Prime Minister Imran Khan, wants bureaucracy to play a role in translating the political vision into reality. Addressing the participants of the 109 National Management Course from the National School of Public Policy (NSPP), Imran Khan said, that the bureaucracy had a huge responsibility to deliver and come upto the expectations of the nation. Highlighting the country’s potential, capacity, resources and strategic importance, he stressed the need for better management and service delivery, most importantly with passion and commitment, and demonstrating a spirit of service to the people. The meeting with the senior civil servants from various occupational groups and cadres was later turned into an interactive session where the Prime Minister shared his vision with the participants and answered their questions.Deliberating on challenges faced by the country, Imran Khan said, the government was focusing on stabilization measures and institutional reforms to bring about improvements in vital sectors such as education, health and governance. Also, focusing on the empowerment of the people through new initiatives in local government systems for people’s representation and problem solving at grassroots level. Translating political vision into reality is an important expectation and an outcome. However, the government needs to create an enabling culture. After having acknowledged that bureaucracy is the backbone of the state, the bureaucrats need to be treated fairly as per rule of law and with due respect. Every citizen has the equal right of being treated fairly and with respect. Bureaucracy does play a significant role in determining policy. Once you give them authority, don’t interfere when they are doing their duty. Interfering would be against the law and the rule of law. Don’t leave bureaucrats in a social vacuum. There exists a system of performance evaluation and merit. Let them be tested by the system; in an environment of transparency, responsibility and accountability. Subjective evaluation based on prejudice and bias ruins the system, where merit is ignored, personal likes and dislikes dominate. So, it is important the bosses follow the rules.Political bosses better study civil service rules and procedures, and systems of exercising authority, especially the use of discretionary powers, and the rules governing the system of the delegation of powers, and the meaning of decentralization and devolution. All such aspects of civil service codes and rules need to be clearly understood. After having acknowledged that bureaucracy is the backbone of the state, the bureaucrats need to be treated fairly as per rule of law and with due respect. Every citizen has the equal right of being treated fairly and with respect. Bureaucracy does play a significant role in determining policy. Once you give them authority, don’t interfere when they are doing their dutyAll activity and decision making in the government, and related to government, as well as concerning government officials, must ensure fairness and dispensation of justice, without prejudice and malice. No victimization of any kind is to be tolerated. In the two recent cases of irregularity, institutions of the level of supreme court and the election commission of Pakistan had to intervene, to ensure that the rule of law was implemented. Role of bureaucrats at the policy making level, must be analyzed beyond purely the bureaucratic level. The more, the system of the government becomes complex with the increase in size, power and function; the more it requires to be handled with care to ensure efficiency and responsiveness to the will of the electorate. Political party leaders need to understand, ‘there is no respect for others without humility in one’s self’.The Prime Minister talked of initiatives in the context of representation and responsiveness and the role of local government at the level where leaders are made and trained, as a first step in governance. To the extent that an issue is local, authority to deal with it must be decentralized so that local opinion is highlighted.Some of the questions that come to mind and are important In our current local government systems; are the role and responsibilities of District Nazim and issues of Nazim’s effectiveness and efficiency, Unique features of the role and responsibilities of DCO in District Government. In addition to this, measures to improve Human Resource Management in the District Government, Status of the District Government on water supply, sanitations and solid waste management issues, Devolution plan and issues under criticism, Measures that District Government should take to plan and organize community development projects and their objectives.Also, other than the stated issues there are set of questions and issues related to Local Government’s Finance and Planning.Pakistan confronts internal and external issues that need to be tackled. Tensions with India are a permanent headache. The Power Elite suffered from fear of losing political and economic power, and thus, drifted and diverted focus from national objectives. Even though, they could have contributed to strengthen institutions and build the nation. They were struggling most of the time to repulse the attacks of the opposition and their extremely negative attitudes and destructive strategies.There is a difference between Rhetoric and action. Protests, Dharnas destabilizing national institutions, challenges to the writ of the state – all lead to negative consequences in terms of national and public interest, economy suffers, and overall it is counted as institutional default. Enough is enough. We need to be constructive and sensible in governance. Attitude of those in government now should not be like they were when they were indulging in the politics of Dharnas, blocking roads and damaging government buildings in extreme anger.The press and electronic media has a role to play; they should give direction and guidance to help the country come out of the multiple crisis situations. Sincere and objective opinions on social media / Twitter can go a long way to clear the confusion in the context of governance. “So where bombastic rhetoric ends, IMF begins – always back to IMF” was one recent opinion. Another opinion that came to my notice. “Taking bowl to IMF finally, an inevitable U-Turn.” A national consequence of dharnas’ destabilizing the elected institutions and a call to the third empire. Now, we should brace for a market panic, falling stocks, rising interest rates, fast devaluating Pak-rupee; who will clear the debt?Any political party that comes to power blames the outgoing government. This is nothing new. No money but no austerity either. PTI’s economic performance has to be judged on whether they can put the economy on a sustainable growth trajectory where the country does not need another IMF package after 5-years; that should be the yardstick for judging the performance of the PML-N and PPP governments before them.I accept that respect given to the bureaucracy and fair treatment together with depoliticization will boost bureaucrats’ performance. That will benefit the public and the country.The writer is a Former Director, National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA), Government of Pakistan, a political analyst, a public policy expert and an author, his book post 9/11 Pakistan was published in the United States.Published in Daily Times, October 13th 2018.