Changing status quo

1730

PRIME Minister Imran Khan has once again described status quo as the biggest challenge facing the PTI Government, adding that the country cannot be run effectively under the old and worn out system. Talking to federal secretaries and chief secretaries of provinces in Islamabad on Tuesday, he said traditional style of governance will have to be changed to ensure welfare of the people.
This was long overdue interaction of the Prime Minister with secretaries, who had, with the passage of time, developed serious apprehensions about the atmosphere in which they are working at the moment because of fallout of the process of accountability. There were reports that they were looking towards important personalities for resolution of their grievances. It was in this backdrop that the Prime Minister conveyed to top bureaucrats that his government does not believe in political pressure on bureaucracy and that a policy governing tenure of secretaries has been evolved to give them a sense of security so that they work in a relax and confident manner. This is important if the Government is serious in actual implementation of its agenda of change as bureaucracy is the implementing machinery and no policy, programme and vision can succeed without sincere cooperation of bureaucracy. Non-appointment of regular heads of important departments and organizations as well as frequent reshuffle of secretaries runs contrary to the objective of good governance. No doubt, bureaucracy should be made accountable but there must be an end to the sense of persecution and victimization on political considerations and unfounded allegations. The Prime Minister is giving targets to the ministries but achievement of those goals is deeply linked to continuation of their administrative heads during periods of implementation of important schemes and projects and removal of their sense of insecurity so that they can take decisions on merit without any fear or favour. Change of status quo is possible only if you take all the stakeholders along and uphold merit above all other considerations. So far, there is general impression that no positive change in the lives of the people is visible, rather their difficulties have increased due to rising inflation, joblessness, corruption and unpredictable environment. Improvement in political atmosphere is a pre-requisite for success of the reforms agenda, otherwise the authorities will have to retreat as was witnessed in the case of documentation of economy.