Caution: Men at work
What one sees happening in provinces ruled by different parties indicates an overall crisis of governance. During the intensely hot months of May and June protests and sit-ins continued in Lahore and other major cities of Punjab by peasant organisations and different categories of government servants for acceptance of their demands. Several protesters fainted and one succumbed to the intense heat. That their demands were finally accepted raises two questions. If these were just why were the protesters forced to go through the painful ordeal instead of accepting the demands without wasting time. If the demands were illegitimate, and the government simply yielded to pressure this amounted to encouraging unruly elements.
Sindh government has set up new records of bad governance. It is responsible for the unending deaths of children in Thar, rampant corruption in recruitment of teachers, blatant recourse to unfair means during examinations, and the high scale of embezzlement of development funds reflected in the lack of civic amenities and bad condition of roads in cities like Larkana, Sukkur and Shikarpur. Karachi was left for years at the mercy of the tanker mafia. This forced the SC to step in to shut down illegal water hydrants. Despite the PPP ruling Sindh for the last eleven years Karachi continues to face shortage of water.
While lecturing others Imran Khan has failed to improve the standard of governance in KP. Five PTI MNAs on Sunday held a press conference to accuse CM Khattak of bad management, nepotism, and failure to check corruption in departments dealing with water management, revenue and education. KP they said was heading towards disaster under PTI’s CM.
Bad governance takes away much of the glitter of democracy. People lose interest in the system and the electoral process which is reflected in low voter turnout. This explains why people do not come out in protest whenever elected governments are arbitrarily removed. The general attitude is good riddance. This should lead PML-N, PPP and the PTI to do some much needed soul searching.