PM Speech for the Certificate Award Ceremony of the
93rd NMC and 8th SMC
Mr. Muhammad Ismail Qureshi, Rector,
National School of Public Policy,
Mr. Khushnood Akhtar Lashari, Secretary, Establishment Division,
Participants of the 93rd National Management Course, and 8th Senior Management Course.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
I should start by saying that my government, in its first three years of existence, has made much progress
despite serious internal and external challenges. But this is not enough. We still have to go a long way.
And I would need all the support possible from you in finding a solution to our multi-dimensional problems
and difficulties. Of these issues, and of our achievements, I will speak a little later.
I am sure that the National School of Public Policy has provided you a platform from where you can
launch yourselves for higher positions of responsibilities with a greater degree of understanding and
clarity on these pressing issues. I have been meeting with your predecessors doing these courses here at
the National Management College. I know what impressive progress this institution has made in a short
span of time. I have interacted with your faculty and have also followed the development of the curriculum
and the infrastructure necessary for the purpose. Therefore, I have no doubt in my mind that you will go
out with a much enhanced capacity to deal with the problems our country faces today.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Our Constitution—the 1973 Constitution—envisages a Federal Republic wherein the principles of
democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be followed.
The inspiration, of course, comes from the Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan. As
he stated in a public broadcast in February 1948, and I quote:
The Constitution of Pakistan has yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. I do not know
what the ultimate shape of this constitution is going to be, but I am sure, that it will be democratic type,
embodying the essential principles of Islam. Today, they are as applicable in actual life as they were
1,300 years ago. Islam and its idealism have taught us democracy. It has taught equality of man, justice,
and fair-play to everybody.
But the Quaid also wanted Pakistan to be a modern, developed and resourceful nation-state. As he
explained on the eve of the creation of Pakistan: ‘It is all very well to talk of Muslims as a nation and to
demand a separate homeland for them, a homeland in which they can live according to their own right
and shape their own destiny, but do you realize that such a State would be useless if we did not have the
men, the material and the wherewithal to run it?’ This was a formidable task, demanding both state
formation and nation building in Pakistan, together and simultaneously. All governments since 1947 dealt
with it in their own ways. Some were more successful than others.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
As I was saying, during the three years of my government’s rule, we succeeded in making good progress
despite a flawed legacy of some past policies and serious challenges. These challenges included spate of
terrorism and religious extremism, deposed judiciary, aberrations in the constitution, economic crisis,
unprecedented floods, energy shortages and other destabilizing events, including the insurgency in FATA
The government responded to these challenges with political will, determination, and, following the legacy
of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, with a policy of ‘national reconciliation’. Given the range and
extent of challenges faced by Pakistan, the government realized that the only way to deal with them was
to carry everybody along, all the representative groups and interests in the politics of Pakistan. Political
parties which had representation in the parliament were especially made part of this policy of
reconciliation. I was unanimously elected Prime Minister of Pakistan. Coalition governments were formed
in the centre and the provinces, through a process of mutual adjustment and fostering harmony. The idea
was to call forth the united representative will of the people and to develop a ‘national’ agenda rather than
a narrow partisan, self-serving goal for our government. At times, this caused difficulties, leading to
stresses and strains within the coalition partners, with some of our own party stalwarts insisting that we do
it ourselves, the government remained committed to this policy of national reconciliation for the common
good of the country. We scarified our own party interests for the sake of larger national interests. The
promotion of these interests is indeed a matter of great pride and satisfaction to us.
Pakistan has witnessed a volatile cycle of economic growth, low and high, but never consistently high and
sustainable. More importantly, if we were to analyze, one of the major sectors responsible for this has
been the frequent political interruptions and lack of consistency and continuity of our policies in the past.
Our efforts at forging reconciliation and bringing together different political streams to a broad agenda of
convergence has the potential to create an environment of relative political stability conducive to
sustainable and inclusive economic growth over a long period of time. This, I believe, will not only help
meet political and economic challenges more robustly, but may also lay the foundation for a better and
The government successfully halted the advance of the militants in Swat and South Waziristan, with the
help of the army and the people. There were retaliatory suicide attacks by the defeated elements. But the
government is determined to confront and eliminate the menace of terrorism. Over 1.7 million IDPs
migrated due to Swat operation and all of them were rehabilitated swiftly and satisfactorily, in phases, but
within months. Fool-proof security measures were adopted for their return and rehabilitation.
The deposed superior judiciary was reinstated, including the deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan, to the
positions they were holding immediately before 3rd of November 2007. We restored them through an
Executive Order and they were not required to take a fresh oath. We respect the judiciary and believe that
an independent judiciary and its empowerment is in the best interest of democracy and this
democratically elected government.
The government’s policy of reconciliation helped repeal the authoritarian 17th Amendment. The 18th
Amendment made the parliament sovereign and restored the powers of the Prime Minister. A sitting
president, for the first time in the history of Pakistan, willingly surrendered his powers to the Prime
Minister and parliament. The Amendment also promoted genuine federalism and provincial autonomy,
and paved the way for good governance in the country. The 19th Amendment went a step further and
improved the procedure for the appointment of judges in superior courts.
The ‘Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan’ package promised political, administrative, and economic
development in Balochistan. The 7th NFC Award increased the provincial share in the federal divisible
pool up to 57.5%, thus bringing about far-reaching fundamental changes in the federation-provinces
financial relationship. Balochistan benefited the most. I am sure you will agree that my government’s
efforts for fiscal federalism will strengthen the federation.
Self-rule was granted to Gilgit-Baltistan. Benazir Income Support Program, ‘Waseela-e-Haq’ initiative,
Benazir’s Employees Stock Option Scheme, resolution of net hydel power profit for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
and gas development surcharge to Balochistan were some other achievements of the government.
Economy is being revived. Pakistan’s economy has already made a moderate recovery in 2010, helped
by supportive monetary and fiscal policies. As opposed to a meager 1.2 per cent in 2009, GDP growth
rose to 4.1 per cent in 2010. Key indicators of the economy are promising except for some structural
weaknesses like the fiscal balance, which is being addressed. It is important that the current path of
reforms is not abandoned.
Throughout these three years, Ladies and Gentlemen, my government’s focus has been on preserving
and promoting democracy where an inclusive, plural, and participatory model of governance can take
roots for the greater good of the people of Pakistan.
To build a prosperous Pakistan where the rights of the people are secured and protected and where
women and minorities are encouraged to make a constructive contribution to national development can
only be built with democracy. My government has made a conscious effort for pursuing policies that help
people, strengthen institutions, and contribute to the growth and development of democracy in the
The people of Pakistan have now learned a lesson from our own history that democracy is not easy but
democracy is good. Democracies are noisy; reflect power tussles, indeed at times brinksmanship. But it is
only through democracy that we can work together and make progress.
My government focuses on civil service reforms. We want to improve the quality of governance in the
country. We make all sorts of plans, but they fail due to poor governance and implementation. We would
like to ensure better governance by strengthening civil services through a merit-based system of
recruitment, in-service and progressive training and capacity building, promotions, career progression,
performance evaluation, renumeration, and accountability. Pending long-term reforms, it will be best to
allow merit and performance to take over. You have already seen that I attach great importance to merit
and performance-based promotions, even at the highest level. We follow strict rules-based promotion
system and such decisions are made at the Prime Minster’s level for promotions to the highest grade.
This is not only helping identify and promote capable senior civil servants but is also encouraging a spirit
of public service.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
I am glad to see that the National School of Public Policy is providing capacity building courses to all
progressive level of public servants from Grade 17 to Grade 20 level. The National School is also working
on a degree awarding program to offer degrees in public management and public policy. The Higher
Education Commission has already granted it the status of a Degree Awarding Institute. Also, I am happy
that the National School is contemplating to set up three academic campuses at Karachi, Islamabad, and
Lahore, which will offer degrees in economics, management, and social sciences. I am told the National
School has also launched its own research organization, National Institute of Public Policy. I would like
this Institute to grow into a ‘think tank’ for the government of Pakistan, to be able to give it independent,
objective and timely advice on pressing issues and concerns of public policy in Pakistan. I would also like
the National School to run a few courses for the benefit of parliamentarian as well. To this end, I believe,
that the School’s Executive Development Institute is planning to hold Executive Leadership Workshop
which would involve national political leadership.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Finally, let me make it clear that a public servant as a functionary of the state must be a beacon of light
for the rest of the community. In Pakistan, acute horizontal and vertical disparities exits. With the oil and
commodity prices remaining high, the cost of rehabilitation of the flood affectees, and other constraints,
our economic challenge is formidable, and so is our challenge of national integration and security.
Skepticism and cynicism permeate some sections of the civil service. Let us not forget, for a moment, that
today, Pakistan stands as a more stable, stronger and more powerful state than it ever was. It will be
even more stable, stronger and powerful in future. By the grace of God, we are a nuclear power. That
status provides us tremendous power and influence in our dealings with other nations. Despite our
problems, we have the 1973 Constitution, an excellent consensus document, which provides overarching
parameters and mechanisms for running the affairs of the state. How we use this users’ manual is up to
us. The amount of freedom the media enjoys today is unprecedented in Pakistan’s history. Women are
receiving more share in governance and policy making than they ever had in our history, though they still
need to be mainstreamed more. Above all, Ladies and Gentlemen, we have an elected representative
government. These are just a few of the positives, which should make you proud to be a Pakistani. And
that sense of pride, you need to pass on to the community. Give them hope, and not despair, give them
trust and not fear. Each one of you has to make a contribution to lift the spirit of the people you serve.
And that you can do only if you can create and deliver public value, and only if you are driven by inner
passion and faith in the state of Pakistan and a commitment to serve your country.
With these words, may I wish you luck, and also thank Mr. Muhammad Ismail Qureshi, Rector, NSPP,
once again, to give me this opportunity to meet you today.
May God Bless you!