Lack of political will and absence of unified national outlook is worrisome as these are the major sources of failure to think strategically and to proceed proactively in matters of national interest. The ostrich approach is not going to help solve problems and to resolve difficult issues. Problems do not disappear or end by closing eyes on reality. For sound decisions and timely action in a given situation a comprehensive environmental analysis is required to focus on the threats and opportunities as well as weaknesses and strengths. Various successive governments in Pakistan since 1947 have failed to work on these lines mainly because of the lack of political will and the clear absence of unified national outlook. Unfortunately the constituent units of the federation have wrongly presented the case for provincial autonomy, ignoring the important role of responsibility and accountability that goes with authority. Keeping in view the present political and economic situation, Pakistan needs to strengthen democracy and build the capacity of its public bureaucracy. Ways and means have to be considered to effectively meet the challenges confronting the nation. Consider what needs to be done to create an environment for the kind of commitment expected of the bureaucracy at the lower level of the hierarchy. Specially important in terms of performance is the attitude and behaviour at the lower level in the hierarchy, particularly in public dealings. Incapacity to handle problems (in internal and external public relationing) is due to the violation of the bureaucratic principles of merit, efficiency and effectiveness. Management and strategic management can help make public administration an effective instrument of public policy and public interest. Financial and non-financial benefits to public services, should be across the board without discrimination. This principle is being violated presently and is a source of dissatisfaction for functionaries in most ministries, divisions and departments. The reemployment of favourite retired officers, not once, but many times, is a source of injustice. Moreover, frequent postings and transfers are also a source of inefficiency and corruption. There is a circular relationship in which bureaucracy plays its role. This points to the need for efficient, effective, honest and people-oriented civil services. As long moral principles remain the guideline for bureaucracy as well as democracy the system will be productive and the source for a way forward. The system will deliver effectively if there are checks and balances and that accountability, responsibility and authority are accepted as vital functional elements of public administration. Merit must be recognised, while honesty and efficiency must be promoted. If the government satisfies these criteria of what may be called good governance there are bright chances for Pakistan to equip itself for meeting all sort of threats and converting them into opportunities. National strength depends on self-reliance, dynamic culture, strong institutions, devoted functionaries and happy and satisfied people. These are sources of stability and writ of the state. Concerted effort is therefore required in this context to help get out of the current crises for a way forward. Pakistan has to stand united to put an end to militancy and foreign pressures and threats to the country and its assets. Stability and writ of the state must be ensured at any cost. An enabling culture is required to run the engine of growth and to mark life meaningful. Only selfless leadership can make the dream come true. The principal task of the incumbent leadership is to help keep the country united in view of the most difficult and complex challenges confronting it. The writer is former director, NIPA