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Munir Hussain Bhatti

PakTribune Columnist

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Transparent Elections in Pakistan Munir Hussain Bhatti

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United Arab Emirates

07 September, 2007

Transparent Elections

Writer has done a great job to explain all about elections and past experiences. Going back to the past elections when a party lost they said that elections were rigged. Civilian dictators Nawaz Sharif and BB were busy in changing their terms every two years and there was no stable government, though elected through votes but failed to deliver to the public who voted them in. Comparing with the west democracy its too early to do that. In West they had problems for many many years about democracies. In England women had no right of vote. No right of property. There were similar cases in US where inside the parliament they became violent and killed each other. Pakistan is a developing country and why military came to intervene is very well known. When civilian dictators failed to perform and robbed the country the military had to come in to restore the admininstration. Looking at the elections when Sheikh Mujibur Rehman had won majority seats ZAB would not accept his win and wanted him to go to East Pakistan and become PM there and he will take charge of PM in West Pakistan. It is a trial and error period but military must be credited for their good work and strong defense. Look at the earthquake of 8th October 2005, it was the military who managed to take care of a mega disaster. A Civilian government could not have done so nicely as done by military personnel.Military had done rehabilitation of victims in a professional mannner. Political parties in OPP did not bother to go to the affected areas just to console the victims and stayed away. They need ability to understand the problems of their own people. They worry more about themselves. I totally agree with you on this point that so-called public representatives do not bother to visit their constituency; therefore, the public development remains in the balance. When there was sugar shortage a lady MNA from PPP was interviewed by a Media Reporter and asked her the price of sugar, the response was Rs.5.00per kg. Lady was also asked if she ever went out to see her constituant if they had any problems. MNA answered she has'nt got time. What is lacking in Pakistan is the basic education and basics. Government of Gen. Musharraf and PM Mr. Aziz has done lot better than two previous PMs BB and Nawaz Sharif in lifting the economy up and providing the basics to the population though long way to go yet but must be credited so far done. Elections will be fair and transparent but who is going to accept. International Observers will be there to monitor the elections and hopefully it will go smoothly. Educate the entire population so that they understand democracy better and do give their vote to right person.

Sher Mohammad


09 September, 2007

Elections require viable political parties.

Do we have viable political parties? The more activists: PPP, PML(N), MMA and PML(Q), none can win a majority at the polls. Everyone wants democracy in Pakistan, but none knows how. Never mind how transparent the election, it is not going to serve democracy. Democracy requires basically two mainstream political parties that have roots at the grass level and a country wide network; books of audited accounts, a dedicated paid staff in the secretariat and periodical in-party elections. The country lacks democratic culture and presentable traditions. The Election Commission is not conversant with democracy and it is a paper tiger



10 September, 2007

What Transparency?

We desperately need absolutely foolproof and transparent elections for its products to survive and perform to convert promises into reality. We are fed up seeing, yet expecting empty seats in our legislative assemblies to pave our destiny. We are also fed up of the persistent Coupocracy spanking dead-horses of Lootocracy and Loutacracy. Latest specter of these sycophants was shamelessly present in the Nawaz Sharif's flight to Pakistan. This reference goes to Mustafa Khar rubbing shoulders with his arch enemy of yesterday. Only transparency observed was of a glaring view of the ace Louta in our politics. Imagine the depth of our defiant bog. Out of 26 Prime Ministers lasting a total 27 years in our history, non could complete tenure and 4 Martial Laws intervened with 33 years of misrule in the name of restoring democracy. So, what hope is there to expect miracles from the current exercise? Possible way out of our perpetually sustaining quagmire is in passionate revision and flawless application of a new criteria for selecting our political aspirants on the new yardsticks which should be applied 100% on merits. Our existing politicians can not transform their nature overnight and become born-again angels Unless we overhaul the entire set-up for selecting leaders with a sincere resolve to bring sanity in democracy, all efforts will continue to produce the same disappointments. Immediately after the March reference against the Chief Justice and resulting judicial crisis, I was reminded of an instance from the US during Carter's time, when a top judge (a lady) voluntarily resigned from office on discovering that, she had kept a house maid during initial years of her career, over 30 years back, who the media complained and produced confirming documents, was an illegal Mexican immigrant. Can we expect such sou-motto action by any judge against self? We shall have to take painful decisions against our Zombie Politicians.The living-dead who are only dead-weights only good for graves. This would require a revolutionary change to bring new breed politicians. The process undoubtedly, will be painstakingly tortuous but, the only course out of the recurring crisis we are embroiled in. In search of short-cuts to prosperity, we have failed for 60 years and will continue in drift till we act to correct our course. Perhaps, we need spoon feeding to grow. Therefore, I suggest a simple but fool-proof procedure for correcting our faults in struggle to grow and mature as a self respecting and honourable nation, by devising means and procedures to bring in a new breed of really and genuinely nationalist Pakistani leaders. Outlines of the proposed procedure are, as follows:- 1-Establish and employ think-tank of track record proven successful selfless senior people still available and assign to them the task of developing new Rules for selecting, screening and monitoring all issues related to the Political Activities in Pakistan. 2-Find fresh blood politicians on nation-wide talent hunt, through well articulated "On-line Talent Hunt Tests" for political aspirants, giving high weight-age to such qualities as, intelligence quotient (IQ), knowledge and respect to the founding principles and reasons for the creation of Pakistan, honesty, sincerity, incorruptibility, willingness to give sacrifices for the nation, knowledge about the history of nation, areas of our weaknesses and possible ways of improvement etc. There should also be high weight-age given to the knowledge about the new prescribed rules of business, aptitude and keenness for allegiance and sincerity to the job description accepted. 4-Ensure practical separation of Religion from Politics and Judiciary from the Executive. 5- Establish Sensor Code and frequent screening through it, of all political office holders including the PM, for violations of prescribed rules of business as well as as their own manifestos and promises to their electorate and appropriate penalties, including sensor on their misrules and unbecoming social behaviour. 6-Enforce stringent measures to stop ambush-journalism. 7-Create and enforce procedures for performance based bureaucracy. 8-Reform and sanitize the Police Force. 9-Reform roles of the Armed Forces. 10-Create necessary contributory factors to glorify the dignity of labour. 11- Enforce Desk Survey for performance evaluation of all functionaries of the governance. All very nice words on paper. But who cares? These things are only meant for some foolhardy zealots always dreaming of good things waiting to happen and create value for virtuous deeds. We are definitely not yet a nation, where eagles (Shaheens) dare.

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