Poor Governance in Pakistan
No doubt, today our country is at sixes and sevens and in the state of topsy-turvy. It is facing obstructions and impediments in the form of multifaceted concerns like water paucity, appalling education system, chronic illiteracy, abject poverty, economic deprivation, currency devaluation, growing unemployment and poor accountability system. Besides these all horrendous issues, the grave and acute one is poor governance which has hampered the headway of our country and handicapped the developing nation like Pakistan.
According to United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), governance has been defined as structures and processes that are designed to ensure accountability, transparency, responsiveness, rule of law, stability, equity and inclusiveness, empowerment and broad based participation. To be more precise, governance is about cultural and institutional environment in which citizens and stakeholders interact among themselves and engaged in public affairs.
The current scenario of governance in Pakistan is very horrible and unspeakable. Political instability has paralyzed the normal performance of administration in Pakistan. Regrettably, our country has been unable to retrieve political stability because of constitutional dissensions, inadequacy of democracy where public can’t freely express their will, economic turmoil and absence of social growth.
Moreover, the desire for total power has led to institutional imbalance which has aggravated the decision making system. Because, whenever one institution interferes into another domain, it results into unwanted institutional breakdown.
Furthermore, there is a dearth of accountability which is prime facet of governance. The culture of bribes, kick-backs and money laundering has intensified its root and is integrated in all corridors of powers. Country assets are being plundered and embezzled by office bearers but there is no any robust check and balance system.
In addition, unequal distribution of resources has also rubbed salt into the wounds of our country. The penniless and poverty stricken people are becoming more penurious and the people born with silver spoon are becoming more affluent. Folks belonging to far-flung areas are confronting heterogeneous forms of impoverishment and have not been given their due share for their development.
Most importantly, corruption has played havoc with socio- economic growth of our country. It is predominant nefarious evil prevailing at grass root level in various arenas of life. According to Transparency International, Pakistan has ranked 117th out of total of 180 nations worldwide on the level of perceived public sector corruption.
Last of all, there is exclusion of rule of law which can safeguard the physical and social needs of inhabitants of the country. Whose stick his buffalo rule is followed, there is no any fair and square legal system which can settle the various judicial affairs of the victims.
The main causative factor behind poor governance is an inefficient policy formulation. There are numerous loopholes and bottlenecks in our policies. Because, the policy formulators are mostly incompetent and incapable politicians who do not realize the indispensable dimensions of the issue. On the other hand, unilateral and unspecific past policies have caused ambiguity rather than creating any framework.
Secondly, there is politicization of bureaucracy which is the prodigious jeopardy of our homeland. Civil servants play crucial role in overall progress of country but unfortunately, these civil servants are also monitored by political masters who are behind the sabotage of state institutions.
Thirdly, mismanagement of assets is also one of the censorious causes of poor governance. Pakistan is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of natural assets, but also one of the poorest among them in terms of management. Contrary to economic potential of its natural assets, our country is still depending on foreign assistance and debt. Due to this, it is facing deficit in trade and other commercial investments.
Finally, there is no any mutual consensus and collaboration between political leaders on pedantic concerns which cause many rifts and contentions. It shatters inter provincial harmony which is again an amateurish reflection to the international forum and main determinant of poor governance.
There are enormous adverse repercussions of poor governance on the state, but the foremost one is disintegration of state institutions. There will be no orchestration and consonance of proper administrative activities, if there will be poor governance. Institutions will be free from any accessibility of their basic necessities. Structures of obligation and functioning of chain of command will be breached.
As a consequence, there will be snail like pace of progression in all sectors especially the development sector, which can face gargantuan loss due to poor governance. Because, there will be low human capital productivity and quality towards excellence and there would be unavailability of constructive social infrastructure which can accelerate the sustainable growth in various spheres.
Besides this, due to poor governance it is very difficult to cope with rough patch economy of country where macroeconomic imbalances are widening, balance of payment is under stress, trade deficits are heightening, fiscal deficits are further deteriorating ,external debts are soaring and foreign exchange reserves are eroding. In addition, poor governance creates more stumbling blocks in economic sector due to the vicious cycle of unstable decision making of political leaders. Prominent economists have also revealed that good governance can lead to well-balanced economic system and poor governance can lead to debacle of entire economic system.
Lastly, poor governance can fabricate the noxious desperados and bandits activities which can tarnish the soft image of the country internally and externally. Because, disorganized leaders are impotent to enforce any joint strategy to grapple with the conundrum of terrorism. It is an indubitable fact that state with poor governance have more anarchist groups and countries with good governance have less subversive groups.
In order to ameliorate the governance system in our country, there is need of the hour of prudent leadership. We have to elect our leaders and representatives with the background of flexible nature, Dunkirk spirit, rectitude and soul to burn the midnight oil for the gross development of country. Because, leader plays salient role in escalating the state activities rather than attaining their own aspirations and fame. Thus, it is high time to raise a voice to ask for righteous leaders for our country.
Likewise, there should be depoliticized bureaucracy in all provincial and federal agencies. On the other hand, out of turn promotions should be terminated in order to lessen the unfair nexus between political and administrative system which can be substitution for zero meritocracy among officials. In addition, professionalism and impartiality should be the primary values inside the civil services in order to run the state affairs in befitting manner.
Essentially, accountability institutions should be cemented in order to have more room for transparency in designing and execution exercise of governance. Adroit officers should be nominated in order address the grievances and complaints of populace. There should be ratification of such laws and regulations which can crush the monopoly of one person and the system should keep functioning steadily even after the transferal or retirement of the supreme head of the institution. Top notch people should be behind the bars, if they have done something felonious or illicit for their political or financial interests. Above all, anti-graft body like National Accountability Bureau (NAB) should be given more authorization to accelerate the anti-corruption drive for fraudulent lawmakers.
Moreover, budget allocation and public spending should not be political driven. It should not be only confined to a few advanced constituencies. Because, such cloudy decisions can cause structural complications for the strata of society. Funding should be channelized to underprivileged and downtrodden remote areas rather than consideration of only metropolitan areas. There should be more parliamentary debates and citizens involvement on the check and balance of budget allocation. Non-technical awareness drives should be conducted among public in order to know more about budgeting process.
Lastly, sufficient investment should be optimized on the socio economic projects like mass transit projects, modern thoroughfares and arteries, cutting edge educational projects, state of the art hospitals, renewable energy operations, solid waste management, sanitation and clean water drives, transportation sector and environmental degradation.
All in all, poor governance is the elephantine issue that needs to be addressed judiciously. Because, conscientious governance is the only weapon which can transform the pragmatic alternatives into the reality. So, we hope and expect that our incumbent government and premier should formulate some effective strategies to channelize good governance in order to cope up with all troublesome concerns.