By Hassan Ahmad
Democracy was best defined by American’s renowned President Abraham Lincoln, ‘The government of the people, for the people and by the people’. Unfortunately, in Pakistan democracy did not last for a long period, when it started to establish its footwork, some unorthodox measures were taken by military. The founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah has established this country on the principles of democracy. In his several speeches, he categorically said that democracy is only solution for prosperous country. The roots of democracy has links with Islam. Our religion Islam urges to establish a democratic country, in which the opinion of public has keen importance. In a democratic country, decisions are taken for the betterment of commonalities.
Pakistan, since its inception faced military interventions, that hampered the democratic process. In 1953, a mini Marshall law was imposed when the riots in country on religious basis got peak.
Unfortunately, 1956 was the dark year when elected government was dismissed by military dictator General Ayyub Khan. This was the beginning of Marshall law in country. At that time, bureaucracy had strong influence in decision making. Military establishment and bureaucracy together halted the country’s democratic path in 1956. Although in this Marshall law tenure, economy of Pakistan was boosted up but the institutions of country failed to perform. Media has substantial figure in a democratic country but in Marshall law, journalists, print and electronic media are seized. Same thing happened in Ayyub Khan’s Marshall law. Journalists, writers were suppressed. They were ordered to not write a single word against government. Some of them were flogged. Politicians were banned from participation in politics. Heavy punishments were imposed on them. In that period, country was economically stabled. First time GDP of Pakistan was above than 4.
The second Marshall law in Pakistan was imposed by General Yahya Khan. That was the most crucial period in history of country. Bangladesh segregated from Pakistan as an independent country. Agitation in whole country took place. The war of 1971 was also started in Yahya Khan regime. Pakistan lost its east part in that war. When democracy started to flourish, military intervened and democratic process halted.
Third Marshall law was imposed by General Zia ul Haq. He overthrew the civilian government of Mr. Zulifqar Ali Bhutto. In his reign, Mr. Bhutto was hanged. A massive reaction throughout the world took place. Political instability was dominating in country. Political parties like PPP agitated against Zia ul Haq’s regime. Some political leaders were banished. This era was the darkest era in history of Pakistan. In 1988, Zia ul Haq died in plane crash incident. After Zia regime’s democratic governments ruled country for a short time. Civilian governments were overthrown by different Presidents. Civilian governments did not get proper time to rule, when they started to deliver, they were removed from the governments.
In 1999, fourth Marshall law was imposed by General Pervez Musharraf. This time civilian Mr. Nawaz Sharif was ousted from his government. In Musharraf’s era, political leaders of different parties were ostracized. War on terror was also started during Musharraf’s reign. This war destabilized the country internally and externally. The peace of country was destroyed by terrorists. Pakistan’s economy was retrogressed. Media channels were banned because they flayed the policies of Mr. Musharraf.
Musharraf resigned from its presidency, after that democratic process started. Now, fortunately. Democracy in Pakistan is flourishing. PPP had completed its government first time in history of Pakistan. After that elections announced and PML_ N came into power. Now, the government of PM L- N has completed more than its four years and it is expected this government will also complete its tenure. Democratic process is very necessary for a country. Government is elected by the people and they have to give answer to public. If they, will not deliver, public will not cull them again. In democracy, the institutes are free. They have freedom to perform their duties as compared to Marshall law in which they are suppressed. If the process of democracy continues for a long time, it will have fruitful results. Democracy does not give its best in a short time. With the passage of time, institutes are strengthened and people are benefitted.
At current time, the pillars of the state are independent. They have complete freedom. Judiciary, Media and Parliament are independent in decision making. No one can impose sanctions on any institute in a democratic country. Democracy is the sole solution for progress of country and the betterment of people. The countries which are ruling the world, they have democratic processes. No, one can dare to intervene in the matters of state. Therefore, democracy is necessary for Pakistan. Although there are several problems in implementation of democracy but these can be overcome. This democratic process should be continued, if government does not deliver, people will reject them. Every institute should work in its jurisdiction. This is the only way to make Pakistan a prosper country.