Think-tank discussion: Charter of governance need of the hour, say experts

Published: October 23, 2018
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PHOTO: SDPI

PHOTO: SDPI

Challenges of Pakistan are critical and deep in nature, where almost every sector and institution is struggling for its survival.

For a strong democratic Pakistan, all stakeholders must evolve consensus around a Charter of Governance, which should encompass all sectors including economy, judiciary and civil service. For that civil society has to stand up and continue to put pressure for radical reforms.

This was the crux of experts’ deliberation at a seminar titled “New Agenda of Radical Reforms,” organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Monday.

Dr Shoaib Suddel, a leading police and justice sector reform specialist said that the fundamental rights in the constitution are critically linked with the justice system of the country. He said that without effective and independent police service there cannot be justice in the society.

Unfortunately, no political party wants an independent police service. First and foremost, there is a need to ensure merit in the country coupled with a fair and effective government and quality of regulatory regime. “Moreover, we should establish a system where accountability can be ensured across the board. Unless we take such critical measures, the real change would be a distant dream,” Suddle said.

He said that civil service of Pakistan is the backbone of the country. Civil servant have the critical role to reverse the wrongdoings and can still transform the country, he added.

Barrister Naseem Ahmed Bajwa, a noted lawyer based in United Kingdom (UK) said that in Pakistan there is no dearth of talent in Pakistan, as youth of Pakistan is more talented than the youth of any developed nation. He said that in the west, Union Councils are more empowered to take their own decisions, which is the key to progress.

The governance in Pakistan has to be decentralised for prosperity and development, he added. There is dire need of people’s friendly reforms, because current system has become exposed and enemy of public. “We should strive for shared democracy, which can help the system to transform. We need to change the system not faces to get out of quagmire,” Barrister Bajwa said.

Awami National Party’s (ANP) former senator Afrasiab Khattak said: “we failed to decolonise our constitution and state. The colonial system was meant to rule over the people instead empowering them.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2018.

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