Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Democracy in Pakistan – a Failed Affair

Democracy in Pakistan is a failed affair. Let us analyze the underlying reasons. After about a decade of living under military dictatorship, the people of Pakistan raised up to stake their claim to democracy, and succeeded to get “Democracy”, yet Protesters saw no change in the justice system, They saw the courts more politicized, they saw more hunger, they saw more unemployment, they saw more kidnapping for ransom cases, they saw more target killings, They saw that tens of thousand of people lost their jobs due to shutting down industry; they saw the programs being devised for plundering the national assets by the ruling elite in the name of privatization, their homes became dark due to lack of electricity, they saw middle class was wiped out, they saw abandoning education and health by the state and so on.

The Civilian Dictators are running printing presses nonstop for the last more than five years. Petrol, electricity and commodity prices are on the rise, and vast majorities of masses think the country is on the wrong track. The most pressing factor today is all the debt that our rulers have built up over the last five and half years. The result is sadness and frustration in the country. In the recent past, in a survey conducted by the British Council, a large number of Pakistani youth favored Islamic law over democracy. Only 29 per cent of young Pakistanis showed belief in democracy. Others supported either governance by military or by Islamic law. The greatest concern for most of the people was rising commodities prices, not terrorism. According to the 94% people, Pakistan was going in the wrong direction. The survey is an eye opener for our corrupt politicians and reflects towards a pessimistic generation, disenchanted, and deep disappointment with democracy just after 5 years of civilian rule of PPP.

The people thought PPP Government perhaps, but now they see the present is the weakest Central Government, there is non-provision of public services, corruption and criminality is still continuing, sharp economic decline, sharp depreciation in rupee value, worst law and order situation, such like conditions have always been created by our politicians leading to coup. Pakistan is facing multiple issues in different fronts, the ongoing political chaos has been creating conditions for another coup, I think.

Democracy in Pakistan is being used to kill the essence of the concept. It is just a word unless practically practiced. Civilian governments in Pakistan are even more dictatorial and oppressive than military regimes. Civilian Dictatorship, bad governance, unprecedented corruption, nepotism and tribalism is the norm of running governments in the country. The present regime is also riddled with highest nepotism. Appointments to key government positions are made not based on merit but on nepotism.  Appointments and promotions are done on the basis of tribal inclinations, loyalties, relationships and favoritism.  

In some cases, Cabinet Ministers and National Assembly representatives comprises of brothers, sisters, partners and kinsmen thus comprising the good spirit running the affairs of the State effectively and articulately. Another tragedy with our Civil Dictators is that they always need absolute power without any sort of sharing. They want all the Government intuitions and their functionaries to be their personal servants.

Democracy is a luxury can be afforded by the West and U.S etc. Pakistan cannot afford democracy. It needs strong and authoritarian leader to overcome the various forces that keep us poor for decades. In the past, although all three sectors of the economy — agriculture, industry and services — performed excellently during military regimes, the industrial sector had been especially the biggest beneficiary of the military muscle which recorded twice as much growth compared to that achieved under civilian regimes. Military government in Pakistan is the best path towards development; it has flexibility in economic policy that breeds growth, the biggest economic miracles like Tarbela Dam, Mangla Dam, Steel Mills, and Atomic programs etc. took place only under authoritarian leaders, it breeds development though efficient and straightforward decision making, better controls the human development, social differences have always been diminished during military regimes and they proved good breeding ground for discipline and law and order situation. They controlled the health and education better because they could decide how to allocate the resources (funding, students, professors, infrastructure, supplies) to prepare new professionals for the health and education sectors; and they determined the curricula, salaries and place of employment in a way so called democratic regimes could not.

The moral standard of state and society can be deduced from the way people are treated who are not productive anymore and have no assets of their own. So called democratic governments whenever came followed by slump and poverty. No proper food, no money to pay the school fee, or for petrol or the utility bills. Instead of providing ‘roti, kapra aur makan’ for the people, our politicians deprived them of these things and this only increased their troubles. Malnutrition is prevalent, begging has become a culture, stealing has become the way of life and violence is common place. It is just propaganda of few people that “The worst democracy is better than the best dictatorship. Reality is that the worst military regime is far better than the prevailing democracy. The military in Pakistan has staged four coups and predominantly justified them based on the economic incompetence and corruption of the political administrations in office. All four left the corridors of power honorably with love of the people seeing the eyes of the entire nation were full of tears. The people lived better lives, filled with less pain, and they had food and medicine and this was during the time military regimes were in power.

The immediate solution is a revolution with the support of the people and Military forces. Military should not at all tolerate, while the civilian government continues to act illegally, contemptuously and brutally, and plunder the nation\s resources ruthlessly. A dictator should step in who will hold all of these politicians responsible for all of the damage they have caused. In the mean time we need to look at the merits of various other ideas / systems, and see if we can use scientific examination of the evidence to devise a system which best serves the needs of people and society, a system which does the most to promote the quality of life of its citizens, including enough wealth to have the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, and health care, as well as the luxury of entertainment, the ability to enjoy work and enjoy life, and time for healthy personal relationships. For it is a mistake to suppose that everything civilian or an elected government alone will save us from conflict and from the abuses of power to which it inevitably leads?

The dictator should start by acquiring all of the black money held by these politicians with force. It is well established fact that military coups have always created economic & political stability and rule of law at least in Pakistan. Some politicians and their paid propaganda masters/media are the only that condemn the military rule and put all the failures of civilian rulers in their basket. The vast majority of people had always a positive image of the army, but there was also a feeling that they should not remain in power. Today there is a much wider acceptance of a forceful role for the military in politics. Today Pakistan’s renowned leaders and common man on the street are appealing the military to take over the government to save their lives and their properties.

While having ample man power, enormous and untapped natural resource, unique culture and roots in human origin, Pakistan has been suffering from poor administrative, Abuse and misuse of power and authority, highest inflation, inadequate judicial infrastructure and lack of justice, insufficient numbers of expertise, reactionary economic policies and practices imported from abroad and deliberately carried out to serve the interest of those in power. The government has failed to identify the root causes of the problems which are back-sliding the country in to irreversible failure. Pakistan is now in a mysterious situation. The nation is being legally plundered by the ruling elite.

Look at the constitution devised by the elite for the elite; in 1973, about 80 men met behind locked doors to decide the fate of the nation. These men became the signers of the Constitution of Pakistan were mostly feudal, some religious political leaders, social elite, the people who were to decide the fate of a nation’s governmental system. By doing this, the signers created a system in which they were able to influence the decisions of the nation (plundering and financially rinsing the poor population of the country legally). We the people of Pakistan were made slave to a system in which they now feel they need to carry a gun for self- protection. The few individual rights written in the Constitution of Pakistan were created mainly to appease the public, drawing attention away from the benefits for elitists. The constitution now direly needs to be revisited; bury the democracy in amended constitution and devise a  system that could benefit 180 million people of the country instead of a tiny elite class.

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