When elected democratic constitutional office holders assume unto themselves powers of kings and emperors, than democracy in its essence becomes a casualty. This has been the unfortunate desire of not only present incumbent in power, but also their predecessor in the past, who had a two third majority. Just mere procedure of elections does not constitute democracy, nor does it give any constitutional legitimacy to transgressions of authority by those in power. Democracy in the words of John Adams the 2nd US President in 1774 is a government of laws and not of men. He has also stated that The fundamental article of my political creed is that despotism, or unlimited sovereignty, or absolute power, is the same in a majority of a popular assembly, an aristocratic council, an oligarchical junta, and a single emperor. When an elected PM, President, Chief Minister or Ministers are seen violating laws, making a mockery of judiciary, consider themselves supreme or beyond accountability, than they lose the high moral ground of legitimacy to hold such an office. Elected constitutional office holders derive all their powers from constitution, where as dictators derive the same power through brute force or threat of intimidation. According to Muhammad Asad an Islamic scholar of repute, even our religion Islam does not sanctify kings, emperors or military dictators to take over a government of a majority Muslim state. The only system of modern governance which is akin to the Islamic system of governance is a democratic system, where those who rule are accountable to people for all their acts and every paisa of state exchequer spent. If an elected democratic government faces a threat from within by any military adventurer, they are well within their right to seek diplomatic support to strengthen such a government, provided that such a government is in every essence democratic and transparent. Under no circumstances can a military intervention justify assumption of imposing martial law. This country has suffered more at the hands of these dictators than at the hands of its elected mediocrity, or those who are selected through engineered electoral process. MALIK TARIQ ALI, Lahore, December 2.