The Ex-military dictator Pervez Musharraf who held the nation hostage for more then eight years, now has to justify his act of usurpation through media propounding Security first notwithstanding absurdity of his arguments. First of all, he had to be clear that it was on off and military intervention and not the incompatibility of the democratic institutions which brought the countries to the brink of disaster. Moreover, countries with strong democratic institutions were thriving much before the failure of communism/socialism(1992). Before adverting to other issues, I would like to point out that democracy is not a commodity which can be tailored at the whims of an adventurer but it is a culture; a way of life which if allowed uninterrupted, take roots in a society over period of time. The English parliamentary democratic institution, the oldest of all democracies was not tailored made or developed overnight but it took centuries to develop. For us the best example of 'success democracy however is of neighboring India, though once a member of 'third world who also gained independence in 1947. Is it a tailored made democracy, obviously no? Moreover demanding militarys permanent role in civilian affairs in the garb of checks and balances a phrase borrowed from American Constitution, is like asphyxiating the democracy at the embryonic stage. Arguments for and against the democracy aside; in 1999 security of state, the justification which every dictator created for takeover, was not at risk at all nor there was any cry for intervention. In the case of Pervez Musharraf at least such state of affairs were not there. After Kargil misadventure, he contrived hijacking against the elected Prime Minster; the whole episode was however ultimately proved a manipulation of highest order. During his eight years iron grip on power, he not only held rigged elections to remain firmly in the seat but in the name of devolution finished whatever in name of autonomy was allowed to the provinces. He and his handpicked foreign nationality holders Prime Minster, a senior City Bank executive, when left the power as well as the country, the state was in the grip of widespread terrorism, extensive power outages and shattered civil administration. So much so that the so-called claim of alleviation of poverty from 34 to 17 percent turned out to be a farce. Figures and national statistics were manipulated only to satisfy the public and foreign donors with the rosy picture of economy. The continuation of democracy, sustained economic growth and political stability are the main concerns of society today. These aims are nonetheless achievable only if the democratic institutions are allowed to function uninterruptedly. It was rightly said that 'democracy is the worst form of the government except all the others that have been tried from time to time. AMIR HUSSAIN KHAN, Karachi, January 12.