Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

Opinion

Random thoughts

October 15, 2018
Advertisement

New rulers, new problems

Opinion

Random thoughts

October 15, 2018

Share

Almost two months have passed since Imran Khan’s government seized the reins and it is already facing problems. There was embarrassment over some appointments, increased taxation, and high inflation rates.

The rise in prices of most items of daily life has been felt by everyone. The selection of the chief minister of Punjab and the appointment of some ministers and senior officers didn’t go smoothly, as did the words and actions of some hot-headed PTI members also didn’t go down well. This drew flak from all directions.

The problem is twofold. Before and during elections, the PTI, on the one hand, made unattainable promises and, on the other, voters are expecting instant results. In their election campaigns, Imran Khan and Asad Umar criticised previous rulers for selling the country and incurring huge loans. Now, within two months, we see them going to the IMF and the Asian Development Bank to ask for loans worth $14 billion. If the present trends persist, we might end up borrowing between$35 billion and $40 billion in the coming years.

The transfer of the Punjab IG is another eyesore. The IG was serving in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the government must have been fully aware of his track record. And yet, they appointed him in Punjab and then showed him the door within five weeks. The information minister said that the IG was removed due to non-performance. Given his good track record, how can the IG’s five-week performance cause such a major change in perception?

Nasir Khan Durrani took a gentleman’s decision and quit in protest. I was surprised to read the reactions of the Establishment Division, claiming that they had the authority transfer any IG. As far as our knowledge goes, any officers/workers who can influence voting cannot be transferred. As a result, even SHOs, patwaris or tehsildars cannot be transferred. We then saw Dr Shoaib Suddle, former IG, justifying the move by saying that a government could remove a person if he isn’t performing well. Fair enough. But how can judgement be passed in just five weeks? A few decades ago, Suddle was posted in Karachi and lived only a few hundred yards away when Mir Murtaza Bhutto was murdered in broad daylight. But he never resigned.

The government has recently roped in Dr Farrukh Saleem, an able analyst, to monitor water and power affairs. He has held successive governments responsible for their deeds in a neutral and polite way. One can’t help but wonder if Dr Farrukh Saleem will be blunt and outspoken against the present rulers if the need arises. I hope he will update us on the new burden that will be placed on each and every Pakistani – old, young and new-born. I guess this burden will amount to almost Rs200,000 per head.

It is unfortunate that our new regimes have a habit of blaming previous governments for all the country’s problems rather than dealing with these problems and fulfilling the promises they have made during their election campaigns. The fact that a new party has been voted into power means that the people have sent the old one home because they were unhappy with them. There is no need for a blame game.

In developed countries, you never hear a word about those who were previously in power. Somebody should teach our politicians to act in a professional, civilised manner. Whenever there is a world ranking of positive deeds, Pakistan’s name feature in the bottom ten category of the list. However, in any negative analyses, we end up in the top-ten ranking.

Governing a country like ours is not a bed of roses. PM Imran Khan has immediately received the bitter taste of how difficult it is to rule a country like Pakistan. The unfortunate fact remains that highly-qualified, experienced people are usually ignored by those in power in favour of less educated, inexperienced sycophants, who are often placed in high positions. We have hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of experienced, foreign-trained specialists who are capable of reshaping the country’s policies, but whose services aren’t being utilised. How can we expect progress if we don’t make the most of our talented specialists? There is a famous quote which suggests that “the progress and prosperity of a nation is the reflection of the competence of its engineers”. Our leading engineers are often either working abroad or sitting home watching TV and reading newspapers.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, the majority of the nation wishes you success. They were fed up of the ‘meri bari, teri bari’ (my turn, now your turn) game and wanted someone new. While the country was plundered by successive governments and national wealth taken abroad illegally, we are still indebted to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto for facilitating our nuclear and missile programmes to make our defence invincible. Nobody can take that credit away from them, regardless of whatever else they may be accused of.

Available literature on good governance and why nations fail confirms that governments succeed when leaders are competent and experienced people are appointed on important posts. If you follow this approach, everyone will follow you. But if you don’t meet people’s expectations, then your government will be doomed.

When the Muslim army won the conquest in Egypt, fought under the command of Hazrat Amr ibn al-Aas (RA), a messenger was sent to Caliph Hazrat Umar (RA) with a letter. Upon reading the letter, the caliph got teary-eyed and told Hazrat Ali (RA) – who was sitting with him – the news and mentioned how the soldiers had shown unbelievable honesty. They had even delivered bricks of gold to the treasury. Hazrat Ali (RA) said that the good character and honesty of Hazrat Umar (RA) was being reflected in the character of Muslims. He said: “If you were not so honest and God-fearing, people would not be behaving in this way”.

Email: [email protected]

Advertisement

Comments