Failure of Public Administration: Real Dilemma of Pakistan!

State is comprised of institutions which engage the people in scientific way for creation of a nation. Social contract is an agreement on the basis of which an individual surrenders his personal freedom and liberties for the sake collective liberty of a society. State ensures rights of individuals in exchange of his sacrifice of personal freedom which makes the very basis of social contract. Constitution is the document in modern times which represents social contract. The question is why it is needed? The answer is, st ate and individuals have common interests which leads them for progress, prosperity and social justice.

Institutions are organs of state which act in a synchronized way to make administrative infrastructure and the study of all this on scientific basis is called public administration. Crisis of Pakistan is more administrative and less political because state institutional infrastructure is not working in an efficient way. No political entity can manage the affairs of country without effective and efficient institution. Example of Afghanistan poses perfect picture of that failure. Society is tribal and always functions without proper institutions and the result is dissipation of society. Pakistan inherited tradition inertia of political elite which blended with colonial ideology.

We should have an idea of historical evolution of administrative ideologies to have a true logic behind present murky scenario. Subcontinent had a local self administrative structure during it’s golden era in Mauriyah period. Megasthenes, Greek historian in court of Chandragupta Mauriyah insinuates about six committees in cities to administer the affairs. Mongols devastated the Muslim civilization in the east and within one centuries they became Muslims. Their political philosophy was based on military machinery which overwhelmed the administrative affairs. Three empires, Ottomans, Safawiz and Mughal Empire inherited that state structure or it’s philosophy. Sher Shah was a genius ,who issued the farman that all estates, fiefs and land belong to state. He separated military and civil administration by dividing his empire into 47 Sarkar (districts) and 113000 Pragnas (tehsils). He abolished traditional mansabdari system , where mansabdar (designated local chief) was military leader, tax collector, head of local administration, etc. Akber reversed the administrative structure by reinstating mansabdari system to gather a large military machine. India was rich in natural resources but with the passage of time mansabdars defied the central authority to proclaim themselves as independent rulers. Alivardi Khan of Bengal was first one among them and same events happened in Awadh and Deccan. Mansabdar at local level were absolutely corrupt and adopted coercive measures to collect revenues. When interests of state and individuals differs , resentments become rebellions. East India Company found the India in administrative failure and fully took the advantage. Native people joined the services of company because they had opportunities in their structures. Soon after the war of independence in 1857, Britishers realized that such events should not happen again. They abolished East India Company and in 1858, British crown took the direct control of India. Essays on causes of Indian re volt, written by Sir Syed was also an attempt to replace rule of company with direct English control. Britishers realized the fact that they cannot administer India like African colonies rather they have to exploit it by con trolling India. Indian Council Act was announced in 1861 which was a sign that colonial power want to treat native people in autonomous ways.

Colonialism had its own dimensions. Britishers introduced bureaucratic set up and British officers were too powerful but wise decision was to higher native people in local administration. Soon Indians officers were included by civil service exams in lower tiers of bureaucracy. After the war of 1857 , Britishers alienated Indian military from British army. It happened after first world war that native Indian could have commissions in British army. Powers of judiciary were curtailed and transferred to executive. That fact or made the bureaucracy most powerful muscle of government which was responsible to colonial master not to local authorities or masses. Indian Council Acts were introduced in 1892 and 1909 but that was Council act of 1919 (Montego Chelmsford Reforms), which introduced Diarchy system in province which meant few departments like education, health, public works,etc. were transferred to local ministers. Governor in the province were always a supreme authority and bureaucracy always followed their directions. Second world war ended with the downfall of colonial power in India. Enervated Britishers wanted to leave India in haste. They gathered 2.5 million military force from India during the war. Most of Indians were in lower ranks of army and were trained under professional British officers.

Partition was an administrative dilemma for Pakistan because unlike India it did not have a capital or Secretariat. A network of Cantonments was efficient in Punjab and NWFP because colonial power was always smelling a rat in Afghanistan in the form of Russian aggression. Indian national Congress ha d experienced politician who served the governments in provinces and in center. Lack of administrative experience among political leaders and demise of Quaid-e-Azam and Liaqat Ali Kkan paved the way for civil bureaucracy to fill the vacuum. Ghulam Mohammad became the governor General and absence of proper constitutional framework provided him an opportunity to play his own game. He was ex bureaucrat and his successor was interior secretary, Skinder Mirza who continued the journey commenced by Ghulam Muhammad. General Ayub Khan was first native commander in chief , who became minister of defense in 1954 and finally abrogated first constitution in 1958 after getting three extensions. EBDO wiped the seasoned politicians out and fresh lot of young politicians was nurtured under local government system. Basic Government (BD) system was introduced and worked under supremacy of bureaucracy. DCs and ACs had full control over elected councils and technical point was, they were responsible to secretariats not to masses. Logical result was colonial attitudes of bureaucrates. These two departments became two classes after partition. Newly created political elite learned the politics under umbrella of these institutions which were called establishment. Policy of relaxation in economy created lucrative business opportunity for newly nurtured political class in 1960s which became a business class too. Suppression of national political parties and massive movements always weakened the national integrity. On the other hand, political parties which have elite nurtured during martial law regimes behaved in dictatorial manner. Political regimes try to concentrate power instead of its decentralization up to local governments.

Present political discontent is a scramble between aristocratic, capitalist , political elite and establishment. They always function side by side an d it is a myth that they are at daggers dream rather matter belongs to division of power. Public administration system in Pakistan is exhausted now and no political player has a priority to reform it. In past , masses were silent because they had no access to information but now educated middle class is silent because they have a lot of information. Same attitude is reflected in election turn outs. Our bureaucracy is outdated now and is politicized almost. Technocracy should be promoted and independent authorities should be established for autonomous administration system. Even exams of CSS and PCS cannot be reformed. Common training and special training after qualifying exams is on colonial pattern. Local government is third tier of democracy which engender trained and young politicians for national politics. Common people cannot be absorbed without local government system. It is evident from history that subcontinent flourished under local self rule. Education, health and other social departments need technocratic staff. Implementation of policies relies on executive so they always do red-tapism.

Constitution devise the structure for administration. Irony of fate is a common man is unaware about his basic rights. Article 7 to 27 should be known by every citizen of Pakistan. These should be made compulsory parts of curriculum at schools. Comparative public administration has no space in our higher education which is big question. Plight of Pakistan is due to administrative failure. System is not working which ultimately will result into a collapse and anarchy. True leadership is collective wisdom of people not the personalities. If institutions will not work to resolve the issues of masses then interests of state and common man will be poles apart. Political parties are trying to have good deal to re-enter the power corridors because of their aristocratic interests. Executive of country will always take the advantage of there incompetency in dealing with them. Interests of society are promoted and protected by efficient public administration system. They circulate in the administrative infrastructure like blood in the veins but unfortunately our institution are enervated and time is ripe for their bypass surgery.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Dunya News’ editorial stance.

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