Governance and accountability

By: Asem Mustafa Awan

Prime Minister Imran Khan in his heart-to-heart talk with the public via telephone addressed many issues, which directly and indirectly relate to the masses and their wellbeing. This approach of public socializing is appreciated by the masses as the announced number to contact the PM directly through busy but is accessible.

While talking to the Prime Minister in person people take pride in speaking their heart out and the Prime Minister patiently listens to them besides directing the concerned officials to take necessary as well as prompt action.

The sad part is that the problems are of a very minor nature and could have been resolved at a very low level of administration instead of consuming the precious time of the country’s chief executive. But finding the system so problematic and cumbersome the people have lost hope and they try their luck with the direct access to the Prime Minister through telephone in a live telecast.

Prime Minister while taking the calls made it clear to the people, the decades of corruption by the previous regimes have made things next to impossible. All political big wigs have usurped national wealth in one way or the other. The majority of the political elite in Pakistan have inquiries pending against them in different courts and there are both criminal and civil suits.

Khan while jotting down the complaints noted that over the years people hired by the corrupt leaders through corrupt practices have been the real root cause of all the ills. Corrupt elements are certainly powerful. There are many people who have ruled in the past. Their contacts and affiliations are with law enforcement, justice and anti-corruption agencies. Almost every notable opposition leader has been charged with money laundering, misappropriation of funds and abuse of power. The government has appointed an accountability adviser to expedite cases against those accused of corruption. To keep the accountability process uncontroversial, he announced that the work of NAB and other investigative agencies would not be interfered with. The government has appointed dozens of spokespersons who reiterate the PTI’s commitment to accountability. The opposition has repeatedly said that the PTI government is making cases based on political revenge. Political rivals had an opportunity to say the cases against them as political revenge. There is no doubt that the financial affairs of many opposition leaders are not transparent but when the Prime Minister himself says that the accountability of the opposition is his main struggle then his opponents will have a chance to say that the government is on the path of political revenge in the name of accountability. There was no need for this kind of dialogue and controversies over accountability. Inflation is an issue that has never been controlled by the government. During its tenure so far prices of everything have gone up and up. It is only a matter of effective management and supervision in which the government has failed. It transpires that the accountability is just one part of the governance not the whole of it and constant talk about accountability could not suffice lack of governance evident in terms of inflation.

The writer is a Special Correspondent at The Dayspring