A prudent person would never challenge the importance of efficient justice, good governance, and public policy development for the welfare of the people, or the necessity of concurrently implementing these with transparent mechanisms for improved outcomes.

If public policies are drafted and implemented consistently through good governance measures, as other devolved countries do, within the allotted time frame, and with good productive output, a nation’s potential financial and human resources can be employed more effectively.

The executive branch in Pakistan is responsible for designing, developing, and creating public policies at the federal, provincial, and local levels of government, as well as ensuring that these policies are carried out in a way that advances the welfare of Pakistani citizens. The judicial branch is responsible for the expeditious delivery of justice as per the country’s constitution and the government’s business rules. Without a doubt, Pakistan’s outdated justice and governance system, poorly drafted policies, and shoddy execution not only damage its resources but also put it behind many other nations in many areas – even those that learned from Pakistan’s planning and development strategies in the early 1960s.

Simultaneously, there is no doubt that the general perception in Pakistan is that the current system of justice, governance, and administration has not only failed to provide a comprehensive institutional mechanism at the national, provincial and local levels for effective, coherent, and goal-oriented policies, but also failed to put these policies into practice in areas pertaining to governance, social, and human development. This ultimately resulted in the creation of a global map that shows Pakistan’s current lower standing in a number of categories, including governance, ease of doing business, policy-making, the corporate sector, justice, and human and social development.

With this background in mind, an effective justice, good governance, and efficient public policymaking process always start with thoughtful judgments taken at the highest levels of government, which are then followed by a careful and constrained execution plan. Legitimacy, correctness, transparency, public participation, empowerment, and a reasonable time limit for implementation are all essential elements of efficient justice, good governance, and effective public policy, and the new government should now recognize this and act accordingly at the earliest.

The failure of good governance and general public policy in Pakistan can be attributed to a number of factors, including weak institutional legal frameworks and infrastructure, corruption, a lack of visionary leadership and political will, a lack of strong public oversight mechanisms, inadequate or irrelevant financial allocations, the use of incompetent and inefficient human resources, a lack of continuity in successive government policies, overlaps in government functioning, a lack of a centralized approach to implementation, and, last but not least, inadequate preparation policies and procedures. It is a well-established reality that ineffective public policies and bad administration have fostered non-transparency in government activities and the unchecked discretion of government officials, all of which have ultimately led to corruption, favoritism, and a massive waste of public funds in Pakistan.

Since the Board of Investment Ordinance established the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), a new forum with a dynamic and significant membership from all sides, it is also imperative to review Pakistan’s entire policymaking process and identify the areas of policy preparation, efficiency, and effectiveness at all levels of government – federal, provincial, and local – with a strong implementation time-bounded plan.

It is now imperative that the prime minister, chief ministers, SIFC, federal and provincial planning development departments, and relevant agencies take the lead for good governance and in formulating and implementing public policies and in examining and developing a practical and forward-looking framework for the planning process. Training for lawmakers, judiciary, and the executive branch is also essential for the successful good governance, justice, and formulation and implementation of successful public policies in Pakistan. To establish lively, citizen-oriented, and successful public policies in Pakistan, governments at all levels must, in addition to their strengths, use the potential of relevant experts and implement best international practices throughout all stages of administration and public policy.

Thus the success of public programmes, initiatives, and the welfare of the country require action to be conducted simultaneously. The aforementioned measures encompass requiring state institutions to carry out comprehensive research prior to policy formulation, accounting for potential impacts, enhancing public engagement, securing suitable expert consultation for the appropriate allocation and utilization of public funds, and enhancing institutional capability and framework across all governmental tiers.

These activities start with the ideation phase and proceed through the planning, developing, reviewing, and carrying out of public policy within the allotted time frame. Since each of these initiatives has the potential to provide the finest outcomes and enhance Pakistan’s standing as a leader in international governance and policymaking, doing so will eventually encourage the most efficient use of resources for Pakistani citizens.

Serious legal and policymaking defects that prevent Pakistan from being led by the current justice, governance, and finance models have also been brought to the notice of numerous national and international organizations. Pakistan is unable to emulate other nations by enforcing outdated laws and customs because of these discrepancies. If Pakistan wants to move forward with wealth and good governance, it must adopt the highest international standards and make significant reforms to its justice, policy-making, and governance systems as soon as possible. This would necessitate carrying out significant surgery at all levels of justice, governance, and administration. Thus, it is imperative that our leadership think about making these adjustments as soon as possible in the greater interest of Pakistan being a now-or-never option.

The writer is a practicing advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan with 25 years of legal standing. He can be reached at: hafizahsaan47@gmail.com

QOSHE - Efficient governance - Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar
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Efficient governance

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14.03.2024

A prudent person would never challenge the importance of efficient justice, good governance, and public policy development for the welfare of the people, or the necessity of concurrently implementing these with transparent mechanisms for improved outcomes.

If public policies are drafted and implemented consistently through good governance measures, as other devolved countries do, within the allotted time frame, and with good productive output, a nation’s potential financial and human resources can be employed more effectively.

The executive branch in Pakistan is responsible for designing, developing, and creating public policies at the federal, provincial, and local levels of government, as well as ensuring that these policies are carried out in a way that advances the welfare of Pakistani citizens. The judicial branch is responsible for the expeditious delivery of justice as per the country’s constitution and the government’s business rules. Without a doubt, Pakistan’s outdated justice and governance system, poorly drafted policies, and shoddy execution not only damage its resources but also put it behind many other nations in many areas – even those that learned from Pakistan’s planning and development strategies in the early 1960s.

Simultaneously, there is no doubt that the general perception in Pakistan is that the current system of justice, governance, and administration has not only failed to provide a comprehensive institutional mechanism at the national, provincial and local levels for effective, coherent, and goal-oriented policies, but also failed to put these policies into practice in areas pertaining to........

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