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Those named in Panama Papers to be tracked down: Bureaucrats to be insulated against politics, says PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said the government was firmly committed to undertaking structural reforms in bureaucracy to make it efficient and responsive to the needs of time.

He said this while chairing a meeting of the Task Force on Civil Service Reforms here. Imran regretted that bureaucracy was heavily politicised during the past 10 years, resulting in inefficiency and creating fear among the bureaucrats.

He noted that the bureaucracy would be depoliticised and insulated from all kinds of political pressures. The prime minister maintained that the existing government system could not compete with the private sector where merit determined the positions and seniority.

He said no system could sustain or deliver if accountability and merit were missing. “We need to restructure and reform our bureaucracy to make it pro-progress and innovative and there is a dire need to promote professionalism in every sphere”.

The prime minister emphasised, “We are committed to protecting the integrity and security of tenure of bureaucrats so that they could devote their energies towards translating political vision into reality. We have to attract the best minds to serve the country”.

Imran acknowledged the fact that talent was abundant in the country but the existing system did not allow talent to emerge. He said the political class also needed training to deal with the changing times.

Imran emphasised the need for checking the wastage of resources and added, “We are also bringing a model local government system wherein local representatives will be fully empowered to carry out public welfare work”.

Meanwhile, chairing a meeting here, the prime minister directed incorporation of Islamic history and Iqbal studies into the curriculum to familiarise the young generation with the history of Islam, the golden period of Muslims and thoughts of Allama Iqbal.

Imran said Iqbal's philosophy gave freedom to a man's thinking and fostered the thought process. “The principles of the state of Madina are as relevant today as they were during the period of Islam and that enabled the Muslims to lead the world in a very short period of time. We can still achieve our lost glory by following the principles of Madina state. Islam teaches moral values and these are degraded due to social and economic decline, and corruption is a reflection of this moral decay,” he continued.

He pointed out that the public's lack of knowledge about history and facts gave an opportunity to mischievous elements to distort these for their own interests. He noted that some elements were using the problems of the tribal areas’ people for their own objectives, while some politicians were using Islam for political gains. Meanwhile, in a candid discussion and brainstorming session with the government and ruling party spokesmen Friday evening, Imran ruled out the possibility of so-called NRO with any opposition party.

He said the government and ruling party must dispel the impression created by the opposition about any underhand deal. Senior Punjab minister Aleem Khan’s arrest by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) also came under discussion.

A strategy was evolved to deal with the upcoming developments, especially the opposition’s ‘maligning’ of the government. Imran reminded that the PTI government had come into being to net corrupt people but not to make deals with them.

The huddle also discussed the political situation created by the arrest Aleem Khan who established yet another bright example by quitting the office soon after his arrest. Khan asked the spokespersons to follow proactive approach in reaching the people with the message of the party and its performance.

Geo adds: Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday ordered that those named in the 2016 Panama Papers be tracked down. According to sources in the Prime Minister Secretariat, more than 250 people named in the Panama Papers had availed themselves of tax amnesty and most of the companies named in the leak had shifted to China. Sources further said 175 people named in the leak could not be located, while information about 78 was incomplete for which agencies’ help had been sought.

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