EducationPakistan Studies

Obstacles in the way of good governance in Pakistan

This post talks about the obstacles in the way of good governance in Pakistan. For that lets, start from the speech of Mr. Jinnah that he made to the first constituent assembly of Pakistan.

Jinnah wanted to see Pakistan as a truly democratic nation where fundamental rights and civil liberties were protected.  In his speech to the 1st constituent assembly of Pakistan, Jinnah had made it clear that everyone will enjoy the equal and same status as a citizen of the state regardless of one’s creed, color, language, etc.

Jinnah had time and again emphasized the accountability and rule of law which is something yet to be realized. Corruption, terrorism, unemployment, high inflation with a multitude of other problems have made the life of a common man miserable.  In face of these bitter realities, good governance a far dream. 

Obstacles in the way of good governance in Pakistan are discussed below

Weak institutional set-up

Strong and independent institutions are pivotal for the realization of good governance in any state.  The institutions dealing with corruption and accountability etc. need to be built, sustained, and made stronger than individuals. Unfortunately, serious attention has not been paid to build institutions on a sustainable basis in Pakistan from day one. 

The institutions with the function of accountability e.g.  the police, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), etc. are not fully independent.  Politicians influence the institution for their personal and party interests thus becoming a hurdle in the eradication of corruption.

Thus,  political pressure inhibits the capacity and ability of the institutions to bring the criminals to justice and inquire about the cases of powerful people.


Out of 72 years, Pakistan has witnessed 34 years of military rule. The military regimes left little space for political institutions and democratic systems to grow and develop.

After the end of a decade’s long dictatorship, a new political system was installed from scratch. The new political system was dismissed and bulldozed before it got mature. This vicious circle has been repeating since the first Martial Law was in the country imposed in 1958 by Aub Khan. 

Political parties also have acted against each other at the behest of their undemocratic forces which is one of the obstacles in the way of good governance in Pakistan. 

Rampant corruption

One of the most causes of bad governance is rampant corruption. It has literally resulted in lawlessness and acting as the biggest hindrance in the way of development. The problem has aggravated in absence of impartial and independent accountability. 

Instead of taking measures against corruption, the successive governments have been using accountability departments as tools to politically victimize their opponents.  Unfortunately, none of the governments have got out of this vicious circle and take practical measures to ensure accountability across the board without political witch-hunting. 

Lack of accountability and transparency

Accountability is a very important factor when it comes to good governance. The government and institutions of the state are answerable before the people. But, given the weak institutional setup, it’s difficult to see any fair accountability in Pakistan.

Law and Order Problem

Law and the ordered situation have been always dismal facts. People are being robbed and killed in bright daylight. People do not feel safe and secure. Places of worship have to be guarded for the fear of terrorism. Security issues in the country are one of the reasons which scare the investors to come to Pakistan thereby causing damage to the economy.

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