Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This is where we stand

We in Pakistan are passing through one of the most troubled and turbulent times of our history. After long rule military rules, we have a democratic government and many of us believed that with the setting in of a democratically elected government  there will prevail peace, harmony, justice and above all the rule of law.

But what we have witnessed in the past five years is an eye opener and painful. Instead of a stable and progressive era of our times, we have been thrown backwards with people taking law in their hands, killing rivals on any account and taking the country to the limits of misrule. While militancy has been threatening our daily lives, to this has been added sectarianism and intolerance by rival groups, mostly belonging to the political parties, killing others for point scoring.

Despite tall claims by the government  the rule of law seems far from being implemented and in the process hundreds of innocent have lost their lives for no fault of theirs.

I recently came across a survey by The World Justice Project (WJP), which aims at advancing the rule of law around the world. The report is spread over a voluminous 239 pages and has gone into details to study 97 different countries from around the globe and label their sensitivity to the rule of law and thus the quality of life afforded to their people.

The Group rightly contends that 'Establishing the rule of law is fundamental to achieving communities of opportunity and equity - communities that offer sustainable economic development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights. Without the rule of law, medicines do not reach health facilities due to corruption; women in rural areas remain unaware of their rights; people are killed in poverty." 

And when it comes to Pakistan, its findings are no other than the observation of a common man in the streets who has been victim from the lack of rule of law that prevails in the country for the ordinary. While the rich and powerful get away even when caught red handed in the presence of witnesses and CCTV cameras, it is the poor that suffers.

Summarizing their study on Pakistan, the Group concludes:
"Pakistan shows weaknesses in most dimensions when compared to its regional and income group peers. Low levels of government accountability are compounded by the prevalence of corruption, a weak justice system, and a poor security situation, particularly related to terrorism and crime.
Although as compared to India and Bangladesh, Pakistan sits lower in the judicial independence  still the Group has shown a positive note in its account: 
"The country scores more strongly on judicial independence and fairness in administrative proceedings."

As can be seen above in the table, Pakistan has been rated 97/97 in the domain of security, with India just a notch above. Which means that the state of order and security is equally pathetic, but still countless tourists would prefer going to India than Pakistan.

The disorderly state of our security has made investors and visitors shy away from us. Anyone considering to come to us, has to think twice or even thrice to undertake a hair raising sojourn. Although those who come here take a very different view of us, specially our hospitality and warmheartedness. But they certainly sink when they come across rampant corruption in deals coupled with the precarious security environs. 

The full report can be downloaded in pdf form from HERE for detailed study and future analysis.


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