Presidential government? April 18, 2010

The present strife in the country over demand for new provinces is understandable as the ongoing system is not delivering. It is indeed a burden on the country’s exchequer and a cause of problems more than solution to problems.

First of all there is no justification for having only four provinces in a 170 million populated country , Why not fourteen or twenty four or thirty four or for that matter none. Four is neither this way nor that way.

The change needed to be brought about at this ripe time is to adopt a presidential form of government with the districts acting as basic units (we can call them district provinces) Thus Pakistan will have 107 provinces. The elected governors of these district provinces will by virtue of their office be members of the senate also, so that there is equal representation of all the federating units in the senate and (of course} no need to have separate senate elections aka auctions.

No need for any national assembly as basic issues would be dealt at the district provincial assemblies level which would have been given requisite authority and resources. Bigger issues or those requiring federal approval would be passed on to the senate. A strong ministry of provincial coordination at the center headed by the vice president would ensure cohesion and coordination between the district provinces. Ministers should be nominated from technocrats and experts in their fields not necessarily politicians. A very virile and effective accountability institution overseen by the judiciary be in place to check any corruption in the federal ministries. A similar institution should be working at the district level..

This system of government if adopted will reduce 80 percent of the present avoidable riff raff and nuisances, not to talk of the huge financial savings, and the government thus set up would function efficiently by default. The presidential form of government as envisaged here if adopted would also lay the foundation stone for the system of ‘Meritocracy’ which is the eventual system the world will have to adopt in order to survive.