Democracy is not a perfect system. Someone famously called it the worst political dispensation except all others. The strength of this system is that it sets the direction for wherever a nation has to go. And does so by most delicately balancing the opposing interests. It is perhaps comparatively easy to set up a democratic system, Pakistan being an exception, but extremely difficult to practice it. The discursive debate on the subject in Pakistan has been mostly illusory and out of tune with the democratic norms. The weaknesses of democracy have been exploited in this country by non-democratic forces periodically to pounce upon the nascent experiment while it was still in the embryonic stage. The recent 18th amendment may well be called the master stroke of our political maturity and those who are critical of it need to examine it in a larger context. Nowhere in the world can you satisfy all the people all the time. The opposition would always demand from government to do more. This is how a democratic order progresses and matures unlike in a dictatorship which starts stagnating right from the first boast of having quick fixes for everything. The nation is presently locked in a fierce debate on the independence of judiciary and sovereignty of parliament. This discussion is becoming increasingly counterproductive. Most analysts have failed to realize that an independent judiciary and an independent parliament can live and progress together under the same roof of one system. Our democracy does need fine tuning but it would take care of its shortcomings only if it is allowed to continue and not derailed by power-hungry messiahs who consider the constitution nothing more than a stack of waste paper .We have traveled long distance to reach this stage which must become a launching pad to a prosperous and democratic future. The history of this part of the world has something to teach us. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi had urged the British to quit India. He was told that the post-British India would fall prey to chaos. Gandhi rebuffed the colonial power of his time with the reply that he would prefer chaos to foreign occupation of his country. I agree with the late Indian philosopher and would be happy to accept chaos to occupation of my country by our own armed forces. Democratic chaos is far better than the deceptive lull of a tyrannical order. -B. A. MALIK, Islamabad, April 25.