Pakistan and crisis management
I was amazed listening to the Minister of State (MoS) for Foreign Affairs that Pakistan is now ahead of some developed countries in compliance of Financial Action Task Force (FATF) regulations and fulfilled requirements on thirty-four indicators of FATF while the process of whitelisting has started with the recent announcement of the global body.
It is not the first time that Pakistan emerged out of a crisis as a strong nation. I am sure, most of us cannot forget March 03, 2009, a terrible day for Pakistan cricket, when terrorists attacked Sri Lankan cricket team and suddenly international cricket vanished from Pakistan. I remember the passion during the final of second PSL held in Lahore on March 05, 2017, we decided to join Qaddafi Stadium to witness the return of cricket to Pakistan. We boarded the bus from Barkat Market for the stadium; my son Arham was almost four years old and I was educating him to cling around my chest if there was any blast; everyone can imagine the uncertainty, the fear, and the panic surrounding cricketing events during those times. Then what happened, Pakistan became the Champions Trophy winners, Babar Azam, the number one batter of ODIs and T20Is, and several others among top five rankings.
The devastation of the 2005 earthquake is in our memories with the exemplary response of the entire nation to extend every support to the victims. Extensive mobilisation of resources from tents, blankets, medicines, and prefabricated houses by local artisans to the groceries people donated abundantly for the restoration of normal life in affected areas were all exemplary. The response and the recovery from the floods during 2010 exemplify innate abilities of the nation to manage a crisis effectively. Managing pandemics such as dengue, covid-19 and to an extent polio are also good examples of the country’s ability to successfully respond to a crisis.
Pakistan has surprised the world with her abilities to counter terrorism. We suffered the most, we sacrificed the most, we lost the most but we arose as the most successful nation in combating the terrorism. Our skills, our abilities, our determination and probably above all our engagement with every component of society, from rebels to internally displaced people, made it a model for other nations to follow. We achieved what remained impossible for an alliance of 30 countries.
It is because of our exceptional abilities in crisis management as a nation. According to Kash and Darling from University of Pittsburgh, Kansas, USA, “a crisis is defined as any unplanned event that can cause serious damage to the public; shut down the businesses; disrupt operations; cause physical or environmental calamity; or threaten financial standing or image of the nation.”
Mitigation and prevention of crisis, during day-to-day operations one cannot predict every unseen aspect of operations. Management of unforeseen issues which usually lead to a crisis is mostly missing in a number of organisations around the world. Sometimes, despite appropriate measures, crisis surprises organisations with new and unique dimensions. Therefore, the experience curve has its place in strategic planning and management about learning from mistakes. Managerial activities such as scenario analysis, contingency planning and focusing on the negatives of risk management to bring balance have evolved in contemporary studies. Minimising the risk and zero tolerance for violation of codes needs good management and governance practices with wide-ranging command and control systems for people with authority to develop efficient communities. Response and monitoring, we are prone to sudden and extensive crises due to complex operations and technological vulnerabilities. Organisations are now equipped to precisely predict when and what types of crises are expected to face. It is important for strong communities to ensure regular evaluation to determine preparations to deal with probable devastations.
Four factors including people & leadership, financial position, stakeholder support, and supply chain risk management can provide sustainable recovery and effective review of the crisis to avoid incessant shocks. An able pool of professionals and technically trained people in the country have usually proved their abilities, such as the recent FATF crisis, to prevent the nation from complete breakdown and chaos. Our leadership despite several challenges rose to the occasion on several strategic fronts. We remained fortunate to have a close liaison with key stakeholders both globally and in the region, however, we certainly failed at some key occasions. Our supply chain of essential goods and services is no more stable as evident by recurrent shortages, therefore needs serious attention and long-term planning for a stable future, it is certainly not possible without a strong financial position which is currently on default lines thus needs instant and reliable measures to avoid a greater crisis.