In most developing countries ‘Nam’ (name) over rides Kam (performance) mainly due to the absence of effective measurability mechanisms. Ad-hoc military governments pick up compromising political novices and install them into important positions without evaluating their prior performance to create a name for them. Pakistan is today infested with such individuals who have delivered nothing for the common good yet keep circulating to protect their short cut rise to glory with zero credentials. A very simple filtration process can separate the boys from the men.

Each one of the big names should be asked to submit their top five achievements while serving in high public positions. No dossiers just a short list of welfare oriented tasks. In the regime of Pervaiz Musharraf there was a ministry of special initiatives. New organizations like Technology Up gradation and skill Development Corporation (TUSDEC), Industrial Parks Development Authority (IPDA), up gradation of Engineering Development Board (EDB) etc. were undertaken. Friends were appointed to head these organizations against serious conflict of interest. National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) was first headed by a retired General and then by a young in-experienced political novice who was clueless. National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) was headed by an expatriate Doctor who promised to bring overseas funds which never came. National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was headed by Generals who were involved in selective accountability mostly of politicians.

By contrast in India, Laloo Parsad Yadav turned around the Indian Railways by a very simple approach. All decisions were based around public interest. Every project had to identify the benefits to the customers otherwise it was not approved. As an elected representative of the people he watched their interests. When there was a proposal to raise the fares he demanded improvement in service. Today the rail transport in India is efficient and profitable; it provides reliable affordable transportation to the masses. Pakistan Railway continues to suffer due to mismanagement, neglect and vested interests.

Zia-ul-Haq decided to weaken civilian institutions. Till the seventies Pakistan Railways was not only profitable it was one of the largest employers in the country. General Saeed Qadir as Minister of Communication took away the profitable money making freight business and handed it over to the newly created road based National Logistics cell run by the Khakis. Since then the institution has been in decline with ministers taking turns with no substantial results.

Nation building has never been taken seriously in the country that is why performance has not mattered only names are circulated. The current slide started with the party-less elections of 1985 where a cadre of pro-establishment politicians was created by the master manipulator Zia-ul-Haq. Musharraf then added to this pool of national tormentors who continue to torment the nation from all sides and parties. Massive political cleansing is needed to get rid of these individuals who have been robbing the nation since then. With nil performance these so called electables have been manipulating elections to enter the assemblies and then building their empires. Local government funds have been squandered and misspent in the ‘Name of development while the basic needs like education, health, employment and clean drinking water have been ignored.

Inept political leadership has then promoted an army of equally incompetent but subservient bureaucrats causing collapse of institutions.

The Annual Confidential Report (ACR) or evaluation system has become ineffective. Almost everyone receives good reviews and gets promoted without proper performance evaluation. The rank is elevated whereas the level of work remains the same. Moving up the ladder from grade 17 to 22 with no credentials to show is pathetic both for individual and organizational growth.

A local appliance manufacturer after making a ‘Name for his product based on solid performance now uses a slogan ‘Nam’ Ki Kafi Ha’. It may work for him but at the national level it does not deliver. In the seventies when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (ZAB) came into power he rejected all the big ‘Names and introduced qualified professionals at all levels including the bureaucracy. By the next elections in 1977 he too fell into the ‘Nam’ trap and gave party tickets to status-quo politicians with big names. It proved to be disastrous for him, his party, democracy and the country.

In order to bring change ‘Nam’ will not work, ‘Kam’ is needed. The forces of status-quo are entrenched with stretched evil networks that have to be dismantled. Business-as-usual cannot deliver. ‘Naya Pakistan’ calls for new thinking and approach. Big ‘Names of the Evil Empire mean very little in the crusade of change that is why the father of the nation insisted on ‘Kam, Kam aur Kam’. He dubbed the big names around him as ‘Khota Sikkah’ or counterfeit coins. ‘Khot’ can only be removed after complete re-melt followed by refining, such a drastic operation is needed in the country to get rid of the ‘Nam’s’ and replace them with ‘Kam’.