I have tears of joy in my eyes when I see these “amazing” decisions being taken by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Yesterday’s decision to declare the Prime Minister’s decision to promote 54 senior civil servants from grade 21 to grade 22 as a “violation of constitutional provisions like Articles 4 (right of individuals to be dealt with in accordance with law), 9 (security of person) and 25 (equality of citizens)”.
Some members of legal fraternity and disgruntled civil servants are claiming victory on the matter and are of the opinion that this “landmark judgment” will go a long way in discouraging the use of discretionary powers by governments to elevate their favorites to senior positions and will set guidelines for future promotions.
Firstly, I would like to ask all as to why is this only happening in a PPP government? Have Nawaz Sharif or Military Governments not promoted civil servants out of turn based on their preference?
Secondly, we have so quickly forgotten what happened in the recent Saqib Nisar – Khwaja Sharif fiasco. Why were Saqib Nisar and Tariq Khosa elevated to the SC and why wasn’t seniority considered as the prime point? I believe over there the CJP chose to use his discretionary powers and enforced them by holding an elected government hostage.
Thirdly, the Prime Minister is responsible for running the machinery of his government. He can choose to work with a team he is comfortable with. In order to motivate and reward efficient workers, promotions are given out.
If I were the Prime Minister, I would see this as a great opportunity to bring change in the way promotions take place in the civil services.
Why? Let’s look at it rationally: Only the cream of the civil servants make it to grade 21. Internally there are stringent mechanisms to measure the performance of these civil servants which includes various staff trainings, performance and most importantly image amongst seniors.
There is also no mechanism of punishing inefficient civil servants other than making them OSD’s. Why not demote them or fire them altogether from service? I would also suggest that the Prime Minister introduces Key Performance Indicators (KPI) while evaluating the performance of ministries, ministers and the federal secretaries.
Off course, the KPIs cannot be 100% quantitative nor 100% qualitative The KPIs have to be a mix of qualitative and quantitative measures. I believe by redoing the way promotions are going to take place, the civil services will now be under further pressure to perform and work rather than crying foul over merit.
Like the sugar, carbon tax and various other judgments, our Supreme Court’s landmark decision will make the life of the “liberated” and “free” bureaucracy difficult than easy.
Well done CJP. We look forward to your involvement in Army’s and Corporate Sector’s promotions too in the near future.
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