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Decision making in Pakistan

Updated on January 28, 2016

Highest leadership in Pakistan has not been shy of taking decision except that decisions have been untimely, sometimes lacking in wisdom and vision as well. In return, unsubstantial, shallow and unconvincing decisions have contributed to the threat to our society and state. In the modern world numerous factors and number of actors influence societal and inter-state events; therefore, it is not humanly possible for a decision-maker to be cognizant of all influences. Henceforth, in developed and democratic dispensations, decision making is a corporate activity. In fact in governance of the state the situations are widely varied and every situation poses a different dilemma, which cannot be assessed without corporate analysis. In democratic system the authority is shared/delegated, therefore, decision-making inputs also have a broad spectrum.

However, in Pakistan the democratic dispensations meant concentration of power and hence decision making process also suffered. Beside different tiers in leadership, the bureaucracy also plays a vital role in decision making process. The bureaucracy in Pakistan is dubbed as inefficient, mischievous, arrogant, sycophantic and interested in her own progress and promotion

The responsibility of wrong attributed to the political leadership of the time and military, but the role of civil bureaucracy in these decisions has never come under discussion, although, policy formulation and sanctioning authority rests with bureaucracy in Pakistan

Decision-making process in the 21st Century has lost grace and humanness and the good intentions are overlooked. The decisions, which complied with the inevitable, were always behind time. In addition, 1948 and 1965 wars over Kashmir also fall in this category. While in 1971, the decision-makers could not even understand the unfolding of events and insisted on their wrong assumptions based on unrealistic perceptions. The decision to embark upon a nuclear program after Indian nuclear test in 1974, its continuation despite lot of adverse fallout, and finally own nuclear tests was timely and correct decision. It has been nuclear deterrence, though ambiguous, that averted war in 1987 and 1990, and in post nuclear test period in Kargil and present situation.

The role of leadership in decision-making cannot be over emphasized. In the developing world leadership is expected to take decision, which should propel the nation into developed world, however, more often than not the decisions' outcome are otherwise, while in the developed world the decisions by leadership always seem correct and fruitful. Notwithstanding the fact that individuals are only marginally different in intellect, wisdom and foresight, especially in the present world where decision makers have similar educational background and exposure to the world affairs, therefore, there cannot be a large differential in decision-making abilities of the leaders in different setups. It can therefore be ruled with certainty that the difference lies in the process of decision-making and not in the decision-maker.


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