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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Governance System


Systems of Governance:
                                        For The Cause That Lacks Assistance!
For The Wrong That Needs Resistance!
And For The Good That We Can Do!
Imagine holding an entire Nation hostage to mediocrity! A former IGP of Punjab, Sardar Mohammad Chaudhry, has termed Pakistan’s Governance as “The Ultimate Crime” in his book by the same name. When the Population reaches critical mass and living conditions reach deprivation on a large enough scale, something is bound to give! The Media revolution and resultant instant access to information will leverage this reaction and intensify emotions very swiftly. It is not necessary to dwell over long on the negative aspects of the State of Society! Rather a suggested adequate response to 21st Century AD challenges and opportunities is being presented.
Pakistan’s current Economic situation and obsession with International Funding Institutions (IFIs) is an ongoing dilemma. The Pakistan Government and its critics fail to take into account that the problem lies in failing to conceptualize a complete picture of our real economic situation. To reject positive Macroeconomic Indicators because Microeconomic Indicators show a negative trend, on the part of economic policy critics, and a refusal to implement Microeconomic Management Policies on the part of the Government, due to incompetence of Line Managers, displays a fractured rather than a holistic view. It is by careful balancing of both imperatives that we can successfully steer clear of the rapids and bring the Ship of State to a safe haven of prosperity. To criticize without presenting viable alternates is reprehensible to say the least. Additionally it must be recognized that Macroeconomic reform is a prerequisite to Microeconomic Management. The framework and foundations need to be clearly defined and strongly established before Microeconomic Management can be affected. All this is, in turn, gravely affected by Political; Social and increasingly Religious scenarios that deeply impact economic policies and render them ineffective. The Washington Consensus – economic reform should be recognized as an attempt to shore up an economy that fails to achieve dynamism. It is not, by itself an all purpose cure. In fact it can be described as an attempt to push Pakistan’s economy into a Client State rather than a Producer State. However, it must be recognized that it is a better direction than that of a “Most Unfortunate State”, described as one where there is no dearth of Natural and Human Resources but little positive utilization and a complete refusal to communicate solutions to everyday economic problems to the “bewildered poor”.
Sensationalism may be a gimmick to attract attention but it is negative and valueless. Pakistan is not fraught with factionalism, poverty and religious tension! This is an armchair and Newspaper account description of Pakistan. The Grass Roots reality is thankfully quite the opposite. The root cause of dissatisfaction and tension is lack of economic opportunities; positive development oriented leadership and management and a restrictive social setup. The superficial outward indicators arise from goods and services of very poor supply both in quantity and quality. This is further compounded by a complete lack of equity and justice. These root causes lead to external indicators such as factionalism and religious extremism. Once a clear “Way Ahead” and positive outcomes, however trivial, are provided these negative trends soon melt away and the basic and inherent good of the Pakistani people as well as their talents, abilities and general good cheer soon comes to the surface. I state this from practical experience as the Chairman for a triple ‘A’ (Appropriate, adaptive and applied) R&D NGO for Rural development and Urban Rehabilitation, with field experience of 25 years covering a large part of Rural Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, from “Makran to Muzaffarabad.”
A complete rejection of the effectiveness and focus of International Assistance is hardly fair and fails to take into account the many facilities that have accrued from International Assistance. The Green Revolution is an outstanding Case in point. Pakistan would have faced starvation and resultant extreme deprivation without this intervention. It is we who are to blame; across the board corruption by most individuals and even Institutions who have had an opportunity; the Line Managers for incompetence and corruption; the political leaders for lack of vision and nepotism; the business leaders and Captains of Industry for exploitation; the poor record of our educators; the delusions of pocket Napoleons; the egocentric psychosis of megalomaniac wannabe ‘leaders’  and most of all religious exploitation for economic gain on the part of so called Religious Leadership. All this has contributed to result in a very tense and volatile Socio-Political situation. However, this situation can be positively glvanized given Vision, Dedication and honesty of purpose.
Privatization of Industry and Institutions as well as Downsizing of Government is not a cause for unemployment. What was a niche for incompetence placed by nepotism as a parasitical relationship cannot be glorified as a source for employment at the cost of productivity and a merit oriented upward mobility, which is a key to Western Societies development.
Pakistan’s unequal distribution of wealth linked with discriminatory access to quality education is a grave injustice prevalent in Pakistani Society. This factor linked with vested and exploitive interests of Particular Interest Groups are the primary factors for Degeneration in Society and the pervasive chokehold of veritable mafias in almost each and every sector and class of Pakistan’s Socio-Religious-Politico-Economic life.
Strict implementation of Labor Laws and the right to form associations, albeit carefully regulated, to prevent exploitation in Private Banks; Basic Economy Generation as well as more efficient and decentralized Power Production including proper utilization of Alternate energy sources in place of subsidies are a few examples of positive and constructive criticism. The removal by distance of INGOs and differences in culture as well as attitude towards life are major hindrances towards affecting a solution to the World’s problems. Of course a different culture and social setup that has achieved dominance will view internal tensions within a backwards and degenerated as well as exploitive society with a big difference in perspective. Added to this is the Dialectic Materialism as opposed to Egalitarian Focus of Society that presently cleaves Western and Eastern Society in general and true Islam in particular.  On the other hand a wounded and hopefully temporarily exhausted civilization that is closer to Reality, even if through inaction, will perforce have a different World View. Collusion with Corrupt leadership to entrap an entire Nation in order to achieve Geo-Political dominance will automatically generate anomalies that cannot be solved through treating perceived policies. Rather the root cause needs to be addressed!
This is certainly not an attack upon Western Society, the vast majority of decent, caring and sharing humanity that constitutes the “Silent Majority” that exists within each and every Society, in every nook and corner of the inhabited World, one that spans every class and segment of society is the preferred divide as opposed to the cunning and vicious, reptilian consciousness driven individuals and groups that conspire to achieve dominion. in order to satisfy their lower selves, who are the real enemy. They exist in every place and have throughout history tried to snatch away the fruits of the human labor and the endowments of Nature in order to fulfill narrow and selfish aims.
We need a balanced and rational approach infused with dynamism that incorporates innovation and either supports; releases or taps the tremendous talents and skills that lie buried within the hearts and minds of the Pakistani People. “Lead, Follow or Get out of the Way” for ushering in Prosperity rather than merely targeting Poverty Eradication. Alleviation or Mitigation
The World is beset by a number of problems, not the least of which are: Hunger; Extreme poverty; Malnourishment; Illiteracy; Poor health and sanitary conditions; Degraded Ecosystems; Burgeoning populations; Dwindling and degraded Natural Resources; Vanishing Biodiversity; Deforestation; Global Warming/ Climate Crash; Gross pollution of the Atmosphere and Ground Water; Crime and desperation.
Aggressive and vigorous action needs to be taken at all levels in order to ward off the great dangers that we are faced with. The state of affairs in the Green Sector is positively not sustainable! At the present rate we will have completely degraded and/ or exhausted our Renewable Natural Resources within a matter of a decade or two. The tremendous population pressure that we are exerting will soon reach crisis proportions. The era of beg and borrow is now almost at a close. It is a great shame that when there is plenty of scope for improvement and enhancement, we are forced to face a situation of need and scarcity. It is not my intention to expose our National Dirty Linen in Public. The tale is too well known to bear repeating. The causes of this situation are myriad and are beyond the scope of the present effort. However, the cures to some of the physical manifestations are presented for consideration. No claims to excellence are made; rather, an effort has been made to gather a bouquet of treatment. The effort towards Devolution was a step in the right direction and should have been supported to its logical conclusion. Vested interests may hide behind a screen of campaigning for Provincial Rights and declaring scarcity of capacity within Districts to be a limiting factor rendering them incapable of being masters of their own fates. An appeal is made to all right thinking individuals to cast aside the veils of prejudice and self-interest and take into account the sorry state of the environment and the fact that over 50 % of our population is faced with malnutrition! If this was a condition that was inescapable, it could be borne with resignation. When there is plenty of room for improvement and only a matter of getting our act together under visionary leadership, it is a crying shame!
A serious attempt to make a diagnosis in order to arrive at a cure is definitely the first step towards recovery. Therefore, in order to achieve complete recovery the diagnosis must surely itself be complete and the prescription offered must be effective.
Take into account the fact that despite being guilty of self inflicted wounds, our society is never the less subject to innumerable conspiracies that take advantage of our weakness and herd us towards situations that are in consonance with the designs and aims of these conspirators. As such they cannot be discounted but rather have to be included in our diagnosis. Is it not possible, as held by some responsible members of society, that due to “the long history of dictatorships, we have developed a strong culture for conspiracy theories” can read that as a result of long history of conspiracy, we have developed a strong culture for dictatorship!
It is important to first reveal as to who is referred to as ‘we’. Which part or whole of our society can be included in this mythical proactive ‘we’? Do we include the dispossessed; marginalized and exploited yet silent majority, desperate for some small modicum of relief in the never ending battle for survival and subsistence? Is the ‘we’ all inclusive or is it the exclusive and elitist few that are the real actors who determine the course that is set for the Nation to steer by?
Is it not possible that the root cause rests upon the failure to establish or rebuild a vibrant and home made ethos that would drive us towards progress? The present dispensation is that of a dying colonial establishment assailed by the masses that were recognized and empowered as a direct response to the socialist agenda of a political party and is this not the real power base of that party? The exclusive right, itself divided between so called religious, conservative middle class; feudals; industrialists and westernized elite hobbling together to pursue conflicting special interests, fails to attain majority without vested interest support at the ballot.
If we are to “fix responsibility” and   “understand why we are where we are” it is important to first understand where we are in the first place! The social order of yesteryear consisted of the degenerated remnants of feudal imperialism subject to colonialism whose successors, the economic neo-colonial imperialists, won the Second World War. The evolved social context was that of rigidly stratified yet self reliant microcosms existing within a survival of the strongest and most ruthless milieu. With increasing awareness and the opening out of economic opportunities, this framework broke down to create a disjointed free for all attempting to attain personal self-reliance. In order to attain some form of a harmonious whole we turned towards the model of British parliamentary system at National and Provincial levels. With failure to attain National or Provincial self-reliance the experiment of Local Bodies was tried out twice and on both occasions on the behest of Military Leaders trying for some semblance of National cohesion, ostensibly to devolve governance to local self-governance, surely a contradiction in terms! The truism that any system is as good or as bad as the people who run it, overwhelms the intrinsic efficacy or otherwise of any system.
            I strongly believe that the best leaders are those who after they depart the people say “we did it”, the ‘it’ being progress and prosperity. This transient personality and dynasty based leadership, subject to delusional visions and messiah complexes on the part of leadership can only serve or disserve in accordance with their inherent ability or lack thereof. True development can only come about if the skill and drive of the people is tapped and channelized in accordance with a vision that is mutually acceptable by all involved or affected. 
            The promise of “freedom, democracy, prosperity, and social justice in accordance with the principles of Islam that galvanized the Muslims of South Asia to launch (the) Pakistan movement” followed by “strong civil and military bureaucracy hijacked the state as political institutions were weak and in early formative stage.”
            In order to attain the promise and eschew hijacking, which must include corrupt politicians, we need to consider the following. Should we not resolve the choice between westernized elitism and traditional culture? Will this step not include the vast majority of our populace who may have better leadership; vision; solutions etc. that could be tapped to achieve progress and prosperity? Secondly, can we establish Local Self-Governance at the Grass roots level that is the Village or Mohallah and not the Union and District Council level as touted by the late regime? In order to avoid replicating the divisive and competitive system of first past the post rule of the largest minority as a practical result of the democracy as practiced by us that is a masquerade for oligarchy or the rule of the rich, with Page-Rank Algorithm Social Network analysis that uncovers the ‘nexus of trust’ by highlighting the ‘flow-betweeness’ of individuals within a social network. This would quite easily avoid the self aggrandizement, abhorrent to the principles of Islam, with a rehabilitated and rationalized, egalitarian Panchayat/ Jirga system whose leaders are replaced by more deeply representative members who do not compete or vie for leadership? Can we engage in a dialogue to weigh the pros and cons of an alternate system that seeks to replace the exploitive structure with a truly participative and empowered local self-reliance? Given a workable mechanism and framework can we rethink our ‘Taqleedi” development with rational measures in consonance with our peculiar circumstances, culture, identity and history? Can we not establish a response to current challenges and imperatives based upon a rational development of Islamic society that would have been emplaced if it was not subverted by opportunists, plagues and external forces? Do we have to go through the rigors of re-evolving a modern society by repeating the mistakes of others? Do we change the system or just the faces?
Ah, Love! Could thou and I with Fate conspire?
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire!
Would not we shatter it to bits-and then.
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!
Omar Khayyam.
Urgent Attention!
            The impotent efforts on the behalf of the Ecological Preservation proponents are not enough to stem the tide of oblivion that threatens to engulf the sordid remains of what is a noble attempt on the part of Nature to bring Order to Chaos. What can an ordinary Citizen do in the face of Vested short-term interests and pressure groups fuelled by black money often made by the immoral proceeds of activities that are directly contributing to the very problems enlisted above?
Over the years Governments and Politicians have contributed in well intentioned schemes that have failed to have maximum impact and have resulted in a great deal of waste and indebtedness. More emphasis has been placed upon infrastructure than economy generation. Opportunities and jobs have not been created. Resources have been over-exploited.
Problem Areas
It might be pertinent to enlist the underlying problem areas that have to be concentrated upon in order to overcome the very real threat of Eco Disaster! Subsistence, non-irrigated agriculture is the rule rather than exception. Use of unstabilized fertilizers in inefficient manner is causing atmospheric pollution, below grade water pollution. The use of canal water from dams is the direct cause of secondary salinization and sudden decline in fruit trees and is raising soil pH, thereby restricting available nutrient uptake by the plants Soils are depleted and yields are low. Poor cultural practices and lack of storm water drainage contribute to loss of precious topsoil in large quantities every year. Forests are heavily exploited and not sustainable at less than 4% of the area. Infrastructure in the shape of roads is less than sufficient and usually in a state of disrepair. Water supply is mostly self-arranged; this is usually a burdensome task. A few schemes in the area provide water to the doorsteps of about 30 % of the inhabitants. Springs and running streams are available but highly polluted. Recharging of shallow aquifers is slow and restricted. The area is increasingly facing water scarce months and lower rainfall in one of the two seasons that formerly prevailed, i.e. delayed winter rains. Electricity is practically unavailable to most households due to load-shedding and line losses/ inefficiency/dishonesty. Sanitation if present though not hooked up to central or efficient systems even in Islamabad. Solid and liquid waste is a major pollutant. Poor maintenance standards of vehicles available to commuters are causing air pollution by emission of toxic fumes. Schools and Basic Health Units are lacking in facilities and under-staffed, both in qualitative and quantitative terms. Livestock is poor in quality and exerts pressure upon the existing resources. Local inhabitants resort to clearing of trees and burning of grass at particular seasons, to ensure more availability of grass to their ruminants. This grass is usually harvested in winter to supply winter-feed. Thus, overall, rural infrastructure is poor. However, rudimentary infrastructure does exist but is poorly maintained and grossly under-utilized.
The above factors need elaboration to bring home their importance. The Petro-Based Economy seems to be the root cause of many of our problems. Degradation of the Eco-System; Global Warming and Pollution of the Atmosphere and possibly Climate Crash leading to a return of the Ice Age can be directly attributed to the Petro-based Economy. The Geo Strategic maneuvering of the 21st Century is very much hinged upon the control of dwindling Oil Resources. The ugly faces of religious differences and racialism are mere window dressing to the actual reasons of conflict in the Middle East, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and soon Central Asia. Entirely too much desperation and suffering results from the callous pursuit of materialism, which reaps a bonanza of material returns by fuelling the Armaments industry, that most criminal of human activities! A small fraction of the expense undertaken at preserving their hold upon Oil Sources would adequately pay by seeking breakthroughs in Solar, Fuel cell, Ethanol, Methane, Thermal and other sources of low-cost power. Water, the most precious resource is estimated to be short by 40% by the year 2025 as, according to the UN, 3 billion people or 40% of the World’s projected population will be facing acute and chronic water shortages. Recycling; Desalination; Water Harvesting; Aquifer Recharging; Lined Channels and Drains; Conservation Irrigation and a host of other measures will have to be taken in order to curtail the deleterious affects of water shortages. Food is yet another source for major concern. As according to the World Bank, per capita acreage of cultivated land supporting food production dropped by almost 50% between 1961 and 1997. It is projected that by the year 2050 this figure will fall further by 40% or more. Already around 800 hundred million people go hungry every day with more than half of them severely malnourished. Intensive food production with higher and better quality produce is the only recourse for a hungry and desperate world. The Bio-Technology revolution, with stringent checks and balances, is more than likely to provide a solution to this critical problem. That is provided that rationalism and egalentarism prevail over materialism, whether dialectic or otherwise. Sanitation is essential to continued and healthy existence. What manner of civilization will tolerate the constant degradation of its biome? Solid and Liquid Waste can be readily treated by the Biotechnology Tools at our command today. It is imperative that resources and technologies are marshaled in order to stop further befouling of the nest that supports our existence. Bioenvironmental Management, the absence of which is deemed a problem, is capable of providing an amazing range of solutions to most of these problems. Hunger; Extreme Poverty; Malnourishment; Poor Health and Sanitary Conditions; Degraded Ecosystems; Dwindling Natural Resources; Vanishing Biodiversity; Deforestation; Global Warming; and Gross pollution of the Atmosphere and Ground Water. Population Control is obviously a number one priority for any rational human being. The proponents of religious intervention with claims of divine intervention are simply too absurd to be considered as a barrier to achieving some semblance of control over a problem that eats into whatever advances are made to support its growing demands by rapidly increasing that demand to outstrip supply. The Holy Quran states “They are themselves the perpetuators and yet they say the Allah (SWT) has done it! And Allah (SWT) is swift in Punishment (Sareeh ul Iqab)! Health is obviously a highly prized and valued adjunct to life itself. Bio Medical and Natural remedies to old and new man made problems in the health field are very much a possibility. Literacy is so basically important for fulfilling the inherent talents and latent possibilities within humanity that it should be a crime to deprive anyone the right to a basic education. Ask most people today if they have heard of “Naimat-e-Abdi”, “Sarmadi” or Naimat-e-Uzma”; “Quwattat-e-Moassara” whether positive or negative; Tawajjuh-e-Muntaqilla” and they will reply in the negative. Yet these are the very aims of what humanity should strive for. This is a direct result of abandoning our own Culture, traditions and Divine Guidance! What we have emplaced is a system that is unaware of the latent potential inherent within Mankind!   Equal Opportunities are vital to a healthy and thriving society. No social system can bear the strains of bondage and slavery for too long a period without crashing down upon the heads of unjust and exploitative society. The very secret to dynamism is upwards mobility and equal opportunities afforded to most of the population. Justice is perhaps the single most important factor that needs urgent consideration and constant attention. It is justice to Nature to institute Bioenvironmental Management; it is justice to provide equal opportunities and a share of essential commodities to each and every living organism that inhabits the Globe. It is justice that fuels and propels humanity towards excellence and prosperity. Exploitation and deprivation must be made things of a shameful past that needs to be buried before it buries humanity The Current Financial State of the common man and women is perhaps best illustrated by the cost of living versus income. Annual Estimated Expenses of an average HH of 7 Members Rs. 2,66,189. Annual Estimated Income of an average HH Rs. 1,55,800. Difference between Expense and Income: Rs. 1,10,389.
Annual Estimated Expenses of an average HH of 7 Members(Rs.)
#
Item
Unit
Unit Price
Total Consumption (Kg)
Total Expenditures
1
Flour
22 Ounce/ Person/Day
650/kg
1757
57,104
2
Ghee
120 gram/ Person/Day
200/kg
306.6
61,320
3
Pulses
75 gram /person/Day
150/kg
191.6
28,740
4
Rice
250 gram /Person/day
95/kg
175
16,625
5
Sugar
140 gram/ Person/Day
54/kg
350
18,900
6
Clothes
Two suits/year
750/suit
14 suits
10,500
7
Medical
Lump Sum
15,000
8
Utilities
Lump Sum
3,000
9
Tea
Lump Sum
6,000
10
Spices
Lump Sum
4,000
11
Milk
Lump Sum
20,000
12
Transport
Lump Sum
25,000
Total
2,66,189

Annual Estimated Income of an average HH (Rs.)
#
Item
Unit
Unit Price
Monthly Income
Total annual Income
1
Labor
Daily wages
250
6,250
75,000
2
Dairy
2.5 kg/day
50
3,750
45,000
3
Poultry
6 eggs/day
5
900
10,800
4
Livestock Sale
Cow/ Goat
25,000 
Total
1,55,800

Household Income and Expenditure Annual Gap  2,66,189 – 155,800 = 1,10,389

The Actors: The people who fall into the categories of users, managers and regulators of the usage of Natural Resources may be classified as follows: Local Communities: The Local Communities that inhabit the area delimited as a Village or Mohallah Council, may be sub classified as: Land-less households with members engaged in labor or service, either locally or outside the area. Next, some Land owning small to medium households with members supplementing incomes by resorting to labor, service or small retail business, either locally or outside the area. Then there exists perhaps a large land holding household or two with members supplementing incomes by resorting to service mostly outside the area. These households consist of 6 to 8 members roughly evenly balanced between the two sexes; the three age groups vary as most in the young and roughly even in the middle and old age groups with a slight bias towards the middle age group. Education ranges from scarce in the older age groups and increases as age decreases. Quite a few households contain Middle to Intermediate qualified young men and women. Higher education is not absent but consists mainly of non-technical degrees. A sense of deprivation and frustration prevails due to high cost of living and lack of access to facilities, employment, credit and opportunities. All this has led to erosion of social cohesiveness and a sense of rivalry and competition is prevalent. Intolerance and hostility are growing with increasing economic and social pressures. The poorest of the poor have been ignored and marginalized.
Local Administration:  This is based outside the Villages or Mohallahs in the District Administration.  The Devolution Plan called for Village/ Mohallah Development Councils and Citizens Community Boards operating within Union Councils consisting of elected Councilors from amongst males, females and minorities.  The next tier consisted of Union Councils leading on to Tehsil and District Councils. In case of single Tehsil Districts, like   Abbottabad, this third tier was absent.  Particular Interest Groups mostly dominated these Councils. This is truer for the higher tiers.  Members were supposed to man Citizen’s Community Boards and Village/ Mohallah Development Councils. This is the immediate target group in so far as administration is concerned. 
Union Councilors.  Capacities were low and skills were absent. Interaction and cooperation was poor.  Responsibility was not taken and balancing forces quickly curbed and blunted initiatives.   Meager resources were wasted and miss-spent and facilities were under-utilized.   Non-productive pursuits and a general free for all in exploitation was the order of the day.  
Provincial & Federal Governments: The tier of Government that has had the most say in development and governance, through most of the existence of Pakistan, has been Provincial. Direct Central control has been exercised over them for many of these years. However, actual day-to-day implementation has fallen to the functionaries of the Provincial Governments and through them, to the Line Departments. At the Federal level a few National bodies like WAPDA, PTCL and NHA and some Regional bodies implementing Projects are playing their roles. Various Federal Ministries, Senators, as well as MPs of Provincial and National Assemblies and their associates have had their roles to play as well. Technical know-how and competence is greater and some notable attempts have been made to manfully cope with a situation in development, fraught with extraneous pressures.
Development Agencies/ NGOs: A growing number of Development Agencies and NGOs are very much evident in the Rural Areas. These are usually not locally based or even locally staffed. Social Mobilization, Women’s Development, Micro Credit and Enterprise, Human Resource Development/ Capacity building, Small Projects Implementation and Natural Resource Management are some of their more significant activities.
Particular Interest Groups: These consist of various social, political, economic and religious groups. Members of regular, formal or informal associations are finding an increasing share in influence. These consist of Community Based Organizations and emerging Cluster Groups; Service related associations or relationships and Sectarian groupings. Some are bound together as mutual interest groups linked through often, illegal ties, for instance an alliance between Contracts awarding authorities and contractors. Nepotism and illegal gratification prevails and strict accountability needs to be enforced through desperate necessity, caused by the sheer multiplicity and astronomical proportions in resource drainage.
True Representation: True democracy or the rule of the maximum number of the populace is not served by eliminating those who garner less support than others. Does this not signify the disenfranchisement of large chunks of the populace?  Certainly not!  Throughout history people have battled to preserve their freedom from aggressors, few have realized that once freedom and justice are won it can “only be secured by eternal vigilance, eternal probity, eternal good will, and eternal honesty of purpose. That would be the hardest lesson of it; peace would be a severer test of mankind even than war.”[1]
            We too fought and sacrificed to achieve Pakistan and soon lost our way in the march towards freedom and prosperity. Apart from the dishonesty and outright loot that accompanied ‘Freedom at Midnight’ we completely failed to establish a polity based upon our own culture and history. Having fallen from the heights of Islamic values at a very early stage and slipped into decadence to lose our freedom, we were not capable enough to renew our vision and take the progress of time to a logical outcome. The brainwashed upholders of Western culture and political systems ensured that the great wound that has divided our society was never attended to. Our politicians and ideologues failed to provide the Nation with an alternate vision. The great Poet of the East, Dr. Allama Iqbal provided sufficient wisdom and direction from the very inception to the direction of our Nation State. However the immigrants and non local bureaucrats entrenched themselves and deified the Quaid-e-Azam to twist his words in such a manner as to achieve their own dominance. Perhaps the greatest damage done to Pakistan came from the debacle of Kashmir; the opening of Khokrapaar; the entrenchment of the ICS officers and the English groomed Military class due to which we inherited a direction that has resulted in disaster. We are now faced with multifarious problems, in order to solve them we must arrive at consensus regarding a system of Governance as well as the structure of organization or framework within which we operate. The present outmoded system of elections as well as the demarcation of Provinces and Districts/ Constituencies to suit Particular Interest Groups and Vested Interests and their desire to carve up the Nation into smaller pieces for their own nefarious designs has to be vigorously resisted.
The West claims to have inherited the Democratic System from the Greeks notably as expounded by Plato and Socrates. What was it that they really believed in this regard? Plato’s Discourses, specifically The Republic, expounds as follows. Firstly “States are as the men are; they grow out of human characters[2]. Political changes originate in divisions of the actual Governing power; a government which is united, however small, cannot be moved.”
Plato claims that there are five major constitutions of States
Aristocracy (Government of the Best).
Wives and children are common as well as all education and the pursuits of war and peace. The best philosophers and the bravest warriors are to be their Kings. Governors when appointed will take their soldiers; place them in houses as described by Plato being common to all and containing nothing private, or individual. None were to have any of the ordinary possessions of mankind; they were to be warriors, athletes and guardians, receiving from the other citizens; in lieu of annual payment, only their maintenance and they were to take care of themselves and of the whole State.
Timocracy (Timarchy) (Government of Honor).[3]
            Government of honor[4], soldier class, ambitious for military glory and authority rises out of aristocracy. Fear of admitting philosophers to power turning to passionate and less complex characters, which by nature are more suited to war than peace. Men of this stamp will be covetous of making money. They will be miserly because they have no means of openly acquiring the money that they prize; they will spend that which is another man’s on the gratification of their desires, stealing their pleasures and running away like children from the law. They have been raised by force and not by gentle influences. This is a mixture of good and evil form of Government, herein one thing predominantly seen – the spirit of contention and ambition due to the prevalence of the passionate or spirited element. People who form this type of Government have more self assertion and are less cultivated. They are good listeners but not good speakers. They are rough with the weak and courteous to the noble. They are remarkably obedient to authority. They love power and honor as well as physical activities. They despise riches when younger but as they grow older are more attracted by wealth and are not single minded towards virtue.
Succeeding generations will not be as worthy as their predecessors and will fail to protect the citizens having lost the guardian power. Thus a new Government will arise lying in between Oligarchy and Aristocracy. This type of Governance being a mean, it will partly follow one and partly the other and have some of its own peculiarities.
Oligarchy (Government of the Rich).
            Form of Government which teems with evils and is a government of the rich and by people intent upon making money. A Government resting on a valuation of property, in which the rich have power and the poor man is deprived of it. In a State where riches are honored and virtue and the virtuous are dishonored. It is a system wherein the poor cannot hope to enter Government. Men become lovers of trade and money, they honor and look up to the rich man and make them rulers and dishonor the poor. It is no longer one but two States one of the rich and one of the poor living in the same place and always conspiring against each other. They are incapable of fighting wars and their fondness of money makes them unwilling to pay taxes. The same person has too many callings all in one.
Democratic (Government of the People).
            When those who were once rich lose their wealth due to being spendthrifts or dare not risk their capital for fear of loss and there by lose it. They then hate those who have wealth and ferment revolution against them. When the rich are killed, or withdraw from fear, the seemingly self righteous individuals make everyone equal. They promote freedom and frankness and where freedom is, the individual is clearly able to order for himself his own life as he pleases. Here human nature is allowed to develop into many varieties. Here equality is dispensed to equals and unequals alike. The forgiving nature of democracy allows many an evil to flourish and is soon subverted to Oligarchy or Tyranny.
Tyranny (Government of the Strongest Individual).
            This is the worst disorder of a State and needs no further elaboration.
Misc.:
Lordships and Principalities which are bought and sold and some other intermediate forms.
Structural Deep Democracy (SD2).
            Those who claim that Islam has not enunciated a clear method of Governance are lacking in insight and knowledge. Vested interests soon usurped power and cast the true methodology of Governance into obscurity. Islam promotes participatory and egalitarian systems of Governance by consensus as opposed to exclusivist, highly competitive oligarchies (rule of the rich) disguised as democracies or representative Governance. It has been clearly declared by the All Mighty Allah “Wa Ta’seemu bay Hublihah hay Jumeea, Wa La Taffarakoo!” Hold Firmly Unto The Rope of Allah (Subhanahoo Wa Ta’ala) and eschew differentiation/ discrimination/ segregation and separation (seek unity)! Is not the present system of elections directly opposed to this injunction? The very essence of Islam is to negate transient selfhood and submit to Allah (SWT)! How can this be upheld when a section of society with ample funds is allowed to promote themselves over others and expend vast sums to brainwash the Public into supporting them. The ideal in Islam is that of seeking out the best of the best and convincing them to assume responsibility of guiding others. When the Abbasid Khalifa Mansur was seeking a Kazi ul Kaza the shortlisted individuals tried their level best to avoid this onerous responsibility rather than avidly seeking it for themselves. He asked Hazrat Abu Hanifa (RA) to fill in the job but was refused on the grounds that he was unsuited to the post. “You Lie” exclaimed the Khalifa, upon which the venerable Theologian replied “You have stated my case as a liar is unsuited to hold such an exalted post”. The Khalifa condemned the sage to prison.
            In a population of one hundred (or any number) if they are five candidates and forty percent abstain from voting. If twenty five percent vote for one, fifteen percent for another and the rest (twenty percent) are divided between the remaining three candidates. The person who garners twenty five percent of the votes is deemed to be successful. Is this not unfair to the remaining seventy five percent? This system soon degenerates into voter buying, conflicts and rivalries and promotion of divide and rule policies on the part of external and internal vested interests. Technocratic responsibilities are undertaken by those who are unqualified for these positions and the question arises as to why they vie for election and the holding of power. Can we divorce human psychology from practical matters? As referred to before those who are under the sway of the lower or animal self commanding to evil, the ‘Nafs-e-Ammara Bil Suu’, are usually at the forefront in seeking election and dominance in direct opposition to Islamic injunctions. For those who object to this statement by citing the example of so called “Religious Parties” in the fracas that is called Politics, are easily answered by the words “Beware Lest The Nafs assume the garb of Piety”. This situation is the worst condition that a person can fall into, in other words that of being wrong and yet convinced of being right and that too with Divine Sanction.
            As an alternate, a system that uncovers the Centrality or Nexus of Trust within Society is called for. The fairly or unfairly competitive atmosphere that prevails within society has to be eradicated if we are to exist as a society. The questionable intents of those who pitch themselves into the Political arena; the vast expenses incurred upon elections; voter buying; coercion; subversion by local and foreign intelligence agencies; the ill will generated by competition and the requirement to recoup expenses incurred by those who win, show ample need for reform. Page Rank Algorithm is one such method for uncovering centrality. This algorithm is used to rank web sites. As a graphic illustration in the society of one hundred voters cited above with the same turn out, each voter is required to select a minimum of five individuals. At the end of the exercise the results go through various software of statistical and social network analysis. A graphic illustration of selection and grouping is made. The person, who received the most votes, and also the trends of voting as well as interconnectedness of each voter, is graphically displayed as an interlocking grid or network. The center most five individuals in the network are selected to form an executive committee to run the affairs of the community. They are free to form sub committees of those qualified for various activities pertinent to that society (agriculture, trade etc.). Accountability is inbuilt into the system as a repeat of the exercise immediately reveals whether the committee members have lost the position of trust due to any reason or retained it by excelling. This method relieves society from division and promotes cohesion. Here consensus and taking society along is rewarded and the opposite is soon exposed and disposed.
Conventional solutions of reorganization of existing institutions would entail preparing plans for them. The solution offered is not conventional and as such does not run along these lines. The plans are for new mechanisms to replace existing overstaffed, incompetent, out of date Ministries, Departments and other organs of governance.
For meaningful and positive change to take place, a different approach will have to be used. Take the example of a large and rambling structure with many rooms and halls. The structure is obsolete, has ill served the inhabitants, assailed from within and without and is falling down. Is it possible to remodel the existing structure with all its baggage? Is sudden change viable? Does it not entail disruption of existing governance which, despite all its shortcomings and sins of commission and omission, yet serves to employ thousands of Pakistani citizens and (mis) regulates day to affairs, no matter how inefficiently?
The beauty of the proposed change is that it is non-disruptive, evolutionary and in complete conformity with the Spirit of Islam. The All Mighty Allah, being the Divine Creator, Best Knows His Creation and shows us an evolutionary path towards progress. This is true physically, mentally, economically, socially and spiritually.
We are all agreed that the current setup is totally unable to deliver progress and prosperity. We also know that there is a fundamental gap in Governance at the very basic level of society that leads to a free for all dispensation, exploited only by the Power Elite for their own purposes. Are we also aware that there exist Statutory Laws enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan to cover this gap? I refer to the Local Government Ordnance. Here Governance is supposed to be devolved to the Village/ Mohallah level as a prerequisite to Union; District; Provincial and National representation, which precede elections of Minority, Female and Senatorial seats.
Structural Deep Democracy or SD2 as named by Mark Rostt, the originator of this method, uses PageRank as a centrality algorithm to analyze votes to determine the center of TRUST and CONSENT in a human trust network.
PageRank is an algorithm that allows the participants to determine who the best leaders are, eliminating the popularity game of conventional populist-democracy. SD2 uses PageRank to select the top three or five to lead such an organization with one of them as the executive and then keeps those leaders accountable with frequent rank recalculations. This creates a small and efficient locus of trust and accountability.
PageRank allows members to vote their conscience without wasted votes and analyzes the deep structure of votes to find the coordinators that would be most likely to represent the values of the community as a whole.
The philosophy of SD2 is "Deep Democracy" - which centers on the idea that minority opinion should be respected. SD2 takes this two-steps further - not only will leadership be replaced if it doesn't respect minority opinion, but minority opinion can actually be decisive.
Our Political scenario almost always has aggressive "strongman” types - who are more than willing to bully and steam-roll peaceful people. "Strongman tactics can often impress ignorant common people, and can often lead to "strongmen” acquiring leadership positions with populist-democratic selection processes. SD2 is ELITIST and non-populist - SD2 is designed to MARGINALIZE would-be bullies and "strongmen” oppressors and give spiritual/intellectuals a selective advantage. This is ensured by uncovering the *flow-betweenness* ranking within an interactive grouping.
If this method were used in the very basic population grouping of Villages or Wards (urban) it would be true Devolution to empower such organizations to ensure self-rule and “Localization”. With inspired Leadership and an agreed minimum agenda, self-reliance through basic economy generation can be ushered in and maintained through a rapidly evolving “Globalization” via the IT Revolution.
This should serve to unmask the charade of “Devolution” to Union Councils, which are not the Grass Roots! This exercise has merely served to ensure that all the inherent flaws, drawbacks and evils that existed at Provincial and National Levels are transferred to Union and District Levels as well as creating tension between the two. The effort towards Devolution should have been taken to its logical conclusion to the real Grass Roots at Village or Neighborhood level. Vested interests may hide behind a screen of campaigning for Provincial Rights and declaring scarcity of capacity within local populations to be a limiting factor rendering them incapable of being masters of their own fates. An appeal is made to all right thinking individuals to cast aside the veils of prejudice and self-interest and take into account the sorry state of the environment and the fact that over 35 (50) % of our population is subsisting below the poverty line! If this was a condition that was inescapable, it could be borne with resignation. When there is plenty of room for improvement and only a matter of getting our act together under a reappraised and visionary program for attainment of Prosperity that is in conformity with 21st Century requirements and capable of overcoming the challenges we face as a Nation. If present trends are taken into account we are likely to face stressful conditions in the near future, conditions that will persist for a long period of time. Fortunately humanity is even today quite capable of rising to meet these challenges in an adequate manner. All that is needed is to harness and tap the vast potential that lies within our Human and Natural Resources.
What, if any, are the alternatives?
An egalitarian alternative that is more suited to our culture and religion as compared to the elitist “First across the Post” practice of traditional democracy as practiced by us.  At population levels of 2000 and below it is very much feasible to use this positive method of revealing the first five individuals who are central to any social group. In case of the objection arising that such complex solutions are impossible to implement, and that is an undeniable fact, we can resort to relatively simple technology.  This can be done by using a simple hardware and allied software device that firstly recognizes the voter or selector and then allows input of selecting only five out of the total number of individuals within that social network excluding him/ herself (inbuilt into the software).  Selection of less than five is directly compensated by the software.
A real world laptop for real world change. The XO laptop One laptop Per Child (OLPC)
Mission Statement: To create educational opportunities for the world's poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning.
This type of computer, locally manufactured and operating in National and Regional languages will be a powerful tool for Sustainable Development through Networking and connectivity. Translation Software in Regional languages and the National Language will ensure instant and effective communications between the populace and promote economic affairs tremendously. Electronic and Mobile phone based commerce and access to Data and Knowledge Banks will ensure that we no longer pay for our ignorance. Speech to Writing and vice versa Software will ensure inclusion of the illiterate. Some of the many uses will be Page Rank based Elections; Local, Regional and National Data and Knowledge Banks; E-Commerce through wireless connectivity; Revenue Data and Financial Spreadsheets; Education through standardized Curricula and Lessons and so on.   
Created from poll data gathered by Sirdar Timur Hyat-Khan and Contact Youth in Islamabad Pakistan, June, 2005. Mark Rosst processed the data with NetDraw. Groups were colored using the Newman/Girvan algorithm. Image is public domain.
Can we aim at sustainable natural resource management and efficient resource utilization for the economic uplift of the State through employment generation to increase household incomes?  This can be ensured through asset creation and increase in basic production while keeping environmental protection and ecosystem regeneration as central to the effort.  It should be mandatory to form and strengthen grassroots institutions by following a process approach of social mobilization for empowerment so that both the public and private sectors efforts towards the well being of communities may be supported, accelerated, fostered and sustained.  At present the ‘Needs Based Approach’ is touted by the proponents of the West, whereas, the requirement of the day is adoption of an ‘Assest Based Approach’! Organizational vision, mandate, objectives, strategy and inputs should revolve around this concept that ensures community participation and sustainability in the entire development process.  This entails preparation of Participatory Development Plans (PDPs) of localities by developing the capacity of Community Members and enabling them to identify, prioritize, plan, implement and manage the assets, human and natural, of the entire population and build upon them.  PDPs in line with Agri-Ecological Regions should become the basis for allocations of resources from public and private sectors organizations that focus upon the establishment of a sound base and network of grassroots institutions as recognized and uniform forums to identify, prioritize, plan, accelerate, implement, manage and monitor development initiatives on a sustainable basis.  The V/ MCs should be community institutions with total membership of a recognized geographical location that joins to pursue solutions to local issues through collective participation, shared leadership, effective communication and collaborative decisions.  Representative Character of the VCs should be established through a process of Page Rank Algorithm based analysis of Structural Deep Democracy (SD2).  This system ensures universal participation to uncover Centrality (Nexus) of Trust within a given Social Network.  Sophisticated software will graphically depict a 5 member Executive Committee (Jirga/ Panchyat) to run the affairs of the Community.  This process ensures that Elite Capture and Vested Interests are distanced from the development process.  An additional benefit is of social harmony that excludes competition from elections thus obviating clash of interests and creation of animosity.  Further the exercise should be carried out through the use of simple electronic voting machines ensuring simplicity and transparency of the exercise.
Accountability is in-built in the system as repeat exercises will automatically uncover whether the present committee members have retained or lost their positions of “Centrality” within the social network.  The V/ MC elected members act as an Executive Body and a primary level support organization in its geographical proximity.
It will harness the willingness of people to integrate their thinking, resources and energies that leads towards empowerment and prosperity. The establishment of mutually competitive small time potentates is no solution to our problems.  Persons who are responsible for development and expend funds must reside in an area that is small enough to be within easy access of the inhabitants of that area.  Secondly they must be of a level and stature that is approachable by the people. Formation of Village/ Mohallah Councils is more in consonance with the problem of addressing a plethora of issues that confront the “Bewildered Poor” on a daily basis.
Crisis Management. 
We now come to the crux of the issue that confronts us, that of an enfeebled polity divided amongst themselves. What are they ways and means to provide foolproof National Defense in the modern era? To my mind the problem can be resolved in a twofold manner. First and foremost, as you will undoubtedly agree, is Economic Prosperity. The means to provide Defense in this technological era is possession of adequate National wealth and a vibrant base of productivity! The aims of the reforms covered in this paper are entirely devoted to achieving just such a strong base. When the loopholes in revenue collection are effectively plugged sufficient revenues can be collected even from the present dismal state of the economy. When adequate checks and balances are introduced the spending of these revenues can be directed towards the welfare of the populace thus motivating them to ensure a vigorous defense of their liberty. Secondly, and most importantly, the enemies of today are likely to rethink their antipathy when confronted by an upwardly mobile populace living in harmony with Nature and thus heading towards even more progress and prosperity. Such a Nation is bound to attain the Help of The Gracious Creator of the Universe in attaining Glory!
            When a Nation is embroiled in either Conventional or Non Conventional Warfare, it is the unstinted support of the local populace that will ensure a strong Logistical base from which the Armed Forces can operate. If the populace is faced with a complete breakdown in logistics and communications the operational effectiveness of the Armed Forces is severely curtailed. Will they be able to engage the enemy or will they perforce have to ensure the survival of the populace. What use will be any success on the battlefield, if at all achievable, if the populace has been reduced to famine and a complete disruption of their way of life? What about the morale of the troops if their immediate loved ones are living or subsisting in penury or if they have been reduced to famine and infighting between themselves for survival? I am sure that we will all agree that a solid support from the civilian populace is indispensable for success on the battlefield. Repeated crises have revealed the fact that we as a society are inadequately organized to respond in a befitting manner to mitigate the horrendous results of disasters. Indeed our response often results in further worsening rather than ameliorating the sorry state of affairs that arise from such situations. The 2005 Earthquake; terrorist strikes, possibility of War and countless other tragedies result in widespread confusion and panic resulting in despair and despondency.  One such issue is that of rapid, coherent; coordinated and comprehensive response to emergencies whether natural or man-made.  In case a vigorous and dynamic organization is emplaced at the lowest of all tiers, such a response can be expected.  The Councilor or Union Council Chairman does not reside in the immediate vicinity of all but his/ her own neighborhood.  Additionally, if only one person is empowered to represent the populace he or she cannot represent all but only the largest minority especially in the case of a fragmented society such as ours.  In case that person is him/ herself a victim of tragedy, immediate vacuum is the immediate consequence
If, on the other hand, we have a local populace that is equipped to meet the challenges posed by adverse circumstances, we can be assured of a dynamic and adequate response. An entirely self first with no concern for others attitude as prevalent in our society will reap a bitter harvest in the face of tragedy. On the other hand a Caring and Sharing Society as envisaged in our Religion will be able to raise up meet the challenge and provide a befitting response!
                       
Organizational Structure:
Provincialism Vs Nationalism:
            The current state of Nationalism and the demand for new Provinces is nothing less than an attempt by Leaders with less than National Status to carve out fiefdoms for their own exploitation but is based upon discontent with maladministration on the part of Sub Nationalities. Efficient administration that at the same time avoids fractionalism should be based upon Agri-Ecological Zones within the boundaries of Pakistan. There are different ways that have been used for delimiting these zones. However, to my mind the best method has been used by the Soil Survey of Pakistan,. This little known Organization has put in some of the best Surveys based upon Districts which are however classified as “Restricted” for reasons best known to those who have imposed this classification. Their classification is depicted below:
1.         Northern Dry Mountains
2.         Western Dry Mountains
3.         Wet Mountains
4.         Northern Irrigated Plains (a & b)
5.         Southern Irrigated Plains
6.         Barani Lands
7.         Sandy Desert (a & b)
8.         Sulaiman Piedmont
9.         Indus Delta
10.       Dry Western Plateau
            This makes a total of 12 sub divisions, the further a and b divisions in the Irrigated Plains separates Sindh from the Punjab and is the only contiguous exception. 

Sardar Taimur Hyat-Khan (Former Cavalry Captain, Pak Army)
92-301-5456088: 1, Gulistan Colony, College Road, Wet Mountains Eco Zone, Pakistan:


[1] C.S. Foster “The Ship”.
[2] Plato Republic Book VIII
[3] Government by a Soldier Caste, ambitious for Military Glory and Authority.
[4] Socrates