Sunday, June 30, 2013

“Peace and Good Governance among the major Challenges of Democracy in Pakistan”


           Peace is the single motive to make people lives healthier and productive lives in a state with a single objective of national integration. Conflict is also known as the difference of opinion among the masses, why were we a peaceful nation at the time of independence? People were welcoming the immigrants from India and giving them full support to settle down here in Pakistan. What happened when we have not taken into consideration the aspirations of a majority which was our brethren in the East Pakistan? They started taking feedback of the non-state actors to get their differences be mitigated the result was the creation of Bangladesh.  In the prevailing situation in the country our major problem is the nastiest situation of peace in the country, which is mostly the major source of non-state actor’s involvements with the state to destabilize the nation and flaking the deep routed national integration which is our national ideology.
The most crucial time on our country’s peace starts with the emergence of war against terror after 9/11, the decisions were made by an individual guided by his own dogma which make the condition more worst and country alienated into different sections with a strong difference of opinion, most of the politicians were forcibly torn and made a new kings party known as PML-Q which make no way to the people’s aspirations and lead the things as and where deemed fit by the dictator. Mostly these so called political powers benefited from the policies chalked-out to furtherance of the personal gains by profound segment, they were part of most of the deals at the state level they were the people who were not in a position to intervene on the issue of national interest and national integration.
Instances like the incident of Jam-e-Hafsa (Lal Masjid), Operation in Swat and Malakand, and later on in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas, Ban on Media, Attack on the GEO TV and burning of the newspapers, Confrontation with the Judiciary and emergency on 3rd November, Drown attacks, missing personals, Dr. Aafia Sidiqi and the most important concern of our sovereignty as a state when on 3rd May 2008 United States Marines attacked the Osama Bin Ladin in the hilly station of Abbottabad these are all the serial provoked by the dogmatist approach of General Retired Pervez Musharraf which could never be rollback or to undo with any kind of tips and tools so one could say that the loss to national integration by military took-over by Pervez Musharraf is revocable, hence it is loss which could never be repealed.
So when one think of the good governance ultimately the answer is transparency in implementing day by day business of the state by the state machinery. This could be provision of safe drinking water, running of sanitation services without any disparity, equal opportunities of education to all the people of the country at all levels, delivery of health services, providing livelihood resources to the whole population, prevention of diseases like measles, eradication of polio, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and drug abuse prevention to help the citizenries grow and live a healthier and happier life. The communities are the helping hands of the states but here we the helping hands are mostly away from the state business, state is not even sure what to do and where to take-off but am somewhat sure that the goals of national development could only be achieved by implementing the activities locally needed, locally designed/planned and locally executed I means the Participatory Local Governance which we are missing since independence. 
 We are among the countries who have to make sufficient achievement on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 this could only be done if our local government units are in place and working efficiently which is only possible by establishing local governments across the country without any delay. The funds for the development must by routed through the local government units headed by the elected representatives and which must holds a social audit system to monitor the use of these funds at all the tiers of the government whatever they could be like village, union, town, tehsil, taulqa or the district or the city district.
Most of us think that democracy is not suitable for us but we have not taken into account the worst behave of ourselves with democracy. We have never articulated any form of public demands at community level, nor we deliberately asked the political elites to add our community demands or even the basic needs, like health, education, water and sanitation into their political strategies at any level for example in my native which is the constituency of a seasoned politician who have a more than three decades of proactive presence in the mainstream politics but the people from our community have never asked him for setting-up educational institutions, establishing basic health units, trauma center, emergency help or the community patrolling, crimes prevention and pouring money on the issues of immediate attention from the state funds, may be some of a few have asked for the healing the community problems but their voices were not pluralized nor they have any impact on the concerned politicians.
The pluralism summons the communities to focus on civic demands in the modern day politics or the process of social change in modern democracies. People forms pressure groups to make their voices counted and heard, but we are very far away still in the age of new media and social media technologies. I would like to put the example of a community which is hardly a 45-60 minute’s car drive from the federal capital but this unfortunate, deprived and disparate community is lacking a higher education or even at under graduate level educational institutions are missing, the educational institutions of lower level like elementary and secondary were setup by both the contestants of elections without any plans and keeping in view the factual needs. So most of the buildings are empty still for example in two very closely packed villages there are some 6 small and medium buildings which are constructed for elementary level schools boys and girls but only three buildings are in use.
These are mostly the examples which fall in the miss-governance, malicious governance or the ill-governance or bad-governance what-ever one could term it this will fit in, because it’s all about us who are the responsible for choosing our representatives without letting them know what are our issues, problems and concerns at their constituencies from where they are running for the contest of legislature, lower house (national assembly) and the house of units (provincial assembly) so if they were be equipped with the information of problems we are facing at the community level and  already ask them to work on its they definitely will be in a more sensitized position when coming back to the constituency next time.
      When we think about the democratic of government which enable the masses to be pluralist and transparent in their roles towards the state and state to the citizenries. Therefore it is a process by which people put forth the demands to the state or the government and governments come to the citizens for help so each-one play its role of helping the counterparts. Democracy in other words a process of accountability, transparency and productivity in running the day by day business of a state by mobilizing the major segments without any discrimination of caste, creed, religion, color or the sexual orientation  of the populations across the board.
Democracy that is transparent definitely be the productive and proactive which will be able to deliver, its starts with the paving way of political development and social change the only way forward to get resulted the productivity at the either ends, people who believes in the democracy develop the political culture, initiate and sustain the process of state building and national integration energetically, political parties works on the interest articulation and interest aggregation. These activities make them more accountable and   answerable to segments which they belong, concurrently they become aware of their responsibilities, obligations and duties towards each other, which make them more and more productive so the democracy become productive and be able to deliver.  The democracy is only feasible when it is in a position to work for the masses, by mobilizing them to design it, program it, execute it and finally suggest the corrective measure to make it streamline and workable at all the stages.
The present phase of democracy in Pakistan is very proactive, because one civilian government completed its term and handed over the power to the next elected government which is happening first time in the history of Pakistan’s Political Development, which a very positive symptom for social change.  However the challenges to democracy are also prevailing some implications of democracy like in the developing world or the global south are the impact of colonial past which make them dependent and in nature they are at the mercy of the external forces or the non-state actors, who always push them in the dilemma of democracy to make the picture of democracy a very bad.  Positivism could lead the state to the peak of pluralism or the functional democracy, it is our attitude which make the picture uglier, when we see the things coming to us with some sort of preponderant to our powers by our next door neighbors or the coworkers or some of the times by the general masses and even by the state functionaries. This makes the governance vulnerable and subjugated the pluralism, democracy and peace process at the same time, while the lawlessness, crime, insubordination,   anarchy and conflict arose in the state this could be seen in most of the areas of our nation like, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Baluchistan (insurgency), violence in Karachi (Sindh), sectarian violence in Northern Areas, and attacks on the state forces by different militant groups. 
How the democracy could be affective? How it could deliver what is needed? It’s only when the masses are mobilized and when people are aware about their obligations too alongside the rights, when we claim rights we must think about our obligations if we are realizing our obligations to the state, than we could articulate our demands about the democratic and pluralist approaches of governance and democracy, which includes independence and autonomous status of state organs with an emphasis of transparency, accountability, deliverability, capability of execution, and competency to overcome the problems and handle the process of conflict resolution within the state and across the board.
The people are responsible for choosing the honest, capable, dedicated and well-versed representatives without any prejudice on the basis of caste, creed, religion, and any sectarian or communal considerations, the community elected representatives chosen on these lines will avoid nepotism, favoritism, corruption and personal gain and definitely the Democracy will be accountable, and be capable of delivering to the needs and demands articulated by the communities, and challenges of democracy would also dealt swiftly without harming the civic rights by the legitimize leaders.
 Muhammad Tanveer Akhtar M. Phil Political Science University of Sargodha          
                            Email: tanveer.akhtar1968@gmail.com  Cell:+92-345-589-1820



Saturday, June 29, 2013

“Democracy that is Accountable is Democracy that Delivers” By Muhammad Tanveer Akhtar


Democracy is a form of government which enable the masses to be pluralist and transparent in their roles towards the state and state to the citizenries. Therefore it is a process by which people put forth the demands to the state or the government and governments come to the citizens for help so each-one play its role of helping the counterparts. Democracy in other words a process of accountability, transparency and productivity in running the day by day business of a state by mobilizing the major segments without any discrimination of caste, creed, religion, color or the sexual orientation  populations across the board.
People are the helping hands for the state and state is like the family breadwinner for its citizenries, so they help one another in a way that make them more visible and proactive for collaboration at all levels according to the capacities they have. State is an entity which provides the basic necessities to its citizens without any discrimination and is accountable to the people, at the same time the people are also accountable to the state and to the segments which they are representing.  
Democracy that is accountable definitely be the productive and proactive which enable masses to deliver, its starts with the paving way of political development and social change the only way forward to get resulted the productivity at the either ends, people who believes in the democracy develop the political culture, initiate and sustain the process of state building and nation building energetically, political parties works on the interest articulation and interest aggregation. These activities make them more accountable and   answerable to segments which they belong, concurrently they become aware of their responsibilities, obligations and duties towards one another, which make them more and more productive so the democracy become productive and be able to deliver. In other words the democracy is only feasible when it is in a position to work for the masses, by mobilizing them to design it, program it, execute it and finally suggest the corrective measure to make it streamline and workable at all the stages.
The whole some implications of democracy like in the developing world or the global south are the impact of colonial past which make them dependent and in nature they are at the mercy of the outside forces or the non-state actors, who always push them in the dilemma of democracy to make the picture of democracy a very bad in fact which is very beautiful, so mostly they said that the democracy is the product of west, or it is for the west? Why is that? It is only due to the stigmatization which is with the democracy in the south or most of the developing world.
Positivism could lead the state to the peak of pluralism or the functional democracy, it is our attitude which make the picture uglier, when we see the things coming to us with some sort of preponderant to our powers by our next door neighbors or the coworkers or some of the times by the general masses and even by the state functionaries. This makes the governance vulnerable and subjugated the pluralism, democracy and peace process at the same time, while the lawlessness, crime, insubordination,   anarchy and conflict arose in the state this could be seen in most of the areas of our nation like, Khyber Pakhtun Khwah, Baluchistan (insurgency), violence in Karachi (Sindh), sectarian violence in Northern Areas, and attacks on the state forces by different militant groups. 
How the democracy could be affective? How it could deliver what is needed? It’s only when the masses are mobilized and when people are aware about their obligations too alongside the rights, when we claim rights we must think about our obligations if we are realizing our obligations to the state, than we could articulate our demands about the democratic and pluralist approaches of governance and democracy, which includes independence and autonomous status of state organs with an emphasis of transparency, accountability, deliverability, capability of execution, and competency to overcome the problem and handle the process of conflict resolution within the state and across the board. The people are responsible for electing the honest, capable, dedicated and well-versed representatives without considering any prejudice on the basis of caste, creed, religion, and any sectarian or communal considerations, the community elected representatives chosen on these lines will avoid nepotism, favoritism, corruption and personal gain and definitely the Democracy will be Accountable, and will be capable of delivering to the needs and demands articulated by the communities.

Muhammad Tanveer Akhtar M. Phil Political Science University of Sargodha
Email: tanveer.akhtar1968@gmail.com  Cell:+92-345-589-1820