Our institutions were doing a great job till the 1980s: Dr Ishrat Husain

Our institutions were doing a great job till the 1980s: Dr Ishrat Husain

ISLAMABAD: Till the 1980s our institutions were doing a great job as they were being run by competent and loyal civil servants, says Dr Ishrat Husain on Nadeem Malik Live. 

Dr Ishrat Husain was speaking about how institutions in Pakistan worsened over the years as preferences of governments changed over the years. He said that institutions in Pakistan were performing impressively from the 1960s till the 1980s.

He said that during the 1990s when democratic governments succeeded each other in a short span of time, integrity and competency were discarded when it came to appointments.

“When loyalty becomes the criterion instead of integrity and competency, then institutions are bound to be destroyed,” he said.

Dr Ishrat Husain said that Pakistan’s civil servants used to be the brightest and the best. He said that Singapore Airlines and the Emirates took cue from the PIA to become leading airlines around the world.

“Dictators knew that competent and bright civil servants were integral to running institutions in the best possible manner. Hence both General Ayub and General Zia appointed competent civil servants who ran institutions in an impressive manner.

He said that the job of the armed forces was to guard the country from external threats while the parliamentary system was the way forward for the country.

Let the democratic process run despite its flaws

Dr Ishrat Husain said that the democratic process was the only way through which things would turn around. He said that only a strong democratic government could take the country forward to new heights.

“A government run by the military is an aberration,” he said.

He cited the example of how the PPP was ousted by the people in general elections 2013 after the party ruled Pakistan for five years. He said that during the days when the MQM was a powerful entity in Karachi, the party frequently used to change its MPA and MNA candidates.

“I asked them to tell me the reasoning behind this (changing candidates). They said that people used to complain about certain MNAs and MPAs that they don’t do work. Hence we had to change them since the people of the constituency mattered and not the candidate,” he said.

He said that in democracies around the world there is pressure on political parties to deliver for the public.

Dr Ishrat said that Pakistan once used to be governable. He said that the country’s prosperity curve had dipped low and it was up to the people to take it to a new high once again. APP/AFP