Good Governance—the only panacea for Pakistan

By Zahid Gul

The term ‘Governance’ means an act of ruling and administering by enforcing policies, rules and laws. The term Good Governance means ruling and managing the state machinery in a good and effective way. It works for the welfare of its citizens. It is unfortunate that Pakistan is reeling under mal-governance—a looming crisis that has occluded Pakistan’s path to the development despite having rich resources and talented youth bulge. The solution to all the problems of Pakistan lies in improving governance. If the reins Pakistan’s government fall into adroit and honest hands, there is no reason why governance cannot be improved, leading to cure of all ills. All that is required is true and sincere leadership coupled with exhaustive efforts to eradicate all the ills: corruption, lack of accountability, dilatory judicial system, illiteracy, economic crisis, political instability and chaotic situation.

No country can live and prosper unless its people are provided and given with all the basic needs of life such as food, health facilities and quality education. All these needs must be fulfilled in order to climb the ladder of development. Without fulfilling these needs a nation cannot prosper and consolidate its resources for a bright future. As Pakistan lacks good leadership and governance, it has no good health facilities and quality education. Because Pakistan’s resources are not being managed or distributed judiciously. Good governance would end all these woes by creating opportunities for its citizens to earn; thus, enabling their access to basics of life. Good governance ensures improved health system and would establish required number of hospital in the country. Through improving governance expenditure of a required amount on education can be ensured effectively. Quality Education is the main ingredient and a byproduct of good governance. Quality Education is most effective weapon to fight against all the ills in Pakistan. Quality Education produces quality leaders, quality economy and quality politics. Education is light in the darkness that enlightens our path. Without education one cannot think, analyse or make decisions for the betterment of humanity.

One of the most important issues that needs to be addressed on urgent basis is corruption. It has led to degeneration of the entire system and society to the core. Corruption has bred social, economic and security problems in the country. Many of us, from politicians to ordinary citizen, from bureaucracy to traders, from government servants to daily wagers are becoming part of a corrupt system. A large number of corruption cases, Panama Leaks, Ramzan Sugar Mills, wheat and sugar crisis prove the prevailing corruption in our society. To minimize the corruption or to end it completely, good governance is inevitable. Good Governance can easily eradicate the corruption, pervaded in our society, from it roots. In a good governing country people are paid according to their abilities, hard work and services to the society. The public office holders get enough salary that they may not feel the need for corruption. The law enforcement agencies must be given enough salaries that they may not go for corruption. As in Pakistan, the officials in these institutions, specially the lower ranks are not paid according to their expenses. Thus to ensure good governance in country, individuals must get their deserved reward. Making efficacious laws and policies against corruption and strictly abiding by these laws is good governance. Strengthening the structure of anti-corruption institutions is good governance. If these institutions, which are responsible for curbing corruption, are not made free from politics and any influence then corruption would only breed. To ensure good governance de-politicization of  these institutions is must.

Similarly, lack of accountability leads to the law of jungle and anarchic state of affairs. Absence of accountability gives rise to corruption and lawlessness. Accountability plays essential role in the development of country. Good Governance holds people accountable for their actions or inactions. Pakistan faces the accountability crisis since long. In this regard, the institute of National Accountability Bureau was established in 2005 by Gen Musharraf to hold people accountable. Unfortunately, since then this institution has remained controversial with successive governments by using it against their opponents. It is mainly used for the political victimization of opposition. Good Governance bolsters unbiased accountability institutions. In an improved governance structure the government would not interfere or be able to pressurize these institutions for legitimizing or strengthening its position for actions that might offend the public or opposition. Thus in a good governing country, these institutions act independently and freely without any influence. Consequently, it gives birth to a more transparent and accountable society. That is the lifeblood of prosperous and stable societies. And many of the crimes in the society would vanish on their own.

Considering the aforementioned description and analysis, it can be concluded that governance is the lifeline of any country. Good Governance is highly regarded in developed nations. In fact, no country can make way to prosperity, integrity and development without Good Governance which is the only option for Pakistan to combat all the prevalent ills and crisis of Pakistan. It is true, that we are facing many issues, lower economy or GDP ratio, political instability and weak or politicized institutions. Fortunately, all these ills can easily be cured via Good Governance if a political will exists thereof.

The author is a writer from Balochistan

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