The Indian Civil Service (ICS)—also known once as Imperial Civil Service in British India, predecessor of the Civil Service of Pakistan and District Management Group—was established by the British to bolster the British Raj. After Indian independence in 1947, the Indian Civil Service component ceded to Pakistan was initially renamed the Pakistan Administrative Service. Later, it was renamed the Civil Service of Pakistan. In 1954, an agreement was reached between the Governor General of Pakistan and the governors of the provinces to constitute an All-Pakistan service valid throughout Pakistan.


The Officers of the Indian Civil Service (ICS) from the united-British India, who opted for Pakistan upon independence and partition in 1947, were inducted into the newly created Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS). However, due to the acute shortage in their numbers compared to the requirement in the new country, the Government of Pakistan decided to induct officers from other services including the Indian Political Service (IPS), Indian Accounts Service (IAS) and others into the PAS while the ICS officers automatically became part of it. The 5-member Committee for induction into the Civil Service was headed by Pakistan’s top civil servant, Chaudhry Mohammad Ali (later Prime Minister), serving as the Secretary General to the Cabinet, who was assisted by Foreign Secretary Aziz Ahmad, Finance Secretary Ghulam Mohammad, and two British Officers working as the Secretary Law and Secretary Services, respectively. The committee interviewed officers from many cadres including the erstwhile finance officers of the British India and military officers, in addition to recognized services noted above, to induct the best among them as PAS officers.


In 1949, the first ever conference of Governors and Chief Ministers of the four provinces was held under the Chairmanship of the Quaid-e-Millat Liaqat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan. One of the milestones of the same conference was the creation of two All-Pakistan Services on the pattern of the two all India Services called Indian Civil Service and the Indian Police Service, directly responsible to the Viceroy as representative of the Crown, at deployable anywhere in the imperial domains under the Viceroy at his pleasure. The provinces agreed that such services were a necessity and were indispensable for the integrity and solidarity of Pakistan.


During the same year, the Government of Pakistan, conducted the first ever competitive exams for the Administrative service. Thus, the first and last batch of PAS was trained that had a number of illustrious officers such as Roedad Khan (later Interior Minister), I. A. Imtiazi (later President of CSP Association) and Aftab Hussain (Chairman of Urdu Board) etc. Meanwhile the government also interviewed officers such as V. A. Jaffery who had given written exams in India and interviews could not be conducted due to partition related turmoil. They were interviewed without a further written exam and inducted according to merit. In 1950, in consultation with the then President of the PAS Association, Akhter Husain CSP (later Governor West Pakistan), the government agreed to rename the service to Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP), as a home grown service constituted under the 1949 agreement, because PAS was being viewed as a descendent of ICS rather than a contrivance of the new state itself. The phonetic proximity of PAS with IAS also needed to be avoided.


Thus, these two services were voluntarily given by the Federating Units to the Federation in the interest of national integration. That is to say those provinces surrendered certain key posts of the provinces including the administrative and police heads of the districts, to all Pakistan services hired and maintained by the Federal Government. Since the 1949 Inter Provincial Pact had given a unique national role to the service, a new name was felt imperative to differentiate it from PAS. In consultation with the then President of PAS Association, the officers agreed--- and the government notified --- Civil Service of Pakistan (C.S.P) as the label of the new All Pakistan Service.


It was felt that ground rules must be laid very clearly as to which posts the CSP’s may hold and which may be filled in by other officers. Since the matter was between the federating units, who had voluntarily accepted the idea, so a second conference of governors and chief ministers of the four provinces was held in 1954 with the then Prime Minister Mohammad Ali Bogra, in the chair. The statesmen agreed on 729 posts in Pakistan (including the then-East Pakistan which is the present-day Bangladesh, as the Prime Minister too belonged to our Eastern wing) were reserved exclusively for the CSP while quota was apportioned for other posts [i.e. 80% of the Commissioners, 50% of the Deputy Commissioners and 10% of the Assistant Commissioners were to be CSP’s in each province; the rest to be filled by the provincial cadres]. This agreement is called the CSP Cadre & Composition Rules 1954, which governs the APUG service quotas to date.


The 1973 Constitution retained the concept of All Pakistan Services, however, abolished all service names and merged the All Pakistan Service into the federal occupational groups was one manifestation of the “reforms” and doing away with specialized training of the CSP’s was another. As for the service itself, it was not only abolished but trifurcated into not one but three occupational groups, namely, the District Management Group (DMG), the Tribal Areas Group (TAG) and the Secretariat Group (SG). The Police Service was also abolished but replaced by a single Police Officers Group. However, DMG was once again renamed as PAS in 2012.