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Draft the master plan


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Newly elected Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak.—INP Photo
Newly elected Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak.—INP Photo

‘It is never too late to be what you might have been.’ (George Eliot)

Pervez Khattak, who took over as the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the last day of May, 2013, is not a novice to the corridors of power. He has been in politics for decades and, on several occasions, the minister of one important department or the other, including industries and irrigation.

People may forget and forgive Pervez Khattak for how he performed in the past – as they did recently during the general election by returning him both to the national and provincial assemblies, but they will neither forget nor forgive him for what he does in his present stint as the chief executive. Going by the rhetoric that Mr Khattak seems to be using as his most potent weapon, one can only sympathise with him and the party that he has chosen to launch himself anew.

Immediately after assuming the charge of chief minister, Pervez Khattak set himself the herculean task of bringing about a well-pronounced change after ninety days; 29 days have since passed and little to see of the promised change. On June 26, a frail looking, sixty something chief minister was seen sitting at the end of a long table with endless lines of officials on his left and right. He was said to be presiding over a meeting at the end of which it was announced that the officials attending the meeting will submit a new master plan for the betterment of the battered city of Peshawar.

Here is something to change now. Perhaps none of the officials attending the meeting informed the new chief minister about the fate of numerous master plans prepared previously and now hanging on the seeping and decayed walls of Peshawar Development Authority and the Planning & Development Department (P&D) begging attention. They very shrewdly avoided pinning responsibility since the dial would have tilted in their direction.

Since the meeting is also said to have taken stock of the seemingly uncontrollable and uncorrectable traffic in Peshawar and the awful sewage system, the officials attending the meeting did not inform the chief minister what they had been doing so far. These gentlemen must have attended similar meetings in the past where they must have been assigned these tasks which they have failed to carry out if one is to go by the evidence on ground.

The current chief minister was the minister of irrigation for nearly three years during the last government before he quit. During his tenure, the once picturesque canal chain running around and deep within the walled city ran thick with sewerage and filth of indescribable nature with no one paying heed. The canal could have been a great boon for the city and cantonment and it used to be once when it had been conceived and newly laid.

The gentleman who is presently the chief minister’s right arm as his principal secretary was then the secretary irrigation department. Since he could not deliver then, the chief justice of Peshawar High Court had to take notice of it, ordering cleaning of the canal. The orders are pending to be carried out.

Pervez Khattak must realise before it is too late that he can only order; the men who have to carry out the orders are the same and that is something he can fix only with great pain. He must set himself realistic goals that can be achieved by his team of officials who with their lackadaisical performances have failed many governments before him. Mr Khattak cannot uproot Peshawar and install a new city in its place in ninety days. Also, if he could, he should put an end to the horde of brief-cases clutching consultants descending on KP’s metropolis, from Punjab’s citadel of Lahore, getting briefings from Peshawar’s officialdom and leaving their own home-cooked panaceas to cure the rotten system, called bureaucracy. Please be sure that in their zeal to invent a “Naya Pakistan”, these consultants do not end of dismantling the whole system at the expense of creating jobs for themselves.

And he and his political master, the cricket star of yore, Mr Imran Khan would do a world of good to their image if they avoid setting and announcing deadlines. The clock is already clicking on holding local bodies elections in 90 days, of which 26 days have passed with the local government having no clue if and when would these be held.

Upon leaving office, Haider Hoti had thanked his team of bureaucrats profoundly for extending him support. Pervez Khattak must ask himself what kind of support was that which routed Hoti’s party in the election? Not for his tall talking and showering unsolicited and unqualified praise on his officials, but for putting the right cogs in the right wheels will Mr Khattak be remembered.

Comments (19) Closed

Jehangir Jun 28, 2013 03:31pm

A very balanced analysis and good advice therein.

The media has been doing a great job scrutinizing the role of the top management in the government i.e ministers, cheif ministers etc. But i personally think the media should start also start highlighting the performance of these "bureaucrats" and their failures in the past. The bureaucrats do have certain leverage on the government which can be countered only by constructive and positive criticism by the media.

Else, we'll have new ministers trying to control the old bureaucracy, but with the same results.

Good work Ismail Khan. Please continue to keep your analysis unbiased and educational for us public. We are relying on you all!

Ulhaq Jun 28, 2013 06:11pm

ibtidaa-e-ish hai rota hai kiyaa..aagay aagay daikh-i-yay hota hai kiyaa..Good luck PTI!!

Dr Wequar Jun 28, 2013 06:36pm

Question raised by the writer is very relevant. It will be a herculean task for the new CM. He is playing on an old field with same players.

As captain of the team it will be better if he takes up a few important subjects,one of which should be law and order situation, and next anything he deems important to the city, and makes an honest and forceful thrust to deliver. As said the "proof of the pudding------"; Only time will show what he can deliver. We can only pray.

M Aslam Jun 28, 2013 06:41pm

To get any result from PTI, one should wait for atleast 17 years. For the promises they made to do in 90 days, they already starting to extend to 5-10 years.

Babar Jun 28, 2013 06:53pm

The probability of being changed at age 72 is very low, KPK CM has been in the assemblies for several decades. He has not delivered anything in his political career, This CM has no vision, he has been elected PM by pure luck , he never even dreamed for CM post, If he is the best team of PTI then PML(N) is much better choice even PPP has an edge over PTI. In first 30 days PTI has not taken any concrete steps for 'Naya Pakistan' in KPK.

Mohammad Nasr Ullah Jun 28, 2013 09:58pm

The starting point to deliver anything is planning and assigning timelines for deliverables. The writer seems to be oblivious of that fact and suggesting that PTI should stop giving timelines. What kind of thinking process is this?? I guess the writer is still living in the old school of thought and doesn't believe that Pakistani's are capable of delivering a Naya Pakistan. It is commonly said that "once there is a will there is a way" and we all need to show a lot of will & support to deliver plans for the development of Pakistan and not just demotivating talk by writing a critique that has no substance!!

Ali Jun 28, 2013 10:41pm

Imran Khan is a man of vision & capability to make sure what is executed is the plan under a vision. He already has put in place the required Deming Cycle for quality. Plan Do Check & Act cycle. for proper implementation, it would entail monitoring, measuring, reviewing progress is according to the established goals. IK just came out of the rehab & recovery, so give him a breathing room of few more day, you will see the every proper management of processes. Imran Khan is a man of track record, degree from a university, where your acceptance is an indicator of special abilities. People with special credentials are able to make it to schools like Oxford, Harvard, MIT, University of Chicago & many of IVY leagues.

Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi Jun 29, 2013 04:14am

Thanks for an analytical view of KPK government. KPK government is not just watched by the media but also by die-hard PTI loyalist who wants to ensure that our government live upto the expectations.

You saw one example of it when CM Khattak had to apologize for the use of state helicopter and reimbursement of fuel expenses. IK has announced that an independent ihtasab committee will be established to ensure good governance is delivered. And all government contracts will be disclosed on KPK web site for public viewing and transparency.

Yes the clock is ticking and we are aware of it.

makhdoom Jun 29, 2013 09:39am

plz,,,,no pessimism

Jawad Afridi Jun 29, 2013 12:16pm

Imran Khan should give space to Pervaiz Khattak. IK lives in a world of idealism. Shahbaz Sharif is exercising his own power whereas Mr. Khattak has to seek permission from IK even to attend bathroom. Bureaucracy is evil but consultants are more evil. One fine morning consultants will fly away and PTI will be washout like ANP. They have to change all the old people in bureaucracy........Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners , Secretaries.............they are good for nothing

Ahmed Saeed Jun 29, 2013 12:45pm

CM Pervez Khattak will prove to be a failure. IK has to review his decision of keeping him as CM. The man is well versed with the system of politics but unfortunately like others has no stamina to deliver. He may be using the rhetoric of IK but on ground things are quite different. He neither enjoys dynamism nor the charisma to turn KP into a progressive and welfare province.

Abu Jun 29, 2013 04:18pm

@Jawad Afridi: Did Pervez Khattack got permission from IK to use Helicopter for his friend's son's marriage? He must have a common sense that he is going for a private function, and he has NO RIGHT whatsoever to use public funds.

eskay Jun 29, 2013 07:34pm

I hope Imran Khan and Pervez Khattak have read this article and taking it seriously.

Ali Jun 29, 2013 10:00pm

Advise to Pervez Khattak: Use Continual Service Approach, it would be too risky to design the entire services Ab Intio. Monitor & measure existing services & processes to validate the previous decisions. Everything decision may not be wrong. Look at the positive & negative changes in the existing key performance indicators. Do the current state assessment, sketch the processes used to deliver the services. Identify if the where the sequence needs to be changed, where you see waste of time & money. Change the process on the map. Justify with factual evidence or proof that a course of action is required Along the process, identify the point of intervention, including subsequent changes & corrective actions.

Maqsood Ahmed Jun 29, 2013 10:06pm

I do not see any promising steps taken by PTI on any level so far nor any viable planning on its part for the near or future, the leadership seems to be lost in the whirlwinds of politics.

IK party had some kind of elected bodies on provincial levels but now they are MIA and does not seem to have any say about any thing at any level. IK has to do everything himself because no one else seems to be out there in the party to accomplish a thing.

Where would be this party after 100 days? I believe, this party will come home sooner than expected. Home is the place where it belongs to.

Asim Malik Jun 29, 2013 11:26pm

@Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi: Great point.

zulmai khan Jun 30, 2013 09:46am

Very intersting and well analysed. The problem is not just in KP but its a nation's psyche that everything has to be fixed by the governament. Population as a whole have no concept of its own responsibilities toward its own country. Yes if there is a will, there is a way. Let arrange a study tour of Tokyo or infact any city in South Korea or China for the so called consultants and a dozen of ordinary random selected citizens from all field of life. Show them how ordinary citizen build their own cities and to keep them clean and inhitable. Unfortunatly the speed with which population is growning with no infrastructure, be it IK or PK would not be able to fix it in 90 years, the challange is hard but not impossible.

ubaidkhan Jun 30, 2013 11:03am

cm sir new pakistan tu nhe mila but sir kpk ko new kar k deklo inshAllah her 5 saal bad ap logo k he hokmat aye gi.and sir please vist to swabi.

abdul samad khalil Jun 30, 2013 03:41pm

Imran khan must have chosen a young PTI cadet to lead CM KPK post.No doubt about PK sahib but problem is his ailing health.If PTI want real change they have to fix the rotten bureaucracy which is mother of all problems.From SHO,to commissioners and secretaries who are chained mafia villans must be dealt with iron hand.These are the real venomous snakes who vigorously bites the people will through their shrewd tactics.They must be given time to deliver and mend their corrupt practices so that slogan of Naya pakistan becomes a reality.From irrigation,to communication and works,planning and developement ,education and health must be given targets and an environment of competition must be assailed in them to deliver,if they didn't pack them homes.We need selected people on merit but not the elected cahoots.