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Government Without Governance

Mubarak Ali Baloch

Bhuttos with their charismatic leadership are gone. Bhuttoism has also finally given up the ghost. Party is in disarray and has probably lost the level of enchantment it had with public. PPP is fast losing its left over small space and getting restricted to Sindh. It is under more pressure caused by not other than corruption and inefficiency of flock running the party. In fact Bhutto’s party appears to be all set to lose its ultimate luster. Common man has probably not lost all the hope though the party leadership has left the people in lurch as seen from its dismal performance in governance. PPP led Sindh government is functioning almost without governance worth name. The first worst deed perpetrated by governmental machinery is the politicization of police force. The latter has been reduced to mere a personal force to serve narrow ends of the members of both assembly and cabinet. Worsening law and order is the by-product of politicization of police. Therefore Rangers had to be called in under NAP provision to do policing work. Para-military force’s encouraging performance is visible to everyone. Some of the acts of Rangers are to the disliking of province’s chief executive and party leadership. Hence confrontation between central and Sindh government is witnessed.
Other sectors like education and health are also not faring well. In a recent media statement secretary education Sindh disclosed that primary school teaching staff was glaringly lacking capability to teach. Who has recruited incapable teaching staff? Certainly by current or previous PPP led government. Similarly ghost schools and teachers are other pestering problems. A large number of schools are used as godowns or stables by the feudal of area in country side. A recent media report revealed that police stations are functioning in school buildings. One such police station as reported in a local television channel is operating from a school building in district Shikarpur. This is tantamount to denying education to young generation. To deprive the nation’s children of education is no lesser crime.
Health sector has been in disarray. Medical practitioners are running their own clinics and most of the governmental facilities are non-functional particularly in far-flung areas. In a recent statement it was revealed that government hospitals are being surrendered to certain NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) to run these. The decision is admission of failure on part of government and its bureaucracy to make health sector vibrant. Recent reports about death of a number of infants in civil hospital Khairpur Mir’s; the home town of octogenarian chief minister, are shocking. Sindh Health Minister’s statement is bafflingly strange saying that shortage of incubators in civil hospital caused infants’ death. But who is responsible for insufficient number of incubators and for that matter for the equipments’ maintenance in the hospital? Subsequently, that particular section of hospital was declared out of bound for journalists so that news is disallowed to reach people at large.
Starvation, malnutrition, absence of functioning health facilities and lackadaisical approach by doctors painting a miserable picture of health related issues in Tharparkar. Media statements of provincial ministers on this issue are startling saying that infants’ death is due to carelessness of mothers, early marriages and other family and social issues. They alleged that media was propagating the non-issues out of proportion. Whether all the mothers of ill-fated children are careless? Couple of days back both Mola Bux Chandio; adviser to chief minister on information and Mr. Nisar Ahmed Khuhro senior minister visited district hospital Mithi (Tharparkar) and found the situation untenable. Both tried to adopt a mitigative approach to the problem. A number of young doctors working as contractual employees on the occasion protested demanding for regularization of their services. Their agitation went unheeded. How health operatives would work in this situation when government is not even willing to entertain the genuine demands of doctors.
Few days back on the occasion of his visit to Sukkur city Mr Muhammad Siddique Memon chief secretary Sindh observed that infrastructure of roads, buildings and sewerage is in ruins in Sukkur despite spending huge amount shown in papers. He questioned the quality of work claimed by commissioner Sukkur in his briefing to have been carried out in city. Chief bureaucrat of province has rightly remarked but who should bell the cat when municipal functionaries even sanitary workers never show themselves to office being well-linked with political circles.
Currently; Provincial Police Officer with few of his subordinates is facing contempt of court hearing in Sindh High Court. Sometime back some plain-clothed policemen allegedly thrashed supporters (including few journalists) of Dr. Zulfikar Mirza, former interior minister Sindh and dissident PPP leader within court premises as was shown in electronic media. Mr. Mirza filed a petition in SHC and police officers are in dock now. Besides, Inspector General Police is facing another contempt of court case in Supreme Court. The latter took notice of the retention of police inspector Saifullah Phulpoto, in anti-corruption department on deputation despite apex court’s ruling for repatriation of such employees to their parent department. The individual was inducted as ASI in Sindh police back in 1995 and was promoted as Sub-Inspector, Inspector and subsequently as Assistant Director (BS-17) and presently he is Deputy Director (BS-18). Apex Court has also questioned the rationale with regard to unusually accelerated promotion to said ASI.
Politics permeated deep inside governmental institutions militating their institutional role to serve people. The insane urge both in politicians and bureaucracy for power, pelf and personal aggrandizement led to severe deterioration in the governance issues in Sindh province. There will be no improvement in governance unless the flock running government give up its pursuit of said unwise urge. Worst governance mainly due to unabated corruption have rendered the masses cynical. Disenchantment of people is likely to work as swan song of PPP.

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