The Prime Minister has emphasised on the need of civil service reforms, as he presided over a meeting at Planning Commission. According to critics, the bureaucracy was side tracked from its objectives and legacy for which it had been created. Its main objective was to serve the people not the masters. Their colonial attitude has made them a burden for the masses and a service only for the ruling elite. This led to inculcating an element of vested interests among the bureaucracy and it became a tool in the hands of successive ruling elites on the one hand and on the other it accumulated uncountable powers and fame.

The sense of pride, among the early bureaucracy (CSP), perturbed to Z. A Bhutto to the extent that he, in the name of reforms, overturned civil service and in its place introduced another structure, now known as CSS-oriented civil service. The reforms brought by Z.A Bhutto are being criticised till today. While successive governments tried to offer them opportunities of career developments, coupled with perks and privileges, so as to reduce them to the level of subservient to the interests of formers, the latter on its part always tried to remain connected with influential lot, so as to remain in the driving seat. What they have never taken with seriousness has been law and welfare of common people.

There is need to change the mindset of the bureaucracy rather than bringing reforms. An umbrella institutional system of accountability, with office holders independent of government influence, must be set up to over-see and judge the performance of bureaucracy. This umbrella Institutional must be vested with powers for approving further promotions and retention in service of the officers on the basis of their performance and honesty. There must be some campaign for service-orientation for the bureaucracy in order to change their mindset from ruling the masses to serving the masses!

ABDUL SAMAD CHANNA,

Karachi, March 5.