Democracy in Pakistan
• Concept of Democracy
• Democratic Culture of western countries
• Largest Democracy of the world
• Deteriorated Status of Democracy in Pakistan
-Principles of Democracy
• Political consensus
• Fair and Transparent Election
• Right of Vote
• Merit in all Sectors
• Protection of Social Values
• Security of Sovereignty
• Broad Spectrum Economic Policies
• Free Electronic Media
• Independent Judiciary
• Prime Importance to constitution
• Peace and harmony in country
-Past Perspective of Democracy in Pakistan
• Foundation of Pakistan
• Martial law Regime
• Years of Democracy
• Emergency of 1999
• Revival of Democracy; day dreaming
-Causes of Failure of Democracy
• Military Interventions
o Pre-Partition Perspective
o Weak Politician after Independence
o Bureaucratic-cum-Military Democracy
• Bad Governance
• Rampant Corruption
• Nepotism of Politician
• Political Rivalry
• Dictatorship in Political Parties
• Ethnic based Political Parties
-Implication of Failure of Democracy
• Political Instability
• Devastation of Law and order
• Increased Social Violence
• Sectarian Riots
• Ambiguous Foreign Policy
• Deterioration of Economy
• Demoralization of Traders and Merchants
-Suggestion for Strong Democracy
• Development in Education Sector
• Transparent Election
• Financial Assessment of Political Leaders
• Consensus among Political Parties
• Elimination of Corruption
• Accountability of Rulers
• Division of Powers
• Implementation of orders of Court
• Internal election of the political parties
The system of Democracy is widely practiced in world. It is the system in which ruler have to deliver masses in terms of social, economical and law. In Developed countries, the Democracy is flourishing with great intensity. They have better economic, political and social condition than other countries. Being a developing country, India claims for largest democracy of the world. On the other hand, its neighbor, Pakistan failed to establish strong Democracy. There are many factors, which are contributing to failure of Democracy in Pakistan. However, Pakistan is trying its best for the foundation of strong democracy since its inception.
Being a widely accepted system, it has its own principles to run a state. First, it recognizes political consensus and transparent election, which provide ethical and legal right to govern the state. In Democracy, the people have right to select their own politician or political party. They have power of vote, which decide their economical and social status of life for specific period. In order to better management, Democracy oblige the merit in all departments of Government.
When Democracy flourish in certain region, or country, so it becomes compulsory to provide social security to the masses. It is the responsibility of Democratic Government to secure international boundary against any foreign aggression. In this context, it is also responsibility of democratic Government to adopt or formulize friendly and strong foreign policies.
In Modern world, Electronic Media is performing a major role for the development of socio-economic status of people and helping in the development of country. The free media is also a pillar of strong Democracy. Another pillar of the Democracy is independent Judiciary, which provides strong base to the Democracy. In the democracy, the constitution is supreme. It determines the law of political, economical and social sphere of a state. All the institutions perform their function according to the constitution.
The political History of Pakistan manifests the miserable tale of Democracy. In early 10 years of independence, there was Seven Prime Minister. On the other hand, India had one Prime Minister during same period. The root of failure of Democracy, in this area of sub-continent, goes back to pre-partition period. In western India, the British Government had obliged to rule by Bureaucracy, Military and Tribal leaders. When, Pakistan came into existence, there was not strong and famous politician except Quaid-e-Azam. Unfortunately, the demise of Quid gave the opportunity to exploit the situation. The higher political leaders were not the native of this area. These political leaders secured higher position in the state machinery. Later, they used the military and bureaucracy to secure their Governments.
This political tussle resulted in the form of political instability. Until the 1956, the entire political system could not make consensus for the formation of constitution of the country. This situation favored the Military and Bureaucracy. Both the organ of the state ruled over the people for many years. In explicit statement, Ghulam Muhammad had played a crucial role. He was responsible for the dismissal of two Political Governments. During the 1956, Iskindar Mirza took the charge of first President of Pakistan. He was the retired Military General. At the same time, Prime Minister Chudary Muhammad Ali promulgated the first constitution of Pakistan 1956. After 2 years, General Ayoub Khan suspended this constitution. He ousted the Iskindar Mirza and took the charge of the country as Chief Martial Law Administrator. This was the first Martial Law of the country. In 1969, General Ayoub resigned due to the chaos in the country and handed over the charge to General Yahya Khan. General Yahya Khan imposed second Martial Law of the country. Due to the dismemberment of East Pakistan and crisis in the country, General Yahay Khan transferred the power to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.
However, Zulfqar Ali Bhutto succeeded to promulgate well-accepted third constitution 1973 of Pakistan. Unfortunately, after 6 years, General Zia-ul-Haq suspended this constitution on 5-july-1977. Third Martail Law of Pakistan lasted until 1988. From 1988 to 1999, four consecutive Governments of Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto elected. Nevertheless, the political tussle between the politicians resulted in the failure of Democracy. Once again, the intelligence agency of military and Bureaucracy played important role to destabilize these governments. At last, General Musharf lodged emergency in the country on 12-October 1999.
The election of 2008 brought Democracy back into the country and compelled Musharaf to resign from President Ship. However, the strong Democracy is a mere dream for the people of Pakistan. In this term of Democracy, the politicians are devastating the system. The Political History of Pakistan concludes many factors for the failure of Democracy. However, the major factor is subsequent military interventions. These military interventions may categorize as the effect of colonial system. In addition, the migrated Politician had not political ground in country. Therefore, they adopted ill tactics to secure their Government with the help of Military and Bureaucracy. In result, these organs of the state acquired the dominant status in state affairs. This dominance paved the way for military interventions in the country.
On the other hand, the bad Governance by the politician has also contributed in this tragedy. Due to the bad governance, the corruption flourished with full intensity in the country and Pakistan secured the 144 position in the list of least corrupt nation. The evil of corruption has also devastated all Government departments. The politician also wants to facilitate their relative, friends, and supporter in terms of Job, Business and contracts of different projects without considering merit. Many cases of corruption are laying in pending in the court or accountability institutions against the politicians.
In Pakistan, there are many political parties. These parties formed based on ethnic and language. They oblige the family politics in the party, which openly abnegate the principal of democracy. If father dies, daughter become the chairperson and if brother left country younger brother become the chairperson of party. In other words, this sentiment paved the way for weak democracy in the country. While ethnic based political parties does not have any scope in the true Democratic system. However, the democracy obliges national integration.
The fall of democracy effects entire system of the state. It brings political instability and chaos throughout the country. The situation of law and order becomes worse, which results in increase of street crimes, bank robbery, and sectarian riots. The separation of East Pakistan occurred due to the prevailing political instability. Recently, the crisis of Baluchistan, Target Killings in Karachi, and social violence throughout the country are also the results of lack of political consensus.
Despite all the pillars of system, the economy of a country is backbone of the nation hood. It severely suffers, because of failure of democracy. The devastation of economy ignites the fire of inflation without any barrier as well as investors stop to invest in the market. Traders and Merchant sell products on their own prices. Fairs of transport increased at incredible rate. This all happen due to the irresponsible behavior of the Politician towards the affairs of Government.
The foreign policy of a country determines the economic growth, security of international boundary and friendly relations with the world. However, the ambiguous foreign policy of Pakistan is result of failed Democracy. Recently, America violated the sovereignty of Pakistan twice. The Salala and Abbottoabad attacks occurred owing to obscure and weak foreign policy. It also affects the foreign trade. Pakistan is emerging as failed nation in the world. Nevertheless, the politicians of Pakistan indulge in corruption and other means of undemocratic activities rather than development of nation and country.
For foundation of strong democracy, the stack holders should develop the education system of Pakistan. The backwardness of Pakistan in education is a huge hurdle for strong democracy in the country. How could be it possible to flourish the true spirit of democracy in such an environment, where people sell their right of vote just for 10 kg bag of flour? In Pakistan, the people want to survive a luxury life, they do not heed to democracy or dictatorship. This kind of sentiment will never support to the foundation of true democracy. Hence, the people of Pakistan need of counseling regarding the democracy. They must understand that their power of vote will decide future fate of them. All can be possible by developing the education system of Pakistan. The education must be equal in all parts of the country. The stakeholders should especially develop the education system of rural areas.
Besides the politician, the rivalry between the political parties has also contributed in failure of democracy. Every leader of political party wants to be the prime minister or President. In order to completion of their desire, they follow the undemocratic policies. Some time they have observed to convince military for destabilizing elected government. Often, In Pakistan, the political parties blame for holding unfair election and exploit people against the elected government. The exploitation of people results in sectarian and ethnic riots in the country, which destabilize the government. Finally, this emerges as collapse of entire democratic system by the military intervention or by the bureaucratic president. In this context, all the political parties should make consensus for holding fair and transparent election in country.
For the strong foundation of Democracy, the free judiciary plays a vital role. The institution of judiciary remained controversial since 1952 in Pakistan, after the controversial decision of justice Munir in favour of Ghulam Muhammad. Despite all the controversial events, recently, the Judiciary is playing an important role for the foundation of true democracy in the country. In addition, it helps in the accountability of political leaders and civil servants. Before holding new election, the credibility of politician must assess on the priority basis by the election commission. The credibility must be fair in terms of corruption and political cases.
Despite all problems and differences, all political parties should make consensus for the cause of Pakistan rather than their personal interests. Being an Islamic nation, they should adopt the austerity and abstain themselves from corrupt activities. If the higher authority will restrain to indulge in corrupt activities, this will bring change from top to bottom. For the strong foundation of Democracy in Pakistan, All provinces should grant provincial autonomy. The resources should divide equally among the provinces. Besides provincial autonomy, the power must be distribute to the grass root political institutions.
In Pakistan, all the political parties and civil services should respect the decision of judiciary. By implementation of judicial orders, the democratic institutions get strength and the system of state function in smooth way. For the dream of strong democracy in Pakistan, Each of the political parties should arrange the internal election for the President and chairperson of the party.
Even though, Democracy is flourishing in Pakistan with degrade economy, deteriorated law and order, and devastated social status of people. Once again, the politician has compelled the whole system to opt military intervention. Due to efforts of media and judiciary, Military Generals have restrained themselves to interfere in the civil matters. How long it could be possible to constrain military generals to intervene. However, the politician indulges in undemocratic activities. For changing the whole situation, the politician will have to follow all the principles of democracy.
For prosper and progressing Pakistan, the people of Pakistan can play an important role by changing their attitude towards the country. They will have to understand that the loss of country is the loss of them. They should abstain themselves from any kind of undemocratic activities. The prevailing political instability in Pakistan has manifested the failed state in the world. It means that the failure of democracy is the failure of state. In last, the politician, the state machinery and the public are the lines of a triangle if all lines will connect in right angle, it will reflect a well organize triangle. Similarly, the state affairs work in this triangle. If, all the problems could not solve by the political or elected Government. Hence, the military is ready to perform its role all the political parties will oust from political state triangle and one-man show will begin once again. Now it better for politician to understand the severity of situation and follow all the rules and regulation mentioned in the constitution. It is the better way to rule in the country.