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Renowned Islamic scholar Maulana Tariq Jameel talked on ‘Morality, ethics and public service delivery’ to officers of FBR at Karachi today (on Monday). His talk highlighted the values of honesty, integrity, truthfulness and strength of character as being the hallmark of public service.
The talk was delivered at Directorate General of Training & Research (Customs), Karachi. A video up link to FBR offices also enabled officers of BS-17 and above working in field formations to hear the talk. The officers found the lecture as inspiring and motivating.
Maulana Tariq Jameel spoke on real-life examples, Islamic traditions, sayings of the Prophet (PBUH) and verses from the Quran to accentuate the need for virtues of honesty, truth and strength of character to deliver on the promise of civil service. He bemoaned what he saw as a growing ‘yes-’ culture thriving on sycophancy and obsequiousness in delivery of public services.
He likened civil service to a trust of Allah reposed in men, and urged customs and IRS officers to see their role as guardians of a sacred trust in them by both government and the Pakistan people and explained examples from history where such trustees had and brought their charge safe to their masters even though they would have loved to use it themselves but did not do so as they were bound by a trust. Just like those historical heroes, the Customs and IRS officials also needed to collect tax out of people’s pockets’ and deposit it in the national exchequer, and rely on government and the Lord Almighty to take care of their own livelihood.
Maulana Tariq Jameel also informed officers they would be judged by Allah not on basis of how much tax they collected but what character, truthfulness and integrity they brought into their work, and how it benefited the public. He said a single fair decision by them was worth more than a thousand night long vigil. He quoted from the lives of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS), examples to illustrate how a life of poverty and privation, that is led on principles of truth and honesty, was better than rolling in ill-gotten wealth. People die and fade away but their character and the
contribution they make to humanity by spreading truth and love stays on. He concluded by suggesting the course of ‘change’ not through stick but through mind-making. The talk ended on a communal dua.
This is a first such coordinated action at FBR to also address ethical issues while improving revenue collection, and tries on a different track than the decades old appeal to “do more”.
It is one of the many new initiatives started by Chairman FBR Mr. Tariq Bajwa to breathe a new drive into the FBR routine working.