A Just and Sustainable Society
A Modern, Progressive and Inclusive Polity in Pakistan in 2030 Izhar Hunzai 1. Where We Stand Today Let’s first have a hard look at ourselves, and take stock of our situation as a society and a nation, and analyze our problems, potential and opportunities within our national, regional and global context. First of all we are a young and diverse nation, strategically located at the crossroads of Asia. Our heritage includes Islam, but also cultural roots developed over millennia in the Indus Valley and historic affinities with the South, Central and Western Asia. Our state is precariously built on strong cultural and ethnic identities, and much of our ‘state ideology’ is open to internal political manipulation, and misunderstood by the majority of citizenry. We are surrounded by a mixture of hostile, theocratic and unstable states, except China, and much of our foreign policy has remained India-centric, and subservient to global events, rather than driven by our own long-term national interests. The resulting sense of instability and insecurity has forced us to jump from one crisis to another, including open and protracted wars with our neighbors, fronting for so called global wars of all descriptions defined by global powers, forcing us to choose sides against our will, create resentment and divisions within our polity, and allocate disproportionately large sums of our national resources to defense, and incur other societal costs, including limitations and restrictions on our individual and political liberties. Internally, we have numerous problems: low literacy, inequality, and poverty among the majority of our citizens, perpetuated by deep-rooted feudal and tribal structures, religious dogma and extremism, a culture of corruption at all levels, bureaucratic ineptitude, and a legacy of political mismanagement with intermittent military interventions in the political


Take the example of vastly differing systems of education. A. 2 . or healthcare. and limited land reforms under Z. and lacked broad and meaningful participation of citizens. to satisfy their social needs. we have experimented with various ideas and programs to reform our state and society. we are a nation with great promise and potential and possess all the necessary attributes to emerge as a successful and vibrant state in the 21st Century. economy and the civil society. la w and justice. Our development approach has lacked strategic focus. largely on the capacity of weak public sector institutions. they automatically exclude a large proportion of the population from basic services. but invariably less effective state system. All these and other reform and development approaches have been conceived and imposed from the top. or pirs. which lacks the support of key stakeholders and has yet to show any tangible results. educational system. The list is long but a few examples should be enough to drive this point home. nationalization of industry. Bhutto. The other part of this disconnect is that development efforts have generally remained a supply-side function. resulting in more confusion and chaos than any tangible benefits. in our country.affairs of the country. National Potential Despite these shortcomings. and remained largely supply driven relying. and they have failed because. but turn to madrasas. administered though a monopolistic. Notwithstanding the deficiencies in the formal sector services. even such enlightened attempts to create and foster democratic institutions at the grassroots level. In the past. including Basic Democracies under Ayub Khan. 2. jirgas. we are experimenting with a Devolution Plan. thus automatically excluding a wide variety of civil society initiatives that can complement and supplement state sector services at the receiving or the demand-side of the development equation. has been a top-down effort. Currently. and sectarian-based ‘Islamisation’ of state institutions and society under Zia Ul Haq. A big part of the reason for this failure is a series of disconnects between the informal reality of rural Pakistan and the formal systems of the state. leaving no choice for the disfranchised people. coherence and continuity.

Our strategic location. health 3 . Let’s elaborate a little on this short definition in the following lines. participatory and pluralistic. we need to come up with a working definition to serve our current purpose. a ‘just and sustainable society’ can be said to exist when there is a balance between economic opportunity. social justice and environmental sustainability. and provide opportunities for each member of the community to reach his/her potential. resource use and consumption patterns must be wise and not harm the integrity and productivity of the natural systems. giving the country sufficient fiscal maneuverability to increase investment in the hitherto neglected sectors. particularly our proximity to China. Secondly. by ensuring equal access to opportunity and national resources. so we can devote our attention to other national goals. offers unprecedented opportunities to act as a corridor for trade. telecommunication and storage infrastructure. play. This calls for upgrading our road. economic opportunity. A just and sustainable society must be based on the rule of law. However. Firstly. Thanks to the current enlightened leadership in Pakistan. 3. imposing a huge burden on the society. transit and commerce for the whole of Asia. a just and sustainable society should provide a reasonably high quality of life to all the members of the society. our macro economic situation is improving. work. A sustainable society should provide equal access to justice. At a basic level. it must be inclusive. We have a young population which is an asset. without being overly obsessed with external threats. if we fail in this area. Thirdly. when the current young population ages without education. as well as moderating our policy on Kashmir and aiming for an early political accommodation with India. if we can accelerate investment in education and create productive skills in our youth. our security is ensured in the form of both adequate nuclear deterrence and conventional capabilities. religious and intellectual expression.First of all. This includes political freedom. our destiny will be similar to that of a failed state in Africa. and cultural. Attributes of a Just and Sustainable Society As this is a vast subject. optimally productive and equitable. and establish a fair and verifiable system for mediation between individual freedoms and collective responsibility.

as well as many problems. we tend to be obsessed with the outcomes and manifestations rather than the actual underlying causes. Key Issues Pakistan has great diversity. Significant inequality in access to national resources among citizens is inherently unjust. 4. complex and deeprooted. when we talk about our problems. A just and sustainable society ought to value social and cultural diversity. for each of its members. big and small. all citizens must be involved. And above all. motivated and have a strong desire to create a just and sustainable society. respectful and non. and in a manner that provides the greatest good for the greatest number in the polity. However. the oft-cited problem in Pakistan is frequent military interventions in the system of governance. For This is because most of the individual behaviors and governmental policies that support sustainability are best nurtured at the local level. and unsustainable. because it provides strength and resilience to the human community. However. A just and sustainable society recognizes that its economy must operate within the limits of nature. but also through strong and capable civil society institutions and by infusing social responsibility in the corporate sector. Communities should be the primary locus of responsibility for creating a sustainable society. These 4 . just as it does in nature. inequitable.violent means. A just and sustainable society resolves the inherent conflicts among its members through peaceful. and these rights must be enshrined in broad-based and participatory institutions. thus undermining the fledgling democratic processes. not just in the state sector. education and so on. social and political inclusiveness and pluralism. a closer look at the causes will point to other factors that prevent democracy from taking roots in the country in more profound ways than military takeovers.

and has never had an opportunity to make the necessary transition from a feudal mode of social organization to an industrial mode of functioning. the main challenge for Pakistan can be said to be nothing less than making a huge leap from what is essentially a pre. the military stepped. The root causes of Pakistan's economic and political woes lie in its feudal society and the winner-take-all approach to governing that has been practiced by successive civilian and military leaders.include. or pluralism. internal ethnic differences quickly came to the fore. had no real motivation in forging a state that would promote popular participation and equity. accommodative policies. inaugurating what would become a recurring cycle of infighting within the ruling elite. followed by a military and a population that is largely illiterate. and his party which was already dominated by upper-class landlords. vibrant and just polity in Pakistan. as there are small examples within Pakistan (Northern Areas). And when this neglect resulted in a serious political disorder. The good news is that this is entirely doable. 1 After independence. The new country's leaders showed scant regard for representative institutions. from a medieval feudal system with levels of social. November/December 2002 5 . Therefore. Unfortunately.industrial information age in the 21st Century. economic and technological development that 1 Foreign Affairs . all the way to the post. and politically and economically dispossessed.industrial mode of social organization.400 year old theological schism in Islam (and now exploited by external forces). socially fragmented. where this incredible transformation has taken place in just a few decades. democratic. a lot of work needed to be done to build a nationstate out of a variety of ethnic and sectarian groups and class systems. among others. a history of deep-rooted feudal and tribal structures and outmoded cultural traditions. Thus the failure of the state to break the backbone of the feudal system has been the single most important factor in preventing the growth of an informed. religious intolerance rooted in a 1. With no Hindus around to blame in the new State of Pakistan. Qaid-e-Azam passed away soon after independence.

as food supplies ran out during winters and early spring. We in Pakistan don’t have the luxury to wait for a revolution to happen anytime soon. Secondly. The entire extended family slept in one room. In other words. which literally burnt its feudal past in a violent revolution. And. with on opening in the roof. I also remember that we lived next to our domestic animals to use their body heat to supplement our home heating system: open fire in a windowless room. leading to overall prosperity and a verifiable improvement in the quality of life indicators for all citizens. What are these challenges for contemporary Pakistan and how can we place them in a proper order. we preserved and recycled the bones by cooking dried vegetables with them to add meat flavor and a little protein in our bland diet. we must first increase the size of the pie. The other big example that stands out is next door China. but took only a few decades to recover and renew its systems to reach to this incredible level of advancement. and flexible in making compromises on less critical issues. but we can certainly take a leaf from China’s approach. 6 . Interestingly. and include a series of affirmative actions to make up for the neglects of the past. After feasting on occasional meat in the summer and autumn.literally bordered on the ‘stone-age’ period. and state protection for the most vulnerable through a strong social safety net. you can be firm in fundamental choices. whatever we set out to do. Instead. development and governance systems must be inclusive and participatory. China found its solution in a form of gove rnance that emphasized social and economic inclusion for its citizens through ‘market socialism’. that once you have set your national goals. but making a 2 I vividly remember making a fire by striking an iron object with a hard stone in my village house in Hunza in 1965. prosperous and sustainable society must include three things: Firstly. even before thinking about possible solutions? The key principles in setting our national agenda for a just. toilet facilities were shared with the animals. it must promote rapid and broad-based growth. so that you can focus your national energies on key challenges. to one of the fastest developing and dynamic parts of Pakistan2 . This includes not just improving and extending state services to rural areas. we met our table salt requirements by picking powdery traces from saline lands. China did not fall in the trap of ‘token democracy’. as Russia did and paid dearly for it.

but focus on a small number of key problems. and develop a participatory action framework in which all sectors of the state. let’s get our approach right. through equity in access to opportunity. rather than trying to solve all the problems at once. Key Areas of Focus In order to set on a new course. we need not plan revolutionary changes. and replace it with modern state and civil society institutions. In other words.deliberate attempt to reduce and ultimately eliminate the feudal grip on the society. Let’s develop national consensus on a few issues. As described earlier. The key to success will depend on setting clear objectives and taking ‘bold’ steps. the essential ingredients for a just and sustainable polity can be: ? ? ? A higher quality of life through broad human development. A strong. and concentrating utmost energy on the agreed national goals—Chinese style—to make visible and sustained progress in these areas. impartial and professional system of accountability in all public matters must be taken as the cardinal principle for creating and sustaining a just society. all agreed actions and interventions must be sustained through broad-based institutional arrangements with a strong system of public scrutiny and oversight. and Sustainability through a strong system of public scrutiny and accountability 7 . and let incremental progress in these areas spill over to other sectors. equity and sustainability. and avoid using a top down approach. with a focus on increasing per capita education. Inclusive governance capable of delivering social justice to all. 5. skills and capabilities. society and the private sector can contribute optimally to achieving these agreed national goals. Thirdly. resources and social services. based on the principles of broad-based growth.

j) personal security. 3 Although progress in all these areas is essential. Ltd. l) recreation and. if increases in per capita GNP are generated through exhaustion of either exhaustible or renewable natural resources. the apparent increase in the per capita GNP of the current generation is less than the true increase in its sustainable per capita GNP. women and marginal areas. namely. and Hazel Henderson info@Calvert-Henderson. or weighted per capita income. m) shelter. inclusive of social development. e) environment. Copyright © 2000-2006 by Calvert Group. i) infrastructure. Similarly.5. Furthermore. k) public safety. Thus. thus guaranteeing tremendous multiplier effects on other areas. whose cost is not included in conventional measures of GNP or national income. if increases in per capita income are bought at the expense of decreases in civil liberties. in today’s knowledge-based economy. and make rapid progress in this sector. political exclusion and exploitation of the poor. increases in average per capita income in Pakistan alone are no guarantee for improvements in social development. nothing can have a more profound and 3 Calvert-Henderson Quality of Life Indicators. if different income strata share unequally in the increases in per capita income that have taken place. Opting for a growth strategy led by per capita education and skills rather than per capita GNP is necessary for a country like Pakistan which suffers from severe and entrenched inequities. g) human rights. social development indicators will not rise as rapidly as average per capita income. b) employment.1 Quality of Life—Developing Human Capital as an Entry Point The broadly agreed quality of life indicators include: a) education. Moreover. f) health and sanitation. education. Firstly. d) water. c) energy. or if economic growth occurs in such a way that the distribution of income and wealth become more unequal as growth takes 8 . let’s take only one indicator as a key challenge. the increase in average income is less than the increase in the distribution. h) income.

such as shortage of productive skills. civic initiatives. low productivity. alienation. resources and a participatory strategy. respectively. the overall literacy level is presumed to be 46%. it will take a much greater effort. focusing not only on formal and non. but also a serious deficit in the overall stock of human capital. promoting broad participation. Follow.up measures may include: 4 UNESCO.widespread effect on productivity. and the actual rates may be no more than 26% and 12% for men and women. the best strategy for rapid and broad-based growth is investing in our human resources. According to the official figures. but also aimed at building social capital. research. low morale and motivation. Now let’s look at where we stand in this important sector. organizational and entrepreneurial skills. civil society and the private sector to make a meaningful difference in the current grim situation.formal education. lack of organizational and entrepreneurial skills. growth and equitable distribution of development gains than human and intellectual capital. The starting point for launching a large-scale and workable human development programme can be to formulate a national human development strategy. The state of our nation’s educational system presents a grim picture. 4 The problems are not limited to the dearth of educational opportunities. which may change the current unequal status quo. and outright opposition from feudal and religious power brokers against anything that may raise the capabilities of people. In a country of 160 million people. Although the current government has taken a number of new initiatives to rectify this situation. promoting technical. This rate of literacy is widely contested by independent sources. exclusion. low quality and standards. partnership and alliances through public awareness and social mobilization. innovations and technology development and application. while only 26% women are literate. 2005 9 . involving all the capabilities of the state.

The military has become a necessary part in this political drama . Some of this money can also be used to encourage the madrasa system to adopt national curriculum. The military fits neatly into this well developed pattern of regime recycling. professional development institutes Launching a massive social mobilization effort. dominated by the landed gentry. making grade ten level education compulsory and prosecuting those including parents.2 Inclusive Governance for Equitable Development—Social Mobilization as an Entry Point Like many other things in the country. subsidies and grants to the private sector. and for all practical purposes. vocational.? Allocation of a greater share of national resources. the will of the people is just a notion in political theory. communities and individuals. ? An incentive-based system of taxes. once the excesses of the previous civilian government reach a breaking point. democracy has also become a valued commodity monopolized by the ruling elite. backed with matching grants. and use that money to establish an independent National Human Capital Development Foundation. and a host of other unproductive national assets. PTDC motels. 10 . and giving its governance to leading educationists in Pakistan. This can be done by a combination of new taxes and privatization of public sector companies5 . say at least 7 to 10 percent of the annual budget. manages and researchers in this sector ? ? Investments in infrastructure. But then what is new? Political culture all over the world remains elitist. encouraging community-based initiatives in primary and tertiary education. prestige and political patronage within the ruling elites. so are the sectarian lords. 5. whose political capital has also enhanced with growing apathy and alienation of the population that remains largely poor and illiterate. This cynicism 5 It would be advisable to sell the Pakistan Steel Mills (also solving the current political row). representative democracy imposed from the top will continue to remain a contest of power. with a mandate to focus on primary education and the education of girls through community initiatives. including higher salaries to teachers. In its current form. who oppose this. information and communication technology. PIA. technical and entrepreneurial skills ? Legislation and strict enforcement.

For instance. the broad roles and functions played by the civil 11 . This can be achieved by other means. including India. prone to intrigue. civil society action and participation in major national challenges. who are poor and illiterate and. such as poverty reduction. makes them important and useful partners with public sector initiatives and programmes. resource allocation and other decisions. there are no real alternatives to democratic discourse. Moreover. and elections provide a unique and peaceful opportunity for leadership development and transition. Here the role of civil society is more supplementary and complementary to public sector policy and action. and delivery of social and livelihood services. Civil society action is no substitute for public discourse through formal democratic institutions. More importantly. but it can contribute to improving overall governance and participation in a variety of ways. evidence-based scrutiny of public policy. This is a relatively new route in Pakistan. social justice. forcing governments to do their proper homework. increasing citizens’ say in public affairs need not be limited to direct involvement in party politics—both are necessary. the alternative budgets prepared by the civil society groups through grassroots participation. Without a doubt. The basic issue is how to improve and upgrade our political culture and increase meaningful participation by the majority of our citizens. therefore. manipulation and the blackmail under the prevailing political culture. are regarded as powerful tools to precipitate public debate. defe nd and sometimes reverse their priorities and resource allocation decisions in the face of strong public criticism on some undemocratic or unsustainable actions. and may prove to be an effective method for promoting democracy in a real sense. elections and other political processes are important steps for evolving democratic norms and institutions in the long-term.apart. participatory democracy should remain an important goal. such as articulating citizens’ will through civil society action. including providing an additional check on the public sector actors and institutions through public debate. Although. in many countries.

and in the natural resources that they depend on. in several degrees of intensity. automatically excluded from the formal sectors of the state and economy: i. know as social mobilization. This is a valid concern but. to complementing it by sharing the burden of development. they will continue to remain excluded from all political and civil society paths of participation and action. 12 . they cannot articulate their voice. We are back to square one because the majority of people who are socially and economically at the fringes of Pakistani society are poor. in addition to demanding timely elections and clean politics from our rulers. makes them an indispensable part of the polity. are also employed successfully in many other parts of the world. especially in geographical areas and within social segments that have remained disadvantaged for one reason or another? The answer should be yes. etc. there is a way out.. education. particularly in South Asia. has been tested successfully in the Northern Areas and Chitral District of NWFP. and illiterate. powerless. fortunately. Social mobilization methods. and. ranging from checking the excesses of the state. The question now is. credit and insurance services. cannot break out of the cycle of chronic poverty on there own effort alone. clean drinking water. Civil society activism that is not rooted in the actual people who are currently excluded from the development gains. This process. by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP). Social mediation is a proactive instrument used by governments and civil society actors to intercede on behalf of people who are assetless. The starting steps for social mediation are small investments in the productive and organizational skills of these communities. health. therefore. unless something changes. can we in Pakistan. also insist on increasing the role of civil society in key decisions concerning national development. and ideas and advice on how to pool their individual efforts and resources for their collective good. therefore. therefore. with encouraging results. and is being adapted to local conditions by several Rural Support Programmes (RSPs) in the rest of the country. Latin America and Africa. powerless and.society.e. will remain equally elitists and meaningless. but with one important qualification. through a process known as social mediation.. And.

13 . and. physical. Howeve r. equity and sustainability in resources use and management. b) imbedded in the local institutional history. Available evidence shows that social mobilization techniques are effective in: a) reaching out to all or most of the poor households. community organizations. vulnerability and powerlessness. b) enhancing financial. h) linked with public and private sector services. Lessons learned by AKRSP and other RSPs show that social mobilization techniques aimed at collective action are effective in overcoming a variety of handicaps common in many parts of rural Pakistan. best guaranteed by a higher degree of collaboration between the state. to succeed in these efforts. economic and environmental services. characterized by low productivity. as well as many social. d) adding value to public and private sector services through economies of scale and cost and management sharing. A more institutionally plural approach to meeting local development challenges is. especially poor. including low endowment in natural resources. c) increasing productivity. human and natural capital. f) backed by active government support. social mobilization interventions must be: a) promoted by apolitical. d) infused with democratic norms. and. business.Social mobilization provides a missing link for greater participation of citizens and institutions. Experience throughout the world has demonstrated the limitations of over-reliance on governments to provide a full suite of social. professional intermediaries. and the business sector to improve stakeholder participation in local decision-making. poverty. therefore. e) continuously renewed with organizational knowledge. g) inclusive of all or the majority of households. including government. civil society. e) in forging meaningful public-private partnerships. poor state of human capital and high levels of social fragmentation that lead to subsistence conditions. and NGOs in sustainable local development strategies. cultural and psychological barriers to development. c) follow local preferences for organizational forms. social.

and politically powerless and prone to all forms of manipulation by the ruling elites. the main challenge of Pakistan is making a rapid social and political transition from an elitist and outmoded form of social organization. based on feudal values. The wider question in this regard is can we conceive separating the mosque and feudal influences from the governance of a modern state. but at least we should initiate a process of public dialogue. because they focus on lowering the entry barriers for the communities at the grassroots level. let’s try to address “supply-side” challenges. Easier said than done.3 Sustaining Gains through Accountable Institutions —Creating an Enabling Environment As discussed in the introduction of this paper. and institutional pluralism. As a strategy. Starting from the top. In this section. and to initiate a process of ‘mainstreaming’ and inclusion that is the basis for a just and sustainable society. and try to think of policies and interventions that focus on creating an enabling environment for a just and sustainable society. coercion and exclusion. removing constitutional ambiguities and making it consistent with globally accepted standards governing individual and collective life. economically disconnected from the formal sectors. and making at least an intellectual commitment to achieving this goal by 2030? This is necessary because the attempts to Islamize secular laws and ending up with two parallel legal systems in the country will get us nowhere. to one that is based on democratic participation. One can describe these as “demand-side” interventions. We also discussed that democracy cannot simply be imposed from the top. Even a softer approach to try to incorporate Islamic values in our 14 . the biggest challenge would be to purge Pakistan’s Constitution from all feudal and sectarian traces and influences. and to enhance their capacity to participate in the mainstream national life. similar to the one started by the Geo News on the Huddud Ordinance.5. fundamental rights. especially when the majority of the population is socially fragmented. earlier sections have proposed inclusive development and social mobilization at the grassroots level as the necessary entry steps to rectify a variety of disconnects.

and provide a mechanism for selecting and screening leadership. For the most part of Pakistan’s history. In a mature democracy. rather than enshrining the views of the dominant groups in the state laws. religious orthodoxy. resolve conflicts. this should clearly reflect in the Constitution and laws of Pakistan and this right should be protected at all costs. Next is the issue of barriers to democratic discourse in Pakistan. and external factors. political parties connect state with the society by aggregating and representing different interests for peaceful mediation. and building bridges between all communities. then the state should be blind to a person’s choice of faith and mode of its practice. In the case of Pakistan. The way to deal this problem is by creating a more inclusive understanding of Islam through state and societal efforts. economic and social exclusion. just and sustainable society. political parties have tended to remain 15 . sectarian. democracy begins with broad-based political parties. Moreover. giving the military a disproportionate share in the national policy and resources. Even in parties with a wider appeal. including strong feudal traditions. All these roles are indispensable for a healthy. and dragged it into regional and global wars. we are much behind in inculcating these traits in the political parties. there are very few political parties that can claim a nationa l agenda. If we are going to pass the test of an inclusive state and society. The problem stems from a combination of factors. because of the differing claims to interpret Islam. Without a doubt.Constitution is fraught with difficulties. Political parties are central to democratic discourse and nurturing of accountable institutions. They disseminate information. socialize citizens. or regional agendas than national issues. such as the issue of Kashmir. A large number of small but more vocal parties are more distinct for their narrow ethnic. at the expense of internal nation building tasks. Many people in Pakistan agree that this is a much deeper problem than the frequent military interventions. largescale illiteracy. First of all. which has forced Pakistan to pursue a narrow line in its foreign policy. sectarian conflicts pose a real danger for the country and it can derail many initiatives aimed at creating a national consensus. personality and political patronage matters more than an institutionalized system of party politics.

Having said that it is also important to recognize that there are also issues of capacity. and largely serving the interest of feudal lords and other vested interests. formalizing and regulating financing mechanisms within political parties. This includes looking at the electoral system. internal elections and legal sanction for acceptable party political activities. The present government has taken a number of useful steps in this area. and upgrading or setting new regulatory guidelines for party registration. including education and empowerment of citizens. reservation of seats for women to include their voice in policy decisions. bringing international experience in this area to enrich national dialogue. if democracy has to take roots in Pakistan. Beyond this general direction. the key to building and sustaining democratic traditions in Pakistan is to respect the sanctity and independence of national institutions : the Parliament. Ultimately. a more focused approach can also be contemplated. at the current 16 . no single approach or strategy can possibly deliver desirable results. greater freedom of media. such as setting minimum educational standards for individuals seeking elected office. undemocratic in their own affairs. efforts at all levels will be needed. However. and enforcement of existing laws is a fair way. particularly at lower tiers to make them more effective. Unfortunately. and training programmes to enhance the capacity of elected institutions. rather than trying to support specific political parties to promote the national democratic agenda. Because this is a multifaceted problem. and other institutions that are responsible for mediation among various stakeholders at the higher level. continuity and funding. which hamper development of a democratic culture within political parties in Pakistan. One way to do this would be to evaluate the performance of institutional systems that influence and shape political parties and wider political processes. and setting term limits for elected office at higher levels. the Supreme Court.elitist. the Election Commission. The objective should be to strengthen the overall institutional environment for party-based political system. as well as levels of literacy and socialization in the electorate.

as well as using social mobilization as a tool to co-opt citizens themselves for changing their own conditions. this paper recommends a national strategy and an accelerated and holistic programme for enhancing human capital. in which a small elite is better able to articulate its needs. this paper advocates greater efforts in fighting feudalism and its manifestations. our capacity for democracy will be limited. through education and economic opportunity. because they are expected to serve the interest of more powerful forces. participatory and peaceful mechanism for mediation among differing claims. An organized and effective way to do this would be to create room for civil society and private sector initiatives. not to overthrow the institutions of the state. and establish a fair. while the majority of population remains excluded from a real say. which calls for an incremental revolution through social mobilization of masses. but to strengthen them. it becomes the responsibility of the state to take a series of affirmative actions to reduce these deep structural inequalities. Based on these qualifications. The instruments chosen for this purpose must create a multiplier effect. and these institutions will remain as they are. the first goal of the state in creating conditions for a just and sustainable society would be to enhance and ensure minimum standards for the quality of life of all its citizens. Therefore. Therefore. by mending many disconnects between the formal sectors and the informal livelihoods and social systems. create economies of scale in their delivery. and focus on lowering the barriers for entry for the weakest segme nts of the society. 6 Conclusion The first and foremost condition for a just and sustainable society is to recognize the principle of plurality. through a system of rewards and accountability. Since our starting conditions are highly polarized.level of social development in Pakistan. The state must recognize the aspirations and world views of all its citizens. The state can do this by co-opting citizens to this mission. 17 . These two instruments are proposed as ‘demand-side’ interventions.

political and legal reforms would be important instruments.On the supply Pakistan! 18 . aiming to create accountable institutions in order to sustain the whole effort. Long. strengthening democracy through constitutiona l.

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