Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Genuine Democracy in Pakistan, Still a Dream

Unlike dictatorship, monarchy and aristocracy, a democracy gives people right to voice their opinion and right of electing their own government and legislators. It is viewed generally as being the most challenging form of government, because the people themselves determine the most suitable direction for their country.
U.S. president Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) defined democracy as: «Government of the people, by the people, for the people» Democracy is by far the most challenging form of government - both for politicians and for the people.
Simply speaking, a democracy means “rule by the people;” however, it is variously defined in differing ways among democracies of the world with regard to its local viability.

It is said that a competent official opposition is as necessary as is a competent government. In fact, the elected rulers are constantly under pressure to perform and deliver to the satisfaction of the ruled. The people don’t need sub standard governance. But in Pakistan, the past five years were wasted, as the regime has been busy manipulating the opposition parties with the intent of staying in power and nothing beyond.
The credit of easy passing of amendments and other bills goes to the friendly opposition which has been on board with the government enjoying “cabinet shares” in return for not opposing in the parliament.

Maybe, Pakistan has a little bit of democracy but the essential element of effective opposition is seen nowhere.
Surely, time for change is pretty close, and the nation is going to have a chance to change for the better.
The status quo parties can be eliminated through the forthcoming election.

Unfortunately, due to the sad demise of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan has been governed by dictatorial regimes (civil/military), so the democracy never actually began in the real sense. The country remained in the clutches of powerful greedy elite throughout its history. The flawed system suited the rich in order to keep the vulnerable nation consisting of “poverty stricken majority” suffering in the dead end street.

Sadly, the civil service, the police, and administrative positions of higher level are usually occupied and controlled by the rich and the feudal. The independence of the Election Commission has been compromised in the past many a times. Notoriously, the commission has been performing below standard as people with bogus degrees were able to sit in the assemblies as fake legislators due to lack of proper screening and scrutiny of the candidates.
Also,  the federal and provincial assemblies are mostly made of incompetent members who are none other than the dishonest opportunists responsible for many national crises.

Furthermore, the dynastic and feudal politicians want to maintain their hold on the socio/economic/political power structures. This class of unethical politicians are usually driven by their selfish objectives which has nothing to do with their deliverance for the betterment of masses. Rather, these power grabbers are habitual of employing deceitful means including pressure tactics, coercion, threats of reprisals and much more just to get elected. This selfish attitude has pushed the country almost onto the verge of disaster where free fall is imminent.

Although not legally binding, the recent declaration signed between the government and Mr Qadri has some good points. If the so called deal is implemented as pressured, this should be helpful for a genuine election.

On the contrary, the rulers love to keep up the negative pressure to facilitate “unruly tactics,” so that political space of resistance fades away. The past experience shows that the State never hesitates when it comes to apply its “coercive apparatus” when threatened politically.

If the National Assembly dissolves before the due date of March 16, 2013 (believed to be March 10) the elections may take place within 90 days. With general elections in the first week of May, there is only one month for scrutiny of nomination papers for the purpose of pre-clearance of the candidates under article 62 and 63 of the constitution.
With regard to appointing a care taker set up, the government, the official opposition and the PTI must be on the same page.

An enforcement of electoral reforms prior to the polls seems unlikely but the following is worth focussing on:
(a) Article 62, 63 and 218 (3) of the constitution;
(b) Section 77 to 82 of the Representation of Peoples’ Act 1976 and other relevant provisions relating to conducting free, fair, just and honest elections guarded against all corrupt practices and;
(c) The Supreme Court Judgement of June 8, 2012 on constitutional petition of 2011 must be implemented in entirety in true letter and spirit.

It’s highly unfair with the people of Pakistan, if the ongoing political situation continues to be tolerated; as otherwise, the “privileged minority” would keep exploiting the “vulnerable majority.”
The whole nation should stand united now and be vigilant enough to fight the odds to go ahead with electing only those who are the most competent carrying the unchallengeable integrity. The electors must display their courage and be brave enough to reject all pressure from the powerful rich.
Obviously, the mindset of stinky electoral culture is not easy to remove before loosening of the feudal grip completely.

It’s crystal clear that the electors deserve to fully exercise their free will to elect only those who are sincere and capable of delivering honestly.
The current independence of the supreme judiciary has to be maintained, and the election commission should be cleansed of the officials with vested interests.

In order to guarantee free and fair polls, all high brass in the administration must be replaced by the care taker regime. Replacing Attorney General, all Advocate Generals, All IGPs (Inspector Generals of Police), all Chief Secretaries and the Principal Secretary to the care taker Prime Minister and a new chairman PEMRA (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) will be a definite help.

A neutral election authority and independent judiciary is a healthy sign capable of producing a strong political system.

 It’s also encouraging to know that the chief justice of Pakistan and the chief election commissioner are on the single page.
Moreover, the CEC Fakhrudin Ibrahim claims he won’t quit before he is done with free and fair election - wow!


[image source: google]
A positive change is possible only through free and fair ballot of course. Therefore, all members of the civil society should come out and participate in the upcoming election to pick the right only candidates in order to re-build the future of Pakistan exactly as envisioned by Hakeem ul ummat Dr Allama Iqbal and the founder/ father of the nation - Mr Jinnah.


15 comments:

Crystal said...

I agree.. it sounds like Pakistan needs to conduct a thorough cleansing, not only getting the criminals off the street but out of their system as well, but of course I'm afraid that by doing that, the people may also face retaliation.. this is not a win/win situation is it my friend? The only way Pakistan and the people of Pakistan will ever be free, is if Pakistan can create better judicial systems, better police and government, not only that, but enforcing the constitution and getting rid of these criminals.. because in all essence, that's what these shady governmental officials are. They're crooks, liars and cheats and Pakistan deserves much better and so does America!!

TariqMian said...

Thank you Crystal for your wise analysis but America has a sound workable system to keep you guys going under all odds.
I do hope that during the upcoming election in Pakistan a fair play would be seen.
A level playing field if allowed and the choice is on the basis of integrity and merit -- democracy is said to be working.
I do appreciate your visit here after so long.

arifa said...

are you forgetting, a prepoll rigging is already underway?

Windsmoke. said...

Sound like the people of Pakistan have a long road ahead to Genuine Democrarcy with so many Government officals and other persons with their snouts in the trough for their own benifit and not the majority of the Pakistani people.

TariqMian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TariqMian said...

@afia,
no, I am not unaware about the prepoll rigging.
This is the main reason for the citizens to stand united against sale of seats/tickets/buying voters etc etc.
Without unity against the staus quo, no genuine democracy will arrive here - to rescue the land of vulnerable have-nots.

TariqMian said...

Windsmoke,
Thanks for your comment here.
BTW: a lot of effort is required to achieve the desired change, Nothing is easy in this world which is full of exploitation mafia.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

According to the news international pakistan, the 30-day period would now allow the returning officers to write to different government authorities, including Federal Board of Revenue, Federal Investigations Agency, National Accountability Bureau, Higher Education Commission, provincial police and anti-corruption departments, Power and Gas authorities, State Bank of Pakistan and Excise and Taxation department, to get the complete picture of the future MPs before they are cleared for elections.



narazia said...

I agree with Windsmoke

narazia said...

I agree with Windsmoke

Imad Khalid said...

Apart from Free fare elections and everything. I must say we cant have a real democratic government until the people have awareness. I mean the people must be aware of the fact that who would be the right choice. We all have to think beyond our own Galli muhalla and think about the whole benefit of pakistan. Koi mere ghar ki road banwadega mein vote dedeta hun. We should come out of this. People should vote that person who should also know the importance of education in the country. The more the people educated the more better Government they will choose

TariqMian said...

You have a valid point IMAD!
The people do need awareness and proper education desperately.
Then they would realise the importance of seriously voting for the best person ignoring any pressure.
Than u IMAD for your input here.

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Daanish said...

Great article !!

Tarig- can some one start a white paper of future candidates in Pak election to guide citizen ?

suggestions:
1.records of taxes they pay.
2.education,
3.if elected before what they had done for people and for themselves.
4.Human rights.
5.Women and children rights.
6.Civic srnse/green environment

etc,etc.

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