Referendum – a solution for Pakistani crises

By Farman Nawaz (Unpublished Article)


There are many similarities in the recent history of Pakistan and Turkey. People of both these countries want restructure in their societies based on tolerance, justice, nationalism and democracy. But the difference is that Pakistanis believe that these characteristics are found in Islam while Turks believe that these objectives can be achieved through secularism. The geographies of both these countries are strategically important. Turkey is at the junction of Asia and Europe while Pakistan is situated at the junction of South Asia, Central Asia and Western Asia.

Regarding negative trends in politics Pakistan and turkey also stand in the same line. Thirty three years of Pakistani politics is marred by the dictatorship and today we see a question mark on the political stability in Pakistan. In the same way the political democratic system of turkey is also polluted by the army rebellion and martial law of 1980. However Turkey seems going ahead and progressing because of the democratic revolution and secular system of 1922. But Pakistan is still trapped in the marshes of problems.

Turkey because of its strong political base and democratic revolution of 1922 seems coming back to the track after 1980 rebellion. Its proof is the referendum of 12 September 2010. 58% people supported democratic reforms and ouster of the army from politics. It is noticeable that people wish to see the same army out of politics which fought the war of independence and made possible the democratic revolution in Turkey but more important is the approach of Turks that they are not ready to throw away the secular system which was adopted after 1922. The prime minister of Turkey assured the people and army to safeguard the 87 years old secular system. Now the ruling party of Turkey has got a chance to frame the new constitution. If the new constitution is prepared according to the national interests of Turkey then it is sure that Turkey will get membership to European Union.

Now the question is if Turkey can get rid of all the drawbacks of their system so why not Pakistan. We should also adopt the policy like Turkey to get rid of these crises. Looking carefully we can easily understand that the success of Turkey lies in its roots of democratic revolution of 1922 while the causes of our miseries lies in the conditions at the time of creation of Pakistan. In 1947 the Pakistani society on the basis of two nation theory, was based on sectarianism and religious extremism.

In Turkey the effects of army revolution were neutralized by the foundations of democratic revolution. Here in Pakistan we will have to change our foundations to defeat sectarianism, extremism and terrorism. We will have to adopt the policy of religious tolerance like Turkey. Expelling non political entities from politics we will have to curb sectarianism. The non political entities intervention in Pakistani politics is due to our sticking policy to the western world. As long as we will not come closer to regional nations these non political actors – in the shape of various institutions too – will continue intervening in politics. But for the time being the wave of democracy and reconciliation can stop these entities to enter in politics.

Capitalism has destroyed our economy. As it is very difficult at this stage to adopt a new system so by changing our priorities and eradicating corruption we can achieve our goals in economic field. At the moment in Pakistan there is friction among different institutions. This friction can be overcome by conducting referendum like Turkey. Judiciary is intervening in the government not only by taking actions against government decisions but by opening cases against President Zardari. Even now the leaders of Lawyers’ moment which caused in restoration of these judges, are expressing their concerns about the one sided policy of judiciary.

The way government is handling judiciary is not illegal but not also praise worthy. Government can conduct referendum for overcoming judiciary. Judiciary must be free as long as it provides justice to the people but putting the nation into crises is not justice. Ordinary people are still not getting justice. Referendum like Turkey can open a way for Pakistani nation to handle establishment, judiciary, and media.


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