Tag Archives: Democracy

Unequal Distribution of Wealth in Pakistan

” I don’t know which world the TV channels are showing. The world that I see, is very beautiful and favorable to Pakistan.”
(PM Nawaz Sharif)

1901167_10152031429897879_1626929519_nThis was the statement given by NS during a laptop distribution ceremony this week. No doubt Mr. PM, the world that you see and the real world of the have-not that exists around us (and shown by media) are far apart. Your world is the world of palaces, bullet proof vehicles, thousands of security guards and their world is defined with hunger, poverty, lack of shelter and lack of security. Your world is the world of business empires spread from Dubai, to London and to every nook and corner of the globe, their world is confined to joblessness, diseases, robberies and deaths. Your world has lot of crown princes and princesses who are waiting to take your place, their world sees a bleak and dismal future for their children with no chance of getting even a respectable job on merit.

Yes Mr. NS, both the worlds are hell apart, because you are PM of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and your 180 million subjects are sons of a lesser god. Not surprising at all..

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Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry the Outgoing CJP as Seen by Pakistanis

By Akhtar Malik : 11 December 2013

Pakistani suspended top judge Justice IfToday is the last day of CJP Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry in his office. The CJ has many good actions to his credit. The person really changed the profile of judiciary and made it an institution that could make its weight felt. Judicial activism remained the hallmark of his stint in office. He took many suo motto notices and kept the sitting governments on their toes. His efforts to safeguard the human rights as done in the case of missing persons are commendable. His period will always be remembered as historical milestone in the freedom and independence of judiciary. Before IMC the judiciary was never the same as we see it now.

However the CJ made himself as controversial as well. He was never seen as a totally impartial judge as his tilt towards MNS remained visible till end. He failed to revamp the lower judiciary and could not compel the governments to enforce reforms for quick and better dispensation of justice- a dream of poor people of this country. He was seen as a soft judge for the terrorists as not a single one was punished during his tenure. He could not rise to the stature of a true Islamic judge when the question of corrupt practices of his son Arsalan came up.

The biggest damage that was done to Pakistan was his apathy towards notorious elections 2013. On this issue he even went against his own axioms. He let the unconstitutional ECP function to the detriment of Pakistan. I changed my opinion about IM when he misbehaved with and ridiculed DR. Tahir ul Qadri who went to SC to seek constitutional relief in the case of ECP. During his tenure the biggest rigging in elections was done and he kept quiet. He didn’t take suo motto notice on the rigging rather didn’t even listened to hundreds of petitions filed with SC. As a result of rigged a political dispensation of the worst order was imposed on Pakistan which is quickly taking the country to the brink of economic disaster.

It is yet premature to say whether the future judiciary will be a different one but I earnestly wish that the future judiciary should not only maintain its hard earned independence but should also complete the unfinished agenda of IM for providing quick justice on the doorsteps. But a lot will depend on how the sitting government would take the judiciary. An independent and impartial judiciary is vital for democracy, hence no efforts should be made by the government to clip the powers of judiciary. A weak judiciary will be a sign of danger for the survival of democracy also. This point is normally not understood and liked by the ruling elite.

Put an End to Family Politics for Better Democracy

By Akhtar Malik

998117_678388438855775_648361871_nPoliticians do not get tired of criticizing Pakistan Army. They should at least emulate the leadership and hierarchy system in vogue in Army. Politicians have turned their parties into ‘Private Limited Companies’ and have made their politics as ‘business empires’. This is against the spirit of democracy and is a big hurdle in smooth development / progression of civilian political paradigm. In all Western democracies there is never a monopoly of one family on a political party. This is the reason why two-party system is successful there and is a symbol of failure in Pakistan..

The Sham Democracy and Cry of Change in Pakistan

By Andleeb Abbas

In Pakistan, the cry for change has never been stronger. The reason is all the reasons put together for change in the Middle East, Europe and Asia

Pakistan-Need-ChangeLast year, it was a spring of change in the Middle East and later, we saw it enter Asia; now Europe is experiencing this restive movement. All across the world, people are increasingly intolerant of leaders unwilling to understand the pulse of the public. The Middle East uprising was heralded as the reversal of the suppression of the masses by autocratic tyrants who had gone overboard with their desire to rule forever. Rulers in Tunisia and Yemen had been there forever and had created fiefdoms where people were treated like keyboards of computers. Give a command and you could delete any opposition; push a button and you could create copy paste of any individual; deprive it of a charger and the battery and the person would cease to exist. Such was the complete control of the few over the many. Egypt followed and rebelled in a more organized manner to make the world take the clamor of change in the Middle East more seriously. Libya took longer and Syria is still a work-in-progress.

The Middle East phenomenon was supposed to be a trigger reaction across a region that shared similar political subjugation histories. There were understandable reasons for it to be so viral geographically. The spread of the uprising was considered as the completion of a cycle where suppression does lead to a revolt eventually, which then causes chaos before order sets in. However, if people expected this to be a regionally localized virus, they were wrong. Soon enough, we saw Europe stirring uneasily and we saw Asians not sitting easy either in India or in Pakistan.

Europe has surprised itself by being taken unaware by a stubborn recession that has only changed for the worse. The first to crack was Greece and despite all efforts by its political colleagues to bring it back to some economic respectability, it remains a case of deep-rooted economic rot. The fact that it now wants to opt out of the EU is reflective of the onset of a new world disorder. Portugal followed and so did Spain. Governments have announced austerity drives and people have come out on the streets, rejecting the belt tightening economic diets being dished out by the economic wiseguys of the IMF and World Bank. Italy went a few steps further as Prime Minister Berlusconi finally had to leave days after the Greek president George Papandreou went. Both countries were stuck under unbearable debt and failing to either convince the European Union to bail them out without putting in austerity measures and failing to convince a revolting public to become more cautious consumers. With a $ 2.6 trillion public debt, Mr Berlusconi had run out of all measures of his 17 years of spicy in and out politics and thus had to exit from the back door, avoiding a vociferous public calling for change. France looked a safer bet against any change as Sarkozy dealt with public pressure complacently. His main rival, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the ex-head of the IMF, was embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal with a hotel housekeeper in New York. As the man was removed from the IMF and politics, the French demand for change looked like it was subsiding into nothing. But that was not to be. France was the unquestioned joint head of the European Union along with Germany and Sarkozy’s relationship with Angela Merkel, termed ‘Markozy’, over a period of time, became a victim of debt and bad economics, forcing France to cede power to Germany. Francoise Hollande, who finally defeated Sarkozy in the recent elections accused him of favoring the rich and not caring for the poor. He stunned the world by taking 52 percent votes.

If dictatorship was the reason for change in the Arab world, economics was the instigation in Europe. The US itself has seen a sharp drop in the popularity of Mr Obama in the last couple of years due to its economy’s slow response to the policies of the Democrat government. Mitt Romney, his opponent, who was not considered stiff opposition, is now giving Mr Obama a run for his money as the disillusioned public looks for an alternative.

India, which had been categorized with China as a sterling example of a nation being stable and strong amidst turmoil in the world, was rocked with corruption scandals, first in the infamous Commonwealth Games and then the $ 40 billion corruption charges in awarding telecom licenses. The Anna Hazare protest attracted international attention and reflected the weakening stance of Manmohan Singh to take decisive action. However, the result in the elections in Uttar Pardesh was still stunning. The Samajwadi Party, 224 to 37 seats placing them lower than the BJP and other parties, routed the Congress Party. This is reflective of a global intolerance of governments who are unwilling to listen seriously to the concerns of the public.

In Pakistan, the cry for change has never been stronger. The reason is all the reasons put together for change in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. We have a sham democracy where leaders pretend that parliament is supreme but on all major issues, the will of the two men in charge supersedes the will of parliament. We have an economy that is so deep in debt that we have run out of all options except to print notes to keep our economy barely afloat. There is corruption that has broken all previous records and is now so rampant that most people are almost fatigued to talk about it. Thus, Pakistan is a basket case for change with everything that can go wrong going wrong. With so much unrest and protests, change should be inevitable. However, the biggest barrier to this change is the public’s disbelief in its ability to break a corrupt feudal system and an illiterate, largely rural society that is still not out of the clutches of landlords who mortgage the rural populace mentally and economically to a point of total subjugation. While this may be true to some extent, change has also trickled down due to penetration of the media at all levels. What is unanimous in all classes and levels is that if we do not change ourselves, we will be changed by other forces. The evidence of change all around the world has stirred the feeling that if each one exercises the right to vote, it is inevitable that the collective will of the nation will override the hurdles imposed by the opposer of change.

The writer is a leadership coach, columnist and an ex Info Secretary of PTI Punjab and can be reached at andleeb.abbas1@gmail.com

( This article was written in 2011 in the wake of the Arab Spring. The situation at that time coincided with the ascending popularity of Imran Khan who was perceived as the symbol of change in Pakistani politics- Akhtar Malik)