The Long March Episode- Democracy and Dictatorship- Two sides of the same coin?

Asian Leader By Majed Iqbal- The weekend in Pakistan saw the much awaited long march take its turn to add itself onto the list of the on-going Political crisis plaguing the country.

President Zardari had pledged to reinstate the deposed Chief justice Mr Chaudhry, who had been removed by Musharraf in the November state of emergency, within 30 days of taking office, but reneged on the promise, fearing the justice would re-open the case of alleged corruption by his late wife Benazir Bhutto and him over which immunity was granted by Musharraf in a potential power sharing deal.

The election of the PPP in power in January and the ‘in-house’ move of Zardari to Presidency saw him back down on his promise during the elections of re-instating the deposed judges if the PPP won.

Whilst Musharraf was in power we saw parties rally around the message that dictatorship was bad for the country and that is should be removed to guarantee ‘real’ progress. The message was not just for Musharraf but anyone with similar ambitions for dictatorial rule which had caused havoc in the country through the pursuance of the war on terror with no consultation from the national assembly, rasing juniors in army ranks above seniors who were more loyal to Musharraf, sending the heads of the two opposition parties into exile and sacking judges who could contest President Musharraf’s authority as un-constitutional.

Today, Democracy, through free and fair elections has bought Zardari, a renowned crook into the highest office of the country, allowed the bombing and killings in swat which has seen 500,000 people misplaced and thousands of innocent men, women and children killed by American drones, lying to the public that American strikes are unstoppable as they take place from Afghanistan whereas new information proves that the Pakistani gave the green light to America to bomb the citizens of the country, banning media reporting against the government as was done with GEO and colluding with the army to crackdown on lawyers, activists and opposition parties calling for the re-instatement of the deposed chief justice.

What can the people of Pakistan expect next even after the Chief Justice has been sworn back into power? How can people rest their confidence in Democracy for Pakistan after the information minister, Sherry Rehman resigned in the wake of the growing clampdown by government on protests by lawyers and opposition groups which speaks volumes on how many in the government see no difference in the previous regime and the new one?

Both Democracy and Dictatorship have wreaked havoc for Pakistan.

Those parties that questioned Dictatorship and contested it under Musharraf’s rule, are they now willing to challenge democracy and ask for its removal after witnessing its fruits?

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