Democracy must reign supreme in Pakistan

Key stakeholders need to find the right balance in order to ensure stability.

The politics that is being played out between Pakistan’s civilian government, the military and the judiciary reached boiling point with the Supreme Court issuing a notice of contempt to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The time has come for the key stakeholders to find the right ‘fine balance’ in their dealings with each other in order to ensure the stability of the country. Stand-offs during negotiations and time-wasting tactics will only lead to the disintegration of the democratic system. For the record, democracy must reign supreme in Pakistan — whatever the differences between the army and the civilian government — coupled with that the judiciary, the country’s highest independent body, must be allowed to function without having to answer for their actions.

In order to disprove the notion that the judiciary is being used to bring down the current government the prime minister must be transparent and his morals above question. Gilani must be seen to be doing the right thing to justify the people’s faith in his party ahead of the March elections. Total defiance, despite the court’s repeated prods, is not a good strategy given that no civilian government in Pakistan has ever finished its term. It is also imperative the people see the judiciary as being without prejudice. The system of enquiry of those suspected of corruption and graft must be evenly spread out. Right now the focus seems to be on the president and prime minister whereas the list of alleged offenders is longer.

The army too must do its bit: fight the militants who threaten to disintegrate the country and re-impose security. While they insist that they don’t want to rule, no elected government can do its job if the army’s shadow looms large over them. Patient engagement, mutual trust and confidence-building measures by all stakeholders is therefore the key. Gulf News Editorial


Posted on January 17, 2012, in Current Affairs. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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