Pakistan has suffered enough during past six decades from frequent intervention by establishment and their incapability for political engineering, which has created more problems without offering any solutions. Ruling families exist only in monarchies while in a democracy, individuals are elected. The mediocrity of politicians nurtured by establishment of this country have proven to be devoid of competence and integrity, that are vital for any country to survive and thrive economically, without which national sovereignty cannot be guaranteed. The survival and integrity of Pakistan lies solely in adopting a democratic system, with oversight by parliament and strong independent judiciary.

A trained professional army dedicated to its sole constitutional obligation of safeguarding territorial integrity of a country is very vital. Unfortunately, supra constitutional interventions by likes of Ayub Khan, Zia, Musharraf and political class that they nurtured is counterproductive to Quaid’s vision of modern democratic welfare state which was to crackdown with an iron hand on biggest curses of “bribery and corruption”. He also termed “black-marketing is another curse”. Quaid clearly elaborated, importance of constitution, upon which foundations of Pakistan were to be built, but after his death the process of framing constitution was delayed and even when it was finally presented, it was subverted by adventurers and the result of such subversions is there for all to see. As a nation we must learn from our mistakes or else fall victim to repeated abuse of power and greed of few.

Napoleon once said “there is only one step from the sublime to the ridiculous”. Democracy is a government with rule of law with an effective inbuilt system of checks and balance, confining powers of ruling elite to limits imposed by constitution and law. In a democracy the power of the ballot supersedes the brutal force of bullet.

If PM or President is given immunity from accountability for transgressions of power, or serious conflicts of interest, the system degrades to a sham quasi dictatorship, just like any tyrannical monarchy. A state without an inbuilt system of reform from within, is a state destined to fail and fall victim to greed of few. In the words of John Adams such a state is no better than “an aristocratic council, an oligarchical junta and a single emperor”.

MALIK TARIQ ALI,

Lahore, July 10.