ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday reached out to civil servants to seek their help in implementing agenda of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government.
Addressing civil servants, Khan said he would need the support of bureaucracy to tackle the issues facing the country.
He said without their help the agenda of his government would be rendered useless as civil servants are the executive arm of the administration.
Khan stressed the need for change of mindset that has been holding the country back and assured them that the government would support them against all kind of pressures.
He said before partition, British ruling elite led luxurious lives because they were using the money of their slaves.
The prime minister said the mindset needs to change and the civil servants should think of common people as their own people.
“Accountability is a cornerstone of our government,” he said, adding that he has asked the National Accountability Bureau Chairman to not to humiliate those who the anti-graft body seeks to interrogate .
He said the corruption has destroyed the institutions beside depriving the country of its wealth.
The premiere said regardless of the their political affiliation, the civil servants should serve their country and should rest assured that he would be standing their side should need be.
He acknowledged the fact that salaries of the civil servants were low , but assured them that his government would address the issue soon.
Imran Khan said Pakistan was caught in a difficult situation but the phase would pass soon.
He said from his personal experience he has learned that nothing is impossible.
Imran Khan pointed that the country was facing a huge debt trap of Rs30 trillion that had swelled from six trillion rupees in a decade. He said the previous government borrowed loans to start projects such as Orange Line project that regularly require huge financial input.
He said immediate steps needed to be taken to come out of the classic debt trap and quoted the verse of Holy Quran which points that the Allah Almighty does not change the condition of a nation, which does not amend itself.
He said the civil servants need to understand that they were here to serve the masses and not to impress them with their power and authority, as was done by the British rulers in the Indian subcontinent.
He said the civil service can only change when it starts to think several times before spending even a penny of public funds. “Think of the 43% of the children with stunted growth and the 25 million children without access to schools,” he added.
He said the task force on civil service reform needs to bring about world class reforms in Pakistan so that the country could compete in a knowledge economy.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said the third world economies because of their rampant corruption could not improve, however the western democracies were clean, because their institutions were strong.
He said he was cognizant of the concerns of the civil service and had asked the NAB chairman to ensure that no bureaucrats were intimidated or harassed. He said even if the NAB was conducting any inquiry, it should proceed discreetly without humiliating any one.
He asked the civil service officers not to be wary of taking chances. “Everyone makes mistakes, I also do, but you should be clear that there should be no corruption of any sort.”
Imran Khan mentioned the reforms in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police, which he said, had emerged as a professional force with no political pressure and was allowed to function as a professional entity, with a focus on merit and merit alone. He vowed to emulate the working at police in other provinces.
Referring to the emoluments of the bureaucrats, Imran Khan said once the officers had enough money to meet their needs without problems however said the situation had changed now.