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CIVIL SERVICE OF PAKISTAN (CSP)

CIVIL SERVICE OF PAKISTAN (CSP) The Civil Service of Pakistan was established soon after Pakistan gained independence and followed the tradition of the Indian Civil Service (ICS) from which it inherited 81 Muslim officers who chose to serve in the new country While Pakistan’s post-independence politicians were busy squabbling over the form of government to give their new country, senior members of the civil bureaucracy took over the role of economic decision-making For a period of four decades, from the late 1940s to the late 1980s, the civil servants, with few interruptions, remained in charge of economic decision-making Interruptions came briefly in the late 1950s and the early 1970s: the first, when the military government of General Ayub Khan was still in the process of settling down; the second, when Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto placed political ideologues in important economic positions Even under Ayub Khan and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, members of the Civil Service of Pakistan played important roles as economic decision-makers M M Ahmad was in charge of Ayub Khan’s Planning Commission Qamarul Islam held the same position under Bhutto In 1974, Prime Minister Bhutto decided to disband the service, creating in its place a new structure that was meant to be less elitist in outlook than the CSP



A number of politicians and supporters of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Bhutto’s organization, were inducted into the bureaucracy, leading to its politicization Some attempts were made after Bhutto’s departure to restore the old structure, but they failed since the politicians found it convenient to work with civil servants who were beholden to them With the return of democracy in November 1988, politicians began to take over control of the economy Even then, the process proved to be a slow one When President Ghulam Ishaq Khan called on Benazir Bhutto to become prime minister, he persuaded her to appoint Vaseem A Jaffrey as her economic advisor Vaseem Jaffrey played a low-key role in this capacity, a role not typical of the civil servants who had occupied similar positions in the past As such, he may have set in motion a new trend in which the senior civil servants were expected to render advice but not make decisions The dismissal of the government of Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in November 1996 brought a number of former CSP members into the caretaker administration, inducted into office by President Farooq Leghari, once a CSP member himself Leghari was a part of the 1964 CSP class He turned to a number of his former CSP classmates to take up important positions, including Shahid Hamid, who was appointed defense minister, and Abdullah Memon, who was put in charge of the Ministry of Water and Power

Shahid Javed Burki, who belonged to the 1960 CSP class, was put in charge of finance, planning, and economic affairs Under Pervez Musharraf, civil servants lost more power The military regime inducted a new breed of professionals into economic decision-making Shaukat Aziz, a commercial banker, who came into the military administration as finance minister in 1999 and then went on to become prime minister in 2004, represented this new class

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