Pakistan, once poised as the next Asian Tiger, now grapples with persistent governance challenges that have left the demand side for reforms historically passive.
Dr. Nadeemul Haque, Vice Chancellor of the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), sheds light on the pressing need to break free from this passivity during the Third Think Tank Moot, a collaborative initiative by PIDE and its partners.
Historical Footprints of Passivity:
Since its inception into the League of Nations, Pakistan has faced governance challenges that successive governments promised to address with transformative change and substantial reforms. However, Dr. Haque likens these efforts to attempting to bail out a sinking ship with a thimble, leaving the people of Pakistan to bear the consequences.
A Plea for Engagement and Participation:
Dr. Haque underscores the importance of recognizing the historical passivity of the demand side for reforms. Breaking away from this inertia, he argues, is crucial in fostering a more engaged and participative society. As the nation seeks a path towards sustainable and impactful reforms, it is imperative to involve the people who ultimately bear the brunt of these challenges.
Evaluating Political Commitments:
Despite political party manifestos often highlighting broad policy directions and commitments, Dr. Haque raises concerns about the lack of thorough evaluation when a party assumes power. With the upcoming General Elections scheduled for February 8, 2024, the absence of discussions among political parties regarding a clear reform agenda aligned with the country’s pressing needs is disheartening.
Crucial Perspectives on Urban Development and Governance:
PIDE Pro VC Dr. Durre Nayab, in a recent address at a Think Tank Moot, delves into crucial perspectives on urban development and governance. Her insights shed light on the intricacies of the challenges faced by Pakistan in these domains, further emphasizing the urgency for a comprehensive reform agenda.
The Urgency for Reform:
As the nation stands at a critical juncture, the call for reforms echoes louder than ever. The passive stance of the demand side must transform into an active force advocating for change. The upcoming elections present a unique opportunity for political parties to demonstrate a commitment to addressing governance challenges head-on and steering the country towards a path of sustainable development.
In the face of persistent governance challenges, Pakistan stands at a crossroads. The historical passivity in demanding reforms must give way to active engagement and participation. Dr. Nadeemul Haque’s insights and Dr. Durre Nayab’s perspectives shed light on the need for comprehensive reform agendas, especially in urban development and governance. As the nation approaches the General Elections, the onus is on political parties to step up and address the pressing needs of the country, ensuring a future that aligns with the aspirations of the people. The time for transformative change is now.