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Leadership For Pakistan


II. Democracy


Introduction & Background.

Democracy is government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

Democracy (“rule by the people” when translated from its Greek meaning) is seen as one of the ultimate ideals that modern civilizations strive to create, or preserve. Democracy as a system of governance is supposed to allow extensive representation and inclusiveness of as many people and views as possible to feed into the functioning of a fair and just society.

Pakistan’s founding father’s long before the creation of our country had envisioned a state, wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, were to be fully observed. The unremitting struggle for the  independence and the creation of Pakistan was inspired by these very ideals. However, soon after the demise of the founding fathers Pakistan has been wandering from the path ways leading to the establishment a true democratic system, which could guarantee its survival, stability and development.

It is ironical that a country that was achieved democratically and constitutionally through the immense sacrifices and constant vigilance on the part of the great Quaid and millions of Muslim men, women and children, unfortunately, could not thrive at the hands of inept, incompetent , corrupt, self proclaimed leaders due to their selfish interests and political intrigues . In other words we have not proven worthy of the hard forth freedom achieved after immense sacrifices , as the price of liberty.

Pakistan, ever since has been governed by civil – military bureucracy under oligarchic and authoritarian traditions. However, from time to time a democratic era has been in place only to be replaced by military/ authotarian rule. It is unfortunate that the current elected leaders had failed to cash in the opportunity to provide an effective leadership or good governance despite a full five year tenure. As a result today, once again democracy stands at the cross roads,  while living behind masses in full plight and despair, lost hopes of bright future, of peace and prosperity and a change which democracy promised to deliver. There are many causes behind the bad performance of this democratic endeavor. The major cause of which is embedded in our social political setup and further augmented by bad governance, lack of  accountability, illiteracy, corruption and corrupt leadership, poverty, lack of social services, lack of justice and rule of law, tradition of inherited politics, neglected youth, lack of woman empowerment, provincial, ethnic and  sectarian divisions, and apathy of masses ,

Today, once again the people of Pakistan have the freedom and opportunity to choose their leaders in the upcoming election and map out their own and their country’s destiny for the coming years. It is time that both our citizens and our leaders need to reflect deeply and correct the course of democracy in Pakistan. The democratic government we seek is one that practices good governance. A free and fair election is not the beginning and the end of democracy. Election is the first step. Following that we must govern according to the wishes of the people and with the participation and consent of the people. Good governance is essential for the establishment of a fair and just society. It is also essential for the eradication of poverty. Good governance is the principled and fair exercise of power among the people, peoples’ organizations and the government.

The leaders of a nation must rule for all its people. It is regrettable that today we are all  identified and classified according to party colors and are being asked as to which color we belong to. If this continues, even the right to citizenship may be determined by color. One wonders, as if we are not inadvertently perpetuating a new sort of discrimination.

It is to be understood that the multiple challenges of bad governance, political confrontations and terrorism that we face today is because  of  not having shaped our state and political institutions, including the political parties, according the modernist, and democratic vision of our great leader the Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. In these times of rising despair and despondency, we can set Pakistan on the course of stability and development by embracing ideas and vision of Jinnah, which in nutshell are;  democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice for the nation state of Pakistan.