If Elections in Pakistan ever changed anything, They’d be Abolished!

 Asian News Rochdale Published on the Heritage Section of Asian News

By Majed Iqbal- Today is February 18th 2008. A much awaited day and for some a day which supposed to have begun last month for many. Today, Pakistan is embarking on its Election Day amidst the chaos, Political unstability, violence, Foreign Interferance and heavy handed tactics of the darling of London and Washington, the self tyled “President” of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf.

Will the Elections Change anything?

Discussions on Elections and restoring the country onto a democratic route have been heavily discussed by Pakistani politicians, TV Channels, Newspapers and by the existing government officials.

Promises flavoured with enticing language of development, progress, education for all, rooting out corruption, free media, helping the poor, quashing extremism and placing the country of Pakistan back onto the international stage with pride amongst the world community; all such lollypop advert styled slogans have come thick and fast in efforts to engage the nation into voting for the “right choice”.

How genuine are these antics? Are the Politicians serious about the standard of education, about eradicating poverty and remaining an independant nation? Surely, basic rights like education should be a consistent agenda for any people in power as the countries future and lifeline depends upon creating the Thinkers, Scientists, Engineers, Scholars, IT experts, Business Entrepreneurs, and ideal citizens of a state who contribute to its progress based on the ideals the education inculcates within them?

Why should this be a slogan for any party contesting power when it is a fundamental dyuty for any state and society to have entrenched within the body of their institutions?

Time and Time again we have seen one government set one agenda for education and the other comes and thwarts that. None of the parties have a clear agenda for Pakistan on such a basic issue like education. So its not surprising to see the ticket of education sold during the elections as a doorway to power and nothing else.

The February elections, have therefore carried minimal weight in the minds of the average Paksitani Citizen as they cannot envisage them being the process for any change in the country. For the people, Ideals of Elections and Democracy are synonymous with legalised power and corruption

In fact ,George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950) inhis book Man and Superman- Maxims for Revolutionists” (1903) clearly demonstrated the inherant problems with the excesses of democracy when he said

Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.”

If elections in Pakistan ever changed anything, they’d be abolished and this remains the stark reality. There is no difference between “Real Democracy” and “Sham Democracy” as both have been tried and tested and conflict with what the nation envisages as an ideal mechanism for governance over them.

Banking on Elections for any form of change is apt for those idealists who cannot see beyond their nose from what is given to them from Washington and London. Such people cannot see beyond this paradigm and will continue to run in circles, not seeing the failure of their approach or learning from the mistakes made in the past.

Pakistan needs systemic change not cosmetics. It requires sound structural ideas based on its History, Heritage and Faith.

The power for the people, by the people and over the people remains as an absurd concept and a joke. This could not be put into any better words than those of the famous British Political personality, Winston Churchill

Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government.” (1874 – 1965), Hansard, November 11, 1947

Changing the deck chairs on the Titanic will not save it from drowning.


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