Society Magazine

Technocrats to Save the Sinking Ship

Posted on the 25 January 2013 by Azharnadeem

PPP funnyIn spite of having abundant natural resources Pakistan is one of the poorest, most chaotic nations on the planet, ruined by unrest that is estimated to have claimed thousands of lives in the past 5 years. The political class has destroyed much of what was good about this country, either through stupidity, or because of the selfish desire to advance their own interests at the expense of everyone else. These so called democrats are parasites who are draining the lifeblood from our nation and destroying all that we have built over decades of political evolution. Pakistan’s political elite are the chief beneficiaries. We are in the midst of a monetary collapse. The true cost of the national debt mostly received in PPP regimes and siphoned off– the cost that each of us, as taxpayers, is forced to pay every year of our lives – is not the principal amount, Rupees 14000 billion, but the interest. The PPP Government will come to an end sooner.

Its performance has been under serious criticism with some people regarding it as the worst Government since independence. The Government has failed and most of the people in Parliament are not well educated. People remained complaining about poor service delivery and continuous bickering that had characterized its existence. In the country, law and order, electricity and gas are virtually nonexistent. Pakistan time and again is seized with bad governance at the national level and this generally happens when governments lose their credibility. Pakistan has long been suffering from multiple wounds. Economy of the country has been ruined and that has been ruined by none other than so called elected leaders. PPP is in fifth year of its rule, the PPP and its coalition partners must accept harsh realities. They claim to represent the people but they have represented no one but themselves and they have more in common with each other and with their fellow politicians, than they do with the citizens of the nations they infest.

Pakistan’s biggest problem remains a dwindling economy coupled with glaring problem of energy shortage. Another problem of Pakistan is people of Pakistan are most insecure in the world. Those who have pushed the country and nation into darkness are not leaders but robbers. At the end of the day, the average citizen is concerned about his daily life as opposed to political games.  Pakistanis are demanding concrete results that contribute to areas that matter most to them, in particular job and wealth creation, access to basic services. History suggests that technocrats do best when blitzing the mess made by incompetent, corrupt, and squabbling politicians.

There is not such a thing as real “democracy” in action. There does not seem to be a clear leader who could alone win the election.This brings us to the crux of the matter in terms of current developments in Pakistan. Most Pakistanis stand around waiting for the Pak economy to return to “normal”.  The jobs and businesses that are leaving abroad are gone for good and will not be coming back.  This is causing unemployment to soar and public debt to skyrocket but our politicians are doing nothing about it.  Instead, politicians from both parties keep insisting that they will solve all of our problems if we will just give them our votes. The people of Pakistan are absolutely desperate of politicians. What seems to be going on is that a “wisdom” is developing that only technocratic government can carry out the “painful reforms” and accountability necessary to save the country. Technocrats bring a reputational advantage both in terms of knowledge and a sense of putting national interests above party political interests.

Taking into account the current crisis, perhaps it is a good idea to keep politicians away from government for some time. A government of technocrats could bridge the gap between the two main competing political factions as is the case in Pakistan. Unlike politicians, technocrats are qualified people who master the field of their specialties and would be able to take decisions that will hopefully rescue the country mired in economic and social problems. They are the people who put national interests above political parties’ interests. That is, they have no political party interests to protect and as such are bound to serve the interests of society. Public at large believe that so called democratic governments have always failed in Pakistan to tackle the economic crisis. The country needs competent leadership and a team of technocrats to fix its structural problems before handing it over to next elected regime. At present and as long as we are submerged in this crisis like situation, it is easier and safer for the politicians to leave it up to the technocrats to fix the process. Some may argue that a technocratic government is not democratic because it is not elected by the people, but I would say that it is less important the way such people are selected as long as they can effectively come up with measures that will take the country afloat.

The route to a lasting constituency for sustainable development is certainly through more and more democracy, not technocracy but unfortunately the multi-party political landscape in the country has been in disarray and politicians have failed in running the affairs of the state and delivering good governances. There is no option this time except to explore the possibility of forming a technocratic government. Another important issue that needs to be carefully considered is how to enhance the technical expertise that is required by elected members of Parliament who are chosen to participate in the Executive. At the moment the law requires the President to appoint ministers from Members of Parliament and as such his selection is confined to Parliament. Political parties in Pakistan should have a system to induct technocrats in their parties so that they could be appointed to Parliament and the Cabinet. The possibility of engaging technocrats should be considered by the major political parties to instil more professionalism. People should be appointed based on their areas of specialty. A lawyer cannot be appointed to be the Minister of Finance and an architect can equally not be the Minister of Media. The merit should be brought into the system by strictly abiding with the application of the principle of “right man for the right job”.

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