More provinces

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Shakir Lakhani's suggestion to convert the 27 commissionaries into provinces is a most appropriate response to the restlessness present in various parts of the country (May 22). It is the way forward for our progress as a nation. These provinces, sans assemblies and hordes of ministers, should be headed by governors assisted by a small staff tasked to provide support to the district governments for provision of justice and maintaining law and order. The real governance has to be at the district level. The district governments without any change in their present administrative structure should be made responsible for devising sustainable livelihood programmes, catering to the basic needs of the citizens like food, shelter, education, health facilities etc. and provision of justice.

The revenues generated must be spent on meeting basic needs of citizens rather than adding to the wealth of the present lot of provincial assembly members, ministers, advisers, chief ministers etc. This will also address concerns of those who fear that creating more provinces will increase expenditure. It would rather drastically reduce expenses because of doing away with the present useless infrastructure at the provincial level. The tribal areas should be integrated into the new provinces to end duplicity in governance which has resulted in the establishment of terrorist networks in these areas.

Colonel (r) Nazir Ahmed



Shakir Lakhani has given examples of many countries in support of his argument for more provinces. But the examples are not relevant in case of Pakistan. Financially, we are a bankrupt country with over $ 90 billion debt that keeps increasing every day. We have never been able to manage our financial affairs. How on the earth will we run more provinces? More provinces will mean that we have a fleet of governors, chief ministers, ministers and advisers and their administrative setups. Who is going to fund them? The federal government has yet to pay Rs100 billion to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Creating more provinces will only be disastrous for the country.

The solution does not lie in creating more provinces. It is good governance that matters. The system of governance needs a complete overhaul. Unless it is replaced completely there will be no improvement. Look at the volume of our provincial and federal cabinets and their expenditures. By creating more provinces, without any financial backup, we will only increase our dependence upon foreign grants and loans by the IMF. Who will repay that debt and the yearly interest? We have failed to manage even four provinces and have made a mess of everything. Let us not do something that would only lead to total anarchy and destruction.

Lt-Col (r) Mukhtar Ahmed Butt



The suggestion by Shakir Lakhani to create more provinces, if implemented, will bring much improvement in the country by ensuring more jobs and better education and health care systems with an improved judicial system.

Nayab Oqaab

Ontario, Canada