Imran Khan vows to depoliticise Pakistan's bureaucracy
Islamabad, Feb 8: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said his government was committed to depoliticising and insulating the country's bureaucracy from "all kinds of political pressures".
His statement came days after the Supreme Court, in a rare rebuke to Pakistan's powerful military, prohibited them from engaging in political activities. Chairing a meeting of Task Force on Civil Service Reforms here, Khan said he regretted that bureaucracy was heavily politicised during the past ten years which resulted in its inefficiency and created fear amongst the bureaucrats.
Khan said the government is firmly committed to undertaking structural reforms of bureaucracy to make it efficient and responsive to the need of the hour.
"Bureaucracy will be depoliticised and insulated from all kinds of political pressures," he said.
"During the 60s and 70s, Pakistan's civil service was one of the best in the region and countries from the region would come to us and learn from us," Khan was quoted as saying by Geo News.
"Unfortunately political interference has destroyed the civil service," the prime minister said.
He said accountability and merit were the only way the system can be made better and it is the government's mission to depoliticise the bureaucracy.
"No system can sustain or deliver if accountability and merit are missing. We need to restructure and reform our bureaucracy to make it progressive and innovative," he said.
"We are committed to protecting the integrity and security of tenure of bureaucrats so that they could devote their energies towards translating political vision into reality. We have to attract the best minds to serve the country," Khan said.
Delivering a landmark verdict on the 2017 Faizabad sit-in by the hardline Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) and other smaller groups, a two-member Supreme Court bench on Wednesday directed all government agencies and departments, including those run by the army like spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to operate within the limits defined by the law.
The bench ordered that members of the Armed Forces were prohibited from engaging in any kind of political activity, which includes supporting a party, faction or individual. Media reports last year suggested that Prime Minister Khan was quietly backed by the country's powerful military in the 2018 general election.