Future of democracy in Pakistan | Pakistan Today

Future of democracy in Pakistan

Pakistan has seen many ups and downs when it comes to continuing of democratic set-up in country. This is mainly due to Civil-Military tussle and power politics between different political parties.

Equilibrium of Civil-Military relations have always been subject of discussion in Pakistan.In other countries domain of military usually  remains with respect to security of borders but in Pakistan military is involved in every aspect of life. This is mainly due to historic and geographic compulsions.

Historically, just after independence First PM of Pakistan was killed by an Afghan mercenary which initiated a phase where political factions started a power struggle against each other that created power vaccuam in the country  this power vaccuam was filled by military, had military hadn’t fill it ,external forces would have grasp the opportunity that would have left Pakistan as a client state.

Geographically, Pakistan is situated at the centre of convergence of interests of realpolitiks.In terms of geoeconomics, geopolitics and geostrategic importance country’s significance is undeniable. More than that it’s eastern neighbor India which is five times bigger than Pakistan makes the situation even worse, that compels the military to interfere in multiple civil domains, due to this reason Pakistan has seen four martial laws in different occasions of its history. These martial laws didn’t give space to democracy to even creep for almost 35 years which is more than half of its history, but now ball seems to spin as we have seen last two governments have completed their tenure and handed over power to third democratic successor. Although democratic set-up is fragile but given constant struggle by democratic powers and seeing will of the people in favour of democracy by participating in electoral process in such a huge numbers makes it clear that country demands democracy.

But for strong democratic set-up Pakistan needs strong democratic institutions which works under guidelines set by the constitution of the Pakistan, any institution which breaches  constitution would be a threat to future of democracy in Pakistan therefore country needs to make its institutions transparent and ensure meritocracy which will help it to establish rule of law and finally upholding of constitution. For e.g recent restrictions on media and social media demonstrated we are moving opposite to any such process which helps us to strengthen democracy of Pakistan instead it will weaken it because access to information is democratic, fundamental and constitutional right of the people.

Secondly, political instability due to inconsistent accountability processes has turned masses against democracy furthermore, anti-people economic policy has fuelled anger of people even more. Such political instability and economic outlook certainly effects National security of the country which is compelling non democratic forces to interfere in civil domains like the economy to ensure national security of the country.

For future of democracy in Pakistan, accountability across the board is need of the hour ,which does not apartheid in any class or creed,then political leaders will have to shed their political rivalries and will have to show some patience by not creating obstacles for functioning of government, last but not least media has played vital role in face of authoritarianism any steps against media would dent this struggle for future of democracy in Pakistan. Withdrawal of recent law apropos to curbs on social media can be a first step towards struggle for democracy in Pakistan.

Adnan Shah