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Copying neighbours

35 5 42

THOSE Indians who forget Pakistan’s history are condemned to relive it.

On Sept 25, 1972, readers of the morning dailies were startled to see two advertisements placed by Mr Z.A. Bhutto’s PPP government: one invited applications to senior posts from the level of deputy secretary to secretary in the Central Secretariat; the second, for comparable positions from third secretary to minister in Pakistan’s Foreign Service. In time, these inductees were branded by those recruited through the fiercely competitive Civil Service exam condescendingly as ‘lateral entrants’.

On June 11, this year, Narendra Modi’s BJP government placed an advertisement in Indian newspapers, asking “talented and motivated Indian nationals” to apply for 10 posts of the level of joint secretary in the Indian Union Government. Mr Bhutto’s trawl in 1972 was generic, regardless of specialty. Mr Bhutto’s motive had been to weaken the iron grip of the Civil Service of Pakistan. Mr Modi wants one joint secretary apiece with expertise in “revenue, financial services, economic affairs, agriculture, road transport, shipping, environment and forest, civil aviation and commerce”’. He is suspected by his opponents of inoculating Jan Sanghis into India’s administrative structure.

There’s no country that hasn’t tried to........

© Dawn