Obama and Modi have broken the nuclear impasse. We in Pakistan need to be in a State of preparedness and readiness to meet external and internal challenges. The country can no longer afford tolerating terrorists and extremists with their nefarious politics of hate intended to annihilate the society as a whole. The chain of terrorism with links abroad has to be broken. A quick summary trials of terrorists resting in jails should be the top priority of the government if it follows principles of good governance. The federal and provincial governments and all law enforcement agencies need to make best use of the opportunity provided in shape of military courts to effectively help implement National Action Plan (NAP) to rid the country of terrorism and extremism of all shades.
In the context of Pak-US-India relations, the country needs policy that enhances the relevance of the Pak-US relation and minimizes the effect of the US-India romance. Social and management science researchers recommend use of a research model, known as force-field analysis, to enhance the value of positive forces and to reduce and ultimately minimize the impact of negative forces.
Resistance to change is a universal phenomenon. Many Pakistanis are obsessed with a number of untoward peculiarities and idiosyncrasies, one of these being dissent. They take pleasure in dissenting with anything and everything, howsoever nicely tailored it may be. The name of the game for them is to differ. Such elements are regular petitioners approaching the Supreme Court, High Courts and the Federal Shariat court to challenge certain articles of the constitution, appointment of judges and other matters and decisions related to governance. Often the intention is sadistic in nature.
The positive side of such situations is the sensitivity of the judges and the role the judiciary has played in announcing judgments which are perceived by all segments of society as balanced and prudent. Naturally, the hawks feel frustrated. The people feel satisfied and relieved, as sovereignty of parliament and independence of judiciary contribute to the efficiency of the Executive, ultimately improving the process of governance and strengthening institutions.
In times of extreme crises, politicians have been able, in spite of their differences, to successfully develop consensus, much needed for decisions to meet challenges the nation faces. With vision and good intentions politicians have to be sensitive to the needs of the people in their respective constituencies, in all circumstances. Such an attitude and approach could help facilitate decisions and action for good governance which mean participative decision-making, transparency, accountability, periodic review and evaluation, audit, efficiency and effectiveness, and building and strengthening systems of in-puts and out-puts to ensure effective delivery.
Pakistan is an important country in the region, not only for its geo-strategic location but also for its many strengths. It is a huge market of over 180 million people, more than $230 billion GDP, rich in natural resources, it has nuclear capability, it has its shores, deserts and mountains and institutions which have provided guidelines for socio-economic development to many countries of the region. More importantly its people despite passing through rough times, are resilient and eager to bring change.
James Madison, writing about the essence of governing, stated that “the essence of governing is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse”. He also said, “All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree”. Remember that governance isn’t simply a heavy handed approach to power. Governance is only effective when those who are being governed consent to obey the rules set forth.
For development paved with good intentions Pakistan needs good governance. In a well-cited quote, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan noted, “Good governance is perhaps the single most important factor in eradicating poverty and promoting development”. Good governance had helped the United States to cope with the situation that developed after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. Through good governance Pakistan can get out of isolation and improve its economy so that its market becomes attractive for foreigners. When it comes to bilateral trade the country must be able to effectively compete in the international market. This was exactly the consideration that brought Obama to India. For Pakistan good governance also means reviewing policies, especially to uproot terrorism and to create a culture of problems solving and crises resolving. Pakistan needs to have capacity and capability to negotiate and invest. The country has to work hard on these lines, the sooner the better.