An In-Built System Behind ‘Red-Tapism’, Says PM Khan

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that development projects he launched have been hampered due to the ‘red-tape’ culture in the country.

With an obvious reference to the country’s entrenched and highly powerful bureaucracy, Khan said red-tapism chokes development projects in the country.

Referring to complexities of systems (systems within systems, observers say) in the country, Khan said: “Unfortunately, the government system was hampered with red tape leading to its degeneration. Such hurdles created hold-ups on the way to development.”

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of Quaid-e-Azam Business Park, being developed outside Lahore in Sheikhupura, the Pakistani PM said his government was busy reforming systems, ending red-tapism and in the true sense of the word ensuring ease-of-doing-business for the people.

The PM who came to power in August 2018, maintained that the system could not be reformed overnight though the process of reformation of state institutions had begun.

Sharing his experience with the government and institutional system, he said an in-built system existed, which did not let anyone work easily and without hurdles, a view generally accepted by independent observers.

Commenting on Khan’s view, several observers said the system is dysfunctional. A few said the system as adopted from the British colonial governance style is the main reason for the dysfunctionalism. “A parallel system also runs at its own pace, timing and space.”

A professional studying governance in the country, points out that A) a restrictive, inhibitive and coercive set of practices generally exists instead of B) affirmative, facilitative and proactive practices.

In his view, “A” being the hallmark of British rule of governance and institutional practices in the sub-continent, it continues to be the fountainhead of the country’s civilian state apparatuses.

“Meanwhile, the once Sandhurst-trained military has moved forward as a state apparatus, and embraced “B” to quite an extent over decades,” says the professional. “They also seem to have developed and in-place a crisis management team which appears to augment and supplement the civil matrix.”