Problem of governance in Pakistan
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Pakistan is riddled with problems of governance as is confronting a variety of governance issues, which has seriously impeded the development of democratic norms and values, and also has hampered the socio-economic development, and maintenance of peace and harmony in the country. All the important state institutions i.e. legislature, the army, judiciary, civil service, and press/media have become symbolic of poor governance. The mismanagement of the affairs resulting in poor governance has cast a dark shadow on Pakistani society.
The topic of governance has remained a very sensitive and ever live topic as the issues of governance are frequently discussed almost every day by a large majority of people in their personal interaction, in the print and electronic media, having deep influences in moulding the opinion of common people thereby building or eroding their trust and confidence in the state and its institutions. As such it is imperative for the authorities concerned to take serious stock of the situation, and improve the level of governance ensuring security, prosperity, and well-being of the country and masses to strengthen the country domestically and to stand with dignity amongst the nations of the world.
CONCEPT OF GOOD GOVERNANCE
Good governance does not essentially means any specific form of government, but it is the overall efficient performance of the state institutions. So if the state institutions are stable, resourceful, clear in their mandate, and have a harmonious, coordinated working relationship under the thumb of law good governance will be ensured. In other words, good governance means efficient handling of the functions and regulating the performance of state operations, good governance also refers to the level and quality of the relationship between the masses and the government.
Good governance has two important dimensions, the political and technical one, the former component includes, Stable political institutions and political tolerance, clarity and abidance by the constitutional role, traditions of conflict resolution, presence of independent judiciary and press, and stability, Zero tolerance towards corruption and corrupt practices.
Whereas, the technical component implies efficient, competent, honest, corruption free professionally well trained civil service to ensure efficient time bound and result-oriented implementation mechanism to addresses the pressing political, economic, social and cultural problems confronting large majority of the population.
WHY GOOD GOVERNANCE
Good Governance has become the essence of present day societies because; it is the age of civilization with strong moral and cultural values. With the march of civilization and enormous progress in the field of information technology and media the world today has changed into a global village and getting more and more open therefore, The people have become more conscious and much aware about their rights and responsibilities. Everything good or bad is well noticed and added to the credit of particular nation and civilization.
So this has remained a strong desire of the human beings throughout the history and civilization that their affairs be managed systematically, as the nations that had manage their affairs orderly in a planned way, made great progress, but those failed to do so, suffered badly in every sphere of life.
The representative and popularly elected governments and responsible civil servants always remains highly conscious in their obligations to address the pressing problems and concerns of the masses, to retain their confidence and support .
So, it is the Good Governance which makes the nation strong, ensures peace and security leading to progress and prosperity. The countries/rulers with the Good Governance not only enjoy great confidence and respect within the country but are also highly honored and regarded amongst the international community.
ESSENTIALS OF GOOD GOVERNANCE
Good governance ensures participation of the masses in the affairs of the state.
Good governance is regulatory rather than controlling and authoritative
Good governance addresses difficult areas of transparency and accountability
It employs effective delivery system for the services to its masses.
Good governance ensures peace and security through rule of law. It protects and promotes the fundamental rights and liberty of the masses, ensures justice equity and equality.
Ensures quick, inexpensive justice at the door step to the mass
Ensures in /places sound economic policies ensuring sustainable socio economic development leading to poverty alleviation and wellbeing of the masses
Ensure efficient utilization of available resources and creating investment friendly environment in the country for the progression of the economy.
Promote democratic institution, norms and values in bring in political stability
Good Governances brings discipline and harmony both in private and public sector. Makes both the sectors strong and effective tools of the public services to put together their resources to make the nation progress and prosper.
Good Governance is essential for the integrity, solidarity and perseverance of the sovereignty of the country whereas, the bad governance causes instability and endangers the security of the country.
The Good Governance promotes safe investment environment for the domestic as well as international investors which is key to the economic activity and sustainable development of the country.
The good governance has become a precondition of the World Bank and other financial institutions for financial assistance; which has put great emphasis on transparency, efficiency and accountability, as the bank believes that bad policies and nepotism has seriously hampered the pace of economic development particularly in the third world country.
To overcome the problem of poor governance, the important measure includes civil service reforms, privatization initiative and transparency with free flow of information, devolution of power through the process of decentralization and across the board accountability.It is the good governance nothing else which is required for Pakistan to strengthen the country and make the nation progressive and enlightened.This is consensus opinion that we are at loss and if we still fail to realize the deteriorating state of affairs and do not put the country on the right track, we may find it difficult to survive as an independent state and nation.
MANIFESTATION OF BAD GOVERNANCE
The issues of governance in the country has become complex phenomenon and despite the expanded claims of the successive political and military governments about reformation and better performance impacts on ground are not much visible and today even after 70 years of independence due to poor governance the situation on ground gives a pity picture of :-
Law and order has worsened to the unprecedented extent.
Fundamentalisms, sectarianism, terrorism have become common features of the society.
The economy of the state has deteriorated.
Provincial disharmony has taken strong roots
Health and education indicators are quite low and discouraging
The performance of all state institutions are on decay
Violation of merit and fundamental rights are common practices
Corruption is getting rampant and transparency and accountability are missing
Population growth and unemployment is on increase
Non availability of all basic infrastructure, amenities and social services.
Wide gap and disparities in the income distribution.
Serious gender discrimination
Available resources are unwisely used
Tax evasion is on high side
Energy and water crises and food and security are threatening
CAUSES OF POOR GOVERNANCE
The following are believed to be the main causes and reason of the bad governance in the country which has led to the failure of political institution and democracy.
1. Constitutional inconsistency
2. The political instability
3. Non enforcement of the principles of federalism
4. The poor role of judiciary
5. The grave economic conditions,
6. Lack of transparency and accountability,
7. The poor performance of the civil servants,
8. The feudal and Sardari system,
9. The improper devolution.
All the said are the misgiving of the poor governance and the consequences are not only domestic but has serious negative bearing for the country on international level.
CAUSES OF POOR GOVERNANCE IN THE COUNTRY
There are multiple causes of poor governance however; the most common are believed to be:
CONSTITUTIONAL INCONSISTENCY AND POLITICAL INSTABILITY
Constitutional inconsistency and political stability are the essence of good governance in the country. If there is constitutional crisis/unrest and political instability in the country the plans and policies of the government cannot be put in to practice in a sustainable manner to achieve the conceived objectives of economic development and welfare of the masses
The successive military interference and the political in tolerance and intrigues in the history of country has led to the repeated constitutional break downs which has not allowed the democracy to take root and the political institutions to get strengthen, ultimately leading to bad governance in every sphere of life. Good Governance in any society is otherwise impossible without political stability and strong political institutions
Lack of transparency massive corruption and partial accountability is another major reason of poor and bed governance in the country. Corruption has been on rise since independence, the successive governments in the country till date had to face serious charges if corruption, male administration leading to bad-governance. Corruption has creped in our society at every level i.e. from ordinary men to the level of head of the stat so corruption has become way of life. Corruption of 30,000billion is reported in the privatization process of the state owned enterprises where instead of ensuring competitiveness and transparency public assets have been privatized on compromised through away cost.
Devolution of power has remained an issue of debate and implementation in Pakistan The obvious objective behind decentralization has remained to achieve economic goal in efficient manner with accelerated pace through participation, better mobilization of the natural and human resources, with the strong sense of transparency and accountability. Decentralization is global trend most of the developed countries as well developing one have decentralized their system but in our system of working powers are concentrated with center which seriously jeopardized the implement of efficient system of delivery of public services.
The three local government systems which Pakistan has experienced in 1959-1979 and in 2001 all introduced were the brain child of successive military regimes to secure their own vested interests.
POOR ROLE OF JUDICIARY
The role of judiciary is of immense importance as an important organ of state which interprets the law and ensures its implementation in true spirit. A society without justice cannot survive and prosper. Judiciary is the organ which protects common man from all sorts of highhandedness and guard against the arbitrary misuse of power by the different authorities/organ of the state.
Though the independence of judiciary was/is enriched in all the three constitutions in Pakistan but judiciary has remained week and politicized particularly during the past history of the country.
The military and the civilian government have not hesitated to curb the power of judiciary, influence and undermine its independent role. The judiciary has also failed to sustain these pressures but has on occasions succumbed to the pressure of the ruling class. The superior judiciary on different occasions had been endorsed/ rectified the unconstitutional acts having for reaching negative impacts on democracy, political institution and supremacy of rule of law ultimately leading to bed governance in the country.
FUDAL AND SARDARI SYSTEM
The feudal and sardari system has remained one of the important cause of the bed governance in the country. The feudal lords and the sardersen joy great authority and influence over large majority of the people particularly in the rural areas. The feudal lords, waderas and the tribal sardars have control and authority over the huge land and other resources in their particular areas of influence. The common men have always remained dependent on these powerful personalities for their livelihood and social security in the society.
The Sardars and Feudal lords have always opposed the progression of literacy/education and process of development in their area so the people are kept under the own strong holds. Since the t provincial as well as federal legislatures are dominated by the feudal loads and the governments cannot survive without their support therefore expecting good governance in their areas of influence is still far cry.
FEDERLISM AND PROVINCIAL AUTONOMY
Pakistan is federal state and under the federal system of government two or more smaller states willing join each other to ensure their security and to have just and rational formula of representation and resource distribution and also to maintain their political autonomy.
The demarcation of the role, responsibilities and authority of the central Government and the Federating units had remained hot debate throughout the history of Pakistan, threatening the integrity and stability of the country.
The question of provincial autonomy according to the spirit of Federalism is still not fully resolved question in spite of the tragic incident of the dismemberance of the East Pakistan. Otherwise initially it was the question of autonomy and not movement for independence.
The denial of provincial autonomy as always promoted regionalism and narrow nationalism and ethnic based politics. The problem of federalism and provincial autonomy must be attended on top priority to address the same according to the rue sprit of constitution to ensure good governance in the country.
The constitutional inconsistency, political instability, the poor role of judiciary, over politicization of civil service, frequent military interference in the civilian affairs, low literacy rate and poor standards of education, grave economic conditions, poor political culture, lack of transparency and accountability, poor response to the public opinion in formulating internal and external policies, deteriorating law and order situation are all misgivings of the prevailing system of governance in the country.
The above state of affairs has not only caused serious unrest and frustration domestically but has seriously disfigure our image and credibility on international level, posing serious threats to our national security and integrity.
The public at large has lost their confidence and faith in the political leadership, civil and military bureaucracy for their failure to ensure good governance in the country leading to peace and security, economic prosperity and well being of the masses.
It is said that Pakistan is passing through the most crucial period of its history, the internal poor governance and the external dangers are threatening its very existence.
CONCLUSION-SUGGESTIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT
To address the problems of governance in the country formulation of realistic policies and adoption of strong implementation mechanism is dire need of the time. There is an urgent need of revamping, reorganization of all the important organs of the state. Above all what is more required is the realization by all the stakeholders to introspect and mould their own conduct in the best interest of the country and nation.
The following measures are recommended to improve the state of governance in the country and to make the nation strong, dynamic, progressive and enlightened to stand amongst the world nations with dignity.
1. Continuation of the political process and political stability through the promotion of political culture.
2. Imposition of qualification of MA political science International relations and law graduation for legislatures at provincial and federal level.
3. Addressal of the regional issues under principles of federalism and through process of dialogue and reconciliation.
4. Adherence to the constitutional role by all the institutions of the state. And doing away with the chapter of political engineering.
5. Implementation of the principles of Federalism and provincial autonomy.
6. Across the board transparency and accountability.
7. Improvement of law and order, Supremacy of law justice and equity and elimination of all sort of terrorism.
8. De-politicization of civil service
9. Redressal of economy through expansion of industrial base .
10. Independence of judiciary
11. Proper devolution
12. Promotion of literacy and education