OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE After the passage of the 18th amendment, the civil servants have a bigger role to play in the governance matters and they should deal with the issues by making use of their experience and professional expertise besides making efforts to know positive and negative sides of democratic governance since they have to deal with all sorts of people during their service. These views were expressed by President Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jehangir in her key note address at a seminar titled 'The role of civil service in democratic governance held under the aegis of the District Management Group Association (Punjab Chapter) at the DMG Campus on Friday. Asma Jehangir maintained that the CSPs were deemed as masters of peoples during the Ayub era, an impression continued to be so under the Yahya regime as well. However, Pervez Musharraf destroyed the mechanism of governance during his rule, she opined, adding that the civil servants played a key role in policy-making though they were not policy-makers since it was the prerogative of political leadership. The parliamentary system is more suitable to the upper echelons, who become ministers to rule, she observed. While sharing her experiences gained during her association with the UN, she termed the civil service institution in India and the UK as the best in the whole world. She asked the civil servants to develop a global vision as one could not live in isolation in the present world. Pakistan must benefit economically from emerging economies of China and India in our immediate periphery, she suggested, while asserting that the civil servants could remain apolitical, but they should not attach themselves to any political outfit. The civil servants have a special role to build up public opinion, while working in the field, she further added. Former bureaucrat Shafqat Mehmood observed that the civil servants had to follow what their political masters tell them. The bureaucracy has an important role in giving policy direction, while following certain rules and regulations, he said, while maintaining that politicians in other countries could not dare to break law. There is a certain level of frustration in political class of our country about adherence to rules and regulations, he opined, while advising the politicians to amend Rules of Business and also shoulder the responsibility, and not to take civil servants as opponents or their favourites. Secretary Human Rights Department Arshad Bin Ahmad said Pakistan should learn from the governance experiences of Singapore and South Korea. He further said we needed to develop and promote knowledge-based governance in Pakistan, and Bangladesh and India had successfully improved their governance structures through composite reforms. Former federal secretary Tasneem Noorani said the civil service had a diverse character and it also had a core character to protect life and property of the common people besides ensuring law and order in the society. Democracy and civil service has a direct correlation with each other, he added. Raza Ahmad Rum observed that the last decade was the worst for the civil service. No other reform agenda can be achieved without civil service reforms, he maintained. Syed Yawar Ali said the civil servants had to play an important role in building expectations of the people.