Stories about Bureaucrats

A dealer in hope: Why Imran Khan’s leadership has become invaluable for Pakistan

According to Napoleon, a leader is a dealer in hope, which is something Pakistan dearly needs in these testing times. And for us, Imran Khan is the leader who can instil that sense of hope and pride back into our people. For a nation that turned numb to pervasive misgovernance and rampant corruption, and had resigned itself towards inefficiency and incompetency as the hallmark of the political system, this vision of a new Pakistan presented by Imran is nothing short of revolutionary. The style of governance we have become accustomed to over the years in our nascent democracy has failed ...

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Who is atop the chain of command?

There wasn’t any challenge they could not surpass, The best of the breed, at the top of their class, Who knew the importance of hard, honest toil; Didn’t waste their time, burned the midnight oil. They went on to excel as professionals, engineers, Doctors and lawyers with promising careers.   While those who were ordinary, average at best, Graduated and did well in the civil service test, To eventually become the heady bureaucrats, Who catch all the smart professionals like gnats. In a web of paper work to drive them insane, And control their existence with utmost disdain.   The clique of students who in the same class, Despite family influence just managed to ...

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Why is the value of the Rupee depreciating, your honour?

“Could you please explain to the committee the factors that have resulted in the sharp depreciation of the Pak Rupee recently? In addition, please enlighten the honourable members of parliament about the possible measures the government is likely to take in order to avoid this in the foreseeable future,” inquired the Chairperson of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance. This was the moment I had been waiting for since the day I started my research associate-ship in Pakistan’s Upper House of Parliament, the Senate. I was, finally, about to see the executive being held accountable by the representatives of the people. The ...

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Sindh local government elections: Bureaucrats have no place in politics

The upcoming local government elections could provide an opportunity to address issues of governance in Karachi provided the local governance system is strengthened to compensate for the division of the province into a rural and an urban part.  A discussion on these issues is normally framed in terms of the political parties involved. Unless some structural issues are addressed, a change in political parties would only be a change at the margin. One of the problems with Sindh is that it is the only province in Pakistan where a distinction has been made between urban and rural areas. An unintended consequence of this is that ...

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When bureaucrats and the media can never be friends

Prior to the devolution of the Ministry of Health to the provinces under the Eighteenth Amendment, it was easy as a reporter to cover the health sector at the federal level. This was because all departments were working under one ministry and had assigned officials to coordinate with media-persons. However, after the devolution, things have changed considerably. The health sector at the federal level has split into eight divisions. Even after two years of devolution, it is still difficult to figure out which department is functioning under which ministry or division. Most of them do not even have spokespersons or media ...

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Pakistan’s leaders can learn from David Petraeus’ resignation

Aristotle, a Greek genius, penned down the elements of a tragedy and a tragic hero, two thousand years ago in his famous treatise “Poetics”. He said that a tragic hero suffered a fall from grace due to the committal of a fatal mistake, whose consequences he was unable to foretell beforehand; and that the spectacle of his fall aroused pity and fear in the audience- pity was kindled from undeserved misfortune and fear from the realisation that misfortune could strike an ordinary mortal. Recently, the world witnessed the fall of David Petraeus with unblinking wonderment. Petraeus, a former military officer ...

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The flood victims didn’t choose to beg, you made them!

The devastating rains in Sindh, which started on September 8 and continued for five days, have once again submerged the province. Seven districts of upper Sindh have been affected, with the worst-hit being the Jacobabad and Kashmore districts, where over 100 people have died in rain-related incidents. In 2010, most parts of upper Sindh and some parts of lower Sindh and Balochistan were affected by the floods, due to which millions were rendered homeless. In 2011, torrential rains wreaked havoc throughout lower Sindh and some parts of upper Sindh. After these tragedies, the government made tall claims about providing relief to ...

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