Political interference

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to sack its 53 employees with immediate effect. A three-member SC bench comprising Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Sayyed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi heard the contempt of court case against the FIA over unlawful appointments in the agency and non-implementation of the court’s orders. According to details, the Supreme Court had issued three directions to FIA for the recruitment of the employees’ date back in 2001. According to the court order, the appointments were to be made through the Public Service Commission, but the report submitted by the Director General Federal Investigation Agency revealed that it did not follow the rule and made appointments without conducting competition exam and interview. The counsel for the FIA said that four employees had died while the three had passed the competition exam. It was said that after Supreme Court’s verdict, FIA employees approached other courts including high court to shed away the verdict, however the Supreme Court maintained that top court’s judgement could not overruled by the high court. The Supreme Court ordered the DG FIA to dismiss all those employees with immediate effect who did not pass their FPSC exam and submit a report in this regard within 15 days. As per reports, about 60 officials were recruited in FIA during PPP government in early 1990s. Which were later removed by the PML-N government and the issue continued in different forms over the years. In 2001, the Supreme Court ordered the FIA to conduct the tests for its employees through FPSC for regularization purposes. However, only three officers were able to clear the FPSC’s exam, whereas, 4 officials had died over the years. In 2010, PPP government again reinstated numerous government employees including these FIA officials through a presidential ordinance. Due to such politically motivated decisions, several government institutions had turned into white elephants for the national economy. Pakistan government institutions remained victim of political interference over the decades which resulted in creation of operational inefficiency, huge financial losses and weaken the discipline of the institutions. Large scale recruitment on political basis without requirements and needs of the departments had plunged the several institutions into financial debt and survival crisis. There are numerous federal and provincial institutions including PIA, Pakistan Steel Mills, Police, FIA, Pakistan Railways, PTV, Radio Pakistan, former KESC and OGDC are victims of over staffing due to political interference.

Currently, several government’s entities are running their businesses on government subsidy program. In fact, there is need for a standard recruitment policy and independent and accountable institution at national level. The legislature must not have any administrative role except formulation of Legislations to end their involvement in internal affairs of the public sector organizations.