Glory days of civil services
we used to have some strong and upright civil servants who performed their duties with honesty and without any fear. One such officer was Mr Zafar ul Ahsan who was the first chairman of the Thal Development Authority. It was a difficult project and in absence of prior set procedures, rules had to be relaxed in many cases to have work undergoing under the newly formed authority.
For example, to remove mounds of sand and level the land to create new districts, special approval had to be given to use tractors and other heavy machinery, which he promptly did. After completion of the project, Mr Zafar ul Ahsan was transferred to Karachi. Someone filed a complaint for misuse of official machinery and the government of the time lodged an inquiry against the junior officers and staff involved in the appropriation of machinery for the project.
The issue was widely reported in the print media. Mr. Ahsan very boldly came forward and took all the responsibility for approvals and use of machinery as chairman of the authority. He contended that all the work was done under his leadership and with his consent, so the government should hold him responsible not the junior staff and officers. The government withdrew the cases against all staff and later Mr Ahsan was also exonerated from the case. There is a dearth of such officers today who take full responsibility for their actions and avoid scapegoating others.