The following article, “How Can Pakistan Ensure a Model of Good Governance?“ is written by Safina Naz, a student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. Moreover, the article is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. Sir Kazim has uploaded his students’ solved past paper questions so other thousands of aspirants can 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 havoc of good governance directs a nation towards an era of adversity and economic fragility.
- ✓Bad governance in Pakistan has coerced the nation into a social standstill, culturally underdeveloped, financially suppressed, and politically immature state.
- ✓It is time to ensure public and private sector transparency and reform the current bureaucratic model.
2- Understanding the term good governance
3- A cursory glance at the governance model of Pakistan
4- What are the Underlying factors behind bad Governance in Pakistan?
- ✓ Corruption and nepotism hampering the country’s headway
- Case in point: Transparency International (TI) ranking Pakistan 140 out of 180 states
- ✓Self-serving and power-gaining bureaucratic mindset
- Case in point: Seizing millions of dollars worth of gold and cash by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from the houses of bureaucrats
5- What steps can ensure a model of good Governance in Pakistan?
- ✓To introduce institutional reforms, especially in the bureaucracy
- ✓To introduce education reforms
- ✓To introduce a fully empowered local government system
- ✓To ensure transparency and accountability
6- Critical analysis
Answer to the Question
The havoc of good governance – the perversion of a state’s power – directs nations towards an era of adversity, political chaos, and economic fragility. In the case of Pakistan, a grappling democratic state, an awful governance structure has coerced the nation to turn into a social standstill, culturally underdeveloped, financially suppressed, and politically immature state. Today, the country has taken the bull by the horns with several challenges to streamline its governance structure per international standards. Among them, corruption and nepotism have empathetically modified the civil cohesion of the country’s progress as, in most of these cases, officials, businessmen, and ordinary individuals misuse their authority to achieve their means. Now, the nation is at a crossroads; ergo, it is high time to ensure transparency in public and private sectors and reform its current bureaucratic model. The reforms might promote good Governance in the country.
Understanding the term good governance
Before elucidating the stimulus behind Pakistan’s current faulty governance model, it is crucial to have a broad understanding of the term good governance. In its true letter and spirit meaning, governance is conceived as the exercise of monetary, partisan, and administrative authority in the public and private spheres to manage a country’s affairs at national and international levels to enhance the people’s quality of life. Talking about the general sense of the phrase ‘good governance’, according to the World Bank, good governance means power is exercised in managing a country’s economic and social resources.
A cursory glance at the governance model of Pakistan
Throughout history, Pakistan has witnessed rigorous political debacles, resulting in nationwide chaos. For example, the nation took over nine years to formulate its first constitution, which was repealed within the next two years. Not to speak of that, it has been more than seventy years of Pakistan’s existence, yet people and the government have been bearing the worst socio-economic consequences of bad governance. Thus, from the historical to the contemporary era of Pakistan, lousy governance has hampered the nation’s prosperity.
What are the underlying factors behind bad Governance in Pakistan?
1- Corruption and nepotism hampering the country’s headway
Coming towards the determinants behind the nation’s current wretched governing situation, undoubtedly, corruption and nepotism have been hanging like the Sword of Damocles over the heads of the people and the government. Unfortunately, it has become the priority of every official, businessman, and even common individual to get tremendous advantages in his respective field and become rich overnight. This mindset has not only been affecting the efficiency of the institutions but also curtailing meritocracy countrywide. To highlight this, the report of Transparency International has ranked Pakistan 140 out of 180 states in the corruption index, showing that the country has poor performance in countering corruption and nepotism. Therefore, these factors have acted as the dent in the country’s socio-economic domains.
2- Self-serving and power-gaining bureaucratic mindset
Similarly, the self-serving power-gaining mindset of the bureaucrats has diverted them from serving the public sector to fulfilling their own wishes. Over time, the Civil Services of Pakistan (CSPs) has become controversial for snobbery in relation to other technical services vital to socio-economic development. In this regard, the recent seizure of millions worth of gold and cash by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from the houses of bureaucrats highlights that these bureaucrats have not acted as public servants but as self-serving individuals.
What steps can ensure a model of good Governance in Pakistan?
1- To introduce institutional reforms, especially in the bureaucracy
As every problem has a solution, there are specific ways to improve the governance structure in Pakistan. Out of them, reforming bureaucracy is the best option that the nation can do easily. For this, the government of Pakistan must introduce streamlined administrative processes, which could help to reduce bureaucratic red tape nationwide. Moreover, Pakistani bureaucracy is not specialized in its respective fields as the modern era gives monumental importance to specialized officers. Therefore, appointments in the bureaucratic set-up must be based on specialization. Moreover, the participation of the maximum number of people in governmental affairs must be ensured.
2- To introduce education reforms
Furthermore, education reforms to inculcate moral values and create awareness about the cancerous roots of corruption might help elect such masses who can safeguard good governance. To relate this, Malala Yousafzai has commented that educating and empowering individuals is the only way to create a just society and lasting peace. In reality, education not only creates a sense of awareness in the masses for rights, but it also makes them able to contribute to nation-building. Therefore, on the value of education for the nation’s construction, Nelson Mandela said that education is the most powerful weapon one can use to change the world.
3- To introduce a fully empowered local government system
Moreover, introducing an empowered local government system at the third administration level can help to fill the governance gap resulting from the central government’s weaknesses. Devolving the power at the lowest level reduces resource wastage and ensures their proper utilization. Further, it promotes public participation in decision-making at the grassroot level. It can also help in holding the local bodies accountable for their actions.
4- To ensure transparency and accountability
Last but not least, ensuring transparency is considered the easiest method to curb corrupt practices in the modern world. It urges the administration to make and implement decisions according to the laws and regulations. In this way, the public servants would know they will face accountability for violating law. So, harsh and robust initiatives must be considered to eradicate corruption. Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah aptly remarked that corruption and bribery are like poison and a horrible disease, which must be put down with an iron hand.
To evaluate critically, Pakistan is in troubled waters as bad governance has severely impacted the social interconnectedness of the country. Moreover, the public has been facing adverse socio-economic upheavals, and the state has almost reached the default stage. Henceforth, civil servants and political leaders must unite on a single decision that could benefit the long-term projects nationwide.
In a nutshell, in the Political and constitutional history of the nation, Pakistan has been going through the winger to achieve a well-organized society. Because of the directionless and nomadic political situation since independence, people have been facing dire consequences in financial meltdowns and social dilemmas such as poverty and unemployment. Thus, to resolve the lousy governance crisis, the country needs to turn the tide by implementing an actual model of democracy that can deliver services to its citizens. Moreover, the country cannot flourish to the zenith of prosperous nations unless it treats corruption and bribery with unyielding power. To conclude with the quote of Ban Ki-moon, “Governance is not just about structures and rules. It is about values, ethics, and the behaviour of individuals and institutions.”
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