B: Mushtaq Ahmed

Michael Axworthy in the “The Sword of Persia” wrote that 30, 000 camels and 24, 000 mules were carrying the Mughal treasure to Iran via Afghanistan, the present value of which was 90 billion British pounds equivalent to Pak rupees 12690 billion. When assured that the King of the Kings Nadir Shah had finally left Delhi, the Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah held the meeting of his surviving courtiers who were quite happy being alive after Delhi massacre and in authority, too. Axworthy referring to contemporary historical account of this meeting says that the king and the courtiers were in the deep buzz of joyfulness as they had been before the arrival of the Iranian cataclysmic disaster, restoring the same routine of idiosyncrasy, foolishness, stupidity and ruthlessness as if nothing had happened. However, there was one legendary singer Nur Bai, sick and tarnished in perpetual agony, who blamed her enchanting beauty and mesmerizing voice as guilty for the Delhi massacre.

Another catastrophe became due as 1857’s disaster visited Delhi, only 118 years after 1739. Timeless, tragic and innate lesson of history is that the mother of aggression is a weakness which is a wanton child of follies and imprudence coming out of the belly of favoritism and protectionism. Every challenge is always resolved successfully by the natives, for native talent is bestowed a quality by Mother Nature to respond it. Through the works of great thinkers, from Plato’s “The Republic” to Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, we notice a compelling necessity to give due share in the structure of power to all, even at the farthest corner of a state. Similarly, the Chinese state constructed the institution of state servants strictly on the principle of equal share to all stakeholders. The ancient kings of China made frequent visits to far-flung areas in order to find young talent for future bureaucracy, maintaining equilibrium between the developed and underdeveloped areas. Ruin comes when a state itself promotes rulers from peculiar areas, depriving the vast but voiceless majority having no status beyond servile.

In this regard, Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC)’s entire system of recruitment rotates all around the “particularism” by which “inclusiveness” is strangulated, sowing the seeds of hatred, disregard and irrelevance among the oppressed multitudes who promote allegiance against love and admiration for state. With the passage of time, it grows as a vital blow to national solidarity, cohesion, stability and fairness, finally resulting in collapse of the system of state wherein treasures full of gold, coins and precious items look meaningless. During the brutal time of transition, nothing has any value. All of it loses credibility and continuity.

However, there looks one and only social institution in the world of politics enjoying permanence: the national bureaucracy. In stately history of China, we see uncountable occasions where the national institution of bureaucracy rescues the state from violent storm of destructive moves. The state functionaries at the time of deep crisis bravely came forward to protect it from assault by unwise and emotional forces even at the cost of their lives. Basic charisma behind the elevated spirit of nationhood in China was the judicious and fair formulation of the institution of bureaucracy. Its broad-based, inclusive and hydrogenous recruitments converted the state organization into a true national body being well conversant of indigenously complex social norms, taboos, trends and customs.

The cardinal problem of modern man is psychological in nature. He knows all about the world but does not know the nearest neighbor. The biggest challenge for the local administration is not a naked use of force in order to keep the disgruntled mob under peace but a prudent strategy to prepare it to obey the law which essential for social harmony and fairness. The method vogue in FPSC, the so-called cream of the nation, by taking exams, marking papers, taking interviews, assessment of the psychology and natural potential of the candidates and the structure of the training after appointment, has lost its utility and requires thorough reformation.

A large number of the students with excellent academic records utilizing all three chances of CSS Exams failed last year, authenticating glaring flaws in the system of recruitments in FPSC. In my personal experience, most of the educated youth rejected by FPSC are the most successful men and women in the foreign land or leading enviable lives in journalism, business and NGOs on basis of their writing and knowledge of history, global affairs and national politics. The majority complained that unexplainable variations in the marks of each exam embarrassed them a lot, with disproportional marks allocated to writing and essay sections.

These are the self-negating barriers put in place for hunt for the young men and women of talent, educative excellence, professional craft and depth in creative thinking. If FPSC’s claim is accepted that the successful educated youth is available only in privileged metropolises, then the question is: Why has the national bureaucracy as whole failed to deter continual deterioration in the structure of governance? Are the bureaucrats at present better than that of their predecessors in 1970s? The answer to it is hopelessly in the negative.

Rising trend of choosiness, discrimination, favoritism and nepotism continues to be unchanged in FPSC, only for the reason it enjoys sublime sovereignty almost near to the pharaonic stature. One of my readers, a senior teacher by profession, wrote that he appeared many times in the written exams held for various posts from grade-17 and 18. He attempted the papers excellently, but all the time he was declared failed. When he demanded “merit list”, FPSC denied his request, saying that the merit list was a sensitive matter. Given the situation, we are heading toward total dissatisfaction of the people who do not trust any state department providing employment.

Against the constitutional framework for judicious distribution of national income, transfer of power at the gross root level and equal share in opportunities and freedom of conscientious, the land of fifth largest democracy in the world has developed a self-destructive structure of power. For the first time, the young people form 64% of the total population in Pakistan, and they are sadly unhappy with this decadent system of fairness and justice. Since its creation, such a precarious situation arose in the Eastern Wing of Pakistan in 1971 that was tackled unwisely the result of which was a national tragedy. The precarious condition of today is not different, but the level of apathy dominating both the scenarios——1971 and 2018——-is the same. A time has come not only to change the conventional political class and power groups but also to repeal the rotten structure of power, state legacy, socio-economic perceptions and realities. Otherwise, unmanageable challenges in the national horizon will devastate whatever was ill-constructed in our seven decades old national history.

The writer is Ex-Director General Senate of Pakistan.

Courtesy: Daily Nation Lahore