All problems emanating from poor governance: Piracha
RE - Chairman Good Governance Forum Mumtaz A Piracha has said that the root cause of all the problems Pakistan is facing today is the absence of good governance, which in turn generated problems of its own while no progress has been made finding the solutions of the same.
He expressed these views in a special interview with daily The Nation on Monday. Piracha said 1973 Constitution contained proper check and balance system but the amendments made had disturbed the balance of power and cited the 17th amendment as an example that shifted the equilibrium in favour of the president at the cost of the prime minister. But more importantly it initiated a new tug of war between the two, he added.
He said good governance could only be achieved when executive branch of the state worked properly and bureaucracy limited itself to accurate execution of the policies formulated by the popularly elected government.
He said in this regard, the judiciary must ensure to fulfil its responsibility to protect the rights the masses granted under the law of the land, while question the government whenever their rights are usurped. But at the same time, it important that the judiciary keep in mind the restrictions as prescribed by the constitution as well as the complete independence for delivering justice.
At the same time, Piracha reminded media of its responsibilities saying that to highlight the achievements and short comings of the government for improve its working.
Simultaneously, the civil society organisations should research and analyse the prevailing issues for presenting feasible remedies.
He was of the view that the challenges of today were a product of the last 10 years that could only be solved through good governance. He said the biggest issue being faced now was of economy, as whatever progress was made during the mast decade or so had benefited the landlords, elites, upper middle class and politicians, adding, it was the same lot who controlled 80 percent of national wealth but constituted only 20 percent of the population.
He was categorical in saying that until extensive development was not targeted in the agriculture and industrial sector, elimination of unemployment was impossible. He demanded special attention on small and medium enterprises and development projects at eh gross root levels along with effective measures to reduce alarming inflation. He also called for state intervention to curb various cartels and hoarders who manipulate the prices according to their interests.
He rejected the official claims showing only 8 percent unemployment ratio and said no government organisation had ever tabulated information about the issue, while same was the case with those living below the poverty line. He also criticised the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) launched at the cost of Rs34 billion and stated that it could provide ad hoc relief only.
He advocated policies designed in the interest of neglected segments of the society, like those 65 percent residing the rural areas, to improve their living standards and boost up the economy, which would also help is addressing the sense of deprivation prevailing in the society.
Expressing his opinion about the AfPak as announced by US President Obama, Piracha said although Islamabad had appreciated the policy, other political parties had considerable apprehensions regarding its fallouts. He said although Pakistan was going to a recipient of billions of dollars in shape of both military and non-military aid, it was unclear that it could attain the desired aims. He said the basic shortcoming of the US policy against war on terror was that it wanted to tackle it solely through using the military might. But it was deemed to create a backlash in shape of widespread public resentment and even more spreading terrorism. He also called for respecting the popular mandate of February 18 last year and denounced attempts like Supreme Court verdict against Sharif brothers and advised not to pull each others legs.
He also pointed out to the sense of dispossession in the parties that boycotted the general elections under the Musharraf regime. He demanded to make all the decisions in consultation with all political parties whether they were in or out of the parliament.