Rameez Ali Mahesar
BEYOND a shadow of doubt, Pakistan has enjoyed 70 years of its age. Founding father Mr. Jinnah had pegged a way at achieving Pakistan democratically. But his reverie towards the country to be democratic has yet not been fulfilled. In the initial two decades, the country was governed by civil cum military bureaucracy under the authoritarian and oligarchic condition. This was the first episode of dictatorship. But onward, the situation briskly changed its roots.
Pakistan is based on three democratic phases started from 1970 to the present day. The first phase of democratic system in the country was evolved under the inspiring aegis of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in the decade of 1970 to 1977. The second and the third phases were shaped from 1988 to 1999 and 2007 to date. Although, Pakistan has exercised almost her 24 years of democratic era. The leaders thus have failed painstakingly in achieving democracy at all. The fingers invariably rise on these lines asking; why Pakistan has yet not been evolved the democratic tradition? There are a few factors which contribute in barring a society from exercising democratic traditions. Feudalism, illiterate people who give the guns in the hands of monkeys as inept people then these people of undemocratic manner as the leaders pillage the nation’s resources and hoodwink them – the apathetic people – lack of public opinion, going a separate way among the masses, self-imposed leaders and congenital politics beget the failure in democratic system.
When people elect their ham-fisted leaders, then heir clumsy leaders even visit them a few times as they do not have a meagre concern with the well-being of their divested communities of facilities. On the first hand, they do not realise what the problems are faced by people of their constituencies and on the other hand, they are not adept in solving the problems. It is because they are uneducated or if they are; then they undoubtedly are destitute of the skills to know and straighten the snags.
Ours country is subjected to the Islamic principles that stress on education aptly. Because; the education teaches the people the principles of democracy and fight for justice. It would be better to quote here the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, as he says; “democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy therefore is education”. Also, Prof. Col. ® M. Zahur-ul-Haq in jots down his Essays Book; “Education is a soul and the heart of democracy”. Thus society sans education cannot develop. But sorry thing to notice is that; our education system is also fallen victim to vulnerability. As per Economic survey (2016-2017) literacy rate in Pakistan has just been fallen 2 percent from 60% to 58%. Province-wise string depicted in the reports is also saddening story. As per reports, in the FY 2016, Baluchistan stood at 41% as compared to 44% in FY15, Sindh 55% against 60% in the previous year, KP was stagnant at 53% since 2014 fiscal and whereas Punjab has witnessed a little drop at 1.0% in opposite to FY15. The susceptible state of education in the country cannot assist in exercising democratic tradition.
If creating awareness among the people of Pakistan towards democracy is the option, then media is the only tool to play its constructive role. Because on the earth, media is unassailable power. It wields its influence over the people and it has the power to change the minds of the people. Scott Pelly has rightly said; “Democracies succeed or failed based on their journalism. America is strong because its journalism is strong. That is how democracies work. They are only as good as the quality of information that the public possess and that is where we come in”. Therefore, boosting the education, abolishing the feudalism, curbing haves and have nots isms and putting an end to the favoritism are some of the initiatives to formulate and develop the democracy in Pakistan. In addition to this, rule of law, social equality, justice and fraternity across the country must be exercised. Corruption in the country is also in its full swing, leaders have stockpiled their bank accounts abroad. The complete execution of all these measure must be taken comprehensively. Then it can easily lead the country towards a successful democratic system.
— The writer is a freelance columnist based in Hyderabad, Sindh.