ISLAMABAD - Announcing zero tolerance to corruption, nepotism and inefficiency in the government departments, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed his cabinet colleagues to get rid of the corrupt and dishonest officials.

In a letter to the federal ministers and secretaries, the prime minister stated that that there was no room for corrupt and non-transparent practices and he asked them to properly screen their presently deployed staff and immediately remove the corrupt and those having reputation of inefficiency and unfriendly attitude towards public.

However, this cleansing process is restricted to the contractual appointees, inductees and deputationists while the regular cadres of public service has nothing to fear from this transparency drive, as stated by the PM, “In view of the above, you must issue clear directions to the officers and staff working under the administrative control of your ministry, as well as the contractual appointees, inductees and deputationists, to perform their assigned duties professionally and in the interest of the general public.”

The prime minister told the ministries and secretaries to ensure transparency, saying they must not tolerate fraudulent officials and send them packing immediately. The PM directed for strictly following the instructions, as ineligible and corrupt officials cannot deliver better governance. He explicitly ordered all the federal secretaries to cancel the contracts of the corrupt officials.

According to the prime minister, to arrive at a corruption-free government, the selection and appointment process for officers working at integral institutions requires strict scrutiny. For Nawaz, the people of Pakistan have placed their faith in the government and he cannot afford to disappoint them. The federal secretaries and Cabinet should keep the prime minister informed of any developments and changes made, the directive said. Nawaz said his directives should be implemented in letter and spirit for better results.

Following is the text of the letter: As you are aware the menace of corruption has thwarted all efforts aimed at institution building and improving public service delivery. Curbing this menace ranks very high on the agenda of our government. The issue has been discussed in detail in the first cabinet meeting and on many subsequent occasions, as governance cannot be improved unless corruption, nepotism, inefficiency and conflict of interest are tackled upfront.

In view of the above, you must issue clear directions to the officers and staff working under the administrative control of your ministry, as well as the contractual appointees, inductees and deputationists, to perform their assigned duties professionally and in the interest of the general public. There is no room for corrupt and non-transparent practices in the present dispensation. The presently deployed staff needs to be properly screened and those having reputation of inefficiency, unfriendly attitude towards public and corruption shall be removed, and/or their contracts cancelled forthwith. The imperatives of good governance are not complete without strict observance of official code of conduct, as well as compliance of general principles of transparency, respect of rules and laws.

In order to have a completely new outlook of the Government, we need to be very careful in the selection of our teams and those holding positions of authority, whether in the Divisions or the statutory bodies, as this selection can affect the image of the Government, on the one hand and its performance on the other. People of Pakistan have reposed their trust and confidence in our Government and to betray their trust is not an option. Instructions must be strictly followed to bring improvements in the performance of respective domains. I will also urge you to keep me informed about the status of compliance.