The government has announced relief for poor farmers, a great relief, but the timing is amazing. With Local Bodies Elections on horizon it seems more “politicking” than a sincere effort to help poor folks. Previously, the same echelon has announced or completed project when general elections were scheduled; for instance, Metro Bus Project and laptop scheme for university graduates. Some experts are of view that government usually rises from its slumber whenever it is in hot water. Now-a-days it is in the midst of crises owing to Nandipur project and the three decisions of election tribunal against its favour. Therefore, in order to turn the tide in its favour it is resorting to these sorts of packages, to pull the wool into the eyes of common folks; who are fickle and easily swayed by its eloquence. This also shows their myopic short sightedness by clinging on short-term policies and their inability to craft long-term policies having far-reaching effect. For example government has totally failed to increase tax-to-GDP ratio due to poor governess and institutional weakness. In order to generate revenue government has clamped down obsolete method of withholding tax to generate it.

Regrettably, we must recognize that democracy is not deeply entrenched in our country. There is missing “Democratic quotient” in our system. Perhaps we are the only country in the world which does not have Attorney General and Foreign Minister. All this is heralding the fact that we have pseudo-democracy or democracy in the garb of aristocracy. Democracy is not just choosing rulers by casting votes on the given day, but freedom of speech and trade, institutionalism, due process of law, rule of law and separation of power to be its core components without these elements it is everything but democracy. In last decade we witnessed dictatorship and now-a-days we are tolerating pseudo-aristocracy where few individuals are licking up our resources first in shape of PPP and now in attire of PML (N). Faces do change after five years, but neither system, nor fate of the people.

MUHAMMAD WAJID MUNIR,

Islamabad, September 17.