First of all, I would like to make it vivid that I am not against a democratic system in Pakistan. This article is all about exploring different loopholes which are present in our democratic system. These loopholes make it extremely difficult to address the basic issues of the people who are actually battling for their survival.
It was during the era of George Bush when some of the very soft-hearted friends of Pakistan actually felt the pain of the miseries of common Pakistani. Some of these friends of Pakistan were Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney and other top officials of the USA who at that time during the era of Musharraf Dictatorship realized that Pakistan can no longer do without ‘their brand of Democracy’. In order for their dream to see the day-light and in order to ease the pain of the common Pakistani, they decided to implement their perceived democratic system. They developed and implemented a successful strategy which was backed by much detailed research by different US lobbies and surveys by different US agencies. For this core purpose, they decided to bring the top Pakistani civilian and military leadership of that time under one roof and voila! There come NRO and NRO-Influenced Democracy in Pakistan.
This is indeed the first time in the history of Pakistan that a common Pakistani has seen the decade-long democratic style of government without any influence from the hidden forces. It is always believed and fanaticized by many intellectuals, politicians, technocrats, and experts that democratic system is the only practical, functional, result oriented and problem-solving system that would address the core issues faced by this nation. Followings are some of the narratives of the above-mentioned experts:
- This system is practical because people are getting their true representations in the Government.
- The Democracy is functional as the people’s representatives historically have never been given enough time to serve people.
- These civilian leadership has already shown their potentials in their respective privately-owned businesses which are surging high like nothing and since most of them are foreign qualified and are acquainted with the desired skills and talents. These attributes make these civilian leaders ideal in making the democratic system truly result-oriented.
- These firm believers of civilian supremacy think that since these civilian leaders have their roots in the common people, they are more vulnerable to perform for the people and to answer their masters (voters). It is due to this core reason they are the only qualified representative who would follow the problem-solving approach to facilitate the people and provide them with basic necessities.
In a thesis, this above-mentioned hypothesis and their various variables seem very logical and true to their respective equations and regressions. In reality, though, it is always the dilemma of every type of social science that it never acts according to the moods of the considered variables and there are always some other hidden variables which have more influence on your hypothesis than your selected variables. This same happens with the tailor-made democracy in Pakistan. These above-mentioned logics and arguments never acted according to the intentions of the said experts or it may well be said that this democratic system has actually acted according to the hidden intentions of the true foreign masters of our beloved public office holders.
Let’s go deep down the above-mentioned arguments and try to identify, why this democracy (free from any influence) never produced the desired results which everyone had anticipated after given decades-long time to rule the nation. As far as the practicality of this democracy is concerned, it can well be said that ‘The True Representatives’ of the people are actually ‘Not so True Representatives’. This statement seems very ambiguous and it is rightly so. One argument to support this statement is why these public representatives with a decades-long history of ruling the same public are using every source possible to appoint their favored bureaucrats in their desired departments and territories. Aren’t these bureaucrats historically faithful to these ruling elites? Secondly, why have every election in this country seen the declining percentage of the votes? Doesn’t this show the lack of trust by the masses for the ruling elite? With mere 15 to 20 million votes under the belt of any Government, this ruling setup falls flat miserably to gain the confidence of the majority of the people.
The recent viral video clearly shows the exact mentality of this ruling-few. In this said video one common man was lamenting about his problems with the Ex-CM of Sindh along with other needy people. During that conversation, one of the companions of Ex CM was arguing the poor man that he was actually the voter of the Ex CM’s political party or not. Similarly, the Ex CM himself brutally pushed this helpless man’s face with hand during the conversation like the white people used to do the same thing with colored people before 1970s in the USA. This is the kind of respect they would like to give to their voters. This means if a person could not vote the winning candidate, he does not have any right to question the performance of the ruling candidate. The Government would only please her voters and the non-voters would be punished so that they would not dare to cast vote against the ruling candidates. This shows that the public has been actually divided into voters and non-voters by the political parties. If a common man does not like the manifesto of the ruling candidates he would have to suffer heavily for being a non-voter. With this kind of attitude, a person saying that these representatives are vulnerable to answer the voters must be living in fool’s paradise.
The lifestyle and assets of the ruling elite and their heirs confirm that our rulers are actually very shrewd and competent in doing their privately-owned businesses. With a large number of off-shore entities, many billion dollars earning of conglomerates having a presence locally, internationally and even in enemies’ land, they seem like ideally suited to rule the country with optimum efficiency and address the economic issues. This again is the delusion of the opinion makers as these same rulers are actually running the country with optimum carelessness, brutality, incompetence, and ill-mindedness and with evil intentions. The latest meeting of FATF against Pakistan shows that the Government is unwilling to take critical measures to regulate the financial transactions of a country. This last ten years of Democratically elected Government had seen some of the worst decisions in the history of our country when it comes to international trade & bilateral agreements, taking loans and brutally wasting for nothing, losing cases at international court of justice, giving permission to foreign military forces to invade, and losing strategic and capital assets to foreign companies.
In nutshell, this democratic system is not the true democratic system which we have been aspiring and watching in the western world. These ruling elite are not the true representatives of the masses as in the case of the USA and Europe. These politicians are not morally and financially competent when compared with western politicians. Running a country is not like running a business and that is why westerners separate businessmen from politics especially in Europe. There is no concept of heirship of politics in western democracies. If these fault lines would not be addressed there is a high chance people would stop participating in the electoral process and would come out for their own brand of government considering the examples of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.