Dancing with Discretions

IMG_3320These more than 65 years of it’s existence, almost every holder of public office danced with discretion he got being a king. The major dilemma facing bureaucracies after World War II, was how to eliminate discretion, one good way found was automation and another accountability. Unfortunately Pakistan lacked in both, result, mounting corruption, chaos and casualties. Just visit any Government office or Court or even Legislative body, watch the body language of the holders of those positions… ‘gods on earth’

Who was Arsalan? a non entity, till the time his powerful dad decided to bring him in power corridors through back door. He was to enjoy absolute discretion of hiring, firing and making millions like his dad and 99% of other holders of public office. For one post of Constable in police an extremely low ranked post, there are several thousand candidates vying.

Will it continue? or there would be end to it, i guess Pakistan would end not this trend, till today Anti corruption Departments of the Provinces have yet to punish any DMG/PSS officer, other day CJ Lahore High Court did terminate services of half a dozen judges but till now not a single High Court/Supreme Court Judge impeached,  Military Generals never punished for the sins they committed… lsit goes on… so let’s wait for all over scene.

nazar m chohan

Honoring Julian Paul Assange

We are proud to have picture of Julian Assange on our website, the greatest whistle blower. Still living since many months in an Embassy of Ecuador, victimized because of being upright, brave and revealing the truth. There are very few in the modern world who can really that brave bold and courageous to expose the tyrannical manipulations of the ruling elite across the globe.

Pakistan badly needs people like him, to steer our motherland out from myriad issues ranging from corruption to terrorism, honour killings to hate crimes, media monopolies to business mafias and extremely corrupt/stinking bureaucracy..

Salute you Assange…

nazar m chohan

Injustices lead to corruption and law and order:

In the land of pure, Pakistan, at each and every step innumerable instances of injustice welcome you. Unfair, unkind, unjust and inhuman treatment met by colleagues, superiors, relations and society especially those in authority make you sick of this country.

As i always point out, worst is our total indifference to such incidents. Instead of questioning we prefer falling prey to it, at any possible cost, resulting thus to mess multiplied…. Corruption is one of the easiest way to get of any issue/problem/injustice one encounters, reason it is multiplying and there seems no end to it.

Pakistan in a present state cannot be called a mismanaged entity,  rather like in a shop run by mafias of various hues. There is no security, no law, no faith…. except how best to exploit, suck and make more and more money….. I sometimes think, even a miracle cannot save us from total annihilation….

Pray it happens soon…

nazar m chohan


Decolonising Pakistani Bureaucracy….

The writer has really exposed well the ills of our babu system in vogue…

Posh house in Islamabad, team of butlers, extensive list of cars and VIP access to almost every place in Pakistan, together with unaccountable power, is how one can describe Pakistan’s typical senior bureaucrat.

During the process of decolonisation, we failed to give up the foremost tools of colonisation, i.e, the bureaucratic structure that was put in place by the British Empire. We, despite 67 years of independence and being a Third World country, still carry the burden of maintaining a colonial bureaucracy that is crippling the nation down to its core. Colonial heritage engraved in the bureaucracy and the saabji/afser mentality is not just resulting in financial losses but also affecting the productivity and efficiency of the government. Our current financial status does not afford the luxury to maintain such a bureaucracy with standards that don’t exist even in the richest First World countries. We need an immediate civil services reform that not only changes the numbers and structures, but also decolonises the bureaucratic mindset and the entire narrative on what the bureaucracy entails.

The foremost thing that must be done is what Nadeemul Haque, ex-deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, has been advocating, which is to monetise all the perks and privileges. At the moment, the officers at the ministries are at war with one another over cars, house and staff, giving little or no attention to work — the preferences are clearly misdirected. To begin with, personal cars and housing should only be restricted for grade-20 and above, something which the previous government did try but failed miserably. Provision of lump-sum pay for people below grade-20 must be arranged so they can arrange their own housing, car, and living to free the government from office politics around these. At an average, every officer in a ministry has a staff of over four to five people, which is a huge waste of resources.

Moreover, at the moment, the idea of going into bureaucracy is largely driven by lust for “power” that can be abused and “status”, instead of a desire to genuinely serve the people. With this frame of mind, nothing positive can come out of government departments. A desperate change in the narrative is needed as part of the civil services reform.

We must also put an end to this miserable colonial style saab and afser culture at the government. Government officials are paid by the taxpayers’ money and hence the equation must change between the two groups. The colonial-style master-slave relation can’t continue anymore.

Next, and most important, we must have a performance-based bureaucratic structure where promotions are not based on seniority or political connection. At the moment, if you work 15 hours, or three hours, it has no impact on your promotion. If we could put in place a reward structure, or salary increments based on defined performance indicators, this could drastically change the performance of bureaucrats.

At the Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform, Ahsan Iqbal is actively working to change the promotion structure to a pyramid style, as it is in the military, so only the top performers are promoted to the top, and the rest all superseded.

Third, we must start the process of lateral/specialist hiring in the government in order to benefit from best practices of the private sector. Almost all developed countries are already doing this with great results. For technical positions, the government should, in fact, prefer people from the private sector or academia to enhance capacity and update systems. There are hundreds of people who have availed a foreign education and are returning back to Pakistan, or have done tremendously well in the international market. However, most of these people have little clue as to how to contribute to the government. There should be schemes and special hiring to utilise these people in a permanent way in the government so that we have more people like Umair Saif transforming the public sector.

Fourth, we need a clear line between politicians and bureaucrats in government work. If only we could follow the ideals of public administration as envisaged by Woodrow Wilson. Wilson argued for crystal-clear demarcation of roles/duties of the political leadership and the administration/bureaucracy. Our bureaucracy and political leadership, both, do not know where to draw the lines in terms of their respective roles. As a result, we see ministers interfering in the administrative affairs of a ministry and a secretary of ministry indulging in policymaking. Policy formulation is the domain of the political leadership and the bureaucracy/administration should only step in when they are asked to. A minister should provide the vision, while a secretary must implement that vision. Clear and defined roles of the two will allow both arms to function with efficacy and clarity.

Lastly, we cannot bring a substantive change in the bureaucratic set-up by investing huge sums of money or by creating systems unless we overhaul the entry point to the civil service, i.e., Central Superior Services (CSS) Exams. The exam systematically screens out intellectual people, and forwards those people who are good at rote learning of history, etc. Emphasis is laid on Victorian-style English, so many brilliant students every year are not able to clear the exam due to its strict English criteria. Why do we still have this as a gauge of intellect and performance in the government? The CSS must be revamped so as to bring out the best talent, intellectually and professionally. English should be one of the components, not the only component. My research from two years ago on civil services reform highlights how just a little change in the CSS can attract top talent. At the moment, the government puts off hundreds of people just by how the CSS exam is structured and conducted.

The bureaucracy is the backbone of success of any country. Politicians are only seasonal, but bureaucrats will stick for tenure of 30-35 years. Therefore, we must, at the earliest, decolonise our bureaucracy from the colonial mindset, make it performance based and accountable, so it not only delivers but also becomes a vehicle of innovation and initiatives.


Hussain Nadeem

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2014.


Corruption.. major cause ‘Discretionary Powers’ source, ‘Bureaucracy’….

Population and Corruption are two major reasons, hampering development of Pakistan.. Population i understand is very difficult to control due to various excuses from religion to poverty but corruption can be depending on the will of the rulers. Capitalist systems world over are choking morality/morals but at least curbing corruption with good regulations.

Enormous discretionary powers and lack of accountability are the major causes of corruption. Punjab Government last year enacted :

The Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act 2013

Unfortunately no mechanism yet in place for it’s implementation. There are hundreds of applications pending for access to various documents not being allowed..

What can one do with such legislators and bureaucrats, even one of the persons approached the court against that but of no avail..

God help us..

nazar m chohan


Buying the media houses/journalists…happy Pakistan day!

Very sickening trend among politicians especially Sharifs had been buying of media people… all the so called leading journalists either are on their pay rolls or given plushy slots, like Najam Sethi, Chariman PCB, Irfan Siddiqui Advisor with status of Minister, Iftekhar fitna DG PHA Punjab, Ataul Haq Qasmi Advisor.. ridiculous really, then likes of Ansar Abbasi, Kamran Khan, Javed Chaudry on pay rolls, Hassan Nisar and Mubasher Lucman trying hard for some slot/benefit….

We as a nation have lost all morals/principles, money is key to every thing, success, satisfaction, stardom and what not… Where stands Allah, i wonder some times, whom we try to ceremoniously please on Fridays and during Ramadhan or VIP trips to Mecca… abhorring really, what a slutty faith we have…

We need another Darwin to discover distortion of genes from positive to negative… happy Pakistan day

nazar m chohan

start from family….

As every one knows we are badly stuck in disease of corruption, in spite of hundreds of commissions and committees though only this one website for controlling corruption.

I have very simple idea, though i strongly believe, men are not angels, why not start from ones own families like i did, hitting my brother for first helping  giving of precious state land to Imran Khan for pea nuts and now using UN Prado meant for project.

I love the kids if they ask their fathers from where the money comes? if relatives isolate them… i remember many of my fathers friends who use to throw out their kids for bringing illegal money. Unfortunately now reverse is true, they are garlanded… shame really, where this all would lead us to…hell of course…. abhee bhee waqt haiy hosh kaiy nakhun lo….

nazar m chohan

Chairman PCBL appointed violating rules giving free hand to land mafia

Punjab Cooperatives Board for Liquidation has still more than 50 Billion Pak Rupee stakes in form of land, loans and claims. A retired officer of the provincial revenue service is appointed Chairman to cover up all the frauds and eat up remaining money. Brig Maan ex Chairman for 5 years is proclaimed offender in the Anti Corruption cases, yet he moves freely in Gymkhana, Royal Palm and Palatial one acre residence in green acres.

Sharif’s are sure there is no resistance now from any corner in corrupt moves, public have lost interest, besides carrying 5000 years of slavery in their blood they have found godless short cuts of survival.

Today i was reading that some Indian Politician has threatened that in case corruption is not controlled India would disintegrate, where as in Pakistan corruption is the integrating force, what a pity…

nazar m chohan

Mariam’s corrupt move…

Prime Minister , Nawaz Sharif’s, youth loan programme is certainly going to bring banks down, witness plunder of the public money and filling pockets of baboos and selected politically connected corrupt.

Mariam the showy daughter of the PM has further confirmed the intentions by pointing out that scheme would be monitored by Transparency International, who are already hand in glove with Sharif’s. Adil Gilani has compromised his position by accepting government jobs for his kid and many more additional benefits.

The biggest surprise and shame for me is that we as a nation are being deliberatley looted by the politicians since they know very well, ‘what would they do’ yes we cannot do any thing, being baighairat, baisharam and baihayaa…

nazar m chohan