Pakistani bureaucracy and political neutrality: a mutually exclusive phenomenon?
Authors: Tanwir, Maryam
Fennell, Shailaja
Pub Date: 09/22/2010
Publication: Name: Pakistan Development Review Publisher: Pakistan Institute of Development Economics Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Business, international; Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Reproduced with permission of the Publications Division, Pakistan Institute of Development Economies, Islamabad, Pakistan. ISSN: 0030-9729
Issue: Date: Autumn, 2010 Source Volume: 49 Source Issue: 3
Accession Number: 270617567
Full Text: This paper examines the reasons for the early dominance of the bureaucratic elite in Pakistan and the downsizing that was brought about by the administrative reforms of 1973. The perceptions of bureaucrats and ministers indicate that loyalty to political establishment is now regarded a crucial requirement in a bureaucrat. This shift from the principle of political neutrality to the practice of political allegiance has affected both the development agenda as well as the institutions of the country.

JEL classification: H11, D73

Keywords: Bureaucracy, Political Neutrality, Politicisation, Governance, Weber

the first thing I want to tell you is that you should not be influenced by any political pressure, by any political party or individual politician ...... governments are defeated, prime ministers come and go, ministers come and go, but you stay on, and therefore there is great responsibility placed on your shoulders. You should have no hand in supporting this political leader or that; this is not your business .... (1)

The Pakistani state has been regarded as 'a weak state' for the last three decades on account of the inability of the elected government to successfully broker political stability. The development literature locates this weakness in the political and ministerial machinations rather than attributing it to any inherent characteristics of the bureaucracy as an organisational structure. In the 1990s, the literature emerging from international institutions and academia located Pakistan's failure to develop in the malfunctioning apparent in the Pakistani bureaucracy. This shortcoming was linked to the increasing politicisation of the bureaucracy and its growing and explicit links to the ministerial structures [World Bank (1998)]. In particular, there was a focus on the inability of individual bureaucrats to follow the organisational rules due to a set of perverse incentives that were misaligned with the development objectives of the bureaucracy. Such an organisational shortcoming came to be regarding as a lack of capacity with regard to governance functioning within the bureaucracy [Khan (2000, 2001)]. In more recent years, the inability of the Pakistani state to ensure development and to maintain the peace has marked it out as a fragile or failed state [Kaplan (2008)]. There is now a growing concern that the inability of the Pakistani state has been due to an excessive politicisation of the Pakistani state.

This article examines the role of the bureaucracy in Pakistan by drawing on qualitative data on the perceptions of bureaucrats in Pakistan. The intention of the article is to evaluate whether the implications drawn regarding the bureaucratic behaviour, in particular the need to have a politically neutral bureaucracy, have any traction with the subjective perceptions of the bureaucracy.


The aim of the research was to investigate the dynamics underpinning the Pakistani bureaucracy; to examine their views on the institution that they were a part of, their perceptions of themselves, their colleagues, their bosses, and the institution they represented. The primary focus was the subjective experience of the individuals interviewed. (2)

This article is based on primary research undertaken in Pakistan during October 2007 to June 2008. Atotal of 33 qualitative interviews were conducted, 29 were senior bureaucrats and 4 of ministers. The Subjects arc selected because of who they were and what they knew, rather than by chance. The interviews were mostly of retired bureaucrats, and some serving senior officers. There was a larger focus on the retired bureaucrats because they had more years in service, hence could offer richer insights. Also they could be more candid as they had little to lose in terms of career prospects. But to ensure triangulation some serving bureaucrats and ministers were interviewed.

Every individual bureaucrat being interviewed was a primary unit of analysis and an individual case study. The field research was limited to Lahore and Islamabad. Since the senior most bureaucrats are posted to the federal capital Islamabad and they usually retire there at grade 22 as federal secretaries, hence it was the best place to obtain interviews from them.


Since September 9/11, the Pakistani state has been increasingly designated as a failed state [Kaplan (2008)]. This is a disclaimer against the ability of the Pakistani state for it indicts all arms of the state, including the bureaucracy in its inability to deliver development, even in relation to its most basic attributes o f internal law and order.

This notion of the failed state differs from that of the fragile state, one that has a lack of capacity and/or will to first foster an environment conducive to sustainable development, and suffers from failures of legitimacy, service delivery and accountability [Stewart and Brown (2009)]. The malfunctioning bureaucracy is, regarding in this literature, as an example of a dysfunctional arm of the state which could contribute and/or further exacerbate the failure of development. The weak state in contrast is a consequence of a state formation where non-state players might be dominant and which demand that the state make a political settlement to ensure state legitimacy and therefore must need relegate development to a lesser objective [Khan (1996)]. These three notions of state incapacity have been used rather indiscriminately in recent years resulting in a reduced understanding of how the various arms of the state do or do not deliver development objectives.

Additionally, the importance of an impersonal and non politicised bureaucracy as a prerequisite for a functioning state is swept away in a hasty sweep in the policy sphere that regards the presence of ministerial and bureaucratic corruption as an indication of state failure. This flies in the face of the reality on the ground that countries that have a similar level of corruption have very different growth rates [Przeworski (1996)]. Also there are countries which have had considerable growth despite close links between the bureaucracy and the contractual process [c.f. Malaysia, see Khan and Jomo (2000)]. Finally, there is little clarity of the causality of these two phenomenon: the benefit of untangling the impact of failed states as a consequence of ministerial and bureaucratic corruption [Khan (2001)] from the obverse strand that regards the increasing politicisation of the bureaucracy as an incipient cause of state failure [Shafqat (1999)] needs to be undertaken to understand what is happening in the Pakistani bureaucracy.

Political Neutrality and the Consequences for Development

Political neutrality for the purpose of this paper primarily implies that the bureaucracy is above and beyond politics. It is neutral and impartial. It is not aligned with, has a preference for, or biased against any political party. Loyalty is to the public and not to one political personality or party. The primary objective of the bureaucrat (3) is to provide public service without political alignment, bias, preference, or interference. Political neutrality also implies that there is no political interference in appointments of public servants. And appointments are made purely on the basis of merit and competence. Political neutrality if it holds, gives the public servant a sense of security. The bureaucrat will be assigned to a post based on his merit, and it would be his skill of execution that would be sufficient to take him to the next hierarchal level. All bureaucrats would work based on principles of hard work and independent and impersonal thinking, and there would be no benefit to be gained from currying favours with the political masters. Hence for the bureaucracy to be productive there is the need to make it independent from political intervention and pressures that would enable the civil servant to perform public service in an efficient and professional manner.

Politicisation of the bureaucracy on the other hand is one of the key causes of the decline in the civil service systems. The lack of job security due to politically motivated decisions on recruitment, promotion and dismissal and the lack of career perspective for the staff due to the ever increasing number of posts subject to political appointments all contribute to declining efficiency of the bureaucrats. The incentive to work hard, to be fair, to be efficient erodes in such contexts. The link between performance and reward is broken and individual merit is relinquished by political interventions and the efficiency and productivity of the organisation are compromised. In senior, significant positions like secretary of education, economic affairs, commerce, and finance etc, the qualities of ability and competence should be the criteria for the appointment, as the appointee and its skills are for the execution of tasks essential for national development. In a situation where these positions are awarded to political loyalists and not to those who are the best equipped for the job, economic development is held hostage. When a bureaucrat is not politically neutral and is politically aligned to serve the interests of a co-opted individual, who is pursuing personal benefit, at the cost of national interest, then service delivery suffers. Political alignment results in serving merely the interests of politicians and their constituency, ensuring the politicians' vote bank, working for selected interests and not for the common man. So lack of political neutrality would imply that the public servants are serving selected individuals interests and not the common man. Economic development of the country is not the priority but the interest of particular individuals and their parties takes precedence. And the bureaucracy is no longer following and respecting the guiding principles of its profession.

Max Weber and the Ideal Bureaucrat

The established and now traditional literature on the bureaucracy is largely derived from the work on the 19th century social scientist Max Weber. The Weberian bureaucrat was expected to conform to norms of rationality, specialisation, political neutrality, meritocratic recruitment and long term career ladders among other characteristics [Weber (1968)]. The notion of political neutrality set out in the Weberian framework requires that the bureaucracy to be indifferent to the political party in power and to ensure that their actions are based on neutrality and impartiality with regard to all political parties. The bureaucrat is regarded as a public servant who operates solely in the interest of the public and should not bow to pressure from the political process or parties. The Weberian construction of the ideal bureaucrat as a rational, efficient, and achievement-oriented provides the template for evaluating the actions and effectiveness of the bureaucrat. The Weberian bureaucrat is regarded as an agent of the state; an agent who is characterised as functioning not on an inherent sense of motivation but on an externally imposed set of criteria. The implication is that the actions of the bureaucrat should not be driven by any intrinsic values but are instrumental in nature. The duties of the bureaucrat in the civil service are restricted to policy implementation as part of the executive arm of the state. (4) The instrumentality of bureaucratic behaviour is a consequence of the autonomy gained from externally imposed rules. It is the very principles of meritocratic recruitment that ensures that bureaucrats embark on well defined, non-politicised and predictable long term career paths. These rules provided the basis for a Weberian bureaucracy that was achievement and goal oriented, protected from political interference, and following norms of rationality, discipline, specialist knowledge. These objective standards and impersonal rules that provided the framework for running the bureaucracy in turn ensured stability and predictability in the organisation. The bureaucratic organisation was consequently the most stable, predictable and 'Once fully established, bureaucracy is among those social structures which are the hardest to destroy' [Weber (1968), p. 87].

The notion of political neutrality is based on the theory and historical experience of Western European states which have undergone a separation of church, state and society, through the course of the 18th and 19th centuries. (5) This notion of political neutrality has been taken as a characteristic with which to evaluate the ability and performance of the bureaucracy in developing countries. The bureaucrat is regarded as successful in the Weberian sense, if public service is provided without any favours being granted to the political establishment and without interference from any political quarters. [Cheema and Sayeed (2006)]. The reality in many developing countries where political interference and alignment are the norm rather than the expectation in the government so that it is commonplace for bureaucrats to be transferred by ministers [Wade (1985)] gives rise to a political economy where the bureaucrat seeks to maximise his private income while in a particular office rather than to place the top priority on the delivery of development objectives.

Early studies of the bureaucracy in Pakistan indicate that the power of the bureaucracy emanating from a full set of objective rules and standards was present at independence but began to dwindle shortly thereafter. (6) To understand the reason for the existence of a full set of rules at independence has much to do with the tracing the historical origins of Pakistani bureaucracy and political neutrality under the British colonial rule. The British system of administration was developed to suit the needs of a colonial power. The British imperial civil service regarded this bureaucratic machinery as the appropriate instrument to rule colonies effectively, to establish their hegemonic rule, to effectively collect revenue.

Pakistan incorporated this system of bureaucratic rule without much modification at independence in 1947. In the face of a new political establishment, incorporation of the inherited civil service structure remains questionable. As the newly independent state, the Pakistani government faced a different mandate that of promoting economic and social development, and what was an effective institution used to govern colonies might no longer be appropriate or adequate to ensure that the development objectives were met.

The Pakistani administrative system inherited clearly delineated legacy, based on a constitutional structure with well defined rules and regulations. The role of the bureaucrat within this set up was restricted to that of the policy implementer. The context of Pakistan's history with a set of political parties that largely develop after partition and independence results in relative fragility in the political system in contrast to the administration institution [Alavi (1972)]. (8)

There have been numerous studies (9) that have examined the extent of political neutrality prevalent within the functioning of the Pakistani bureaucracy in the earlier decades of the inception of Pakistan. In the current development discourse there is increasing importance awarded to the significance of transparency, accountability and political neutrality of the bureaucracy to ensure good governance. A recent evaluation by the Brookings Institution uses the 'the lack of accountable political institutions' and the lack of 'the ability of the state bureaucracy to function effectively, independently, and responsibly, has been used as one of the criteria to assess the level of weakness and fragility of a state. (10) In such a context where there is little evidence of feedback mechanisms and punitive sanctions for misdemeanor by a bureaucrat the Weberian model is unlikely to provide an automatic remedy [Wade (1985)]. In its stead, there is a strong rationale for the existence of a state model based on political settlement where all stakeholders within the state apparatus are made side payments to ensure the stability of the existing weak state [Khan (1996)].

The proposition that the Pakistani bureaucracy is a Weberian institution has become a subject of considerable interest. One yard stick against which to evaluate the Pakistani bureaucracy has been to ascertain whether Weberian characteristics of meritocratic recruitment and long-term career ladders are in evidence. (11) Another consideration has been with regard to adherence to the system of rules in the Pakistani bureaucracy. (12) What is less clear is whether political neutrality, a quintessentially Weberian characteristic, should continue to be used as a characteristic to classify a bureaucracy as Weberian. (13) While the constitutional position is clearly important, the focus of the article is on the relationship between the bureaucrat and the minister. (14) The environment in Pakistan, within which bureaucrats operate, cannot be based on an idealised notion of political neutrality; In fact, such a proposition becomes a hollow objective and a meaningless recommendation within the context of the incentives that are faced by these individuals. Where bureaucratic performance is rewarded in relation to the bureaucrat's ability to please his or her political masters, promotion on the grounds on competence and expertise are few and far between. In fact a bureaucrat who chooses to follow principle of Political Neutrality is far more likely to be removed on the basis of political grounds.

The following section examines the extent of political neutrality exercised by the bureaucracy in its earlier decades of Pakistan political and administrative history.


The kingpin position went to the district magistrate under the British administration and the prominence accorded to the bureaucracy continued in full glory after the gaining of independence in 1947. Rowland Egger (1953) reviewing the bureaucratic system in Pakistan concluded that the bureaucracy had hardly changed the days of the British Raj. (15) An important reason for bureaucratic potency in the initial years was their ability to consolidate their importance in the inherited colonial system. The early advantage gained by the bureaucracy was difficult to dent and this led to an imbalance between bureaucratic power and political directives, with the former being far more dominant than the latter [Alavi (1990)]. It has even been argued that the bureaucracy actually grew in relative importance within the government after 1947 as the civil service used the well established set of rules and standards to control and direct the behaviour of the entire administration, including the directives of the politicians [Sayeed (1967), p.76].

The increasing importance of the bureaucracy in the Pakistani administration was evident in the early laws and acts brought in by the Pakistani government. Sayeed (1967) cites the example of the Public and Representative Offices (Disqualification) Act, (PRODA) 1949, which gave the central government the right to dismiss defiant or corrupt provincial politicians under Section 92 A of the Act. This act went a long way in strengthening the hold of the bureaucracy, Saeed (1967) recounts that this act gave the impetus to the bureaucracy which resulted in the premier of Sindh being dismissed on charges of corruption and misconduct in April 1948, and the west Punjab ministry was dismissed in January 1949 and several other dismissals and ministerial changes were experienced in the province of Sindh during 1948-51. (16)

Kennedy (1987) in his seminal work on the Pakistani bureaucracy informs that the bureaucracy managed most key portfolios in the early formative years. In 1953 the national government, under Nazimuddin, was itself was dismissed by Ghulam Mohammad, a civil servant who had begun his career in the British Indian audit and accounts service. Additionally, the key posts in this government administration were held by civil servants: General Iskander Mirza was a civil servant given charge of the Ministry of Interior and of states and frontier regions; Chaudry Mohammad Ali, a civil servant was appointed Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs; and General Ayub was given the portfolio of the Ministry of Defense.

The deliberate sidelining of the politicians within the political administration and the manifest preference for bureaucrats and generals as appointees to key ministerial posts was commented among by the international broadsheets.

The major rationale given for the preferment of the bureaucracy over the politicians by Sayeed (1967) was that there was an urgent need to deliver effective programmes; particularly in relation to the rehabilitation of migrants coming over from India, in the aftermath of the Partition and also to embark on a national development plan. In these early decades the officers of Audit and Accounts, Railways and Indian Political Service dominated the national economic and political decision-making processes while the political leaders found it difficult to develop any consensus on a framework for developing a political system. During the early decades while there was no evidence of a radical shift from the imperial system there was slowing down of the execution of bureaucratic operations such as the practice of writing longer and longer marginal notes on files, congestion at the top, over centralisation, over coordination and excessive cross referencing that was bringing the bureaucratic machine to a grinding halt [Sayeed (1967)]. (18) Also the imbalance in the administration between civil servants and politicians where political elites were unable to control key governmental roles had a highly detrimental effect on the growth and maturity of the political party system. The intra-state jousting within Pakistan resulted in the repeated victory of military or bureucratic elites. The failure of the politician in knocking down these elites resulted in a very under-developed political party system and also rendered the Pakistan Muslim league incapable of consolidating its role in the country [Heeger (1973)]. There was a strong social distinction between the civil servant and the politician, where the former was regarded as urban, skilled and astute, while the latter appears as a rural farmer, untutored and undiscerning and therefore not suited for high office. The seeming ineptitude of the politician provided the rationale for the wresting of control by the bureaucracy over the first quarter century of Pakistan's independent existence. Laporte (1974) informs that it was the overarching structure of the civil service that facilitated Pakistan's growth in the economic sphere and continued to undermine political development in the country.

The mismatch in the authority of the bureaucrat and the politician is at the heart of the political dismantling that occurred in Pakistan between the 1950s and 1970. The disdain and disregard of the views and demands of the political classes was also reflected in the Constituent Assembly debates in 1956 where provincial ministers complained that officials refused to carry out their orders because they believed that they (the ministers) had no power to take action against recalcitrant officers who defied their order. In this environment it was commonplace to ignore or bypass political appointees when making administrative decision. The incompetence and ineptitude of the political classes even came to be cited as reasons for at the time of the coup d'etat in 1958 by President Iskander Mirza and General Ayub Khan [Alavi (1990)] (19)

The political vacuum, political instability, and lack of experienced and resourceful politicians all paved the way for the bureaucrat to redefine his role taking over the major decision making including formulation and implementation of policy. The views of key authors and their reasons for this decided imbalance between the bureaucracy and the political classes are summarised in Table 1.

The decided by skewed between the various arms of the state received little remedy and reform in the civil service and remained limited till the 1970s. The relationship between the bureaucracy and the political parties altered in the 1970's. From holding the bastion of power, being the prime decision makers, having the strength to be politically neutral and having the constitutional guarantee on their side, the tide changed against the bureaucracy. The introduction of bureaucratic reforms were brought on by changes in the national institutional forces due to the considerable student disturbances of 1968-69, dismemberment of the country, and rise of the Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) [Shafqat (1999); Kennedy (1987)]. On the 2nd of December 1969 the resentment culminated in the form of Martial Law Ordinance No. 58 by President Yahya Khan. As a consequence of this Order, 303 Class-I Officers were removed from service. This measure of Yahya Khan was widely acclaimed by the media and opinion-makers of the country and he was portrayed as 'a leader who was trying to eliminate the corrupt officers of the Civil Services' [Shafqat (1999)]. (20)

Secondly, the 1971 conflict between India and Pakistan led to the separation of East Pakistan further weakening the position of the bureaucracy in Pakistan. The CSP was further weakened as a cadre because 89 Bengali CSP officers holding posts above Deputy Secretary level (28 of whom were Joint Secretary or above), after the dismemberment of Pakistan opted for Bangladesh considerably downsizing the bureaucratic institution and thereby reducing the influence of the CSP as a cadre [Kennedy (1987)]. The rise of the PPP and its leader Mr Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto during these years also turned the tide against the Pakistani bureaucracy. There was a huge swing in public perception and the CSP officer began to be perceived as a hindrance to the development of the country. Laporte (1974) informs that there was a growing desire among the middle class (including non central service bureaucrats) for increased status and participation which provided a manpower alternative to the regime. Bhutto formed an administrative reform committee in 1972 which was to review and formulate recommendations to change the prevailing bureaucratic system. The prime consideration was to ensure a shift from an administered state to one that was driven by the political processes [Ziring and Laporte (1974)].

In an address to the nation on August 20, 1973 on the state of his economic reform, Bhutto expressed his opinion of the bureaucracy:

It is often averred that the bureaucratic apparatus is a neutral instrument which can be bent to any kind of policy. But this neutrality is mythical. The bureaucracy itself is a powerful vested interest, concerned more with its own good than with the good of the public. No institution in the country has so lowered the quality of our national life as to what is called Naukarshahi. It has done so by imposing a caste system on our society. It has created a class of Brahmins or mandarins, unrivalled in its snobbery and arrogance, insulated from life of the people and incapable of identifying itself with them.

[Jones (1997)]

The avowed political neutrality that was to characterise the Pakistani bureaucracy was thereby swept away and replaced by a less rational, politically mired, non-meritocratic presentation of the bureaucrat. The Naukarshahi accusation pointed to the subservience demands by this class of public servant, the rule of the public servant or Civil Servant as ruler, is indicated by the particular terminology.

The high-powered Administrative Reforms Committee set up in April 1972 under the chairmanship of Khurshid Hasan Mir was of the view that the first step in the direction of administrative reform should be the replacement of the colonial structure of the services by a modern and scientific system responsive to democratic aspirations. Z.A. Bhutto made the recommendation in favour of a unified civil service. In August 1973, the Government accepted the Report, initiating colossal changes in Pakistan's Civil Service. All the services and cadres were merged into a unified grading structure with equality of opporttmity for all who enter the service at any stage based on the required professional and specialised competence necessary for each job. All classes among the government servants were abolished and similarly replaced by a unified grading structure. The existing classification of the services into class-I to class-IV was also done away with and the road to the top was opened to all on merit. The use of service labels was discontinued. (21) The civil services reforms of 1973 also introduced a new system of common Training programme and all the occupational groups were required to undergo a mandatory combined training at the civil services academy, Lahore. The batch of officers who attended the civil services academy in 1973 is now recognised as "the 1st common". Lateral entry was introduced which was a direct threat to the bureaucrats because now political appointees would be a part of their system. (22)


The implementation of Bhutto's reforms significantly altered the cadre system of organisation of the bureaucracy with the abolition of the CSP, the lineal descendant of ICS. Its members were regrouped into the newly created District Management Group (DMG). Additionally, group privileges such as benefits from service associations and the reservation of key posts in the secretariat for the CSP was discontinued. With the creation of All Pakistan Unified Grade System there was no longer a distinction between CSP, PSP and other groups. Lateral entry was introduced, allowing professionals and political appointees to enter the system. While the constitutions of 1956 and 1962 retained the right of civil servants to have recourse to the courts the 1973 reforms dismantled this mechanism.

The reforms provided greater access for the political process to direct the activities of the bureaucrat [Kennedy (1987)] thought this did not always lead to greater institutional ability to deliver public service. The shift in power between the political and bureaucratic classes permitted politicians to intervene in the actions of the bureaucrats as well as to castigate them for past actions that were not regarded as in the political interest. In particular, the Abolition of service cadres made it easier for politicians to use arbitrary powers of punishment such as removal of the civil servants [Laporte (1981)].

The political economy that provided the context for the bureaucratic reforms and the radical changes that were wrought in the relationship between the arms of the state and its implications for the self-perception of the bureaucrat are dominant themes in the interviews.

After the elections Bhutto took over, that when the politicians started exerting a lot of pressure on the civil servants. But still the CSS was by and large intact, it was still a cohesive group, and that time Mr Bhutto also remarked at the Dinner at the Civil service academy that the CSP are responsible for whatever ill prevails in the system, they interfere with the political system, they are not willing to carry out the writ of the government, and he said that I want to finish them, I want to reform and finish this CSP cadre, very shortly he appointed this man as the establishment secretary, who controlled all the policies regarding the personnel, transfers posting, a very important post, he was not a CSP, he started these big reforms, the first step was to do away with the service labels. The CS association was banned. The CSP were not allowed to have any association, then 1973 reforms came, and the CSP now had to go higher to compete. This was the first big change.

(Bureaucrat 11)

The sense of a political contestation between the bureaucratic and political classes to gain the lions' share of power was sharply etched in the response of the bureaucrats. The loss of the legal guarantee whereby the bureaucrat was insulated from the political process was a particularly sore dimension of the loss that bureaucrats had to accept in the changed political environment after the 1973 reforms.

The ministers' are supposed to be making policy not interfering with actual implementation, but in actual practice they flout that. They are more interested in doing day to day administration, than in making policy. So the bureaucrat has to suffer, he has to be willing to take one of methods the government has provided to punish the officer to make him an officer on special duty. This means no job, no assignment, no perks, so officer is afraid of that, as he loses the chance to have all the facilities if he does not obey his political bosses. The bureaucrats had political insulation before the constitution of 1973 when Bhutto changed the constitution. But not now they don't have political insulation.

(Bureaucrat 1)

The consequences of these changes were often couched in terms of the objective set of laws and standards these bureaucrats had come to regard as their raison d'etre. The argument is these accounts was strongly developmental, and it was clear that these bureaucrats regarded themselves as the agents of the delivery of programmes that would bring about social and economic transformation of Pakistan.

My personal perception of bureaucracy is that bureaucracy in a developing country has to be free and impartial to perform. If it is free and impartial and is allowed to perform then this is the most stabilising factor in a developing country. The politicians can play around, the governments can come and go, but if there is a stable bureaucracy there is constant development in the country that is what happened till 1973, when the new constitution came into existence. Mr Bhutto I think dealt the most severe blow to the services, by withdrawing constitutional guarantee from the civil services.

(Bureaucrat 8)

The manner in which the 1973 reforms detracted from the ability of the bureaucrat to ensure effective delivery of duty was set out in relation to (i) the now 'undue' interference from the political establishment and (ii) the lack of group support and networks that resulted from the removal of the service associations.

The constitutional guarantee was a very good safeguard for the civil servants to perform and be independent. Once that guarantee was withdrawn the civil servants felt very weak, gradually as time passed they became aligned with one particular party or the other. This is one thing I could not do. I was the last person who would go to a politician or even a general if the army was involved and seek protection. Why, if my conduct is above board, if my integrity is not in question, my ability to function, ability to perform is not questioned, why should I seek anybody's protection. My own performance, my own integrity is the biggest protection that I have. And then 1973 constitution came into existence, the guarantee's were withdrawn, the bureaucracy started to become weak and weak..... Once the politicians and the government started making a choice of their own without merit of jumping seniority, of giving important posts to people who were not trained in that particular department or that that service the whole structure became confused.. That is where favouritism started.... Anybody who has some self respect, who is proud of his own integrity cannot survive in this system, it is not possible ... you have to listen to his (Minister) whims, his orders. That is the thing that killed the spirit.

(Bureaucrat 8)

The associations were already weak, and then banned, so the CSP's could not resist the 1973 reforms. And there had been co-optations of individuals. The military had co-opted individuals. The CSP's became aligned with the military. Bhutto, Ayub and Yahya had all thrown out officers most of them were CSP officers. I know one gentleman who was honest to the core, Bhutto had some differences with him, and Bhutto threw him out. In 1975 they divided the Civil service in two groups the DMG and the secretariat service. At that time the idea was that the district management will gradually go away, at that time the Cornelius report had recommended that district administration should be run by elected representatives.

(Bureaucrat 11)

Bhutto's civil service reforms programme 1973 shattered the bureaucratic Brahmanism. The shakeup provided by the reforms transformed the bureaucrat from a mandarin to a manager thereby creating a fundamental break in the political organisation, both in relation to the previous hierarchy in the services as well as by permitting rapid lateral entry into the civil service [Khan (2002)]. The civil service began to resemble a fragile house of cards that was exposed to new winds driven by the whims of politicians. The removal of insulation from political pressure and the sudden fall in their administrative power caused bureaucrats to adopt a low-profile approach [Khan (2002)] (23) that resulted in a slowing down of bureaucratic process and a growing lethargy in the administrative machinery. The administrative reforms had humbled the mighty civil servant and created new dissensions among Pakistan's professional elites [Ziring and Laporte (1974)]. In the Pakistani reforms of 1973 the disenchantment manifest itself through a growing misuse of bureaucratic authority, particularly in relation to growing use of public office for personal gain, i.e., forms of financial corruption. (24)


In 1977, Bhutto's regime was overthrown by a military coup spearheaded by General Zia Ul Haq. The authoritarian rule under a military head of state that followed was unusual in its moderate treatment of existing institutions [Burki and Baxter (1991)]. The bureaucrats were not required to relinquish their existing posts, nor did the new government institute any drastic transfers of bureaucrats. To the contrary, the Zia administration chose to constitute the Anwar-ul-Haq Commission to rehabilitate and promote some level of confidence, among the Civil Services, particularly the CSP.

There appears to be a contradictory swing between existence of political democracy and possibility of pursuing political neutrality in Pakistan. While the democratic government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto undertook widespread and extreme 1973 administrative reforms, particularly the removal the constitutional guarantee, the dictatorial regime under Zia was keen to consolidate the functions of the bureaucrat. In a similar comparison, the PPP, under Benazir Bhutto's government (and PML under Nawaz Sharif) regarded political neutrality with suspicion as bureaucrats were regarded as being supported of the erstwhile party in power and therefore oppositional to the new government. On the other hand, the military dictatorship of General Pervez Musharraf was relatively supportive of the bureaucracy.

My experience was that by in large the military process was more rational, they at least understand the issues, compared to the democratic leaders, the attitude of the democratic leaders was, that now we are the boss and we have to decide ... In my experience the army generally was more rational and abiding by the law.

(Bureaucrat 1)

This oppositional relationship between democracy and political neutrality is in stark contrast to the established proposition that democratic government will direct the bureaucracy to follow principles of political neutrality. The explanation may lie in the fact that the bureaucracy as a part of the executive arm of the state is regarded more favourably by strong authoritarian forces that adopt a statist approach while democratic governments that must ensure a political settlement tend to consider the existing bureaucracy in an oppositional light.

In a political environment where bureaucrats are regarded as oppositional to a new incoming elected government, the principle of political neutrality transforms into a negative feature, one that indicates an absence of allegiance to the new government.

In your mind you can be neutral, but you can't tell them on their face. Others will be more politically inclined than you and you will look bad in comparison. You will not then be successful. Your friend will be District Commissioner (DC) Lahore and you will be DC of some God forsaken place. And the boss will give the reason 'he does not have initiative, he can't do his job well.

(Bureaucrat 6)

We bureaucrats suffer; we are always trying to clarify the perceptions, and say "no I am not with so and so". You seem to just go around giving explanations and talking to the politicians, that "it seems that you are annoyed with me?

(Bureaucrat 25)

Under the present circumstances it is not possible to be politically neutral.... the politicians expect the bureaucrat to pitch in one side or the other. There is the concept of loyalty, it is not loyalty to the state, it is not even loyalty to some organizations, but loyalty to the person. So if one is loyal to Nawaz Sharif or Benazir their chances of success are higher when they come into power.

(Bureaucrat 25)

Bureaucrats who persist in following the political neutrality principle find that they are singled out for punishment for a lack of loyalty to the new administration. The new found power that politicians, particularly ministers had over the careers of bureaucrats was regarded as a considerable hardship by bureaucrats.

Once I left the service I was hounded for a bit, wherever I would get a job, the prime minister would interfere and get me sacked. I guess he really disliked me. He (then PM) got me sacked from two organisations, and then I finally got a job because his government was toppled.

(Bureaucrat 12)

The increasing interference of the ministerial class over the bureaucracy emerges as a particularly contentious area. Both sides accuse the other of exceeding their brief and thereby obstructing the delivery of development programmes.


The reason for the decline in political neutrality that is uppermost in the mind of bureaucrats in Pakistan is the rise demand for politicians for preferential, and increasingly illegal, services. The increasing pressure makes it harder for the bureaucrat to remain politically neutral as there is a rising penalty for the refusal to acquiesce to such political demands. The framework of external laws and standards that should be applied in relation to the delivery of public service becomes increasingly untenable in the face of growing political demands. The increasing pressure was identified as a key theme by various interviewees.

One reason why I left was when I was posted as director general development authority, 1988 elections were on, the first election after Zia ul Haq went, the then Chief minister came to me and said 1 want plots. He said I want plots for my candidates, I said for what reason? He said because they need to contest elections, I want 200 plots. I said there are no plots available. He said I need them, I said I can't give them too you. He asked why? I said because it is illegal, first you will get arrested, then I will get arrested, and I will not give them to you. I gave him only the available plots, which was legal. He got very annoyed with me and immediately after the elections he transferred me to my old post, and after four months he made me an OSD (25) for 18 months.

(Bureaucrat 11)

Since the 70s, bureaucrats could not afford to be neutral. Before the 1970's it was possible, as they had the constitutional guarantee on their side. But this changed since the 1970's. I myself twice I was told, in so many words, 'we will not ask you to do anything illegal, but you see we have to look after the interests of the party and therefore what we tell you needs to be done.'(the then PM) I just listened and I thought that I would not last very long at the job. Well in one case I did not last, the other case they kept delaying my promotion.

(Bureaucrat 13)

The greatest sense of disaffection among the bureaucracy was with regard to the withdrawal of the constitutional guarantee that prevented the administration from intervening in the decisions and actions of the bureaucrats through imposition of penalty, punitive transfers and outright dismissal. The constitutional guarantee had provided the bureaucrat impunity from the political system and thereby worked towards ensuring the separation of powers of the state. The guarantee had therefore come to be regarded as the lifeline of the bureaucrat, and its withdrawal left them feeling vulnerable and exposed to other parts of the state administration as well as the broader political system.

No, it is not possible to be politically neutral, not in the present setup. If only the constitutional guarantee had continued. You know what a constitutional guarantee is? That means that the government can't fire you without giving you a good reason, and then the reason and the firing is fully justifiable, and you can go to the court and get relief, and the government needs to justify why they did it. Now there is no constitutional guarantee, it is not possible.

(Bureaucrat 8)

Well there was no problem until the constitutional guarantees were there. There was a regularly laid down procedures. So survival was not a thought utmost in mind. Survival came when purge of 1972, 1984 took place. And then the various martial law regulations etc. when these issues arose then you started looking for protectives. You started looking for lobbies, you started looking for linkages. You started looking for friends of the ruling party. When Nawaz Sharifcame you started looking for survival by cultivating his friends. Same goes for PPP and Musharraf's rule. Survival is really based on connections.

(Bureaucrat 25)

With the changes brought about by administrative reforms, changing power configuration across the arms of the state and the associated downsizing of the political clout of the bureaucracy there emerged reasons for negating the value of political neutrality within the bureaucracy. The implication of the requirement that bureaucrats show political allegiance was that any observance of an external set of laws and standards was now an obstacle rather than an assurance of promotion and career progression. Additionally, the failure of a bureaucrat was often linked to the inability to show adequate political allegiance and there was considerable emphasis on the qualities of wiliness and duplicity that the bureaucrat needed to develop in order to continue to be effective in delivering development while appearing to support the political establishment.

As you go up you also need to learn the art of political management, you need to be politically savvy.

(Bureaucrat 16)

Apple polishing and buttering them up is part of our culture.

(Bureaucrat 21)

Once you get into higher positions, you have to play some sort of political games.

(Bureaucrat 22)

When the bureaucrats were asked, the questions and answers resulted as follows:

Q. Do you think that it is possible to be successful and politically neutral?

A. 18 out of 21 said that it is absolutely not possible.

Q. Is it possible to have political immunity in the administrative system?

A. All of the bureaucrats felt that it was not possible at all.

This increasing need to please political masters has resulted in political neutrality being sidelined in favour of public display of allegiance through practices that signal loyalty to the politicians. In particular, it is the interference by ministers that has been regarded as offensive, often being very detrimental to the career of the bureaucrat. The perceptions of ministers regarding this turnaround in the power structure in the Pakistani administration underlines the importance accorded to loyalty of the bureaucrat to his political superiors, particularly so in relation to the minister concerned.

The ministers don't want not loyalty they want blind obedience from the bureaucracy, towards their own constituency, they are not pushed about the mega picture.

(Minister 4)

'I think the bureaucrats are totally been made impotent, they are not allowed to move at all.

(Minister 3)

Yes I agree that the ministers did not let them work the only survival is that if the bureaucrat takes the side of some political party.... Not impersonal, no one is ... Minister is not so much to blame. Because in this scenario, the chief executive of the federal or provinces has his go ... and his friends or his cronies are the ministers.... They are not holding it exactly ... for example if you want to post some one DPO or DCO, it is not done, by the secretary finance or by the chief secretary ... the chief minister is involved in it ...

(Minister 2)

The implications for the delivery of development programmes of such a system of explicit evidence of loyalty among bureaucrats for their ministerial bosses have been rather negative. The lack of dovetailing of bureaucratic and ministerial objectives, the delay in target setting and the often poorly designed and selected performance targets result in poor and insufficient delivery of public service. The ineptitude is not restricted to a particular development programme but becomes endemic to the career trajectory of the bureaucrat who comes to regard political allegiance as part of the job and therefore moves away from external set law and standards of the Weberian ilk to regarding the ministerial demands as the criterion against which to measure performance.

That is true, political interference is there most of the time ... the politician's concern is not to improve the ministry's performance, because a minister is not judged for his performance in the ministry, and again in our government the prime minister sets up a frame work for checking the ministry and we were asked ourselves to set up your own targets. We set those targets.... And there was a cell in the prime minister house which used to monitor the advancement of those targets as far as you were concerned as a minister.., but then if you did not meet those targets there was no penalty ... because once you start penalising a minister there are political repercussions, which the government is not willing to bear ... but I think that also has to be done ... the minister head of the policy, they do come with a political background and a political mind set ... but at the same time when they are heading a technical ministry ... they should be judged in some way..... if a bureaucrat does not listen to the minister then he is made an OSD, ... there are issues bureaucrats are total sycophants the minister should be total incompetent and that's a very good team if you want to take ministry in the wrong direction ... but somebody has to change that ...

(Minister 4)

In early mid career when you became DC, the whole concept of "Mai Baap" (Parent) of the district, to sort out the problems of anybody and everybody who comes to him. ... the concepts began to change Mid career, when we went through the revolutionary upheaval brought in by the PPP party and with each passing day, one became more and more cynical. One wanted to get to key positions, the objective had changed, and it was no longer serving the people. I am sorry to say it became more selfish. One started looking at post retirement economic benefits, perhaps a settled life, social connections, friends, marriage of children, yourself preservation became an important issue in the later part of mid career. In your final years of course, your job becomes more and more dependent on the political whims of people, you began to bend the rules, the idealism went, and you are no longer the sort of person you were earlier, so it meant that you did not say no so frequently.

(Bureaucrat 25)

The realisation that the singular pursuit of political neutrality would not bring about career such was indicated in the interviews where 18 out of 21 answered that it was not possible to be successful by remaining politically neutral. There was unanimous consensus that there was no political immunity for the Pakistani Bureaucrat. The Retired bureaucrats were of the opinion that as they had continued to abide by the principles of political neutrality they had been victimised by the politicians.

The difficulty that bureaucrats have felt in coming to terms with the reduced public control that they can exercise in the execution of government policy is still couched in terms of the Weberian notion of a meritocratic, rational and objective state actor. This notion has been severely tested by the administrative reforms brought about by the various political regimes that have ruled Pakistan since independence. In particular, the growing demand for public displays of loyalty to the ministerial class, most often in relation to deference to ministerial compulsions and machinations has been regarded as unpleasant but inevitable in the new political settlement that has emerged in Pakistan in the last few decades. The negation of political neutrality is witnessed in the growing presence of corruption, administrative slowdown and politicisation of bureaucratic decision making. The uncomfortable compromise that the bureaucratic class has had to make with the increasingly dominant political classes is that there will be a pandering to the need for political allegiance to maintain the political settlement within the state while still working to ensure the delivery of development.


The article shows that the initial dominance of the bureaucratic elite in Pakistan was a consequence of an overdeveloped bureaucracy on account of a colonial inheritance [Alavi (1971)]. The bureaucratic overhang that was an outcrop of the colonial administration was regarded as elite, brahmanical and mandarin like in its attitudes to society and particularly its engagement with politicians and political parties. The imbalance in the Pakistani state that has resulted from this highly unequal power sharing between bureaucratic and political players made it almost impossible to come to a stable political settlement within the state [Khan (1996)]. This position of bureaucratic dominance was undermined by the administrative reforms brought in under during Bhutto's early years in office and this took away many bureaucratic privileges, most particularly the safeguard against political interference provided by the constitutional guarantee.

The consequences for the delivery of development is an increasingly inefficient and poorly designed and executed programmes by the bureaucracy as the demands of the political process overtake the requirements of the programme. The damage done is not only to the development agenda but to the very institutions of the country. By replacing political neutrality by political allegiance there has been a shift in the rules by which the bureaucracy was playing. In place of the externally set standards of merit and impartiality there is now an emphasis on publicly supporting political demands and ensuring that bureaucratic action did not directly contradict political sentiment. The Pakistani bureaucracy is entrenched in a quagmire of political intrigues and is miles away from the ideal a political officer that Weber (1968) envisaged.

After analysing the perceptions of the bureaucracy regarding the political complexities they encounter in their professional lives, it appears that it would be a mistake to use the Weber's heuristic notion of bureaucracy to sort out organisational perplexities of Pakistan's civil service. It is not a bureaucracy in the classical sense. It is far too complex, with far too much history, to be relegated to such a simple characterisation [Jones (1997), p. 364].


Authors' Note: We are thankful to anonymous referees of this journal for their comments on earlier versions of this paper. The usual disclaimer applies.


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(1) From Briabanti, R. Research on the Bureaucracy of Pakistan. Durham: Duke University Press. 1966. Appendix 1.

(2) The paper examines the bureaucrats' own perception of their profession and the manner and extent to which they have been able to maintain their political neutrality. The bureaucrats have identified political interference as a major consideration. While other factors such as a fall in the real income of the bureaucrat or the change in the service conditions of the bureaucrat might also play a role these were not identified as major factors by the interviewees. As the research methodology was to analyse the perceptions rather than a comprehensive set of objective conditions that face the bureaucracy factors not raised by the bureaucrats have been further investigated.

(3) As the Ideal Bureaucrat envisaged by Weber (1968).

(4) Adapted from Weber's "Ideal" Model in Robert Simmons and Eugene P, Dvorin, Public Administration: Values, Policy and Change (New York, 1977), pp. 192 94.

(5) Khan (2007) questions whether the separation of the church and state in western European societies can be considered as complete given that there are many symbols and practices of Christianity that are still upheld through state procedures and practices.

(6) For further depth see Alavi, Hamza 'Authoritarianism and Legitimation of State Power in Pakistan' In Subrata Mitra (ed.) The Post-Colonial State in South Asia. (London and New York) 1990, Ziring and Laporte Two Views Author(s): :The Pakistan Bureaucracy: Source: Asian Survey, Vol. 14, No. 12, (Dee., 1974), pp. 1086--1103 Published by: University of California Press.

(7) From Khan, A. 'A historical review of elitism in the federal bureaucracy of Pakistan and a critical analysis of Pakistan's higher public administration' National Development and Security, Vol. X, No. 3, Spring 2002.

(8) This has been regarded as an 'overhang' from the colonial period when the bureaucrats were extensively trained as lowly administrators, later expanded to cover the higher positions of provincial governors.

(9) See Table 1 in the essay for a summary of those studies.

(10) The Brookings Institute index for weak and failed states, Pakistan ranks 33 out of 141 states.

(11) Rauch and Evans (1999) have examined countries based on this yardstick.

(12) Hyden, et al. (2003) have researched extensively on this yardstick.

(13) It is not within the scope of this essay to discuss whether the political neutrality that Weber envisaged is possible or not. He himself realised that no ideal type of bureaucracy could ever exist and all existing bureaucracies would be less efficient than the Ideal model. This research will primarily focus on whether the Pakistani Bureaucracy follows Weber's dictate of political neutrality.

(14) There is a distinct, and very large, literature on the role of the judiciary in Pakistan and this aspect will not be covered in the current article.

(15) For further information see Rowland Egger, The Improvement of Public Administration in Pakistan. (Karachi,1953) and Bernard L. Gladieux, Reorientation of Pakistan Government for National Development. Karachi, 1955.

(16) For a detailed analysis, see Sayeed, K. The Political System of Pakistan. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1967.

(17) 'The Times (London), October 30, 1954.

(18) From Sayeed (1967) The Political System o fPakistan. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, chapter 6.

(19) For further detail see Alavi, Hamza 'Authoritarianism and Legitimation of State Power in Pakistan'. In Subrata Mitra (ed) The Post-Colonial State in South Asia, (London and New York) 1990.

(20) See Shafqat, S. (1999) Pakistani Bureaucracy, Crisis of Governance and Prospects of Reform. The Pakistan Development Review 38:4, 995-1017.

(21) For further detail See Group Research Paper, Faculty Advisor. Brig. Shahid Akram Kardar 'Civil Service Reforms; Building Public Sector Leadership' Pakistan Administrative Staff College, Lahore, (82nd National Management Course).

(22) Despite the administrative reforms there has been little change in the pay and grade structure of the Pakistani administration. The reforms focus largely on a reorganisation in relation to the organisational behaviour of the bureaucracy, most specifically in relation to reducing its combative power against the ministerial class. Please see table for the pay scale of the bureaucracy.

(23) For further depth see Khan, A. A Historical Review of Elitism in the Federal Bureaucracy of Pakistan and a Critical Analysis of Pakistan's Higher Public Administration. National Development and Security 10: 3, Spring 2002.

(24) For further depth see Shafqat, S. (1999) Pakistani Bureaucracy, Crisis of Governance and Prospects for Reform. The Pakistan Development Review 38 : 4,995-1017.

(25) OSD stands for Officer on Special Duty. It is the worst transfer order given to a bureaucrat, it implies the officer has no portfolio, no office, and he relinquishes his post to remain at home till further notice.

Maryam Tanwir and Shailaja Fennell work in the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, UK.
The basic objectives of the British Indian system of public
   administration, which incorporated some important features of the
   Mughal administrative system, and which remained unchanged until
   the partitioning of India and creation of Pakistan in 1947, lay in
   the maintenance of law and order, revenue collection,
   dispensation of justice and the provision of basic services. (7)

With so many illiterate people, politicians could make a mess of
   things..... there was no point in having the fine administrative
   system with good traditions that Pakistan has inherited unless it
   was run in the British way. A district officer or magistrate must
   be given full powers to deal with any situation. Politicians
   could make policy, but they must not interfere.... (17)

Table 1

Basic Monthly Pay Scale

Pau Scale   Minimum   Increment   Number of Pay   Maximum
              (Rs)      (Rs)        Points         (Rs)

BPS-1        1,245        35           16          1,770
BPS-2        1,275        44           16          1,935
BPS-3        1,320        50           16          2,070
BPS-4        1,360        58           16          2,230
BPS-5        1,400        66           16          2,390
BPS-6        1,440        73           16          2,535
BPS-7        1,480        81           16          2,695
BPS-8        1,540        88           16          2,860
BPS-9        1,605        97           16          3,060
BPS-10       1,660       107           16          3,265
BPS-11       1,725       116           16          3,465
BPS-12       1,830       130           16          3,780
BPS-13       1,950       144           16          4,110
BPS-14       2,065       161           16          4,480
BPS-15       2,190       177           16          4,845
BPS-16       2,535       197           16          5,490
BPS-17       3,880       290           13          7,360
BPS-18       5,085       366           11          8,745
BPS-19       7,750       385           11         11,600

BPS-20       9,195       440           11         13,595
BPS-21      10,190       545           11         15,640
BPS-22      10,900       610           11         17,000

Pau Scale   Sample Position

BPS-1       Sweeper
BPS-2       Quasid
BPS-3       Daftri
BPS-4       Dispatch Rider, Driver
BPS-5       Urdu Typist
BPS-7       Telex Operator
BPS-12      Stenotypist
BPS-13      Accountant
BPS-15      Stenographer
BPS-16      Admin Officer
BPS-17      Private Secretary
BPS-18      Agronomist
BPS-19      Deputy Secretary, Senior Agricultural
BPS-20      Economic Consultant, Joint Secretary
BPS-21      Senior Joint Secretary
BPS-22      Secretary

Source: World Bank (1998) Pakistan a Framework for Civil Service
Reform in Pakistan. Report No. 18386-PAK. p. 68.

Table 1

Summary of Research on Bureaucratic Dominance

Author             Name of the Book/      Emhthasis on

Hamza Alavi        Authoritarianism and   The state power in
                   Legitimation of        Pakistan since
                   State Power in         independence has
                   Pakistan.              been concentrated in
                                          the hands of a

Khalid B. Sayeed   The Political Role     Since independence
                   of Pakistan's Civil    the civil servants
                   Service.               played an even more
                                          powerful role than
                                          their imperial
                                          primarily due to
                                          weak political
                                          parties, and
                                          military dominance.

Saeed Shafqat      The Pakistani          Ayub cut down the
                   Bureaucracy. Crisis    dominance of the
                   of Governance and      CSP, which was
                   Prospects of Reform.   further cut to size
                                          by Bhutto. The 1973
                                          reforms adversely
                                          affected the

Lawrence Ziring    The Pakistan           The bureaucracy
                   Bureaucracy; Two       after independence
                   Views.                 was strong and
                                          Bhutto's reforms
                                          altered the
                                          situation, which
                                          could have been
                                          averted it the
                                          bureaucracy had been
                                          a little

Robert Laporte     The Pakistan           The Pakistani
                   Bureaucracy; Two       bureaucracy retained
                   Views.                 the colonial
                                          character. Filled
                                          the power vacuum
                                          after independence.
                                          Bhutto took away the
                                          power of the

Khalid B. Sayeed   The Political System   The bureaucracy
                   of Pakistan, 1967.     after independence
                                          filled the power
                                          vacuum which the
                                          politicians were
                                          unable to fill. He
                                          describes in detail
                                          the hierarchal set
                                          up of the CSP.

Charles Kennedy    The Bureaucracy in     Describes Pakistan
                   Pakistan. 1987,        as a bureaucratic
                   Oxford University      polity. Describes
                   Press.                 its dominant rule in
                                          Pakistan. Describes
                                          the politicisation
                                          of the bureaucracy
                                          since the 1973

Ralph Briabanti    Research on the        It contains a record
                   Bureaucracy of         of documents
                   Pakistan.              pertaining to the
                                          administration of
                                          Pakistan. And
                                          discusses various
                                          facets of the
                                          administration. it
                                          contains critical
                                          information and can
                                          be used as a
                                          reference book.

Gerelad Heeger     Bureaucracies,         He argues that
                   Political Parties      Bureaucratic
                   and Political          dominance in
                   Development.           Pakistan resulted
                                          not due to
                                          superiority but
                                          because of
                                          monopolisation of
                                          key governmental
                                          offices in the
                                          political system by
                                          bureaucratic elites.

Source: Authors' compilation.

Figure 1. Political Influence in the Civil Service

Always/often 23%

Seldom/Never 77%

Note: Table made from pie chart.

From: Haque, N. and I, Khawaja (2007) Public Service Through the Eyes
of Civil Servants. Pide Series on Governance and Institution.
Islamabad: Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, 2007
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.