The Gulf Today - - OPINION -

It is a prob­lem of two parts: the abil­ity of the cit­i­zenry to lodge com­plaints, and the government’s abil­ity to ad­dress the lat­ter. On Sun­day, Prime Min­is­ter Im­ran Khan un­veiled the Pak­istan Cit­i­zens’ Por­tal, a pri­mar­ily on­line sys­tem to lodge com­plaints against government de­part­ments and pub­lic of­fi­cials. The key fea­ture of the PCP is that the com­plaints sys­tem will be mon­i­tored by the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice; Khan has vowed to him­self reg­u­larly over­see the res­o­lu­tion of the pub­lic’s com­plaints. To the ex­tent that the por­tal will make it eas­ier for the pub­lic to lodge com­plaints and that com­plainants will have to re­veal their iden­ti­ties to re­duce friv­o­lous and ma­li­cious com­plaints, the PCP could be a step in the right di­rec­tion. But a great deal will de­pend on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the sys­tem. In­deed, the specifics of the PCP may be new and up­dated for a more con­nected age, but the idea of a prime min­is­te­rial por­tal for pub­lic com­plaints has been at­tempted sev­eral times be­fore, whether as a call-in pro­gramme on tele­vi­sion or some sim­i­lar scheme. The ef­fec­tive­ness of those pre­vi­ous schemes was per­haps more in the pub­lic re­la­tions do­main than ac­tual prob­lem-solv­ing. Per­haps the PTI government and Khan have a bet­ter road map than their pre­de­ces­sors — the PCP is based on a scheme in­tro­duced in KP by the PTI dur­ing the last government’s term there — but there are es­sen­tial ques­tions re­gard­ing scale and ef­fi­cacy. Dawn

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