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Democracy versus Dictatorship: From hindrance in the progress and performances of over all

Pakistan's Perspective democratically established political institutions.

Democracy is the only terminology that merges political,


ALTHOUGH Pakistan was established on the basis of
religious and philosophical perception across the globe. I
democratic modus operandi of political institutions, but
can confidently admit that every politically conscious
unfortunately 56 years of Pakistan’s independence has
thinker will advocate that democracy is a basic right
got remarkable influence of military administrative body
essential to each and every sect of the society.
rather than the democratic governmental organization.
Coup d’etat of Nawaz Shariff government on October 12,
On the contrary, dictatorial ruling is based on absolute
1999 was dubbed as the fourth episode of democratic
individual sovereign power without any inspection and
turned militarization of the political structure of
invasion where the democracy defined by Abraham
Pakistan.
Lincoln i.e. government of the people, by the people and
for the people remain suspended till the winds of
From constitutional suspension to judiciary, executive
revolutionary change restore democracy, or in other
and legislative lobby transaction from democratic setup
words people’s sovereignty. It’s a loss of freedom of
to military structure has never been so smooth but a
expressions, centralization of authoritarian power,
tough ride to the organizational institutions. Perhaps it
paralytic government establishment, surrender of rights
would be more judicious to state that battle zones
& responsibilities where survival of democracy becomes
shifting from barracks to governmental setup have been
impediment to handle.
witnessed each time when ever coups felt penchant
towards democratic ruling style. However, there’s
Some of the philosophical view points available to reveal
always involved a noble cause behind this extensive
the true identity of democracy againstthe un-Islamic
conspiracy, either there’s corruption involved or
dictatorship in Pakistan arise from different perspectives
financial forgery, from ministerial dictatorial powers to
each time country faces. Though it delays the
serious threats to social security all the weaken
legitimization of dictatorial power in order to shed the
democratic bourgeois institutions contributed at large to
hypocrisy involved in coup d’etat of governments, still
de rigueur military dictatorial engagements in political
there’s always present a certain degree of resistance,
setup.
like; it is wisely said that you cannot make fool all the
people all the time. And it’s a fact that leaving behind
The question is how do we define democracy and then
democratic process will leave the image of Pakistan as
compare this widely accepted perception towards
an un-civilized nation yet not ready to meet the
arrogant aristocratic dictatorial power. Why there’s
challenges of the outside world, particularly on
always an open option fore military to invade or to invite
democratic front. As also points out the former
uncertainty without any option to exit? Why the
democratically elected Prime Minister of Pakistan Ms
democratic institutional lobby is gripped under weakens
Bhutto; “Walking away from democratisation of nuclear-
corrupted, destabilized and demoralized features
armed Pakistan could lead to even more horrific
enough to invade by the outcastes? Or why democratic
results.”
provisions are difficult to execute or implement in any
environment?
A quick glance over Pakistan’s political perception is
definite to analyze its historical performance of
Gore Vidal once stated his views regarding democracy
democratic dereliction to militarize politics in lieu of
that “Apparently, a democracy is a place where
rough and frequent transaction from de-centralization to
numerous elections are held at great cost without issues
centralized command, both the diversified setups as it
and with interchangeable candidates.” Three things in
has evolved over the past 5 decades?
Gore’s perception are thought provoking and acceptably
portrayed i.e. elections, issues less favorable
Losing sagacious leaders like Jinnah, PM Liaquat Ali Khan
environment and candidature criteria. In this regard
and Z.A. Bhutto created a never ending vacuum to
where ever Human Rights execution is prevailing,
political set up of Pakistan as dichotomy rises between
principle of equality are adopted, government
democracy and dictatorship involving an immense
representative are elected via general consensus,
pressure from rival neighboring countries, religious
rigging in elections and in electoral body is out of
zealots and militant mafia both from inland and abroad.
question, this scenario represent the democratic style of
government. I must quote an unknown perception in the
The turbulent history of democracy vis-à-vis dictatorship
light of above definition i.e. “Democracy is a
persistence started way back to 1950s when General
government where you can say what you think even if
(Late field Marshal) Ayub Khan Stages a coup in 1958. In
you don't think.”
his militarized rule he contributed new constitution
advocated to “Basic Democracy” at the local level with
Therefore, to establish democracy, participation by
the intention of switching over to civilian system.
common people and accountability from top to bottom
Though economy prospered during his 10 year tenure
are the core principles to cater. To say the least,
but the internal political structure weakened seriously by
democracy is a carefully nurtured political institutional
the extensive corruption and frequent institutional
lobby rather than a sacrosanct concept. Unfortunately,
crisis.
west had restricted the dictatorial Sega to the religion of
Islam. However, Islam is the only religion that advocate
In 1969 after extensive agitation of masses Ayub fell
justice in the form of democracy and declared sate
from power, then comes General Agha Muhammad
power as a sacred trust. Qaid-e-'Azam the Great Leader
Yehya Khan’s era, the then commander-in-chief of the
& founder of Pakistan once stated that; “There are no
army. Parliamentary set up restored along with the
people in the world who are more democratic even in
national elections of December 1970 under silhouettes
their religion than the Muslims." From the Islamic
of second military regime. However, amid the
traditions the cure of leadership dilemma lies is public
depressing civil war resulting bloody episode of
consultation, participation and anticipation, absentia
Bangladesh formerly East Pakistan’s independence,
from each of the factors will alter not only the credibility
Yahya’s military power came to an end.
of authoritative public representation but create much
Under the clouds of open criticism, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto government because of the constant people’s pressure
took power as a CMLA. The credit of introducing 1973 resolving or improving state machinery. I do agree that
constitution goes to him. Besides that he was an all massive corruption, nepotism, dichotomy towards
rounder in political arena of Pakistan. His mandate of central and provincial finances, legislative and
Roti, Kapra aur makan (Food, clothing & shelter) makes executioner’s powers, low level accountability,
him the most admirable persona grata in the history of unemployment, foreign strategic pressure, weaker
Pakistani politics. In his tenure certain measures were administrative lobby, financial loot and plunder,
adopted to curtail the military sovereignty over the excessive violation of human rights provisions,
civilian government. However, like all the regimes, dilapidated social environment makes over all
Bhutto’s political career did not enjoy the fruits of democratic scenario instable & insecure by hanging
democracy for so long. Wide spread riots, severe future of democratic establishment in jeopardy.
criticism from opposition and deteriorating law and
order situation gave green signal to General Mohammed Political instability does not portray at all that the
Zia-ul-Haq to stage a coup d’etat Bhutto on July 5, 1977 channels of military invasion is the only option left out to
and recalled the history of martial law third time. resolve the matters absolutely rely on political sphere.
There’s always a room of improvement in the form of
Zia-ul-Haq ruled over Pakistan for 11 Years as CMLA with revolution via election, as choosing peoples
suspended constitution and Islamic ideology. The representatives by free and fair elections is the essence
political murder of Bhutto was conducted during his of democracy. I strongly believe that revolution by ballot
regime. Illegitimacy is the much annoyed aspect of not by bullet is the best accountable approach involving
military rulers and of course the major obstacle to the common man’s perception can preserve the political
smooth execution of dictatorial powers that introduced ideology. Plus the beauty of democratic environment
the injection of referendum. Therefore, 1984’s always involved or engaged a great deal of criticism
referendum was conducted to eradicate the stumbling from the opposition benches having vigilant eye over
blocks in order to achieve velvety drive of administrative states affairs, and that enjoy complete absentia under
machinery or to give coup de grace to legitimize power. dictatorial power.

The one Way Street of General Zia’s tenure with the Like the way politicians, political leaders, ministers,
penetration of infamous 8th amendment in 1973 judges and other executive personals no matter how
constitution, later lifting of martial law in 1985 was experienced and rhetoric they are cannot join military
marked as added advantage of rulers’ absolute power to band wagon once they entered in the politics. Then why
dismiss government. One of the distinguish personality democracy in Pakistan had experienced a massive
carved out by his dictatorial regime was PM Mohammed military’s irretrievable engagement. One may agree that
Khan Junejo, who unsuccessfully tried to convert military a decorous military front man not necessarily can be a
control in to democratic rule however, his idea bring an good leader or an astute leader cannot win the battle
end to National Assembly in May 1988. zone other than diplomatic front. Then why there’s a
frequent merger of two diverse classes, when both bear
However, General Zia’s death in C-130 crash revives a great burden of responsibility involving national
much awaited democracy and Ms. Benazir Bhutto security and consensus.
becomes new Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Whatever may the reasons of the state’s failure, it is
On October 12, 1999 while exercising military invasions unethical, unjustified and against the rule of law when it
over political environment on regularity basis country comes to military's involvement in politics. What they
was once again dragged under the fourth military ruling should act to be unbiased is strengthening armed forces
favored by plane conspiracy. The toppled government of in the line of duty and makes all the precautionary
Nawaz Shariff from lost opportunity of contesting arrangements to be less influenced over the political
elections to imprisonment and then to exile forced institutions. As suspending constitution, hindering
General Musharaff to restore democracy. Second time in judicial consistency, involving huge finances in
the history of Pakistan referendum was held and won by referendums and elections (often labeled as rigged)each
General Musharaff. time to legitimize one man rule is not al all feasible for a
country combating with the evils of financial as well as
Later under severe pressure of western super powers in social victimization.
particular and international media in general, elections
were held in 2002. Although both the democratic It is a matter of a great concern that neither dictatorship
leaders were deprived of contest elections on allegation nor democratic institution ever employed expeditious
of corruptions but outcome was contradictory. accountability cap-a-pie that could assure justice to all
the sects of the under developed society. However, new
After brief analysis of military influence over democratic accountability institutions with feasible performances
set up, what is quite definite to understand is why and expeditious services are established each time new
there’s always certain elements involve inviting or government comes in to horizon. But unfortunately the
invading political institutions by the responsible armed end results contain severe criticism involving only lower
forces. Or why democratic political institutions are cadre or less influential people. That shows the highest
unable to handle their internal menace or what are the degree of corruption and nepotism engaged at each
reasons behind their failure? Or will it be judicious to put level of accountability dealing with the affluent class. As
entire blame over ill handled democratic provisions? long as the accountability process enjoy back, fighting
Why military personnel’s own hysteric attitude towards with financial, social and political victimization will
the wealth of power cannot be question, after all remain the prime concerns of state plenipotentiaries.
channels from barracks to drawing room contains
satisfactory conclusions. Why back to back dictators are Parliamentary democracy is must rather unexpected
often criticized over the question of disintegration and dictatorial involvement via coup d’etat and favorable
hypocrisy? constitutional provisions that adhere power and position
in perpetum. Therefore, legally and peacefully
Speaking from political institutional point of view, decentralization, rehabilitant, restructuring and
Democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of restoration of democracy is must for the sake of
Pakistan’s social & political integrity.

In my opinion, to bring stability in the political hugger


mugger like situation does not mean to bring army in to
power. Instead of strengthening political administrative
lobby, applying quid pro quo approach over the state
affairs can make national security & integrity more
fragile and that Pakistan cannot afford. In order to cure
political evils the role of army should be restricted to
provide alarming information via suggestions.

Dictators should learn their lessons from historical civil


disobedience and change their dictatorial perception,
that ultimate power is the power dedicated by the
people to their representatives that make political
leaders more accountable. Therefore, power remains
unexcitable if its existence diversifies from through
proper channel. On the other hand, democracy without
morality is impossible; therefore it is an absolute
responsibility of the democratic leadership to take all
the necessary measures that could save our country
from dictatorial regimes.

No matter how progressive military establishment


conceive their achievable ideas, democracy remain the
widely acceptable perception where fundamental rights,
freedom of expression, preservation of astute political
ideology, participation of common people on equality
basis, free society but according to Islamic code of
conducts, legal electoral system, liberty of legislature,
executive and judicial lobby cannot be ignored rather
expanded.