IBA Distinguished Lecture Series by Dr. Ishrat Husain

IBA Distinguished Lecture Series by Dr. Ishrat Husain

March 30, 2018: Institute of Business Administration Karachi organized a distinguished lecture by Dr. Ishrat Husain, Former Dean and Professor Emeritus, IBA Karachi on "Governing the Ungovernable" at the IBA City Campus, Karachi. The session was moderated by Dr. Farrukh Iqbal, Dean and Director, IBA Karachi and attended by luminaries from all walks of life, alumni, faculty and students of the IBA.

The lecture was aimed at examining the reasons behind the volatile and inequitable growth of Pakistan during the last twenty-five years and how Institutional Reforms can bring about democratic governance as captured in the recently published book by Dr. Ishrat Husain.

Dr. Farrukh Iqbal introduced the book to the audience by explaining why the best person to author this book is Dr. Ishrat since having worked in civil service, World Bank and State Bank of Pakistan has provided him the comparative international perspective. He mentioned that the book points out merit, accountability and sustainability as indicators for bringing in institutional reforms.

Dr. Ishrat elaborated that his claim of failed governance during the last 25 years is supported by empirical evidence gathered during his fellowship at Woodrow Wilson Institute. He stated that the evidence suggests that Pakistan has declining ratios of all indicators in terms of governance whereas an upward trend is observed in India and Bangladesh which were lagging behind Pakistan before the 90’s.

Former Governor State Bank of Pakistan highlighted 25 institutions where selective intervention and incrementalism can put Pakistan on the right track. On being enquired if the country could perform well if divided into 12 provinces, Dr. Ishrat said that the answer to better governance can come from complete implementation of the 18th Amendment and devolution of powers to districts and union councils.

When questioned if military government is the panacea, he elucidated that military gained power due to a vacuum created by a weak civil service. A continuity in democratic governments with sustained efforts in bringing merit into civil service can lead to better governance.

He mentioned that he is a firm believer in demarcation of powers amongst judiciary, executive and the parliament and if parliamentary committee on oversight starts playing active role than there would not be a need for active judicial measures. He stated that Pakistan has done well economically during 2013-2017 and the Western route of CPEC will open doors for progress.

Dr. Farrukh Iqbal adorned Dr. Ishrat with a Ijrak and presented him with a shield. The session concluded with a book signing ceremony.