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D for Democracy

The much trumpeted cry for democracy in Pakistan has always been portrayed as the savior of this nation. Sad how no one ever pays heed to it. The Cricket Khan and much adored MQM’s Altaf bhai has laid great emphasis on the D word. But who hasn’t cashed it at their own expense? But then what?

Media is not doing any favours either; indoctrinating the assumption that only military coup suits Pakistan. So, a naive mind would hopelessly succumb into believing that the country is best suited in the hands of uniforms.

Undertaking a brief historical view of Pakistan’s political history would reveal that democracy never got a chance to apply itself in its fullest sense.1958 was the starting point when Pakistan faced its first martial law. After that, it became a normal thing for political structure of Pakistan. 1988 to 1990,1990 to 1993,1993-1997 and 1999.These are those short  tenure in which Pakistan tasted democracy including present era but the history shows that time can change and so can things.

Democracy is about providing basic human rights. It is a gradual process that takes time to develop itself. It took several years for the United Stated to establish itself comparatively, Pakistan is doing better. It has survived martial laws and still live to breathe an independent state .Praiseworthy!

Democracy represents people. Unfortunately, oblivious we are of its importance; we sell our votes at a paltry sum. We manipulate the tool of democracy and then blame others .It is us who are unaware of the fact that true implementation of democracy would halt suicides for the sake of “roti” (bread).

Such lack of awareness has produced some keyboard mujahids who defend military coup. They “elaborate” that in the era of Musharraf we did not have to starve. Inflation was controlled. They are mistaken because it was not inflation but facts and media which were controlled. If Musharraf was such a great leader whose economic policies brought success and controlled inflation then why his prudent policies were not reliable after him? Why could they not maintain themselves? Economic policies leave a deep mark on country’s welfare or doom. Surely, Musharraf relied largely on subsidization which made rate of things lower and his predecessors who were “democratic” had to cut such subsidies.

Another picture of the same coin is more interesting. In 1979 when Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, Pakistan suffered a “Martial Law” which gave way to “mujahdeens”.  The rest is an open book. Pakistan was not even a democracy when 9/11 occured. In fact the incident helped make Pakistan an unconditional ally of America in so called war on terror. Why? Because “International Players” consider it affluent to handle a single person rather pleasing the bulky parliament.

The democracy we are practicing at current moment may not be a dream world we expect. But we should be glad that it is emerging itself as sole suitable political system for Pakistan. Leaders are emphasizing because this is what youth craves. Anti-democratic elements are struggling to strengthen the concept of military regime because they know that people are developing high hopes in democracy. We know it all. We are conscious of the fruits of democracy. We are healing from the scar of martial laws. We are heading towards the new dawn of democracy. Surely, it will take time but it’s worth every second. Past has something to teach us and we are learning it.

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Syeda Zainab is a freelance writer and a graduate of University of Gujrat. Her areas of interests are politics and educational system of Pakistan.


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