Something’s in the air

Prime Minister Gilani has had to reiterate once again that there will be no military coup and that there is no threat to democracy. Why the prime minister needed to hammer this point home once again could be anybody’s guess. Mr Gilani is right in saying that “the media, the masses and the political parties are very clear that democracy is the need of the country”. Those who want to see Pakistan progress and develop have always advocated the need for democracy and have argued for the democratic process to take its course. Military dictatorships are inherently a recipe for disaster. Thus, no sane person would ever ask for a military intervention. This, however, does not mean that the PPP-led government can afford to be complacent or sanguine.

Democracy has never taken roots in Pakistan because of military interventions, but even an avid supporter of democracy is put between a rock and a hard place when a democratically elected government starts to lose credibility. ‘Save democracy’ is beginning to sound like a fading refrain now due to the criticism of the present government – some exaggerated, some close to the bone. Rumours of corruption are swirling around and cannot be swept under the carpet any longer. There is no smoke without fire. The government must pull up its socks and clear its own Augean stables. If the government does not deliver and function better, it would start losing its grip on the situation. The height of incompetence that we witness in most government departments is making people wonder if the government is drifting. The diminishing returns of a corrupt and incompetent democracy are leading to the inescapable suspicion that something is in the air, in the possible shape of an anti-democratic intervention.

Even if one holds democracy in utter respect, the increasingly fragile incumbent structure is fast losing popularity and support amongst the masses. Before the situation gets any worse, the government must start to deliver. Pakistan has waited for democracy for a long time; let’s not let it go to the dogs once again.

(my editorial in Daily Times)

Comments

terry5732 said…
Democracy is only a good thing when the majority of voters are informed and of good intent. Iran is a democracy.

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