A bumpy road for democracy in Pakistan

The word democracy is derived from two Greek words: “Demos: meaning people and” Kratos “which means power, in general, it means the rule of the people, it is a form of government where the representatives are chosen by the people to take measures to your well being.

Unfortunately, in Pakistan, democracy means: parliamentarians take measures for their (own) welfare such as illegal money, property, promote nepotism and favoritism. The transfer of power from a democratically elected government that had completed its mandate to another is the symbol of democracy. However, in Pakistan, all its previous democratic transitions have been aborted by military coups.

In 2018, elections see success. It will be the longest period for which Pakistan has remained a democracy without witnessing a military coup. I urge the government to eradicate illiteracy and unemployment to protect our national and constitutional rights.

While Pakistan may have a formal constitutional and democratic structure, the current feudal and tribal dynamics of the country mean that the next general election will be won by a political party that will have a list of electorates with strong patronage links instead of candidates that are better qualified. .

At the national level, Pakistan’s political structure is not ready for a genuine democracy. Throughout the history of Pakistan, not a single political organization has attempted to carry out massive reforms to uproot the entrenched tribal political structure in order to produce a true democratic order.

There are two main reasons why this has never been done before and is not likely to happen at any time in the foreseeable future. In the first place, all the political parties in Pakistan manage their base of support from these tribal, feudal and semi-feudal political structures. Any attempt to challenge the existing social and political structure would not only challenge the immediate interests of political parties, but would also alienate tribal, ethnic and feudal local groups and families that maintain their political relevance and control through such structures. Second, the base of the country’s middle class and poor voters has become accustomed to the current political structure to the point where any idea of ​​radical reforms that promise equity and true democracy is considered a threat.

It could be said that the whole society is still divided in ethnic, caste, tribal and family lines. The protection of family, ethnic, caste and tribal interests is considered very important that any idea of ​​a political system that promises justice, equity and a truly democratic order in which any person has a practical opportunity to stand for a seat in the Assembly National without worrying about financial support and massive patronage.

The elite class of the country sees no interest in achieving a massive change to uproot a structure that keeps them in power in the first place.

The campaign aimed at convincing the masses to vote for “what works for the county” instead of “what works for their narrow interests”, however, has not yielded any results

On the other hand, Pakistan’s civil society remains weak and has seldom tried to force the ruling elite to bring a reformed political structure. During the last seventy years, none of the civil society groups has ever participated in a sustained effort to force the state to change the existing political structure that only undermines the dispensation of true democracy.

Any local rebellion for ethnic voices and marginalized politics has been left aside by the ruling elite. The liberal and secular groups do not find space in an environment that only supports and provides legitimacy to the existing political structure. Similarly, the middle and working classes are too weak to introduce a social revolution that would overthrow the political structure dominated by the feudal and introduce an appropriate democratic order.

In addition, the pressure for change in this respect has not come from abroad. States with close ties to Pakistan, particularly the United States and China, never saw a democratic Pakistan as feasible for its regional geopolitical security and political interests. For example, Washington has always preferred to engage with the powerful military and people with influence in the country to find quick solutions to their political and regional security interests instead of supporting and pressing for Pakistan’s deep democratization.

Similarly, China and Saudi Arabia, which are also close allies of Pakistan, have never pushed the ruling elite of the country to liberal democratic reforms. Apparently, the international states consider that a democratic Pakistan is an impediment to their geopolitical interests, which for the former are much more important than the democratic transformation of Pakistan.

The ruling elite of Pakistan see no incentive in the country’s true democratic transformation, as that will directly challenge its political influence in the country. On the other hand, the middle and lower middle classes of the urban and rural areas of the country are still politically disorganized and are not in a position to undertake a strong struggle to force democratic change in Pakistan.

In general, Pakistani society remains divided along caste, ethnic, tribe and family and any rhetoric of true democratic change in Pakistan probably does not influence the voting patterns of the country that are linked to social, political and power oriented structures to the caste.

Our youth constitutes 30% of the society to which they represent the new generation. Your participation can ensure structural improvements in the national paradigm. It has been seen that during the Pakistani movement young people played a vital role in shaping opinion and the consciousness of the masses, and this is the time. It is necessary to guide our young people to take responsibility for our tomorrow. It is time for youth to be active and willing to welcome the dawn of democracy and should take full advantage of it.

An impartial accountability system increases public confidence in the political system. It provides enormous strength to the democratic process. In addition, it forces thousands of people in charge of the government to comply transparently with their official responsibilities. It guarantees good governance and strengthens the political configuration. Despite facing countless challenges and showing unsatisfactory performance, Pakistanis have the ability to emerge as a democratic and progressive nation. Pakistan can walk towards democracy with dedication, determination, commitment, courage and patriotism of its political leaders. If they are properly inculcated with the true spirit of democracy, they are powerful enough to change destiny.


There is no second opinion that democracy is a prerequisite for Pakistan to gain a respectable place in the international community. Current challenges and threats further aggravate the scene. But this does not imply that there is no room for improvement. A look at history reveals that difficulties always appear in the lives of the surviving nations. But these adversities prove blessings in disguise when confronted with courage. This moment becomes a starting point on your journey to success. It has all the potential to overcome mountainous challenges; what are required are unity, faith, discipline and guidance.

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Asad Hussain Written by: