Azam Khalil The purification of politics is an iridescent dream. Ingalls Pakistan has been in a state of turmoil ever since it had achieved independence in 1947. One of the major reasons it has failed to match the progress and glory of other sovereign nations of its age is due to military coups, as well as the unabated growth of new political parties. Indeed, this mushroom growth has never allowed the people to make the right choices whenever the opportunity has been provided to them in the form of elections. An analysis of Balochistan and its politics will reveal that it is impossible for a single political party to emerge as a clear winner. And it has always resulted in the formation of a coalition provincial government where more than half a dozen parties, besides independent candidates, join to form a government, thus leaving no meaningful role for the opposition. To avoid this situation, it is necessary that a two political party system should be established in the country. Previously, many experiments conducted to establish a political system to create political stability that is essential for economic progress, have failed. However, a two-party system will help stop military coups, which have retarded the growth of vital institutions in Pakistan essential to strengthen democracy. But the question is: How can this be achieved? While there may be no easy solutions, a mechanism can be devised that would allow the establishment of a two-party system in Pakistan. At present, there are several political parties that do not have the capability to win even a single seat in the National Assembly. For this, the Election Commission of Pakistan should de-notify their existence by issuing a simple notification to that effect. Besides this, the political parties can be given an option that in case they fail to win at least 15 percent of the votes cast in the next general elections, their existence as an independent party would cease. This will help eliminate a few parties from the political arena, thus clearing the way for the establishment of a two-party system in Pakistan. Then for the political parties who win at least 20 percent or more of the votes cast should join the top two major political parties. But they will not be in a position to influence the formation or fall of the federal or provincial governments. It has been observed that small parties, whenever they attain the position of disturbing the government, do not hesitate to create a situation that leads to destabilising the entire political system of the country. At times, it has been seen that some religious political parties have promoted extreme ideas among the population without caring for the consequences. So if these parties fail to achieve the required number of votes, they may also join another major political party in case they wish to stay in politics. Another solution is that Pakistans political leadership should be taken into confidence on this subject and if they do not agree a referendum should be held where the will of the people is ascertained. In case the people vote for a two-party system, then it must be put in place without delay. As for the regional political parties, they should be allowed to propagate their programmes and in the same way if they are able to win at least 10 percent of the votes cast, they should either join any major political party or follow some other noble pursuit. The people of Pakistan are fed up with the state of politics that exists in the country today. The small number of voter turnout in the elections is surely an indicator that a majority of the people are now indifferent not only to what the politicians have to say, but also to the political parties. Definitely, this trend is not very encouraging for the institution of democracy. That is why the people have welcomed the imposition of martial law without realising that it will create more problems for them. Unfortunately, this has continued since years even though no one is comfortable with the supremacy of the anti-democratic forces. Although the establishment of a two-party system may take some time, it would be conducive to the institution of democracy and will also eliminate the manipulations of those groups who are not bothered about stability, democracy or welfare of the people. And they only wish to achieve their short-term political gains. It will, therefore, be appropriate if the federal government in concert with various political parties establishes a group of intellectuals that may examine whether the current system will benefit the institution of democracy or whether new initiatives are required to move the country forward for the benefit of the masses. Anyway, to begin with all the political parties, who are unable to win more than five seats in the next general elections, must be asked to wind up their activities, so that they are not able to spread confusion and despondency or join any major party. After achieving a consensus, the government may decide on a timeframe to ensure that only those political parties exist that have a national programme to offer and also have a nationwide following among the people. Nevertheless, this will generate a debate among the thinking Pakistanis as to what should be the political set up of the country that can guarantee progress and prosperity, which has long been elusive. The writer is freelance columnist. Email: