THIS is with reference to the letter ‘Undue interventions’ (Feb 15) which asserted that the colonial setup was the sole reason behind the politicisation of bureaucracy in Pakistan. This is far from being refutable. But the buck does not stop at identifying the cause; one needs a solution to this corrosive behaviour. In general, our academics and analysts tend to focus too much on issues and not on their solutions.
India got the same society as well as administrative structures as we did, but now it has shattered almost all the bottlenecks that were hampering its growth towards being a regional power so that it may go further up the ladder to spar with the likes of China and the United States. The real pain on our part is having to learn from India as to what it did that we failed to do.
Briefly, India has a vibrant democ-ratic setup that makes it hard for the political elite to suppress locals and expect a vote in return. There is no ‘establishment’ to hound votes for political parties. Besides, India, in its desire to make bureaucracy neutral, has introduced comprehensive reforms in civil services right from the categories of subject selection to the examination itself that focusses on selecting only the upright and the talented.
Further, Indian entrepreneurs in association with district administrators have introduced technical solutions even before the technology could do something useful in the Western world. A recent example is the use of ChatGPT to link uneducated farmers with city councils.
This is how India overpowered structural inefficiencies that we have sadly failed to eliminate at our end.
Muhammad Arslan Mehmood
Toba Tek Singh
Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2023
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