for the country? All our energies are spent on catching thieves when we should be positively engaged in the country’s revival. The collective approach for nation building is non-existent and so is case with evidence collecting agencies. The investigative agencies are also poor material but best of us by world standards are very poor stuff. So if the best is the best of the worst what will the worst of the worst be like. Your guess cannot be optimistic.
The speeches after every event by the opposition force people to think that the government has a problem, for the internal affairs are handled by all the Ministers as if the portfolio belonged to all of them. The culture of work and the culture of work respect for others is totally missing. Even for foreign tours we are provided by official handouts that later on are falsified by the host country. Let us consider the actions of the Ministers that are already in the fray. All of them speak a different language. In a democratic country the word of mouth is sacred. It happened with me in former East Pakistan where a statement by word of mouth has more creditability then the written word. Yes, they then said to me that if the spoken word is not kept then it would be impossible for me to come to that area ever. The word was more important than any document.
The end result here is that all rural societies have become areas for the mafia to work on. The deaths and the unreported crimes are increasing with the passage of every day. The urban administrators have become traitors to the inhabitants of the rural areas. All the cosmetic statements about price support systems are hogwash and do not work. The world has moved on from agriculture support price system for the rural areas. The agriculturist no longer can have income from the support prices. The paradigm has to change considerably. Crime will increase when the poor are subjected to the kind of inflation that we have at the hands of incompetent policy officials.
But the abuse that opposition and the government are heaping on each other has another significant impact. All of them lose their respect in the eyes of the public. That means that the leadership role is curtailed to what they have to say or not to say in the National assembly. Suffice it to say that the members of the National Assembly are not highlighting national issues.
What can be done to rectify the situation. Indira Gandhi sent all of them for a crash course at the Staff College Hyderabad Deccan. I was there and so were other Pakistanis undergoing a crash course in economic development. Every guest speaker stayed on for three days to meet with participants and answer any queries that might be there with them. The Finance Minister came and stayed on for three days to answer questions. Other options can also be taken. The Standing Committees can be made more powerful in which reason would be more acceptable. A lesson could be drawn from the work done in other Assemblies. The ultimate is that good governance requires adequate and energetic National Assemblies. It is doable and workable. But all this is based on an accountable system - accountable in more than one way. —The writer is a retired Federal Secretary.