The Devolution Plan was perhaps the biggest disaster of the Musharraf regime. Pakistan needs devolution of power as centralised authority cannot deliver. The colonial baboos have become outdated. The Deputy Commissioner (DC) represented the king of England in the district. He had executive, revenue and magisterial powers which were once enjoyed by the omnipotent monarchs. In the civilised world of today no single person exercised such absolute authority. Under the Musharraf's Devolution Plan the DC was replaced by a District Coordination Officer (DCO). He worked under an elected nazim who headed the district. This was perhaps the most complicated election process to install favourites. On one hand the nazims were a product of extreme nepotism, while on the other the baboos were totally opposed to the plan. From day one it was a recipe for disaster, no one to lead and no one to implement and on top of that no delivery mechanisms. When Musharraf captured the PM secretariat in 1999 he initiated some new programmes namely: National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB), National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Citizen Commission for Human Development (CCHD) all headed by his friends. Unfortunately, Devolution has been implemented without proper planning. However, all these initiatives are now being reviewed as they were ill planned and poorly executed. The democratic government has decided to introduce major reforms in the NRB charter. The nazims or mayor is the kingpin of the Devolution Plan and must be directly elected on the basis of adult franchise. Manipulated leaders cannot deliver. The khakis and baboos have to be subservient to the elected representatives. The task is gigantic, and should not be implemented in haste. There should be a parliamentary committee to review the entire plan and then suggest an effective implementation mechanism. The baboos have to be taken on board or replaced by professionals selected/trained to oversee the transition phase. There have to be qualified drivers to drive and implement change. Power has to be de-centralised for good governance. People have to take charge; both khakis and baboos have to be in a support role. Status-quo is not an option; it never was and never will be. Change is in-evitable but its methodology has to be carefully developed. Devolution/de-centralisation is certainly not abdication. The prime minister and the four chief ministers will have to monitor and support the initiative without un-necessary interference and let local leadership emerge and develop. The spirit of devolution is grassroot application of authority and upward movement of successful leadership. No democracy can function without ground level understanding of problems and participation of the masses. The devolution plan must be reformed and then implemented for good governance/delivery. The writer is ex-chairman of the Pakistan Science Foundation