Police Service sans exam

Tariq Khosa criticises PAS for not accepting police as part of policy delivery mechanism

Editorial March 07, 2019

The word around town is that Tariq Khosa – a former civil service officer from the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) group – quit in protest against the government’s decision to remove PSP from the civil service exams.

Officially, however, Khosa has cited the elevation of his younger brother Justice Asif Saeed Khosa as Chief Justice of Pakistan as the reason he resigned, explaining that his principles did not allow for him to be serving on the appointed task force or any other government initiative during his brother’s tenure as CJP.

He also said that he handed his resignation much earlier, before his brother’s first day as CJP, but the task force chief, Dr Ishrat Hussain, was initially unwilling to accept it.

At the same time, Tariq Khosa made it clear that had he not quit, he would still be opposing the PSP’s separation from the CSS exams, because it constitutes “a dangerous move toward bureaucratic elite capture” which would also demoralise the police.

He explained that the government was going down a path which would eventually see the police be reduced first to a provincial service, and then into an arm of the local government, as is the case in the US. He also pointedly criticised the Pakistan Administrative Service – formerly the District Management Group – for not accepting the police as part of a policy delivery mechanism.

Tariq Khosa’s criticism brings back years of whispered complaints from senior bureaucrats regarding the DMG’s role in sidelining competent and qualified officers from ‘other’ groups in favour of less qualified officers from their own cadre when it came to choice postings in those ‘other’ departments.

Even incumbent Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Jahanzeb Khan is a PAS officer, as is Secretary to the Prime Minister Azam Khan. The previous PPP and PML-N governments also appointed PAS officers as FBR chiefs and to other senior posts, and regularly considered PAS officers for numerous other choice posts as well.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2019.

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