Tag Archives: local government

Post-floods: Pakistan must embrace a comprehensive reform agenda

Raza Rumi

Pakistan’s recent disaster has exposed the long standing crisis of statehood. It would be a cliché to state that even the best prepared country would have been swamped by the scale of the floods. However, the flood also exposed our failing state and never before have we witnessed such radical damage wreaked on the governance institutions in the country.

Beyond the early recovery phase: The enormity of the humanitarian crisis requires concerted planning and a seamless transition into the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase. A key reason for the skepticism of citizens and the international community relates to the obvious challenges of governing Pakistan and ensuring that the state delivers on its inherent mandates. Humanitarian assistance has been forthcoming and the pundits’ credibility-deficit argument has been trashed by the world as it made pledges of over 600 million dollars. However, resources for the post-relief phase are uncertain. The usual recipe of the international economic order through IFI loans seems to be the only solution in sight unless the world wakes up to the potential long term consequences of this disaster and finds other ways than to increase its debt.

Financing challenges: A bigger challenge that faces Pakistan’s crumbling governance is related to financing the disaster-management. Already, competition between the Pakistani state agencies and the United Nations system seems to be apparent. The intentions of the UN notwithstanding, its inefficiencies (such as high administration costs) are all too well known. Similarly, the funding tensions between the federal and provincial governments will also come to light as and when assistance arrives. The criteria are unclear – Punjab wants it according to the damage while the smaller provinces are already talking about the state of ‘relative devastation’ and losses. This is something that the national council of common interest will have to resolve, lest it creates more fissures and becomes another pretext for an extra constitutional upheaval. Continue reading

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Pakistan

50 Years Of Islamabad 1960-2010 : Capital Crown

Adnan Rehmat writes in The News

 Taking a close look at a city is like reading the hopes, aspirations and pride of everyone who built it. Take a close look at Islamabad in all its pompous perplexity and clinical contradictions and not much popular ownership is apparent. Not that it prevents it from boasting a large number of peculiar characteristics even though these never show up in tourist brochures. It is, for instance, the ‘newest’ proper city in the country, the ‘newest’ city of Pakistan with a population of a million or more (the eighth in the country now) and even the ‘newest’ city in Asia that is also the capital of a country. Cynics could also emphasise Islamabad is the newest capital of Pakistan! (Karachi was the last, remember, anyone?) And, in this fact, emerges a side to the city that is debated little. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Islamabad, Pakistan, urban

Rebuttal to a Mullah of Another Kind

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

I am not a Marxist of any kind. Far from it. However I have the greatest respect for Marx and his singular contribution to humanity. I also respect Lenin and the architects of the Bolshevik Revolution. Continue reading

74 Comments

Filed under Pakistan

Whither Local Government?

By Ahmad Rafay Aam

The prime minister has announced that the local government elections have been postponed indefinitely because of the security situation. Not content with using the security situation as the excuse to deprive citizens of their rightful public spaces, the government has employed it to adjourn, sine die, the democratic process.

It is ironic that a democratically elected government has chosen to postpone an election. Is Democracy no longer The Best Revenge? Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Pakistan