Is there a Limited Access Order in Pakistan?

“No one, including the state, has a monopoly on violence . . . An LAO reduces violence by forming a dominant coalition containing all individuals and groups with sufficient access to violence . . . The dominant coalition creates cooperation and order by limiting access to valuable resources…therefore secures elite loyalty to the system to limits violence.” North et al., (2008)

Pakistan Elite’s State..Is there a Limited Access Order in Pakistan? Does Pakistan inherited as a natural state constituting LAO influenced through British colonization? This article summarzied some of the key paradox while analyzing the NWW Model (2008, 2009).

The patronage and the dominant capacity to regulate violence played crucial roles in predicting political outcomes, resulting in a new set of institutions with repeated coups, sectarian violence, and feudalism. While analyzing the political institution, pattern of change and attitude, we can see that rule of law has been clearly separated between legislative, judiciary and executive branches under the constitution. However, there have been frequent power struggles among these players to maintain elite power. A coup by an effective military leader in 1958 temporarily destabilized LAO and brought economic growth, but offered few opportunities for broader access and impersonal rule development, resulting in a new division between east and west of Pakistan. The division of country in 70s depicts absence of element of binding-states among the elites and showed a lack of a power-sharing formula. Therefore, from socialist revolution in Bhutto regime (1972-77) to Islamic state of Zia (1977-87), the nation faced a myriad violence. Bhutto’s ambitious attempt of state-owned economy, through strictly controlled LAO, not only harmed the economy but also evoked dissent from excluded opposition and powerful industrialists who had enjoyed the rents during 1960s. However, Zia’s LAO entered to individual bargains, which made a coalition of technocracy, bureaucracy, private firms and significantly new actors ‘the religious leaders (Islamic supremacy) under the command of military empire. The political institutions are in turmoil though it has monopoly of power to control the country, but in rural areas, landlords maintain clan-based private militia and in big cities (Karachi), political organizations (MQM) have private military wing. Pakistan’s market economy provides free & open competition for enterprises with property rights. Even acquisition of private property are defined in secular and sharia laws but acquisition and awarding of contracts remains affected by corruption, red-tapism, and nepotism that continue to plague the administration. Shared by a weak and corruption-ridden state, these circumstances resulted in a government where institutions work very differently for elite’s interests. The judicial system particularly property rights enforcement are weaker among South Asian countries . Couple with public administration and bureaucracy, politicization, distorted incentives and limited accountability has weakened the overall government machinery. The levels of fragmentation, corruption, and self-interest amongst leaders at the national, state and local levels is stunningly high. The cost of corruption has been estimated at 5~7 percent of GDP with overall fraudulent cases around 8 billion US$ for last three years .
Further, military derived huge economic assets through national defense . Hereditary politics has led to a strong monopolistic political-networking whereby political power has concentrated into a few families. Family patronage and the capacity for violence have assumed a greater role in determining political outcomes that are now a plain manifestation of feudalistic relationships. Moreover, even having various political parties, their motives is mere to acquire and grant selected elite access to state resources under the patronage of a couple of ‘mega political families’. Religious and sectarian violence in the last two decades has introduced another group of claimants to state resources and rents . Therefore, the greedy alliance of elite control of resources and privileges remains to threaten under OAO.
Since LAO and Natural states are not static, there are growing numbers of risks and threats towards these authoritarian (LAO) regimes that may accelerate transitions. Based on historical experience in Europe and North America, North et al., (2008, 2009) have identified two basic conditions for transitions within natural states; the achievement of the doorstep conditions, which occurs within the LAO; and the transition proper which begins when the dominant coalition finds it in the interest of elites to expand impersonal exchange and, therefore, incrementally widen access on a less personal basis. There are three doorstep conditions in LAO and that enable impersonal exchange among elites: (1) rule of law for elites; (2) support for perpetually lived elite organizations and (3) centralized and consolidated control of violence. In the case of Pakistan, which possesses hybrid rule of law, one for poor and the powerful. Such discrimination is being witnessed recently as the ongoing case against Prime Minister Sharif has not resolved after the release of Panama Papers Scandal. The papers show his name in off-shore companies and yet he and his family failed to prove any funding sources in 1995-2005 investments . Therefore, there is a growing trust deficit on the government in the country and the findings of World Justice Project Pakistan (2016) ranked Pakistan 106th among 113 countries in terms of Rule of Law experienced by the citizens, getting position only above Afghanistan and some of the African countries. Pakistani perceive politician more self-interested group and don’t show any trust in institutions. Such as Police department is being viewed as the most corrupt authorities, and three-quarters of Pakistanis have paid a bribe to process a government permit and to receive assistance from the police . More than 60% of Pakistan’s cabinet and two-thirds of its federal lawmakers paid no tax last year as tax evasion estimated the average net wealth of $882,000 . Moreover, establishing companies, business (e.g. SME, NGOs) also need strong cooperation with powerful elite and access to licenses, bank funding, and government contracts. Therefore, despite international pressure from IMF or WB, the legislative hardly grow organizations that may hinder their economic and political power. The “elite class” shows reluctance to build a transparent, independent economic and political base . Therefore, unless major reforms are being taken to increase mass awareness (education), strengthening democracy and political stability through incentives for groups to achieve their aims peacefully’ the country might fail to achieve open access state (OAS). A second goal should be that of enhancing the state’s ability to enforce the rule of law impersonally and equitably, especially in its dealings with non-elite-run political, economic and social organizations. The major goal should be focusing on governance and encouraging community (particularity business sector) to gain profits from improving productivity by investing in learning, efficiency, and technology rather than seeking rents from the state (or from tenant farmers) and parking their savings offshore. This will result in more firms that are interested in improving the rule of law and removing bottlenecks to growth, such today Pakistan facing 3Es (Energy, Education, and Extremism). Therefore, increasing the number of players will itself enhance openness and compliance with rules by limiting the ability of any group to create exclusive partnerships with politicians.



Another Kind of Violence!

“For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly, destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is a slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.” J.F.Kennedy rightly said in his speech on April 5th, 1968. The recent chaos in US and rest of developing countries depicts what leaders anticipated. The humanity that unites us all and encourages everyone to come together to help each other heal and to move forward as fellow citizens working together to bring about the changes that are needed. Today, his moving words are still so relevant.


Tribal Leadership at Heart of Terror for Peace and Development: How Senator Farid Ullah Wazir Lost his Life



A visionary tribal leader, former Federal Minister, Senator and my Grandpa who surrender his life for peace and development in FATA and South Wazirstan’ how Newspaper perceive his role in peace. [Nek Mohammad’s] supporters led by Abdullah Mehsud, had continued to engage Pakistani security forces in a drawn-out guerrilla war. Their targets included those tribal chiefs who had collaborated with the Pakistani military. One by one, all those who had backed military operations against the militants in South and North Waziristan were killed. Faridullah Khan, a Waziri tribal elder and former senator, virtually signed his own death warrant when, in March 2004, he facilitated the entry of army troops to his home village, Shakai in South Waziristan. His men helped soldiers to demolish the houses of the tribesmen linked with the al-Qaeda. He even permitted soldiers to use his fort-like house.

I saw Faridullah at an army sponsored tribal jirga in Shakai in April 2005. Escorted by armed guards, Faridullah, who sported a huge turban and a bushy moustache, declared, ‘Al-Qaeda were all over the valley. But this year they are on the run. Peace has been restored.’ Twenty-four hours later, Faridullah was dead. The killers had waited at a diversion of the main road, when his jeep passed on the way from a meeting with the army commander. The militants had blasted the vehicle with rocket-propelled grenades. Ironically, Faridullah was killed a day after General Khattak had declared that South Waziristan had been cleared of foreign terrorists.

The Dwan News reported his death in this way..

“He had no feud. The man had played a key role in helping out troops to enter Shakai and break the back of foreign militants. He was an obvious target,” the source said of the 51-year-old former senator from Waziristan. Accounts provided by witnesses and official sources of the incident said that the former senator had made a stopover at Kariwam on Jandola and Tank road for lunch and had returned his escort thinking that he would be safe while on the main road.

He had also been instrumental in arranging for the surrender of 44 local wanted militants to the government from the Shakai Valley who were later allowed to go free on Faridullah’s own guarantees and requests.”


Sharing is Learning; Influence of Social Network for Rural Development

Human are social animal and in today contemporary world when there is a revolutionary changes in human societies, there is a increasing trend of socializing on internet. In the developed world, the term “social networks” often illicit thoughts of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, WordPress, and many, many more. In the developing world particular of rural setting, networks still depend, for the most part, on offline interactions.

In Pakistani context, “Choppal” and “Hujra” culture were some ancient form of social network and reconciliation. I can still imagine when in our childhood, my Grandpa was arranging village meetings in order to discuss agricultural-crops and animal diseases, water  and other conflicts and try to find solutions with the help of other villagers from same or different tribe and locality. However, these Newly emerging Social networks (on or offline) affected all of our lives; the people we know influence what we’re exposed to and the actions we take. Likes, comments, gaining weights, instructions, music?Blame your network. Got a job or sales promotion? Thank your network.  Access to information is by word of mouth, and a few central individuals often disseminate information from the top down to the remainder of a village. This is particularly true in agriculture sector-a necessary livelihood for most rural-bound individuals. And, because males are generally the higher performing producers, they are more central to village affairs and the targets for agricultural training and improvements. They are then expected to disseminate information outwards to the remainder of a village, but this rarely happens.

A recent study by Kathryn Vasilaky in Uganda-Africa revealed some astonishing facts regarding influence of social networking among villagers. They examined an intervention randomized field trials at the village level in which female farmers were randomly paired with farmers whom they did not know, and encouraged to share new agricultural information throughout the growing season for a recently adopted cash crop. Their study showed that the intervention significantly increased the productivity of all farmers except of those who were already in the highest quartile of productivity, and that there were significant spillovers in productivity to male farmers. These evidence of how social networking can influence learning new information via these new or weak ties increased agricultural productivity, specifically, for the previously less productive female farmers. It has affected yields: changes in the size or structure of individuals’ networks, knowledge expansion as a result of participation in the information meeting, and knowledge expansion as a result of learning through new network links. These results suggest a number of directions for future work, including developing a greater understanding of how new, weak network connections facilitate information exchange, whether information transmission via such connections is sustainable, and whether this methodology extends to other domains such as the adoption of health practices or information communication technologies.

Such social expansion in rural sector in Pakistan, where majority of population lives in disparity can share their indigenous knowledge for bringing prosperity in their communities. In Punjab and KP social organization such as “Choppal” and “Hujra” are some sort of social interaction which were source of information, reconciliation and bringing peace in their lives. Older people were sitting in a room to discuss issues and finding collective solutions. However, this socialization trend is getting weaker and now I cannot see such gatherings. Through such research in Africa, we can replicate the results in our rural areas which can help us in fighting social evils and alleviate poverty!


Research for Sustainable Development Global Partnership to revitalize Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The emerging and stagnating socio-economic and environmental challenges bring a new debate to revisit the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The traditional Millennium Development Goals has a substantially (not extraordinary achievements) improve lives of people yet there are still issues need to be resolved as present Secretary General Banki Moon expressed ;

“Eradicating extreme poverty continues to be one of the main challenges of our time, and is a major concern of the international community. Ending this scourge will require the combined efforts of all, governments, civil society organizations and the private sector, in the context of a stronger and more effective global partnership for development. The Millennium Development Goals set time-bound targets, by which progress in reducing income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter and exclusion — while promoting gender equality, health, education and environmental sustainability — can be measured. They also embody basic human rights — the rights of each person on the planet to health, education, shelter and security. The Goals are ambitious but feasible and, together with the comprehensive United Nations development agenda, set the course for the world’s efforts to alleviate extreme poverty by 2015. “

The present socio-cultural, environmental and economic researchers, experts and policymakers are in a final sprint to identify such tangible goals that would shape the work of the global aid community and try to achieve the peaceful and prosperous future we want. As an outcome of 2012 U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development or the Rio+20 the emphasis of the world leader is on “Sustainability” that aim to be included in policies and programs around three sphere; economic growth and equity, social development and environmental preservation. The idea seems to be is quite simple yet hard to achieve. Most of the countries can pursue socio-economic development while safeguarding the environment to ensure sustainable socio-environmental development. However, in practice the trade-offs arise due to the diversity of challenges, stakeholders and interests. As often the country development needs win-out over environmental issues. Such problems promotes some of experts to argue that stamping out poverty and protecting the Earth’s life support system must be twin priorities for the coming SDGs.

In order to find a balance between competing demands of economic growth and protecting environment is at the crux of sustainable development-a challenge all of us should tackle. The academia and research institutes must took on through sustainable development goals by devising Research for Sustainable Development (RSD) programs that aims to contribute to setting the post-2015 agenda by advancing SDGs such as linking poverty reduction with environmental protection, and proposing policies and frameworks for action to the aid agencies and multilateral organizations. The Uni-led RSD programs  must seeks to propose tangible goals, specific and time-bound targets and regulatory frameworks for governance by integrating findings from studies, which utilize human development and environmental sustainability paradigms. The Researchers can follow the basic principals as;

  • Initially by understanding the Climatic and Earth Challenges and then proposed multivariate approaches for Sustainable Development through analyzing goals and targets at different levels of governance e.g. local, national, regional and global and to ensure the preservation and protection of Earth’s life such as water resources (oceans), atmosphere (air),  forests and biodiversity (esp. Flora and Fauna).
  • Linking and Integrating Formal Education with World’d Challenges globally such as Water and natural resource utilization and management through non-formal educational or training programs and by developing basic literacy competencies.
  • Ending the Inequality, Promoting Justice to tackle Multidimensional Poverty; Conflicts, Food and Health Poverty Nexus;  There is a dire need to revisit the current global FTAs, Monetary and Economic polices in order to reduce inequality between countries. Further, the academia can analyzed multidimensional poverty in terms of Food and Health such as researching links between economic deprivation, health and conflicts (Terrorism and Crime) and suggests that the SDGs address this by linking targets and indicators with the delivery of socio-economic and educational programs to boost economy and address poverty and its outcomes globally. Further, to end the “double burden” on Poverty-interventions should focus more on eliminating inequality and food disparity.
  • Comprehensive governance and Management of United Nations and SDGs; Tackling opportunities for creating a coherent governance system. It required not only to arrange High-Level (Political) workshops or forum on Sustainable Development rather needed a high-level active participation, contextualization of goals and target with innovative techniques for dialogue and feedback, and links with intermediaries inside and outside of the U.N. system. The UN and its bureaucratic mode must listen to the developing  and underdeveloped world and let them decided what is important for them to work on.
  • Partnership among researchers and experts from around the world and among universities and research institutions would help in identifying, measuring and suggesting appropriate strategies and solutions and provide a platform for emerging research for playing their role sustainable development.

Both UN and Academic institutions must play its role in order to create a healthy environment, a viable economy, just and peaceful community where everyone has a right to live and progress independently. The research focused SDGs can lead towards achieving goals and targets of ending global poverty, inequality, hunger, basic education, health, food and environmental security globally.