Totally Transforming the CDA: Futuristically
(“Say No To Corruption” --- The CDA Slogan --- or Motto?) February, 2017
Introduction. The peacefully successful Local Bodies Elections in Islamabad on 30th November, 2015 encouraged the production of this optimistic short suggestive position paper, optimistically.
By God’s grace, Islamabad is 57 years old in 2017. This article is about a key institution of the federal capital, Islamabad, of the Islamic Republicof Pakistan. All man-made institutions are as prone to weakness, and are vulnerable, as human beings, themselves: the naturally fallible men and women who manage them. Neither institutions nor their personnel should be either idolized or demonished. “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty" –– is an age old dictum of Political Science. Democracy demands continuous visibility, transparence and accountability or answerability. That means constant monitoring and scanning, and a System’s SWOT or WOTs Analysis of Democracy and its `Systems’:
T: Trends and Threats.
That is a formula for both objective appraisal, and honest introspection or self-analysis. Individuals come and go, be they good, bad or indifferent. But Institutions, Systems and Traditions are longer lasting. Individuals can make or mar them. It is they who first build, and later demonise and demolish them, rather than their critics, media, or the affected public. This is true of the CDA, also, as an Institutional System: its creation, rise, decay and foreseeable future ––all, as the result of cumulative decadence over the decades --- and hopefully, total peaceful transformation from the grass-roots: Insha Allah! The quality of Institutional Collective Leadership: its culture, character and conduct, words, deeds, life styles and behaviour patterns --- can, and do, make or mar institutions.
The Background. The CDA: Capital Development Authority was created to build Islamabad, once the benign first Military Dictator of Pakistan, the late Gen. Muhammad Ayub Khan, as President of Pakistan, decided to shift the federal capital from Karachi to Islamabad, around 1960. Thereby, to place it beyond the reach and influence of Karachi’s corruptive corporate culture –– hopefully! It was not meant to run or administer Islamabad. But gradually the baboo-bureaucrats and technocrats, who were responsible for building the federal capital, became power hungry and began to spread their hydra-headed octopus tentacles, by violating the self-made CDA Master Plan and its By-Laws. Consequently, Islamabad began to fan out in all directions, like an unwieldy wild growth, by opening sector after sector, under political pressure. So much so that the DHA, which is at the extreme end of Rawalpindi beyond Morgha and the `Attock Oil Co.’ (of the British Indian Colonial Period) is now formally in Islamabad. This is development in the reverse order! Rawalpindi has an age-old history of its own – when the post-1960 Islamabad fledgling was its integral food-basket.
Almost all politicians want a palatial presence in Islamabad, whatever and wherever their remote constituency --- which they visit generally to con, psyche or buy ‘Baradari– barter’ votes. The result of this triply targeting bureaucratic-political-land grabber mafia is that Islamabad has burst its ‘bund-bounds' like a flash-flooded dam, to be turned into a high-crime city infested by terrorism, and not just a routine law and order situation.
The land-grabber mafia, fake self-styled developers and petty property dealers are a malevolently menacing source of corrosive corruption. They have given the CDA a bad name and tarnished its public image. The Quaid-e-Azam University’s land grab case is the latest eye-opening example.
Look at the condition of the Islamabad roads, foot-paths, pavements, culverts, dirt and dumpsters, sewerage stink and main-holes. Look at the parks and public places. Also the educational institutions, hospitals and markets. Above all, the very basic needs as minimal human rights: hygiene, health, sanitation, electricity and water supply –– all were in lamentable neglect. To reiterate: they are the cumulative result of decades of decay and rot motto. All this till the recent Local Body elections --- when the vibrant newly elected Mayor has got into action for Islamabad’s much needed total transformation, with the meaningful motto:
“SAY NO TO CORRUPTION!”.
The Malady and Malaise. The very foundation of the CDA is the product of Martial Law. As such, it is said to be non-constitutional, dictatorial and authoritarian: the CDA Ordinance, 1960 (XXIII of 1960). It sole salvation lies in the now reborn `Baldiya’, henceforth.
Its local affectees still stricture it as turning them into refugees in their own birth-place. The cash compensation they were given was a pittance as compared to the current market rates, they assert by hindsight. Some claim that their cases remain unsettled even today after half a century, and the passage of their two to three generations.
It is hoped that all these lingering issues will be sorted out progressively, now that the elected Baldiya of Islamabad has take over control of the local management and development affairs of Islamabad.
Allegations of corruption and incompetence apart –– which are mountainous and were continuously mounting over the years of its existence –– the CDA had long outlived its utility and objective: building the capital city or town-village (Agroville) within the limits prescribed by the Master Plan.
Reportedly, the CDA was very selective in target-killing alleged cases of ‘building violations’ –– when every road, street, corner and sector of Islamabad is literally littered with private schools, beauty parlours, boutiques, offices, restaurants, clinics, guest houses and business places, in not just residential areas, but actual residences, homes and houses (–– not to mention houses of ill-repute run by madams who brag of access to the corridors of power). Why these double standards and hypocrisy? No wonder allegations of corruption and kickbacks remain rife .....
The well-known UN and Club of Rome formula for Sustainable Development is to realize ‘The Limits to Growth’ --- and thereby, thereafter, to limit it. But Pakistan knows no limits in anything: population, corruption, inflation, unemployment, unplanned urbanization: city sprawl, shanty towns, slums, ghettoes, ‘jhuggies’, ‘kutchi abadies’, and deserted villages. Also, venal incompetence, feudalism, bureaucratism, the vicious ‘VIP (Anti-) Culture; adhocism, status-quoism, vulturous vanity, pestilent pride and Alpine arrogance. It is infested by upstart generations of all sorts and in all sections and sectors of society, suffering from the ‘get-rich-quick itch' and Pak-style cleptomania –– robbing one’s own country, from top to bottom and / or vice-versa. That includes politics and the civilian bureaucracy.
Core Question: What is the way out?
The Futuristic Sensible Solution:
Whatever the forgoing allegations, generalities and actualities, the CDA --- as difference and distinct from the Islamabad `Baldya’ --- needs to be cut to proper size, because it has exceeded its own limits to growth and authority, turning into an upstart authoritarian Colonial Autocrat. I am focusing the Institution and System, including its rank and file bureaucratic hierarchy --- higher level exceptions apart. Not any particular individual. Every organization tends to have both good and not-so-good persons. But the bureaucratic mindset is as banal as the feudal mentality –– if not guarded against conscientiously and continuously. Humility is a rare bird in the bureaucracy. Arrogance seems to have become the norm: the pettier an official, the more uppish is one’s behaviour. Even the designation of the so-said D.C.: Deputy Commissioner is reminiscent of the Colonial Imperial Sahab Bahadur, as both a judge and an administrator. The term, itself, is a misfit misnomer, belonging to Public or District Administration rather than the Judiciary. One wonders if the incumbent even has a degree in Law. For it is a historical fact that some generalist civil servants of the federal and provincial governments in the past had accessed the Judiciary, and had even risen to the top, without any legal qualifications or an academic law degree. Till recently, many reported cases expose that some officers are prone to blindly biased and baseless ex-parte decisions and orders –– rather, commands and edicts or dikta. Then where is the constitutional judicious Separation of Powers? Some CDA subordinate staff and their accomplices, including the local petty Police, violate the sanctity of private precincts, by gate-crashing illegally to take possession of residential houses on unproven oral allegations. Where is the good old principle of the inviolability of the privacy of the person and home: ‘chadar and chardiwari '? The vacant plots of the former East Pakistanis were since 1971-72, allegedly up for grabs. Senior citizens are allegedly being terrorized and targeted as in `target killing', to deprive them of their holy hearths and homes, in their sunset-twilight years. The CDA should never behave like a Terrorist, terrorizing its own citizens. It needs to self-transform itself into a people-friendly, citizen-serving “khadim” of the elderly, (and not just the elite, alone).
The CDA operates under the false notion that it owns Islamabad. No –– certainly NOT. Islamabad is owned by the people, its residents. They own the plots that they purchased and built their houses on. They are not lessees, so that their allotments can be cancelled in a jiffy by any arrogant bloated bureaucrat. If such reported traumatizing tragedy could befall some senior citizens today, others can also be targeted tomorrow --- if not already. The Senior Citizens should unite to demolish the CDA Bureaucratic Banality, and net-work for its conscientious conversion into a people: friendly, centered and managed ‘Baldiya’–– an elected local body --- whether on a party or non-party basis.
In the current-contemporary situation of mass unemployment and endlessly escalating inflation, the only means of survival for the poor and middle classes is Self-Employment. Therefore, women, youth and the elderly should be allowed –– indeed, encouraged, enabled and empowered –– by the government, itself, to be self-employed in small business and cottage industry from their home base. They just cannot afford rented business premises. Home offices, clinics and shops are the answer, in each and every street and sector of Islamabad –– and indeed, other towns and cities of Pakistan.
The new Mayor is expected and requested to consider to change its outdated by- laws, rules and regulations, in favour of more realistic, people-friendly and citizen serving ones.
The CDA ‘Baldiya’. Reportedly, educated, enthusiastic and responsible people have been elected. According to the Pakistan Observer (Daily) of Islamabad, dated Tuesday 1st December, 2015: the Union Council Chairmen elected are: PML(N): 21, PTI: 18, and Independent: 11. The last mentioned have tilted the balance forward, to steer to the future of Islamabad. A conscientiously conciliatory consensual coalition has emerged out of this vote bank. The literacy rate in Islamabad is cent percent. It is full of conscientious senior citizens –– who have retired from service –– but not from life and the altruistic roles and responsibilities of citizenship. The CDA needs to be converted immediately into a conscientiously responsible Elected Body to monitor and manage not only Islamabad, but also be a role model source of guidance to the state and government, generally. Vested interests –– both political and baboo-bureaucratic –– have for long subverted and sabotaged this suggestion. But it is the constitutional right of the Islamabadies to have their own elected body --- now with December, 2015 Local Bodies Elections soon turned into a reality. Insha-Allah, it can prove itself as a role model ‘Baldiya’ for the rest of the country. Local Bodies are Civic Bodies to effect desirable Peaceful Normative Social Change through Community Service and Social Work for Social Welfare. They should have nothing to do with petty party politics, which is personal, partisan and parochial, and thereby, confrontationist, conflictive and divisive. Social Welfare seeks, secures and stabilizes Societal Cohesion and National Integration by Integrative-Holistic Social Sector Development. The Islamabad ‘Baldiya’ needs equal advisory representation of women and men –– two each per sub–sector --- on merit and morals, patriotism and nationalism. Above all, one of its first and foremost targeted task should be to convert the ‘kutchy abadies’ of Islamabad into a Model Sector For the Poor, which is self-reliant and self-sufficient.
An Appeal. Finally, my appeal to the citizens of Islamabad, particularly the senior citizens, is:
People’s elected Local Bodies are the best practical training institutions for grass-roots’ apolitical, non-partisan, national-nationalistic and patriotic leadership to serve the perpetual National Interest and perennial National Ideology: Islam –– the Original Islam of Allah and His Rasool( ) (1). They are the institutions where such truly Enlightened Islam as `Irfan’ can be implemented by the people, themselves –– not imposed by deviant dictators, whether ‘religious’, or secular, political or military (2). It is Islam: The Perennial Peace Paradigm and Muhammadi Moral Model. (3).
Let us unite as one voice, one mind, one heart, one soul and one body, to try to convert the alleged pestilent-pestering `Blackwater - like CDA’ into a genuine Voice of the People of Islamabad. All Local Body Elections throughout the country should work diligently and dedicatedly on truly patriotic basis, because political parties tend to degenerate into Triple P Pollutants: indulging in rabid rabble rousing Personalism, Partisanism and Parochialism. The solution of Pakistan’s Triple P Syndrome lies in the Fourth P: Pakistan as Pakistani Patriotism: Pakistanism and Pakistanization – Indigenization to protect and promote Pakistani Nationalism. That is the tragic tarnished history of almost all the political parties of Pakistan –– which are thus alien to both Patriotism and Nationalism. Therefore, they cannot, and do not, serve the abiding National lslami Ideology and Interest. The only permissible party is of Islam and Pakistan. May God grant us the moral-spiritual courage and character of our convictions, and guide us on His Way: the ‘Siratul Mustaqeem’, to serve society sincerely! Amin! Suma Amin!
In short, this is the critical-crucial time for Pakistan’s Collective Leadership to unite in order to create the Pakistan of its Founders’ Vision, as led by the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the Father of the Nation, his life-long companion and younger sister, Madar-e-Millat Mohtrama Miss Fatima Jinnah, and Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Pakistan’s Poet-Philosopher-Political Thinker and Politician.
The CDA `Baldiya’, Mayor, Shaikh Anser Aziz can lead the way for Pakistan’s elected “Baldiyaat”.
To the Future:
Al-Farabi (870-950) classified cities broadly into:
(i) The Ignorant, Errant and Deviant (etc); and:
(ii) The Virtuous.
It is worth investigation how Islamabad, and Pakistan’s other big cities and towns would be evaluated according to Al-Farabi’s Criteria(4).
1. Ikram Azam:
(i) Islam: The Perennial Peace Paradigm and Muhammadi Moral Model.
The PFI; 2009.
(ii) Islami Renaissance and Muhammad Asad. The PFI; 2010.
(iii) Discourse With Allah. The PFI; 2010.
2. Ikram Azam. Democracy In Pakistan: Praetorian Puppeting. The PFI; 2003.
3. Op. cit.: ref. 1.
4. Majid Fakhri. Islamic Philosophy. Oneworld, Oxford; 2009; (pp. 55–58).