Failure of the Provincial socio-economic reforms strategies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Dr. Asmatullah Khan
Almost since last 5 years the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under the governance of Pakistan Tehreekay Insaf (PTI), has not brought any solid visible long term change in the province, while people’s expectations were too high from the PTI’s government on the basis of their political slogans. Though, the present government of KP verbally claims a big socio -economic and managerial reforms and achievements but the ground reality does not coincide with their extravagant claims, because a huge divergence between claims and realities exists in reality.
The issues in the field of Education, health, transportation, shelter, roads and services have not shown any good worth claiming shape, because when a comparative analysis is made with the rest of the provinces, no major change is yet seen till this day in the socio -economic indicators of the province. No doubt minor changes as compared to the ANP past governance have been observed, but the changes are not remarkable as claimed by the government.
Today in this age of competition, this province has almost lost its socio -economic viability and sustainability in all respect, because the huge burden of foreign loans, declining industrial output, low agricultural productivity and growing unemployment are true pictures portraying the socio -economic failure of the government.
The claims of billion tree plantations are also proved just a verbal statement and a great loss to the exchequer of the province, because the ground reality is totally different. Drastic change in the educational system is another false political statement in all respect, because schools destroyed in Swat and other parts of the province are still waiting for repair. Ironically, after the 18 amendments in the National Constitution, all the provinces of Pakistan have established their own Higher Education Commissions to properly monitor and flourish higher education and research in their provinces but Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the only unfortunate province, where we failed to establish our own HEC to boost-up higher education and research activities in the province. Today education and research are considered back bones of socio -economic development and are certainly the prime requirements of accelerated growth and human development.
But when our higher education is dependent upon national government policies and funding, how this province will get developed as compared to the rest of the provinces, where higher education and research have been made independent to grow and flourish in this particular sector in other provinces?
In addition, the recruitment of Vice Chancellors in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities from Punjab is another dilemma, effecting adversely higher education and research in the province.
Growing unemployment of the youth, continuous load shedding, low industrial investment and prevailing hyper inflation have brought the province into a very miserable condition, because poverty and unemployment has reached to its climax, which further lowered purchasing power of the individuals.
The claim of self-sufficiency in energy production and resolving the health issues are other jokes with the people of this province, because load shading and scarcity of medicines in hospitals at districts and Tehsil level is continued and unavailability of the lifesaving drugs is another alarming issue in various parts of the province.
The PTI’s provincial government claims that they have eliminated corruption at all levels in the province and decisions of fund distributions among districts and recruitments are made purely on merit but the ground reality depicts an adverse picture of the government. Because, when the party itself failed to bring merit, transparency and party discipline to win the desired Senate Seats in the recent Senate election held in March 2018, on account of their own corruption already prevailing at party level.
Their MPA’s sold their votes in the recent Senate election, which is certainly the height of their own corruption, how they claim elimination of corruption from the province, when their own MPA’s and Ministers sold even their votes in the said Senate election.
How the government’s claim transparency and honesty in their other activities, when money making among them is at peak? In reality a huge divergence is prevailing between ground realities and governmental claims, which is self evident from the miserable condition of the people of KP in all respect.
Furthermore, daily dozens of children are dying due to insufficient medical facilities, doctors and nurses strikes, poor nutrition’s, shelter issues and growing poverty rates.
The growing suicides rate and poor law and order conditions and higher unemployment rate are other factors of provincial ill planning policies, and poor infrastructure.
Looking into all the above facts and ground realities, the provincial government must fairly and honestly redesign its strategies to win the race and bring the province at par with the Punjab province in socio -economic prosperity. Irrational claims for political gains will never make the voters fools for their blind support.