An efficient, sincere and committed bureaucracy plays an important role in the socio-economic development of a country. Basically, it is the bureaucracy of a country which, through its acquired long experience, helps the government of the day in running the economic, political, social, religious, cultural and international affairs of a country in an effective and smooth manner. In other words, bureaucracy is an important tool in the policymaking domain in all those issues which require deep insight and commitment for the resolution of the genuine issues of the common people of a country. It is the bureaucracy which guides the government of the day (President, Prime Minister, CMs, Governors, federal/provincial ministers, federal/provincial advisors) as to what is needed at the policy level to smoothly run the national and international affairs of the country. In other words, while discharging its duties, bureaucracy should see the interests of the general public of a country and not the political interests of any ruling political party. In dispensation of its duties, bureaucracy must play a role of nonpartisan entity by fulfilling only its constitutional assignments. In the light of the background mentioned above, can we say that the bureaucracy in Pakistan has been functioning as a completely non-political entity and has been performing its duties in complete consonance with the established rules and regulations without really toeing to the unjust and illegal orders of its political bosses? I would humbly say that the case is not so. If we trace the history of the role of Pakistani bureaucracy, we would find that our our bureaucracy has followed the agendas of successive governments instead of following their constitutional role. If we have to achieve fast track development, then our bureaucracy has to play a completely neutral and apolitical role. It must refrain from fulfilling the illegal political agenda of the party in power by following the rules of business without really worrying much about losing lucrative postings. Since bureaucracy functions as a 'permanent government in any country (for it enjoys or lives for at least thirty to thirty five years), therefore it has all the more responsibility of serving the people of Pakistan rather than political parties. ABDUL SAMAD SAMO, Karachi, February 4.