Pakistan’s roller coaster ride of Democracy
United Nations General Assembly, in a resolution, decided to celebrate 15 September of every year as International Democracy Day. The aim of the day was to promote freedom of expression and freedom of living.
The theme of International Democracy Day 2014 is to make the new generation a part of democratic systems. Secretary General of United Nations Ban ki-Moon, in a special message on the day, said that efforts have to be made for making the youth a part in the ongoing democratic systems across the world.
The government of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) became the first elected government in the history of Pakistan that completed its full tenure and transferred the power to the next elected government through general elections in 2013. Earlier, no political government in Pakistan ever completed its constitutional term.
It should be noted that pro-democratic parties in the country have raised their voices for democracy against military regimes and totalitarian governments of Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Zia-ul-Haq and Pervez Musharraf. Leaders including Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto sacrificed their lives in struggle for democracy.
The controversial Article 58-2(B), which gave the President power to dismiss the elected Prime Minister and dissolve the Parliament, was used many times in decade of 90s during which governments of Benazir Bhutto and the current Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif failed to complete their constitutional terms of office. The 18th amendment in the constitution has abbrogated that controversial clause from the constitution.
The question of whether democracy will work in the country is widely debatable in Pakistan and still it has mixed responses from the masses.
On this day, seminars and special programs are being held across the world to aware the masses about the democratic political school of thought.