Electoral System in Pakistan has always remained a question mark upon the elected representative and the election Commission of Pakistan. Pakistan is a democratic country where five year tenure is fixed for every party to complete and installs the interim Government itself with consultation of opposition party leader for both the National and Provincial Assemblies.
The Democracy has been undergoing the process of transformation and transition, and the people have not tested or reaped the fruit of true democracy .With frequent Coup D’états, Pakistan has remained more under rule of Military leaders than the elected Civilian Government. The Political confrontation and denial or disrespect of mandate of parties led the Separation of Bangladesh in 1971 when Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-rahman’s Awami League was denied to hand over the power besides having a simple majority or thumping majority .
Had they (Bengalis) have been given chance to form the Government, the scenario should have completely change. The handing over of the rein may be considered a key issue but there were other factors which prompted them to opt for independence such Justice, equal rights and humiliation on the grounds ethnicity.
Pakistan presents a bleak picture of Political tenures if compared with our neighboring India where electoral system has improved with the passage of time and the democracy has been transformed into real democracy where every Government completes its term and goes away and Chief Election Commissioner becomes the head of the Governments and holds elections in phases and hands over the reins of Country in the hands of Party having simple majority or the party leading any coalition.
In Pakistan, in last five decades from 1947 to 1999, the country was ruled by mighty Armed Forces Heads by imposing Marshal Law and over throwing the Civilian Governments. The Civilian Governments were hardly to complete three and half years. The maximum time completed by any Party was in PPP led Government from 2008 to 2013. Though, PPP failed to deliver. Given the circumstances, yet it could be said that it was first civilian Government to complete its tenure in entirety. Whereas the Military rulers such as Yahya Khan ,Ayoob khan ,General Zia ul Haq , and General Pervez Musharraf remained the Heads of State in both Marshal Law and Civilian Regime .
But it is very important to be shared here that whenever , the Political parties plan to fail or oust the government , they invite the Mighty Army to come and hold the reins country giving the instanced of Bad Governance , law and Order Situation ,Inter and External Security threat to the existence of Pakistan . But in the end when they feel that they need to be the part of the Government, they start agitating the Army that they derailed democracy by over throwing the Elected Civil Government by terming the Marshal Law Administrators as dictators.
Given the contradictory History of Military intervention in the Civilian Government, The Current Army Chief Raheel Shareef remained aloof from the Political Saga staged at D-Chowk by Pakistan Awami Tehreek Chief Allama Dr. Tahir-ur- Qadri against Model Town Incident and PTI Chief Imran Khan against rigging in the Elections. Though, Army was dragged into the Political matter several times either by giving the name of Third umpire or Making him mediator or facilitator to set the matters peacefully. General Raheel Shareef remained cool and calm and played a wise role which saved the country from another Political Crisis. This attitude may have disappointed both PTI and PAT for not imposing Marshal law or forcing Govt to resign on the charges rigged Election But the sensible role played by Raheel Shareef made it clear for the Political pundits that Army cannot be dragged to Political quagmire where the Stains on the Generals imposing marshal law have not been completely removed .
As the case of high Treason Charges against General Pervez Musharraf for November, 03 Emergency is Prejudice before the Apex Court of Pakistan. The Current General Mr. Shareef has set limitations for the Powerful Institution of Military that they should not be dragged in the Political crisis and the matters should be resolved through dialogue as dialogue is the best method to solve the bottlenecks and differences. At this critical Juncture when the nation’s Armed Forces are at war against the Militants and anti-state elements, Pakistan cannot afford to have a Martial Law.
If We come back to PPP led Government which remained in power from 2008 to 2013 ,We will find that during PPP led Government , PM Yusuf raza Gillani was disqualified on the grounds that he had not written the letter to Swiss Government to initiate legal action against the then President of Pakistan Mr Asif Ali Zardari on the orders of Apex Court , He lost the PM Slot and was replaced with Raja Pervez Asharf who was called again by the Supreme Court on the same issue . However, He wrote the letter to Swiss authorities in compliance to Apex Court order.
Despite such unfavorable conditions, the PPP-led government completed its term sustaining serious challenges of law and Order Situation, Militancy and Confrontation on the campaigning of restoration of Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry. Even the current PM and his brother CM Punjab was the part of that campaign and expressed their aggression against Government by reciting the Great Revolutionary Poet Habib Jalib . Despite all these past odds, PPP supported the Government Specially PM in such tense situations to forge any move against the democracy or chances of its derailment. The Islamabad show may not have been fruitful for the protesting Leaders but it remained very fruitful for the Public that their Rulers at last considered the voice a genuine issue and forced the Government against such problems such Electricity and Gas Shortage and Over Billing , Rising Prices and abysmal law and Order Situation.
The media remained skeptical about the Long March in August 2014 as it was divided. Some were leftists and some were rightists .But very few were covering the Show impartially. The Media had created the hype to the extent that People started believing that Government’s days are numbered and it will either dissolve the assemblies itself or Military will intervene to impose Martial law as Islamabad was presently a scene of battlefield where Pat and PTI workers were protesting violently and The Capital police was shilling over the Crowd.
But in all this, the political parties whether in coalition or opposition showed utmost maturity and did not play any proactive or anti-Government role and showed confidence in the PM and raised voice against violation of Sanctity of Parliament.
The Charter of demand presented by Both PAT and PTI was the same but PAT demanded lodging FIR against PM , CM and IG first where as PTI demanded Resignation of PM to investigate the Rigging 0r vacation for Three Months so that investigation in the Rigging by the Apex Court may be completed without any influence .
If we go through the Electoral System or Framework of Pakistan, It will be observed it helps the partiality than impartiality. First the tenure of government is too long which should be Four years as Proposed by the opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah. Second is the most problematic issue of Induction of interim federal or provincial Governments. The Party which rules for five years, The Same party selects the PM in Federal Govt and CM Provincial with the consultation Opposition leaders in national and Provincial Assemblies. One feels that how the selection of elected Representatives will be impartial since the chance of fixing or partiality cannot be ruled out as the person being nominated may support Either of the party or demand favors or use its office for personal gains.
It will be fine that unlike India, the outgoing Government must hand over the power to Election Commission of Pakistan to hold the Free, fair and transparent election within the stipulated time. This will empower CEC to hold elections without any political influence. He may be provided the required Funds for Printing of the Ballot Papers, Stipends to Polling Staff, Transportation and Shipping Costs and IT support for Consolidated Results at District and Taluka Offices of Revenue. The polling may also be held in Phases for Example in two or three Phases for both Provincial and National level.
The Polling station may be divided into clusters and a cluster in charge may be deputed to collect the results of Polling Stations on the Spot and material without compelling Presiding Officers to Submit the Results before ROs or DROs Mostly Judges. The Employees may be given Postal ballot, E-ballot facility to exercise their Vote. The EVS may be introduced so that Transparency can be insured at all levels.
Electronic Voting System will attract a large number of Youth and Women who avoid casting their vote either Political pressure or Family Restriction such as veiled Environment. With Introduction of EVS, Such families may cast their vote either by a nearby ATM, NADRA Kiosk or Touch enabled Smartphone or Tab at home. ECP only has o develop an APP or Software which gets connected through Internet or Mobile 3G or 4G.
It is irony for us that the Electoral system in Pakistan has not improved despite passage of 66 Years of Independence .Where as in the world technology has provided a great Support to democracy by ensuring transparency . We have so far some nominal changes specially introduction of thumb on the ballot papers though it was on the single part of ballot paper raising doubts about the authentication of the Vote, the magnetic Ink. But the NADRA findings are shocking the even the Ink cannot be indicator for fake votes or verified .The SMS system for Voter List .0
Excluding the above , rest all the system is such as forms and formats are the same .The Presiding officer is compelled to write the names 0f the Candidates since the forms are not area specific with the names of candidates contesting in the Elections in the respective Constituency.
For Security of the Ballot papers, it is advised that these should be kept in the Strong room of the Banks so that security of Ballot papers may insure at all levels. Besides, Bank Security personnel. , police may deploy for guarding the ballot papers. The Voter Education may be imparted to the people who are either uneducated or less educated by Organizing Orientation Workshops at the Villages with help of local NGO and Civil administration.
There should be Returning Officers from Election Commission. Election officer must act as DROs and at Tehseel Levels, ACs or DDOs of Revenue Department may be made as Teasel Returning Officer. They may be assisted by Revenue and District Election Officer Staff for compiling the consolidated vote Position.
Whereas DRO role should be to compile the results of Tehseels and announce the Winner and the Runners up . The Staff for polling may be hired locally or deputing the Officers from Banks, revenue, police besides education as well as hiring volunteers from NGOs. Election Debate either face to face in form of Conference or Open Public Debate may be made mandatory for the entire Candidate. The Condition of Graduate will sift the candidates who are uneducated or Less Educated. The Degree of the Candidates may be got verified from boards and Universities prior to launching election Campaigns’. This will enable the real candidates to go for election and fake Degree holders will not be able to make their way to either national or Provincial Assemblies.
The Assets may be verified from CBR, SBP and Excite Revenue and Custom Department so that Tax Evaders or Loan or land Revenue Tax defaulters may not be able to make their way to assemblies.
The District and Tehseel Evaluation Committees should evaluate the Progress of Candidates it they remained as MNA and MPA and forward their Reports to DRO for Scrutiny and Decision on the Basis of his suitability for the Position of MPA or MNA. The Utility Bills copy should be required from candidates to ensure that they are not the defaulters of nay state institution. The Assets of the Candidates may display on polling Station for Scrutiny and Complains may be recorded if received.
The Budget for Campaign may not exceed the 50000 to 10000 so that a Common man can contest Elections. Nomination forms may be given and received without any fee. This will enable the poor segments of the society to contest Election without the condition or obstacle of fee.
Finally , for the Selection of chief Election Commissioner it is necessary that he may be in the age range of 45 to 55 as Person aged more than 55 ,will not be able to travel and monitor the process since he would be lazy in discharge of duties . As the last CEC Fakhuruddin was aged about 86, which might have affected the pace of his work as Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan .
The Electoral Reforms Committee must have the mandate of all the Political Parties so that their Recommendation may be given due consideration and Weight age and may be implemented in letter and Spirit. So far the Committee has missed the Deadline to create Strategy or Report for Recommendation to reform The Elections. The Committee must review the Proposed Amendments Draft sent by ECP to the Parliamentary Committee besides including the input from various Opinion leaders, Writers, NGOs, Legal Experts and Ex-Legislators who have expertise in drafting laws for Electoral Process.
Moreover, it is not necessary that CEC should from Judiciary; He may be from Corporate Sector, retired Bureaucrat with Clear Service Record, Development Sector person, A Journalist or a Noted Lawyer.
But he should be free in taking decisions to implement the policies in letter and Spirit. CEC can also be from Police from the Ranks such as IG or from the Ranks of Rangers or Military such as Rtd General or Technocrat or a retired Professor from College or University, A retired Attorney. He may be a retired Chairman of Planning Commission or Bureau of Statistics, Ambassador the Choice is infinite. But the Proposed CEC must have the will to bring change in the Electoral Systems so that ECP may not be criticized Disappointing Results.
The CEC is to be appointment Before 1st December, 2014 as per statement of opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah but before the Selection of Final Candidate a consensus may be developed with all the Stakeholders so that no any party blame PPP and PML-N to have selected a candidate of their choice and did not value the opinion of other Parties. The office of CEC is very important when it comes to the question of holding free, fair and Transparent Elections to transfer the Power to Elected Party with Simple or Thumping majority.
The PML-N may also devised a policy to handle with PTI’s November 30 Protest which is said to be very resistant since Mr. Khan appears to very confident about the D-Chowk Dharna. Let’s see that whether PML-N deals with the Mob peacefully or it turns to be a Battlefield where workers likely scuffle with Police and Other Security Agencies if the Government resorted to Use of force against the Protesters in the Red Zone. The Sensible thing done by the Government so far that they will arrest any Person.
Social Media and Polarization of our Society
Social Media has witnessed a mushroom growth that has impacted the discourse of political, cultural and religious systems by providing the equal opportunity of freedom of expression and of sharing an opinion or viewpoint on any issue.
Social Media has played a greater role in right-wing politics that paved the way for populist politicians to reach out to their voters.
Though Social Media has connected the people around the world, at the same time, it is causing division or disintegration and facilitating the social media lobbyists to polarize the communication so much the people support the arguments or opinions or political tirades against leaders without fact checking.
The world has been rocked by social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube because the users of these social networks have already surpassed millions and are growing, but due to the limited regulatory framework, fake news, cyberbullying, extremism and terrorism has reached new heights.
The influencers’ interactions with social media users have polarized the political and social circles that led to the formation of online echo chambers, a tactic of social media recommendations by politicians to influence the users to strengthen their narrative regardless of facts that whether it is right or wrong, but it is knit in a manner that echo chambers appear to be normal for the people thus changing the way of thinking and increasing the supporters base.
The echo chambers post such content that we enjoy a lot while reading, while keeping us away from the content that may stir a debate or arguments or expression of our disagreement over certain social, economic, religious, cultural or policy matters.
The echo chambers keep ideas flowing on a regular basis to the one side –the positive side of the argument, while its negative side is deliberately concealed to hide the facts.
This is the big issue that might be discussed with students, who should be informed and taught at school, college or degree level so that positive and constructive use of this digital medium could be ensured.
Social media connectivity around the world is undoubtedly amazing but the problems it created for both people and students are very dangerous, and need to be addressed and regulated.
Digital media, especially social media, for a long time remained unbridled to post any content that may fall in the purview of hatred, racism, bullying, derogatory remarks, character assault, rebellion, or anti-state elements instigating people to create chaos using the olive branch of social media. Since it was not monitored given the type of content being circulated and the information of people posting such content, including their motives behind such content as may have a constant flow of information that is recommended by the users pretending to be professionals, experts and mentors.
Alarmingly, people without fact-checking go on sharing the content and thus creating hype for such an issue as does not have a basis and was the result of a conspiracy to exert pressure on some person or leaders to get some favours.
“The schools and colleges should chalk out the initiative to create awareness and practice of fair use so that social platforms should not post single or one-sided opinions or arguments but should welcome both so that positive use could be ensured. This will further the importance of social media.“
Sometimes, the active echo chambers or volcanoes erupt over such issues as may be beneficial for the wider circle of society, but this finds serious criticism masterminded by people with an individual approach. They term it detrimental for them since it did not serve their interests, though it might have been beneficial for general people.
Humans have an intuitional inclination to communicate with like-minded people or the people with the same choices on social media, thus the echo chambers get even stronger. The discourse that discourages dissenting voices always comes under fire from the thinkers and intellectuals of the nation since it is tantamount to concealing the facts from the people.
The world is coming closer after the covid-19 pandemic that engulfed the entire world, bringing misery and economic crisis. The social media debates go with biased and unbiased approaches regarding getting the vaccine. Some optimists termed it great, while some pessimists or biased approaches raised questions.
The echo chambers try to influence their opinions and win support.Similarly, echo chambers of both Democrats and Republicans only canvassed for their candidates but the leaders instigated the masses to attack Capitol Hill through social media and emotional speeches using their influence on social media, especially Twitter .
Some researchers have found that echo chambers influence people to win support but social media influencers have a follower-base of millions, and may polarize the public and politics, since influencers share success stories like internet marketers compelling you to buy their products.
The opinion leaders and experts reveal that for the last two decades, the percentage of American people having consistently holding liberal or conservative beliefs— rather than a blend of the two, which is the case for most people— has increased from 10 percent to over 20. Beliefs about the other side are becoming more negative creating an alarming situation.
Since 1994, the number of people who see the opposing political party as a threat to “the nation’s well-being or security” has doubled, which heralds how deepening polarization has predictable results raising eyebrows.
The government shutdowns, violent protests, scathing attacks on elected officials, the capitol Hill incident –all indicate that social media have been polarizing the political system and divided the nation each passing day due to echo chambers of both mainstream parties regarding the issues of health, security, human rights, employment and environment.
According to evidence from empirical research conducted on US politicians, politicians following extreme ideologies attracted a larger public audience than those who were moderate, which is the real example of echo chambers.
Usually, messages containing extreme thoughts, emotional instigation, patriotism, or criticizing the opposition received a warm welcome on social media platforms than those messages reflecting merely information.
The polarization of issues and political ideology will have serious repercussions in future that should be addressed on a timely basis so that societies could be saved from further isolation and disintegration.
The issues could be resolved through educating the people and creating awareness about the fair and professional use of social media channels for advocacy for winning support for legislation, an issue, a policy or employment.
Instead of showing the dark side of the issue, we have to educate people regarding both pros and cons of matters of importance for the general public rather than misleading the people with biased approaches to oppose the initiative of the government, community or civil society for the general benefit.
Social Media network operators are the bigwigs and the most influential in this.They cannot be controlled but only be regulated by framing such laws that may ensure fair use of this digital platform and are careful so that users may not face any legal issue by discussing sensitive issues such as desecration of holy places, religions, personalities, anti-state tirades, rebellion, terrorism, extremism and so on. The sensitive issue may stir protests and cause legal proceedings, if the cyber-regulatory laws are implemented to discourage the influence of one-sided opinions or campaigns.
We cannot deny the importance of social media platforms as they provide equal opportunity to people to express and share their thoughts or opinions, but safe and thoughtful use of these platforms will encourage healthy discourse and prove pivotal in promoting dialogue to discuss social, economical and cultural issues peacefully without hitting the sentiments of other communities.
Thus, echo chambers will be less powerful to build a narrative that is appealing but the readers will be engaging themselves in the debates that need interaction.
Undoubtedly, social media platforms have changed the political and social approach of the people and enabled face-to-face digital interaction through video and audio conference calls, so their fair use will mitigate their cons manifold.
The social media networks apply algorithms to connect you with like-minded people but it is up to you whether your engagement in communication is either unbiased or biased.
Social media should be promoting positive discourse to explore the political and economic solutions to the problems of people by reflecting the two sides of the coin so that the discourse be constructive and problem-solving. Social media has given a voice to marginalized people and governments are compelled to resolve the issues of people on a priority basis due to trending topics of social media.
Even the populist leaders may face resistance from social media as the public makes the most of the freedom of expression and criticizes the role of politicians for their failure to address the issues of the public.
In recent times, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have been creating history in highlighting issues of both public and national interest but at the same time such platforms have been taken by storm by those influencers who continue to feed the news about their vested interests and create psychosocial hype for any issue that may jolt the power corridors of Government.
The politicians always take to Twitter for their precise viewpoint and policy debate and are usually followed by millions of followers. Even the print and electronic media take the tweets as policy statements or the narrative of some party or group.
The schools and colleges should chalk out the initiative to create awareness and practice of fair use so that social platforms should not post single or one-sided opinions or arguments but should welcome both so that positive use could be ensured. This will further the importance of social media.
The Conspiracies And The PTI Government
[su_dropcap style=”default” size=”3″ class=””]E[/su_dropcap]ver since the PTI emerged victorious in the landmark General Elections of 2018, formed the government in Center, Punjab, KPK and coalition Government in Baluchistan, the Oppositions parties could not digest their defeat and start raising their hue and cry regarding the credibility of elections owing to RTS failure. The Opposition’s recent rumpus in the parliament and boycotting the proceedings, has prompted the PTI government to take the tough stand against them owing to their futile attempts to overthrow the government since the parties are facing several corruption charges.
Pakistan has been facing the severe economic crisis due to flawed policies, rampant corruption and mounting burden of loans acquired from the IMF program by both – the PPP and the PML-N. The existing circumstances created by the losers in General Elections 2018 have aggravated the situation.
The Corrupt elite politicians are pushing hard to influence government to issue yet another NRO as practices in Past in Musharraf era.
With PTI hardly completing its two and a half months in government, the impatience of Opposition has no limits as Moulana Fazal playing key role in bridging the gap between two arch-rivals I.e PPP and PML-N persuading them to hatch conspiracies against the Government by bringing a Resolution against the Government in the parliament since PM Imran Khan has already scraped their evil designs by securing Bailout package of $12 Billion Dollars from Saudi Arabia and yet another is likely expected from UAE on the basis of deferred payments facility.
Pakistan’s best friend China has also announced to help Pakistan come out of this financial quagmire by pledging a handsome amount since Pakistan might have suspended the plans to avail bailout package from IMF given the Trump’s absolute pressure on IMF not to give any financial Assistance since America thought that Pakistan will repay the Chinese loans with IMF program. This was the very setback that pushed Pakistan to go for alternate options to strengthen rupee against the dollar and fulfil the balance of payments issue to repay the loans availed by former governments.
The former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar currently availing political asylum, as per reports, have said that the PTI government is responsible for all the mess as their inefficiency and incompetence have dragged the country into the financial quagmire.
Well, Mr Dar has held responsible to the PTI Government but if he is true and innocent, then why he has applied for political asylum despite the suspension of his legal travel documents such as Passport and ID card etc.
It is an old custom that when one cannot solve the issue and dragged the country into financial crisis then, it is easy to shift the responsibility and start blaming the successor for the mess generated by them. Such face-saving tactics are being practised for long to befool the public so that they may not change their loyalties and remain stuck to your side despite injustices and breach trust.
It is debatable that why the arch-rivals have come closer only because they are being prosecuted for the corrupt practices and they need another NRO as offered by former President Zardari to Sharif brothers when both Nawaz and Shahbaz were disqualified to contest Elections and NRO offered by Musharraf to sharifs on the request of Saudi Arab.
Apparently, the joint Opposition is playing a dangerous game of instigating the sentiments and emotions of the people against PTI government such as Zardari is reportedly blamed the government that he was being tried in fake accounts case only because of 18th Amendment since the Government intends to repeal the said amendment. Such a statement has sent tremors of the earthquake to the provinces to resist such movement and is an attempt to create chaos to fail the government.
Perhaps, they are not aware of the fact that the people this time, are well aware of evil designs of these monsters and their misleading, irritating and instigating remarks are aimed at diverting the attention of the people in order to hide their corruption and misappropriation of billions of rupees. They are using the elevated platform –the parliament for personal gains.
Imran Khan is a sportsman and everybody knows that a sportsman always remains under pressure in nail-biting contests but never succumbs to pressure. So these triangular games of PPP, JUI and PML-N won’t bear any fruit because all three are unpopular among the people and their claims of being populist leaders are baseless and deceptive.
Pakistan’s image as a peace-loving country has been recognized with the effective, robust and independent internal and external policies of Imran Khan. In just two and a half months, he has already proved his worth and initiated “Clean and Green Initiative”; to make Pakistan environmentally safe with massive plantation and cleanliness drive.
PM Khan has also initiated the much echoed and trumpeted “Naya Pakistan” Housing Program to construct 5 million houses for the people throughout Pakistan. This was the really much-awaited project that will benefit people with low-income level.
PTI’s innovation did not stop here, PM Khan went on to announce first-ever “Pakistan Citizens portal” to address the problems faced by Pakistanis globally. It is an online complains management system that will help people get their problems resolved through the portal and by using the Mobile application. The Portal caters to the needs of local people as well as the ex-pats residing in any part of the world. The newly launched portal will prove instrumental in addressing the issues of ex-pats and will play a pivot role in maximizing foreign remittances by removing the complexities.
Even some economists are of the view that Pakistan will prosper if such initiatives are taken, and in coming days, Pakistan will shift from an aid receiver to self-reliance. PTI has painted a positive picture of Pakistan nationally and internationally, it will likely succeed in the resolution of age-long issues of terrorism, health, education, unemployment, energy crisis and economic crisis. These issues are currently dubbed as the biggest challenges.
With strong independent Foreign policy and maintaining cordial diplomatic relations on the basis of mutual benefits and understanding with the neighbours and resolving all the issues with neighbours including the core issue of Kashmir with India, these initiatives will serve as the basis to steer Pakistan out of this political and economic conundrum and impasse.
The opposition’s drum-beating will not serve any interests of the public rather it further plunge the country into governance and financial crisis. Though, soon after elections, Moulana Fazal Rahman’s proposal not to take the oath, received the negative response since all the parties seemed reluctant to such move especially PPP distanced itself from voting or any APCs held by the opposition’s parties.
It is imperative that PTI should not give any heed to such mounting pressure and should only focus on their projects and service delivery. These dissent voices will have the logical end with the passage of time since they don’t have any serious national issue to raise their voice except self-centric desires of getting immunity or NRO to get rid of corruption charges levelled by State institutions and investigated by FIA and NAB. The PTI Government appears resolved to continue the accountability process till recovery of the looted wealth within the country, Dubai and other parts of the world. The Opposition’s claim of being sole targets is baseless and aimed at point-scoring and an abortive effort to get public support. Since PM IK presented himself voluntary to start accountability process if the opposition has any evidence.
PM Khan is ready to face these challenges and emerge as victorious as the country is desperately looking for an honest and dedicated leadership that steers the country out of crisis and brings prosperity, peace and sustainable growth by crossing all the impediments that may hamper Pakistan from becoming a true welfare state.
Adopting the Best Governance System in Pakistan
Pakistan has always oscillated between the good and the bad Governance Models as both the civil and the military powers holding the reins of the country one after another. It is unfortunate for the people of Pakistan that despite the passage of 71 years of Independence, we have not been able to find the best Governance Model yet that may serve our subjects in a better way and bring social and economic prosperity.
The Post-Independence period was tattered as Pakistan faced various economic, Social and infrastructural challenges.Pakistan was deprived of its due share from the joint resources at the time of partition.
Yet, Quaid’s able leadership and brave leadership did not let Pakistan go down since he was visionary and had the clear roadmap to steer the county through crisis to prosperity with planning and untiring efforts. He was of the View that if Pakistan’s problems were not addressed or resolved, It may have failed as the state.
The consequential Martial Laws furthered the woes of people that implemented dictatorial laws which were not meant for the people and were contrary to human rights as safeguarded by the constitution. These were the basis that prompted people to denounce such the military coups and raised their voices to regain their freedom of speech and freedom to act according to one’s wishes and intentions.
Pakistan has experienced both the Presidential and parliamentary form of governance. It has also experienced Civil and Military coups and even sustained so far except the Fall of Dhaka in 1971 when Sheikh Mujib was denied the Government despite having an absolute majority to form the government.
As a result of Governance Crisis, Pakistan has suffered on many fronts i.e economic, social and Security. The Ill-will of the feudal nature of Politicians has forcibly sunk the ship of Pakistan by creating a leadership vacuum and gave rise to corrupt practices that played havoc with its fragile and fractured path.
The changing Governance Models, lack of proper Constitutional Development and consensus building have forced the Fragile state to fall in the Governance crisis since no policy framework was followed that may have provided the basis of Constitutional development. The Institutional Building was not initiated that triggered the constant pull in the civil-military relationship.
That was evident from the promulgation of First Constitution on 23rd March 1956, Nine years after the independence, unfortunately, the Martial law was imposed after two and half years of its inaction on 7th October 1958 by the powerful man in our history General Ayoob Khan.
Being a military General, Ayoob khan wanted a controlled and reasonably weaker form of Democracy, since he believed the western form of Democracy does not suit to Pakistan. Consequently, he introduced the 1962 Constitution which came into force on 1st March 1962.
The biggest change in form governance was the introduction of the Presidential form of government since all the powers vested in the president. He was both head of state and head of Government. The Provinces were given autonomy, equality of mankind, independence of the judiciary; rights of minorities were salient features of the constitution.
The Islamic advisory council was also constituted to advise Govt. over Islamic injunctions or laws.
The presidential form of Government was more suitable since all the power vested in President who was elected directly and there was no burden of ineffective legislators just the skeleton Ministers, Provincial Governors and the staff was enough to run the state affairs in a very effective manner since decision making was on the fast track.
“Even the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam had envisaged 71 years ago during his speech found in the handwritten paper that the presidential form of Government is suitable for Pakistan since a parliamentary form of Government does not work owing to feudal vested interests, illiteracy and lack of visionary leadership.
Actually, he had given clear roadmap that as long as feudalism and feudal approach exists in Pakistan, the democracy cannot develop its roots deeper since these feudal politicians have vested interests that are detrimental to people who vote them to power and tantamount to Islamic Ideologies.”
With the resignation of General Ayoob, the constitutional crises once again aggravated with the abrogation of 1962 constitution.
The story unfolded when Sheikh Mujib ur Rahman had succeeded in winning the majority in the first ever general elections of Pakistan held in 1970 but the then military ruler, President General Yahya Khan, had refused categorically to transfer power to him. Sheikh Mujib was imprisoned in Mianwali. General Yahya resigned succumbing to internal pressure.
Then we had the best constitution gifted by Shaheed Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto. The 1973 constitution promulgated on 14th August 1973 with an overwhelming majority. The 1973 constitution was the turning point in the history of Pakistan as it was considered the complete constitution which safeguarded the rights of every citizen. Though East Pakistan was separated in 1971, yet Bhutto steer the country out of governance and constitutional crisis and had solved the long-standing issue.
Even, he was not spared, he was hanged under Zia regime and was inducted in the Murder plot of Nawaz Mohammad Ahmad Khan Kasuri’s, consequently hanged on 3rd April 1978. Bhutto during his premiership reshaped the foreign policy and made people friendly and people-centric decisions that disrupted the status quo and had great economic extinct since he wanted to establish a World Islamic Bank in Pakistan with the help of Islamic Countries.
Bhutto’s speech UN general assembly still echoes in our hearts as No leader in our history had made such fearless and emotional speech that rocked the Superpowers.
Unfortunately, we could not get such a brave and fearless leader who could speak eye to eye with the enemies and even to the Superpowers.
Though we had a leader like Mohammad Khan Junejo who was also a good Statesman and had ignited the real dream of Welfare State his powers were curtailed by former Chief Martial law Administrator and later Elected President through the so-called referendum General Ziaul Haq.
Later, Benazir Bhutto, the great daughter of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto rose to heights of success but his teammates sunk her ship through corrupt practices in Government. Then, Pakistan went into the two-party system i.e. PPP and PML from 1988 to October 1999.
In 1999, Pakistan experienced yet another military involvement that sent PML-N government packing by General Musharraf. PM Nawaz was jailed and later released on the interference of Saudi kings and exiled with family.
Musharraf after three years, held elections and his Party PML-Q win the elections. In 2007, Benazir Bhutto returned from Self Exile and apparently assassinated during the Public gathering.
Benazir’s Murder brought the turmoil in the country. PPP won 2008 elections on a sympathy vote and Zardari became the President after Musharraf relinquished due to fears of impeachment.
It was the first time that any civilian Government had completed their term and laid the foundation of Democratic Transition.
The PPP government was not impressive and effective but the only good thing they had done that was the 18th amendments that had offered autonomy to the provinces and few federal ministries were devolved to the Provinces including Health and Education.
The 18th amendment also paved the way for the premier to be elected for the third term as earlier it was just two terms. PML-N won 2013 elections with the majority and completed their term but PM Nawaz was disqualified due to Panama Papers case few months before completion of the tenure.
Finally, democratic transition worked again, and the PTI came into power with the slogan of change and making Naya Pakistan.
if we analyze our history, we would be disappointed to know that most of the time, the Martial Law Administrator governed our country as compared to the civilian Government. This gives the message that Pakistani electoral framework only suits a single powerful system means the presidential form of Government as practised in Turkey, Afghanistan and US.
The presidential form of Government is the strong as the president is the head of State and the head of a Government at the same time. He appoints his ministers from professionals, technocrats and Legislature. He makes timely decisions as a Parliamentary form of Government does not allow implementing policies without the debate and without approval from the parliament.
We are still going through a transition and learning from our past mistakes, yet we need to mull over that which Governance Model suits our people–Parliamentary form of Government or Presidential form of Government or Mixture of both.
It is not the time of meddling with both systems or engage in the debate of good or bad system but we should adopt the best governance system suits Pakistan and benefits the common men and bridges the gap between state and the subjects. The system which provides access to justice offers equal opportunities regardless of religion, caste or creed.
It has been seven decades since independence that we are struggling to form a strong and vibrant system that benefits the people of Pakistan. The issue warrants public debate and is open to the public to give their input which system of Governance may be fruitful for them that strengthens the federation, Federating units and builds the basis of good governance.
Though we have a new government in place but the old players of Opposition Parties PPP, PML-N and JUI, MMA and ANP are giving a tough time to hide their corrupt practices. Therefore, if we want the state to flourish and prosper, we need to put the presidential form of governance for a four or five year to analyze whether it is physible for Pakistan and produces desired results. Either, We have to part ways with the parliamentary form of Government or adhere to the Presidential form of Government as practised in developed nations of the world.
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