Respect for democracy

SEPTEMBER 15 was observed as International Day of Democracy throughout the democratic world but the day was observed in Pakistan in a subdued manner, obviously, due to prevailing environment where politics and democracy are under immense pressure due to a combination of factors. There was no usual fanfare about the concept; National Assembly, which is supposed to be guardian of democracy made no mention of the day despite having its session in Islamabad and no worthwhile event was organized by politicians and political parties to highlight the cause of democracy, which showed their scant respect for the democratic process.
National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq and Deputy Speaker Murtaza Javed Abbasi issued messages expressing their commitment to uphold democratic principles and traditions and resist undemocratic moves. Chairman Senate was, however, more vocal in making some of the very pertinent observations in relation to the observance of the day and how democracy can flourish and take roots in Pakistan. He reiterated that all the state institutions working under the Constitution must respect trichotomy of power and any institution that misused its power was undermining democracy. This inevitably means strengthening Parliament but those who are supposed to work for the noble cause are in utter disarray and are indulging in extreme kind of leg-pulling. Some of them are instrumental in cutting the same branch which they themselves are sitting on. Some of them have become known tools in the hands of other institutions to harm Parliament and the democratic stability while others are trying to use other institutions to bring their opponents down. The Chairman Senate has a asked the Government to pay due attention to the need to strengthen Parliament but we would say that apart from the Government it is also duty and responsibility of the entire political lot to get united when it comes to the question of supremacy of Parliament and any threat to the democratic and political stability. You are free to fight political wars while remaining strictly within the constitutional scheme of things but you are harming your own interests by allowing yourself to be misused.

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