PTI govt and ‘DMG-N’
When the Pakistan Tehreek-e- Insaf came into power following its election victory in 2018, the first challenge it faced was to hold the reins of civil bureaucracy - greatly under the influence of the PML-N leadership for decades.
Except for a few years of former president Musharraf’s tenure, the bureaucracy had been under the PML-N’s control since 1985. And immediately before the incumbent government took over from the outgoing PML-N government, it had to deal with the bureaucracy that had been working under Shehbaz Sharif.
The bureaucrats in Punjab were loyal to the PML-N because this party had facilitated them to stay in the province even after they completed their five- year stint. Under the rules, after completing five years in a province a bureaucrat has to be transferred to another province.
The bureaucracy’s long association had earned it a tag - DMG-N.
The PML-N trained bureaucracy to suit its own vested interests. So, officers cannot adjust in other provinces now.
Important officers who closely worked with the PML-N and have been inherited by PTI government include: Chairman P&D Hamir Yaqoob Sheikh, Secretary Finance Abdullah Khan Sumbal, Secretary Local Government Dr Ahmed Javed Qazi, Secretary Implementation and Coordination Masood Mukhtar, Secretary Labour Sara Aslam, Secretary Food Waqas Ali Mahmood, Secretary Higher Education Sajid Zafar Dall, Secretary Agriculture Dr Wasif Khursheed, DG LDA Sumair Ahmed Syed, Commissioner DG Khan Nasim Sadiq, ACS Home Momin Agha, Secretary Information Raja Jahangir Anwar, ACS Punjab Shaokat Ali, Secretary Cooperatives Ahmed Raza Sarwar, Commissioner Lahore Capt( retd) Saif Anjum, CCPO Lahore Zulfiqar Hameed.
There was a time when bureaucrats were told they are not supposed to have political affiliations. Now, a bureaucrat sets his own political direction before beginning his service. Hence, his whole service becomes politically labeled. A good officer does not want to be labeled with anything.
Most of the ministries at the federal level also stick to the views of the Secretaries of Muslim League-N era.
In the changing situation the PTI government should develop a neutral team that truly recognises the bureaucracy and promotes the name of the bureaucracy that serves the nation instead of the individuals.
It is the need of the hour to train and develop a neutral bureaucracy to help the nation and resolve common man’s issues. The PM should introduce reforms to clear the present bureaucracy of all political labels and make bureaucrats genuinely neutral.