The Future of Democracy in Pakistan Friday, August 17, 2007 (11:56 PST) Related Articles Constitution must be implemented in letter and spirit not in mere words Election 2008: Political Disintegration in Balochistan Elections 2008: Benazir Factor May Affect the Results Related News Govt assures conducive atmosphere for upcoming elections: PM Soomro 112 European Union observers have been arrived to monitor the general elections Poll on schedule, says Musharraf Imran terms Jan 8 poll plot against country Polls boycott will help Musharraf: Benazir
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The dream of establishing ‘true’ democracy in the nation state will never be materialized in the presence of perpetual political instability, army intervention in national affairs, distortion of the Constitution, a powerless Election Commission, deeply rooted feudalism, absence of a strong and independent judiciary, lack of impartial accountability institutions and shackled freedom of expression. People cast their votes on the basis of sect, caste and language and remain indifferent to the importance of their vote.
In the presence of inept politicians, having their own axe to grind, and absence of patriot sentiments among the political leaders, the democratic institutions in the country are fragile and shaky. Thus, Pakistan has failed in its quest for democracy even after the lapse of 60 years of its independence. This failure is so staggering that it seems that democracy is incompatible with our national temperament. General elections in the country are on the cards at the end of 2007, but their transparency is, no doubt, questionable.
The pathetic history of elections in Pakistan is full of rigging, horse trading and political deals that had driven nails in the coffin of democratic system. Only the general elections of 1970 can be called free and fair. Ironically, those elections were conducted under the aegis of a self-centered man in khaki. The results of the 1971 elections could not suit Pakistan’s disputatious political atmosphere that led to the country’s dismemberment.
The power hungry politicians did not learn any lesson from their past follies that provided pretexts to the overambitious generals to intervene and take control of the political power in the country. Unfortunately, inept politicians hoodwink the ignorant masses while canvassing but after winning elections they turn a blind eye to the welfare of the public and development of the country. Their empty promises and hollow slogans made during the general elections just turn out to be what they are and the public remain deprived of their basic facilities.
Incompetent politicians engage themselves in the embezzlement of the public funds and lavishly spend them for purchasing loyalties of their rivals to win elections. Ruling party leaders fully exploit their official position for amassing public wealth, ignoring their tall promises for the wellbeing of the masses and progress of the country. Another ironic picture of our elections is that majority of the people cast their votes on the basis of sect, caste and egoistic interests. Personal preoccupations are given priority over national imperatives.
They do not bother to adhere the manifestoes of the political parties. Due to the selfishness of a handful of people in every election, there are several incidents of bloody clashes. Therefore, this makeshift patchwork and ragtag democracy has divided the people into bloodthirsty enemies rather than just political rivals due to divergent views. The bloodletting political clashes continue for many years, claiming a number of lives. The present judicial crisis and the firm stand taken by the jewel of the crown, popular public Chief Justice of Pakistan Mr.
Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry has shown a ray of hope to the masses. The Chief Justice received a red carpet welcome by the general public and the praiseworthy lawyers’ community wherever he visited. People are fed up with rampant corruption, favoritism, nepotism, social injustice, economic exploitation, political subjugation and educational stratification. They want a positive change and yearn for reformation of the present system so that it can provide them basic amenities of life and ensure socio-economic justice.
The landmark decision of the beacon house of justice ‘The Supreme court of Pakistan’ has given a glimmer of optimism for supremacy of the constitution, independence of judiciary and establishment of highly wanted democracy through transparent elections. There is a crying need for division of power among the three pillars of the state, i. e. the judiciary, the executive and the legislature. The fourth pillar, i. e. the print and electronic media, should play a constructive role to inculcate patriotism and create public awareness about democracy.
It should also extend its helping hand to other three pillars of the state in resolving national issues instead of further complicating them for selfish interests. The army, the bureaucracy and the politicians should play their national role in strengthening the foundation of democracy. They should work for the betterment of the public rather than safeguarding their vested interests; otherwise, their titles would be mere shadows and their crowns mere empty things.
A flourishing democracy established through free and fair elections can provide a sound basis for the progress and prosperity of this ‘Land of the Pure’. Zardari visit Q. Was it a good decision of President Zardari to make his first visit to US instead of China? Yes No No Idea Election Corner Shujaat accepts Wattoo’s resignation from party Deposed judges will be restored by the end of June: Sheikh Rashid Open Talk Elections 2008, the next Prime Minister Musharraf to side with the moderate forces in next general elections. ?? Copy Rights 2006. Pakistan Elections. All Rights Reserved