The Punjab Government has finally run the gauntlet and passed a landmark legislation that ensures protection of women against violence and abuse. For the female gender in Pakistan, this is a momentous occasion as the new law is the successful culmination of a long and often controversial struggle for a safe, abuse free and dignified existence. Our judiciary also appears to have girded up their loins and issued decisions that have bred nothing, but respect for the honorable members of the bench. One such decision was with reference to the controversial alignment of the Orange Line project, wherein some historical icons in the Punjab Capital were threatened with destruction.

The court issued orders that will now force the Punjab Government to realign the route to a specific distance from all historical buildings such as the Mughal Era Chauburji and the General Post Office.

I am witness to changes in some government run public offices too. For example, my cellphone now gets text messages telling me in advance that our electricity would remain closed because of maintenance on this date and from this to this time. I am happy with these messages, as I can now plan my daily itinerary while keeping in mind the power outage slots. If this is happening due to a contentious and caring official then I would urge the Water and Power Development Authority to make the practice mandatory throughout the country.

There is also a sea change in Passport Offices, or at least the one in Islamabad. To begin with, I did not find any ‘touts’ hanging around the premises. The staff were surprisingly friendly and more surprisingly - efficient. Their professional approach permeated down to applicants, who went through the entire procedure in an orderly, disciplined manner cutting down unnecessary wastage of time. The whole experience ended with one ‘easily dissatisfied citizen’ collecting his passport within one week without an iota of hassle or dissatisfaction.

A few weeks ago, I accompanied my daughter for the renewal of her driving license at the Islamabad Traffic Police office. We found orderly queues and a very efficient near ‘one window operation’ with everyone showing a very professional approach without wasting time. Again we noticed very civilised behavior on display by the public.

Another pleasant surprise came my way as I stopped to get directions from a wisp of a policeman in a rural town in Central Punjab.

Expecting a gruff and irreverent response from this custodian of the law, what I got instead was a toothy smile accompanied by a smart salute, followed up by a pleasant voice that asked me as to how could I be helped. Floored by the courtesy, I stated my predicament and was soon ‘back on track’, thanks to the lucid and precise directions given to me by my friend.

These three experiences set me thinking and leading me to the conclusion that perhaps there was a lot of good and discipline buried deep inside the Pakistani nation, which surfaced whenever it encountered efficient, business like, courteously focused service providers. Not sure whether I was right, I decided to test my theory against a professional opinion. I was elated and happy, when my friend, who had spent years of his life obtaining multiple degrees in human behavior, took a long good look at me and then broke the news that I was right.

Now that I know what ails this nation and appear to have discovered a treatment, I am now addressing the government of the time directly.

If the presence of a few good men in government-run organisations can radically reform our public into behaving like responsible civilised members of society, then Mr Prime Minister, why can’t a few more good men be found and posted to other public services? What you need to do is to set aside your political approach to nonpolitical good governance issues – what you need is to look honestly and you will find the right stuff.