Leadership For Pakistan
IV. Governance & Corruption
Introduction & Background.
Governance is the exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a country’s affairs at all levels, good governance, thus, signifies the competent management of resources and affairs in a manner that is open, transparent, honest, accountable, equitable and responsive to people’s need and problems.
The ability of the state to provide law and order is the core of the concept of governance and is its defining feature. Governance should fundamentally possess the capacity of the state to organize social and economic activity according to rules, and to enforce compliance with those rules. The greatest threats to good governance today come from corruption, violence and poverty, all of which undermine transparency, security, participation and fundamental freedoms.
Pakistan is the world’s second largest Muslim country with a population of more than 180 million people growing by the day unaware and unprepared of the economic and social disaster that lies ahead with such a large, diverse, hard working, committed and resilient people among whom ninety five million fall in the young age group. The people of Pakistan are however unfortunate that this nature given advantage and investment has not been ever looked into seriously. They are governed by men who lack both vision and leadership. The luminaries who grace both the houses of Parliament and the Provincial Assemblies do not tire of expressing their pain and anguish over the plight of the masses. Yet the very same masses are left to grapple with multiple challenges to their very existence.
Apart from the menace of corruption, unemployment, rising poverty and lawlessness, the masses are confronted with rampant militancy, a fragile economy that is surviving on oxygen provided by the international donors, a crisis in governance and a deeply polarized society divided along ethnic and religious lines. Further to this the political parties are polarized forestalling a renewed round of political instability and a potential leadership and public management crises. People now place their hope in God, since the government is no longer able to rescue citizens stricken by absolute poverty. One of the worst manifestations of Government’s poor governance is the inability to maintain law and order and to control the eruption of violence. The perpetrators of these crimes are hardly ever arrested and brought to face trial.
There is lack of political will and the ability to undertake the task. Lack of governance, law and order crises, lack of basic facilities and corruption are causing people’s loss of faith in democracy. Demands are now being made for a new social contract. People now place their hope in God, since the government is no longer able to rescue citizens stricken in this vicious circle of by inept and incompetent rulers.
Peace Brief by Joshua T. White and Shuja Ali Malik