During the preceding of the inquiry commission, upon enquiring from Justice Qazi Faez Issa, the Chief Secretary of the Province very frankly admitted that his office has been left with no administrative powers after the Musharraf era and all powers are now rested with the minister or the chief minister. In fact, the whole administrative machinery was overturned overnight by the dictator while acting upon his whims; an untested system of district government was introduced on the pretext of local self-governance that very badly broke the age-old system of checks and balances as well as the chain of command.

Under the so-called new system, seeds of universal corruption and mismanagement emerged due to an effective chain of command. In order to achieve his objectives in Sindh, the ex-dictator created fiefdoms. Under this new system, the centre of responsibility was shifted from an accountable civil servant to a non-accountable semi elected Nazim who came from fascist back grounds. An unnecessary chain of over-populated local bureaucracy was created. The Nazim and his overcrowded local was equally greased by doling out money against mostly non-existing development schemes as funds were flowing into the country in the back drop of 9/11. Corruption, lethargy, inefficiency and fraud got deep rooted under this system of administration as there was no one responsible for good governance.

As many of these nazims did not have a clean record and refused to take hold upon police force, leaving them independent. The most gruesome practice that struck greater damage was introduced whereby postings of higher authorities were solely made on the recommendations of the nazims. Those traditions are still followed as the postings of higher authorities are still made on the recommendations of local MNA or MPA which has rendered the whole administrative machinery and local government system useless; the police has become partisan as the district position purely depends upon the good will of local MNA and MPA so allegiance of their service is for their benefactors and not for state.

Appointing positions on merit can change the scenario; the worsening situation can be checked and improved merely with installation of an honest, upright and energetic individual in the district and fortunately there is no dearth of such officers in the province.

ABDUL SAMAD CHANNA,

 Karachi, November 12.