Civilian government and challenge of Governance: Shafaqna Exclusive


Pakistan is in quagmire of problems since PML-N government assumed office. Pakistan is marred with rampant corruption, Oligarchic political system, nepotism, Injustice, alienation and all the social evils. Pakistan’s problems are long-standing, rooted in governance failures, with the resultant erosion of state authority. 2014 was no different in this respect. Pakistan’s civil-military divide, manifested in the government’s clumsy handling of former President General Pervez Musharraf, remained at the centre of Pakistan’s political debate through the year.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif locked horns with the army by preventing the General from going abroad, after the courts granted him bail in several politically motivated cases. The army showed that it would not stand by when its former chief was insulted. In this process, Sharif was the loser. The mistrust between the military and the civilian government was palpable.

Again, Prime Minister Sharif showed no sign of leadership. For him, building roads and talking the talk on development are panaceas for Pakistan’s problems. Large projects are waved through without stakeholder consultation on feasibility or environmental concerns. As an example, the metro bus project in Lahore is now being replicated in Islamabad. This 24 kilometre project could cost as much as 75 billion rupees (US$744 million). Stories of underhand behaviour abound in the awarding of state contracts. Public functionaries are replaced with political cronies when expensive national projects or imports are negotiated. Sharif’s governance style — one that heavily involves his family and a coterie of associates — easily degenerates into the politics of patronage. Parliamentary oversight is inadequate. Cabinet meetings, when they are held, are devoid of substance. Pakistan’s minorities also suffer the wrath of religious fanatics and those who raise the spectre of blasphemy allegations in order to eject people from their homes.

Now the economic record of PML-N government is much worse. They are heavily relying on foreign aid and loans from IMF. Rather than improving they system they have further deteriorated the situation.


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