Only democracy can strengthen Pakistan


By Farman Nawaz (Daily Outlook Afghanistan)

Now a days in Pakistan some of our politicians are talking about bloody revolution and some are inviting military to intervene to bring prosperity to Pakistan. We must keep one thing in our minds that Pakistan army is not going to take part in these popular slogans of some politicians. Pakistan army after a very hard struggle is able to restore its image. Allowing secular parties to take part in election and paving way for them to rule is the indication of new approach of Pakistan army.

Apart from this aspect and development, the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan must know what the qualities of revolutionary parties are, because we are many times deceived in the name of revolution. In Sura Alasar (The declining Day) of The Quran, guidelines for revolutionary party are given in very simple words. “Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance”. This simply means that the revolutionary party will have the quality of consistent support for the truth and to be patient in times of troubles. Now we can easily judge any party or group, which claims to be revolutionary.

A revolution is not a process that is first publicized and then it happens all of sudden. A revolution is now a science. Modern day revolution is not essentially a bloody one or necessarily against feudalism and capitalism. Even now a days when we see the countries where communist revolutions were brought, are changing their mode. Now the true socialism is to protect their national interests in such a way that other nations are not hurt. I am not against revolution but modern day revolution can be educational one or constitutional one. Even changing and reforming the present system can change the destiny of a nation.

After independence, Pakistan is now having a kind of weak but true democracy.

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. 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.

After attaining peace the above mentioned criteria can be applied in Afghanistan too because it is a new democratic state and it is now possible for it to adopt new approach towards democracy. In this way various groups, political parties, religious sects, communities and even hardliner can be adjusted in the Afghanistan parliament.

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