Top 10 renowned Pakistanis who quit civil service even after clearing the CSS exam


Central Superior Services (CSS) is civil service of Pakistan that conducts a competitive examination in February of every year. To get passed in CSS exam and qualifying for the service is a dream job everyone wants to do but very few fortunate and hard working aspirants get to make the exam and qualify for the service.

Once you enter the service, leaving it would be a nightmare; however, some renowned Pakistanis did leave the service and opted for alternative careers.

1. Aitzaz Ahsan

Aitzaz Ahsan Civil serviceAitzaz Ahsan is a famous leader of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and barrister-at-law by profession. He after completing his studies appeared in the CSS exam and topped but refused to join the service under dictatorship rule of General Ayub Khan. Aitzaz Ahsan is the only topper of CSS exam which left the service even after qualifying for it

2. Rahat Kazmi

Rahat Kazmi Civil serviceRahat Kazmi is an eminent name of the Pakistani drama industry and famous for his amazing yet sober acting skills. His famous ‘Dhoop Kinaray’ was a mega hit and still loved by many. The heart-throb of 1970’s had joined the Pakistani Civil Services in 1968 as an Information Officer. In 1976 he resigned from his job and pursued acting; becoming the first actor to make the competitive exam for CSS. Currently, Rahat is an administrative director of L’ecole for Advanced Studies (LAS), an academic institute in Karachi and also teaches English Literature and Drama at LAS, Karachi.

3. Moeed Pirzada

Moeed Pirzada Civil ServiceDr. Moeed Pirzada is a leading anchor and columnist of the country who is a surgeon as well. The anchor on his father’s will became the surgeon but left shortly after to join Central Superior Services of Pakistan. But later, Moeed found it too stifling for his soul and went on to study international relations at Columbia University and later law from London School of Economics.

4. Ayesha Siddiqa

Ayesha Siddiqa Civil ServiceAyesha Siddiqa is a Pakistani civilian military scientist, political commentator and author who works as a research associate at The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) South Asia Institute. She is a former bureaucrat and was in the audit and accounts service. Ayesha then left the service and went to England to do her Ph.D. in War Studies, King’s College, London and returned in 1996 to rejoin the civil service where she remained until her resignation in 2000.

“The problems, which were the cause for my joining the civil service, were no more and I was more inclined to pursue an academic career. I have no regrets about my decision. I think I was just not suited for a bureaucratic career,” Ayesha Siddiqa explained the reason of resignation.

Ayesha Siddiqa joined the civil service to stand on her own feet as her parents died soon in her youth and she had no support and means of survival back then.

5. Hamza Ali Abbasi

Hamza Ali Abbasi Civil ServiceHamza Ali Abbasi is a renowned actor who appeared in and qualified the CSS exam and secured a position in the police force, but then he left the force and opted for acting.

“After completing my studies I joined the Police, but it was a very predictable future. I knew exactly where I would be in 20 years; I knew the maximum I could do was to become an IG. There would be nowhere else to go from there. My father taught me that whatever you enjoy, you should try to make a living out of that, then life becomes much easier. So I left the force to do what I wanted to do,” Hamza Ali Abbasi told the reason behind quitting the service and choosing acting as a career.

6. Adnan Randhawa

Adnan Randhawa civil serviceAdnan Randhawa is Pakistani politician, columnist and lawyer. He resigned from Foreign Service of Pakistan (FSP) after Raymond Devis case. He secured 12th position in CSS exam that he cleared in 2005. He was also associated with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as Deputy Secretary Information but soon left the party too.

7. Anwar Saifullah Khan

Anwar Saifullah Khan civil serviceAnwar Saifullah is renowned politician and industrialist of Pakistan who joined the civil service in 1970 but resigned in 1984 to join the Saif group; a company that focuses largely on the textile industry. Anwar Saifullah is Co-Chairman of the Saif Group of Companies and also the Chairman and Board Member of a number of Group companies. Later he entered in politics too and currently a member of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

8. Shafqat Mehmood

Shafqat Mehmood civil service
Shafqat Mehmood is a Pakistani politician who is currently a member of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). He joined the service in 1973 in District Management Group and resigned after seventeen years of service to join politics.

9. Maryam Gillani

Civil ServicesMaryam Gillani is currently a writer and analyst who joined the Pakistan Railway Service after passing the competitive exam. She was the one who didn’t quit the civil service by will but by force. The valiant officer was suspended from his post when she refused to oblige the illegal orders of Minister of Railway. Maryam set an example of a principled officer by not working against the law and merit; qualities like these were once the hallmark of our civil services.

10. Dr. Asghar Khan

Dr. Asghar Khan was also appointed to District Management Group (DMG) after qualifying CSS exam but resigned from his post later. Actually, he refused to give protocol to few of friends of Musharraf; as a result, pressure tactics led him to resign. Asghar Khan then started working as a doctor in California, USA.


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