Good governance is an important element towards building a strong nation. It alone ensures prosperity and welfare for the people living within the boundaries of a country. Bad governance, on the other hand, achieves nothing but adds up to the miseries of such people and makes their lives a living hell. Good governance ensures effective management of the affairs of a country at all levels; where all its organs i.e. Executive, Judiciary, Legislature, and its departments work within their assigned constitutional limits for securing the ultimate welfare and security of the people.

But, regrettably, the goal of good governance has remained a distant dream in Pakistan. If we trace the history of the country right from its independence till date, we come to know that many hindrances and obstacles have come in the way of good governance in the country. During the last seventy two years, we have seen the worst of governance in search of the destination of “good governance”.

Unaccountable politicians and bureaucracies, massive corruption, discriminatory society, unjust and expensive legal system, arbitrary policy making, confrontation between the executive and the judiciary, frequent imposition of Marshal laws in the country, abuse of executive authority, lack of rule of law, incompetent civil service, distant relations between the politicians and the common man, lack of economic stability, unaccountable governments, weak political leadership, partial bureaucracy, lack of political will, etc., have been some of the reasons for which we have not been able to achieve the goal of good governance in our country.

The cause of good governance can be achieved in Pakistan by taking the following steps:

Each organ of the State should function within the limits assigned to it by our Constitution. The issue of wide spread corruption at any level should be tackled seriously for correcting the image of the country nationally and internationally. Both politicians and bureaucrats of the country must be held accountable for their actions. Since both are public servants and not public masters, therefore, they both should feel and act accordingly.

An efficient accountable system should be introduced in the country where accountability should be done across the board without any witch- hunting. Rule of law is an important component of good governance. All should be equal before the law of the land and the discrimination, prevailing at any level and form, should be eliminated from our society.

Feudalism is a great bane and a major hindrance towards good governance in Pakistan. Therefore, the sooner this menace is done away with from our society, the better for the proper growth and development of the country. The bureaucracy of our country must remain neutral and impartial to reap the fruits of good governance in the country. It must not follow the personal agenda of any ruling political party.

The principle of merit should be given the top priority both in recruitment and in posting of officers/officials in all the departments. Efforts should be made for helping common citizens of the country in seeking their quick and cheap justice from the courts, especially the lower courts of the country. Financial stability of an employee also ensures good governance in any society. In the case of Pakistan, there is a greater need to give a sufficient raise to the salaries of government employees so that they can perform their official duties with utmost responsibility and honesty.

Achieving the objective of good governance is an evolutionary process to any society. It won’t happen overnight by waving a magic wand. There require great sincerity, commitment, honesty and above all a political will to achieve that. Everyone of us has to think and work positively within our prescribed limits for achieving maximum results for ameliorating the life of our people both at the individual and collective level. Only then we would be able to see the beginning of good governance both in our thoughts and actions and that approach would ultimately lead us towards the goal of a happy and prosperous Pakistan.

ABDUL SAMAD SAMO,

Karachi.