Islamabad: Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan had pledged to depoliticize the bureaucracy and police if his party came to power.
Khan had reiterated the stance during his first speech in the National Assembly or lower house of parliament.
“In KP, ministers and MPs will not be allowed to appoint their own Station House Officers (SHOs), District Coordination Officers (DCOs) and or transfer the civil servants,” he had pledged.
“We will depoliticize the civil services in order to improve the governance system,” Khan had noted.
The daily The Nation quoted Khan as saying “PTI’s manifesto was not based on slogans but it was formulated after deliberations, so there should be no ambiguity about its implementation.”
Khan had said he believes the governance system could be improved if professionalism is demonstrated.
Referring to the law and order situation in Karachi, he had suggested: “De-politicization of the Sindh administration, especially the Sindh police, is key to restoring peace in the violence-hit province.”
Truth Tracker approached Arif Yousuf, special assistant to KP chief minister on law and parliamentary affairs, said the PTI is honoring all its promises including depoliticizing the police and bureaucracy in larger interest of the people.
“Look, police have been totally free from political interference after adopting the police Act No. II 2017 on January 24, 2107. We’re striving hard not to interfere in the work of bureaucracy, which can be seen in the daily life of the officers,” he remarked.
He stated it is the established policy of PTI to remove politics from all the government departments of the province.
“However, there is some problem in the bureaucracy in terms of political interference but the ruling party will leave no stone unturned to end that trend,” he reiterated.
But Fakhar Azam Wazir, a senior lawmaker from Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP), said the PTI has a leading role to streamline all the departments but only on papers while the ground realities are totally negating the ruling party claims.
“All the bureaucrats work under the direct command of PTI leaders and the bureaucracy doesn’t listen to legitimate demands of opposition lawmakers,” he added.
He said the PTI MPAs, advisors and even the chief minister himself directly dictate the civil servants and that trend could not be called depoliticizing the bureaucracy.
Mian Iftikhar Hussain, former information minister and a political stalwart from Awami National Party (ANP), said the ruling party is always talking of promises for a better tomorrow only on papers but their (PTI) performance on the ground is zero.
“Where those one billion trees are planted by the PTI? In reality, there should be one tree after every ten inch but we could not see them,” Hussain observed.
He said the PTI leaders are telling lies boldly without an iota of repentance. “The only truth we have heard from the PTI is that the party’s Chairman Imran Khan himself admitted that his team failed to deliver in KP,” he added.
Malik Azam Khan, another lawmaker from Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam (F) or JUI-F, said political interference has multiplied in the police and bureaucracy equally instead.
“Do you know that our chief minister got released his men from jail who were involved in double murder 302 case? Even the chief minister went a step forward by suspending the officials,” he noted.
He said the PTI promises are honoured to the extent of social media and newspapers but on the ground the status quo still haunt the ill fated people of this province.
“I don’t think the PTI is in a position to deliver in its rest ten or 11 months tenure at a time when it failed to perform in its four-and-a-half year term,” he added.
Ghani Gul, former finance secretary and a senior worker of PPP, said the PTI is completely failed in the province to completely reform a single sector. “Corruption is rampant in the province without any check and balance from an independent department,” he added.
He said voters are virtually fed up with the PTI oft-repeated promises and claims because the ruling party failed to do something tangible for the welfare of common people.
INDEPENDENT VIEW POINT
Hassan Khan, a seasoned journalist and an independent analyst, observed the PTI has done a good job to depoliticize the KP police department to some extent by introducing the KP Police Act.
“I think the ruling party in KP has succeeded to end political interference around 50% in the police department because still senior level persons in the PTI such as the chief minister or the party’s ministers still dictate police,” he noted.
Police department has been reformed to some extent as interference in police work has reduced at police stations level, he added.
However, he said that bureaucracy still reels under political influence and dictation that’s why senior most officers were not willing to serve in KP under PTI.
He said again some secretaries level officers had complained about undo interference by the chief minister but at district level bureaucracy can face political pressure.
“As an observer and dweller of KP, I can say the PTI has achieved 40% to 50% success to depoliticize the bureaucracy and police,” he noted.
After detailed conversation with ruling, opposition lawmakers, party’s worker and an independent analyst, Truth Tracker rules the PTI’s pledge to depoliticize the bureaucracy and police stands compromised. Also, it is nearly impossible for the PTI in its rest some months tenure to completely end political interference in this department of public service.