You ViewsVOLUME 18 ISSUE # 36

Overhaul the bureaucracy

The distressing events that we have seen in recent times in our national life have left many people scratching their heads. I am one of them. I graduated from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) in 1998; nearly a quarter of a century ago. Lately, I have been asking people if they believe any aspect of our situation has improved during this time.

Unfortunately, no one can point out a single measure where we have actually made progress. In fact, we have regressed. This prompts me to ask another question: can you name any other country where you have witnessed such an excessive display of pomp, protocol and police security as we see in Pakistan? The resounding answer is in the negative.

Further, I want to know if anyone is aware of a country, excluding those in war zones, where major police offices in two different cities are attacked by terrorists within a fortnight. Once again, the answer is in the negative. It takes a moment to grasp the connection between these two problems. There is a clear reason why other countries have advanced while we continue to lag behind. The world has learned from experience about what works and what does not. Unfortunately, the current state of affairs benefits those in power, as it enables them to accumulate vast amounts of wealth.

The FIA, police, and motor inspection departments are independent organisations that receive salaries and should be capable of addressing these issues without requiring intervention from the prime minister. They are paid to solve these problems, regardless of which political party is in power. The presence of ‘order’ should be consistent and independent; there are people on taxpayers’ payroll to make sure that this happens. I have started to believe that it is actually not the politicians’ fault, for it is not their responsibility to maintain order, but rather there is dire need for a significant overhaul of the bureaucracy. Laws and fines exist so that people know there is an effective working government watching over them. A country that has failed to effectively regulate motor vehicles and traffic over a span of 25 years becomes a prime candidate for a failed state.

Hasan Raza