For Good Governance, Back to Our Roots – By Mohammad Arshad Khan

For Good Governance, Back to Our Roots – By Mohammad Arshad Khan


Some say the idea of “back to the past” is the best solution for Governance of Pakistan. Devolved political and administrative powers to the village and city level and make people’s led local government institutions to break the shackles of the rusted and outdated system of over centralized colonial system that has lost even its original utility (if it ever had any).

Sher Shah Suri’s system of justice was a successful model that existed prior to the colonization of the Indian Sub-continent when the British introduced the present system combined with feudalism.

What are the steps to move in this direction?

‎(1) Get rid of the colonial bureaucratic centralized system of district administration and magistracy that make even local police accountable to the bureaucratic and then in turn to the political executive.

Police should be the servants of Law not of the government or even the state’s executive. The 150 years ago the British introduced the Pakistani system under Police Act 1861. Strangely in their own Country, Scotland Yard is neither accountable to the Home Office nor the Ministry of Justice.

(2) Decentralize and devolve the political, administrative, financial and judicial powers first to the level of self-governing divisions (roughly in line with present administrative divisions) and introduce a system through which these divisions can exercise their powers through village and city Councils.

Sher Shah Suri back in 1540 AD introduced 47 Sarakars (Semi-autonomous administrative divisions) in the whole of Indian subcontinent that used to administer the realm through 1,13,000 Parganas (village Councils). The system introduced by him keeping in view the local society and economy made India the biggest economy of the world in pre-Industrial time under Mughals and the most peaceful empire on earth during his rule.

“Such was the state of safety of the highway,” observes Nizam-ud-din (Akbar’s Mir Bakhshi), who had no reason to be partial towards Sher Shah, “that if any one carried a purse full of gold (pieces) and slept in the desert (deserted places) for nights, there was no need for keeping watch.”-

We are the same people; if we could do it then, we can rule ourselves and administer our affairs without a colonial system even today with added benefits and tools of information revolution and modern management sciences; otherwise there should be no democracy even on federal or provincial level (or so called democracy) and we should be back to be a colony.

It will eliminate the Ethnic rivalry, sub-nationalists and their politics forever. All it needs is some good leadership with true political will and a mind free from slavish complexes or vested interest and a relative time of stability…otherwise things will only deteriorate no matter how many governments are changed.

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