PM, ministers, advisers of non-performing govt should be disqualified 

By: Ashraf Mumtaz      Published: 05:01 PM, 23 Nov, 2021
PM, ministers, advisers of non-performing govt should be disqualified 

One of Pakistan’s biggest problems is the ruling party’s failure to deliver on its commitments made before elections. 

In their manifestoes, the parties make tall claims of changing the destiny of the country and doing miracles. 

But, they forget their commitments immediately after coming to power. 

Once elected, they start implementing a new agenda that serves their own interests instead of those of the country. 

At times they also fail to honour their commitments for a variety of reasons – inexperience being one of them.  

The ruling Pakistan Tehreek Insaf offers the best example of this category. 

But, unfortunately, the same parties that could not act according to their commitments during their tenures, enthusiastically contest the next elections, aspiring for another turn in power.  

As a matter of principle, there is little justification for a non-performing party to line up for another term and deceive the electorates once again. 

Unfortunately, there is no mechanism in place to penalize the party that fails to deliver while in office. It is generally argued that voters are the better judge and the defeat of a party in elections is also like a punishment.  

This argument may be true to some extent, but the mere defeat of a party or that of a candidate is not sufficient. 

It’s an open secret that the election candidates use all kinds of tricks, even the most unfair, to win votes.   

For the leaders who spent trillions and trillions of national resources during their rule– and also skimmed profits and commissions from various projects – mere defeat in elections is not sufficient. The reason is most of our voters are illiterate and for various considerations, they agree to support the same candidate who could not come to their expectations during the previous term.  

There is a dire need for evolving a mechanism to audit the performance of a party in power before staging the next elections. The voters must know what the ruling party did for the country and the leaders/ candidates for their respective constituencies. 

The mechanism can be devised by important national institutions through a consultative process.   

In case as a result of the yet-to-be-evolved mechanism, it is determined that a party in power failed to honour at least 80 per cent of its pre-election promises, the prime minister, ministers, ministers of state, advisers and special assistants should be disqualified for at least 15 years for any election. Also, such people should be under legal obligation to repay all the salaries and benefits they pocketed during their incumbency. 

Such an arrangement will certainly rid the country of non-performers, as well as those who enter politics just for the sake of making money or gaining influence in their respective constituencies. 

Nobody should be allowed to waste national resources just to benefit people of his/her own choice. 

The country is already under heavy debts and they are piling up with the passage of time. The loans received by the PTI government during the past three years have surpassed the ones acquired during the past seven decades.  

On the other hand, the common man is finding it very difficult to pay utility bills. 

The idea of disqualification of non-performers will certainly not be acceptable to political parties and individual leaders as it shatters their dreams. But it must be implemented for the greater good of the country. 

Once the idea of penalizing non-performers is implemented, the prime ministers will not dare give important positions to their favourites. They will have to pick competent people for all slots to be able to solve national problems and win public support for the next term.