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    Democracy in Pakistan

    DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN: A COMBINATION OF FARCE AND TRAGEDY

    Through silence, the people have

    granted 'legitimacy' to the military regime

    For us the country is more important than the constitution;

    a man made, distorted and a corrupted constitution

    Abdul Hameed Khan

    Democracy as the western world understands has never been practiced in Pakistan,
    particularly under civil rule. The much talked about 'heavy mandate' of Nawaz Sharif may
    have fooled the world, particularly the west but the fact remains that more than 75 per
    cent of the voters did not even turn up or were kept away. This prompted a British MP
    to declare that democracy in Pakistan is under severe threat and that it is up to the
    incumbent government to vindicate the faith of the people in democracy. If you analyse
    the system of so called democracy in Pakistan, it may drive some sense in the conceited
    western mind.

    1). First of all not even 25% (official figures-actual turnout was even less) of the voters
    turned up at the polls. Having seen the results and performance of the previous
    governments, 75% of the voters boycotted the elections, which means 75% of the
    voters have rejected the system of government.

    2). The remaining 25% of the voters are a combination of people who are illiterate, poor
    and those under threat.

    Well organized political parties have their own 'political workers' (mafias) who have the
    power to bribe, threaten and force this 'commodity' to vote for them. The police force is
    also 'influenced' to assist them in rigging. How often have we seen that before elections
    there is shuffling and shifting of police officers and the Deputy Commissioners, and after
    the elections there is promotion and posting of these officers to lucrative appointments.
    How many in the west know that the 'thanas' (police stations) are 'sold' to the SHO,s
    (Station House Officer) for huge amounts. The party which has strong 'mafias' and links
    with those in authority is sure to win.

    How many in the US know that Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto had shut up their MNA's
    in Murree and Swat, to stop the other party from purchasing them for a sum of 2 to 5
    crores?

    How many in the US know the meaning of 'horse trading' and 'lotacracy' practiced in
    Pakistan?

    I am sometimes amazed at the naivete of the people from the west. The experts called
    on the BBC and CNN are 'puzzled' at the public response after the Army take over
    because the people, instead of showing resentment were actually happy at the army
    take over and were distributing sweets expressing jubilation. Does not this very
    occurrence show that the majority of the people have rejected the civil so called
    'elected' government. The same thing happened when the Benazir Government was
    dismissed.

    To all the self styled experts on foreign media I would like to 'enlighten' them that the
    joy exhibited by the people on the streets are those 75% who did not, or were not
    allowed to vote. (See the ad in The News dated 16 October 99-'The Forum of 80% silent
    citizens of Pakistan'.)

    America and the west should not try to impose their style of democracy on us. It may
    suit them, but the psyche of our people is quite different. If America and the west care
    so much for public opinion then they should accept the following facts and respect the
    wishes of the people:-

    1. Pakistanis do not want your democratic system.

    2. They don't want to sign the CTBT.

    3. They don't accept your reasons for hounding Osama-bin-Laden.

    4. During the Gulf War, the entire nation was supporting Iraq, except the so called
    'elected' government.

    5. They did not want withdrawal from Kargil and to buckle under pressure from US.

    6. The whole Nation resented the open interference by the US when it warned against
    so called 'unconstitutional change in Pakistan'.

    Mr. McFarlane ( the national security adviser to Reagan from 83 to 85 ) is one of

    the few who seems to have some clue of the situation in Pakistan. He writes " Four
    times in the past 10 years, elected (25%) governments have been brought down by
    popular (75%) outrage over corruption or ineptitude or both. The Military has governed
    Pakistan for almost half its 50 years history- by most accounts the more stable and
    prosperous half-------. In the short term military control is inevitable and in Pakistan's
    interest."

    (figures in parenthesis my own).

    As far as the constitution is concerned it has been tampered with so much that it is no
    more viable. All powers have been concentrated in one person, which had made Nawaz
    Sharif a dictator. For us the country is more important than the constitution; a man
    made, distorted and a corrupted constitution. After all Hitler also assumed power through
    constitutional means.

    The ad published by FORUM OF 80 per cent SILENT CITIZENS OF PAKISTAN reflects the
    actual situation obtaining in Pakistan. To America, the west, CNN, BBC my appeal is
    'Don't be blind' and interfere in the internal affairs of others.



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