dear members kindly check my essay and help me improve my writing.
Good Governance Defined
Essentials Of Good Governance
• Equal Participation
• Promotion Of National Cohesion
• National Integration
• Institution Supremacy
• Independent Judiciary
• Constitutional Supremacy
• Rule Of Law
• Political Stability
• Free Media
• Equal Educational Opportunities
• Socio-economic Development
• Equal Distribution Of Resources
• Welfare State With Provision Of Social Securities
• Strong Writ Of The Government On All Fronts
State Of Governance In Pakistan
• Institutional Imbalance
• Poor Relations Between Centre And Provinces
• Political Instability
• Inability To Provide Justice
• Lack Of Control Over Law And Order Situation
• Inefficient Economic Management
• Expenditure Mismanagement And Debt Trap
• Unfair System Of Taxation
• Lack Of Accountability
• Poverty And Inflation
• Water, Energy And Food Crises
• Balance Among All The Institutions
• Good Relations Between Centre And Provinces
• Equal Distribution Of National Resources
• Cheap And Quick Justice
• Economic Policies Be Revised
• Cut Down In Extra-expenditure
• Establishment Of Anti-Corruption Courts
• Free Media
As a vehicle is useless without the fuel likewise a country cannot be run in the absence of good governance. Good governance is a real drive behind a country’s development. It protects the human rights, delivers the justice, maintains law an order and provides equal opportunities to the masses. It delivers the fruits of progress and development to all and sundry. It is required at all levels of society and state. In today’s globalized world good governance helps to meet eh challenges of the world. It makes the system of the state effective and efficient. People of the country enjoy equal rights under good governance. Minorities live freely and exercise their religion. No one considers himself above law. Everyone, no matter how influential he is, is accountable before law. Corruption is unheard of in a country where good governance prevails. Not only government officials but also common citizens are aware of their duties and play their role sincerely. In such cooperative environment, economy boosts and investment increases leading to the prosperity of the country. In this way good governance helps to reap the fruits of globalization.
Governance is defined as the manner in which power is exercised in the management of a country’s economic and social resources for development. Good governance means competent management of a country’s resources and affairs in a manner that is open, transparent, accountable, equitable and responsive to people’s needs. The essentials of good governance are:
• It ensures the participation of both men and women in every sector of life.
• It helps in the promotion of national cohesion. Under healthy environment of good governance people always work with hand in hand for the betterment of the country.
• It creates the feelings of nationalism and integrates the units of the country.
• It ensures the supremacy of institutions. Every institution works within its borders of limitation.
• Judiciary enjoys full freedom under good governance.
• It also endorses the supremacy of the constitution.
• It maintains the rule of law in the country.
• It guards democracy and guarantees political stability.
• It assures the freedom of media.
• Equal educational opportunities are ensured.
• It pledges for socio-economic development.
• Equal distribution of resources among the federating units of the country is made possible.
• It makes the country a welfare state which provides social securities to its masses.
• Government’s writ is strengthened on all fronts.
Pakistan was born with a hole in its heart. The newly-born country inherited multiplicity of problems. Problems like accession of the princely states, refugees and their accommodation problem, canal water dispute, division of assets, issue of national language, and issue of Pakhtoonistan became its fate. All these problems keep popping up their head again and again in one form or the other. Most tragic of all was the death of Quaid-e-Azam. It further added fuel to the fire. Since then, no other leader of Quaid’s calibre has risen to lead the country like him. That’s why the lack of unity, shallowness of faith and dearth of discipline has pushed the country into quagmire. Let’s analyse the condition of governance in Pakistan.
Balance among the various institutions is the absolute requirement of good governance. Unlikely, we are passing through the time of extreme institutional imbalance. The institutions have almost abandoned their responsibility. They are lacking organization. Successive military coups have weakened the political institutions. In addition to this, the rampant corruption is further rotting them.
Poor relations between centre and the four provinces of the country are also depicting the story of bad governance. Coordination between them is essential to run the machinery of the state smoothly. On the country, the centre and provinces have always been at loggerhead with each other. Disharmony over natural resources and other issues have kept Pakistan under strain. The tragic fall of Dhaka was the result of such contentious relations. That’s why; Pakistan has always been experiencing political instability. These conditions have again and again provided army a rationale to topple the civilian government.
Army’s frequent interventions have never given democracy a fair chance to flourish in our country. Our political leaders are also responsible for this predicament. They have always tried to achieve their vested interests in the garb of politics. They have never respected the norms of democracy. Judiciary has also been the victim of such political instability. That’s why; our country has failed to develop healthy political institutions, a lasting democracy and impartial judiciary.
Furthermore, absence of independent judiciary is also hampering Pakistan’s way towards achieving good governance. Delayed justice is due to poor governance. Justice delayed is justice denied, which directly contributes to powerlessness of the poor. Incompetent judges have also greatly hampered the timely administration of justice, hence made the judiciary weak. When the grievances of the masses are not redressed, they resort to violent solutions of their problems. This state of condition results in the deterioration of rule of law.
Owing to poor governance, the government is losing control over law and order situation. When individuals put themselves ahead of institutions, they set a bad example. Suicide attacks, target killing, robbery and other crimes have become norm of the day. And government seems helpless in this regard.
Worsening conditions of public order have caused economic instability. Poor law and order conditions have kept the investors away from our country. Economic mismanagement is further aggravating the conditions. There is a great economic disparity. The rich are getting richer and the poor are becoming poorer. Owing to fragile economy, FDI is shrinking on account of terrorism and political instability. Another major problem is Pakistan’s huge debt and its continued dependence on financial aid.
Slow economic growth coupled with government’s lavish spending is pushing Pakistan deeper and deeper into debt trap. Each successive government-civilian or military-prefers to have a gigantic administrative set-up. This is done to please the allied parties to prolong their rule. Irrespective of the burden on government treasury, government keeps on borrowing more and more to meet government official’s princely and lavish lifestyle.
Moreover, tax system in Pakistan is also inefficient and unsatisfactory. Ratio of direct taxes is more than indirect taxes. Tax evasion is common. The rich are reluctant to pay tax, while the poor are paying tax even on the purchase of a match box.
Accountability which is the key note of good governance is lacking in our country. No one in our country seems to consider himself accountable to law. Everyone whatever illegal he does, thinks it as his right. It is a sort of deluge which is engulfing our country and giving rise to many problems.
In the absence of accountability, corruption has become rampant in our society. It has become so common that no one from clerical staff to high officials is free from this disease. Transparency International (TI) has ranked Pakistan 34th most corrupt nation in the world. Corruption hurts economy by raising transaction costs. It also depresses economic growth by lowering public investment. Only a part of the amount of budget is spent on public projects. The rest is embezzled by government functionaries and contractors.
Such mismanagement of funds and government’s incapacity to maintain the prices of basic commodities is raising inflation and poverty. Poverty crushed people are being further crushed with inflation. Purchasing power is decreasing day by day and people are unable to make their both hands meet. Grain is getting beyond their reach. Along with it, unequal distribution of cultivate land, unfair distribution of income and increasing population are also responsible for this predicament.
Likewise, government’s inability to provide employment also depicts the picture of bad governance. Deteriorating conditions of agricultural and industrial sector due to government’s negligence are further adding to the unemployment. Rising unemployment is causing brain drain. While the educated youth who cannot afford to go out of the country, out of frustration, indulge in the world of crime and other evils.
Poverty and unemployment are pushing our country into the swamp of illiteracy. Because of poverty, the poor cannot afford to send their children to schools. And due to unemployment many people think, “What is the benefit of that education which cannot provide any respectable livelihood.” Furthermore, corruption is adding fuel to the fire. The education fund in Pakistan is 2% of National budget, but these funds are never fairly utilized for education purpose.
One of the most threatening problems which arise out of illiteracy is of overpopulation. In addition to this, lack of family planning and implementation of population control policies are responsible for increasing population. Government seems to be totally unconcerned about the population control. Government’s such indifference is greatly frustrating. Pakistan is almost touching 180 million mark. It is growing out to be the biggest threat to our survival after terrorism.
Last but not least, the crises of water, energy and food are other disasters for Pakistan. All these crises, no doubt, are the products of poor governance. Water shortage can be attributed to Indian hegemony and government’s inability to utilize available water resources efficiently. Water shortage has badly affected our agricultural sector and also given birth to every crisis. Heavy dependence on hydel power and failure to utilize renewable resources have given our country a nasty blow in terms of electricity production. It has also crippled our industrial sector. Furthermore, food crisis is another gift of bad governance. Feeding people is a national responsibility. Ministry of food is not doing its job. People are dying to get a bag of flour and they have to stand in line for hours. Food shortage in an agricultural country is something quite unacceptable.
The present state of governance in our country tells a sorry tale. It is a fact that there are many hurdles in running the country. But sincere leadership with proper management can do wonders. It is never too late to act. What is needed is the proper implementation of policies. Here are some suggestion to make the dream of good governance come true.
• There should be balance between all the institutions of the country. All institutions must work within the boundary of their limit. It will ensure the proper functioning of the governmental machinery.
• The centre and the federating units must develop good relation. All the thorny issues between them be resolved with the sincerity of purpose. Grievances of the provinces be redressed on priority basis.
• Equal distribution of natural resources be ensured. Provinces must be given right and due share over their natural resources.
• Justice is indispensible to good governance. Access to cheap and quick justice be made possible for everyone. Dispensation of justice must be irrespective of class, creed and religion.
• Economic policies be revised. They must be reformed to meet the demands of the poor masses. Agricultural and industrial sectors must be revolutionized to attract investment and boost the economy.
• Cut-down of extra expenditure by down-sizing the administrative setup is the dire need of the hour. It would be greatly helpful in reducing debt burden from our country.
• All the institutions responsible for maintaining accountability be authorized. Legislation be enacted to improve accountability. It must be started from the top. Everyone, no matter how powerful is he, must be brought to book.
• Anti-corruption courts be established. All the cases of corruption be decided on priority basis to check the wheel of corruption.
• Media be made free. Freedom of media is the real essence of good governance. Media is called the fourth pillar of the state and is instrumental in ensuring good governance.
When all is said it can be concluded that the crisis, which is at the root of all other crises, is that of good governance. Problems like poverty. Illiteracy, unemployment, corruption, energy crisis, water and food shortage are weakening our country at its roots. In this gloomy scenario, good governance is the dire need of the hour. Though good governance has always been a dream for our country yet this dream can be transformed onto reality. Sincere and dedicated leadership can make this dream come true. But it cannot be achieved in a wink of an eye. It requires a great toil and sacrifice. Our youth van play a very vital role in this regard. Now, it is very easy to raise public opinion for good governance through the use of electronic media. The meetings and rallies are also very important means to bring the trend of good governance on the right track. The youth can be actively involved in organizing such programmes. Let us hope that our leaders are smart enough to introduce much needed reforms in the system. Otherwise the alternatives are far too grim to contemplate.