IN the last caretaker government, Dr Sania Nishtar held charge of portfolios of science and technology, information technology, and telecommunications. During her short period in office, she succeeded in creating a health division at the federal level.

This achievement might seem out of line with her portfolios, but not so when one considers that the last government passed the 18th Amendment rather hastily, transferring health and education to provinces without seriously considering the fate of health and education in the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas.

According to the interim minister, during the first few weeks she got briefing from officials of ministries and found how facts were distorted and twisted. She moved some suggestions in her handing over note for her successors. The minister claimed to have sown seeds for reforms and much needed (and hyped) change.

She set a good example by giving her views on the shortcomings, inadequacies, and mischievousness in the performance of duties by officials of ministries.

It is beyond comprehension why politicians and the vibrant media instead of talking about petty things do not debate about issues such as those identified by Dr Sania?

It is feared that the handing over note of the minister containing valuable suggestions with regard to reforms in the flawed system would eventually find its way to the dust-bins of ministers or secretaries.

The media ought to focus on the contents of the proposal moved by Dr Sania in order to create awareness among the public so that the document submitted by her does not go to waste.

The prime minister may also convince his ministers about the need to consider the suggestions and follow the path to good governance carved by the interim minister.

RAJA SHAFAATULLAH
Islamabad

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