Good Riddance

In its final days till the new members of government take the oath, the time is ripe to critically see the caretaker setup formed in August 2023 to conduct elections on the country. While caretaker Prime Minister, Anwaar ul Haq Kakar, took time to praise his cabinet and count the achievements of the interim gov­ernment, fair criticism on the liberties taken cannot be brushed under the carpet. In some instances, the criticism raised the ques­tion as to why the caretaker government is passing laws that must come into effect under an elected government. Nevertheless, Ka­kar’s praise of his tenure for laying down an actionable plan for the incoming government is half good, half bad.

The good part depends very much on the incoming govern­ment’s attitude; either it chooses to build on the gains or start afresh and break the neck of the consistency that the system re­quires. The bad, however, is mostly related to the deviation from the main function. A caretaker setup is supposed to conduct elec­tions in the country; with free, fair, and transparent polls. How the post-polls scenario unfolded leaves a question mark on whether Kakar’s government could deliver this core objective.

Moreover, exclusive credit for somewhat stabilising the economy oversimplifies the complex dynamics at play. Just because indica­tors have improved does not mean that the progress will be sus­tainable. It is too early to predict how the various foreign stake­holders, that have been taken into confidence and with whom agreements of an economic nature have been reached, will move forward with the new government that is set to begin its tenure next month. Yes, the agreements are of strategic value and must materialise into concrete gains for Pakistan’s economy, a lot will depend on the economic plan and vision of the new coalition.

Furthermore, Kakar’s praise of the bureaucracy, for standing firm amidst social media trolling, overlooks legitimate peoples’ voices regarding holding the bureaucracy accountable. Yes, the bu­reaucracy came in the line of fire on social media. But criticism of the entitlement and unchecked privilege cannot be waived off sim­ply as trolling. People in public service should actually serve the public instead of boasting the service perks as achievements that set them apart from the very people they are supposed to serve.

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