Failure of Democracy in Pakistan
Democracy is a form of government in which supremacy of power is vested in the people of the voters collectively, and it is administered by them or the officers appointed by them. according to Chambers Dictionary it also means a state of society characterized by recognition of equality of right and privileges political, social and legal equality. The most accepted definition of democracy is Government of the people, for the people, and by the people (Abraham Lincoln).
Liberty, equality and fraternity are the helpmates of modern democratic political creed. Irrespective of religious belief , clime and country democracy has become a watchword and political philosophy in the free world, as opposed to dictatorship and despotic rule.
Scene its inception, the most difficult challenge Pakistan has struggled to meet has been to establish a true democratic system, which could guarantee its survival, stability and development. Unfortunately, the plant of democracy in Pakistan has not taken its roots deep enough to make the country “a durable democratic state”, despite this fact that Pakistan blossomed in the soil of democracy. Pakistan was conceived on the basis of Islam, which is democratic both in letter and spirit. It is indeed very unfortunate and a sad testimony that the plant planted by Quaid-e-Azam and watered by the blood of millions of Muslim men, women and children has not thrived in the country. In other words we have not proved worthy of the freedom achieved after immense sacrifices and constant vigilance as the price of liberty. After the sad demise of Quaid-e-Azam and Shaheed-e-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan, the spirit of freedom movement died down and selfish interests and political intrigues dominated the national scene.
Again Pakistan began as a democratic country. It is imperative to have constitution when a country. It is imperative to have constitution when a country starts fresh. Sudden and unexpected events within the body politics of Pakistan not only delayed the making of a constitution according to the needs and ideology of the country but also thwarted the process shaping the opinion in favour of democracy as a modern political necessity. The Draft Resolution was thrown into cold storage. Anyhow, the country had a Constitution in 1956 that was strangled and killed after military coup by General Ayub Khan in 1958. As no country can run without Constitution, which provides checks and imposes certain limitations, the second constitution was drawn in 1962 to give a semblance of democracy in the form of Basic Democracy and to suit the purpose of one man who was a dictator in guise of a president. Not Parliamentary but presidential form of government with wide powers was imposed on the people. It also served the seeds of regionalism and disintegration in the country. There was democracy in name only.
Experimentation in politics is always dangerous because it kills continuity of democratic convention and gives rise to instability in the country. It is only a strong constitution that is always above the ordinary law and gives stability and inspires sense of nationhood among the people. When the experiment failed, second Marshal Law was imposed in 1969. No direct elections, that are essential for healthy democratic process and to change the government according to the choice of the people, had been held in the country.
Wide based political parties are essential for running democratic government by the elected representatives of the people. The representatives should not only enjoy the support of the people or the voters but they should also be answerable before them. Otherwise democracy becomes a force. This is what happened in Pakistan. Some ambitious politicians, right hand men to the despotic rulers, rose on the political horizons and started ganging their own gait. The cloud of disintegration had already assumed dark colour. 1970 Elections were held in free atmosphere...
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