that some amongst those hankering for the
restoration of democracy succumb to opportunism. One is not pointing to the
Pakistan People's Party (PPP) necessarily, which, to be fair, has
historically been the only mainstream party in Pakistan to struggle
consistently against military dictatorship, at least at the rank-and-file
level. In any case, one of the major reasons for the military's overwhelming
dominance in Pakistan's political life has been the complicity of those
political forces that have acquiesced to being the military's junior
and perhaps most crucially, there is the perceived polarisation between
'extremist' and 'liberal' segments of society. This binary has been played up
to no end in recent weeks, and forms the basis of the current military
junta's last stand. The Musharraf regime has consistently portrayed itself as
the answer to 'religious obscurantism', and while its claims have repeatedly
been exposed, it is now making one last attempt to forge a common front with
forces that belong to the 'liberal' camp so as to retain a share in power.
there is polarisation in Pakistan goes without saying. But the real
polarisation is between those who remain committed to oligarchic rule and the
dictates of imperialism and those who want government to be responsive to
people and willing and able to stand up to the world bully. Naturally where
mainstream political forces do not represent the people's aspirations, the
tendency towards reactionary ideologies will become more acute. This does not
mean, however, that one should side with one reactionary force (read: the
army) to crush another.
of the matter is that the story of army generals coming triumphantly into
power and eventually leaving with their tails between their legs is being
re-run like a broken record. But what one fears the most is that this will be
followed by yet another such story, namely that of the discrediting of
politicians (and politics itself) for not coming up with and then
implementing a people's agenda. And this is bound to happen if the army
continues to pull the strings from backstage. If after another eight years of
dictatorship, 'democracy' is restored only to be hamstrung, a glorious
opportunity will have been lost.
the immediate spectre of violence and even civil war in the country, it is
not surprising that many are inclined to suggest that a 'deal' between
'moderate' forces is the only way out. But such an analysis is no less
reactionary than the politics of the 'extremists'. Ultimately 60 years of the
army's domination has gotten us to this point. Any arrangement which absolves
the army of responsibility for the mess that is Pakistani politics while
allowing it to continue exercising a political role, is not only buying into
the hype but condemning the long-suffering people of this country to even
more hardship in the future.
that the Bush administration, egged on by Washington's cabal of neo-con think
tanks, is contemplating renaming major branches of the US federal government
in the light of the new ground realities in the post-9/11, post-Patriot Act,
post-Afghanistan invasion, post-Homeland Security Act, and post-Iraq invasion
Department of Defence may be renamed the Department of War, changing the
acronym for the Pentagon from DOD to DOW. DOW rhymes with wow - as in:
"Wow! We sure creamed those Eyeraqis!"
rhymes with COW, the Bush administration's so-called "Coalition of the
Willing." It is another matter that most of the nations in the US-led
COW occupation force in Iraq have opted out of the coalition, like rats
abandoning a sinking ship.
'war' has long been a favourite of American administrations. The Johnson
administration had its "War on Poverty" (WOP). The Reagan
administration had its "War on Drugs" (WOD). And the Bush
administration has its "War on Terrorism" (WOT). Rumour has it that
President George W. Bush is now thinking of launching a "War on
Peace" (WOP, not to be confused with the other WOP). War, in short, has
become as American as mom and apple pie.
only would the Department of War be a more appropriate name for the
Department of Defence, it would revive an old tradition. War Department is
what the DOD was called until well into the twentieth century. Its head was
called the Secretary of War (SOW).
has connotations of restraint that the Bushistas simply can't abide.
Secretary of War, on the other hand, is a title any Bush-appointed SOW would
love to have on the door of his office in the Pentagon as he goes about
marshalling his forces for more military adventures in the Middle East, such
as the Bush administration's contemplated strike against Iran.
Defence Department often engages in turf battles with the State Department.
There are several reasons for this. For one thing, in many of the areas where
the State Department is weak, the Defence Department is exceptionally strong,
making it a powerful force in foreign-policymaking. "Daisy Cutter"
bombs and cruise missiles are two such areas.
another, with nearly a million individuals employed by US defence-related
industries, the Defence Department has many people with a vested interest in
its financial well-being. That's why the Bush administration's budget for
fiscal 2008 (beginning this October 1) has allocated $ 500 billion for
military spending. That's more money than the rest of the world put together
spends on the military. You can't get much more vested an interest than that.
A cut in
defence spending (of which there's no danger while the Bush administration is
in office) can mean the loss of a job for a bomb-maker in Lubbock, Texas,
while a new air force base can turn a ghost town into a boom town. Thus, the
Defence Department is an integral part of American social, political and
economic life. It has an impact in both the domestic and international
spheres, which the State Department, with its exclusively global orientation,
lacks. The Defence Department is also much larger than the State Department,
with around three million military and civilian employees.
tussle between Defence and State predates the Bush administration by many
years. In his farewell address in 1961, then-US President Dwight D.
Eisenhower (also known as "Ike") warned of the growing power and
influence resulting from the "conjunction of an immense military
establishment and a large arms industry." Eisenhower called this
phenomenon "the military-industrial complex." Its development, he
said, meant that "the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced
power exists and will persist."
advent of the Bush administration, Ike's warning seems to have come true in
spades. This administration has already fought two wars, and talk of more
wars to come and more contemplated military strikes is a refrain heard
frequently in Washington these days. Indeed, it could be said that talk of
war - the "war without end against terrorism," for instance - has
become the central theme of the Bush presidency.
acronyms are all the rage on Wall Street and Madison Avenue. So why shouldn't
the Bushites and their cohorts have their fun, as they go about thinking up
new horrors to unleash on a bleeding and battered world, including not just
foreign countries but their own country too?
of this philosophy, another department that may be relabeled is the Justice
Department. The word 'justice' has liberal connotations that are entirely
antithetical to the approach assumed by the Justice Department under the Bush
administration. Wags say that one of the new names being considered for the
department is the National Agency for Zealous Investigations (NAZI).
State Department, too, may be renamed and subdivided into two distinct
branches. The first, the Organisation for International Leadership (OIL),
would be responsible for ensuring that the future government of Iraq stays in
the hands of the Iraqi people, with American companies retaining the oil
second, the Geopolitical Agency for Security (GAS), would function as the
diplomatic arm, with help from such Bush administration stalwarts as
Condoleezza Rice (the Secretary of State, not the Chevron oil supertanker),
Vice-President Dick Cheney (the ex-Halliburton CEO who is also known in some
circles as Darth Vader), and US Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay
is a former US Ambassador to Afghanistan, a former US Ambassador to Iraq and
a former consultant to UNOCAL, an American energy company that back in
1996-97 had entered into negotiations with the Taliban regime in Kabul for
transit rights through Afghanistan for a gas pipeline from the Daulatabad
field in Turkmenistan to Pakistan.
'State Department' says nothing about the real nature of the Bush
administration's foreign policy. However, by splitting the department into
two branches named OIL and GAS, the administration would leave no one in any
doubt about the true basis of America's international relations.
Supreme Court of Pakistan, while hearing the disappeared or missing person
case, called for the case-to-case details of each and every missing person
from the Attorney General. Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry for first
time after his re-instatement heard this missing persons' case. The AG made a
plea that he wanted to meet the family members of the missing persons, for
which, he be given time. The Court adjourned the hearing of the case until
August 20 and directed the AG to submit case-to-case details of each and
every missing person in the next hearing. (The News, Aug 7, 2007)
Balochistan, the military has been conducting operation since the year 2000.
Since then hundreds of people have gone missing, according to the reports of
human rights organisations and Baloch nationalist parties. The current rise
of tensions flows from long-standing grievances felt by the local population
in relation to severe economic underdevelopment and failures to receive the
benefits of large-scale exploitation of the province's natural resources.
Jahanzaib Jamaldini, Acting Vice-President of Balochistan National Party (BNP)
told this writer in Noshki that "We have a list of more than 3000
thousands people who have been arrested by the intelligence agencies from
different parts of Balochistan.The agencies picked up the Baloch youths from
different parts of Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab and tortured them
severely." Aftab Sherpao, the federal interior minister had revealed
when talking to media persons in December 2005 in Turbat that nearly 4000
people had been arrested from Balochistan but after a few days, official
sources claimed that the federal minister had only referred to those illegal
immigrants who had trespassed the Pak-Iran border in 2005.
a list of missing people was released by Ghulam Muhammad Baloch, central
president, Baloch National Movement (BNM) in a seminar on June 19, 2006
organised by Labour Education Foundation (LEF) in Karachi. Few days later, he
was picked up by plain clothed officers of unknown law enforcing agencies and
till today, no one knows about his whereabouts. Ghulam Muhammad Baloch, a
vocal speaker and former chairperson of Baloch Students Organisation (BSO),
was very popular amongst Baloch youth and students and disappointed with
of missing Baloch activists and citizens are also quoted in a pamphlet
entitled 'Waiting for Truth and Justice' published by Balochistan National
other hand, IG Police, Balochistan ,Chaudhry Muhammad Yaqoob said ,
"Those who are quoting 3000 or 4000 people as missing are in fact
exploiting the figure in view of the present circumstances." He
challenged them to produce the names and addresses of all those 3000 people.
Baloch nationalist parties refer to HRCP reports claiming that 3000 people
are missing. However, according to the data collected by HRCP, 600 people
have 'disappeared' in the country over the past five years. There is a very
contradiction in figure of missing people in Balochistan.
reports of HRCP, Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) and Amnesty
International (AI) highlighted many cases of torture on Baloch activists
under the custody of law enforcing agencies. Dr. Imdad Baloch, chairman of
BSO, was detained in a military torture cell for 6 months, when he was
finally released; he re-counted his ordeal to Zahoor Shahwani, representative
of HRCP Balochistan and media in Karachi in November 2005. Details included
how he and his colleagues were detained in an unknown location, where they
were blind folded and only in absolute emergencies, they were allowed to take
their blind folds off. They were beaten severely and were burned with
cigarettes. One of Imdad Baloch's legs was broken during the torture. When
nothing was extracted from him, he was thrown to Dera Ghazi Khan, Punjab.
Allah Nazar Baloch, another leader of BSO, who was also arrested, was not
only severely tortured but during his unlawful detention, he was forced to
consume poison which has resulted in him not being able to recognise people
properly an he has been permanently paralysed. Saleem Baloch, a leader of
Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) and a political activist of Karachi, also narrated
his story of illegal detention and suffering at the office of HRCP, Karachi
after release but sadly he was again picked up by law enforcing agencies from
Lyari, Karachi. Ustad Sattar Baloch, a school teacher, was given electric
shocks in the torture cell. HRCP's annual reports and publications are full
of similar stories of Baloch political activists and citizens.
Mengal, missing Managing Director of the proposed Balochi TV channel, 'Baloch
Voice' has surfaced after more than one year. He has been arrested at Karachi
Airport on his return from Bahrain but his whereabouts could not be known for
months. Munir had applied to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity
Authority (PEMRA) for the license of TV channel.
work on two levels: not only do they effectively silence those opposition
members who have disappeared, they also sow uncertainty and terror in the
wider community in general, thus silencing other opposition voices, current
and potential alike. Disappearances entail the violation of a series of basic
human rights and fundamental freedoms. For the disappeared person, these
include the right to liberty, the right to personal security and humane
treatment, the right to a fair trial, to legal counsel, and to equal
protection under the law, the right of presumption of innocence, etc. The
families, who often spend the rest of their lives in searches for remains of
the disappeared, also become victims of the disappearance's effects.
as the International Day of the Disappeared is an annual commemoration day
created to draw attention to the fate of individuals imprisoned at places and
under poor conditions unknown to their relatives and/or legal
representatives. The impulse for the day came from the Federation of
Associations for Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared (Federacien
Latinoamericana de Asociaciones de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos, or
FEDEFAM), a NGO founded in 1981 in Costa Rica as an association of local and
regional groups actively working against secret imprisonment and forced
disappearances in a number of Latin-American countries.
is an opportunity to highlight these institutions' work, increase public
awareness, and to call for donations and volunteers. Amnesty International
(AI), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR),
the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Asian Human
Rights Commission (AHRC) are main international bodies and organisations who
are the important concerned organisations. In Pakistan, HRCP is the body
taking up this issue aggressively.
human rights organisations, civil society and political parties demand that
list of missing people should be made public, an independent tribunal
consisting of Supreme Court, members of Parliament and representatives of
Human Rights organisations should be formed and The International Convention
for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance to be ratified
by the government.
writer is social researcher and political analyst.
Sarwar Mohmand, a well know industrialist from tribal areas, is of the view
that economic compulsions are not responsible for extremism in the world and
in Pakistan. "Extremism is a consequence of oppression. Osama Bin Laden
was a filthy rich person and there have been many from the upper and middle
classes who become militants. If poverty were a cause, there would have been
declining extremism in Pakistan with rising foreign exchange reserves and
significant economic growth in the recent years."
argued that suicide attacks started by the Japanese at Pearl Harbour in the
US during WWII while Pakistan armymen blew their bodies in the 1965 war to
destroy Indian tanks. In both cases extreme steps were taken as an answer to
oppression. However, Mohmand argued, economy is a contributing factor in
not only rural poverty which drove hundreds of people towards militant groups
but also urban poverty, whose impact is rather severe than rural poverty. Due
to inability of the state institutions and agencies to provide economic
opportunities in cities like Karachi, Faisalabad, Multan, Jhang along with
civic amenities to the swelling populations, more and more people feel
deprived. One option for them was to join madrasas and militant wings of
banned militant organisations, especially those of sectarian nature. This is
perhaps why organisations like Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, Sipah-e-Muhammad,
Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, thrived in these areas.
has made youth join the ranks of militants in two ways. One, by joining
militancy teaching madrasas and the other through directly joining the
militants without going through the rigours of seminary training.
the almost non-existent economic infrastructure in Frontier and Balochistan
-- where there is no industrial base or extensive agriculture partly due to
undeveloped irrigation structures -- unemployment has been rampant. With no
prospects of economic gains or social mobility there are very few options
left. The society in NWFP has reached a point of economic collapse. However,
with the migration of a large workforce from Frontier during 1970s and 80s to
the Gulf countries and earlier to Karachi, which is the largest Pashtoon
population city in the World, the situation remained calm as remittances from
abroad and money transfer from Karachi kept things going. However, after ever
decreasing opportunities in Gulf and redundancy in economy of Karachi, the
options for youth are not there anymore.
economic deprivation of Frontier is basically due to the over-centralised
finance of the country. For instance, despite having substantial resources
NWFP, even in 2007, is relying on 90 per cent of its finances from federal
government. While FATA is directly under federal government. Instead of
giving it a share in the National Finance Commission (NFC) the territories
have always been used for generation of ill-gotten money -- taking advantage
of politico-administrative vacuum in FATA to fund illegal activities of the
government as well as to enrich the handpicked officials.
effectively counter extremism economically, financial centralisation has to
be done away with and provincial and territorial economic rights have to be
given on emergency basis. The case of NWFP is particularly interesting which
has a claim of Rs 500 billion outstanding towards the federal government only
in terms of unpaid net hydel profits. If this outstanding amount is paid to
NWFP, it would go a long way in rebuilding the collapsed provincial economy
and create lot of employment opportunities there besides eliminating
the last two decades petro-dollars, patronage from Pakistani government and
monopoly on non-taxed border trade between Afghanistan and Pakistan have
economically strengthened religious fundamentalist groups in Pakistan and
Afghanistan. These fundamentalist forces have whitened their black-money by
investing it in real estate business and other trades. Religious
fundamentalists, especially in Frontier and Balochistan, have diversified
their investments. They control a portion of real estate, transportation,
retail and wholesale businesses in these areas. Thus the military power of
Taliban might be destroyed in Afghanistan but the economic wealth of their
sympathisers is totally intact in Pakistan.
these very reasons these fundamentalist mafia groups have been fully
financing Talibanisation in Pakistan as under Taliban or clerical
infrastructure as was witnessed in Taliban era in Afghanistan these greatly
benefited from illegal economic activities. Now they have a vested interest
in Talibanisation and lack of administration. These elements need to be
identified and curbs on their sources of income have to be placed to limit
their capacity to fund extremism.
of Frontier economy needs to take place. This will require a commitment by
the Pakistani government -- to stop the exploitation of religion for resource
accumulation by clerical groups. It will also require a commitment from
Western governments and aid agencies to help the government of Pakistan in
providing business and employment opportunities to its people especially in
the backward areas. In this regard Pakistan should also immediately sign the
International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.
also high time for Pakistan to fulfill its pledge -- to reform the madrasa
system as part of its anti-terrorism actions in ulfillment of UN Security
Council Resolution 1373. In this connection there is need to bring more
stringent laws under which registration of madrasas, identification of
financers, change in curricula should be made compulsory instead of laws like
the Deeni Madaris (Voluntary Registration and Regulation) Ordinance 2002.
Khan, a professor at the International Relations Department, University of
Peshawar told TNS: "Economic injustice is one of the main reasons for
rising extremism. It may take any form: religious, sectarian or ethnic. It is
not absolutely religious like in Balochistan where the people resorted to
violence for their economic and cultural rights. The example of Balochistan
is very interesting because it is also next to Pashtoon areas, which are
considered as grounds for religious extremism. People rally behind those who
challenge authority whether mullah, nationalist or the chief justice whom
they hope could give them their rights and economic justice."
level of extremism is higher where there is large-scale poverty and the areas
are out of the mainstream -- politically and economically. This is very much
evident in the mountainous and remote regions of Pakistan especially the
Frontier," Dr Ijaz said.
speaking about FATA, Dr Ijaz said, "In tribal areas the economy has not
change the socio-economic conditions of the people. The tribal system was
like it was kept in a deep-freezer while the society crumbled due to
inevitable social changes and likewise the colonial administrative systems
have also gave in because of the more demanding times and their incapacity to
industrialisation as panacea to contain extremism Dr. Ijaz said, "Industrialisation
should have started much earlier and they could have changed these areas a
great deal. Now the tribesmen would resist industrialisation as they would
feel it is American sponsored. Nevertheless, industrialisation could bring a
great change. However, this change is going to be gradual and not immediate
but it would be a great leap forward to bring about political, social and
economic change. Again industrialisation can contribute but it cannot wholly
solve the issue. The problem of extremism is a full scale socio-economic and
political one and needs to be understood in this very context and therefore,
writer is a journalist/political analyst and researcher:
Instituting civil service reforms
By Nadeem Ul Haque & Idrees Khawaja
majority -- 57 per cent respondents -- said that there are no written
criteria of performance evaluation (Fig.9). The absence of well defined
criteria not only creates room for nepotism but also adversely influences
international evidence points to professional markets which operate like
tournaments requiring clear rules for competition with the winner being
handsomely rewarded. In the civil service it seems non-market competition has
led to the development of a fear of nepotism and other malpractices. We saw
this how training is allocated and postings and transfers are done. Now this
is further highlighted in that the majority of our respondents prefer a
seniority-based system of promotion (Fig.10). Clearly such a rule is
preferable to complete arbitrariness. This result also points to the lack of
faith among the respondents in the reward system of the civil service.
of the civil servants favour a flat organisation that is lesser hierarchy
(Fig.11). Balu, 1969 and Lipsky, 1980 argue that if an order runs counter to
the interest of lower-level bureaucrats, the opposition will rarely be overt
rather it will express itself in the form absenteeism, attitude and other
subversive tactics. Given the pervasive red-tapism one feels reduced
hierarchy will have a positive impact on efficiency.
perks be monetised?
of the civil servants have favoured monetisation of perks (Fig. 12).
Government housing and allotment of land to government officers at subsidised
rates constitutes the two most important perks. Government housing is legacy
of the colonial past when expatriate were provided housing facility.
Employment in civil service promises the best of housing in every city (Haque,
2006), besides this has created an artificial demand for large and spacious
houses. Allotment of land to government officers at well below the market
price is yet another form of perk and the civil servants continue to devise
schemes to avail the benefit. Haque (2006) argues that when perks constitute
a major part of the compensation package then the protection of
perks/rent-seeking game becomes a priority of the officers.
monetisation of perks would relieve the officers of the need to indulge in
rent-seeking game and thereby release their energies for more productive
official work. Besides the compensation package would become transparent and
understandable. This would facilitate mobility in and out of civil service
that in turn should improve efficiency.
well recognised that job mobility enhances efficiency. Non-portability of
pension increases the cost of job-change and therefore constrains job
mobility. Majority of the civil servants favour pension portability (Fig.13).
not only hinders the efficient allocation of resources because the private
sector fails to get the right person but the government also ends up with
retaining a frustrated employee who is busy in count-down to the length of
service required for pension-eligibility.
they think of their service?
perceptions have deteriorated
three of the respondents share the perception that performance of the civil
service has deteriorated over the years (Fig.14). To investigate the
deterioration issue further, we explored the extent of deterioration, a
sizable percentage of respondents, thirty eight, to be exact, think that the
extent of deterioration is 'extreme' (Fig.15), while another 39 percent have
rated the degree of deterioration to be 'moderate'.
are satisfied with their jobs!
of the civil servants are satisfied with their civil service job (Fig.16).
With salaries that have been declining in real terms, why?
the difference in incentive structure of various service groups we
investigated the level of satisfaction according to service groups.
Percentage of satisfied workers in police group is much higher than others
(Fig. 17). The result is not surprising, given the perks and authority that
the officers from police group enjoy, over and above, what employees from
other service groups have access to. This leads us to conclude, that perks
and power, rather than salary, determines the level of satisfaction. Could it
be that perks and power translate into higher accumulations of wealth over
time? Satisfaction is also high among the Foreign Service and Commerce and
Trade groups both areas where there is a significant opportunity for an
they stay in service?
of the civil servants have expressed their intention to remain in service, at
least for the next two years (Fig.18). This again supports the contention
that, by and large, civil servants are satisfied with their job. However,
besides the satisfaction, other possible reasons for the civil servants'
preference to continue in their current occupation include, one, civil
service experience may not be very valuable in the market. And two,
non-portability of pension increase the cost leaving government.
surprisingly large number of civil servants want to go overseas. They seem to
prefer to either work for the private sector or other public sector
organizations. Interestingly the demand for private sector jobs is very small
possibly because the private sector in Pakistan has not yet taken the leap
from a family firm stage to corporate organisational structure.
the officers' clear preference to remain in civil service, it is worthwhile
to find out the causes of this preference. In this context we asked them,
what influenced your decision to pursue civil service? They were required to
rate characteristics like job security, social status and perks etc. Job
security is the foremost reason indicated by as much as 59 percent of the
respondents. Money, which is considered to be the strongest motivator in
Psychological literature has been indicated by only 7 percent as the main
reason for joining the civil service.
reward figures very low in the incentives for joining government. Power and
status are at a premium (Figure 19). When combined with the rating developed
by the Transparency International, this finding suggests that the power and
status are easy routes to rents. It is not surprising then that they prefer a
closed system along with security of tenure. It is then a matter of
protecting the rents of the system for the club.
In a any
case the 'clubby' nature (closed system, tenure, non, merit promotions) of
the system seeks to select and maintain those who a have proclivity towards
the preservation of rent. The entry of a professional in this system could
upset this rent-seeking.
seems to be also an important consideration for civil servants. It is easy to
see how in an elite system like Pakistan prestige, power and social status
all go together. And membership to the elite has its advantages in a rent
seeking society. Not surprising then that prestige should be desired.
Service and Society
servants are almost equally divided over the issue as to how the general
public thinks of them (Fig.21). 51 percent of the civil servants feel that
general public carries a disapproving attitude. This is a large number and
worth further investigation.
finding indicated in figure 21 is despite the civil servants perception that
their authoritative attitude has changed for the better over the years (Fig.
22). Of course this question needs some corroboration from a public survey
about civil servants. Otherwise it should be interpreted bearing the self
serving nature of the answer.
Interference in Civil Service
of the respondents have confirmed the general perception that political
interference in the affairs is common (Fig.23).
Formulation: Consultation with Stakeholders
of the civil servants responded that the private sector is consulted while
framing policies that affect the sector (Figure 24). However, the fact that a
sizable percentage of civil servants think otherwise perhaps implies that
consultation rather being a principle is left to the discretion of the civil
of the civil servants hold the opinion that bribes have to be offered in
civil service to get things done (Fig. 25). This being the general perception
as well, the finding would not surprise anyone. However, the fact that this
comes from the beneficiaries of corruption reinforces popular perception.
of the respondent servants share the perception that civil servants are not
held accountable in cases of corruption reported against them.(Fig.26).
have we learnt from the survey?
servants are demoralised; they acknowledge that the service is corrupt and
that their public approval rating is low. There is also awareness among the
civil servants that corruption may be a serious problem. In addition there
seems to be no trust in the accountability process, i.e., corruption is not
penalised. Interestingly the civil service appears to have little faith in
their human resource management. While acknowledging the benefits of
meritocracy, they continue to prefer seniority-based promotion and reward
system. Written job descriptions as well as criteria for performance
evaluation are generally not used. Similarly 'connections' are perceived to
be the major determinant of nominations for training especially foreign
training. Background and abilities are not regarded as important for
assignments and training.
survey also confirms that the civil servants fears that their independence
has been curbed through repeated political interference. Fear of competition
is clearly evident even when they recognise that merit and professional
competence are important. While the grade 22 respondents with no more
promotions to look forward want to open out recruitment, the junior grades
wish to restrict the entry of professionals to the grade 17 a clearly
motivation for joining the civil service is clearly not money. Power prestige
and status are cited as the main reasons for joining the service. This does
not quite gel with what we learnt earlier that the service is held in low
esteem by the public and it is perceived to be corrupt. Moreover, the low
ranking of money for joining the service appears to be quite incredulous
given the low real monetary salaries. The only interpretation that lends it
self to explaining these responses is that power and money may be highly
correlated and the main motivation for joining the service. This would also
explain why they value job security and a closed civil service system.
low salaries, the majority is satisfied with their civil service job.
Police-probably because of the power-- Foreign Service and Commerce &
Trade - probably because of choice foreign postings - record relatively
higher level of satisfaction. Majority
of the officers would like to stay in civil service.
benefits, a majority favours portability of pensions and monetisation of
perks. Portable pensions cut down the cost of switching jobs and hence
encourage mobility. However, we also see that because of job security and
power, civil servants do not show a preference for mobility.
preference for monetisation is interesting in that while the survey shows a
preference for it, when it is proposed it is always rejected as it was
recently by provincial administrations. Perhaps this is because perks are
mostly a non-transparent method of payment; entrepreneurial and
well-networked individuals seek to maximise them. If this is true perks will
be quite unequally distributed among the public servants with the more
well-connected and aggressive individuals being able to collect more perks.
Given this it would be hard to find a value at which monetization would be
acceptable to all in place of perks. This may explain why a majority prefer
monetisation but yet in reality it may not happen!
collection of primary data from civil servants all over Pakistan, as a first
round, the survey questionnaires were sent to all the civil servants through
courier service. This was followed up by phone calls and faxes to get an
early response. The survey team did its level best to ensure maximum
the outcome of these efforts that the responses were mainly received through
postal service, however, visits were also arranged to capture realistic
reflection from the civil servants in one-to-one interviews. Postal responses
constitute around 70 per cent of the total responses.
After the damage is done
Strategic measure to prepare and cope with a catastrophe like the recent floods in Balochistan
By Dr Noman Ahmed
monsoon rains and flash floods in the entire country -- particularly Sindh
and Balochistan -- have inflicted severe losses of life. A colossal damage
has been done to the properties, livelihood assets, settlements and
infrastructure. The government has come up with haywire response to the
situation which is not at all commensurate with the nature of situation.
Announcement of ambiguous relief packages is one such action that is steered
by federal and provincial governments. The call of the hour is to prioritise
the actions according to the pressing needs of the people.
goes by the scientific principles of disaster management planning, the repair
and rehabilitation of highways, rail roads, link roads and access roads
constitute the top priority. After the instant measures for controlling flash
floods such as reinforcement of protection walls are completed, a
comprehensive assessment of damage losses has to be undertaken. This
approach, which makes the logical pre-requisite for any short and long term
investment towards rehabilitation, is normally composed of several integrated
and categorising damages is the first step. In this stage, reconnaissance
surveys are carried out by IT tools such as Geographical Information Systems
(GIS), Land Information System (LIS) and other cartographical aids that can
be mobilised and put to use. As satellite images from the past are easily
available from relevant softwares, a simple 'before' and 'after' comparison
can help put the disaster scenario in accurate perspective. The detailed
analysis of strategic damages (and their causes) is also a serious necessity.
must be carefully done to rehabilitate or reconstruct such components at the
initial period that cannot be deferred. The analysis also points out the
basic design and execution faults that may have caused the damages. For
instance, the irrigation engineers in certain parts of Balochistan were of
the view that many local dams were very poorly built. Therefore they were
washed out without standing up to their usual function. Similarly, several
embankments were shoddily bolstered which caused gushes of water to penetrate
inwards without any tangible obstruction.
level difference between the settlements and the surrounding roads/highways
was another major reason for inundation of hamlets, villages and even towns.
In many cases, there was no provision of land/surface drainage to safeguard
the settlements. Inappropriate infrastructure development also caused a great
deal of destruction. The city of Turbat is an example. Not only was it
marooned due to complete sinking of link roads, the in-pouring of high flood
outlets from the surroundings entirely enwhorled the hapless residents in the
town. All of these spots and concurrently running features require careful
planning and engineering analysis to understand the root causes of damages.
Thereafter the long term remedies can be carefully planned and sequentially
step is to examine the performance of pre-warning systems, mobilisation of
people for moving to safer locations and safeguard of assets. It was found
that the Meteorological Department was prompt and efficient in flashing the
warning signals and relevant information to common people and concerned
authorities. However the initiative on the part of local institutions was
very slow to come. In some cases, it was only after the high damages that the
rescue efforts could be mobilised. It is normally observed that the relief
work is expected from federal agencies such as army and navy contingents. It
is true that the role played by these agencies is extremely useful, they only
come into action after the state of emergency is reached.
disaster situation, the first few days -- even hours -- are important. If
warnings and red signals are received, the task of the administration is to
transfer the people and their moveable assets to safe locations. Prior
demarcation of high points, access roads and provision of basic
infrastructure in these rescue nests are some vital tasks that should be
undertaken as a routine municipal assignment.
evidences from the outskirts of Shahdad Kot, Kech and Turbat showed that
haphazard and disorganised response of masses was due to lack of education
and awareness. Many communities resisted evacuation, waiting for a last
minute miracle. In certain cases, unnecessary loss of life was experienced.
This can be avoided. By communicating the real hazards of impending disasters
in an effective manner, the people can be motivated to make tactical move in
their own interest. The local government officials, pesh imams in mosques and
schools teachers are the useful cadres who can act as a catalyst in this
respect. Besides, parallel efforts must be made to include studies related to
disasters as well as options of prevention and safety from damages. This is a
norm which is practiced in most of the disaster prone areas such as Japan.
Unless personal actions do not synchronise with the strategic demands of
respective situations, damages would not be controlled.
issue is the local capacity of facing and dealing with disasters. At the
level of Union Council, Tehsil and Taluka, it is important that staff
strength is trained to perform emergency duties. This may comprise routine
civil defence training, labour supervision skills, elementary construction
and engineering awareness, operation and usage of basic machinery such as
bull dozers, excavators, tractors and dumpers. It is equally vital that the
localities at the level of tehsil, taluka, town possess the essential
equipment for dealing with eventualities of this kind. It must be noted that
a materially deficient but organised management can deal with challenges far
better than a less trained but better equipped lot. Finally the damage
effects of floods and rains must be removed without delay at the appropriate
time. Repatriation of people to their homes must be effectively handled. We
already have a sizable population dislocated due to the previous instances of
natural disasters and other man made upheavals.
away from the native habitat makes people frustrated and inflicts a painful
feel of trauma and despair. If this feeling transforms into helplessness, it
can become potentially dangerous. The only way to deal with these affected
communities is to continuously engage with them, involve and apprise them
about the actions taken by the government as well as helping them help
themselves. Rehabilitation of livelihoods assets through revitalisation of
land, infrastructure and monetary assistance are also tried and tested
30 days after the disaster
A report to analyse the disaster response and oversights from people's perspective
By Amjad Bhatti & Aamir Habib Somro
26, 2007 tens of thousands of people fled for safety as cyclone Yemyin and
high tides hit major parts of Balochistan coast and Ormara before noon and
caused havoc in Pasni and Gwadar before moving towards the Iranian coast at
around midday on Tuesday. According to the latest NDMA figures 196 people in
Balochistan and 127 in Sindh were reportedly died, while 2 million in
Balochistan and 1,500,000 in Sindh were affected severely. In Balochistan
55,000 houses and in Sindh 22,344 houses were completely destroyed.
objective of this report is to initiate and strengthen accountability and
oversight of disaster response and relief by tracking the performance of the
government and non-government bodies including UN.
This initiative is an attempt to analyse the disaster response from
peoples perspective and provide stakeholders with independent feed-back on
the pace, scope and needs of disaster response mechanism in calamity-hit
areas of Sindh and Balochistan.
official data released by NDMA (National Disaster Management Agency) on July
25 and 26 2007 was used as baseline for this analysis. The data was
disaggregated at provincial level with a focus on the total affected,
displaced and covered population (covered by relief activities).
the contents of published news items, TV reports, UN situations reports, and
NGOs reports were analysed to verify the findings of data analysis drawn on
2007 to July 26 2007
the recent tropical cyclone Yemyin that formed in the Arabian sea on June 22,
a weather advisory was issued. It forecast widespread rains with very heavy
precipitation in Sindh, especially the south, and coastal areas including
Karachi. It also said the weather system would likely move towards the coast
of Balochistan, bringing heavy rainfall and even flash floods in hilly areas.
Fishermen were advised to halt their activities for three days due to rough
seas. Four days after the warning, the cyclone made landfall in the coastal
areas of Sindh and Balochistan.
the time the authorities had to mobilise their disaster response mechanism,
it was not done. Later, the chief minister of Sindh, Arbab Ghulam Rahim, was
reported to have criticised the 'weather authorities' for failing to issue
timely warnings about the storm. This clearly reflects the poor level of
coordination among state bodies responsible for the security and safety of
citizens in crisis situations.
According to NDMA figures 115 relief camps were set-up by the government,
seven in Balochistan and 108 in Sindh. This reflects a massive disparity in
the number of potential affectees per relief camp in both provinces. In Sindh,
the number of affectees per relief camp amounts to 4,629, while affectees.
required quantity of three priority items-shelter, rations and blankets-has
not yet equitably reached the affected and shelterless populations of the
disaster-hit areas. Initially, supplying shelter, food/potable water and
medicine were identified as the priority areas for relief efforts, while no
information is available on the supply of potable water and medicine from
official sources as of 26th July 2007.
the total amount of ration delivered, 4,635 tones, is divided amongst the
affected and displaced population, the share per person for a thirty-day
period comes to 1.3 kg in Balochistan and 4.6 kg in Sindh.
other hand, the NDMA stated in a report issued on July 26: "From Sunday
onwards rations being supplied will be stopped as the situation has
United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) also
subscribes to the official claim. According to an OCHA report, also released
on July 26, "the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator, after a two-day
assessment of flood affected areas, noted good progress made with the ongoing
relief activities in Sindh and Balochistan".
According to official data, 60,300 blankets were distributed in both
provinces. When this figure is divided between the total affected populations
in respective provinces, one blanket covers 60 people in Balochistan and 19
Total Population affected
Total Shelter less population
Total # of Blanket distribution
Blankets/ Affected population
Percentage people who got blankets
terms of shelter provision, the disaggregated data indicates that the 45,600
tents delivered by relief agencies could cover only 65 per cent of affected
households in Balochistan and 45 per cent in Sindh. Therefore, the shelter
needs of 35 per cent of affected households in Balochistan and 55 per cent in
Sindh had not been met so far.
According to official data, Kharan, Jaffarabad, Turbat and Gwadar had no need
of tents while 5000 tents to Kharan, 2000 to Jaffarabad, 2500 to Turbat and
2500 tents to Gawadar have been dispatched till now. On the other hand the
tents required were 200 in Sibi, 500 in Bolan, 300 in Washuk, 300 in Kalat,
200 in Noshki, 300 in Chaghi, 500 in Nasirabad, 500 in Awaran and 300 in
Khuzdar, but no dispatch is recorded in the official report. This status of
tent distribution, on district level, is showing more disparity in terms of
supply and demand.
flash appeal remains under-funded; consequently most of the earlier
identified clusters of support would be slashed. In a meeting of the heads of
UN agencies, chaired by the NDMA chairman, it was decided, "in view of
inadequate funding as a response to UN's flash appeal, the number of UN
clusters shall be reviewed by UNRC".
article is extracted from the 'Relief Audit Report' compiled by the Rural
Development Policy Institute (RDPI), Islamabad