When political leaders fail to lead, others step in to fill the vacuum. Pakistan is poor precisely because it has been ruled by narrow elite that have organized society for their own benefit at the cost of the vast mass of people. Leaders in our so called democracy are selected rather than elected, electorates are subjugated rather than liberated and results of votes cast are cooked up in someone’s living room rather than collated from the honest votes of the electorates. Pakistan cannot said to be a democracy even today under the present so called civilian dispensation. Whether under a military dictatorship or civilian oligarchy, Pakistan has no claim to democracy as it has consistently failed to meet the most basic of needs of its citizens. The Pakistan’s paradox is looking more like a case of a people ‘blessed’ with abundant natural resources but ‘cursed’ with bad leaders. The tragedy of our situation is that the nation cannot grow beyond the sum total of its leadership pool.
Democracy in Pakistan strives on fraud, fraudulent legislation and constitutional amendments, fraudulent statutes, fraudulent governance, fraudulent fiscal policies, and so on. Whichever way we look at it, it is beginning to look like Pakistan is either not ready or not suited to democracy. At every point in the nation’s history when there was a democratic experiment, it ended up in chaos prompting the intervention or return of the military. Today again the democratic experiment is tottering towards collapse. Democracy is failing Pakistan, and we can’t just blame it on the politicians alone. People actually, in addition to other manipulations at Government level, vote for their own self-destruction by electing professional liars, criminals, and fraudulent to represent them.
The hopes and aspirations of the people have been once again betrayed as usual as the so called democratically elected body could deliver nothing to the masses in Pakistan, rather escalated their problems manifold. The politicians generally blame military for corruption and misrule, but since 2008, the scale and scope of looting and misrule by the sitting civilian dictatorship at every level has broken new records. The fraudulent system that pretends to be a democracy has in the last about five years, unleashed an unconscionable and shameless bunch of unelected criminals at every level of governance. True to type, they have gone on to undertake the greatest looting spree in the nation’s history. The peasants remain upon the land, living much below as they had always lived. Everything else is broken down during the last about five years, or is breaking down. The ensuing uncertainty has the potential to drag the country into further instability and violent conflict.
Over the last few years, one question which has taken its rounds among the people of Pakistan has been – was the former General Musharraf better than this democracy? It’s a tough question to answer seeing the mess we are currently in and in the current scenario my vote is for – Yes. He was far better. Like me majority of concerned citizens and analysts intend the military and judiciary to intervene, yet again, while others suggest that this would have happened two/three years ago, but that it is the military and judiciary which is determined to “save the system” though corrupt, anti-state, anti-people, incapable having no vision, destroying the country and its institutions. PPP-led coalition government has totally failed to live up to the people’s expectations and no effort has been made to alleviate the sufferings of the poor.
As a matter of fact, the harsh and terrible realities of the political situation in Pakistan can not be camouflaged. Ours is a democracy that thrives upon filth. Pakistan is normally seen negatively in the comity of nations. Hunger, war, disease, and debt are the issues that typically dominate the newsstories in the world media merely due to bad governance. Rampant corruption is a symptom of widespread failure of institutions throughout the country. The volatile mix of millions of unemployed youths and the easy availability of arms has led to an increase in insecurity. Unlike the military era when criminals were swiftly convicted as a deterrent to others, the present civilian administration has no deterrence against crime. The PPPGovernment has never considered it important to address chronic unemployment, poverty and other socio-economic issues. The events of the last few years in Pakistan appear to suggest that there is a strategic plan by the ruling elites to retain power by all means. This Government has only managed to survive in power because it is protected by military and judiciary and pampered by the West and U.S, who use them to plunder the Pakistan’s resources more effectively. Its continuing reliance on foreign aid has increased the opportunities for bilateral and multilateral aid agencies to influence policy making in the country.
Pakistanis are increasingly sick and tired of the democracy that has proven to be worse than military rule and there are implicit dangers in such phenomena. Pakistan is facing a very bleak future because of its corrupt and dishonest leadership. If the political leaders continue their free ride of corruption, misrule and insecurity, the rising wave of angst and disappointment will predictably bring bloody consequences. The aftermath is unpredictable but it could include the final burial of a nation that never was. In the end, the gluttonous political leaders who refused to learn from history will have only themselves to blame. Pakistanis now do not need Zardaris, Makhdooms, Khans, Choudharies and vaderas. They need rulers whom they would choose in open, free, and honest elections, people who would respect their rights as citizens, who will honor courts of law, who will be transparent in the use of the resources of the country to improve the quality of life of all the citizens and who will enable the people to take deserved pride in their national and ethnic identities.