Monday, June 13, 2005

The algebra of democracy

Dear friends,

In a way, Pakistan is a complex study case as far as democracy is concerned; and, in another way, it is very a simple case study if we look at it in its true perspective.

When Pakistan came into existence, the equation of power was somewhat like:

Political Leadership = the people

Then very soon this equation changed into:

Leadership + Bureaucracy = the people

This equation remained in action from 1950 to 1956. The leadership tried to constitutionalise the state, but during this period the equation started to change:

Bureaucracy + Military = the people

In this phase, leadership gradually phased out. Bureaucracy and military strengthened its hold on power. In 1958, with the imposition of martial law this equation totally changed. It turned into this equation:

Military + Bureaucracy = the people

This scenario continued until Pakistan collapsed in 1971. After the collapse of Pakistan in 1971 the equation changed to:

Political Leadership + Bureaucracy = the people

This equation again tried to constitutionalise the state, but the real actors immediately changed the equation to:

Military + Military + Bureaucracy = the people

After this off and on this equation has been changing from:

Military + Military + Bureaucracy = the people


Military + Military + Bureaucracy + political leadership = the people

And again to:

Military + Military + Bureaucracy = the people

During this whole process we find one interesting element: the politicians tried to constitutionalise the state whereas the khakis always destroyed or over rode the process of constitutionalisation of state.

If we really want to pull Pakistan out of the sink it has been in for all times, we need to bring the real equation back:

Political Leadership = the people

We can do it through constitutionalising the state. Since, we know who is the culprit (i.e., who is destroying or over riding the process of constitutionalisation), we, the people of Pakistan, because we have the biggest stake in the state of Pakistan, have to move in and apprehend the culprit. If are hoping some general (Musharraf or anyone else) or a member of the judiciary or United States or anyone else will do it for us, we are hoping against hope. The people of Pakistan have to move in and they have to take charge of the situation and constitutiolise the country by imposing the writ of constitution.

Best regards,

K. Ashraf


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