Gone are the days when the government servants of Pakistan, civil or otherwise, observed supremacy of constitutional and local body laws. I have had the chance to serve with one such civil servant and am witness to his honesty and respect for law. For example, in one incident, my boss, Commissioner Rawalpindi in 1960, had to visit his camp office at Murree. He took along with him his wife, his sister, and myself as his staff member.  

As soon as our car reached the municipal Octroi short of Murree, the staff at the post swiftly opened the barrier to give way to the commissioner’s official car. As soon as we passed by the commissioner asked the driver to stop the car and pull it back to the check post. Upon reaching the post, he asked the staff on duty as to why they had allowed the car to pass without paying the Octroi? He was unhappy with me too for not having the car stopped for payment of tax. We were all confused as the commissioner being on official visit was exempt from the tax.  

Our confusion was over when he asked his sister to pay the tax as she was not exempt like his staff and himself. He later sent us written explanation letters asking us to be careful in future. When I see the government servants today abusing power and involving in politics with complete disregard to law, I wonder where have the honest, upright, and law-abiding government servants gone? 


Islamabad, October 15.