he Future of Democracy in Pakistan
by Zia ul Islam Zuberi on Sep 23, 2000
Quaid E Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah told his fellow members of the Muslim League on 9th June 1947 I do not know what the ultimate shape of the constitution is going to be, but I am sure it will be a democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam he added democracy is in our blood, it is in our marrow. Only centuries of adverse circumstances have made the circulation of that blood cold Islam and its ideals have taught us democracy it has taught us equality of man, justice and fair play to everybody.
It can be safely assumed that on that day in the founding year of Pakistan the two philosophies outlined by the founder as the basis of any future government in Pakistan were Islam and democracy. Both have in a sense floundered at the hands of their keepers. Islam exploited shamelessly by those that pretend to be its defenders has divided instead of uniting the nation and democracy has been reduced to a sham by those that never tire to proclaim themselves as its champions.
For the future of democracy in Pakistan there must be solid foundations laid in the past. This has not happened and the fault is not entirely with the politicians. Yes we know the musical chairs that preceded the first military take over by Ayub Khan but that cannot really be any justification for extra constitutional methods. We forget that the workable democracies of the world including that of the United States and Great Britain did not evolve in a period of two and a half years ( The standard limit in Pakistan). It took a civil war and more than two hundred years for the United States itself to get on track and have the present system which still leaves much to be desired. In neighbouring India we were not too long ago witnessing musical chairs in the parliament where no party was able to hold its majority. With extra constitutional interference they too would have been in a crisis but democracy allowed to...