How would you describe yourself: as an individual, excluding the titles.
As an individual I would say that I believe in hard work, I’m humble, and I believe in spiritualism, these are the three things that I think define me as an individual. I take my work as ibadat (devotion) and take it more spiritually than professionally. I think I’ve got a good sense of humor as well: I take jokes, I make jokes.
If you were to reason with the youth, on the question of "why should they choose CSS?" How would you answer them?
I believe that civil services can change the fate of Pakistan. If good people refrain from joining Civil Services, then we will be left with people with the same mindset, as people who served earlier, and the situation might continue to deteriorate. That’s why, I believe, better people should join the Civil Services of Pakistan. The civil service is such an institute that can provide with the opportunity to make an impact at a young age. This profession might not suffice people who aim for money or for any other motivation, people should only give it a go if they are genuinely passionate: passionate to serve the people, passionate to serve the nation, for humanity… for Allah’s will.
How important is it to be active on social media for the DC of Islamabad?
For any field officer, be it the DC of Islamabad, or any other serving field officer, it’s important to connect with the public via social media, or any other form. So, they can get feedback, and with those responses, better actions can be taken as well. In turn, it makes the public more involved. Also, people who are unable to visit the offices, for instance: women feel safer on social media, or some people are hesitant in visiting the offices, or waiting in queues, so they interact on social media. I believe it helps the state, as it enhances the transparency and accountability process, which in turn enhances the governance as well.
What's your take on information flow, should it be controlled, or we should "let it flow"?
It’s almost impossible to contain information, social media has made things very democratic. But also, it’s the responsibility of institutes, to provide exact and accurate information. It is very important that the offices get their social media accounts verified, and relay information on their websites, so the spread of fake information may be prevented.
How do you manage to find the balance between your family life and service? Also after a long and tiring day, what cheers you up the most?
There’s no time to ponder on this posting (job). This position demands that you must give your hundred percent. But obviously, whenever I’m free, I visit my family to see my son… my daughter... that really cheers me up… decreases the stress.
There are some prevailing threats like begging in Islamabad, what is the policy to deter the threat?
You see, there are some crimes like robbery or theft that can be prevented via efficient policymaking, but begging is a global phenomenon. The solution is not to arrest them (beggars). They will get out of jail after 3-4 days, as it’s not a serious offense. The only solution in my view is to donate. There are 5 Panahgaahs and over 20 Langar Khanas functioning in Islamabad. We try to control as much as possible on our end and appeal to the public to not give to beggars on signals, instead donate to the less fortunate or by trusting welfare organizations.
There are many points in Islamabad that have become obvious choke points. What steps are you taking to ease the traffic flow?
There are three major projects lined up: (overhead) bridges are under-construction on Srinagar Highway. IJP Road and Islamabad Expressway are being recarpeted, bridges are under construction. Margalla Avenue is being initiated near Sector C-17, which will extend up to Sector D-17, and will be inaugurated till next year, this will redirect the traffic coming from GT Road. All these projects will be completed within a year or so.
8. What was the most challenging point in your service?
Every day is a challenge when dealing with the law-and-order situation, there are emergency like situations, for instance, there were over one lakh people attended JUI’s dharna, or TLP’s dharnas, during flood in Islamabad; a woman and a child died, and such instances occur daily, so every day is a challenge, and we take care of it.
9. Lastly, a message to the youth...
To the youth, if you want to succeed in your life, be vary of two things: intent, and hard work. Your intent should be pure, and for the goodwill of people. And the second thing is hard work. I’ve observed that the youth of today runs from hard work. Just stay put, and you will reap the fruit. Indeed hard work pays off!
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First Floor, RAS Arcade, Eidhi Market, Street#124, G-13/4, Islamabad, Pakistan, 44000.