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Democracy a Need?

19 May, 2006

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Former prime ministers, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif have signed the long-awaited Charter of Democracy (CoD), which commits the PPP and the PML(N) to struggle against dictatorship and on coming to power do away with the ‘distortions’ made in the Constitution after the overthrow of the PML-N government.

Disbandment of the National Security Council has also been promised by the charter. The two sides have also pledged not to approach the army to come to power.

The two sides pledged that they would not strike any deal with the military government terming General Pervez Musharraf a military dictator.

The two former premiers reiterated that free and fair elections were not possible under the supervision of Gen Pervez Musharraf and that both the exiled leaders would return to the country together before the election. However, they did not say that they would return by the same flight.

Here are the questions
1) Will the charter of democracy help restore true democracy in Pakistan?
2) Rejecting the CoD, General Musharraf says the former premiers want to loot the country again. What do you think about that?
3) Are Benazir and Nawaz sincere with each other or have got united for power only?
4) Do you think Benazir and Nawaz Sharif will return to Pakistan before 2007 elections?

Reader Comments:

Charter of Democracy

Whatever little is known through the media not all is honey and milk between NS & BB in the Charter of Democracy signed on 14 May 2006 amid much fanfare at London. The very foundation of such a charter for democracy being negotiated by on the one hand a Chairperson for LIFE (a most undemocratic office) and on the other by a person not holding any office in the PML-N (remember Shahbaz is the President PML-N) leaves much to be desired to make the charter democratic in letter and spirit. The only common ground between the two looks to be how to oust Musharraf and grab the power. Grab the power, not to serve the masses and ameliorate their lot, but to save their own skin from the various charges of corruption and plunder pending in the national and international courts. The Charter is reported to focus on strengthening the constitution and democratic governance, Restoration of 1973 Constitution and annulment of the 17th Amendment. All steps facilitating the return of the two to the corridors of power for the third time! How I wish, it had a few clauses for the amelioration of the masses as well such as under:

Notwithstanding any thing contained herein or to the contrary of:

All government officials – elected or employed – shall be the servants of the people and must consider themselves as such. Give their masters – the public – the due respect it deserves in their all dealings with them.
1.1 All necessary steps would be taken to eliminate corruption of all and any kind at all tiers of the federal, provincial and local governments. Any government official including the highest, elected or bureaucratic, would be arrested and proceeded against under the law for any reasonable grounds of corruption.

1.2 All necessary steps would be taken to eliminate poverty from the country. Till it is achieved a

Social Security and Welfare system ensuring provisioning of the ALL basic needs, amenities

and facilities to the poor would be introduced though out the country.

1.3 Equitable justice to all shall be GUARANTEED. Corruption by police and judiciary will be

dealt with the most sever punishment, including confiscation of all their moveable and

immoveable property.

1.4 At the same time, no court, the Supreme Court of Pakistan, or Police station shall be stormed or mobbed by any political workers.

1.5 Government job shall be given on the basis of merit and merit alone. No nepotism or undue favour will be shown to the political workers and Jialas. Any one doing so will be severely dealt with.

1.6 Police and Patwaris will not be used for political purposes.

1.7 No Law Minister will take the law in his own hand by carrying the ballot box under his arm, as was shown in the News Week magazine during ZAB rule.

1.8 Only the most competent and knowledgeable, irrespective of any other consideration, will form the cabinets at each level.

1.9 No one will intrigue against the government to bring it down or invite the military to take over.

Col. Riaz Jafri, Pakistan - 19 May, 2006

I think this is a non-starter. Let me assure you that Sharif's fans will definitely not find this unholy alliance very platable. Some of whom I know are very disgusted at the way Mian sahab is hob knobbibg with the AWAMI BB. The very same BB who did not even look or talk with NS during their tenure in the parliament of Pakistan.

I like the wording of the Charter. Especially the first and the last points. So after all they are admitting that that they did not treat their "masters"---the public---with due respect. And the last one, no one will invite the top brass into the action...

Nuso (900) chohay khaa key billi haj ko chaleee :)

hamood khan, Pakistan - 20 May, 2006

Looters Back in Action

This charter signed by the looters, not leaders, of the nation is just like a premier of a movie, which lasts only for couple of seconds.

Agha, Pakistan - 20 May, 2006

What about the Constitution

this charter is a repudiation of how these two themselves behaved while they were in office. We dont need this charter, we need people to follow the Constitution of Pakistan.

Aamir Ali, Pakistan - 21 May, 2006

More of the same

Nawaz and Benazir met in house of an ex-govt servant in London to sign a charter describing their new plans for Pakistan. But it is so obviously more of the same. They are already indebted to their host for the ceremony. Where did he get what he has got to host two multi millionaires in London? Wont he be the first to benefit?

Whether it is Musharaf with his Chaudry or BB with her Rehman or NS with his Malik, or even for that matter Altaf with his Gangs of Karachi, there is nothing new in it for the people of Pakistan. These leaders have learnt nothing nor changed an iota. Look at Nawaz, Benazir, Altaf - all living in luxury in London and promising betterment for the poor of Pakistan. This is just as laughable as Musharaf in his army uniform speaking of democracy and good governance and lecturing professional bankers on finance and economic solutions.

They talk of democracy but think like a medeival monarch or a moughal king, complete with palace, courtiers and favorites who are rewarded for keeping them in power and for keeping the population far away and quiet - by fear, a morsel of food or entertainment, but weak of mind with broken spirit and resigned to fate because if one is a good Muslims then fate is in Gods hands.

So, I dont think any thing will change except the first name after God in TV Khabarnama.

M S Ahmad, Pakistan - 22 May, 2006

Democracy Need is a failure- reasoning

The elected employed servants or Court Official Judges
Ministers of the people who should have considered
themselves as being elected representative to serve public
Need Fail to perform objective for they have no requisite
Or knowledge other doing basic judgement .

As public worker or citizen's worker they should go to correct
Errors for there is need for democracy for there is need
For reform for there is Need to right bill for there is need
For human rights requisites for there is need for right
Of way for there is need to correct UN authorities
But they do not consider or accept the fact that masters are
the public Individual on whose behalf he/she has been
elected.In far too distant past MPs used to call
constituent then debate the issue with MPs- no more
in globalization era .

They do not pay attention via Internet or public
arriving at parliamentary MP office .If specific case
is persistant it is cancer for the world minister failed to
Realise that communication is two way street. Giving
Presentation to incompetent officials of Professional
They Fail to perform professional Duties. Then they
become Rookies They become OIL rich qadaffi
from mere colonel.They write own books, they become
repeaters of rookies ,repeaters of genocide gang .They
become maniac of rookism Which compounds
into globalized problems?

p.s.based upon 100% applied research over 30 yr none stop
experience, Canada - 22 May, 2006

Democracy is Oil sales in US dollar in G8 control

Democracy need is oil sales in US dollar in G8 India
otherwise a worthless methodology..
Democracy is swindling of OPEC or
Oil payment in US dollar Via Christian
Control. Democracy in the name of Human
Rights commission UN Human rights or
Human Rights to Investigate a rape or
Injustice via a tribunal is a fraud.

This fraud is massive mechanism how
To swindle spin and get out of Islamic
Resistance. Democracy swindle is escape
Mechanism which democracy holding on
In the name of Reform which does not
Exist due to passing of specific bill or
Retention of monopoly control Bill of
Democracy.Meaningless casting vote is no democracy.

Z Billo, Pakistan - 22 May, 2006


Democracy in any form or at least some form is better than military dictatorship. Power of this president comes from his Uniform, without his uniform he just another mohajeer.He has made himself surrounded by all his "Yes men", as soon he takes of his uniform (will never happen) there will be an exodus to jump off the ship. He has appointed over 1000 current or ex military men to various GOVT, & civil positions, thus securing their and his place & perks.

Democracy needs a strong & firm COSTITUTION, which guarantees equality to all it's citizens regardless of color,religion,sex, cast ethnicity. Also needs independent Judicial system protect the rights of all it's citizens. This is unlikely to happen in Pakistan.

America is great because of it's constitution. Often people here criticize America, yet they are dying at the chance to come there & live, they are jumping over fences and crossing deserts & swimming oceans taking all kinds of risks. .

Akbar S Ahmed, Pakistan - 23 May, 2006

Democracy Need

Yes Democracy need to loot the country's wealth one by one.

Khalid Awan, Pakistan - 26 May, 2006

what a lovely pair

I just wanted to comment that this even is not worth my comment.

And oh yeah, to all our esteemed friends and children of Bharat Mata... please accept these two servants of Holy Democracy. They love it so much that I think they deserve a place in the Holiest Democracy of the World. Please fead them and clothe them for us. Beycharay dar dar ke tohkarein kha rehay hein.

Hamood Khan, Pakistan - 26 May, 2006

Democracy a Need

A bunch of notorious politicians are trying hard to come back which is not possible. Why can't they pray for their forgiveness. All Pakistani know well about the democrtic system they practices while in power twice each.

mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 26 May, 2006

For the sake of PAKISTAN

Pakistan was created for the well being of Muslims of the Sub-Continent and also for the minorities who are living in Pakistan.
We dont need DEMOCRACY. Look back in history and one must ealize that what has been the fate of all the people who were sincere to Pakistan regardless of their affiliation, sect., or background. What we did with Khan Liaqat Ali Khan? What happened with Ayub Khan? the leader one who's call the whole nation became an unbreakable wall againt the Indian aggression in 1965.

But for the sake of PAKISTAN. All those people who love Pakistan, lets pray to ALLAH THE ALLMIGHTY, that the ALLMIGHTY save us from these political leaders and the so called show runners who cant even write their name properly and want to be our captains.



Asad Rasheed, Pakistan - 27 May, 2006

Is not the time changed ?

In democray you don't go against your people and government, instead you democratically voice your concerns and lobby among masses of people for furthering their interests. Mr. Nawaz Sharif is loser. He was manipulated by Zionists agenda when he test fired five nuclear tests and let the whole world know that Pakistan had nuclear weapons. Why don't you see that happen in Israel ? And then he wanted to kill Mr. Musaharaf. This guy is proven failair to Pakistan and why he shuld be failing Pakistan once again. He might have had good contact with Mossad of Israel prior to his return. And about Mrs. Bhutto
she ahould join the Musharaf team and think of rebuilding the country. Why can't they join President Musharaf instead of fighting him ? Is not the time changed ?

Mihdi Zafar, Pakistan - 28 May, 2006

Dont read too much into it

We cannot be more sillier than accepting the collective farce of BB and Nawaz Sharif at it again.
Pakistan deserves better leadership grounded in the realms of the future and not in the past.

Inayat, Aruba - 29 May, 2006

Democarcy means ?

Democracy means how much you can tolerate. If we can tolerate with those people who were made prime minister of the country overnight while living in USA, so can we also tolerate the ones who are claimed to be the true politicians and champions of DEMO Crazy.

Shuja Iqbal, Pakistan - 29 May, 2006


Dear Mr. Ali
It is good that you want people to follow the Constitution. I really appreciate that. But why are you telling this to people of Pakistan. I think, it would be more appropriate if you tell this to those who Violate the Constitution. As far as the people of Pakistan are concerned, they can not even freely violate traffic rules; and those who violate the traffic rules, get caught and pay for that.

Kalim Ilyas, Pakistan - 29 May, 2006

Democracy Needed Like We Needed Schools

Most of the remarks are really disappointing and shows level of understanding we have for Democracy. First of all Allah never said that I will come and do the things for you. He said I have given you a brain, use it. Which we seldom use. Democracy is like a child who has been failed in the school, question is would you allow him to repeat same class or would you tell him, no you do not need to go to school. So unless we can not treat democracy as school going child we'll never try to improve ourself. Democracy and elections are treatment like patient taking medicine and knows very well that it will take some time, but that will bring improvement in health.

The people usually who speak against democracy are those who do not practice it at home at office and in society therfore for them democracy means some kind of evil, which also shows shortsighted approach by them.

I think accepting mistake and making committment not to repeat is one of the great kind of act. We should always appreciate. I congratulate Nawaz and Benazir by signing charter of democracy they have proved to be real and true son and doughter of this country.

In democracy, you can approve or discard any politican by casting vote. How you'll remove a dictator, who was suppose to hire to do certain jon and suddenl he thinks that he can perform better so he should be a president.

If Musharaf can be a president, why can not I or many other citizens better educated and well equipped? What qualification and additional knowledge he has which many other do not poccess.

The difference between him and us is he has gun and we have power of vote to tell him that we are real democrate and we reject you and approve whosoever will serve this country.

Fawad Fayyaz, Pakistan - 29 May, 2006

Mapping Law

Such questions need to be adressed as preliminaries to the compilation of meaningful global statistics about law. However, these kinds of data are in fact already becoming increasingly important in policy information and other decision-making at local, regional, international, transnational and global levels. Comparators and standarts for assessing the health of aspects of legal systems exist and are being used either explicitly or implicitly for all sort of purposes. A few well-established standarts or comparators do exist in law but they tend to be fragmented: for example, Amnesty International, the International Committee on Human Rights and numerous other bodies assess the human rights record of different nation states and regimes by reference to general human rights norms. The World Bank, the IMF, and donor states and agencies subject potential recipients to notional standarts implied by the phrase 'democracy, good governance and human rights'.
'Democratic audit'is becoming a fashionable phrase. Recently Transparency International has developed a quite sophisticated methodoly for analysing the extent of corruption in a given country and for constructing 'national integrity systems'. At a national level courts and legal services are becoming increasingly subject to bureaucratic evaluation. Educational institutions, including law schools, are also becoming aware of the uses and misuses to wich performance indicators and other external criteria of evaluation can be put - on wich more later.
The ranking of Benazir and Nawaz Sharif may be even more dangerous, like it or not, most public institutions are now part of the performance culture to bring critically democracy forward in a landmark - called Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Shokat Saleem, Georgia - 30 May, 2006

Demmocracy Verses Dictatorship.

General Musherraf and his associates have entrenched
into power, seems like they donot have no plan to let
democracy takes its roots in
Present political enviorment tells us that Kargil conflect
was engineered to make the
general look patriotic and
politician weakling and thus
paveway the over through of the elected Govt.
Collected wisdom always prevail over the decision of a dictator.

samshah, Pakistan - 31 May, 2006

Charter of Democracy

Mr. Jafari I agree with you 100%. If Pakistan wants to show up on the world map as a growing democracy they need to heed to your advice. Its a delight to see that a military officer is not pushing militry agenda but a common sense solution. I salute you Mr. Jafari.

Vinod K.Narang, United Kingdom - 01 June, 2006

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