After the election, new PTI
lead government is gearing up for some good work.Power corridors though seem
politically unstable for the time being.But, this situation can be turned into
pleasant environment by delivering good governance to masses.Pakistanranked
150th out of 189 countries and territories on the human development index,
working towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is more than
a matter of policy – it is one of necessity,which pushed its stumbling pursuit
further away from achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2016-2030) as it
scored 55.6 under SDGs’ global index in the results released in July 2017.
“Pakistan’s low human development indicators means too many peoples’
capabilities are not being realised with consequences on economic growth,” Neil
Buhne quoted Mahbub-ul-Haq, former finance minister of Pakistan and Amartya Sen,
Nobel Prize for Economics, as he unraveled even bleak picture, for other
development statistics indicated why the country was unsuccessful in achieving
the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs 2000-2015). Neil Buhne’swhilepresentation
during a seminar,revealed alarming indicators where Pakistan ranks low on the
social development index of child and maternal health, which reflects the level
of nutrition.With a population of 9.8 million stunted children, Pakistan is
ranked third in the world.”
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been replaced with the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) in September 2015 to be achieved by 2030.The SDGs are a
global set of 17 goals, aimed at addressing all the three important dimensions
of development — the social, economic and environmental. Developing countries
lag behind the developed countries because of immaturity and short-sightedness
in the policy formulation regarding development. The development policies,
unfortunately, revolve around myopic thinking of re-election to stay in power,
and the development manifesto is lost in the process. This is the dilemma of the
countries like ours where development is confined to developing physical
infrastructures and that too at the cost of the well-being of the people.Other
provinces can learn from Sindh, where Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s last
government had taken the lead in working on these development goals.
“Access to education remains low and completion rate for primary education is
among the lowest in the world. One in 10 of the world’s primary age children who
are not in school, live in Pakistan, which is second in the global ranking of
“Pakistan ranks 148 out of 149 countries in the gender inequality index. These
figures suggest there is still a long way to go to end gender disparity in
education, as the male literacy percentage stood at 70% like in previous
years.presently one billion people, according to the World Bank, still live on
less than $1.25 a day, and more than 800 million people do not have enough food
to eat. The majority of these people live in Africa and Asia.
To add, Pakistan is needlessly struck with an archaic method of budgetary
planning. Over the years, the state has developed a notoriously weak reputation
when developing, implementing or monitoring social sector projects, resulting in
globally dismal and embarrassingly poor indicators.
While carrying out a mapping study of stakeholders to promote the health-related
SDGs in Pakistan, It is found the country’s efforts towards achieving the goals
to still be in their infancy e.g. 14000 women still die during childbirth in
Pakistan.And while numerous stakeholders are working towards the 2030 agenda,
the type of coordinated efforts we desperately need among all actors – NGOS,
think thanks, academia, the media, and government – appear to be lacking. The
SDGs require not only a multi-sectoral approach, but also a multi-stakeholder
approach to be adopted in true spirit.
“Compounding these development indicators and according to the Global Climate
Risk Index, is the alarming fact that Pakistan already ranks at 7thposition in
the world most affected by climate change continuously suffering from monsoon
flooding, along with the recession of glacial and snow reserves, heat waves in
urban centers and droughts,” revealed Neil Buhne’s,the UN Resident related to
the job,eye-opening presentation.
Although,human development approach was about improving the lives of the people
and giving them the freedom of choice to live the lives they value.
As a first step towards the development of this actionable roadmap, the federal
unit could organize a national forum that would bring together all relevant
actors to discuss their current roles, analyze their strengths and weaknesses,
agree on responsibilities, and identify ways to track progress and convert it
into an actionable roadmap as a collective national vision, instead of working
on silos. Only by having an integrated and inclusive approach will the country
stand a chance of achieving the SDGs.
However, there are examples of Pakistanis realising their capabilities through
innovative ways to educate, children’s health, nutrition put in place with
safety nets and move towards ending poverty.
Additionally, new models of public-private partnership need to be tested.
Policymakers should begin by proactively engaging the private sector, research
universities, think-tanks and civil society, including professional
associations. The SDGs are perhaps the best vehicle to lift more than 50 million
people out of poverty when they earn less than two dollars a day by enriching
their lives and livelihood options. Delivering on these goals will also help
enhance Pakistan’s ability to emerge as one of the world’s leading economies
and, while doing so, strengthen national security.
Therefore, government must pull up the socks and not hesitate to join hands with
the private sector, especially in areas where the private sector is well placed
to come up with a meaningful contribution. What is needed more that the leading
political parties should also respond positively to the SDGs? Political parties
should incorporate the global development goals in their manifestoes. This
exercise would also sensitise political workers and the public about the
importance of the SDGs. More or less Pakistan has amped up benefits to exercise
these UNO funded Sustainable Development Goals as these goals coincide with the
vision 2025 policy of Pakistan.
Dr.Zeeshan Khan is a medical doctor,writer,educationist,Human
Activist,Blogger,certified trainer and Poet.He is a motivational
speaker,Cultural-cum-Political Analyst and columnist and is a regular
contributor to the Op-Ed pages of different newspapers.He is also Alumnus of
LUMS and is Doctor at CMH.