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Governance around the world: what can Pakistan learn?

Published on 23rd June, Edition 25, 2014


The word governance is often tied to corporations and business. Little have we heard about “Global Governance” or “World Governance” which is a new term coined with increase in globalization. Global governance means political interactions between countries aimed for problem solving and act more social. It means that no one country has the responsibility and power over the other for compliance. Global governance becomes even more important with the likelihood of war between USA and other countries. Global governance also means that in a world where media is fast and information is shared all over the world in seconds, all decisions undertaken by a government to benefit the people should be no different from other countries to give each citizen sense of equality and justice. Traditionally, government has been associated with “governing,” or with political authority, institutions, and, ultimately, control. Regulation and rules governing the country should be at par with other more developed nations which promote equality and social justice.

According to the United Nations, “the management of global processes in the absence of global government.” Global governance whether it be good, bad, or indifferent, also refers to concrete cooperative problem-solving arrangements, many of which increasingly involve not only the United Nations of states but also ‘other UNs,’ namely international secretariats and other non-state actors.
Looking at the above stated examples, global governance puts the people of the nation first and to implement policies, which benefits all at equal level. The best practices in one country should be implemented in the next country. The country should work on the premise of social justice, respect under implementation of law that the government doesn’t need to intervene to solve problems. Where these factors are applied, the countries are said to have the highest standard of living and quality of life. Those countries at the bottom are listed year on year among the most dangerous cities/countries to live in.

Karachi unfortunately has been ranked since 2008 among the top 10 most dangerous cities to live in by international research groups and renowned magazines, therefore, the contrast is in front of everyone. Forbes recently ranked Pakistan among top 10 most dangerous country in the world to live in. There is an increased effort by people to move away from Pakistan and lead their lives in other countries through job or immigration or to do business. Pakistan does not fall in any of the definition or explanation of global governance. Let’s analyze the core aspects of global governance and where Pakistan stands.
People have heterogeneous needs, which mean that the demand for each person is different and that they have to be met which need to be met by the government. In Pakistan, it is said that the basic necessity of every individual is food, shelter and clothing. Considering constant rise in price of food, inflation, low incomes, those who live below the poverty line cannot afford to proper shelter, food and clothing. Daily wage earners cannot afford to send their children to school and earn only to feed the family rather than spend on anything else.


It is important that population of a country as per global governance see the benefits, that states agree on their goals and that the institutions governing the process are seen as legitimate. These three conditions are only partially being met in Pakistan. With wide spread corruption, acute law and order issues and no ownership by the government for their decisions. Politicians are busy fighting with each other than resolving the country wide issues collectively. Speeches made by government officials are not put in action. The reason for law and order issues is in incompetent police and non involvement by the government to address these issues. If politicians carry to have indifferences, how could they agree resolving issues in Pakistan, which has seen with the previous government. The best surprise is that since the government has come to an end, immediately law enforcement agencies have started operations in various parts of the city. Another example was witnessed when it came to choosing an interim Prime Minister, a decision as simple that could not be decided by government officials. If states must agree on their decisions according to global governance, why is it that law and order and social justice is not followed in Pakistan?

Domestic governments have monopolies on the use of force, the power of enforcement. Global governance refers to the political interaction that is required to solve problems that affect more than one state or region when there is no power to enforce compliance. Problems arise, and network of actors are constructed to deal with them in the absence of an international analogue to a domestic government. Whenever there has been a bomb blast in Pakistan, a team is constituted who would intervene to generate simply a report rather than take future action to prevent such an eventuality.

With global governance, streamlining these issues to solve problems is called “World Government”. Under global governance, one such area under discussion is the development and improvement of accountability mechanisms. For example, the “UN Global Compact” brings together companies, UN agencies, labor organizations, and civil society to support universal environmental and social principles. Participation is entirely voluntary, and there is no enforcement of the principles by an outside regulatory body. Companies adhere to these practices both because they make economic sense, and because stakeholders, especially shareholders, can monitor their compliance easily. Mechanisms such as the Global Compact can improve the ability of affected individuals and populations to hold companies accountable.

Corporations in Pakistan do give back to the people, however, with efforts rather than jointly working with the government. Most companies in Pakistan do give back in the form of charity and have programs where employees are equality involved to better lives of the people. The previous government never constituted any efforts to bring together companies which can work on a cause.

It is unfortunate that there remains a lot for Pakistan to learn under the premise of global governance, which starts from moral leadership in the country. With the change in government, it can only be hoped that global governance becomes a priority.


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