General Kayani's statement that the upcoming elections should be free and fair, and on time is a good omen for democracy. Only a professional General can be expected to have such outlook. Had General Ayub, Zia, and Musharraf thought so our history would have been different. We blame politicians for the present condition of the country but what we forget is that these politicians are production of dictators. Ayub Khan introduced ZA Bhutto, Zia introduced his own favorites, and Musharraf became, directly or indirectly, a cause for Zardari's induction into the office.

Military dictators ruled our country for thirty one years. Even now politicians have not come out of the fear of martial law. Our politicians look to foreign powers to saving their skins. Our political system is not mature; we need time to grow up and become a democratic nation. When we talk about developed political systems like UK, USA etc, we forget that they have given hundreds of years to mature. They took centuries to attain this position.

Let fair elections be held on time and consistently. After a few decades, the politicians will have to conduct intra-party elections. The fear of accountability after every term will teach them democratic values. Then true politicians will be a part of our system. We must appreciate the role of General Kayani for the evolution of democracy. Our present judiciary and some politicians have also played a constructive role. This spirit is essential for building an ideal political system.

SULEMAN MANSHA,

Lahore, February 28.