Dr. Shahbaz Shabbir Gill |
Not long ago, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif introduced the process of attrition in the promotions of civil services officers. Never in the history of Central Selection Board (CSB) had they witnessed something like this before. PM Nawaz Sharif disapproved the recommendations made for 19 officers of the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) by the CSB. While many argued that this decision of the PM was unfair and arbitrary in nature, he proclaimed that the promotion process used by the CSB was unworthy of accreditation as the board had worked in a ‘casual’ and ‘hasty’ manner overlooking attributes and ‘reputation’ of those 19 officers.
What struck me in this 2.5 years old report was the word ‘reputation’ (without any support of evidence), that seemed to have been the only reason for the dismissal of the recommendations of the 19 officers.
Considering the current moral collapse of the PM office and the ongoing debate on the court decision regarding the ‘reputation’ of Nawaz Sharif, the following excerpt from Nawaz Sharif’s statement regarding the importance of “reputation”woke when considering promotions of 20-21 grade officers of PAS, now becomes very interesting:
Nawaz Sharif commended the army’s procedure for promotion from the post of Brigadier to Major General, he “was convinced that the ‘pen picture’ – an officer’s character and competency – should be considered while recommending promotions.”
“The purpose and intent of this decision is to make sure only merit and fair play are the order of the day in the Central Selection Board-I.” This is the quote from the analysis report published in Express Tribune, on April 5, 2014, based on the rationale given by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for rejecting 19 civil officers’ promotions. Nawaz Sharif commended the army’s procedure for promotion from the post of Brigadier to Major General, he “was convinced that the ‘pen picture’ – an officer’s character and competency – should be considered while recommending promotions.” This statement would have suggested sincerity and genuineness of PM Nawaz only if he would have used some evidence questioning the character and competence of these PAS officers. However, now, considering the present Supreme Court decision of 547 pages examining PM Nawaz position, one can’t help but compare the two cases: Nawaz Sharif’s own decision against PAS Officers using the rationale of “reputation” and his inability to apply the factor of “reputation” while rejecting calls for resignation.
Read more: Pakistan: Nexus between Corruption, Terrorism, and Democracy
On April April 18, 2017, Dawn reported that the petitioners who filed corruption charges against PM Nawaz claimed that he lied about the investments made by his children in offshore companies, which led to the acquisition of four apartments in London’s upscale Park Lane neighborhood. “According to the documents available on the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) website, the PM’s children — Mariam, Hasan, and Hussain — ‘were owners or had the right to authorize transactions for several companies’.” Following the verdict of Supreme Court, the PM and his family have lost their credibility as the current governing party of Pakistan losing their “reputation” in the eyes of the court and the public.
According to the documents available on the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) website, the PM’s children — Mariam, Hasan, and Hussain — ‘were owners or had the right to authorize transactions for several companies’.
In a report by The News on April 27, 2017, two judges of the Supreme Court have declared that the prime minister is not Sadiq and Ameen, which puts the reputation of the PM in jeopardy. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, two judges disqualified the PM of Pakistan and not a single judge of the Supreme Court has given Nawaz a clean chit. All five judges have questioned the “character”, “reputation”, and “integrity” of the PM Nawaz. Given this scenario, it seems bizarre that Nawaz family and PML-N are merely celebrating the fact that judges were not unanimous in asking him to resign – ignoring altogether that even formation of JIT by three judges is only to give PM Nawaz a last chance. None of the judges accepted his claims; no one found him of “good reputation”
Even though the SC verdict probes more investigation in the corruption case of PM Nawaz, he should resign on moral grounds. Many influential people in politics and law have criticized the PM and his family for being declared ‘not Sadiq and Ameen’. In fact, some are of the view that in the light of the Supreme Court verdict, not only Nawaz Sharif has lost the moral grounds to serve as the prime minister of the country, but the PML-N celebrations have raised concern about its morality.
Read more: Has the Supreme Court just further delayed the process of justice?
The question that I want to raise here is:
Civil servants were denied their right of promotion, duly recommended by the CSB, by PM Nawaz on the basis of hearsay information regarding their QUESTIONABLE perception. Now, how can the same Nawaz Sharif defend the office of the highest position for himself as chief executive of Pakistan in the PRESENCE OF clear verdicts regarding his integrity, by the highest judicial authority, Supreme Court? What a contradiction by the chief executive of Pakistan…
Dr. Shahbaz Shabbir Gill is a Professor at Institute of South Asia & Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.