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No more carte blanche for Prime Minister Khan

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Federal government’s recent decision to cut prime minister’s discretionary powers to appoint heads of government organizations is a positive step in the direction of implementing democracy in its true sense because in democracies institutions are supposed to be strong while in dictatorships powers rest with a handful individuals.

Applauding the government’s decision, all democracy loving circles are hopeful that the incumbent set up will continue to make more such efforts in order to strengthen democracy.

Doing away with the old practices, the federal government has given approval for formation of a selection committee to ensure appointment of competent and bright candidates on the positions of chief executives as part of its efforts to introduce a uniform and transparent system.

Publication of vacancy, compilation of list of final candidates and interview by the selection committee will be made part of the new hiring process.

The prime minister will give approval for an appointment after the Selection Committee comprising minister of department concerned, three to five experts, Divisional Secretary and Board of Director’s non-executive chairman will present names of three to five candidates to him.

The prime minister will then pick a name out of total three to five candidates for appointment as Chief Executive Officer of the department concerned.

The prime minister, however, can seek new names if he is not satisfied with the ones proposed by the Selection Committee.

In the first phase, the new procedure of recruitment has been introduced in as many as 65 government run institutions including Pakistan International Airlines, Sui Southern Gas Company, WAPDA,, National Bank, Pakistan Television, Pakistan Cricket Board, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, Higher Education Commission and National Shipping Corporation.

The government plans to extend the new system to others institutions gradually.

There is no doubt that the decision will not only strengthen the impression that the democratic intuitions are becoming strong in Pakistan, it will also address the complaints regarding nepotism and political affiliation in the appointments on key positions in government departments.