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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:

Democracy Rev J Hagee Rabbi Aryeh Orchestrating to annihilate Aryeh Muhr Qom of Quran

Democracy gathering of Christian Army of NATO Israel have
Mandate of Rev John Hagee who is quoting verses after verses
As his mandate to annihilate Iran via Israel. Watch out his daily
Statement with Bush Blair Rice Israelis war Machine preparing
To drop nuke via mandate orchestra to empty Nukes after
Nuke on Iran and on Muslim Umma.

Rev John Hagee is quoting God given mandates after mandates
Of Bible verses Proposing to annihilate Umma with AhmedDinejad .
Rev John Hagee and Israeli Rabbi Arya mehr insisted together that
Ahmeddinejad 's Iran got to die via his mandates .This is crazy.
Iran oil repossession after Nuke dropping mandates have come from
Bible verses and rev John Hagee's ability to read God's Mandate
verses.Democracy and Islam of BB Nawaz karzai OIC leaders have
Been made Null and void on Rev John Hagee mandate under
USA Allied NUKE dropping preparation .Single handily
Rev John Hagee Seem to be orchestrating for Entire Muslim
Ummah Extermination .If and Church Democracy have Psychopath
Neurotic Schizophrenic it is Rev John Hagee and his friend
Rabbi Aryeh and their twisting of Democracy and Bible
Torah verses understanding . They insist that Almighty God
and Democracy Leaders have appointed Rev John Hagee
with mandates to Get Christians united on July 18-19 at
Washington DC seminar to defend Israel .Perhaps Israel
will drop nukes and invade Iran oil or Kill 66 million Iranian

How is it possible that neighbouring Turkey Pakistan Afghanistan?
Azerbaijan Central Asia Russian Iraq Saudi Arabia and India
Will not be affected by NUKE fallout. This stupid democracy
junk bond Iran OIL crazy Hagee Pagee Mandate..

Z.Billo, Pakistan - 02 June, 2006

why do we want to Failed poeple such as BB and Nawaz sharif to return, ??????????????? to rob the country again

umar, United Arab Emirates - 02 June, 2006

Nawaz & Benazir are not honest

I think in many countries ministers and politicians quietly left their jobs when they were accused of impropriety. But it was regrettable that in Pakistan “thieves and dacoits are trying to play hero and heroine”. He underlined the need for changing the culture of the country to throw corrupt leaders out of politics.

“Pakistan”, he said, “neither belongs to Mian Nawaz Sharif nor Ms Benazir Bhutto. It belongs to the people, and the real issue is to restore democracy and maintain the rule of law”.

According to him, it was wrong to assume that Mian Nawaz Sharif and his family had been forcibly sent abroad. The deposed prime minister could not withstand imprisonment and he opted self-exile, with a friendly country guaranteeing adherence to the agreement reached for the purpose.

Zeeshan Ulhaq, Georgia - 02 June, 2006


What a joke....2 per cent GDP from 1989 to 1999. Same time India was having a GDP of 7 per cent. What the hell were they thinkin? get a life and stay outta Pak.
Melbourne Australia

J.Ahmed, Aruba - 03 June, 2006

Is this a Charter of Democracy or Loot

I don't understand one thing, why our people are so fond of getting ripped by the same people over and over and get them to put them back into the position where they were 50 years ago.
We had these people before and we have examined these culprits couple of times and now again! C'mon u gotta be kidding.
Don't you people think that we had enough of this dog and cat stuff. Just give it a thought and askyour self, do you really need these people back into your place and let them do the same propaganda which had got rid so hard.
I don't understand the reason for these people to come back.
I understand that our people aren't used to see same face over for that long period, but whats wrong in having a group of personalities who instead just filling their pockets, have some sympathy for people like you and me.

Hssn ali, Aruba - 04 June, 2006

Democracy a Need?

May be when BB and her spouse is arrested they start teaching democracy system while in Jail. Outside BB and Nawaz both failed to deliver anything to the public of Pakistan. On the contrary they took the wealth in the tune of $34b from the country and bought properties in the west.

mohammad, United Arab Emirates - 04 June, 2006


Democracy is that necessary and grounded institution that propels a nation forward permanently, and one which is now undeniable in the new world 'disorder'.

Regretfully, Pakistan invested precious time and premium into Mr. Sharif and Mrs. Zardari (whose credentials were no greater than W's -'My daddy')

However, Pakistan needs to shun and shy away from the same old, same old. We do not have the time nor the resources to invest into further 'OJT' (on the job training) to recultivate former proven and repeat novices.

So, indeed, while democracy is an irrefutable demand and cry of the hopefully near future, what we need are prudent winners, and not weak whiners who will sell state secrets such as Kargil and Kashmir at the very 1st blush.

N. Javed, United Kingdom - 05 June, 2006

All countries need leaders chosen by GOD, &, not by the PUBLIC!
But, the PUBLIC chooses someone very similar to the masses!
No one is all-good!
Corruption & greed are the root cause of all disintegration!
Pray for the World (not just Pakistan)!
If there is no peace in even 'one' part of the world, it can 'hamper' your peace in any part of the world!

swaroopa, United Kingdom - 06 June, 2006


This sounds like the criminals returning to the scene of the crime. To start with, BB should really enroll in Alcoholics Anonymous and be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and NS should seek forgiveness from the PEOPLE of Pakistan and then should be incarcerated for life, without any chance of parole. President Clinton, who negotiated Sharif's escape to Saudi Arabia is no longer there to protect him and Bhutto, true to her father's moral character continues to remain a simple and tiny annoyance. Asif Zardari and BB need to be sent on a permanent honeymoon! As far as Z Billoo's statement regarding Iran and Israel is concerned,,,,frankly, it begs the question....Are Iranians Shites muslims??? Has any one checked their Kalima or how they perform their prayers with a piece of dirt to place their head on? Could someone please confirm for me that that is the accepted way for Islamic prayers! Thanks So go ahead make my day ....nuke Iran! who cares!!!!

redauqs, United Kingdom - 06 June, 2006


Allah hum pakistanion ko in chorron aur qatilon say bachay..Ameen

Owais Khan, Pakistan - 06 June, 2006

Paktribune hijacked...

I am an old blogger on Paktribune and can confidently say that this news service has been hijacked by Pakistan's military intelligence agency ISI. Notwithstanding what becomes headline on this service, only look at this Speak Out session. Those living in Pakistan with no military influence can tell that the majority of Pakistanies are now heart broken with the present set up run by military dictator Musharraf and therefore have welcomed the Charter of Democracy as a beam of light in the darkness.

One of the main reasons for the coupe described by the coup leader in his first speech in 1999 was the charges of corruption. Look at the kind of people this General has gathered around him and tell us if anyone of them is better than Nawaz Sharif. Leaving others aside, just look at the Chaudry from Gujrat (the king of all types of corruption in Pakistan) upon whose shoulder the General has made this artificial democratic arrangement? Talk of governance, can someone tell any other story than to reconfirm that it has further deteriorated from the point Nawaz Sharif left in 1999. Look at the corruption scandals in the making that will only tell you a new climax of corruption. Look at the broken promise he has made with the nation on uniform? Do you still think Musharraf has some credibility left in the masses? Who are you deceiving everyday? Wake up to the truth...

There is a widespread feeling in Pakistani society that the international community has been more comfortable in dealing with a military or military-dominated regime than a civilian government. Washington has only proved it once again.

Sunny, Pakistan - 08 June, 2006

Democracy a Need

(Part II)
3) Are Benazir and Nawaz sincere with each other or have got united for power only?

Benazir and Nawaz cannot be sincere with each other. They are parochial minded bloodsuckers that are greedy and self-serving eccentrics. They haven't got much to do with the country's betterment or the people's emancipation. Their ultimate goal is to snatch power and put their respective cronies in place. They lack leadership qualities, as well proven during their respective stints in Islamabad. Although they have contradictory educational credentials, they are shallow minded characters that have severe limitations of vision and cannot focus on the achieving greater national goals. They are two spoilt brats who have no idea about the miseries and hardships of the common folks. Having lived in the same neighborhood in Lahore as the Sharifs for a long time, this writer had first hand experience of observing how richly the various Sharif families lived and the pomp and show with which they went about their lives. As for Benazir, she's insanely in love with her wealth and has no clue how the man on the street feels
and struggles to make ends meet.

4) Do you think Benazir and Nawaz Sharif will return to Pakistan before 2007 elections?

They don't deserve to! One hopes they are not allowed to enter. Equally, it is hoped that appropriate restrictions are put in place so that their chamchas do not exploit public sentiment, use their names to get votes. There is no need to turn them into heroes.

In conclusion, one wishes Pakistan and Pakistanis all the best in life. All one wants and prays for is the economic uplift and a better standard of life for the have-nots. We got to make Jinnah proud and we got to turn the fortunes of those who have no access to health care, clean drinking water, and who go to sleep at night hungry, not sure
where the next meal will come from. No doubt, needless to say, Benazir and Nawaz are not the answer to our prayers.

Ahson Saeed Hasan

AHSON SAEED HASAN, Pakistan - 09 June, 2006

Democracy a need?

To answer your questions one by one, here are a few submissions that I would like to make:
(Part I)
1) Will the charter of democracy help restore true democracy in Pakistan?

To get a sense of this question, one needs to carefully analyze the role of politicians in Pakistan's history. In almost 60 years of the country's existence, politicians, the so-called, self-proclaimed, 'people's representatives' have looted and plundered the public exchequer in a ruthless manner. At best they've been representatives of their own respective families and friends. And given the fact that there is a complete absence of an accountability process in Pakistan, the politicians have indulged in a merciless financial bloodbath of the treasury on a countless number of occasions. Not that one is trying to defend the military rule, but the question is why has the military been forced to intervene and interrupt the democratic process so many times. Why is that the politicians have been unable to 'behave'? Why is that the politicians from opposing camps have actually 'invited' the military to boot out those running the affairs of the government on more than one occasion? Why would the politicians bring the country to a stage where the army's top brass has been compelled at least 4 times in Pakistan's history to step in and safeguard the national interests? The idea of restoring democracy may indeed sound appealing and perhaps is music to ears of the Western world but does it make any sense to those who have seen and experienced ways of the Bhuttos, the Sharifs and the like? It is better to trade off the savage incompetence, inefficient and rickety ad hoc structures created by the democrats with some effective and decisive governance. Once again, not at all justifying the presence of the military but advocating a concrete system of checks and balances so that going forward Nawaz Sharif,
Benazir Bhutto and their respective mercenaries dare not ever mess around with Pakistan, it's people and the hard earned money of our folks. In short, the charter of democracy is a farce. It may have created some headlines in Pakistani newspapers and ripples in the political circles but beyond that it's just a worthless piece of paper.

2) Rejecting the CoD, General Musharraf says the former premiers want to loot the country again. What do you think about that?

One tends to agree with the General. He may have turned into a politician himself during the half a dozen years of his rule but he does still sound realistic and pragmatic at times! Nawaz and Benazir are probably trying to fool around with the people's emotions, yet again. They know that that the public has a short memory and as it is Pakistan's population is yearning for a change every so often. Musharraf is facing public pressure anyway because of his pro-West and anti-terrorism policies that are absolutely justified and make perfect sense. He is encountered with a major opposition within the army for cracking down on militants. The General's performance vis-à-vis
handling of the economy is concerned may have been dismal, yet, it goes without saying that his war against militancy has placed him on a high pedestal and hence must carryon without any hindrance. What he really needs to do and this might not sound too pleasant, is that he must rid the body politic of the chaudharies, the makhdooms, the sahibzadas, the faqirs, the pirs, the khans and so on. One sincerely hopes that Washington, in addition to pushing the General for dialogue with India and equipping him for the war on terrorism, should also help him out in introducing structural political reforms that would include purging the 'unwanted' elements from the system. What we need is infusion of fresh blood in the body politic, some innovative thinking and 'different' approach to the resolution of our problems.

AHSON SAEED HASAN, Pakistan - 09 June, 2006

I think Pakistan should follow the example of Yugoslavia. Smaller countries are far easier to govern, and the politicians are really answerable to the people.
Moreover I believe the level of nation-building in Pakistan has left a lot to be desired. If after 60 years of independence you cannot solve your ethnic and sectarian differences, then the question is, why is there any need for Pakistan. Pakistan simply gobbles up too much of the budget because of defence "needs". If Pakistan would be divided into four to five countries, there would be no need to throw so much of the money at defence. There will be then sufficient funds for all development activity.
Islamic Fundamentalism has grown in Pakistan because the fundament of Pakistan has been laid on religion, and nothing else. As such, in order to keep the state together, the establishment allows more and more focus on religion, in the end becoming totally fundamentalist. Other richer countries from the Gulf, who have loads of petrodollars can afford that, people of the various provinces of Pakistan cannot, because otherwise they would be thrown back to the middle ages and whole Pakistan would become Taliban country. People of Pakistan, wake up. You have become a big head ache for the whole world. Free yourself from Pakistan and be taken seriously. You cannot hope to become a superpower or be respected as a nuclear power. In trying you have simply become a country with loads of terrorists. As smaller countries, you would at least be finding friends and well-wishers.
When I think of Pakistan, I have neither respect nor fear, only concern. As smaller countries you will have the world's love and protection.

Wilhelm, Georgia - 11 June, 2006

This Country is not the Pakistan any more...

Hi All,
I think everybody must agree to what I am going to say right now. The founder of Pakistan gave democracy and a constitution to a country called Pakistan. But later instead of amending the constitution for good some leaders after him or say some army generals after him not only changed the constitution but also neglected the model of democracy this country had. The only thing they kept was the name of the country. But they kept the city names, the already existing system just because they did not have the guts to change them to there own names. They kept the system because again they had no guts and time to create new system of there own. Now since they just wanted to be a ruler with sole powers they amended the constitution for there own benefit. Now since 1948, the constitution has changed so many times to keep these generals/politicians into power, we can't say that this constitution and system is of original pakistan or any how related to the dream of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. He dreamt something else for Pakistan.

Hasan, United Kingdom - 12 June, 2006

Politics and Corrupt System

Pakistani politicians are really cheap and the reason is they are uneducated and extremely corrupt, they believe in corrupt system and for survival they rely on weak judiciary and powerful law and enforcement agencies. This trend of our political leaders makes Pakistan vulnerable and clueless in terms of democracy or democratic reforms. I think at this stage Musharraf must realize that choosing same people or empowering corrupt families will continue to destroy Pakistan's image and reputation, therefore, it is an immediate issue of concern that we don't welcome thugs and thieves and if they wish to return they must face serious consequences. Musharraf must stay in power but hold only presidency and encourage nation to help him bring true reform. There is lot need to be done but the question is when and how?
This is a serious issue and require serious people to resolve it, we must understand that Pakistan is not a country of bunch of corrupt leaders but this is a home land of 160 millions people, and all of them are being effected the most and also paying the price because of these thieves.
It is quite good news that Pakistan is growing but at the same time we are living without a legal, fair and transparent system and this is something make me worried as a Pakistani. We certainly have the law since 1947 and also our assemblies and military regimes are passing laws and making constitutions on yearly basis but the there is no implementation.
What bothers me the most is we never had a strong, skilled and professional leadership since we came into power. We were quick enough to cheer and clap, wow!!! we made Pakistan and also we were quick to make constitution. You may write anything in the constitution and make any law you want but the real question is, is it implemented?
No, because our leaders were not professional and smart enough to understand that a state must follow the law.
Today we have choice to live with optimism or pessimism or continue to criticize the system or immoral politicians. I strongly urge my fellow Pakistanis to contribute in the development of Pakistan by obeying the law and make sure to elect people who believe in honesty, justice and more importantly those who believe in Pakistan. We certainly can make Pakistan a better place to live and progress through hard work.
Don't rely on corrupt politicians or ignorant mullahs, these are the people who bring bad name to our nation.
We must remember that we suppose to be good example for other cultures and societies.
Zulfiqar A Tanoli United States of America

zulfiqar A Tanoli, United Kingdom - 14 June, 2006

Pakistan a nation in danger

Pakistan has so many problems that none of the past politicians can cure the chronic situation.
While Musharraf offers only an interim solution, he could only do so much to survive.
He cannot deliver relief to the Common man unless he can eliminate the corruption and loot that goes on daily yet the common man suffers. Another factor that derails everything Pakistan does is the extremists and Jehadists who have become a state into themselves. May be Pakistan should turn to become a secular nation. That's what Jinnah had in mind in his first speech to national assembly. In my view the destiny of Pakistan is fully interwined with a separate Subcontinental culture like India. Long term we should move to strenghten SAARC with one common currency and free movement of people with equal rights for all under one secular system. That's the only way to go forward for Pakistanis to re-align Pakistan's future without the mantra of religion coming from the State. Religion is a private matter in which State should play no role nor differentiate between its citizens.

Al Khan, United Kingdom - 18 June, 2006

Charter of Democracy

Nomenclature of 'Charter of Democracy'(COD) must have
been given by some one having sense of humour or
business mind as it reminds me of two terms,
first,'cash on delivery', and second,'collect on
delivery'. Delivery of democracy in this country has
never been a normal one, use of incubators had to be
used. Recently signed COD by two two-time ex-prime
ministers, is a unique document in the whole history
of Pakistan. The persons who have created it are
claiming it openly a big challenge for the incumbent
government but in their heart they are not sure as it
can be guaged from their photographs taken on that
occasion and printed in the newspapers.

On the other hand government spokes-person as well as
politicians siding with the government are publically
under-estimating the document and privately are some
what nervous in their thoughts.

No one is taking it at its face value, either it is
being over-estimated or under-estimated, depending on
which camp you belong. As a common man I don't think
it is going to effect me. Or is it?

Mir Tabassum Mairaj, Pakistan - 18 June, 2006

Democracy needs expertise and coaching

BB and Nawaz Sharif have had their day. They are now history. British Raj had laid foundations of democracy in the sub-continent. The fault line occurred when both prime ministers of India and Pakistan attempted to run their respective countries on a single party rule. Democracy needs an essential opposition party. It should be one and not a mushroom of contradictory grouping. No Government in India and Pakistan has come through a majority vote on the polls. This is not how democracy works. We in Pakistan have a military that at the moment is the last resort to stem corruption and remove a bad polity from power. There should be a balance between civil and military departments. Civilian prime ministers installed puppet COS from the Army to ensure their survival. The Army picked civilian prime minister and his cabinet of its own liking. All this must end.
Britain can assist in streamlining our political system on the British pattern, which suits us. On our own, we lack the perceptions of how to go about this important task. Some salient features of the British pattern are portrayed below:

Sher Mohammad.
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Sher Mohammad, Pakistan - 21 June, 2006

This is to reference of Zulfiqar Tanoli's comments, just for your kind information the founder of Pakistan had this vision of a great nation. He did not have enough time to complete the mission because of careless people. So please just understand that there were and are great people in Pakistan in political fields and working hard for better Pakistan.
You are absolutely right about the system and failure leadership part but I think our assemblies or parliament must work hard establish a good system.

uzma shahid, Pakistan - 21 June, 2006

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