Disappearing from Scene and Hiding under the Bed
Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx was an American comedian and film star once said that “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” These witty words apply on Pakistani politicians, government and functionaries so correct and right in the present situation. Recent electricity and petrol crisis and government’s response to mitigate has badly exposed the poor decision making process and lack of institutional mechanism to respond. During last eighteenth months government experiences show that it disappears whenever Pakistani people confronts with severe and challenging issues. Situation was so worse and ridiculous that media persons supporting government for last couple of months were unable to defend the government actions. The dream of Roshan Pakistan became a nightmare.
Following its typical pattern, the response by the government officials were either disappearing from the scene, hide themselves under their beds or then come out once water is down with fabricated, fake narratives, mostly these stances are embarrassing and mendacious in nature. For example, at the peak of the crisis, Ishaq Dar, the finance minister and Pervaiz Rasheed, the information minster were showering fire on their political opponent Imran Khan while Mr.Abbasi, minister of Petroleum found media, people and beggars guilty of this crisis. The people see their appearances on TV screens like a show with poor script and badly curate.
This is not the crisis of the scarcity of electricity, petrol or any other commodity but deep rooted into bad governance & manifestation of the poor management and failure of the government to run the state affairs. This also proves the inability of the government to establish early warning mechanism and monitoring system for such issues. A country with multiple security challenges cannot be so ignorant. A country without petrol for more than ten days with long lines of people with cans and bottles in their hands and complete blackout for three different times in a month presents a picture of paralyzed society. People were fighting with each other on gasoline stations, breaking heads and chanting slogans against the government.
A week ago, I visited Lahore and had informal talks with friends in politics, bureaucracy and corporate sector were full of enormous citations of kickbacks, nepotism and continuous deliberated process of deteriorating bureaucracy by politicizing and promoting personal patronage likes and dislikes. I have not seen such level of disappointment, mistrust and hopelessness by concerned citizens from their country governance system as of today. People are not willing to buy the fabricated stories in front of press by the government spokespersons, they are more informed. A politician who considers his voters and supporters fools, himself lives in fool’s paradise.
Sharif government should simply revisit their governance pattern and style that is associated with corruption, distortion of government budgets, inequitable growth, social exclusion, lack of trust in authorities at present. They should take a turn of 180 degree in their approach as the present one not working and worsening the situation by bounce backing. Time of power and broker style politics have gone, meeting the challenges demand dynamic, efficient, and intelligent political team with clear vision who can come with innovative solutions of the decades old problems.
They should understand that inefficiency of formal governance institutions leads to creation of informal institutions. Due to poor governance of formal institutions we are already facing this menace of informal sectors ranging from security to economy and eating the socio political and economic fabric of our society.
Bad governance results to huge loss in economic growth, weak democratic institutions and security situation. And not only that, it also affects the human resources, the human ingenuity and the personality of the citizens. Bad governance and corruption deter investment, waste national resources and forebode allocation and increase insecurity. The poor suffers the most from the consequences of bad governance and corruption. In most cases, on the people side a person should intuitively know when something is right or wrong. That may not have anything to do with what one may think he can get away with. Right and wrong are not supposed to be confusing. There is no blare line in this, but when corruption is established and it becomes part of the culture than there is no clear line between the two.
Today we are living in a society where a culture of corruption has been established under the bad governance of the remnants where by corruption has become the norm it mingled with the culture and became part of it! It even spread to the private sector. Every story in this crisis finds its footprints in the money deals with corporate sector. Many people accepted this corruption and power abuse blended it with everyday life. When corruption, malfeasance, misuse or abuse of power creeps in all governmental institutions as it did in Pakistan, it is a manifestations of typical bad governance and this ought to be stopped before it kills the functions of government completely and the future of generations to come.
This is the time, when Mr. Sharif should negate of this old fashioned political approach of Adhocism i.e. Dang Tapaoo and must expose himself to the realities of everyday lives of the people of this country, with whom he made promise of providing food, health, education, shelter and decent dignified life. Leading & running country is different from running a broker shop. He should make correct, true and realistic understanding of issues and challenges, exploring the right remedies as bad policies, poor decision making and undemocratic aspects of leadership makes ones a weak leader and left with no option but disappearing from the scene and hiding under the bed… and making compromises to remain in power. This might be personal winning for him to be remaining in the power but a big loss for the people at large. Can we call such kind of person a leader who fails his people for his personal interests or lust for power and money? We find many such cases in history but then history rejects them and diminished their faces forever from the pages of history. They might be remembered by other names like looters, cowards and corrupt but not as leaders with glory.