In Pakistan we are being held hostage by two main political parties that have been playing musical chair, with some flavour of martial law thrown in for a change of scenery. These two major parties have enjoyed ruling, one way or another they have always been part of the government, weather it’s federal or provincial. Every time these parties come to power, they claim that democracy has entitled them to hold public office.
In the present democratic system we condemn any interventions by the armed forces but do we take into account the architecture of the parties we vote for? We certainly never have a major number of voters who do not even know about the family members incorporated in these parties to hold main positions and public offices thereof. It’s not about the two main ruling parties, but the kind of incompetent relatives and friends they oblige once they come to power.
We define democracy as representation of majority in formation of government of the people, by the people, for the people, but strangely in Pakistan the same two percent, privileged class, manage to get its members into the assemblies and other positions of power, while the 98 percent of the lower and middleclass population is totally deprived of any genuine representation. So here it is ‘government of a few, by a few and for a few’.
Democracy only flourishes in countries that have made basic education compulsory, thus enabling its masses to be able to judge the worth of the people in politics, but in Pakistan this game is played by old hands on the basses of how much land they have and how many people they can bring in to vote for their own candidate, thus destroying the main ideology of ‘democracy’. The two percent privileged class now ruling the country has neither any concern for the masses nor any genuine love for the democratic institutions. Their primary objective is to remain in power and protect their interests at all costs. Naturally, therefore, people belonging to such a mindset neither resist undemocratic and unconstitutional activities in the country nor feel any compunction in readily accepting and recognizing illegal governments, as long as their personal interests are protected and they are also allowed a share in the booty.
The members of this privileged class spend millions of rupees to get elected to the national and provincial assemblies. Hence, their first priority on coming to power is to recover their capital spent on the election campaign, of course, along with compound interest and dividends. They have little time and energy for resolving the problems of their constituencies. For them, power and privileges are the main objective in coming into politics; they do not hesitate to compromise our principles and ideologies and willingly indulge in all kinds of undemocratic practices in order to maintain their hold on the establishment.
Since last two years we have witnessed a change, a large induction of Pakistani youth in the political system which is a pleasant change, its results can be seen by every other party addressing youth and trying to attract them. Now is the time to behave in a mature manner and choose wisely.
SABA AHMAD,
Lahore, January 1.