History of P.A.S

The Officers of the Indian Civil Service (ICS) from the united-British India, who opted for Pakistan upon independence and partition in 1947, were inducted into the newly created Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS). However, due to the acute shortage in their numbers compared to the requirement in the new country, the Government of Pakistan decided to induct officers from other services including the Indian Political Service (IPS), Indian Accounts Service (IAS) and others into the PAS while the ICS officers automatically became part of it. The 5-member Committee for induction into the Civil Service was headed by Pakistan’s top civil servant, Chaudhry Mohammad Ali (later Prime Minister), serving as the Secretary General to the Cabinet, who was assisted by Foreign Secretary Aziz Ahmad, Finance Secretary Ghulam Mohammad, and two British Officers working as the Secretary Law and Secretary Services, respectively. The committee interviews officers from many cadres including the erstwhile finance officers of the British India and military officers, in addition to recognized services noted above, to induct the best among them as PAS officers, to cater for the shortage that would have occurred if PAS had been limited to only those 89 officers of ICS and 12 of IPS who had opted for Pakistan For the first three years, the service was run without a set frame of rules tailor made for Pakistan, save for their service conditions were still run under the Crown Servants Act 1912, adopted with certain necessary modifications.

While the work of the first Constituent Assembly was in full swing to draft the first ever constitution of the new republic, the discussion was also on about the architecture of its civil services. In this backdrop, in 1949, the first ever conference of Governors  and Chief Ministers of the four provinces was held under the Chairmanship of the Quaid-e-Millat Liaqat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan. It made several seminal decisions including the approval of Objectives Resolution, that was subsequently passed by the Constituent Assembly, and forms the Grund Normof our Constitution. Another milestone of the same conference was the creation of two All-Pakistan Services on the pattern of the two all India Services called Indian Civil Service and the Indian Police Service, directly responsible to the Viceroy as representative of the Crown, at deployable anywhere in the imperial domains under the Viceroy at his pleasure. The provinces agreed that such services were a necessity and were indispensable for the integrity and solidarity of Pakistan.

During the same year, 1949 that is, the Government of Pakistan, conducted the first ever competitive exams for the Administrative service. Thus the first and last batch of PAS was trained that had a number of illustrious officers such as Roedad Khan (later Interior Minister), I. A. Imtiazi (later President of CSP Association) and Aftab Hussain (Chairman of Urdu Board) etc. Meanwhile the government also interviewed officers such as V. A. Jaffery who had given written exams in India and interviews could not be conducted due to partition related turmoil. They were interviewed without a further written exam and inducted according to merit. In 1950, in consultation with the then President of the PAS Association, Akhter Husain CSP (later Governor West Pakistan), the government agreed to rename the service to Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP), as a home grown service constituted under the 1949 agreement, because PAS was being viewed as a descendent of ICS rather than a contrivance of the new state itself. The phonetic proximity of PAS with IAS also needed to be avoided. Plus there was an argument that our officers do much more than just administration as we had revenue, judicial and secretarial duties to perform.

Thus, these two services were voluntarily given by the Federating Units to the Federation in the interest of national integration. That is to say that provinces surrendered certain key posts of the provinces including the administrative and police heads of the districts, to all Pakistan services hired and maintained by the Federal government. Just like ICS, was the “steel  frame” of united India, the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) in post independence India, and Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) became the steel frame of the new born nations. Since the 1949 Inter Provincial Pact had given a unique national role to the service, a new name was felt imperative to differentiate it from PAS. In consultation with the then President of PAS Association, the officers agreed--- and the government notified--- Civil Service of Pakistan (C.S.P) as the label of the new All Pakistan Service.

Chaudhry Mohmmad Ali, Secretary General Cabinet (later Prime Minister of Pakistan) who headed the five member committee to induct officers from non-ICS cadres into the Pakistan Administrative Service

It was felt that ground rules must be laid very clearly as to which posts the CSP’s may hold and which may be filled in by other officers. Since the matter was between the federating units, who had voluntarily accepted the idea, so a second conference of governors and chief ministers of the four provinces was held in 1954 with the then Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Bogra, in the chair. The statesmen agreed on 729 posts in Pakistan (including the then-East Pakistan which is the present-day Bangladesh, as the Prime Minister too belonged to our Eastern wing) were reserved exclusively for the CSP while quota was apportioned for other posts [i.e. 80% of the Commissioners, 50% of the Deputy Commissioners and 10% of the Assistant Commissioners were to be CSP’s in each province; the rest to be filled by the provincial cadres]. This agreement is called the CSP Cadre & Composition Rules 1954, which governs the APUG service quotas to date. The police service rules were made much later in 1969 and updated and revised in 1985. Despite the provisional rules of 1993 providing for revision of the 1954 formula, no updated rules have so far been framed.

The CSP (Composition & Cadre) Rules, 1954 pre date all the three Constitutions of Pakistan, and stand protected under the constitution. Being a solemn agreement between the Federation and units, no side can unilaterally change them even through a constitutional amendment unless this gets approved by the provinces etc. Following the tradition that ICS is a direct service of the crown, the said rules made the Governor General (subsequently the President of Pakistan), a trustee and custodian of the All Pakistan Service and responsible for  its conduct  and discipline. It allows for encadrement of federal and provincial posts and its Section 2 (a) permitted appointment of persons from outside the Service on cadre posts ~ became members of the Service. Recently, a wrong impression is being created that there was a voluntary surrender of posts by the provinces for the Federal Services. No, the PAS is not a Federal service but an All-Pakistan Service meaning thereby that it is common to federation and the provinces ( a federal-cum-provincial-service-in-one)

The CSP attracted the best and the most brilliant minds of the country and was known for its incorruptibility and competence, as was the case with its predecessor (ICS). It fares well with other elite or superior cadres of national civil services in other developed and developing nations of the world, which have been discussed elsewhere in the present volume.

The dismemberment of Pakistan, the CSP was considerably weakened. Eight of our officers were killed in the war, many times more made Prisoners of War in the Indian camps, and half of our cadre strength (over 89 or so) opted for Bangladesh. The year 1970 marked the first ever direct elections in Pakistan, where universal adult franchise enabled people to chose political leaders/parties of their choice to rule over their destinies. The West Pakistan was won by the Pakistan People’s Party and the East Pakistan was won by the Awami League. Neither party could manage a single seat in the other wing. The talks to form a coalition government did not bring fruit and finally a military action ensued. The CSP officers found themselves in a state of war where they served the nation with distinction (see Chapter on 1971 war) but the country could not stay together.

The CSP also got divided and both sides were weakened in the new Pakistan and in Bangladesh. The politicians were happy in both the countries to play with the civil services in the name of reforms, in order to enhance their new found power. The DMG and the BCS have considerably been weakened in the post 1971 scenarios. The present Part considers the history of the DMG only, while the story of BCS forms another chapter in Part IX of this book.

The 1973 constitution retained the concept of All Pakistan Services, however, the so-called 1973 reforms tried to damage the institution of CSP, that had --- over two centuries of history dating back to 1777--- not only attracted the awe and admiration from the corridors of power --- but sadly enough--- also feelings of jealousy and rivalry. Abolishing all service names and merging the All Pakistan Service into the federal occupational groups was one manifestation of the “reforms” and doing away with specialized training of the CSP’s was another.

CSP was the only cadre which was systematically damaged through the process; while other groups were merged (for instance, Pakistan Accounts Service, Pakistan Railway Accounts Service, Pakistan Military Accounts Service and the Audit cadre were merged into a single Pakistan Audit and Accounts Group), the CSP was  not only abolished, its history and traditions taken away (the majestic and historic building of the CSP Academy on the junction of the Canal and the Mall, of Lahore, which the CSP’s had always known as their second home too was taken away and converted into a state guest house. After all, since specialized training itself had been done away with, the raison d”etre of the academy had supposedly, or purportedly, evaporated in thin air. As for the service itself, it was not only abolished but trifurcated into not one but three occupational groups, namely, the District Management Group (DMG), the Tribal Areas Group (TAG) and the Secretariat Group (SG). The Police Service was also abolished but replaced by a single Police Officers Group.

To understand the rationale behind the three occupational groups, we need to look at the administrative architecture of the country during early and pre-1970’s. At the inception of Pakistan, Pakistan had three types of administrative units; the districts were run under the CrPC 1898 and were administratively headed by the Deputy Commissioners; the (tribal agencies were run under a very different revenue, administrative, and justice system regulated under the Frontier Crimes Regulations 1901, headed by the Political Agents; and the princely states that had acceded to Pakistan were run by their hereditary rulers under various vernacular laws and the Govt of Pakistan was represented by the Residents. Now the full human resource of DC’s, PA’s and Residents was provided by the ICS-cum-CSP cadre, who were the principal enforcers of the writ of the state in the early years of their career. As the officers moved up their career ladder, the management and administrative skills learnt and experienced at subordinate administrative units of the state, were utilized at provincial levels and the federal level. The princely states were abolished in 1967 by President Ayub Khan regime, so with the hereditary rulers, gone already was the concept of Residents, leaving the CSP’s in the field as Deputy Commissioners and the Political Agents only and the others in the administrative set up of the secretariats.

The Government decided to give the option to all field officers of the CSP to give an option to choose any of the occupational groups allowed to them including even Foreign Affairs Group, failing which they would be deemed to be part of the Secretariat Group. Most officers, not sure at the time as to which occupational group will be the true heir of the CSP did not exercise any option and their seniority was inadvertently placed in the list of secretariat officers along with cadres such as the Office Management Group. In the circumstances, all officers of secretariat groups were technically expected to be given Secretariat postings only. Of the officers in the field, the ones with civilian background were all placed in DMG, to run the districts, and all from the military quota into the defunct CSP as the TAG, to run the Agencies. This scheme of things did not last or work even till the time the ink on its draft dried.

There was no way to run the country without all Pakistan services so the government placed administrative and Police services into All Pakistan Unified Grades (APUG) which is distinctive from all other 2.8 million civil servants in Pakistan’s federal services called the Federal Unified Grades (FUG) and 1.2 million personnel at the strength of various provincial services called the Provincial Unified Grades (PUG). The Establishment Division O.M. Dated 23.02.1974, 24.3.1974 and 14.12.1976 provide for entry, training, promotion, lateral entry and seniority of the group. However, the innovation between the APS and APUG being that the former contained two services, namely, the CSP and the PSP; the latter had four groups; the Police Group and the three successor groups of the CSP, called the DMG, the TAG, and the SG.

The administrative officers of the APUG continued to perform all three functions interchangeably, i.e. running districts, managing tribal agencies and officiating in headquarter positions, regardless of whether they were placed in DMG, TAG or SG. The CSP label --- as a synonym for professional and managerial excellence remained part of these service groups.

Under the military government of Gen Zia ul Haq, another series of administrative reforms undid some of the negative decisions; for instance, TAG was merged back (w.e.f. 1981) into the DMG (though not the SG which is still a separate group); service names of some groups were restored like Police Group became Police Service of Pakistan again (though not the service label of the CSP): specialized training for the DMG’s were resumed after the completion of common training programs (w.e.f. 1979) with the consequence that part of the Mall Road campus was restored (though not all, as the better part remains still the State Guest House) and lateral entries from the private sector were banned. However, the Military regime also banned inductions from the Provincial Civil Services (PCS), which had been a time tested practice for over a century (and is still continuing in neighboring India where PCS officers with 15 years of service can compete to get inducted into IAS) and many bright officers of CSP (such as Ghulam Ishaq Khan--- later President of Pakistan) had come from PCS quota.

A descriptive diagram of our history can be seen below:

Civil Servants of Mogul empire and Company Covenanted Servants
Imperial Civil Service (ICS)1858-1887
Civil Service of India (ICS) + Indian Political Service (IPS)1887-1946
Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS)1948-1951
Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP)1951-1973
District Management Group (DMG) + Tribal Areas Group (TAG) + Secretariat Group1973-1981 DMG1981-2011
DMG1981-2011
Back to Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS)2011-to date
Under Article 175(3), one of the provisions of the 1973 constitution was affected in 1996 with the separation of the judiciary from the executive, progressively in 20 years. Traditionally the District Magistrates had both administrative and criminal justice functions. In the latter case, they acted as the trial courts while the regular stream of provincial judiciary looked after the civil cases. The judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan on the subject, directed the government to effect the separation, thereby divesting the DMG officers from criminal justice roles which was shifted to the Civil Judges re-designated as Judicial Magistrates. But the DMGee’s still have judicial and quasi judicial functions in respect of various local and special laws as well as their role as Revenue Courts under Land Revenue Act 1967, whereby they adjudicate all matters pertaining to agriculture land, partition and water rights etc.

Another DMG specific reform was the Local Government Ordinance and the Police Order by the military regime of Pervez Musharraf in 2001-02 respectively. The posts of Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Commissioner were abolished in some provinces. New posts of District Coordination Officer (DCO), Executive District Officer (EDO), District Officer (DO) and Deputy District Officer (DDO) were created. Executive Magistracy abolished (transferring some powers to Judicial Magistrates) while all powers of District Magistrate were varyingly divested in Provincial Government, Judiciary, Police and Zila Nazim. The DMG officers in the most districts were placed under semi literate political officials called Nazims, to garner political support and semblance of political legitimacy to an illegal and unpopular dictatorship. Playing with the system and doing away with the steel frame of Pakistan had disastrous consequences for the country. The country was soon in the grip of lawlessness, parts of it facing insurgency and rest subject to reckless and merciless spill over of terrorist and suicide bomb blasts. The writ of the government, from ensuring safety of gas pipelines to that of uninterrupted provision of the staple food of wheat flour crumbled. Even the military government was wise enough not to extend the LGO to any sensitive area in Pakistan including the Islamabad Capital Territory, the troubled Western tribal areas, the state of Azad Kashmir or any cantonment area anywhere in the country. Now the people’s government is gradually restoring the original time tested system of enforcing the writ of the state.

That there were always CSP/DMG/PAS officers running key decision making civil service positions in the provincial and federal secretariats, as entitled by the sovereign pact among the federating units of Pakistan called Cadre & Composition Rules 1954, discussed above, was not in question. However, in the recent decades somehow, observance of one of the founding pacts of our polity made by our founding fathers way back in 1954 is not being fully observed, so subordinate or allied cadres and even non-service political appointees sometimes clinch positions that are the preserve of PAS. Weakening institutions in such a way, is a major challenges facing our polity today.

Since the creation of Pakistan, the daring, dedicated and diligent civil servants of the most illustrious management cadre of this country have given their whole hearted commitment to the service of this country, its government and its people. The list of martyrs, those Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners, or other officers from this service cadre who laid down their lives in the line of duty, is seldom appreciated. To those fallen heroes, this volume is dedicated.

Be it the civil defence needs of the citizenry during the fury of 1965 and 1971 wars, the rehabilitation of people displaced by mega projects of Tarbela Dam and the Mangla Dam, the rescue and relief efforts of the Great South Asian Earthquake of 8th October 2005 (in which three Deputy Commissioners had lost their lives), it is only the CSP/PAS at the disposal of the Pakistan’s head of government to be placed in the field anywhere in Pakistan at his discretion. Our officers never failed the government and the nation. To give one revealing instance, the Additional Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad, Zafar Iqbal (PAS) lost all his three young kids in the earthquake but this grief did not make him shirk his responsibility to play his role in the relief efforts throughout the days that followed.

Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Jonejo once recalled that his villagers used to share sweets whenever a CSP would come to their district as the Deputy Commissioner as opposed to one from other provincial or local services or a promotee official from rank and file of the revenue department. Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, even after abolishing the CSP, wanted and appointed an officer of erstwhile CSP cadre to supervise the development projects in his native/home constituency of Larkana. The then Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, has so much trust in the PAS officers that he deputed 44 young under-training PAS officer from the civil services academy Lahore to manage the camps of 2.6 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) due to the insurgency and resultant military operations in 2008 in the then-Frontier Province.

The Warrant of Precedence Rules 1975 declare District Collectors as first in the warrant of precedence among other officers of equal rank, thus the precedence to the PAS officers is enshrined in the law of the land.The Flag Rules of 1975 entitle the district collectors to hoist flag on their offices and the official residences. The flag of Pakistan always flutters held high, courtesy the toil and blood of, among others, the CSP/ PAS officers, who enforce the writ of the state, dispense justice and keep the country intact and solid as a rock.