Pakistan Searches For a ‘Qualified’ Prime Minister: Any Suggestions?

Posted on November 30, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Politics, Society
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Adil Najam

I found this full page ad in Dawn very interesting. And also very democratic. Maybe a national conversation does need to be held on who (or what qualities) makes for a good prime Minister?

DAWN ad searching for Prime Minister of Pakistan

(click picture to see a larger, more readable, image)

Do you have any ideas? Lets try to do this not on the basis of who can win, but who (or what qualities) should we want as our Prime Minister. At least as an intellectual exercise, and a national conversation, we should be able to get out of Benazir Bhutto v. Nawaz Sharif v. Pervaiz Elahi type of ‘pragmatic’ discussion into a discussion of what we really would like to see in a Prime Minister. Dawn’s set of criteria is a very good place to start.

So, folks, give us your ideas but please please please do not again repeat the same old slogans and naaras about why you don’t like who you don’t like. Lets try to focus this on who you like, and why. And even this is someone who has no real chance of winning, lets at least think about what qualities makes you wish that this person would win.

The ad gives these criteria for the person we should be looking for:

  • He should be bold in upholding the law without fear or favor, but his actions must be tempered by the heart.
  • He must be learned in teh art of policy making, but not lacking in mobilizing popular support for his policies.
  • He must be honest to a fault, but neither dull nor unimaginative as to be able to figure our white-collar crime.
  • He must deal with civil servants with firmness and retain an unerring belief in teh rule of law. He must allow a sense of participation around him so the Pakistani electorate is able to guide his thinking. He must shepard a nation of activists – not police a fold of huddled sheep.

One should note that they clarify: “This man or indeed woman could be completely unknown. Or it could be that astute and honest politician who long deserves recognition for integrity, competence, or even an ability to perform a deft Machiavellian maneuver.

93 responses to “Pakistan Searches For a ‘Qualified’ Prime Minister: Any Suggestions?”

  1. zia m says:

    Without a free and independent judiciay it does not matter who gets to be PM.We have to somehow restore the judiciary.

  2. Aqil Sajjad says:

    One very important quality is the ability to understand a variety of perspectives and take people along. A military man puts national defense above everything else, a human rights activist emphasizes human rights, an economist puts the economy first, an educationist says education is the key, and so on. A good leader is one who can gather a good team of experts on these different issues and find a mix that incorporates all these different complementary approaches instead of emphasizing one area at the cost of seriously neglecting others.

  3. faraz says:

    It is not about PM, but institute of politics itself. We can once again import a technocrate like Moin Qureshi, but can he/she treat the ill politics of Pakistan and bring people together.
    In our countries first political parties dont have any election agenda. PPP have some slogans like jobs, health etc but they dont have any implementation stategy. For example how PPP will create more jobs?

    Second 80 % peoples in Pakistan gives votes due to ethinic factors not due to past performence of parties. NS use Punjabi card against BB in Punjab, BB use Sindi card in interior Sind, MQM use Muhajir card in Karachi, ANP use Pakhton Card and Baluch nationalist use Baluchi card. I will say PPP and JI are little better the other parties but JI has issue of radicalism and PPP has issue of Zardarism.

    Why India don’t have same ethinic politics. Because they have constitution, strong democracy and provincial rights are clearly enlisted and implented according to constitution.

  4. ali m.m. khan says:

    To Faisal.

    he already has, his jirga philosphy was about 10 years ago, but more importantly he meant that issues should be resolved locally and the jurors held accountable at the local level..and not be at mercy of some district officer a 100 miles away.

  5. Faisal says:

    Do all expats have the voting rights? if not then we should ask pak gov. to allow expats to vote, then we can choose some sincere candidates,
    I think Imran Khan is the ideal choice but he has to change his ideology abt JIRGA system, which is still in function in rural areas.

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