Pakistan has a bright future if its people are given the freedom of action, freedom of thinking, freedom of mobility, freedom from over-regulations, freedom from lawlessness, freedom from oppression and exploitation by the powerful, freedom from the culture of bribery and commissions and above all freedom from robbers and looters.
People of Pakistan are among the most hardworking, intelligent and resourceful on the earth. There is abundance of intellect and ingenuity. They can create opportunities themselves as long as hurdles are removed from their path. Problems created by few are stifling the creativity of ordinary person in Pakistan.
Enacting laws for the benefit and betterment of citizens of the country is not enough. The enforcement of those laws is imperative. That is where our law enforcement organs of the government have crucial part to play. Before anything else the policing mechanism has to be improved. But you cannot improve anything if there is a structural flaw in it. Our police system has basic flaw. It is structured on military pattern. It was designed by the British in order to suppress and control the conquered population. Its purpose was not to serve and protect the people. In their own country, back home, British had different police system. Although the military set up in India was same as they had in Britain but not that of Police. In order to fix the police system in Pakistan we have to decouple its set up from that of our military. In military the officer cadre starts from the middle. The ranks below second lieutenant comprise of non-commissioned officers, and lower ranks, who have risen from the bottom. The highest non-commissioned officer has way more knowledge of the workings of the military than his boss, a second lieutenant, who in age looks like his son. But that system is working very well since the real action any military sees is once in a while. In the peace time military officers are mostly engaged in non-military endeavours. But police sees action every day. Our police system has to be different from that of military. Every developed country in the world like USA, Canada and all Europe has different police system than Pakistan. Reason our system has not been changed from the colonial era is that we the people of Pakistan were again colonised by our own feudal lords who lately also include industrialists or anyone who has amassed huge ill-gotten wealth. These new masters use the police same way as British used it, to control and suppress the population.
We have to study the police systems of other advanced democratic countries and adopt it. Why there is no harm and shame in adopting their system is that we have adopted every other system they have. First of all our armed forces have exactly same system they have. Our scientific knowledge that we teach in our universities is the same as they have it. Our scientists have learned abroad from these people. By using this scientific knowledge we have built our buildings, airports, bridges and highways the way they have in their countries. We use airplanes, trains, buses and cars built by these developed countries. We use cell phones, computers, Internet and printers made by them. We drink coke and Pepsi originated by developed countries. If we are not ashamed to use all these systems made by developed countries then why can't we adopt their police system. Remember our army is carbon copy of western system. May be that is why it is functioning so well.
The most striking difference between the police systems of Pakistan and the developed countries is in the method of recruitment. In the latter the entry point in the police force is only at the bottom. There is no selection in between like we have PSP and recruitment of ASIs. The top most police officer started his service at the bottom as a constable and a cadet in the police academy. The chief of police has gone through all phases of police service. He patrolled the streets, chased the criminals, apprehended robbers, controlled the traffic and worked the night shifts. He excelled in the performance of his duties and only on that basis got promoted all the way to the top. Can IG of police in Pakistan claim he has done all that? The biggest mistake Pakistan is making is having PSP, police service of Pakistan. CSS exam should only be for the selection of officers in the general bureaucracy. Keep in mind the CSS exam is never used for the selection of doctors, engineers, professors and scientists. These professions require utmost intelligence, inquisitiveness and brilliance. Plus these are the major professions. If these are excluded from the CSS ambit then PSP can be easily taken out of it too.
The police service selection should be done only at the lowest level, instead of at three levels, and let the efficient and ambitious move up the ladder all the way to IG or chief of police. The selection requirement should be:
1. Minimum age of 18 years.
2. Minimum education of FA/FSc. (or 12 years of education)
3. Minimum height 5 ft. 10 in.
4 Minimum weight 165 Lbs. and should have broad shoulders with impressive personality.
5. Medically absolutely fit. (Able to out run and subdue the criminals)
6. No criminal record.
7. Must pass physical fitness test and psychological test.
The cadets selected should undergo at least one year of rigorous training at Police Academy.
The police should have its independent command and control mechanism. The district and city police forces should be controlled by police services boards whose members should be appointed by provincial and district governments on 50/50 basis. These members should be taken locally from the general public who are supposed to be apolitical, respected and intelligent (even if not highly educated). They should be appointed only for a term of four years with no fear of being removed by any one after their appointment. This board should be the only one to discipline police officers for any misconduct. These boards should have the fiscal and administrative autonomy. The budgets of police should be prepared by these boards and forwarded to the district or city councils for final approval. Since police officers will be answerable only to their superiors who in turn will be managed by police chief, and police chief will only have to answer to the board, no politician will be able to exert pressure or influence on police officers. If a politician or his cronies break the law the police will be free and fearless to apprehend them and charge them. Politician will not be able to go to the minister or any high ups to have police officer admonished or transferred, because no one will control the police but the independent boards whose members cannot be removed before their term expires. Police will be there to protect the public from the unscrupulous elements of the society. Everyone will be treated equally. The recruitment of the police cadets will be done through the human resources department of the police boards without any political influence. This is the way it is done in all other developed countries. We have to change and adopt the best police system, in order to end the lawlessness in our country. Right now there is mob rule in the country. Might is right ideology prevails. Poor and ordinary citizens are treated like dirt rats and mighty and powerful are getting away with murders. There is no protection, justice, safety, fairness or equity for those who need it most, the ordinary hardworking section of our society.
There should be three levels of police systems: local, provincial and federal. Each one should be independent of the other. Federal police will only act if federal laws are broken, such as civil rights, narcotics, smuggling of goods and humans, immigration, airport security etc. Provincial police will petrol the provincial highways, monitor organized crimes and assist local police if needed in such matters as investigation and coordination. Local police will be responsible for the crime prevention and law enforcement in their districts. They will not be under provincial or federal police in any form or manner. Local police officers can only be transferred inside the district to different police stations but not outside the district. They are employed by the district police boards and paid from the district resources.
Uniform of police officers should be well tailored and a good fit. It should be designed and patterned same way as one worn by police officers in advanced countries. Present police uniform is disgraceful.
Starting salary of police officers should not be less than 1/4th of the salary paid to the top police officer. At present, salary paid to the starting constable, is mere one tenth of that paid to the inspector general of police. In Western countries the salary of a police constable starts at one fourth and becomes one third, after 5 years of service, of the salary paid to police chief. Very low salary paid to the police constables in Pakistan is one of the reason why there is wide spread culture of bribery in the police department. Police is the main tool in the arsenal of any government by which it rules the country and maintain peace and order in the society. Money spent on law enforcement is the best use of government funds. Better policing means fewer crimes, less corruption and less human rights violations. Complaints of the public will be addressed promptly and safety of the public will be ensured.
Since civil rights come under the jurisdiction of federal and provincial governments, any time a member of the civil society is injured or killed by a police officer its investigation and indictment should be carried out by the provincial government if not federal government.
Every district in Pakistan should have its own elected government that is autonomous and independent of the provincial or federal governments. Its head called Nazim, Chairman or governor, should be elected directly by all the voters of the district. No indirect election should be conducted for this post. The district council should comprise of councillors elected from every union council. Nazim of union councils should not be members of the district council. They should devote 100% of their time to the affairs of their union councils. The districts should be able to levy property tax. Plus provincial government should give funds to the districts same way they get funds from the federal government through NFC. District administration will be employed and paid by the district government. All district government officials will be hired through district public service commission. Provincial government will have no say in this hiring. Employees of one district would not be transferred to another district. District administration will include police, public health, public works, education up to grade 12, parks and recreation, sports, and local transportation. District Government will have no jurisdiction over judiciary, higher education, big hospitals or provincial highways. Police will be local. District police chief will be the head of the police department. He will be selected by the district police services board. Police services board members should be appointed by the province and district governments on 50-50 basis. Once board members are appointed, they could not be removed by anyone before their term expires. Police will not be under anyone other than the police chief and police chief in turn will be answerable to the board only. MNA, MPA, IG, District Nazim, District councillors, Provincial chief Secretary or chief minister will have no authority or influence over the district police what so ever. Tehsil council should be abolished. Most of its responsibilities should be shifted to union councils and some uploaded to district council. This will save lot of money and bureaucratic hurdles. Concept of tehsils is outdated and should be done away with. This will start a truly new beginning
The best government is the one that is closest to the people. Local governments give the public a sense of self-reliance, self-confidence and self-improvement. They get the satisfaction by controlling their own affairs. They can prioritize their needs based on the available resources. Closeness and vigilance by the people eliminates corruption. The bureaucrats are forced to concentrate on the administration and running of their departments without imposing on the public. People through their elected representatives control the affair of the district not the bureaucrats whose job it is to run their departments only.
All three levels of governments should exercise their power only in the fields of government assigned to them by the constitution.
Bureaucracy in Pakistan is functioning on the same pattern as established by the British colonial masters of India. It is so sad that, after independence, no one in Pakistan and India tried to initiate new ways of making bureaucracy conform to the new reality. Although we are no more under colonial power but we do not feel free to change the old British systems. By the way British had completely different system back in Great Britain. What we are still adhering to is the system for the slaved people. Divisions and districts were headed by the British officers. Now we have commissioners and deputy commissioners appointed by the federal or provincial governments ruling over these territories. All these heads rule like maharajahs and consider these areas as their fiefdoms. Civil servants are not supposed to act like this in a free republic. Their job is to provide government services and manage their departments for maximum efficiencies. Their job is not to rule or dictate to the public- the public that pays their salaries through taxes. The method of selection of managers/officers of the government departments through competitive exams is appropriate. The federal government employees should be selected through federal public service commission and provincial employees through provincial public service commissions. Federal civil servants should not work in or be transferred to the provincial government departments. Similarly District governments should not have any of the above civil servants working for them. Districts should have their own selection process and select their own employees. All civil servants at all three levels of governments should be paid adequate salaries out of which they can afford accommodation and transportation. Governments should not provide houses. If houses are provided then those living there should pay market rents. Under British raj, the officers who were mostly white were provided spacious houses and servants for the mere reason that they were the rulers. After independence the same benefits and luxuries are being availed by the local civil servants. It is a shame that none of Pakistani leaders thought or bothered to change the system of bureaucracy from colonial to a free republic. If all levels of governments look at the ground realities and realize that they cannot afford to provide same luxuries to our civil servant as were provided to British officers then they will have to withdraw unaffordable benefits and sell all the residences, guest houses and luxurious clubs sprawled over vast tracts of land. Poor country like Pakistan cannot afford all these facilities. Most of all, the civil officers should realize it themselves and vacate those palatial houses. The problem in our country is that we do not have political leaders, with enough courage, who can stand up to these civil servants and reform their compensation methods. State cannot provide unreasonable benefits in the form of huge houses, servants and chauffeurs at the expense of the poor. Civil servants are not provided government residences in any advanced democratic country. Only armed forces are provided this facility. Similarly civil officers should not be allowed to use any government employee who is working in their or any other department to serve as their domestic servant, driver or gardener in their homes. This should in fact apply to all government officers in all government departments including bureaucracy, police, armed forces and judiciary. All government employees should be reminded all the time that they are being paid through the public taxes and therefore public is their employer. That is why they are called public servants. In all training schools, academies and staff colleges this fact should be instilled in the minds of all civil servants so that they respect the public and provide then prompt, polite and bribe-free service. Corruption is in fact double taxation on the public and double payment to the government officials.
The essence of democracy is that the government at any level, federal, provincial and local level, should be formed by the consent of the governed. Government is for the service of the people not the other way around. In democracy government is by the people and for the people, thus government cannot be imposed on them by someone else. The freedom of choice and right to vote, for anyone they like, should be ensured by authorities such as Election commission, law enforcement agencies and the election contestants. This is the first and foremost requirement for electing a good government. This is the first brick and mortar for the foundation of the edifice of democracy. There is no democracy if people cannot cast their votes freely without fear, pressure or coercion. Once vote are cast there should be no possibility of miscount or ballot box stuffing. The ballots should be counted at the same polling station where they are cast, in the presence of scrutineers of every candidate and result sheet signed by everyone. These results should be sent to the central location and copy posted outside the polling station. Ballots, cast, should be preserved in the sealed boxes and sent to election commission for the record.
Political parties should be formed based on a specific national agenda, platform and ideology. Conservative and liberal ideology should be the basis for the parties, not personal, regional or parochial agenda. Each party should keep record of the registered members, nationwide. There must be a membership fee even if nominal and members should be given membership cards. It should have party associations in each constituency.These associations should hold internal elections to choose office holders. Before the general elections the membership of the constituency should select their candidate for the election. Only those members should be allowed to vote for this nomination who have been members for at least past six months. This will reduce the impropriety where the candidates for nomination, register members at the last minute. Political parties should hold yearly policy conventions where national issues and programs are discussed to renew their party platforms. At these convention they could also renew the confidence in their leaders by casting secret votes to see the level of support leaders enjoys at present. The delegates to these conventions should come from every constituency after being chosen at a selection meeting by all members of local party associations. After every 4 or 5 years there should be a leadership convention where delegates choose their new leader from among multi-candidates for the top slot. For new ideas and new approach the term for a leader should be limited to only two. Next leader should not have any blood relation to the past leader. This is the true democracy.
In a democracy all representatives of the people are elected including the president, prime minister, members of all the assemblies at federal, provincial and district levels. The appointment of someone at these positions without election is undemocratic. The position of an unelected governor is absolutely against the spirit of democracy. In a colony or in a monarchy the heads of the governments appoint their representatives as governors, viceroys or governor general. In a republic like Pakistan the post of governor is not required. The chief minister of the province should be called a governor, if this nomenclature at all has to be preserved. Similarly the reserved seats are completely against democratic norms.Instead of appointing women in the assembly to give them representation, parties should allot some percentage of nomination tickets to eligible women candidates and let the voters decide if she deserves to be their representative. Same thing should be done with minorities. There should be no direct appointments. It is against the essence of democracy.
Elected representatives should be held to a higher standard of character and personal integrity. They should have unblemished record of law-abidance, honesty, fairness and comprehension. Making the laws for the proper functioning of the society is a big responsibility and needs knowledge of public needs, aspirations and hopes. Politics should not be a pursuit for getting rich. It is rather a service for the betterment of the society.
The terms of all the assemblies and senate should be four years and its members should have limit of only two terms. This will infuse new blood, new ideas and new programs into the direction of affairs of the country. New members should not have any blood relation with the old members. This will break the hold of one family, in the power corridors of the country. This will automatically put term limits on the prime minister and the chief ministers. The president whose position is mostly ceremonial should have only one term. The president should be chosen from among the highly respected members of the society such as eminent professor, renowned scientist, respected artist, superstar of any sport or even a respected religious scholar. There should be no governors and chief minister should be the head of the province.
The number of provinces should be increased on the basis of population. Each province should have population of about ten millions keeping in mind that there are scores of countries that are members of the UN with population of less than two millions. Countries only prosper when their people are empowered. People should choose their own representatives to run the district and provincial affairs. No body should appoint a commissioner or a deputy commissioner to run the affairs of local governments. Divisions should be abolished in favour of more provinces. No bureaucrat should be made in charge of the destiny of the masses. Bureaucrats job is, only, office and department administration. They can be head of a government department but not the head of an area, part or any territory of the country.
Law should be passed in the parliament to make primary education compulsory for every child in Pakistan. It should be enforced rigorously through local police. Parents who refuse to send their children should be held liable under the law. At early age child's mind is very receptive and can absorb lots of information. They can learn more than one language with ease. From grade one to five the curriculum in mathematics should be same as in other developed countries. Similarly the mathematics and science classes in all grades up to 12th, should have exactly the same curriculum as in western countries or Japan and China. It is the curriculum that matters. Children will be able to learn at any standard that you ask them to. Pakistani origin children in other countries learn and perform even better than their class mates. There is nothing genetic about learning process. Hard work and persistence get results no matter who practices it. In our colleges and universities same practice should be adopted. Our MSc, MBBS, B.Eng should be at par in knowledge acquired in equivalent faculties abroad. To have same curriculum as in advanced countries at every equivalent level in Pakistan is the easiest way to raise standard of education. It is as easy as ABC. This way a PhD awarded by our universities will be at par with the one awarded by any other university of the world. Pakistan will save billions by not sending students abroad for higher education, at government funded scholarships.
There is another step that should be legislated that no teacher can offer, after hour, tuition to students, of his own class that he teaches at any educational institution. This simple step will improve standard of teaching and education in every class.
The teachers should not be part of Basic Pay Scale system. They should have different salary structure. By raising their salaries to a respectable level, you in fact raise their level of respect in the society. That is what is required and teachers deserve it.
Every degree awarding institution, colleges and universities, should be self governing and autonomous. They should have board of governors and the head should be called President instead of principal or vice-chancellor; and there should be no chancellor, an unnecessary post. All degree colleges and Universities should be under provincial jurisdiction. Federal government should not be involved in running these institutions. Education, anyway, is a provincial matter under the Constitution. All basic research in science and technology should be conducted in the universities and no other organisation funded by the public funds. Only other place that basic research should be funded is the Research and Developments laboratories of the private industries. PAEC and PCSIR should be only involved in the development side of technology. If any scientist wants to do basic research he should join university faculty.
Democracy is about empowering the people. People can feel empowerment only if government elected by them is closer to them and can see the effect of its decisions up close. The effectiveness and proper functioning of the government is the main desire of the people. They will change the inefficient government in the next election. In order for the people to monitor the functioning of the government it has to be smaller in size in terms of area and population. As an example consider the country of Kuwait. It has a population of 3 million people including 2 million non-nationals. It has head of the government called Amir, with 14 ministers and a parliament of 50 legislators. It has 6 provinces called governates and each province is divided into districts. Now consider one province of Pakistan: Punjab. It has 81 million population that is equivalent to 27 Kuwaits. Instead of having 27 governments, Punjab has only one. Just one of its districts, Sialkot, has 3.5 million population. Punjab government does not even allow a local government there let alone a self government with an elected head and its own cabinet and subdivided into more districts. It is height of injustice with the people of Pakistan. They are not allowed or trusted to form their own local governments. They are being controlled remotely through appointed administrators as if they are the colonies of the governing few. Our neighboring countries Iran and Afghanistan with a population of 75 and 28 millions have 31 and 34 provinces respectively. A SAARC country, Bhutan with a population of less than one million (700,000) has four provinces and 20 districts. Pakistani people are the least empowered in the whole world. Governing elite gives a minuscule importance to the ability and wisdom of the individuals of this unfortunate nation.
Pakistan should have at least 30 provinces with approximately six million population each. Each province should have a directly elected governor with a legislative assembly of 50 Representatives. Each province should be divided into six districts with a population of one million people each. Present districts and tehsils should be replaced with the new six districts. Every new district should be subdivided into five municipalities with their own local governments.
To be continued......