Shahbaz Sharif and his admirable running of Punjab

Published: December 10, 2012
The writer is Director, Policy & Programmes Jinnah Institute, Islamabad. The views expressed are his own

The writer is Director, Policy & Programmes Jinnah Institute, Islamabad. The views expressed are his own

Punjab’s Chief Minister and leader of Pakistan’s second largest party, Shahbaz Sharif, is reported to have called himself an “Islamic socialist”. This self-declared adherence to socialism was cited at a reception, held recently for the visiting Chief Minister of the Indian state of Bihar, Nitish Kumar. This declaration followed the public adoption of Habib Jalib’s radical verses by the chief minister, who often sings revolutionary chants at public meetings. Mr Sharif developed a reputation of sorts during his first tenure (1997-99) as the chief minister of Pakistan’s largest province. His dedication and long working hours were legendary and he would often be seen walking himself in knee-deep water, after a monsoon rain, to get to areas inundated by the water and oversee relief work. As a small cog in the public-sector machinery, I had a chance to work with him and could not help marvel at his quest to improve the system.

A decade later, the chief minister was back despite the efforts of military junta to keep him and his elder brother away from politics. For various reasons, the performance in the last five years has not been comparable to the earlier tenure. There have been ambitious subsidy schemes (such as cheap wheat flour, tandoors and so on) which were captured by local elites and political groups. Most importantly, the spread of extremism and power of militant groups seems to have grown with weakened law enforcement. There is a perception that the PML-N is soft on extremist and sectarian groups, due to reasons of electoral adjustment and perhaps, ideology as well. This is a serious omission which might haunt the party if it comes to power in the next election, as there will be no excuse of a ‘hostile’ federal government and its failures to curb terrorism.

It is not all that gloomy. Shahbaz Sharif, true to his reputation, has undertaken major development works across the big cities of Punjab and this contributed to a significant expansion in the province’s infrastructure, all of which seems to be a response to the needs of an articulate urban population that votes for his party.

During the last one year, the urban youth have also factored into provincial governance and we have witnessed several programmes to engage and mobilise this particular segment of Punjab’s population. The efficacy of distributing laptops to students and getting them to set some world records will only show their results in the next election. Sadly, efforts in this arena have been reactive to Imran Khan’s growing popularity and do not seem to be the outcome of a considered policy that responds to the Herculean challenge of addressing the need for additional skills and jobs for the largest segment of Pakistani society. For instance, Punjab needs millions of jobs to be created every year for its growing population and the setting of Guinness world records should not count as a high priority.

But this is all relative. Sharif’s performance has to be viewed in the context of Pakistan’s failing state. When compared to the other three provinces, he stands out for his responsiveness and ability to set the parameters of governance right. Punjab, for instance, cannot be blamed solely for not holding local government elections. Political parties are not prepared to devolve powers and patronage to the local level — at least not till there is sufficient demand at the local level. Having said that, service delivery indicators in Punjab, especially in the education sector, have been encouraging. More importantly, there seems to be an effort to innovate and encourage citizens to have a voice and give feedback.

The ongoing citizen feedback model, perhaps, is the best example of Punjab’s willingness to tackle service delivery failures and corruption. Using simple SMS technology, the initial Jhang model of seeking public feedback has been expanded in the last few years. Across the province now, a phone call with the voice of the chief minister greets a citizen if the services provided were satisfactory. People who get their property transferred or interface with local officials are then asked to send an SMS. Thus far, under the Punjab model, 70,000 such SMSs have been received. The service has nearly half a million users and thousands are added on a daily basis. Its managers in Lahore can refer to a disaggregated services’ status to monitor the quality of services and check corruption.

Corruption data is also available with the provincial government. Over a thousand calls are made every day. For instance, as I learnt recently, 73,000 citizens were contacted to check if they had to pay bribes for registering property. More than 16 per cent answered and registered complaints. Public officials behave differently if they know they are being monitored and there is scope for accountability. The chief minister and his secretariat are tracking this process and have involved the talented LUMS academic Umar Saif in the process, who is helping the provincial government to install and improvise these systems.

The data on public feedback is not open to all yet and this is vital to ensure that there is transparency and that a system of accountability is in place. It is time for other provinces to learn from this model. Also, development partners need to make this essential to the investments they make in Pakistan’s social sectors. Citizens across the country are losing faith in the state due to abuse of authority by the police, by the arbitrariness of revenue authorities and the non-functioning of health and education facilities. Such data can help track the performance and also improve the state’s delivery of services. Of course, there is a lot more that needs to be done. The greatest challenge is to institutionalise innovations such as these. However, the younger Sharif knows that good governance intersects with smart politics.

Regardless of who wins the next election, it is important that citizen inclusion in governance through such methods is continued and expanded. In the meantime, the chief minister of Punjab should mainstream this model by linking public officials’ annual performance to how well they are responding to citizens instead of their superiors. Replicating this model vigorously in police and prosecution services might be a good step in helping tackle law and order crisis that haunts the country and its largest province.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 11th, 2012.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (67)

  • Umer
    Dec 10, 2012 - 10:19PM

    You ignore the fact that the rest of the provinces provide valuable resources such as natural gas and electricity (from Terbela and Mangla dams) to Punjab at the cost of their own progress.


  • Mirza
    Dec 10, 2012 - 10:34PM

    You write “There is a perception that the PML-N is soft on extremist and sectarian groups, due to reasons of electoral adjustment and perhaps, ideology as well.”
    It is not just perception but a stark reality. There is a statement of S. Sharif on record that why these extremists would attack Punjab and us we are their friends (or something like that). His law minister Rana Sana has open relationship with the extreme fanatic terrorists and election alliances with them. No wonder his area is not a big victim of terrorism as all the other provinces are. It is not surprising that leaders of Punjab like Taseer and Bhatti are brutally killed there is no serious attempt on the Sharif brothers or other rightwing leaders. The secular democrats know full well the connection between the terrorists and Sharif brothers and would not forget that in the next elections either. These political offspring of Dictator Zia are equally responsible for the current strength of terrorists.Recommend

  • Usman Lakhani
    Dec 10, 2012 - 10:39PM

    Haha – this article should be titled – PMLN ADVERTISMENT!


  • Kamran Naqvi
    Dec 10, 2012 - 10:42PM

    The governments of Turkey and China and even the CM of Bihar have praised the good governance of Shahbaz Sharif. Transparency International acknowledges that the level of corruption is lowest in Punjab… A student of Balochistan University said that the circumstances of Balochistan would have been far better had Shehbaz Sharif be their Chief Minister. Even his worst critics confess that SS is a good administrator.

    Shahbaz Sharif is the only Chief Minister in Pakistan to bravely face the combined collusive opposition of PPP, PMLQ & PTI.


  • Jamshed
    Dec 10, 2012 - 10:47PM

    Agreed that he is slightly better than others but that still does not mean that he should be where he is. There are talented, professionals out there who would be able to turn the affairs of the province/ country around, but unfortunately, we just have feudal landlords with less than a matriculation at the helm of affairs. And hence the poor state of affairs.

    I met this gentleman in Canada who is in the city planning. He has received numerous awards/ bonuses for his exceptional work. He started his career in CDA (Islamabad). However, he said he was never able to do much there because there was always someone dictating this and that or somebody knew some minister and he would close this road and open one there etc etc; all to suit someones wishes. Compared to what Islamabd was a decade ago, look at it now!


  • Falcon
    Dec 10, 2012 - 10:56PM

    A neutral analysis. There is no question that he is trying to run the province better than others. My contention with SS is that he is a great operational manager but not a visionary. Secondly, he is working too hard to compensate for slack of others, which points to a much bigger political trouble in PMLN. Thirdly, he is not good at delegating and that is why ends up keeping a lot of departments to himself (which makes it difficult to improve governance beyond a specific limit). Lastly, I am afraid SS and Sartaj Aziz is as good as PMLN gets.


  • Hopeful
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:02PM

    The strongest argument Shahbaz Sharif is “My performance is terrible, but its not as bad as the other 3 provinces”. Pathetic.


  • Taimoor
    Dec 10, 2012 - 11:05PM

    Key words “big cities” nuff said


  • Hammad
    Dec 11, 2012 - 12:09AM

    So when someone praises Imran Khan, even when he has not done anything realistic, he gets lauding comments. When someone praises PMLN for what they have actually done, all he gets is abuse. The conclusion is simple: PTI trolls cannot think.Recommend

  • Asad Malik
    Dec 11, 2012 - 12:20AM

    Wading knee deep in water isn’t to oversee relief work. It’s to get cheap publicity. Do you know how any organization works? No one likes micromanaging and it is extremely inefficient.


  • Fahd
    Dec 11, 2012 - 12:24AM

    Good governance and administration needs a solid and good vision behind it as well. Shahbaz sharif is a good administrator no doubt, but he and his party have absolute zero vision. To check, just simply look at the manifesto of pmln before 2008 elections and ask shahbaz sharif how much it was implemented. Answer is big fat zero. When you have a person who is a good administrator but no vision, the results can be disastrous.e.g. the sasti roti scheme. When he was cm in 1997-99 shahbaz sharif did a lot of development projects but in the space of a decade all of them have become redundant, showing the lack of vision. If you really want to compare his adminstration, please do it with previous governments of punjab. You will find out that when you compare them with his present government, the performance of shahbaz sharif will be pathetic. As of right now, pakistan does not need new roads and mass transit schemes that will at max work for 5 years. They need a visionary leadership that invests in humans. First human development takes place and then other development takes place.
    The sasti roti debacle, the dengue issue, the fsc marks issue, poor law and order, growing resentment in south punjab, not a single megawatt energy made in punjab, lower growth rate then the rest of the country, worst health crises such as fake medicine and rats biting children, fake police encounters, investing in useless projects,a province that is indebted by almost billions to the state bank, keeping 18 ministries to himself and not appearing in the provincial assembly. This is how I sum up his administration!!!!


  • Blithe
    Dec 11, 2012 - 12:41AM

    Please stop these Mayawati type statement.

    All resources in Pakistan are for the people of Pakistan –
    accross the board. Punjab , by the way , pays taxes.
    And they have significantly funded the power projects throughout Pakistan .


  • NO BS
    Dec 11, 2012 - 12:49AM

    One Nitesh Kumar changed the fate of Bihar, CM Sharif has done the opposite. Record unemployment, record low growth, record inflation, record loadshedding are all testaments to CM Sharifs good governance.


  • Dec 11, 2012 - 1:06AM

    This is a highly misleading piece. Shahbaz Sharif has certainly undertaken quite a few projects to improve the province, just like Pervez Elahi, Silvio Berlesconi and others. Even in a country as disorganised and corrupt as Pakistan, we cannot accept this as good effort.

    The author is only able to list a few achievements. Can he tell us what this government has done to improve healthcare and education services and what the results of those policies have been? Shahbaz Sharif has engaged in publicity stunts in these areas, because when you look at the actual data on educational achievement and healthcare provision, you don’t see much improvement at all.

    As an economist, I greatly admire the citizens feedback programme. However, this is yet again a case of Shahbaz Sharif making some noising on important issues, but doing nothing concrete. What has he done against corrupt police, administration, income tax officials in the province? For example, the brilliant initiative of a forensics lab in Lahore led to corruption amounting to four times the actual cost of the lab! The investigation was done, but what step has been taken on this ‘feedback’? Why are Shahbaz Sharif’s admirers quiet about his full-fledged support for fudging crime statistics by not registering FIRs, and his support for fake encounters, i.e. the cold-blooded murder of the accused by the police?

    The author is right in saying that to some extent we do indeed need to judge a CM’s performance relative to other things. However, which other province has as much resources at its disposal as Punjab? Shahbaz’s Sharif performance looks dismal when one takes this into account.

    There’s a lot to admire in Shahbaz Sharif’s work, but to paint him as a paragon of efficiency and virtue would be a fraud. He has himself engaged and supported others engaged in major corruption. Let’s support him when he is right, but demand greater accountability not just for the lower-ranked bureaucrats, but the powerful as well.


  • Haroon
    Dec 11, 2012 - 1:41AM

    Shehbaz Sharif is the only CM who works for the people..Sindh is witnessing thousands of the targeted deaths each year but u dont see their CM taking any action but last year punjab had 300 deaths cuz of dengue but u saw CM punjab all over it and look at the result..No casuality this time around.

    I would also like to clarify a few things around this TYNO syrup and that PIC medicine thing. TYNO has been cleared by “FEDERAL” drug lab as appropiate and the deaths was caused by people mixing TYNO with other drugs since they were drug addicts and it was not the fault of govt cuz when a person wants to die,what can a govt do?

    and this PIC medicine was made in Karachi. The ISOTAP medicine was not manufactured in lahore and punjab had nothing to do with it. If anyone is to be blamed it is the Sindh govt as to how did they allow a secondary medicine to be prepared. Shahbaz Sharif has totally worked for all. Bahawalpur is seeing a massive 410 bed hospital being built at a cost of 10 billion rupees but i dont see anyone complaining? This rapid bus is being built at a cost of 30 billion for poor people who travel in it but people raise objections?tell me Shahbaz making it for himself?Poor people and middle class families will use it like me and millions of others but they just have to raise question but the good thing is people are mature now and they see who is working and who aint..look at the by election results if anyone has any misconceptions.


  • Hassan
    Dec 11, 2012 - 1:45AM

    Impossible , Raza Rumi can’t write this piece , I can’t believe …….. Islamic Socialist ?? ;D :D
    How can you ignore such facts like all roads are under construction at same time just before elections ? What Government was doing year , 2 years or 3 years back ?? Religious Persecution is at its peak in Punjab , Even in Model town people are vandalizing graveyards while No one even spoke from Government’s side . Law and order is worst , pollution ? So if you means construction of roads just before election and digging up everything in-fact whole city at once is development than I salute you. “


    Information Department of Punjab Government is very strong I guess , Mr Raza Rumi :P “



  • Dec 11, 2012 - 2:23AM

    Imran Khan will achieve in 20 days what SS has not achieved in 10 years,


  • Qaisrani
    Dec 11, 2012 - 3:42AM

    PMLN and Shahbaz Sharif are Punjabi supremacist whose only focus is Lahore and central punjab.They hate Saraikis from the core of their hearts.They have plundered the resources of Saraikistan to use it for their publicity to develop Lahore and suburbs.


  • ET
    Dec 11, 2012 - 4:10AM

    You are also ignoring the fact that they get agricultural and industrial produce from Punjab in return. Nothing is for free my friend. Its called mutual living you have to tradeoff resources. FYI sindh is the biggest producer of Natural Gas as of now and it also gets the most share of it. Industries in Punjab get starved. But that’s again part of mutual living. So its fine if parties agree to it.


  • ET
    Dec 11, 2012 - 4:12AM

    Unfortunately 73000 is a really really smaller no to boast about. Jhang model has been touted to a good deal as it was also aired on TedxLahore but over a few years time the sms count is still 73000? Just compare it against the billions of sms sent daily only in mega cities of pakistan.


  • Qalander
    Dec 11, 2012 - 4:19AM

    @ Author. Shabaz Sharif might be doing great in central and Potohari Punjab. But I invite you to come and visit DJ KHan or Any area of Siraiki belt Save Multan and you will see the difference. Actually, starting from 1980, Successive governmenets in Punjab have given few districts in central punjab overwhelming importance. This has caused mass shift and migration of rural populations adjacent to these areas as well as from other part sof Punjab to big cities like LAhore and Faisalabad to get better jobs, health care and education Consequently, these cities have become over crowded and spread beyond any reasonable size and their capacity.Recommend

  • Dr. X
    Dec 11, 2012 - 5:19AM

    Umer the reason is that small provinces do not let Punjab build its own Dam despite of the fact that it compromises more than 60 percent of the Population. The smaller provinces get Revenue from Punjab for using the electricity from Tarbela and Mangala Dam. Then why do these provinces whine when their own local government cant spend the revenue it gets from Punjab on the people?
    Because of the insecurities and inferiority complex of the smaller provinces, we can’t even have proper industrial revolution in Pakistan. We are surviving on Agricultural Economy which can’t help us to progress.


  • gujranwala789
    Dec 11, 2012 - 5:36AM

    We people of punjab are proud of the dedication and hard work done by OUR chief minister Shehbaz sharif.He is definitely going to form next government in punjab province again and that is a good news for the people of punjab province. I hope other provinces also get good chief ministers like Shehbaz sharif after the next election, lets hope for the best for all the provinces of pakistan.


  • Boota Gujjar
    Dec 11, 2012 - 6:05AM

    I think this a balanced analysis by Mr. Rumi. when compared with rest of the Pakistan situation is relatively better in Punjab, but not satisfactory. The Shahbaz govt is energetic, however that energy does not have proper direction at time. lap top, Danish school, and transportation projects are good, but one might ask should they be the first priority. We appreciate CM Shahbaz’s energy, at the same time we can hope that energy is directed toward even better causes.


  • Maria
    Dec 11, 2012 - 7:14AM

    No one doubts that the Punjab has developed and prospered under Shahbaz Sharif. Anyone who goes to Punjab and sees the improvements first hand can attest to better roads, schools, infrastructure and hospitals – and all this despite being neglected by the Federal government.


  • Asad
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:08AM

    So some vanity projects in LAHORE means PML-N has done really well? Have you been to other parts of Punjab? How about South Punjab? What has the great poetry reciting messiah of yours has achieved to alleviate people of the rest of Punjab out of poverty? Come out of your pigeon hole show piece projects in lahore doesn’t equate to progress in whole of Punjab.


  • Umer Rasheed
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:39AM

    Thank you Raza Rumi for vividly clarifying which party you support.


  • TH
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:46AM

    SS has spent the tax payer’s money on useless project…which will in the end turn out to be just eye pleasing for the elites of the province..why do we need so many flyovers and underpasses and MBS…why not just do a bare minimum on these fronts and spend this amount on education and health…that is the biggest front pakistan is lacking in at the moment…there is a severe lack of quality education in pakistan…just look at how much these private schools are charging which goes to show that the demand for quality education is growing and it should have been the government rather than prvate sector fulfilling this demand…also..look at the number of private hospitals springing up in various localities…there is a lack of quality healthcare which these private hospitals are exploiting…in the end..its just the common man that is getting exploited…


  • Umer Rasheed
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:53AM

    The title of the article should be Shahbaz Sharif and the sorcerer’s stone etc. because only people with intellect of a thirteen year old can buy this story


  • Pakistani
    Dec 11, 2012 - 10:13AM

    after reading the above comments…….my conclusion is that some people get blinded by their own prejudices so much that they cannot appreciate any thing positive done by somebody………..and when someone else appreciates that good work, they frown and whine.

    well something seems to be burning in PTI camp.


    Dec 11, 2012 - 10:42AM

    WE r sick and tiredv of PMLN in punjab we want change first time my family and me will inshallah vote for Imran KHAN PTI


  • Dec 11, 2012 - 11:16AM

    What an article, shows lack of research and reasoning.

    In this government of Shahbaz Sharif, Mosques have been attacked over 86 people died in one attack on the Ahmadi mosques, namely Ahmadis, minarets have been destroyed, Kalma removed and graveyards vandalized and you write an article glorifying his reign?

    Its a shame that parameters for measurement these days are just so irrational and illogical.

    I hope you could feel the pain for living as ah Ahmadi in Punjab for one day to understand how great a CM Shahbaz Sharif is. He has not yet issued one statement on issues of Ahmadis leave alone any action against the culprits.


  • Atif Yousufzai
    Dec 11, 2012 - 11:20AM

    And effectively increasing the number of industries they Sharif brothers personally own, the only business tycoon family in Pakistan whose wealth is doubling whereas Pakistan as whole economy is failing.


  • Adil Zaman
    Dec 11, 2012 - 11:25AM

    Shabaz Sharif is a good administrator. He is off course one of the best Chief ministers in Pakistan’s four provinces. He is also a hard worker and sincere and his professionalism also cannot be questioned. But with all his good qualities he is one person, a single man. What he is doing only with his personal efforts. And sometimes he can be seen as very much tired while making these efforts of good governance. Sometimes it seems that he is pushing the boat in opposite direction of the water flow. And sometimes it also seems that he is walking in opposite direction in the same train in which he is traveling. This is simply escapisms’ to leave intact the hard realities and try harder to change something with your power, authority and good administrative skills. That is what SS is doing in Punjab. Our whole system from top to bottom is defective in a sense that it discourages the good people. Let’s see for example that there is no alternative of Shabaz Sharif in whole PMLN. It does mean that overall the people are incompetent. It simply means that there is no proper system that creates, and encourages the people like SS. In other words such system has not been installed to give rise to people of such caliber. Thus in a larger national context these activities of SS seems just to get fame in order to get popularity and to win the next election. And after winning the next elections more laptops will be distributed not only in Punjab, but in other provinces too, without telling the students what and how to do what these laptops. These seems to be lollypops. Thus the leaders do whatever is necessary for the next election. The focus is not the welfare of the people, but the winning of the constituencies. And this is off course the picture of the whole national politics.
    Thus concluded (with various remarks) our politics has become a filthy game. The politics meant to serve the nation is instinct. The motto is to win the constituency and to feed people in such a way that they make you win in the next term. Whether it is SS or someone else, the ideology towards the people, towards the nation is wrong. The people are being treated as subjects.
    In Pakistan we need a system that automatically discourages corruption, enhance competency and do the work easier for the people who are competent. The system that works for the people if not by the people. And this work should not be translated as goodness of the authority but duty and responsibility of the person who has the authority. But there seem so many obstacles in its way.
    Traditional politics or the politics of feuds is one of the root causes that have prevented the installment of such a system. Here it is not the government of the people but ruler ship of the few feuds, few families. It is off course an elitism that only favors the elites. And the current system is just serving these elites, maximizing their wealth, creating comforts for them, and making them the sacred creature of the country. It is in a civilian royalty. Only that person can be considered a great leader, a good administrator, who takes steps towards these underlying issues of the nation.


  • roadkashehzada
    Dec 11, 2012 - 11:27AM

    its funny, if u write for PTI you r considered among enlightened few and if you write for PMLN suddenly your column is treated as paid column. give the devil his due. be fair.


  • Qaisrani
    Dec 11, 2012 - 11:37AM

    For Shahbaz Sharif, Punjab means Lahore and GT Road cities.He hates Saraki wasaib from the core of his heart.Saraikis always suffered under Sharif’ rule.They treatt hem like red indians.


  • Dec 11, 2012 - 11:44AM

    Well balanced and excellent comprehension by Raza bhai :). Though I’m long standing critic of PMLN since childhood merely on ideological basis however I admit they did fantastic job in Punjab this time. CM Shehbaz as well as PMLN popularity chart still stick to Punjab only which might create problem for them in next GE when they’ll be contesting against PPP in rest part of Pakistan. PMLN need to clear their stance about Taliban and other extremist groups and also need to enhance their reputation and progressive circles.


  • Sindhi
    Dec 11, 2012 - 12:22PM

    Burnol for the above PTI troll


  • Attiya
    Dec 11, 2012 - 12:39PM

    Ridiculous article!! Disagree!!! The Lahore he envisions will choke the lot of us in 2 years time if that!! Chopping trees, expanding roads, mass transit systems with no planning and a concrete jungle is just not Lahore!!


  • abdul
    Dec 11, 2012 - 12:48PM

    I would call SS the CM of Lahore, what about rest of the Punjab? And plz stop calling em a good admin, he runs province as one of his steel mill


  • ahmed
    Dec 11, 2012 - 1:15PM

    @ abdul, he is still better even if he is CM only of Lahore, why dont you go and live in interior Sindh from where PPP leaders come and have a glimpse of ancient times :)


  • Muhammad Hasnain Gilani
    Dec 11, 2012 - 1:21PM

    Why media has soft corner for Sharif Bratherans? The question never answered and will never be answered.

    My son studies in Lahore and lived in a guest house in Model Town. He was advised by the guest house management not to remain out of the GH after 8.00 PM due to security situation. He had to be reported to nearby police station (because he belonged to KPK) as he gone to India on a Visa. Ultimately he himself decided not live in Punjab stay a home instead in these circumstance.

    Nether media nor the Supreme Court took like the ones they are taking in other provinces. This is Sharif Bratherans province never reported correctly.

    A Peshawary


  • Imtiaz Ali Rao
    Dec 11, 2012 - 1:40PM

    PTI guys please open your mind and eyes as well :) Jealousy would not get you anywhere.


  • Dec 11, 2012 - 1:58PM

    @Umer: Average electricity line loss in Punjab is 12%, in rest of Pakistan it is 35% to over 45%. Over 70% of Tax is paid by Punjabies, though Karachi politicians claim the same about Karachi. Simple fact when I import some thing and Gov of Pakistan collect different taxes from me at the sea port, it is not a collection from Karachi or Sindh. Same is the case with a bank with head office in Sindh or a FMCG company with head office in Karachi, they collect tax from their customers as ‘agent’ of government. Same would be the case for tax collection of telecom companies with head offices in Islamabad.


  • WB
    Dec 11, 2012 - 1:59PM

    wow; looks like SS just came all over your face!! Good bj!


  • Dec 11, 2012 - 2:01PM

    @Qaisrani: My friend from Bahawalpur tells me otherwise.


  • Umer Rasheed
    Dec 11, 2012 - 2:04PM

    Last I checked Shahbaz Sharif could not even remember how many ministries he is running.


  • Dec 11, 2012 - 2:09PM

    @Asad: Have you?


  • Tanwir Khan
    Dec 11, 2012 - 2:15PM

    Why would someone, who professes to be a development professional, give us such a myopic view of the punjab administration.
    If you were really serious about the matter, perhaps you would care to look at the GDP of the province or the development indicators in the past 4-5 years. Have they been on the rise?
    I’m wondering if you have willingly suspended your belief in reality by suggesting that the Punjab administration has made strides in governance or development. All for some complaint tracking mechanism? And how can you compare the province of Punjab to Sindh or Balochistan. Why don’t you use international comparisons such as Bihar or other states/provinces around the world? Recommend

  • Qaisrani
    Dec 11, 2012 - 2:23PM

    @Hassan Hakeem:
    Your friend tells you that Shahbaz Sharif loves Saraikis and considers them as equal??give me break.Ask your friend to align his wishes to sons of soil if he idealizes someone like Shahbaz Sharif or “takht e Lahore”.


  • joy
    Dec 11, 2012 - 2:35PM

    @ Raza Rumi: one expected much better from you…an Indian fan of your writings.


  • aziz anwar
    Dec 11, 2012 - 2:58PM

    Singing Habib Jalib doesnt make you a socialist?
    Bhutto has already used Islamic Socialism slogan to gain religous votes.
    The artilcle you have written is very biased in his favour which he doesnt deserve.
    Running Punjab with dont know how many Ministries doesnt make you a good administrator.


  • Dr. Ishtiaq
    Dec 11, 2012 - 3:25PM

    SS suspended Dr. Musaddiq Khan (Cheif Executive) Holy Family Hospital, Rawalpindi for the incident of Rat bite of an infant, but he didnt removed MS (Medical Supertendent). Its the MS who is responsible the cleanliness and management related affairs of the hospital.

    If CE is responsible for the above act in hospital, then SS is also CE of whole Punjab. In case of any death or any mishappening in Punjab, will SS be suspended in a similar way? The recent scandal of drug toxicity in PIC Lahore with more than 100 deaths, who was held responsible?

    Building roads and bridges is not a way to judge anybody’s performance. Ask any ordinary man about SS implementation on security, education, shelter and living and then judge the performance.


  • Linchpin
    Dec 11, 2012 - 3:33PM

    Its always the fault of Punjab……the killings in Karachi, the corruption in KP, the fact that Gov of Balochistan has more ministers than the rest of the provinces together. Its a matter of organisation and not just resources. The Government of Punjab are far from delivering what they could but they are at least making an effort. Why? Because the people demand it. If the PML N fail in delivering in Punjab the people will vote for PTI or PPP or PML Q or even some other party. Rationality rather than tribalism or ethnic thinking is making inroads into the most populous areas of Punjab (North and Central).


  • Ahmad Toheed
    Dec 11, 2012 - 3:35PM


    I believe Punjab is the only province where the recovery of electricity bills is more than 70%where as most of the people in the rest of three provinces are not paying any bills at all. So i think other provices should contribute by paying thier due bills all provinces have same right on all country’s natural resourses.


  • I. Ahmed
    Dec 11, 2012 - 5:30PM

    If what the article says about Junior Sharif is true, then it is high time that PML(N) should select him as the Prime Ministerial candidate for upcoming election instead of Nawaz Sharif. Pakistan needs someone who is so very good at governance, why limit his horizon to Punjab? Or does the party does not believe in democratic process of selecting the best person for a post?

    The writer has missed one crucial fact in comparison with other provinces. Shahbaz Sharif is smart enough to get democratically elected but rule like dictator. Till last reports, Shahbaz Sharif had retained 18 ministries directly under him (out of 25) and had appointed ministers for only 9 ministries. That, as record shows is not the case in other provinces.


  • Talib
    Dec 11, 2012 - 5:41PM

    A good piece of paid publicity :). Please just tell me how can we praise and trust a person who is spending millions of (poor) public for his advertising campaigns in the print media.

    Oh Yes, if you limit the Punjab to Lahore yes then Kazb-e-Alah “کاذب اعلی” can be a candidate for a good show. But let me give you the story of my village (like many other villages) situated in district Chakwal which also belongs to Punjab. Not surprisingly we have no more access to clean water and have to buy on daily basis. Moreover, we used to have science professors in degree college and teachers in our government schools. However now we no more have these basic necessities to build the future of our children because all the public money was spent for either buying laptops, running advertising campaigns or building much important mega projects in Lahore. You see how good a tenure of Kazb-e-Alah “کاذب اعلی” is and how well he is managing Punjab .


  • Sharif
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:00PM

    Guess the reward for this advertisement. Cash, a job offer or few million rupees consultative in Punjab govt?


  • Nabeel
    Dec 11, 2012 - 9:52PM

    The Citizen Feedback Model (previously known as the Jhang Model) is indeed a revolutionary idea, and a rare case of Punjab leading the world! See:

    It was recently covered on the World Bank blog ( and has also been covered by The Economist ( Let’s give credit where it’s due!


  • Mehmood
    Dec 12, 2012 - 2:53AM

    It is not at the expense of these provinces. If punjab uses them, it also pays significant tax over that. KPK and Balochistan do not pay even their electricity and gas bills (some of the regions).


  • Shahbaz
    Dec 12, 2012 - 6:00AM

    @ Muhammad Hasnain Gilar:
    Really sir?I think you have the special son with lot of super human capabilities.BTW just to let u know that any guest house use to give this kind of advices.Its just like terms and conditions on any webpage(wich we never read) .But the fact is if u hv ever visited lahore in last 5 years u may hv noticed life is much fantastic and enjoyable after 8.Foods, gathering, walking, hands in hands………..Just to let you know here in London if u are new comer from any other locality you hv to register yourself in nearby police station and police advise you not to come out after 8 for your safety.It does not mean london is not safe.It means police or other ppl want u to be safe.n if u hv fair opinion Lahore is much safer then any other provisional capital of Pakistan.Ask any one who hv common sense.Sorry if i use any harsh line for u.Its true Shahbaz shareef had done much hard work than an other CM.I performs and others only blame.
    Security situation,roads,education,every thing get better and better in this era.He is the best administrator in Pakistan.


  • sattar rind
    Dec 12, 2012 - 1:51PM

    these suggestion would not work. these are time wasting suggestions… while we need very grass root level overhauling system in Pakistan. from top to bottom or bottom to top. total system needs to be new…. solving one or two issues of complainer will make no difference.


  • Dec 12, 2012 - 1:56PM

    To all those who are outraged at my views, please consider the following:

    1) Shahbaz Sharif or for that matter PMLN are not perfect and I have listed a few major problems with their politics and governance right at the start of this piece.

    2) Citizen feedback model is a progressive and innovative idea and that is the focus of this piece. If a provincial government is taking a step forward, it should be commended instead of beating them for their other weaknesses.

    Nevertheless, I respect and value readers’ feedback. Thanks for the comments (except the personal attacks of course…).


  • Zubair
    Dec 13, 2012 - 1:33PM

    More than 730,000 citizens across the province have been contacted for feedback via sms and robo calls during the last few months. (This number is in addition to the relatively small number which was contacted during the incubation phase since 2010).

    Some 110000 unique persons have replied back as of today. (Some 40000 persons replying only during the last month). Presently, the model covers several day to day services like domicile, property registration, health emergency, police 15, driving license, character certificate etc. And more services are being added.

    Disciplinary actions have been taken against more than 30 officials based on the patterns of data entry quality or feedback received.

    The vast bulk of citizens – the not so outspoken ones who typically receive these government services – are enthusiastic about this method of proactively receiving feedback and report improvements in service delivery and reduction in petty corruption. Readers are strongly urged to visit the site to learn more about the mechanics of this arrangement.

    Punjab government should ideally make the feedback public – some 1500 to 2000 messages are received every day about various services – to educate the cynics among us about the immense benefits of this simple citizen engagement exercise.


  • Rajput
    Dec 13, 2012 - 7:41PM

    first of i appreciat to shbaz shareef for his work rest of this more chef ministr r also presnt but they did,nt do any thng for their voters so y people feel so jealousy for him .My fully supprt wth pMLN. We wll alwys wth (LION OF PUNJAB). U r superb and plz dnt jelous wth PUNJABIS


  • Umer Rasheed
    Dec 15, 2012 - 11:45PM

    If you can’t win them, confuse them.


  • Meera Ghani
    Dec 19, 2012 - 12:08AM

    Are you kidding me? I thought it was going to be a satirical piece but this is an ode to SS. Most horrendous.


More in Opinion