Imran Khan has been accused of bowing to religious extremists in Pakistan. Photo: AFP/Aamir Qureshi
Imran Khan could well return to power in Pakistan, and the US must be prepared to deal with him. Photo: AFP / Aamir Qureshi

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership will be sworn into power in the next couple of days and is expected to form a government next week. The country is in a deep crisis as the outgoing government created some problems, some due to incompetence and some deliberately, which will be inherited by the next government.

The biggest problem is that the previous regime damaged the nation’s institutions, appointing favorites who were corrupt and incompetent as heads of many important institutions and positions in the senior bureaucracy. These people were utilized as frontmen for various kickbacks and under-the-table deals and to cover up their wrongdoings.

They were mere pawns in the dirty game of corruption and politics, implementing their master’s agenda. As a result, corruption and misgovernance were witnessed widely. The state institutions must be depoliticized immediately to recover from this rapid descent.

PTI chairman Imran Khan has to form his own team to fight corruption, respect merit and implement good governance. As far as my understanding of his personality, he firmly believes in merit and competency. He will not favor anybody based on color, race, or social status, but only on merit.

PTI chairman Imran Khan has to form his own team to fight corruption, respect merit and implement good governance

He will be depending on his team in making policy decisions and implementing good governance. There are already many professionals, technocrats and experts in various fields who are likely guiding him in the selection of his team.

He may introduce reforms in all sectors, starting from the civil service. It is recommended that salary revisions must be undertaken, but with more responsibility and accountability. If a civil servant is paid well enough to live a comfortable life, he may not be tempted toward corruption.

This said, he should also be able to handle enhanced responsibilities, tangible targets and goals. Good performance may be appreciated with rewards such as promotion and cash awards, but at the same time, for underperforming penalties, demotions or transfer postings may be implemented.

Economic measures may be initiated immediately. Some luxurious items are imported only for the 3% of the people of the country who can afford them and hard-earned foreign exchange is being spent lavishly. Tariffs may be among the tools to control this. However, imports of life-saving medicines, high-tech and modern technology, machinery and raw materials for export-oriented industry may be encouraged and tariffs may be reduced.

To promote exports, Pakistani missions abroad, especially ambassadors, commercial counsellors and attachés, and economic officers, may be tasked to explore new markets for Pakistani products. If ambassadors and officers are merit-based appointees, they may be able to show positive results.

Corruption and money-laundering may be controlled. New laws and legal systems may be launched to address modern-day cyber-crimes. New technologies and tools may be utilized to fight against financial criminals.

The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) may be asked to utilize its full potential and cooperate with relevant institutions to fight against criminals. The judiciary may be strengthened with more resources, including human resources in the form of technical experts and professionals, as well as modern technologies and gadgets and tools, but above all with foolproof laws and regulations.

Under each ministry, there should be think-tanks consisting of leading experts, engineers, scientists, economists, judges, army officers, and technocrats of the relevant sector. They may be professors from universities, retired civil and military servants, former members of the media and the private sector.

Reforms in each sector may be introduced with close consultation of all stakeholders. The private sector may be encouraged to play the role of “engine of economic growth.” The government may facilitate them and regulate them, while incentive-based policies should be brought forward to encourage industry to grow.

The tax-collection system may be revised to make it easy for the common man, and incentives may be given to taxpayers.

Transparency may be promoted in both letter and spirit. The current practice for government purchases requires three quotations, and usually the under-the-table-nominated “blue-eyed” supplier provides all three quotations, keeping his real quotation the lowest and the other two as fake quotations at higher prices. This practice must be addressed and rectified immediately.

Austerity and economic measures may be promoted throughout the nation. The younger generation should be trained to uphold honesty, hard work, and good morals, educating them that shortcuts and ill-gotten rapid fortune are curses for society and the nation.

We Pakistanis can criticize any wrongdoings in the government but at the same time, we may also suggest how to rectify things to make our democracy healthy and strong. We all are committed to changing our nation for good and realizing the long-awaited dream of Quaid-e-Azam’s and Allama Iqbal’s Pakistan.

Professor Zamir Ahmed Awan is a sinologist at the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) Chinese Studies Center of Excellence, Islamabad, Pakistan. Posted to the Pakistani Embassy in Beijing as science counselor (technical affairs) from 2010-16, he was responsible for promoting cooperation between Pakistan and China in science, technology, and higher education.

2 replies on “Immediate steps to be taken by new government in Pakistan”

Comments are closed.