Yes. Our Media does raise the rhetoric with hyperbole. But the fact is, that we do have a very very serious problem of poor and ineffective governance, rampant corruption and zero accountability.
All this stemming from a flawed electoral system which is easily manipulated and hijacked by a small coterie of people to further their own extremely narrow self interests. This allows them to perpetuate their stranglehold over governance power structures, all state institutions, and thereby acquiring more influence, wealth and power.
So our starting point has to be electoral reform to enable relatively more honest and competent people to come into positions of governance policy making, power and influence.
And hereunder some thoughts on electoral and governance reforms.
1. Part elections on Proportional representation.
2. Part through direct elections with Majorality win and not first pas the post.
3. Empowered and autonomous local government with full administrative and financial powers and authority.
4. More administrative units/ provinces.
5. Presidential system with max two terms of 4 years each.
6. Cabinet appoontees can be subject matter experts who are not necessarily elected legislators as done in the USA.
7. A 4 year term for an elected government
The above of course requires major constitutional changes. And the big question is how?
Perhaps some “prodding” by institutions like the Sipreme Court backed by the stick of the Army in the background. Otherwise its the same old discrepit system of garbage in and garbage out.
No change can be expected or will happen under the existing electoral process and poor governance will continue.
Even more poverty and deprivation and further fissures in an already multifaceted, fractured society.
All one can say is that we are an amazingly resilient nation, having achieved what we have, DESPITE the terrible governance.
Anatol Leivin’s “Pakistan A Hard Country” describes us to the “T”. A must read, if not read so far.
Clearly IK’s planning is weak and implementation even weaker. He’s unable to define the plan, articulate his vision, and more importantly communicate the end goal and endgame, effectively.
While his focus on the problems of corruption, accountability and governance are correct. But his solutions are vague and hazy.
Also continuing on the path of removing the present government without a clear plan on major reform is counter productive. This becomes more complex as our current vested political interests cannot and will not push for such reforms. Reforms which sound their own death knell. Because every party, including his own, PTI, has people from these very groups who survive and thrive under the current environment.
So often one wonders, if this will continue, and will we go back to the old era where again the vast majority, myself included, abdicated ourselves from the existing electoral process losing hope in its ability to provide honest competent political leadership. And in disgust, giving these corrupt rulers, once again, a free pass.
Till of course eventually, the state institutions are so weakened, eventually leading to fascism and then total anarchy.
This as we know happens in all societies, where the rich become richer and the poor, poorer, deprived of all equitable opportunities of security of life and property, education, health care, employment and access to quick and fair justice.
Having said that and despite his many failings and poor judgement, IK, at least, holds out the semblance of some opportunity for some change.
He may not succeed. But at least he’s trying in his half cocked way and hence needs to be supported. This support is not about PTI and or TUQ, etc, but supporting a movement and an effort to change the system. There are dangers of course of military intervention but we must take that chance.
So given what we have today, our only options are either to support anything and everything, legitimate, to change the system or let the country go down its tragic slippery slope.
The tactics of Ehtesaab and Qissas movements are debatable. But, today, they are the two more visible and meaningful symbols of protest.
Here’s something I wrote two years ago in a somewhat overly emotional manner, saying the same thing.