We live in a world where specialists in various fields, instead of civil or uniformed bureaucrats, can deliver. There is no place for men who consider themselves jack of all trades.

Ronald Reagan the 40th President, a former actor with average intellect, was most successful president, because he had capacity for self-assessment and his personal limitations. He was elected as governor California in 1966 and realized his own limited capabilities, relying on advice of apolitical specialists, not appointing a single crony. After two failed attempts he won nomination in 1980, defeating incumbent president Jimmy Carter to become oldest person at almost 70 years to hold this office. Reagan selected a team of highly qualified specialists to make policy decisions and when he left office in 1989 had approval rating of 68%, matching FD Roosevelt. Throughout his two-term tenure as President of USA, Reagan did not choose any of his former colleagues from Screen Actors Guild for prominent state assignments, because in his opinion it would be like blind leading blind.

The problem with Pakistan’s ruling elite, both civil, elected or military rulers is that on assuming power they relied upon their cronies whose knowledge of economic, science, agriculture, education, health etc. was as limited as their own. In a country with no scarcity of highly qualified educated talented individuals, there is no justification of appointing men with no specialized skills, trained only as administrators to serve in policy making corridors. This has resulted in massive brain drain and erosion of former successful state institutions. Every uniformed dictator appointed his former colleagues and so did elected politicians with disastrous consequences for country. Imran Khan has made similar mistakes which MNS, AZ, Musharraf, Zia did. As long as blind lead the blind, Pakistan will continue to suffer.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore.