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Setting the Direction Right (Editorial April 2015)

editorial

When the present government came to power in 2013, the country was grappling with a number of multifarious crises. On one side, the country’s economy was in the doldrums and on the other, the monster of terrorism was devouring innocent Pakistanis. If the industrial activity was brought to a virtual halt by an acute energy crisis, the agricultural sector was also hard hit by the flawed government policies. Given the recent successes, especially in the realms of economy and fight against terrorism, it is quite encouraging that the policies introduced and implemented by the Sharif government are bearing fruit.

When it comes to economic success, the most recent achievement is the upgrading of Pakistan’s foreign currency government bonds rating from stable to positive by Moody’s Investors Service. Foreign reserves with the State Bank also crossed $11 billion mark during March 2015. Moreover, the Executive Board of the IMF, after the sixth review of Pakistan’s economic performance, not only praised the government’s efforts to stabilise the economy but also approved the seventh loan tranche worth $501.4 million.

However, the area where government’s overwhelming success has been most conspicuous is the law and order situation. Operation Zarb-e-Azb has broken the back of Fata-based terrorist groups who have been using this land of serenity as a base to orchestrate the most heinous and despicable acts of terrorism in all parts of the country. Kudos to Pak Army for their commitment to the cause, outstanding bravery and valour!

Besides Pak Army’s operations, the 20-point National Action Plan (NAP) has also been instrumental in improving law and order, and restoring peace, in the country. Lifting of moratorium of death penalties followed by hangings of criminals in all part of Pakistan is yielding substantial results as a significant drop in crime rate has been witnessed since then.

Karachi, once the city of lights, has been smouldering since long. Targeted killings, extortion, kidnapping for ransom and other such crimes had turned this economic hub of the country into a crime hub. But, the raid at MQM headquarters Nine Zero by the rangers has sent a very strong message to all: Law shall make its own course and no one shall be spared; even the bigwigs in the country’s political arena will have to face the music if they are found involved in illegal activities of any sort. However, taking extreme care is always advisable so that no impression of political victimization could be created. There should be an across-the-board action against all elements involved in shattering the peace of Karachi, and the whole country at large. A source of guidance in this regard could be the judgement of the honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan in Karachi Suo Motu Case whereby it was said that “The militants and criminals are taking refuge in the lap of political and ethnic parties which use the flags of these parties to commit illegal activities with impunity.” The decision further elucidated that “Bhatta is being collected invariably by the persons who claim their association with ANP, MQM, PPP, Jamat-e-Islami, Sunni Tehrik, etc. Besides, activists of the organizations banned under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 are also indulging in these activities.”

It is also heartening that government seems absolutely determined to introduce radical reforms in other sectors too. First and foremost area in this regard should be the Civil Service of Pakistan. Through the pages of Jahangir’s World Times, we have, time and again, pointed out the areas which need immediate attention, and have also presented a pragmatic roadmap to meliorate the whole structure of the Civil Services. Whatever the reforms may be, the purpose should be only one: Boosting the morale of the civil servants to achieve the goal of good governance which is inevitable if a nation wants to tread on the path of development. And, it is the only road to a strengthened and prospering democracy which Pakistan has long been struggling to be.

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