This essay got second position in 1st JWT Essay Competition
1. Preamble ‘An Introduction to Pillars of State
2. Role of four Pillars of State
Function of Legislature’ to make laws
Duty of Executive’ to administer laws
Job of Judiciary’ to administer justice
Responsibility of Media’ to aware people
3. Role of Pillars in putting Pakistan in a State of turmoil
Lack of realistic and effective laws by Legislature’ on urgent issues from corruption to security situation
Ineffectiveness of Executive’ leading to problems like corruption, terrorism, lack of accountability along with other disorders
Blurring of idea of immediate justice by Judiciary’ driving the country towards chaos
The other side of media’ portraying negative image of Pakistan
4. Implications of Impetuous role of State Pillars
All-time problems’ corruption, illiteracy and weak economy
Twenty-first Century problems’ Energy Crisis and Terrorism
5. Lessons to be learned
From Copying Failure ‘like Nigeria went to instability when it copied Presidential System of United States
From a Fable ‘like ‘The Bundle of Sticks’ has a moral of unity is strength (suited lesson for state pillars)
From history of problematic situation of Pakistan ‘role of different pillars
From a Greek Myth’ like trying to cut one problem leads to two more problems
6. Road to Recommendations
Inventing a new Research Wing of government working in collaboration with Think-Tanks
Revisiting policy regarding protection of Pakistan’s sovereignty
Making the Legislature supreme in its effectiveness
Devising effective education policy.
Reinventing Accountability Bureau in consultation with state pillars
Strengthening lower courts to ensure immediate justice
Check and Balance on policies by each of the state pillars
There is a common but technical saying that for a strong and stable building, make its pillars strong. Same applies for the pillars of state. There were three pillars of state when media had not gained currency. With its rise, the result was four pillars namely Legislature, Executive, Judiciary and Media. Each pillar has a specific role to play. This role, if played properly, may elevate country’s level of stability and development. Most underdeveloped and developing countries have been in a dilemma over role of pillars. In particular, Pakistan had been caught in the cross-hairs of problems. From the independence of Pakistan to date, state organs have played a devastating role. These organs, rather than neutralizing the problems, have intensified them. Moreover, they kept trying to influence other institutions. Concept of separation of powers was negated in practice. Since, the concept suggests that state pillars need to function independently and without compelling influence from other pillars. This, in benefit, guarantees accountability. In addition, each state pillar, from legislature to media, has contributed in greater capacity towards the turmoil in Pakistan. Impetuous, immature and ineffective role of pillars have led Pakistan towards disorder and problematic place. By realistic learning from lessons and truly goal-oriented policies, state will get its dose of good performance. Good performance is a clear-cut way to get the country enrolled in the list of first developing and then developed countries. To put it in other words, good performance is directly related to true and effective role of state pillars. Thus, role of state institutions is always the focal point while deciding development or decline of a country. Hence, in case of Pakistan, proper good performance by state pillars is the need of the hour.
In a constitutional democracy, state’s function begins with its backbone that is legislature. Legislature is a forum where legislators deliberate, discuss and pass laws. The role of legislature can be well described in words of John Stuart Mill, ‘In a representative democracy, the legislature acts as the eyes, ears and voice of the people. ‘More importantly, it has to watch and control the government and not the other way round.
The executive is an authority as well as an essential pillar of a state. Its duty is to administer laws made by legislature. The executive has a strong administrative hand over all sectors and departments of government. The role of executives and legislatures can be hypothetically depicted to drivers and automobile manufacturers. Where manufacturers portray legislature and drivers portray executive. Thus, in parliamentary or presidential system, it has to administer all departments of the government.
To ensure justice and fundamental rights, there comes the jurisdiction of judiciary. It is a pillar of state whose job is to administer justice. In judiciary, judges are employed to make lawful decisions even if they contradict the government. The judiciary has the power to review public laws so that they may not violate country’s constitution. Thus, judiciary is an institution who has to serve immediate justice to people anywhere from lower courts to apex courts.
The True responsibility of a state pillar is judged by its effectiveness. Role can be performed in one of two ways: responsibly or irresponsibly. Realistically, Pakistan has got more of an irresponsible role by state organs than a responsible one. The contribution by legislature lies in its lack to understand dynamics of major and serious issues. The inefficiency and lack of understanding by legislature has intensified the problems like corruption and energy crisis. Thus, the reluctance of legislature to efficiently solve these problems has put Pakistan in turmoil, weakened the democracy and invoked martial laws.
The executive’s role is critical one if today’s Pakistan and its history are taken into account. The blunder by executive was assuming itself as an absolute power. This, in result, discarded the very concept of democracy. Its performance has remained questionable. The irony is executive at many issues have taken and is still taking immature steps. These steps while trying to neutralize one problem intensify other problems. For example, executive tries to produce more electricity by infusing expensive furnace oil to power plants. This leads to huge damage to Pakistan’s economy. Thus, the lack of proper administration has deteriorated the situation in this already disturbed country.
People of Pakistan worry about collective problems on one hand but are more inclined towards their own individual problems. The top priority problem for an individual is injustice. This is where judiciary’s role defines itself. The role of Pakistan’s judiciary has lost some dignity. For instance, people often try to avoid filing a case because of partiality of justice system. The inefficiency of judiciary has resulted in many pending cases. Moreover, it has resulted in loss of faith and hope among people. Thus, these outcomes have driven Pakistan to misfortune and hardship.
Media’s biased role is that when it forgets its true duty. For instance, it plays negative role while portraying negative aspects of Pakistan. It has even functioned as catalyst in weakening other state organs. Media has created such a tense environment that life has become a risky business. Live and repeated airing of violent incidents, terrorism and inappropriate content have made the situation worse. Hence, the pillars of state have, individually and collectively, put Pakistan in a state of turbulence.
In today’s globalised world, almost nothing remains undisclosed. Similarly, implications of immature and impetuous role of state pillars are rarely a secret. The adverse effects of devastating role of state institutions are problems like corruption, weak economy, illiteracy, energy crisis and terrorism. The first three problems can be called all-time problems. The reason is they have been issues from the time of independence to date. 66 years have passed since Pakistan’s independence but still these problems are not neutralized to ensure stability. Corruption is first major problem which has spread in most departments of Pakistan. Government’s inefficiency has further intensified the problem. The consequences of this problem are quite obvious like unemployment, inflation, lack of completion of development works and injustice. Second problem is that of weak economy. Despite having a large number of resources, still Pakistan’s economy is declining. This trouble has been continuing due to lack of utilization of resources. As a result, problems like inflation, increasing energy crisis and downsizing surrounded the country. Illiteracy is the third all-time problem. Lack of literacy has serious repercussions. These are increasing poverty, bringing human rights cases, and in some cases may even result in terrorism.
Energy crisis and Terrorism are the problems which make headlines today. The ineffectual role of pillars is main reason for continuous increase in these problems. Lack of proper energy supply to industries and factories has made them less productive. These results are price hikes and economical instability. While terrorism, apart from creating terror among the public, has adversely affected economy and security situation of Pakistan. Thus, the problems caused by state pillars have serious repercussions on the country. These effects are traumatic, terrible and troubling. Hence, devising a solution for one problem may result in another problem as a byproduct.
There is no hard and fast rule for a country to learn lessons. But it is always recommended that lessons should be learned before situation worsens. Any country’s system of government develops from its historical, political and social conditions. Following blindly another country’s system, without proper modification, rarely works. The case of Nigeria is of interest here. When it tried to adopt U.S Presidential System some years ago, it failed. Consequently, revolts in the form of military coups started. Since then, Nigeria has had no sustained stability. That is why it is suggested that a country needs not to adopt but adapt structures and rules such that they fit their own cultures and circumstances. This, in result, ensures development.
A true lesson on how state pillars need to work lies in a fable ‘The Bundle of Sticks (Aesop for Children 1919)’. A farmer had sons who kept quarreling among themselves. To teach them a lesson, he asked them to try to break bundle of sticks and then one stick at a time. The former they could not accomplish but the latter they did easily. The farmer then told his sons that if they work together in harmony, nothing can break them. Otherwise alone, they are as weak as one stick. To put it succinctly, it has a moral of unity is strength. Likewise, all institutions of state from legislature to media need to work in unity and in harmony. Thus, the use of one institution’s influence for personal gains is like that of quarrel. Hence, this influence needs to be avoided in practice.
Pakistan’s history contains many devastating failures and lapses. For instance, issuance of grandiose manifestoes by political parties but not implementing them was a failure. A Judiciary needs to learn from its past that it should not divert from its main responsibility. Moreover, the extensive involvement of free media with state institutions is a threat to its impartiality and freedom. Studying the factors behind failures is beneficial for future decisions. In fact, history is not written to tell story of past but to teach aspects of past. Above all, Quaid-e-Azam’s words are worth mentioning here. He said on 11 August 1947 that the first duty of government was to maintain law and order and second to control corruption and bribery. This tells the fact that the founder of Pakistan was himself conscious of solution to these problems. Hence, learning from historical failures of Pakistan are essential tools to have sustained stability in Pakistan.
In Greek myth, Hydra was a monster with nine heads; each of the head when struck off was replaced by two new ones. To illustrate, problems like terrorism, corruption and energy crisis are often invoked by ineffective, inappropriate or immature solutions. This leads to creating two more problems or intensifying the existing ones. Thus, there are a lot of lessons, morals, warnings and examples which need to be learned by state pillars. Hence, learning lessons and then making effective policies are the key factors for success.
Whenever there are problems in a country, there are solutions. Likewise, there are many solutions, recommendations and realistic viewpoints for the problematic state of Pakistan. Few recommendations to pillars of state need to be focused here.
First of all, the government needs to create a new research wing. It may consist of senior impartial analysts with proper staff and resources. The purpose of this wing should be providing finalized proper solution to a problem. It may work in collaboration with think tanks of Pakistan and the world. In addition, it may welcome any suggestions and strategic solutions from experienced thinkers and independent analysts around Pakistan and the world.
Two; Pakistan’s legislature needs to revise policy in order to protect its threatened sovereignty. For instance, a proper law needs to be passed for stopping Drone strikes which are violation of international law and Pakistan’s sovereignty. As no law to stop them has lead to increase in terrorism.
Three; Legislature needs to be the supreme power of the country in actual. For this, legislature needs to amend constitution to make parliament supreme, authoritative and independent. But it should be binding on mutual accountability such that it may not use power for personal benefits. This in turn would ensure self and other institutions’ accountability.
Four; Legislature needs to make an effective education policy. In addition, legislature should monitor the progress of the policy. The reason to emphasize monitoring lies in power of education. That is, proper education is instrumental in leading country towards prosperity and stability.
Five; with the consultation of each of the pillars of state, National Accountability Bureau needs to be reinvented. To illustrate, the development of a country depends on collective efforts by all the state pillars and not only legislature and executive.
Sixth; the Supreme Court of Pakistan needs to strengthen the lower courts. That is, not just apex court but lower courts should ensure immediate and affordable justice.
Lastly; state pillars need to keep check on the progress and effectiveness of the policies and laws. This would ensure accountability, prosperity and development.
To sum up, the pillars of state should be ideally and practically effective and mature. Proper, sensible, realistic and authoritative policies need to be devised by legislature. This is turn may lead Pakistan towards stability. The executive needs to perform its duties effectively. Judiciary should perform its duty impartially so that its role should not be questionable. It is judiciary which ensures peace. Martin Luther King’s words echo when peace and justice are talked. He said that true peace is not the absence of tension but it is presence of justice. It shows that justice is mandatory to bring peace. On the other hand, aim of media should be to strengthen the weak and vulnerable segments of society. It should stabilize national institutions and strengthen national socio-economic, political and administrative structure. More importantly, the separation of powers concept needs to be followed in proper. It will guarantee accountability of each of the state pillars. The more stable and accountable are the state pillars, the better will be country’s condition. Collectively, when lessons are learned, mistakes are realized, effective policies with maturity are devised and role is responsibly performed, Pakistan will tend towards development. Moreover, it would be an example for underdeveloped and unstable nations. Last but not the least, there is a need of initiative in the right direction to bring Pakistan on the path of stability. Very rightly a Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu said:
‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.’