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Pakistan

There is no denying that the erstwhile modernist Pakistani leadership tried to make Pakistan both democratic and Islamic, but no constitutional formula could find the proper balance

 

A society aiming at genuine inclusion needs to make sure that its youth participate in all its affairs, views of the young people are included in development affairs, youth develop leadership skills and young people become active participants in the political process so that they can have their representatives for running state affairs. Pakistani youth have either remained marginalised or not played an active role in the political process for many years. This is largely due to institutional and policy constraints of the state, frequent military interventions since the inception of Pakistan, lack of political stability, and the rule of dictatorship in political parties that hinders youth from taking part in national politics.

 

The question of Pakistan’s viability as a state is at least as old as the country itself. Recently a sobering article written by a former American ambassador to Pakistan has reignited the question and left many wondering whether Pakistan’s “long-term trajectory is toward failure”. The ambassador belongs to the camp that sees Pakistan as moving inexorably towards failure, and urges the world community and regional neighbours to start “thinking about the political and strategic implications of an accelerated decline toward state failure” in the nuclear-armed country.

 

The returning officer’s decision to reject Ayaz Amir’s nomination papers should be a wake up call, instead of blaming the poor returning officer who was taught by the state never to question the idea that Pakistan was created in the name of Islam. Now we blame the returning officer for rejecting what he has been taught to reject? Liberalism, pluralism, secularism, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, all these fine ideas militate against the manufactured and concocted ideology of Pakistan.

 

The constitution of Pakistan through Article 62 has prescribed certain qualifications for the persons aspiring to become members of the legislatures. In this regard clause (f) of the article is the most significant of all the listed qualifications. According to this clause no person shall be qualified to be elected or chosen as member of Majli-e-Shoora unless ‘he is sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, honest and ameen, there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law’. 

 

In the run-up to the 2013 elections two cynical terms are oft repeated by some politicians and, unfortunately, by a large section of media. These terms are ‘muk mukka’ (meaning a deal between the two parties, with the connotation of an underhand deal between the two parties) and a similar term ‘noora kushti’ (meaning a fixed fight). These terms are used frivolously to describe any understanding reached between the recently dissolved government coalition and the opposition. The third oft repeated positive term — change or tabdeeli has been added by Imran Khan, who also uses the cynical terms freely to denigrate Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s role as opposition.

 


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