Need to restructure the Pakistani parliament


By Farman Nawaz (Unpublished Article)

 

My words may be harsh and it may break the hearts of people but let me say these words. The word “Pakistan” once represented the dreams of Muslims to get united and have a homeland like paradise but today the word “Pakistan” is used to criticize the system. Whenever the people of Pakistan see any injustice, inequality, discrimination, nepotism so they simply say “Leave it, it is Pakistan”. It is a very simple and straightforward way to criticize the system and the people even cannot disagree and argue because they already knew what this sentence means.

Let’s imagine if the government of Pakistan opens the borders today even the old ones will not wish to stay in Pakistan. I have seen the people waiting in queues outside the embassies in Islamabad. Most of our young men while surfing the internet try to search any foreign scholarship, job, or any other way to go away from Pakistan. It is truth. I am not making a mountain out of a molehill.  Everyday on TV screens you can see them crying and protesting. What do these violent mobs mean? Mobs killing people and looting trucks represent the inner frustration of our people. Is it our national character? No it is not our national character but rather it shows our lack of trust in the system. Even some of our politicians went violent and now they are fighting against the state while some are calling military to intervene.

Democracy is a lengthy process. It needs time to bear fruits. However, our desperate people have waited for so long that now they are not ready to wait further more. Every day our media is showing these annoyed people. People are fed up of these man made and natural calamities. But martial law is not the solution. We have experienced martial laws, nationalization, Islamization and Talibanization. Democracy is a new experiment but it has the potential to solve our problems. There are two options. One we will have to wait for democracy to flourish or second we will have to reform the federal democratic system.

First of all Pakistani Federation should be divided into different democracies. These democracies will comprise those territorial regions where the language and interests are same and common. In this way Pakistan can be divided into many regional unites. Every democratic unit will have its own parliament just like today’s provincial assemblies but the method of electing parliamentarians will be different. Different communities (for example industrialists, teachers, journalists, peasants, shopkeepers, landlords, religious sects or groups, transporters, lawyers and so on) will elect their members to the regional parliament. The number of seats reserved for any community will be based on their population. If any group is not big enough to have representation so different small similar groups can combine together for representation. But any proposed representative will have to be on the level of those people whom he is representing. A shopkeeper will not be allowed to represent farmers’ community. In this way true leadership will emerge. Even the present political parties can mold themselves to merge in the new political setup. The center will only be responsible for defense, foreign relations, and some economic matters.

In the federal parliament, the regional democracies will have seats quota according to their population, economic and geographical importance. Some seats can be reserved for federal institutions like army. Organizations like army must have their representatives in the parliament. The selection procedure for central parliament must be direct to avoid any kind of horse-trading. The smaller groups present in the parliament should not be worried about their interests. Their point of view will be discussed in the parliament and they will have to convince the other parliamentarians. Instead of two third majority only a simple majority is enough to make a law.

To strengthen this new democratic system Pakistan will have to come close to the regional countries. Our regional approach of cooperation, accommodation and mutual benefit can guarantee our integrity and can lessen our worries.

I have made this process very simple so that common people can understand. Many questions can be raised about it. However, all those questions can be answered. But It is the ultimate solution at the time. It is not my idea, some one has presented it decades ago. I will not mention his name. Our scholars should find him out and study his experiences. These are just few principles. It is now the responsibility of our scholars to find out methodology for this reform according to the present needs. Otherwise, the third solution is of rebellion and revolution. But even then they will have to sit together to frame the constitution so why not now. When the people are revolting against the state, politicians are looking towards the army and government is begging on international level than it is the end of sovereignty, unity, freedom, faith, justice and even the state.

 

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