A Simple Change Agenda for Our
New Prime Minister
A wish list…………..
By Umer Raza Bhutta
We all have seen a wonderful time when the elections held and are about to witness the first normal transfer of power in our country. There might be many differences with those who have won the elections, yet they have won it and now are about to form the government. In this article I would like to share a brief wish list. That I wish our new Prime Minister could share in his opening speech. This list was earlier written in December 2009 and shared at this blog on June 22, 2012 when the outgoing Prime Minister Mr. Raja Pervaiz Ashraf took oath of office. Now Mr. Nawaz Sharif is going to take the oath and deliver a speech so this wish list is for him.
Our country is in grip of (again in the grip of) worst type of financial, administrative and governance crunch. If we could make a comparison of this crunch with any financial difficulty experienced in one’s life what would come out. Let us look at our lives, if any one of us go through any kind of financial or any other related difficulty at home, or if there is a lack of budget left for the month because of some unexpected spending during the month, the end of the month becomes an austerity regime. The wise would do so, whereas the otherwise will not bother and may end up borrowing. The head of the Family (normally the father) issues directives and at the same time handles the finances wisely. What happens in this scenario is that the parents generally do not let this crunch to be too heavily transferred at the weaker part of the family i.e. kids. It usually are the parents who feel the heat. They spend less on their own clothing, on their own facilitation, on their own comforts and let the comfort go to the kids.
Let me create an analogy, if the Prime Minister and the President think that Pakistan is their home (which they claim in their speeches) and they are the head of the family and all the disciples are the kids. Why wouldn’t they come forward and say that I am here to sacrifice more. I believe they will come forward and offer this sacrifice, but in order to do this they need to think that they are the head of family. They do offer sacrifices, but their sacrifice is limited to the sacrifice of their family time, sacrifice of their privacy and sometimes the sacrifice is to go to jail and spend time in solitary confinement. (to them it is a reward per se)
We are going to witness a historic occasion soon, when our new Prime Minister (his third time though), will deliver his first speech to the new parliament. I was wondering as to why the PM cannot deliver a speech while knowing the following and saying the following. “I know what financial difficulty we are going through as a nation”…..”and as I am the head of the government”….”and as I know what a common man goes through in his daily life routine”……”now I will be doing the following to SET AN EXAMPLE” “So that my countrymen may follow”
- There will be no parties at my official residence from the governments’ budget we will only entertain foreign delegates and dignitaries.
- There will be no EID Milan and song parties at my official residence.
- I will not participate in any of such parties/function etc.
- Country wide, no one is allowed to hang banners or billboards of my name and picture.
- No government or party office holder is allowed to place advertisement in the newspaper having my name and picture and congratulating me or my government for winning the election.
- On my official visit to any city, the CM and Governor must not come to receive me, they must only send their representative and I will meet them in their office.
- I will not be holding any public address and gatherings, and no money must be spent on arranging any such event.
- I will not participate in any wedding ceremony that is arranged in big hotels and venues where there are several dishes served. I will only participate in wedding if it is arranged with simplicity with one dish served.
- I will be travelling only in one car and the necessary security.
- In the seminars and opening ceremony of any event, where I will participate there should only be tea and no food.
- In my cabinet meetings there will be only water served.
- In terms of the justice, If even my son violates the law the police should arrest him, no police officer must entertain his request for pardon.
- My ministers and assembly members will not entertain any such call to them in which a street violator asks them to call the police officer and pardon him.
- No one should entertain any individual for giving job that takes my name, only that individual should be entertained who is on merit.
- Non of my ministers are allowed to give any of their names as a reference to any company, factory or any office to hire any individual.
- My family is not entitled to any official trip and they will strictly spend from their own pocket.
- Whenever, there is any official trip only my wife is entitled to accompany me. And my complete entourage will comprise to the maximum of 15 people in each trip.
- On my trips abroad non of my family member and the staff member will go out for shopping. If they want to go around they will do on their own expense and no embassy staff/car will be detained for them.
- I will not go for performing of Umrah and Hajj until I am holding the public office.
- There will be no renovation in my official residence until I am holding the office.
- All the imported items in my Official residence will be sold and the money will be given to the national exchequer and no purchases will be done for my official residence.
- I will always carry my own documents/bag while going for any meeting.
- There is no official dress at the cabinet meeting.
- If I reach 5 minute late to any meeting, ceremony etc. it should start without me.
- I am publicly announcing the list of my assets today.
The wish list can be endless.
Is it possible that our Prime Minister as head of the family could come forward and start this austerity drive from him? In the above mentioned points, these are just the simple day-to-day items. Our Prime Minster does not have to use very creative jargons and scientific tools. It is only a will of the way and the will can be found through the small steps and the larger steps may always follow.