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Governance Challenges

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Governance Challenges

Confronting Pakistan

M.H. Rehman

Challenges have been the companion of human being for aeons. All societies and states have had to face challenges and it is the very response to them that sets states on course of development or deterioration, progress and prosperity or poverty. It is, in short, all about converting challenges into opportunities, weaknesses into strengths and problems into solutions.

Challenges are not static, and it is not as if new challenges do not emerge if old ones are appropriately met. Meeting challenges is a continuous, unending process. Even the most developed countries of the world face multiple challenges, although on surface everything appears calm and normal. However, they have zero or minimum backlog of unsolved challenges in contrast with ‘lagging behind’ countries that have been stuck in a ‘snakes and ladders’ development for decades.

Pakistan has had its fair share of challenges. It is a common trend to argue that the country has had to face more challenges than most nations because of the way it came into being – carved out of Indian subcontinent, comprising mostly underdeveloped regions and deprived of numerous assets it was entitled to – but there is no dearth of counter arguments to this rather trendy strand of arguments, which to an internal-locus-of-control-based assessment appears more like a pretext to cover country’s inability to cope with challenges in a befitting manner. China is a strong and most-cited example of a country that inherited a worse background. Japan and Europe also rose from ashes and ruins of World War II. Countries in the Far East, too, had humble beginnings, having hardly any natural resources to build on.

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