Crisis of Good Governance: Causes, Impacts, and Way Forward

Crisis of Good Governance: Causes, Impacts, and Way Forward

Khalid Nazir, a Sir Syed Kazim Ali student, has attempted the CSS & PMS essay Crisis of Good Governance: Causes, Impacts, and Way Forwardon the given pattern, which Sir Syed Kazim Ali teaches his students. Sir Syed Kazim Ali has been Pakistan’s top English writing and CSS, PMS essay, and precis coach with the highest success rate of his students. The essay is uploaded to help other competitive aspirants learn and practice essay writing techniques and patterns to qualify for the essay paper.

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Outline

1- Introduction
2- Understanding the term good governance
3- What is the importance of good governance for a nation?
4- A critical overview of the crisis of good governance in Pakistan

5- Driving reasons behind the prevailing crisis of good governance

  • A lack of literate and vigilant masses unable to keep in check the ruling elite
    • Case in point: According to the Pakistan economic survey 2022-2023, “the country’s literacy rate is 62.8 per cent.”
  • A weakened, obsolete, and flawed accountability system of the country failing to hold powerful accountable
    • Case in point: According to the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law index, “Pakistan ranks 130th out of 139 nations in its adherence to the rule of law.”
  • Economic challenges faced by countries fueling a crisis of good governance in the country
    • Case in point: According to the World Bank, “Pakistan’s GDP is estimated to have contracted by 0.6 per cent in Fiscal Year 2022-2023.”
  • A lack of political will in the country’s political leaders
    • Case in point: According to the Asia Power Index (API), “Pakistan ranks 20th out of 26 nations in Asia in terms of efficacy of political leadership.”

6- Devastation wrought by the crisis of good governance in Pakistan 

  • Prevalent corruption in the country owing to the issue of good governance
    • Case in point: According to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), “Pakistan ranks 140 out of 180 countries, reflecting the country’s grave situation regarding the status of corruption in Pakistan.”
  • Devastated economy of the country on account of the crisis of good governance
    • Case in point: According to the World Bank, “Pakistan’s GDP has declined by 0.6 per cent instead of growing owing to the prevalent issue of good governance in the country.”
  • Rampant political instability in the country as a consequence of the crisis of good governance
    • Case in point: According to the Political Stability Index (PSI), “Pakistan ranks 181 out of 194 nations in terms of political stability.”
  • Wastage and duplication of already scarce resources due to the problem of good governance
    • Case in point: According to the Indus River System Authority, “Pakistan receives 145 million acre-feet of water yearly but can only save 13.7 million acre-feet, reflecting the horrifying neglect and disregard that the country’s officials show for the lifeline of humanity.”

7- What sagacious measures can Pakistan adopt to curb the crisis of good governance?

  • To increase literacy and make the masses conscious of their rights and obligations
  • To strengthen the accountability system in the country
  • To carry out targeted reforms aimed at reforming and bolstering the economy of the country
  • To instill political will in the country’s political leaders
  • To ensure transparency and meritocracy in the recruitment process of public institutions 

8- Critical analysis
9- Conclusion

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Introduction

Good governance is a tool through which a nation curbs dreadful woes, hindering it from flourishing economically, politically, and socially. Indeed, good governance enables a country to rise above its counterparts and leave an indelible mark in the annals of history. However, the lack of good governance provides a breeding ground for evils like corruption, illiteracy, and the absence of the rule of law. These evils erode a nation’s socio-economic and political fabric and make it teeter on the verge of vanishing from the global landscape. Unfortunately, Pakistan, being no exception, is also plagued by the crisis of good governance. Looking at the critical factors behind the prevalent problem of good governance in the country, illiteracy, political instability, and lack of accountability have fueled the anathema of good governance. Moreover, a devastated economy, wastage and duplication of already scarce resources, and rampant corruption are some of the direct consequences of the crisis of good governance, robbing the country of its sovereignty and making it dance to the foreigners’ tune. However, the crisis of good governance is not an evil without a remedy. Indeed, promoting literacy, strengthening institutes, and reforming the accountability framework can significantly contribute to curing the country from the issue of good governance.

Understanding the meaning of good governance is crucial. “Good governance” refers to the principles and practices that contribute to institutions’ effective, transparent, and accountable management. Moreover, it involves the prudent and responsible use of authority and resources to make decisions that serve the interests of the masses instead of furthering the selfish and shortsighted goals of the ruling elite. To sum up, good governance is a foundation for strengthening the country’s institutions, promoting development, and fostering trust between the masses and the rulers.

After comprehending the gist of good governance, it is pertinent to put into perspective the immense importance of good governance for the success of a nation. Good governance is paramount for the well-being and progress of a nation. It is the bedrock for stability, social justice, and economic development. When a country is guided by transparency, accountability, and responsiveness principles, it builds public trust and confidence in its institutions. This trust, in turn, fosters civic engagement and participation. Furthermore, good governance also promotes equitable access to essential services, education, and healthcare, contributing to social cohesion and unity in the country. In essence, good governance is the lynchpin that propels a nation towards sustainable development, ensuring its citizens’ well-rounded progress and society’s collective advancement. 

In Pakistan, good governance has been an important issue since the country’s inception. Indeed, the instability in the political system caused by both civilian and military regimes has only exacerbated the problem of good governance in the country. In Pakistan, state institutions suffer from an acute shortage of accountability, transparency, and meritocracy, fueling the already prevalent crisis of good governance in the country. Moreover, due to the insincerity and selfishness of political leadership, the country has not been able to ensure sustainable development and growth even after seventy-five years since it gained freedom. Only when a sincere, determined, and just political leadership graces Pakistan with its presence can Pakistan materialize its dream of good governance.

To begin with, it is essential to unveil that the rampant crisis of good governance did not just appear out of thin air but has deep-rooted political, social, and economic flaws and shortcomings fueling the growth of this evil in the country. A handful of critical perpetrators fostering the predicament of good governance in the country are explored below. First, a lack of literacy and vigilantness among the masses is responsible for exacerbating the anathema of good governance in the country. The country’s abysmal literacy rate highlights this flaw. According to the Pakistan economic survey 2022-2023, The country’s literacy rate is 62.8 per cent.” This meagre literacy rate is the reason for the inability of the country’s citizenry to deter the ruling elite from misusing resources and power, consequently paving the way for an authoritarian regime to usurp power and rule over the masses with an iron fist. Hence, the abysmal literacy rate is a crucial reason for the country’s prevalent dilemma of good governance. 

Another factor responsible for perpetuating the country’s good governance crisis is its weakened, flawed, and obsolete accountability mechanism. These fault lines in the accountability system are the reason for the frenzied misuse of power and resources by the country’s ruling elite. According to the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law index, Pakistan ranks 130th out of 139 nations in its adherence to the rule of law.” This horrifyingly low standing reflects the country’s accountability system in a terrible situation. Therefore, the fractured accountability and justice system is another reason that fosters the predicament of good governance within the country.

Apart from the above factors, severe economic challenges such as high levels of poverty, unemployment, and inflation contribute to fostering the anathema of good governance in the country by impacting the government’s ability to provide essential services. This scenario breeds discontent and resentment in the hearts of the masses, leading to social unrest and riots, which also contribute to the growing crisis of good governance in the country. According to the World Bank, “Pakistan’s GDP is estimated to have contracted by 0.6 per cent in Fiscal Year 2022-2023.” These foreboding figures reflect the dire straits of Pakistan’s economy. Thus, the country’s crippled economic system has exacerbated the crisis of good governance in the country.

Lastly, a strong political will in the country’s ruling elite is essential for addressing the plight of good governance. This absence of genuine commitment to making the country flourish socially, politically, and economically hinders the prevalence of good governance. According to the Asia Power Index (API), “Pakistan ranks 20th out of 26 nations in Asia in terms of efficacy of political leadership.” These figures highlight how a lack of political will hinders the country from progressing, contributing significantly to making the anathema of good governance prevail in the country. Hence, a lack of political will in the ruling elite fosters the dilemma of good governance in the country.

The factors mentioned above are responsible for the country’s good governance problem. This prevailing crisis of good governance has harmed the country significantly, making it suffer dreadful impacts that reverberate throughout the country’s social, political, and economic domains. The first of a series of appalling effects is prevalent corruption in the country owing to the issue of good governance. Corruption has permeated every nook and cranny of the country’s society, from bottom feeders to the ruling elite, due to the prevalent dilemma of good governance. According to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Pakistan ranks 140 out of 180 countries, reflecting the country’s grave situation regarding the status of corruption in Pakistan.” Hence, due to a weak accountability system, rampant corruption in the country has not only severely drained the country’s resources but also caused a loss of public trust in government institutions.

Besides that, the country’s economy is drowning in the quagmire of the crisis of good governance. Indeed, the quandary of good governance is the factor that holds most of the responsibility for the country’s economic failures. According to the World Bank, Pakistan’s GDP has declined by 0.6 per cent instead of growing owing to the prevalent issue of governance in the country.” In a nutshell, the issue of good governance has contributed to economic mismanagement, hindering growth and development in the country.

Apart from the corruption and economic destruction, the crisis of good governance is also the culprit behind rampant political instability in the country. Frequent changes in the country’s leadership, inconsistent policies, and a lack of public confidence in the government are the consequences of the crisis to good governance that breed political instability. According to the Political Stability Index 2021, Pakistan has ranked 181 out of 194 countries.” These statistics reflect how profound political instability has increased in the country’s system. 

Lastly, the country’s rampant crisis of good governance is causing wastage and duplication of already scarce resources. Indeed, ineffective and impractical governance depletes the meagre amount of resources that the country possesses, further exacerbating the economic challenges faced by the country. For instance, water, the most essential resource for a country, is wasted brutally in Pakistan. According to the Indus River System Authority“Pakistan receives 145 million acre-feet of water yearly but can only save 13.7 million acre-feet, reflecting the horrifying neglect and disregard that the country’s officials show to the lifeline of humanity.” Hence, the dilemma of good governance is wreaking havoc on the country’s resources.

In addition, the crisis of good governance has indeed unleashed profound destruction in every domain of the country. However, the raw talent of the Pakistani nation and abundant untapped resources ensure a shining light at the end of the tunnel. By implementing the following suggestions, Pakistan can curb the problem of good governance and prosper at breakneck speed. First, there is a pressing need to promote literacy and awareness in the country’s masses. This step will empower Pakistan’s citizenry to participate actively in the democratic process, making it capable of holding the ruling elite accountable for its misuse of power and resources. Hence, educating the masses will reduce the power of good governance.

Furthermore, strengthening the country’s accountability system by implementing robust, impartial, and just accountability mechanisms will do wonders in helping the country get rid of the anathema of good governance. It will do so by curbing the country’s rampant corruption, thereby stopping the predicament of good governance. Therefore, by bolstering the accountability framework, the country can curb the issue of bad governance.

Apart from the need to promote literacy and bolster the country’s accountability system, targeted economic reforms must be carried out to address complex economic challenges. A country with an uncompromised economy can provide its citizens with all the basic and essential services, making its citizenry content and productivity off the charts. This surge in productivity propels the nation to the path of progress. Hence, by treating its ailing economy, Pakistan can surely save itself from the quagmire of the crisis of good governance.

Apart from the above suggestions, the country’s political leaders must be instilled with a strong political will. This inculcation of political will can help foster a culture of responsibility and awareness in the country’s ruling elite. This scenario will ensure that leaders prioritize serving the public interest over satisfying their self-interest and not treating public resources as their property. Hence, the inculcation of political will can promote good governance in the country, alleviating the country from the aversion to good governance.

Last but not least, ensuring transparency and meritocracy in the public institutions’ recruitment process is extremely important in making good governance prevail in the country. Too many capable and competent youth members are sacrificed on the altar of nepotism and bribery, promoting a crisis of good governance in the country. As a result, incompetent people usurp the power and authority only to serve the interests of their backers instead of working for the betterment of the masses. Hence, ensuring the transparent recruitment of capable, competent, and skilled individuals is imperative.

In a robust analysis, Pakistan has faced the dilemma of good governance since its inception. The sustained exposure of this evil to the country has taken its toll on its social, political, and economic sectors, making it vulnerable to the preying tactics of international powers. Indeed, nothing has harmed and devastated every aspect of the country so thoroughly the way crisis of good governance has done. The country’s compromised economy, due to which it has to compromise on its sovereignty and let the international powers do as they please, is also owed to the rampant dilemma of good governance in the country. However, these days will not last for long as Pakistan not only enjoys the most considerable youth bulge in the world but also possesses rich natural resources. Hence, if the suggestions mentioned above are implemented in their actual letter and spirit, it is only a matter of time before Pakistan emerges as a strong, prosperous and great nation.

In conclusion, it is the need of the hour to address the crisis of good governance in Pakistan. Pakistan’s sovereignty and survival are at stake owing to the multi-faceted and profound devastation wrought on every aspect of the country by the anathema of good governance. The crisis of good governance is exacerbated by illiteracy, a weakened accountability system, and a lack of political will in the country’s ruling elite. It is making the country teeter at the brink of collapse. However, even the darkest cloud has a silver lining, and by addressing the root causes and implementing thoughtful and pragmatic reforms, the nation can pave the way for a more transparent, accountable, and prosperous future. The genuine commitment of the leadership and the citizenry is crucial for overcoming this challenge and making this nation achieve the glory it deserves.

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