Caretaker Setup: Politicians or Technocrats

Caretaker Setup: Politicians or Technocrats
Caretaker Setup: Politicians or Technocrats

In Pakistan, we are once again debating on whether to have a caretaker setup of politicians or technocrats.

It is unfortunate that though the constitution does not permit us but every time the elections are close, some of our genius writers launch a movement to have a technocrat setup in place.Pakistan is one of very few countries in this world where constitution is important only when the politicians are holding public gatherings, when a military dictator suspends it, when the Supreme Court allows a dictator to amend it or when we do not have an answer during a debate. Unfortunately though, constitution in Pakistan has never been implemented in its true spirit. Without going into details of how the constitution should be implemented and how it is the most sacred document for any state, let us look at the drama we are going to experience once again.

Once again, we are moving towards the election, though for the first time when a democratic government has completed it tenure. Once again we are talking about a caretaker set up in place for holding free and fair elections. And once again, we have suggestions from different quarters for a caretaker set up comprising of technocrats.I have been reading the constitution of Pakistan for the last fifteen days trying to find out any clause any provision that allows us to have a technocrat setup for holding general elections.

I have been asking all those people who support such a setup to give me a written guarantee that the technocrats would stay in government for the shortest possible time period, hold elections and leave but none of them is ready to commit. In fact, some of our very renowned and genius in themselves writers want this technocrat setup to continue for a longer period of time. They want them first clean this land from corruption; they want them to hang all the politicians who were or still are involved in corrupt practices. I totally agree with all of them, after all that is what every citizen of Pakistan wants but then I look at the constitution and do not find any provision for this.

What I find is a caretaker government to be made with the consent of opposition parties. What constitution tells us is that the caretaker government will only hold elections and cannot perform any other function. The argument now stands at whether to follow the constitution, which for some of us is very sacred but for others may be just a piece of paper, or shall we move towards a cleaner Pakistan by having a technocrat setup, which carries out accountability.

But once again I put some questions here; give me a guarantee that the technocrat setup would hold everyone accountable without any political victimization, give me a guarantee that the elections under them would be free and fair and give me a guarantee that we will not experience something we experienced under Moeen Qureshi and Shaukat Aziz. But hold on, even if you give all these guarantees I look back once again at the constitution of Pakistan and do not find any provision for a caretaker setup of technocrats. So very sorry, I am not going to support it. – Waqas Iqbal

Writer is an entrepreneur & a teacher by profession.