Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

Prominent Economists’ Thought No. 1
A NEW PAKISTAN: MAYBE
Publication Year : 2021

I want to share a thought experiment. Let’s change Pakistan from a federation of four provinces to a union (state) of 20 regions. Why abolish the provinces? Well, for at least three good reasons: they are a colonial legacy; they are culturally and ethnically heterogeneous; and they promote “provincialism” because one of them dominates the political and administrative structure of the country. The present system does not reflect the regional and ethnic aspirations of the people; it disempowers them; and it is inefficient and inequitable in delivering the services that people need and deserve. The proposed regions comprise contiguous districts with ethnically similar communities of common interests (Appendix I). The regional system, as it empowers the ordinary people, will make politicians and civil servants far more accountable to their constituents. Greater accountability also means cleaner governance. The system will also make the delivery of services more efficient and equitable.

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