Published Date: Sep 23, 2017
Social justice, inclusive political process prerequisites for effective governance
Social justice, an inclusive political process and motivation among citizens are prerequisites for effective governance, scholar and academic Dr Shahrukh Rafi Khan said on Friday.
Dr Khan, who is based in the United States, was speaking at a lecture organised by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with the American Institute of Policy Studies.
The former SDPI executive director said building equity and social justice were basic paths for a country to meet growth targets that eventually lead to good governance.
The very basics for social justice are building the relationship between effective government and motivated citizenry, making the political process inclusive, reducing the cost of doing business and catering to basic human freedoms and needs with a participatory approach.
Dr Khan referred to his recent study, which highlighted the widening gap between rich and poor, and added that Asian countries need to move towards a process of incentives and actions leading to effective government if they really want their development strategies implemented.
“And if we talk about Pakistan, there seems to be a complete absence of an inclusive political process, [which is] leading to corruption, abuse of power and nepotism that cost heavily on social justice,” he said.
Dr Khan said his premise was around development that indicates towards industrialisation and a competition policy that promotes transparency in doing business.
Dr Tariq Benuri, founding executive director of the SDPI, said that when compared in the 1960s and the 80s on the basis of equity, education and health, international rankings of Asian countries had not changed much.
“Growth does not take place with perfect competition, but equity and justice seems to play a major role in the growth of a country,” Dr Benuri added.
During his vote of thanks, SDPI’s Dr Abid Qaiyum Sulehri said that one of the biggest hindrances to social capital development in Pakistan was corruption. He said countries that managed to maintain their economic growth despite some corrupt practices in their systems later resulted in increased inequalities between the rich and the poor.