Despite the horrible misrule by the Pakistan People’s Party, President Asif Ali Zardari has been tenaciously working day and night on his manipulative strategy to encourage “alliance of convenience” (marriage-of-convenience) with multiple political partners. The alliance actually did pave the way for the party to survive constitutionally right till the end.
At least this time, the democracy has been given a free hand by the military, the judiciary, the civil society and the media. National Assembly has already been dissolved, while the provincial ones are still in the final process of winding up.
Upon digging history, one finds that there have been numerous unsuccessful attempts aimed at derailing the newly born independent state of Pakistan since 1949. General Ayub khan succeeded in taking over the reins of the country in 1958 usurping the 1956 constitution of Pakistan. Then Gen. Yahya preyed upon the vulnerable nation. And after the fall of East Pakistan in 1971, the West Pakistan province became Pakistan (crippled one) followed by the civil martial law under Mr Z. A. Bhutto, founder of Pakistan People’s Party.
As civilian Chief Martial Law Administrator (dictator) Mr. Bhutto went on a “Nationalizing spree” countrywide - snatching all major corporations/industries under the banner of his “Islami Socialism.”
Then comes Gen. Zia-ul-Haq in 1977, he suspends the constitution, dismantles the assemblies, arrests and hangs Mr Bhutto on murder charges despite the poor evidence against the deposed Prime minister. Zia remained a powerful dictator with his iron fist till his death in1988 air crash.
Subsequently, successive civil regimes faced another tough round of “on and off” mode. The governments of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif went through their incomplete terms due to mis-governance charges.
All of a sudden, Gen Musharraf shows up to abrogate the constitution arresting the elected Prime Minister Mr Nawaz Sharif.
President General Musharraf, the last military dictator ruled the country from 1999 to 2008.
A disappointing but the steady governance during 2008-2013 was a different experiment altogether, where a civil government has manoeuvred to continue for the whole term, however, shrewd Zardari and his regime under Prime Minister Gilani and later under Prime Minister Raja Ashraf miserably failed to deliver.
But the factor of “pro democracy unanimity” played a pivotal role, as the stronger media, the super active apex judiciary, politically aware civil society, politicians and the military have been on the same page to give democracy a free hand. In other words, the ‘joint will’ is absolutely necessary to produce democratic maturity for Pakistan in the years ahead.
Nevertheless, completing the term is only the first step in the right direction, yet mismanaging the country’s affairs during five years amounts to wasting of nation’s precious time and resources.
And instead of being remorseful for not fulfilling their obligation of delivery to the nation, the outgoing rulers are tirelessly busy celebrating completion of the darkest era which was nothing other than the “sub standard governance” full of administrative paralysis.
A brief recap:
- Gross domestic product (GDP) dropped significantly from 8% to 4%.
- The demand for Pakistani goods dropped and investment flows dried up, adversely affecting Pak industries.
- The masses are now buried under a mountain of foreign debt load which increased from $45 billion in 2008 to over $65 billion in 2012.
- The past five years have been a major disappointment for the electorate. The PPP regime failed to recognise its responsibility to create a friendly environment for commerce where the youth could earn living.
- The promised Roti, kapra aur makan never actually happened.
- During the final days, the rulers’ corruption and nepotism was sky high which crossed all boundaries; they doled out billions of public money without a trace, and ignored merit system while appointing jialaas against sensitive positions.
- Hardly cooperated with the judiciary.
- Maybe, the democracy (PPP’s version) is the best revenge in the form of rampant corruption, hyper-inflation, extensive power outages, gas shortages, ethnicity strife, wide spread sectarianism, chronic law and order condition, and the consistent defiance of the apex court’s verdicts.
Beyond doubt, the ruling PPP and its multiple partners went all the way to the end employing multiple maneuvers but left the office without any substantive accomplishments. Miraculously, the democracy survived in spite of disappoiting performance of the regime. (Tribune pakistan)
Since the nation cannot afford another era of democracy marked with corruption, misrule, favoritism, plunder and insecurity, so they must look for of leaders not rulers for a positive social change and for economic prosperity on urgent basis.
The next general elections give an opportunity to the honest and competent politicians to rebuild this great country by improving the law and order situation and making everyone accountable under law.
And, the voters should make the right electoral choices without any fear of reprisals and elect only those candidates who enjoy utmost integrity and who are competent enough to deliver sincerely to make the country going again under a genuine democracy.