A note for prime minister Imran Khan

A failure to find solutions to problems is essentially a failure to objectively analyse the situation on the ground. It is a failure to identify factors which could have caused the problem. What makes problems more complex include oversimplification in explaining a phenomeon, using hidden agenda, lack of sensitivity to very critical situations, mismanagement and incompetence. Most of the situations that ended in violence were due to the lack of governance and proactive policies, decisions made in haste and withdrawn under pressure. Such behaviour patterns of the political administration negatively reflects on the character of the government and the credibility of its leadership. Ultimately it is a failure to respond to the needs of the people.

The credibility of the government is at the lowest, especially because the problems of poverty and haplessness are being made more complex because of the ever increasing cost of living and endless problems and escalating frustrations of the poor. What can you expect of lawmakers who are lawbreakers and promoters of ethnic divide and disharmony in the society, under such situations, What can you expect if the government itself is instrumental in creating problems and then making an unsuccessful effort to correct previous wrongs? The public’s mistrust in the government progressively grows when it fails to address real problems. Policies should protect the constitutional rights of the people.

A practical approach to understanding and managing positive and negative forces of development would involve a broad perspective, focusing on society and culture, institutions, traditions, socio-political diversity, technology, skills diversity and effective enabling environment for internal and external communication. The challenge of change in the 21st-century is not so easy to meet. The government and opposition parties need to be in communication for meaningful input from all quarters for quality and governance. The opposition has a role which the government should accept and permit for the sake of good governance and policies that can benefit the masses.

The credibility of the government is at the lowest, especially because the problems of poverty and haplessness are being made more complex because of the ever increasing cost of living and endless problems and escalating frustrations of the poor

Unfortunately, the PTI government of Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan seems to be working on a policy of keeping the opposition out and not allowing them to play a positive role in facilitating the government. PM Imran Khan should understand that he is no longer in the opposition, staging protests, sit-ins and blocking roads to a way forward for Pakistan. He has to seek the opposition’s help in the ultimate mission of strengthening institutions and building a positive soft image of the country. Day in and day out, the PTI leaders have nothing in their minds except to humiliate the opposition leaders in whatever way they can achieve such an objective. PTI has to understand the challenges of change.

In the context of politics and polity, laws and rules alone are not enough. Things change by example, and social acceptability develops and positive attitudes replace biases and prejudices. In an environment of reconciliation and accommodation, politics and polity can fast obtain dynamism and openness to make the best use of opportunities to meet the challenges of change and the aspirations of the people. Please note: if there is no freedom, there is no progress. With this logic in mind, all patriotic citizens would like to see healthy politics and dynamic, responsible polity flourishing in Pakistan. It is important to keep in mind for finding ways and means to take Pakistani society and economy to greater heights. Hate politics is not in anybody’s interest.

Our resolve to address challenges confronting Pakistan becomes meaningful only if the people trust the government and believe that it can create an environment for promoting plans and programs of mass education, healthcare, Agro-industrial productivity, housing and employment, as elements contributing to poverty reduction and establishment of a dynamic, progressive, pluralist, democratic, Islamic state.

If an enabling culture is missing, the vision for a prosperous Pakistan get blurred. The trend of extremism and violence encouraged by some quarters must be halted, as a mission and as a reform effort. The role of a moral and credible government is the role of the facilitator and a guide. Societal harmony is lost if the government fails to do anything about moral vacuum, corruption and negativity, leading to conflict and violence. A fragile economy, instability and social disharmony all stem from entropy caused by a less than credible government.

Security and national interest must be placed above party politics. Political leaders need to discipline themselves and set an example for the public to follow. Pakistan needs to focus on strategies of economic and social development for prosperity and improved level of living of the people. Regretfully, attention has not been duly paid to address the real issues.

Incapacity is one of the real issues the government must address for the sake of good governance and effective, meaningful policies. As a nation, we hardly demonstrate our focus on improving governance and policy planning and management with consistency. Consequently, the result is the waste of national resources.

Former Director NIPA, Govt of Pakistan

Published in Daily Times, March 24th 2019.


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