Democracy versus dictatorship

Published: June 10, 2010
Javed Chaudhry hosts Kal Tak on Express News. (

Javed Chaudhry hosts Kal Tak on Express News. (

A woman called me and started crying over the phone. She said she had been collecting money for the last five years so that her mother could perform hajj but each time the government increased the cost; this year the increase was by Rs38,000. She said that this was her mother’s last wish but now it seems it would remain unrealised. “If my mother dies without performing hajj, I will send the money to the prime minister and ask him to spend it on his protocol instead.”

I trembled with fear because I know Allah is very close to the hearts of the poor and He listens to the plight of the oppressed.

Another call I received was from Mansehra. Khalid Mehmood said he was a poor carpenter. However, his business was booming and prosperity knocked at his door during Pervez Musharraf’s days. Good food to eat and his children admitted to good schools. “Then I was told Musharraf is a dictator, an American agent and against Islam and Pakistan so I also shouted: ‘Go Musharraf, go’ with other people”. The democratic government came followed by slump and poverty. No money to pay the school fee, or for petrol or the utility bills. “The worst dictatorship is better than the best democracy. Please keep your democracy and return me the dictatorship.” Again I shuddered — since I like democracy but I could see that it had not delivered.

The last call was from Karachi. It was different and more interesting.

The man on the other end of the line said that Pakistan has had four military dictators: Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf. All four left the corridors of power with full protocol and their lives ended honourably. Ayub and Musharraf left the presidency with guards of honour. Musharraf is enjoying a relaxing time in London and Ayub had spent his last days on a rocking chair comfortably in his lawn. Yahya Khan’s coffin was wrapped in the Pakistan flag and was given a salute. As for Zia, when he died, the eyes of the entire nation were full of tears on his death.

Contrary to that the end of democratic leaders was not good. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged and only a couple of prisoners participated in his funeral prayers. He was buried in the darkness of the night. Two of the Benazir’s governments were dismissed disgracefully and no one came out in her support. She met a tragic death. Nawaz Sharif was arrested along with his family and was exiled. Ninety per cent of his party men betrayed him. Chaudhry Shujaat and Pervaiz Elahi currently are in search of face-saving as well.

Why is it that in Pakistan dictators often do not meet unfortunate ends while democratically-elected leaders do?

“The answer is the state of poor common people” the man said. They lived better lives, filled with less pain, and they had food and medicine and this was during the time dictators were in power. As for democratic leaders instead of providing ‘roti, kapra aur makan’ for the people, they deprived them of these things and this only increased their troubles. That is why, the man said, ordinary people prayed for dictators.

“If the present rulers do not understand this point and do not wipe the tears of the poor people, the same thing will happen again.”

And then the call dropped.

Published in the Express Tribune, June 10th, 2010.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (61)

  • Assad Khan
    Jun 10, 2010 - 12:46AM

    its because each time a dictator leaves ‘honourably’ as you so put it, they have left the country in tatters waiting for democrats to clean the mess up. i might point out that musharrafs economy was a bubble. zia gave us the taliban. yahya dismembered our country and ayub created the massive gulf between the rich and the poor (and also had a hand in the murder of fatima jinnah). I might also point out that the three prime ministers were killed by the army. politicians for all their flaws arent as vindictive. Recommend

  • Ammar Zafarullah
    Jun 10, 2010 - 2:03AM

    As per this news report:

    The increase in Hajj fare is 6000 RS so I am not sure if the increase in 38,000 Rs!

    Qoute “As for Zia, when he died, the eyes of the entire nation were full of tears on his death”

    Now I was what 7 years old? when Zia rehmat ul Alia passed away, I never knew the whole nation was so devastated yet PPP won the next elections right! must have been Zia’s sympathy vote !

    Despite of all of this we can’t question Chuadry shaib or argue since he does not offer any perspective this article is simply a narration!

    Could the ET also give credit to the person who translates these columns? Recommend

  • abid
    Jun 10, 2010 - 3:11AM

    Why don’t you take a few calls from Fata and Balochistan and you will know the difference between the democracy and dictatorshipRecommend

  • Jun 10, 2010 - 4:02AM

    It is really nice to see Jawed Sir’s piece here. He is really an inspiration for people like me.

    It is really a point of concern. But here we have to see the level of privilege. Democratic governments have overconfidence that they are being elected by people and they know how slave these voters are under the pressures of caste system, Feudal field, blind loyalty etc, so majority of elected representatives are even not bother to work for people. Military rulers have no other options than putting something on board to morally prove them justified. But the biggest question is the role of PAKISTANI NATION. Are we only there to see the show, sometimes crying, sometimes smiling? Who are we? Are we saying that if British government could offer us great living opportunities in 1947 so we never had to propose for a separate homeland? I think today we have to sit and think in order rather than emotions. Democracy, dictatorship are far inferior, WE ARE OUR OWN & SMARTEST SOLUTION. Let us not forget that our beloved prophet Muhammad S.A.W. lived three years in hunger among mountains for a cause of liberty, justice and freedom from oppressors. Being a nation we have to set priorities. At the moment priority must be Freedom, Rule of People and rule of law things shall come in order InshaAllah. Dictatorship and Democracy are more terms in our country otherwise a specific class of people have made it two sides of one coin. True democracy is still in line in Pakistan and this can only be there when we will pace ourselves to the houses of power. Being a nation we are in deplorable condition so no bother to take risk of planting a new future of our generations to come. Struggle, struggle and struggle and then people shall go on Hajj, all children shall go to school and whoever commit crime shall face disgraceful end even if he distributed gold to people.Recommend

  • Shahid
    Jun 10, 2010 - 6:02AM

    In 2006, the Hajj fare was increased by 20%. May I ask the moralist Javed Chaudhry to present his column from back then? Also he revealed his true self in his talk show in the fistfight with Senator Abidi.Recommend

    Jun 10, 2010 - 6:10AM

    lol…@uncle sargam

    anyways the general criterion of any nation growing and becoming developed is dictatorship which has been proven by most east asian economies. Over time these regimes switch to a more democratic setup

    Most european economies were also run by monarchs when they were growing and becoming economic powers. Once countries reach a particular level of development they switch to democracy.

    Malaysia and Singapore are also an example of another country run in a dictatorial manner. On the other hand Indonesia is a country which switched to democracy a little too soon. Recommend

  • Washane Bugti
    Jun 10, 2010 - 6:49AM

    The reason for this may well be because we as a nation are timid and weak against usurpers and fail to notice and take into account all their wrongdoings (read raping the country), and by the time the politicians come to clean up the mess we tend to vent our anger of the past and present situation on them.
    All of a sudden everyone from the ordinary Joe to the media and to the Judiciary becomes active who were until very recently all quiet and timid, suddenly start flexing their muscles and suddenly their patience for a 5 year government also starts running out.Recommend

  • aadi
    Jun 10, 2010 - 7:34AM

    ya that column is really good and its based onbRecommend

  • Spinkane
    Jun 10, 2010 - 8:10AM

    I trembled with fear because I know Allah is very close to the hearts of the poor.Mr.Javed, don’t you want”Allah to be close to your heart”?Instead of trembling with fear,you should donate all your wealth to needy people,become poor,and close to Allah.Please do not mislead the poor people.Recommend

  • Jun 10, 2010 - 8:35AM

    The sad reality is that Pakistan has had more of its share of corrupt military dictators and corrupt politicians. Those in power have made laws to facilitate corruption, transfer funds abroad and promote bureaucrats with a history of financial wrongdoings. Not a single precedent exists, where a single high profile individual has been punished, his illegally acquired assets confiscated, because those in power want to indulge in corruption themselves. Estimates that almost Rs600 Billion to 800 Billion are pilfered annualy, should explain our huge deficit. More loans are acquired to make available foreign exchange for money laundering, instead of bridging the deficit gap and kick start the economy. Our foreign remittances are just wiped out to facilitate the few. Just look at the arguments of those involved in Punjab Bank scam. Common robbers have to surrender whatever has been stolen, yet undergo punishment as per law. Those responsible for robbing the Punjab Bank want to be let off without any punishment, just because they are willing to surrender part of their loot. No wonder corruption has been institutionalized in Pakistan by the powerful establishment and ruling elite.Recommend

  • Syed Slaman Ali
    Jun 10, 2010 - 9:07AM

    We need to increase the education/awareness level in General Public, then only the Democracy can get success. Recommend

  • Ghafar Ali
    Jun 10, 2010 - 10:08AM

    My dear Poor countrymmen

    As you had heard it time and again that “Democracy is the best revenge” so in reality it is a revenge from the poor for electing the feduals and industrialists.

    So be patient and elect, if you were alive at that tims by chance, these professional leaders in the next election once again. Please don’t curse our ‘democratic’ rulers curse yourself for electing them.Recommend

  • saba
    Jun 10, 2010 - 10:37AM

    I believe in democracy, because it releases the energies of every human being. Recommend

  • Jun 10, 2010 - 11:42AM

    This article, as mentioned above is surely a narration, not really a column in which Mr Chaudhry expresses himself openly.

    However, one thing that needs to be understood is that in Pakistan, routine failures of civilian administration and the way civilians messed up with the military’s hierarchy time and again for political purposes, had provided the grounds for the military to stage martial laws.

    Who the hell in the world convinced Mr Bhutto and Mr Sharif that Generals Zia-UL-Haq and Pervez Musharraf would be their lapdogs who would dance to their tunes at will??

    It was surely Mr Sharif’s failure to understand Pakistan’s history that led to his appointment of General Musharraf as Army Chief. He should have known it before hand that his spate with the army with regards to the appointments and portfolios he handed over to General Ziauddin and the fallout from the Kargil conflict would have cost him heavily, which it did. Under Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, all what Pakistan had seen was a general climb up the ladders of corruption.

    For those who say that Mr Sharif and Ms Bhutto were not allowed to govern properly, I should raise this question that what do they have to say about the idea that despite having much freedom to govern in his second term, why was it so that no new schools, major hospitals or universities were established across Pakistan under the supervision of his government?

    Same question goes for the Benazir governments and the current PPP government as well. Why do people not realize that it was under Ms Bhutto’s leadership that her father’s legacy was being damaged and destroyed??

    I am not a key supporter of dictatorships, but the fact is that yes, Pakistan’s economy has generally been more buoyant and progressive under military rule, than when we had self serving civilians in power.

    The rise of the Taliban, the rise of home grown extremism, total collapse of the economy under civilian rule, are all indicative about a failure of our politicians and have nothing much to do with military planners and soldiers who are never educated and taught to think from a governance and strategic point of view. Recommend

  • Ammar
    Jun 10, 2010 - 11:46AM

    I would like to ask the writer, where he gets these Urdu columns translated in to English. The translator must be a very good English writer. Why admirers of dictators repeat dictators’ mistakes. Remember In The Line Of Fire is said to be translated by a very senior journalist. Writer seems following the footsteps of the out gone dictator :)Recommend

  • hafeez
    Jun 10, 2010 - 1:09PM

    we need democracy however it is, loadshedding and inflation is the product of last dictatorship. politicains are not angels but far better than militray dictators. some media persons, tv anchors are trying to malign and defame the democracy and they have infuluence on urban middle class but dont have roots in common public. let the democracy to work, it will take time to getting the issues settle. let the govt to do work for its elected tenure and if someone doesnt like then reject in next election. dont blame democracy. javed chaudry you can create good stories well with fake facts and figures because he know no one will even try to authenticate it and doing it since many years.

    Let the democray to work… Recommend

  • Mohsin
    Jun 10, 2010 - 1:16PM

    Though i’m a constant reader of columns of Javed Ch. But i don’t like his translation approach that he uses for his columns in Urdu ‘nd English papers. I don’t know what he should do … Or may be he is right ‘nd only i’ve to read his column two time. ;-)Recommend

  • Nasim Yousuf
    Jun 10, 2010 - 1:56PM

    Plz discuss this in yr show today, jawad!
    I am a student of economics i have come across many economists of local & international repute, who all agreed that democracy is the best form governance but they are all on the the same frequency when it comes to the dictators rule and appraise them of their economic policies, be it Ayub khan, Zia-ul-haq or Musharaf, they say that their ideal economic leaders were dictators because they had very good econmic managers & goods team members who managed the country better because of their consistant policies & long regimes of rule than so called political leaders such as Bhutto, Junejo, Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif, Zardari + Gillani.Recommend

  • RW
    Jun 10, 2010 - 1:59PM

    As for his ‘fistfight’ with PPP’s Abidi, i’m glad he did what he did. If it were u or me, bogged down by hiked expenses and increasing inflation, finding a political worker lounging in PC for a year and a half on ‘company’ money (thats a farce and u knw it, its our taxes and OUR money) we probably would have become the angry mob ourselves.Recommend

  • Raheel
    Jun 10, 2010 - 2:44PM

    Dictatorship as I believe is a law over and above the actual law (constitution) that makes these politicians understand the values. In other words DADA RAAJ is the word that truly describe Dictatorship. In every national of the world there are bad people and obviously danda raaj is necessary to give them right direction and live. Constitution is for institutions, law enforcement agencies are for people, but who is there for corrupt politicians?? Do you think its democracy itself. DEMOCRACY IS A FAILURE SYSTEM GUYS.. for God sake.. this word is also given by American to us so that they can rule through their choice. The only solution to our problems is a DANDA RAAJ (Dictatorship) to stop corruption from these politicians and give relief to a common man.

    Musharraf is still living in a small flat in London, he doesn’t have Surry Mahal or properties in London or US. He is starting his own party because he know that he will get a role in future once people will understand the difference between these feudal politicians and the true leader. Recommend

  • Muhammad Zeeshan
    Jun 10, 2010 - 2:51PM

    This is very easy to understand. Democratic system is failing again and again in Pakistan because it comes without the consent of the people. The consent is only used in established cities of Pakistan like karachi, Lahore and islamabad. 80 percent of the votes out of which 66 percent used to bring the prime minister comes from rural areas where jageerdar and wadeera are literally purchased by political parties – waderaz who rule the fate of an innocent farmer.

    Unfortunately because of the lack of education, those farmers still think they are the servants and God has created them this way, and their children and grand children all are destined to be slaves of these masters.

    Haven’t we seen the case of Jamshed Dasti recently – the secret behind PM Gilani’s support was this that he wanted to keep this jageerdar in power. Recommend

  • Zulfiqar Haider
    Jun 10, 2010 - 2:54PM

    Dictators lack the very soul of governance; in our case they come from a military background, with better fighting skills than governance, so we better keep things straight and leave the governance for the civilians, because they know their job.Recommend

  • Mansoor Khalid
    Jun 10, 2010 - 3:07PM

    This all is true but we must understand that democracy in Pakistan has always come at crucial points. We cannot accept it to deliver in 3-5 years. It’s a process which can take decades for people to get used to it.Recommend

  • Ammar Rashid
    Jun 10, 2010 - 3:39PM

    So the dictators lived and exited comfortably and ‘with full protocol’ because they kept the poor people happy? Not, heaven forbid, because they had the institutional and military might of the Army, the subservience of other state institutions and the political and financial support of the United States at their disposal?

    We never learn in this country, do we? Barely two years down and we’re back to the age-old tradition of glorifying and romanticizing military rulers based on the most tenuous evidence imaginable.

    Case in point: Yahya’s body was wrapped in a Pakistan flag, while Bhutto was summarily executed, ergo, military rulers are more ‘respected’??? the same Army that judicially murdered the first elected leader of this country was the one that gave the genocidal tyrant Yahya a state funeral.

    We truly need to work, in this country, on separating the valid critique of democratic governance from unwarranted and ill-informed aggrandizement of military rule. Recommend

  • Saif M
    Jun 10, 2010 - 4:38PM

    “As for Zia, when he died, the eyes of the entire nation were full of tears on his death.”

    I don’t know what Mr. Chaudhry means by “the entire nation”, but I distinctly remember the day when Zia died. I was in Abu Dhabi watching a squash game in the sports club of Hilton hotel. There were 30-40 people in the club, some watching the games, others gossiping and sipping their drinks. A large number of them were Pakistanis. A waiter whispered the news of Zia’s death in a Pakistani’s ear. The Pakistani announced the news to the room. Another Pakistani shouted to the bartender: “A round of drinks for everybody in the room. On me!”
    If ever I saw a group of people openly rejoicing on any one’s death, it was there that evening.

    Mr. Chaudhry’s stories sounds like they are made up to draw the conclusions he wants to draw and propagate. Recommend

  • tayyab jan
    Jun 10, 2010 - 4:41PM

    when musharaf regime came to an end he said that the people of pakistan will remember me we by musharaf these arguments.but musharaf was true and now he is remembered by many people of pakistan.we are compelled to say that worst dictatorship is better than best democracy.Recommend

  • Shahid
    Jun 10, 2010 - 4:47PM

    I think this gentleman plans to join Musharraf’s political party. I am surprised by his lack of understanding what dictatorship did to the Islamic Republic. God bless you Pakistan!Recommend

  • Jun 10, 2010 - 5:41PM

    Sad but true. More and more the Musharruf years are looking like the Good old days. What a slap to the face of democracy. Recommend

  • tayyab jan
    Jun 10, 2010 - 6:36PM

    dear shahid i have no plan to jion musharaf i only mean that his regime was better than whats going on today .Recommend

  • Amjad Mehboob
    Jun 10, 2010 - 6:55PM

    I used to think that dictatorship is the worst style of Government.But i have to change my mind in due to this so called democratic Government.They said true.They are taking revenge from us who have voted them and brought them in power.Of course it is our collective sin so that is why we are paying for it.Recommend

  • dani
    Jun 10, 2010 - 7:13PM

    dear sir
    all of us know that all the problems are due to corruption we can sole all by reducing corruption and they both armed and civil leaders are corrupt other wise increase in fair is not a big deal but this type of economy its uff for the poor peoples they both govt and opposition are playing with poor peoples its a time to spread the education but unfortunately it is an other industry it is time to take dission to leave both system and our GREAT leaders. Recommend

  • Rehan Ali
    Jun 10, 2010 - 9:29PM

    Pakistan of formative years, the tender orphan, was rich in committed human resource barred with institutional infrastructure, fell prey to power thirsty generals, feudals and industrialists. The later had lands and money at their disposal while the former leveraged their institutional strengths to seize power.

    Common objectives unified the cohorts through alliances, marriages and inductions. Unwilling to share their power with anyone, they ploy against other institutions such as judiciary, police, treasury and other regulators and checked their progress, spiraling them the later to decline.

    So be it democracy or dictatorship the plight of Pakistan and Pakistanis continues but yes it is more visible during democracies. Recommend

  • Masood Akhtar
    Jun 10, 2010 - 11:04PM

    Ordinary people can’t understand the gravity of pakistan politics, especially the wrong direction set by General Zia–something we are faciing today in the form of fanatics and suicidal Taliban. If Musharaf could dare to challenge Zia’s legacy, whether out of his own choice or compelled by circumstances, he did a great… job to the nation..something that can’t be expected of a poltician. Not to speak of his planning of develpment projects and educational growth not matched in the history of pakistan after and before him. The dirty politics of pakistan make even great leader down on many fronts. Something can be taken for granted, especially when we talk in terms of comparison with other leaders in pakistan.Recommend

  • wasiqa
    Jun 10, 2010 - 11:43PM

    great article true feelings of a common man. we need Musharraf back he can save our country he take Pakistan to the top.Recommend

  • Altaf
    Jun 11, 2010 - 12:52AM

    Dear Readers, for God’s sake wake up and smell the coffee. Stop making generalization about dictatorship and democracy. Does anyone of you know that democracy has no place in Islam. And even if we accept it for the sake of argument, then its definelty not what west has put in place for itself. Our so called great democractic leaders have nothing at stake for Pakistan. Money, kids, business all are located outside the country. Shameless bunch of idiots who would not resign no matter whatever befalls this nation. Look at India, u wont find such amazing qualities in indian politicians. Musharraf had rid this country of IMF. The moment these cronies came to power, businessmen lost faith and ran for their life. Capital flight took place and we left high and dry. Go outside and talk to the poor then ull know how bad the situation is for a poor man who is living on Rs 170 per day. We dont feel the pinch as badly coz we sit in our homes on our laptops making online comments and nothing more. PPl want bread and jobs not sham democracy. U talk abt giving these buggers time, then give them time and let them rob this country of all its resources and send us all to hell.. remember one last thing. The only institution that lives and dies for our dear country is the PAK ARMY and thts what saves it each time otherwise yeh politicians noooch kay kha gay hotay is mulk ko.Recommend

  • syed ali salman
    Jun 11, 2010 - 1:45AM

    after reading this article i must say that our rulers belong to opulent class they can never ever feel the the pain and agony of denizens of this embarrassing and pity thing is for this country that leaders came to power just for their motives instead of serving attitude with the title of musalman. After the death of QUAID E AZAM.khawaja nazim udin,ghulam mohammed ,muhammed ali bogra,chief justice munir famous for doctorine of necessity,a band of lawyers,judges,army generals etc every one till now causing destruction to this country.OH ALLAH you are only hope for this country…………….Recommend

  • Shahryar Ahmed
    Jun 11, 2010 - 9:49AM

    Well said: Mahatir & Mr Lee of Singapore is the best example.

    Democracy releases energies of ppl, but all negative. Wasn’t the last dictator the one who allowed everyone to express their views against him, did any other dictator did? I don’t think so, then why the hell we call him a dictator?

    My 1 last question to all democratic people, Who takes a decision (Bad or Good) in any organization/corporate in the world? In most of the cases CEO with the consent of the board, correct me if am wrong. Isn’t that dictatorial? At times & in many organizations boards are just as good as rubber stamps. Does all organization asks all its share holders for every decision? I don’t think so.

    Decision is are & will be taken by 1 person only sitting at the top, good or bad he has to stand up to his decision. That is what the last dictator did, he owed up to his bad decision many times, which nowadays our democratic leaders don’t.

    Let’s forget all are biases & think rationally.Recommend

  • Ghafar Ali
    Jun 11, 2010 - 10:09AM

    We do not like Musharraf but at the sametime we also don’t like these guys to run the State like their personal fiefdoms.Recommend

  • Hamza Khan
    Jun 11, 2010 - 10:39AM

    Musharaf actually was a person just for his mean. nothing else
    he was frend with america to make his position strong here in pakistan… his other thoughts and decions were good and favourable to pakistan

  • Stranger
    Jun 11, 2010 - 11:21AM

    Musharaf Zindabad
    Pakistan PaendabadRecommend

  • Khalid
    Jun 11, 2010 - 12:03PM

    i dont know people says tht time “go musharaf go” coz at tht time pakistan was rise in everything…from economic point of view to normal poor man..federal Gov to local gov..!
    dont know y our nation deny tht ..! its a fact its a reality ..! see ritenow ..whts going on in every gov depart ..first of all wher is goverment ..i cant see ..! they just collecting (maal-e-ganemat)looting the country with both hands..!
    m just say Allah Save Pakistan ..!
    80% silent pakistani wants Pres.Musharaf back..!Recommend

  • Dr. Altaf ul Hassan
    Jun 11, 2010 - 12:49PM

    Mr. Chaudhry,despite having so many reservations with the so-called free electronic and print media of our beloved country I must see it flourishing more and more due to only one reason if some one asks me.Reason is very simple.It has very mercilessly exposed and is going to expose further so many pseudointellectulas like you present in media who might be having some of their face-value before they became the anchorpersons of TV channels.I feel regretful to state that you might have earned a lot in terms of money after becoming an anchorperson but you cant even guess the loss you have sufferred from by no body else but yourself in terms of your reputation as an open-minded journalist and as far as your intellectual calibre is concerned.Your present image is nothing but of a querrlsome luddite partysan anchorperson who might be defending the vested interests of some others for some very cheap purposes at the cost of your professional repute.I feel sorry to expect such an insane attitude from you as you have disappointed so many people by engaging yourself in fistfight with Senator Faisal Raza Abidi in your talk-show.I feel that if you totally lack the abilities to reconsider any more and continue like this in your talk-shows and go on wrting articles like this one,you will be left nothing as an intellectul but a lot of money in your bank account.As a very sincere well wisher I dont like to see your talent being spoiled in this world of “free market economy”.I dont think you have learnt some lesson at the Nimaz-e-Jinaza gathering of late Mr. Irshad Ahmad Haqani,althougn you also wrote a column on this subject on the very next morning.Recommend

  • sunny
    Jun 11, 2010 - 1:13PM

    plzz Back MusharafRecommend

  • imran
    Jun 11, 2010 - 2:52PM

    i always belev that musharraf time was de bestime in pakistan ever in history.politicians always make fool to a common jahil man who dont nething.b4 our country litracy rate goes to 70 % they dont desereve democracy.Recommend

  • Faryal Tahir
    Jun 11, 2010 - 3:44PM

    I would give credit to Musharraf for unlocking the mouths of these journalists turned anchor-celebrities. His column is as useful as Zardari’s way to control the power crisis by switching off all unnecessary lights in presidency.Recommend

  • Usman E.
    Jun 11, 2010 - 6:21PM

    Listen people! this is Pakistan not Athens.
    Here democracy means, GOVT. OF THE RICH, BY THE RICH, FOR THE RICH.
    Poor will remain poor and rich will become more rich, weather its DICTATORSHIP or DEMOCRACY.

    The best and the most balanced system was told us 1400 years back. Now I
    its time to try something else.

    Good Luck!emphasized textRecommend

  • Save Pakistan
    Jun 11, 2010 - 10:04PM

    It looks like again we are in need of Musharraf as we were in 1999.
    Pakistan ka Khuda he HafizRecommend

  • Bangash
    Jun 11, 2010 - 10:13PM

    Pakistani politicians are most effective when they are out of power, screaming against dictatorship and emotionally motivating people by showing them lush gardens if civilians come to power. But when civilians actually get in the hot seat they are clueless as to what to do.Recommend

  • Aariz Memon
    Jun 12, 2010 - 1:04AM

    Mr. Chaudry suggest a system to Pakistan please. We see no working here :PRecommend

  • Danish Butt
    Jun 12, 2010 - 11:23AM

    well i think we dont have any sense whom to vote n whom not nd datz da reason y democracy has failed in our country. So i m in the favor of dictatorships. Plus there is no concept of democracy in islam. It always talks about Khilafat. So we should think n gain some knowlege about what islam n quran says about democracy b4 posting any comments. Recommend

  • Malik Tabeer
    Jun 12, 2010 - 1:39PM

    I will go for President Musharraf Recommend

  • jaffar khan
    Jun 12, 2010 - 2:42PM

    UNCLE SARGAM,is an expert at misguiding and misleading,the so called degree holders, but mentally uneducated,urban middle class people.The stories from history ,he narrates, are based on myths,half truths,lies,taken from fiction like Nasim Hijazi’s novels.Recommend

  • Kashif Khan
    Jun 12, 2010 - 5:05PM

    You cannot appoint a sheep to mind a herd of clueless sheep. You need a man with a stick to do the job.Recommend

  • Yasmeen Ali
    Jul 6, 2010 - 8:24AM

    Please read my article on the subject”
    Yasmeen Ali

  • Yasmeen Ali
    Jul 6, 2010 - 11:50AM

    The term “democracy “, like many other terms is often abused and misused. The classic debate one hears is a discussion on the merits and demits of democracy vs dictatorship. A definition of both needs to be made to clear the cobwebs.

    The term “democracy”, comes from the Greek: d?mokratía meaning thereby “rule of the people”. Even though there is no specific, universally accepted definition of ‘democracy’, there are two principles that any definition of democracy includes: equality and freedom. These principles are reflected in all citizens being equal before the law and having equal access to power, and the freedom of its citizens is secured by legitimized rights and liberties which are generally protected by a constitution.

    This explanation raises many questions: Do our political parties within their cadre, allow it’s workers equal access to power? Can a worker within a party structure has the opportunity to rise to the status of the Chairperson of that party, in due course of time? Lady Warsi’s appointment as Conservative Party Chairperson and a full cabinet minister reflects on the progress the UK has made in terms of maturity in their political sphere. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, we remain stuck in the groove of dynastic dynamics and have not progressed from this point in over 62 years of our history.

    From PPP to PML N to ANP to MQM and PML N and all shades of parties in between, we see the mantle of leadership being worn by the one who originated the party, and much like a family heirloom passed on from one generation to the other. Is this the much touted democratic order ?Where is the democracy WITHIN the party cadres themselves? Is heredity to determine who heads the party and merit to be ignored? When heredity becomes the corner stone of the political parties, this in turn inevitably leads to sycophancy and appointment by favoritism, not merit. There is no accountability within the party from those who purport to lead the party.

    The second part of the definition deals with the right of citizens that is protected by the Constitution. These rights are determined from Articles 8 to Article 28 in the Constitution and deal with various rights of the citizen of Pakistan, for example, Article 25 professes that all citizens are equal before law and have a right to equal protection of law. Article 14 deals with inviolability of dignity of man and subject to law, in privacy of his home is inviolable, so on and so forth. However, words on a piece of paper without implementation loses any standing whatsoever, of any kind. And history proves, these Fundamental Rights are generally not respected.

    Many think “elections” is synonymous with “democracy”. I am often told that once the system is “allowed to continue” it will lead to a “better democracy”. Those advocating this thought process fail to appreciate, that there are elections is a step only in the process of democracy, it is not democracy itself.

    Democracy is a method of deciding who shall rule. It does not determine the morality of the resulting government. At best, democracy means that government has popular support. But popular support is no guarantee that government will protect your freedom. While democracy doesn’t guarantee either freedom or peace, there are many historical examples of societies that didn’t have either elections or legislatures, but in which people’s rights were strongly protected. Examples include the American Colonies before the Revolutionary War ,the American West in the 19th Century, where violence was on a ratio of one to ten of what it is in large U.S. cities today ,many cantons in Switzerland today which have little government … and the nations of Andorra and Monaco.

    On the other hand is the much abhorred term , “dictator”. The term is used to define a ruler who assumes sole and absolute power (sometimes but not always with military control) but without hereditary ascension such as an absolute monarch.

    However does this mean, that leaders who repeatedly come to power through national elections, and without first conducting party elections, which is the first rung of the ladder, and once assuming power, become all powerful and discriminatory are democrats at hearts? Or are they dictators in the real sense of the word, as they maintain a dictatorship role within the party cadre and once in power, fail to fulfill the requirements of the term “democracy”?

    To achieve a free and peaceful world, we must restore freedom and individual liberty, not democracy.

    In the current day scenario, with inflation that has sky rocketed, terrorism, power outrage, non availability of opportunities to improve one’s lot, is it not important to have a man(or a woman) who DELIVERS? Till when do we have to beat the drum of “democracy” thrust on us by vested interest groups?

    The first step that must be taken is to conduct in-party elections on every three yearly basis. However, merit must govern, not heredity. No one, must be allowed to contest more than twice for a party seat. The same must hold good for the MNA and MPA elections as well.

    Unless and until we appreciate that elections are means to an end, and, not an end in itself, unless and until we appreciate that those who come in power are there to serve not to be served, and, unless and until we appreciate that no system can deliver till it consists of people with a will to serve its people, Pakistan shall continue to flounder.

    I am reminded here of Aristotle: “If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.”Recommend

  • Gulkhaiz
    Jul 29, 2010 - 6:45PM

    Yasmeen Ali has written a nice article. I would like to add that, “democracy is a system which is based on consensus developed by equal participation and opportunities to all in all spheres of nation building.In this system the national resources are utilized through consensus, for the benefit of all.The bed rock of the system is independent judiciary”.Therefore it is irrelevant to discuss as to who rules us. Both army and civil flout basic laws. The first casulty is always independence of judiciary,consequently rest of the system becomes ineffective.However the fact is that under army rule economic condition of masses are little better because of better law and order situation. If we want Pakistan to develop we must correct our fundamentals.Which unde present political milieu is a far cry. Recommend

  • Yasmeen Ali
    Jul 29, 2010 - 7:15PM

    Thank you Gulkaiz.The article was carried by Pakistan Observer. I share link of my blog. Do visit. The distinction is,articles are selective & writers take questions from the readers ie Gareth Porter, Gordon Duff,etc.
    You will find it exciting.
    Best Rgds

  • Shahid Ashraf
    Aug 18, 2010 - 1:55PM

    Yes, politicians went “disgracefully” as you put in! but they are alive in the hearts of people!!! ZAB and Benazir both are now officially called martyred and each year millions of people visit their mosuleum to pay homeage to them. ZAB’s party despite all oppressions and force is still the country’s largest political party and today it is ruling the government!
    While nobody takes names of those four general except for some cynicals like you! And whoever names them names them with disrespect and remember them for the loss they’ve brought for the country!!!Recommend

  • Mansoor H Khan
    Aug 25, 2010 - 11:35PM

    Pakistan needs a dictator…as blatantly simple as that and in the meantime West needs to shut its borders. As painful as it may seem, reality is harsh and should be harder upon us as we’re the core cause of all.
    Zia-ul-Haq was a true mard-e-momin and we should have had, if so, a democratic leader to follow his lead and USA would never been able to penetrate the way its doing now. West used to quote to under-developed countries during Ayub Khan’s term that third-world nations should follow his ways.
    But our nation, being fakeishly ignorant and trying to be liberal in the name of moderation that they blame Taliban for all yet don’t closely observe that all this is instigated by the 3 countries nexus…rest is for the wise to think

  • Naseem Haider Syed
    Aug 28, 2010 - 3:19PM

    Dictator ship or Feudal Coated Democracy!!!
    Feudal brand Democracy is not suitable for Pakistan till feudal system & poor literacy rate exist… Fake degree holders grab high profile post in feudal coated Democracy. Land lord / feudal become more power full & occupy the reserved seats for women of parliament in feudal brand Democracy. As Hari and agriculture men have no right to cast the vote against feudal wish due to illiteracy and bound ness.
    Britain and India have better democracy, but after 60 years still Pakistan couldn’t distance from feudal coated brand democracy!!!Recommend

  • Farooq K. Qazi
    Aug 29, 2010 - 4:10AM

    The system is the same whether its democracy or dictatorship. What we need to think about is how can we get rid of this corrupt capitalistic system. Bring in any angle to be the head of state in this system (democracy or dictatorship) and any Mulk-ul-Mout as the head of justice. They will also get corrupted for sure.

    We do not need Democracy as its an illusion. We do not need dictatorship. Capitalism, Socialism and Communism have all failed. What had prevailed for centuries should be reinstated and tried out. Who knows that might work for us. Maybe we should let either the americans to run us as their colony or let the taliban teach us a lesson under their leadership.Recommend

More in Opinion