Is democracy for us?

Published: September 25, 2012

Political parties in Pakistan are not democratic. They are family legacies with the children inheriting the popular position of their fathers based on the ownership of land and status in the society. PHOTO: OUP

It is a popular opinion these days that democracy is the best form of government available to the countries of the world. Perpetuated (and forcibly implemented in some cases) by the west, the system of democracy seems to be the preferred system in the minds of the people of the world; more so after the events of the Arab Spring.

My main contention against democracy is this: is it the best mode of governing a country for every country of the world? It seems to work great for the west and developed countries but does it necessarily work for developing countries?

Malaysia has demonstrated exceptional growth over the last 30 years yet the government is not a conventional democracy. In our own country, people in the media and the political parties are always calling for democracy to prevail, but what has democracy done for the country?

The current government is accused of corruption and mismanagement, and in its tenure, the law and order situation in the country has deteriorated to an all-time low.

Sounds familiar? That’s because previous democratically elected government were charged with the same things. So again I ask, why democracy?

In my opinion, democracy only functions in an environment that supports and complements it. Many hail the US as the champion of democracy and try to replicate its democratic system but fail to recognise the systems that they have in place.

Democracy in USA works because the people are educated enough to make the informed decision of choosing a president based on the agenda that they propose. Rarely do we hear allegations of rigging in the presidential elections. These systems ensure that democracy functions as it is supposed to.

These systems are not in place in a country like Pakistan. People do not make informed decisions as to whom to vote for. In rural areas, their votes are determined by their landlord and in the cities, it is determined by where the person lives and which party claims that area to be their territory. Almost every election is marred with allegation of rigging.

Political parties in Pakistan are not democratic. They are family legacies with the children inheriting the popular position of their fathers based on the ownership of land and status in the society.

The PPP is the family legacy of the Bhuttos with the party leadership being handed over to the next generation of Bhuttos regardless of whether they live in Pakistan or not.

The Sharif brothers head the PML-N and have many relatives as MNAs and MPAs; Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law Muhammad Safdar was heading the party’s youth wing before his membership was suspended. Asfandyar Wali became head of the ANP after his father Khan Wali Khan.

The democratic process is flawed as well. The recent promulgation of the local government ordinance in Sindh was done without the consultation and support of the major political parties like ANP, PML-Q and PML-F. The democratic process of the political parties boils down to personal attacks on opponents, vague and empty promises, and conducting rallies on main boulevards in cities causing traffic problems for the average citizen.

Gaining support from the people involves controlling territories in the urban areas. The areas where these territories meet are turned into battlefields for armed members of rival political parties leading to the death of innocent people caught in the crossfire. Parties are financed through armed wings that snatch people’s possessions, forcibly collect animal hides on Eidul Azha, or collect extortion money from traders.

If this is what democracy can do for the people of this country, then I say we’re better off without it.

If democracy is really what everyone wants then they should realise that they need to have the appropriate systems in place for democracy to work. Otherwise, I don’t see anything changing in the way this country is running.

This shouldn’t be taken as an advocacy of dictatorships or pseudo-Islamic caliphate.

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Faizan Arif

Faizan Arif

A business graduate from LUMS, a patriot and a realist, Faizan tweets as @arif_faizan twitter.com/Arif_Faizan

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • The more deluded

    “people are educated enough to make (an) informed decision”.

    You hit the nail on the head right there. Why does democracy not work in Pakistan? Look no further than our abysmal literacy rate / laughing stock of an education sector.Recommend

  • Rehan

    Malaysia is a true democracy. Do not subvert this fact.
    To suggest most voters in the U.S. are informed of policies is laughable.
    Name me one strong economy beside China, not built on reliance on dwindling oil reserves, that doesn’t have a democracy. Also, in China the lack of democracy is quickly subsiding through pro-democracy bloggers and the continuing failure of a centralized state in producing innovation (China is the only large economy that doesn’t have any recognizable, name-brand, domestic corporations; it just assembles products for German and American corporations, which workers of any other country could easily do; hence, the largest bubble ever created).
    Lack of democracy is a death sentence for an economy; just look at Russia now with Russia in the 1980s. Democracy allows for the wishes of the individual (i.e. cheaper prices, more products) to be made in the aggregate, thereby creating more wealth.
    Several more points I could list here, but it’s become obvious to me that my fellow Pakistani citizens lack the foresight to understand that even the worst of democracies is better than the best of dictatorships.
    Regards,
    Rehan
    Recommend

  • OPYI

    Nicely molded Mr. Faizan, but history shows us that not even one dictator leadership has been a long term success, at the end it all topples. eh?Recommend

  • Sajid

    You make omelet using rotten eggs, you get sick and conclude ‘omelet is not for me’. You have got thinking to do, its not the omelet; its the eggs. Recommend

  • vexed

    Faizan,
    You’re asking the WRONG question.
    “What you should be asking is-‘ Is Education for us?’
    ‘Is Compassion for us?’ ‘Is Love, Peace and Understanding for us?’ Is Humanity for us?’Recommend

  • Saif Khan

    In my opinion the democracy can work in Pakistan if we ensure:
    1. 100% Voter Registration
    2. Mobilization of the Voters to choose the right person (awarness campaign)
    3. Free & Fair Election ensuring there is no rigging by involving Civil Society and Media
    4. Compulsory 6 months training for each elected representative on their job and responsibilities
    5. Law making and establishing a mechanism for accountability of the elected representatives
    6. Performance Evaluation of the each elected represetative on annual basis
    7. And call a joint session of present National/Provincial Assembly and Senate and drone it with such missiles that none of them survive and can take part in next election. Recommend

  • http://salmanzq.blogspot.com salman

    I can’t seem to understand why people in Pakistan don’t seem to grasp the basics of democracy before commenting on it. You toppled over democratic governments on the basis of corruption – none of which have ever been proved. Yet, the no-less-corrupt military led governments stayed only in power because you had no say in that matter. Do you get the problem now?Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Democracy requires Civilian Supremacy as a pre-condition. Tell me, oh enlightened one, when was the last time there was Civilian Supremacy in Pakistan?

    Bhutto seemed powerful, but it turned out he was actually not. The Military murdered him. Benazir was killed right when she seemed to be too powerful, more powerful than the Military. Taliban was conveniently blamed.

    Buddy, for Pakistan to get sick of Democracy, it has to be practiced first.

    India is one such example. Despite corruption, poverty and other problems, India is on its way to achieve 100% literacy. Many states, including mine(Karnataka) are very close to achieving them. My neighbouring state-Kerala-did it long time ago. GDP growth has halved poverty from a high of 51% to around 23% right now, in about 20 or so years.

    UN Millenium Development Goals stated that india is the only South Asian country to achieve its MDG Goals of halving its poverty!

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinions/9152344.cms?commenttype=agree&sorttype=bycount

    So, your theory is completely flawed and the greatest examples are US and India. Recommend

  • http://www.zaidzamanhamid.wordpress.com zaidu

    We need caretaker government of technocrat who can manage d gov on Facebook n Twitter.Recommend

  • http://rtipakistan.com Huda

    I agree with you, its not that the fate of a prosperous Pakistan lies in dictatorship, but now we should try to think out of the box and find solution to our core problem, democracy with the same corrupt political leadership is nothing more than repeating the old mistakes. Dynastic politics and feudalism have deepened its roots in Parliament and other decision making institutions. There is need to inject fresh and sincere blood in the streams of political body of Pakistan. Recommend

  • Rafay

    @Saif Khan:

    which country are you talking about? this is not possible in pakistanRecommend

  • Faraz

    Basically what our leadership lacks is loyalty towards the nation. Pakistan is a democratic country, but ever wondered how many parties do our civilian leaders come from? Only two. It is either PPP or PML-N. I agree that in the west also there are 2 parties, but the figurehead steps down after his tenure and doesn’t come back. in our case, the same people come back. and since they’re not loyal to the country, Pakistan ends up in an even poorer state at the end of each tenure. What we need is some fresh, clean, and loyal blood in the top of the country.Recommend

  • Faizan Ahmed

    You are absolutely right in bringing out the dis-advantages of party, electoral and governance system in vogue. I agree with the fact that “If democracy is really what everyone wants then they should realise that they need to have the appropriate systems in place for democracy to work.” Unfortunately, there is very less awareness among masses regarding this fact. It is because a layman of Pakistan thinks that “no democracy” means “dictatorship” with Military ruler taking over as chief executive. This is certainly not true as there are many ways in which the system of Pakistan can be run. The same very point is always exploited by the political parties, thus not allowing any other practicable form of government to flourish in the country.Recommend

  • Parvez

    I think you have argued your point quite well. With the stong credentials that democracy as a system possesses, to ask ‘ is democracy for us ?’ and to expect a ‘no’ for an answer is illigical. Maybe you should have stoop it up on its head and argued ‘ are we good enough for democracy ?’ and in ‘we’ I mean our leaders (politicians, military, bureaucrats, judiciary and media). As @Sajid in his excellent comment said ‘its the egg and not the omelet thats at fault.Recommend

  • Umer Qadir

    Nicely articulated, I agree with what you have said. We do need to have the appropriate systems in place for democracy to work and unfortunately it doesnt seem like its going to happen any soon.Recommend

  • aaaaa

    My main contention against democracy is this: is it the best mode of governing a country for every country of the world?

    It inherently gives equal rights to every member of the population, so yes it is.

    Democracy in USA works because the people are educated enough to make the informed decision of choosing a president based on the agenda that they propose.

    This is a laughable statement. Bush accused McCain of fathering a child out of wedlock in 2000, John Kerry was ‘speedboat-ed’ in 2004, and the RNC this year round was, quite literally one big lie, especially Paul Ryan’s speech. Thats not even to begin with all the crap that Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh spew out. Birther movements? Obama is a Muslim? He’s a socialist? He will destroy the country with Obamacare? Ever heard of these?

    Rarely do we hear allegations of rigging in the presidential elections. These systems ensure that democracy functions as it is supposed to.

    Is that why republicans have passed the voter ID law which prevents over 20 million people voting, the majority of which would never vote for republicans? You know the excuse they used: voter fraud.

    Sounds familiar? That’s because previous democratically elected government were charged with the same things. So again I ask, why democracy?

    I see you conveniently left out everything that happened during dictatorships. You know murdering Akbar Bugti and Syed Saleem Shahzad. A twice elected PM was also killed on the watch of a dictator who had specifically threatened her with consequences if she returned before elections. Do you remember the stock market crash of 2005? The sham that was the PSM sale? The militancy that thrived on the policies of Musharraf?

    Political parties in Pakistan are not democratic. They are family legacies with the children inheriting the popular position of their fathers based on the ownership of land and status in the society.

    So? from 1988-2008, USA was ruled by the Clinton and Bush families. Hillary Clinton might be a presidential candidate in 2016.

    Democracy needs time to work.Do you not understand that simple concept? 4 years in, and you’re already whining. But people were prepared to give Musharraf and Zia a decade. Why is that?Recommend

  • http://salmanzq.blogspot.com salman

    @aaaaa: we ‘gave’ Zia a decade because of the democratic choices he gave us of allowing him to stay in power or not. Oops we didn’t have a choice?Recommend

  • http://salmanzq.blogspot.com salman

    @Faizan Ahmed: please do share some better forms of governance with usRecommend

  • Saif Khan

    @Rafay:
    Think on the last option thenRecommend

  • Intelektual

    @Rehan:
    Democracy does not provide any of these cheaper prices lower taxex and increased productivity & wealth ! It is only SUPPOSED to do all that on paper and in theory ! The only thng it effectivly provides is the illusion of choice and freedom !
    When Being elected is about having the biggest mini army of armed supporters or running the biggest media spectacle democracy is only a theory and so are most of its merits.
    Ofcourse no free and deserving outsider can dream to compete with the established/feared brands of politicians. Its still a Might is right dictatorship the difference being that rulers are famalies the poor people think they picked and the economic and other shortfalls therefore being their fault. !Recommend

  • Taimoor

    @OPYI:
    There is one sort of leadership that was a long term success, that was the Islamic Caliphate.

    You are absolutely correct about the recent dictators because their interests were not fully aligned with the interests of the people. However I invite everyone to go over the history of the Islamic Caliphate which lasted nearly 14 centuries!! If there are lessons to be learnt from history, this is a gold mine of lessons.Recommend

  • ZIA UR REHMAN ZIA

    If there is nepotism in political parties of Pakistan its not the fault of democracy. Democracy is a system in which people is govern by themselves. unfortunately in Pakistan we could not see democracy in its real shape instead dictatorship and nepotism prevail on the name of democracy not only in Government but also in every department of Pakistan.
    Failure of a government is not the failure of democracy. if corruption is in vogue in government, it does not mean democracy is responsible. Responsibility lies on people whom elect such corrupt rulers.
    After all democracy is the govt.of people for the people and by the people. So people are responsible for every act in democracy.
    Recommend

  • http://solomon2.blogspot.com Solomon2

    Pakistan is NOT a democracy! I see Pakistan as a military junta slightly moderated by judicial and elective institutions. In essence, no institution in the land is FULLY legitimate – all have been compromised by questionable conduct or processes – so power that isn’t controlled by the military is wielded via independent action by and sometimes compromise between officials, rather than strict accountability to the people through their elected representatives.
    This universal corruption is a kind of check-and-balance on power that doesn’t exist in the West and is closer to colonial and imperial governments than it is to democracy.Recommend

  • abcd

    when you compare pakistan with countries like malaysia, china, south korea, you make a basic mistake of treating both as equal in all respects, which they are not.

    pakistan is melting-pot of various ethnic groups, languages, cultures, while the above-mentioned countries are basically uniform throughout. so, in the absence of democracy, some particular groups are bound to feel left-out, at the cost of others, which would fuel inter-ethnic rivalries: and we have seen many of them.

    only democracy could give each of them equal space.

    also, don’t abuse the illiterate fellows for not helping democracy to take roots. it was mostly educated class who sold the interest of country. when india could from 10-15 % literacy in 1947 sustain democracy, there is no reason pakistan cannot. it’s the educated class which indulges in corruption.
    being illiterate doesn’t mean one cannot think of their welfare. but, they are smart enough to know the kind of literates they are producing, it’s better to stick with the same vaderas and chowdharys, for the literates would deprive them of even those tid-bits they are having.

    it’s we the educated people who have failed them, and have the gall to blame them for our failures.Recommend

  • Zalim Singh
  • MMB

    ANP, Pml Q and Pml f, major political parties in sindh? You must be kidding dude.Recommend

  • Sok Kwu Wan

    The premise of your argument is flawed because Pakistan is a kleptocracy, rather than a democracy. Recommend

  • baba Ji

    NO !!!Recommend

  • The more deluded

    @Sajid:

    What if all the eggs you had to choose from, were rotten? And those eggs touting their ‘freshness’, more rotten than the rest?
    And what if you were compelled to decide that a less-than-fresh egg, is preferable to outright starvation?Recommend

  • Asif Ali khan

    This corrupt democracy is worst for Pakistan.Democracy means strengthening of institutions but in Pakistan it is the opposit. Pakistani politicians think that democracy means only rigged elections & a licence for five years of loot & plunder.Recommend

  • Majid

    When PMLN was given a chance in the 1990s to govern Pakistan, it more than delivered on all fronts. Major reforms took place in the banking sector, taxation, foreign exchange regulations, the telecom sector, import and export, aviation industry and other segments of business saw unprecedented growth. There was a major thrust on privatisation and deregulation. As a result of this, the economy boomed with a GDP growth of eight per cent in 1992 — the highest for any civilian government since independence.
    Although taxes were lowered for all segments, including the corporate sector, by 1999, Pakistan had achieved a tax-to-GDP ratio of 13.4 per cent, which has now fallen to just nine per cent and is a major stumbling block towards investment in social sectors as well as infrastructure projects. On the foreign relations front, major policy initiatives were undertaken, including the peace process with India, culminating in Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s visit to Pakistan in February 1999 and the signing of the Lahore Declaration. If the Kargil adventure had not taken place, the Lahore Declaration would have enabled Pakistan and India to forge closer trade and economic relationships with millions on both sides of the border benefiting from the economic boom.Recommend

  • Intelektual

    @aaaaa:
    if democracy inherently gives equal rights to every member of the populace why would any other form of Govt. wont ! Its not the rights democracy is talking about its Just the Right to Vote among the chocies that you have and when no matter who u pick u cant go right is the case that right does not even matter. What rights do the people have after the govt. is elected !! What bill is presented for Public debate to social and acedamic civilian forums ?
    Did the govt asks the people when they impose heavy tax levies on Petrol, Decides thats its above the law ?, and restricts public liberties on internet, cable TV and cheaper merchandise or even as small a thing as Pillion riding and mobile networks?
    What say do the people have about the Sect voilance Targetted Killing Crimes & Abductions all going without consequence and retribution ?Recommend

  • Intelektual

    @aaaaa:
    And was the so called Military dictator not attacked several times during his tenure ??
    And since when has the elected leader personaly liable for every murder or any operatiopn gone wrong because if thats the case you need to count the net total of all equal rights citizen and den point fingers ! Did AB and the twice PM not had their personal security (Mini armies) What of the equal righted 18 million !! Recommend

  • http://salmanzq.blogspot.com salman

    @Taimoor: You are kidding me right? The so called Islamic caliphate was nothing more than men fighting each other for power. What good came out of it?Recommend

  • Ansari

    We don’t democracy where people have authority to make laws for the rest. We need khilafah where the ruler has no authority over law making and is responsible only for implementation for divine laws. We have seen every kind of democracy, verdi wali, sherwani wali, suit boot wali, dupattay wali .. now we are sick of this non-sense aka democracyRecommend

  • Farrukh Hanif Awan

    Its like this, you bite one peanut and it is fine. You bite the next one it is fine but the third one is wicked crap. Democracy is something like that. You have to let it flow and not change it or destroy it after every ten years.
    The example would be George W bush. He led america to one crisis after another. Yet they didn’t impeach him. Destroy him or allowed a military take over to happen. They let him rule for his designated time. That is it. The voters trashed his party the next time around. This is how Democracy works. You have to let it take you through its motions. India is an example of how even literacy is not stopping democracy from flourishing. The Problem with us is that our history is full of Crap! Crap with the capital letter C. We glorify pasts which though might have been full of glory but it took time. No country has ever gone leaps and bound in a few days. Patience is a virtue for a good reason. You have to be patient with everything in life. Sadly we are emotionally charged idiotic nation. We charge ahead without knowing what was behind us. That is the problem. You have pointed out dynastic politicians? The family kennedies is an example of dynastic politics. Nehru’s and Gandhi’s are examples yet they never called Democracy a problem. Instead they flourished in it. Next time come election vote against the party you have found to have failed you. Just vote against them. Come election year after five years then vote against the one you found to have failed. The system itself will cleanse itself. Not a revolution, not anything. Even after the arab spring they opted for a democratic system. Does that give you an inkling of where and why this system is effective or not. Malaysia in its own way is doing splendidly. Indonesia. The examples are countless. It is us and our bloated ego that fails to see our faults. Sorry but i find your lack if knowledge of a how system should work or its flaws totally unwanted. Next time please go through your history, learn a few lessons and come back.
    For instance start with Ayub and what his untimley war cost us. Ayub actually was the catalyst which led to the breaking down of our Country. Read please. I suggest you read. ALOT!Recommend

  • umer

    We have never had a true democracy in Pakistan ever.. Even the champion of democracy ZA Bhutto denied the democratic right of Sheikh Mujeeb to form government when his party won the majority votes.
    How will education come to Pakistan ? How will awareness be common ? That can only be done by a person who is truly a leader of the people.
    A person who is honest, hardworking, humanitarian, a visionary.
    On this day only Imran khan personify the above mentioned definantion.Recommend

  • amoghavarsha.ii

    @Sajid:

    ha ha ha, I literally laughed, brilliant comparison.
    Yes, why blame a governing method .Recommend

  • amoghavarsha.ii

    @The more deluded:
    you hv the freedom and choice to produce new eggs,
    if the egg layer(chicken) is not good,
    you still hv freedom & choice to change the chicken,
    but………..

    if you don’t know how to look after your eggs or chickens,……….
    you still hv a choice …….
    buy good eggs/chiken from others …..or learn to rear and store chicken/eggs….

    or go veggie…..Recommend

  • aaaaa

    @Intelektual:

    if democracy inherently gives equal rights to every member of the populace why would any other form of Govt. wont !

    The only other realistic option for this country is dictatorship, which doesn’t give you any rights to speak of.

    Its not the rights democracy is talking about its Just the Right to Vote among the chocies that you have

    Again, in a dictatorship, you don’t even have that right.

    What rights do the people have after the govt. is elected !!

    They have a right to vote it out of power in the next elections, or even before the term is up. Did you forget this?

    What bill is presented for Public debate to social and acedamic civilian forums ?

    Police Reforms come to mind.

    http://www.crcp.org.pk/PDF%20Files/police_reforms.pdf

    And this point suggests apathy of the general public more than any fault of the government, and is as such, largely irrelevant.

    Did the govt asks the people when they impose heavy tax levies on Petrol, Decides thats its above the law ?

    These prices are governed by international markets. If you responded to the public’s wishes everything would be free. Again, irrelevant point.

    And was the so called Military dictator not attacked several times during his tenure ??

    Irrelevant.

    And since when has the elected leader personaly liable for every murder or any operatiopn gone wrong because if thats the case you need to count the net total of all equal rights citizen and den point fingers !

    Thats the point of a dictatorship. The buck stops with you, for everything. And as far as Akbar Bugti is concerned, Musharraf congratulated the army for a successful operation, so he fully owned that. And Musharraf denied BB complete protection, she even had to get jammers from Saudi Arabia because the Musharraf government refused to provide them.

    What of the equal righted 18 million !!

    I have no idea what this means.Recommend

  • Human

    This Country does not NEED democracy .
    Does not Deserve Democracy .
    Here they all need lathi Charge .
    MARTIAL LAW .
    We need Musharraf back or Martial Law . Recommend

  • Ahtesham

    I have to comments about democracy actually we do not know about democracy at first we have to study otherwise it shall be civil dictatorship and it is believed that Civil dictatorship is dangers than Military dictatorship.

    We need 100% Vote in our country not 34% and a rule be made if any does not caste their vote they must be punished and it is believe if 100% vote casted in our country then our country will run the true democracy.Recommend

  • Taimoor

    @salman:
    Your two lines seem deprived of any factual evidence and are a hollow response. Look up the way the Caliphs ruled and which guidance were they following, are you ashamed of your history?

    Look up PEW research, seems like Pakistanis don’t want democracy, don’t want dictatorship, but want Islam in political life. Look at the fast deteriorating situation of the common man in Pakistan and you tell me some solid solution which can be implemented today without being sidetracked by delusions of “we need to educate the whole of Pakistan” or “every single person needs to vote”.Recommend

  • Adil Marvi

    I think its about giving democracy a chance to succeed. Unfortunately in our country democratic form of government has been interrupted many a time by self glorifying dictators. No nation becomes a strong democracy overnight, it wasn’t the case with the west, its not the case with our neighbors India and it won’t happen for us. But, its high time we said enough is enough and let democracy prevail. As the uprising in the middle east has taught us, we can’t let one person decide the fate of many.Recommend

  • Abid P Khan

    @salman:
    “@Taimoor: You are kidding me right? The so called Islamic caliphate was nothing more than men fighting each other for power. What good came out of it?”

    It has been hammered into us that early Muslim rule ending at the murder of the fourth caliph, was the most democratic era in Muslim history. You can believe anything you want to but it is not necessarily true. Measuring by today’s ideals both the decision making process and the composition of the Shura fail to meet the standard.

    Tribal and powerful clan heads gathered to work out a decision by common consensus. (I may now be entering a territory which is quite risque to tread and hopefully the Editors do not run into any inconvenience) but truth is that even before the establishment of the Caliphate the very first Shura was not democratic according to concept of democracy. All were related to each other in some way or the other. If not, then they sought loyalty by establishing newer marital links. Today it would be termed nepotism!

    It is time to assess what is and what was holy and should it continue to be so?Recommend

  • https://www.facebook.com/ALIMEHDI.110 ALI MEHDI

    In Current circumstances your judgment about Democracy in Pakistan 100% right. Democracy is not for illiterate people of Pakistan.Recommend

  • mr chomir uddin

    demoracy is the word west use to select a leader to their choice when the job is done they encourage the population to take him down. only way forward for developing countres is to have a ghadfi or saddam style reigimeRecommend

  • Amna Awan

    We must appreciate that democracy is not a piece of furniture that we can choose to import or not to import. It is a system that evolves, if we give it time. It is the same as sending a child to school and not withdrawing that child from school if he or she fails in a class. Democracy is not perfect anywhere: even in the US, the Bush election had it critics, and Romney does indulge in the worst forms of mud slinging possible. But this process can improve only if given time. Any system that does not include representation and feedback will not be sustainable. Think of Ayub Khan and all his remarkable progress, and how it all went to waste because certain constituencies felt excluded. In order for development to be sustainable, the form of government has to be representative and inclusive.Recommend

  • Maria

    I think the writer has no real concept of how “well informed” voters in the West or the US are. Most US voters are stuck on one issue and often blindly vote for one of the two major parties. Democracy works because it is the best among even worse systems of government. Pakistan has ruled Pakistan for most of its existence and most of the nation’s problems can be attributed to them. You’ve seen dictatorships, including the last one of Musharraf, do far more damage than any elected government. Do you really think that this country deserves An Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Zia or Musharraf? Pity the country that wants a quick fix and can’t learn to work for the democratic vision of its founders including the Quaid.Recommend

  • mahakaalchakra

    Some where I read some thing like below which applies to Pakistan:

    Democracy is a mode of governance that can give you any type of system that people want; however people end up what they deserve eventually. Recommend

  • mahakaalchakra

    For Islamic Caliphate delusioners- “…It may be mentioned here also that the welfare state in Muslim historical experience lasted for less than 40 years (10 years of the Prophet’s (PBUH) rule in Madinah and 29 years of the pious caliphate). All Muslims received a stipend from the state during this period, funds for which came from taxes paid by non-Muslims and booty captured in wars.

    As the frontiers of the Muslim state stabilised and most of the non-Muslims in the conquered territories converted to Islam, these sources dried up and during Amir Muawiyah’s rule the stipends were discontinued and Muslims were told to go out and work for a living.” ….Professor Anwer Syed in Daily Times

    Looks like many Muslims avoided doing actual work and brought the Caliphate down. This sums up the history and success of Caliphate.Recommend

  • Sana

    Mr. Faizan, I live in Malaysia, which Malaysia are you talking about? There are regular election and this time there is possibility of the ruling party of not winning. Do some research before you write.Recommend

  • citizen

    the answer is NO NO NO . here votes are sold for one attay ke bori !!
    we don not deserve any democracy .Recommend

  • http://xx Farzandey,

    No form of government, including even democracy, can give the desired, guaranteed successful results in all sort of circumstances and varied conditions. A government had to work in peculiar conditions and if the circumstances are favorable, it will succeed and if suitable conditions are lacking, the government will meet failure.Democracy can be of parliamentary type as it works in UK or it could be the Presidential one as in USA. Both types of democracy work successfully in their respective countries of origin because of conducive, favorable conditions. Parliamentary one will not work with success in USA nor the Presidential will prove successful in UK. Democracy requires certain conditions like willingness of the people to take part in the state affairs, must have some basic education, must be cool-headed with the spirit of patience and tolerance. of different political point of views. Climatic conditions also play their positive or negative role in the working of a political system of democracy or dictatorship. Anyhow when all these points are taken into consideration, one may say that a particular system will be called successful if it serves well and the people live a peaceful life with their rights fully protected and no violation of human rights of the common in the street is tolerated and every citizen is ensured of justice. Anyhow, ultimately it will the dictates of particular situation in a country which will necessitate either democracy or the dictatorship type of government, a government which works best in a particular situation will be regarded as the best suitable one, for the people as well as for the state and the country. Recommend

  • Tariq

    Interesting debate. This nation is an eaglet. It has everything. All it need is enough muscles to fly. Till then, it needs an honest, God fearing dictator with a vision to build this country.Recommend

  • stenson

    Perhaps you don’t know how votes are bought and sold in the US too; It appears that uneducated Pakistanis do not deserve to vote but uneducated Americans do have the right?
    Come to the US and see the votingprocess here; some argue it is worse than buying votes in Pakistan because whether you believe it or not, people are all buying votes and voting for self serving interests here in the US – very few people care about what’s good for the country. Recommend

  • http://xx Pakson,

    All this interesting, detailed, in-depth discussion revolving around ‘democracy’, revives the memory of the comments based on ground reality that only fools discuss the philosophy of the form and type of governments, whereas practically only this much is suffice to say, ‘that government will be called the best, which works to give the best results, aimed at for the good of the people, by the people, and for the people. (with apology to Prs. Abraham Lincoln for using his coined /worded definition of democracy, ‘demos cratos’,power of the people.) But when we, as citizen of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, discuss the best form of government, then the only answer could be, the Islamic Caliphate, ‘Khilafat-e-Haqqa Islamia’ is the best one for all the time to come and its perfectly ideal, practical manifestation/demonstration was witnessed during the holy Khilafat of the 2nd Caliph of Islam Hazrat Umar( RaziAllalhoTa’ala), whose govt. could be termed as the best form of government, and he was and is regarded as the ‘Role Model’ Muslim ruler for all the 57 Muslim states, presently organized under OIC, (Organization of Islamic Countries).Recommend

  • http://muhammadsblog.wordpress.com Muhammad

    Never really thought education was the reason why democracy never worked in Pakistan but it does make a lot of sense. But if not democracy, then what?Recommend

  • HSK

    There should be only one pre-requisite in having a democracy in any country; i.e. a country should have at-least 70% literacy rate. Recommend

  • Liberal

    @Muhammad:
    Martial Law ( Lathi Charge )Recommend