The list of fumbling and dropping the ball is mind numbing. Up from Chaudhary Nisar down to the most junior police officer, the bureaucracy is way behind on its management. Lets start with Nisar and his virtual resignation. His promise to step up action against terrorists and common criminals made in May has yet to be fulfilled. There is a lack of understanding between the provincial chief minister Qaim Ali Shah and the interior minister due to which the appointment of a permanent IG Police, a post lying vacant since February, has not materialized, despite orders by the Supreme court. After the Karachi attack, Nisar didn’t even meet the Chief minister in Karachi ticking off the provincial government.

As the government sleeps, about quota 3,000 posts need to be filled by candidates from Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) in different government departments in Islamabad. But this cant happens due to a ban on new recruitments and transfers. Before the general elections 2013, a ban on transfers and postings was imposed to ensure transparency in the elections. However, the PML-N government continued the ban even after forming the government for reasons unfathomable. Is there a plan behind this? Even the capital police had been suffering because of the ban. In 2009, 464 retired personnel of the armed forces were hired for the police rather than them being transferred or retired. The recent bureaucracy-sponsored inhumanity displayed in Model Town Lahore should have been the last straw for the ruling government. It should have catalysed an internal overhaul of the system. The PML-N party itself should have been questioning it leaders and peers, plugging such holes of mismanagement and ignorance.

At the micro level, officers are chronically late to work, most are lazy and time in office is often spent drinking tea and reading the paper whilst the red tape a common citizen faces is enough to gag, blindfold and tape him to a wall. The new Indian prime minister last month asked bureaucrats to repeal all laws and rules that impede governance. This included recommendations to do away with attestation of certificates by gazetted officers and the scrapping of red tape. From a phone call to WAPDA to ask them why load shedding is happening at odd hours, to Nawaz Sharif giving up his brand new BMWs to opt for helicopter transport, the system is inefficient, corrupt and full of palms that need to be greased.