PMS 2017 Solved Pakistan Affairs Past Papers | Discuss in Detail the Obstacles in the Way of Good Governance in Pakistan. In Your View What Steps Have Been Taken by the Government to Overcome these Problems?
The following question of PMS Pakistan Affairs 2017 is solved by Ayesha Irfan under the supervision of Miss Nirmal Hasni. She learnt how to attempt 20 marks question and essay writing from Sir Syed Kazim Ali, Pakistan’s best CSS and PMS English essay and precis teacher with the highest success rate of his students. This solved past paper question is attempted on the pattern taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory and optional subjects for years, and uploaded to help aspirants understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.
The examiner has required that you describe the barriers to good governance in Pakistan and how you plan to get through them. It would be excellent to shine a focus on the country’s existing state of governance before discussing the specific requirements. The challenges and the solution will then be discussed.
- Pakistan has experienced a lot of socio-economic and political miseries due to the governance crisis. Although the country has been entangled in gigantic issues of governance like economic devastation, inflation, and lack of education and health facilities, these crises can be eradicated by ensuring transparency, accountability, and efficient manpower.
2- Current situation of governance in Pakistan.
- ✓ Economic devastation has been faced by the country due to corruption.
- ✓ Insufficient and weak educational and health infrastructures have prevailed due to bad governance.
- ✓ Lack of checks and balances in different government and public institutions has questioned the prosperity of a country.
3- What are the obstacles in the way of good governance in Pakistan?
- ✓ Weak rule of law
- Case study: According to the sessions court in Islamabad, the judge’s wife, Sonia granted bail in the maid torture case.
- ✓ Corruption fueled more uncertainty
- Case study: According to Transparency International, Pakistan stands at 140th position out of 180 countries and has “significantly declined” in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2022.
- ✓ Political instability and a titular democracy
- Case study: According to Aljazeera, the current political instability has been the worst in the past since 1971.
- ✓ Ineffective judicial system
- Case study: According to a report published by the UNDP in 2012, 43% of the cases filed in the courts in Sindh took 5 to 10 years to be resolved.
- ✓Ineffectiveness and politicization of bureaucracy
- Case study: In the previous set-up of government, with the advent of weak chief ministers in Punjab and KP, all MNAs/MPAs have been offered to work as ‘chief ministers’ of their own jurisdiction, leading to confusion, push and pull for postings and transfers and issues of bureaucrats, where interests clash.
4- What are the impacts of bad governance in Pakistan?
- ✓ Economic devastation
- ✓ Highly unstable fiscal deficit
- ✓ Weak health and educational structure
- ✓ High inflation rate
5- What reforms should have been taken by the government to solve this crisis in Pakistan?
- ✓ To ensure the rule of law and accountability process
- Case study: According to Dwight D. Eisenhower, “The world no longer has a choice between force and law; if civilization is to survive, it must choose the rule of law.”
- ✓ To ensure a strong judicial system
- Case study: The autonomous judiciary of Norway leading to good governance in Norway.
- ✓ To make practical, realistic, and goal-oriented policies
- Case study: According to the World Transparency Report, the Chinese government has made practical, realistic, and goal-oriented policies for their economic stability and socialist democracy.
- ✓ To make the recruitment process more transparent and merit-oriented
- Case study: Denmark’s government recruitment system is the world’s best transparency system, according to the Transparency Index.
- ✓ To apply the principle of separation of power
- Case study: President Musharraf packed civil services with military officers at the top and politicized local administration from the bottom.
- ✓ To deal with pitfalls in major institutions
- Case study: In “Why Nations Fails”, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson argue that nations succeed or fail due to the emergence of extractive or inclusive institutions within them.
- ✓ To strengthen the democratic norms of the country
- Case study: According to the report of the World Democracy Index, Denmark lies at the ninth-highest in the world’s democracy in 2023.
Nothing helps a country march toward unsurpassable development the way good governance does. Not only it ensures the country’s bright future, but it also provides strength to the country to withstand the onslaughts of various odds, such as economic instability and hostile external elements. Unfortunately, Pakistan has been mired in the governance crisis since its inception that has pushed the country towards the tipping point. Nevertheless, the lack of rule of law and accountability, accompanied with economic devastation, has rubbed salt in the wounds of governance crisis, thus acting as a major constituent behind the bad governance. Furthermore, corruption, political instability, ineffective judiciary, politicization of bureaucracy, and poor policy decisions have added fuel to the burning flames of governance crisis. However, the country can escape from the swamp of bad governance by ensuring the rule of law and accountability, enhancing the independence of the judiciary, enforcing the principal of separation of power to some extent, and ensuring transparency in different institutions of Pakistan. In a nutshell, governance crisis is the biggest obstacle to the prosperity and growth of Pakistan. In-spite of that, the government can mitigate the crisis by ensuring accountability, rule of law, and efficient manpower.
Current situation of governance in Pakistan
Although the governance crisis is visible in many developing states, Pakistan is facing this phenomenon directly and severely as a socio-economic problem. It has bound the country in shackles by hampering its economic growth and development. Since its inception, the country has been under the governance doldrums due to various factors, but the recent political instability has proved to be the last nail in the coffin. Consequently, problems like economic devastation, insufficient education and health facilities, and lack of law and order have added fuel to the burning flames of the governance crisis.
“Democracy, good governance, and modernity cannot be imported or imposed from outside a country”.(Emile Lahoud)
What are the obstacles in the way of good governance in Pakistan?
In order to determine how to respond, it is crucial to understand what factors deteriorate the level of good governance. There are many direct and indirect reasons behind the vicious cycle of bad governance.
✓ Weak rule of law
Despite many factors involved in the crisis of good governance, the weak rule of law still stands as a huge cause behind it. According to the sessions court in Islamabad, the judge’s wife Somia was granted bail in the maid Rizwana torture case. Rizwana was brought to the District Headquarters Hospital in Sargodha in July in critical condition, reportedly with wounds on her face, head and body that were said to have been caused by a “blunt weapon” by some- judge’s wife. The girl also bore burn marks on her body. In short, the weak rule of law and injustice induce aggression in society.
✓ Corruption fueled more uncertainty
Going down the ladder, Corruption is the second major cause of bad governance in the country. Unfortunately, corruption is entrenched in the roots of the country due to bad governance. According to Transparency International, Pakistan stands at 140th position out of 180 countries and has “significantly declined” in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2022. Therefore, corruption, accompanied by a lack of rule of law, acts as the major constituent of bad governance; thus, halting the economic growth of the country.
✓ Political instability and a titular democracy
Furthermore, political instability and a titular democracy act as the third main cause behind the bad governance in Pakistan. Although Pakistan is a democratic state, but the actual democracy has not been practised in the country so far. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Report 2022, Pakistan stands with the countries of weak democracy system.To cut a long story short, political instability and weak democracy acts as the loop hole of good governance.
✓ Ineffective judicial system
Apart from these, an ineffective judicial system acts as a huge drawback to Pakistan. Unfortunately, the court in Pakistan has been transformed into a political institution, and because of this, the public no longer has trust in its judgments and rulings since they consistently favour the status quo. For instance, according to a report published by the UNDP in 2012, 43% of the cases filed in the courts in Sindh took 5 to 10 years to be resolved. Therefore, an expensive and delayed justice system creates a sense of socio-political differences, making justice even harder to ensure in society.
✓ Ineffectiveness and politicization of bureaucracy
In addition to the ineffective judicial system, the ineffectiveness and politicization of bureaucracy is a significant hurdle that exacerbates the crisis of governance in Pakistan. Ironically, the decline in the intellectual quality of professionals is indeed associated with the corrosion of institutional mechanisms of decision-making in bureaucracy. For instance, In the previous set-up of government, with the advent of weak chief ministers in Punjab and KP, all MNAs/MPAs have been offered to work as ‘chief ministers’ of their own jurisdiction leading to confusion, push and pull for postings and transfers and issues of bureaucrats, where interests clash. Therefore, the efficiency, transparency and competency of bureaucracy in Pakistan have been affected; consequently, it pushed the country into the vortex of bad governance.
What are the impacts of bad governance in Pakistan?
Like every problem has some impacts, poor governance also has severe implications for society and the country. Although bad governance impedes the progress of the country in every aspect, economic instability is the worst and major impact of it. According to the State Bank of Pakistan, the economy of the country has weakened in FY 2023 (July 2022–June 2023) to date. Additionally, the highly unstable fiscal deficit, low tax-to-GDP ratio and weak health and educational structure rubbed salt in the wounds of the governance crisis. Moreover, the high inflation rate has added fuel to the fire of bad governance. In a nutshell, bad governance, accompanied by a devastated economy, has severely impacted the country.
What reforms should have been taken by the government to solve this crisis in Pakistan?
✓ To ensure the rule of law and accountability process
The government has the power to lessen the effects of the country’s overall tragedy by implementing some preventative steps, despite the fact that the country has suffered greatly as a result of poor governance. First of all, to ensure the rule of law and accountability process in Pakistan is the need of the hour. According to Dwight D. Eisenhower, “The world no longer has a choice between force and law; if civilization is to survive, it must choose the rule of law.” It means for the survival of society rule of law is very important.
✓ To ensure a strong judicial system
A strong judicial system is one that inspires confidence in ordinary individuals and provides them with an innate satisfaction that they can turn to judicial forums for speedy justice; and that their cases will be heard and adjudged impartially, fairly and in the most reasonable manner. For instance, the autonomous judiciary of Norway leads to good governance in Norway. Thus, it is very important to enhance the efficiency of the judicial system of Pakistan to establish good governance in the country.
✓ To make practical, realistic, and goal-oriented policies
Unfortunately, the country is still at risk of collapse just because of inappropriate and vague government decisions. For instance, according to the World Transparency Report, the Chinese government has made practical, realistic, and goal-oriented policies for their economic stability and socialist democracy. It means even democracy is incomplete without proper and goal-oriented policies. So, with limping democracy, the achievement of good governance is nothing but a daydream.
✓ To make the recruitment process more transparent and merit-oriented
To make the recruitment process in public institutions more transparent and merit-oriented is mandatory. For instance, Denmark’s government recruitment system is the world’s best transparency system to the Transparency Index. Ironically, a large number of youth in Pakistan are facing unemployment, while on the other hand, the officeholders recruiting their kiths and kins and promoting nepotism in the country. Consequently, the country has faced incompetent and illegible authorities that have not been able to work for the country’s development. Thus, it is high time to take some effective and solid steps by the government for Pakistan’s future.
✓ To apply the principle of separation of power
One of the most useful recommendations would be the separation of powers between the institutions. Specially the influence of the politicians in bureaucracy should be curtailed. For instance, President Musharraf packed civil services with military officers at the top and politicized local administration from the bottom. Politicians and the military have demoralized the bureaucracy, turning it into a collection of self-serving individuals. Therefore, to rebuild Pakistan, the first priority should be to restructure the bureaucracy because it is the ‘machine’ that maintains law and order, implements public policies, and produces services.
✓ To deal with pitfalls in major institutions
To deal with the pitfalls in major institutions, it is imperative to implement reforms in FIA, NAB, and police agencies. The performance of the federal institutions is unsatisfactory. In “Why Nations Fails”, Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson trace the evolution of political and economic institutions around the globe and argue that nations are not destined to succeed or fail due to geography or culture but because of the emergence of extractive or inclusive institutions within them. Hence, the only way to ensure good governance is to ensure transparency and accountability first.
✓ To strengthen the democratic norms of the country
Strengthening the democratic norms of the country is crucial for the state. According to the report of the World Democracy Index, Denmark has experienced a stable democracy in quality rankings, and the nominal gross national income per capita is the ninth-highest in the world at $68,827 in 2023. It means good democracy and good governance are the way to progress for a country.
In the contemporary run, the country might be facing a governance crisis like economic devastation, low health and education facilities, low tax to GDP ratio, high inflation, and corruption, but the government can mitigate the impacts of the crisis by ensuring the rule of law, accountability, and transparency in the country. This would assist in reducing the governance problem in Pakistan along with increasing democratic practices and reforms in the bureaucracy. To cut a long story short, the government has to make tough and progressive decisions to get the country out of the vortex of governance crisis.
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