The appointment of a retired Major General, equivalent to B-21, as chairman of the Federal Public Service Commission, the statutory advisory body for recruitment of civil servants, has started a debate in a section of the media. It is being argued that majority of the members of the Commission are retired B-22 bureaucrats (Federal Secretaries) and in the past, the position of Chairman was held by senior bureaucrats, Judges and Senior Generals. This appointment is not consistent with traditions of the Commission. The appointment of members and Chairman of the FPSC is made by the President, on the advice of the Prime Minister, who is the Chief Executive of the country.

If we look at Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’ past, it is clear that he feels comfortable working with sycophant bureaucrats and retired junior officers of the Armed Forces. Recently, a retired Lt Colonel, (equivalent to Deputy Secretary in BS-19) has been appointed as Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission (PMIC), though in the past the position went to politicians, senior bureaucrats and Generals.

In 1999, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had appointed a Lt Colonel as Director General Intelligence and in 1991 appointed a retired major as Director Immigration Federal Investigation Agency. It is very unfortunate that our politicians do not learn from their experiences and the country suffers. Pakistan needs a clean, neutral, professional and competent bureaucracy for progress and public service.

ASGHAR MAHMOOD,

Lahore, November 9.