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‘Charter of Economy’ or ‘Charter of Democracy?’

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‘Charter of Economy’ or ‘Charter of Democracy?’

What Pakistan needs at present

 Bashir Sagar

Pakistan is brimful of numerous deficiencies and lacunas nowadays. Political uncertainty, stagnant economy, abject poverty, sorry state of education, inflation and unemployment, all have been written in the fate of Pakistan. There are numerous reasons for this state of affairs, e.g. military interventions, lack of consensus among political parties, autocratic mindset, absoluteness and majoritarian behaviour of the ruling party and incompetency of politicians.

A retrospective look at the present state of Pakistan suggests that the country’s political, economic and even social sector is in a downward spiral due to lack of pragmatic and result-oriented policies. However, the current government is trying its best to cope with the precarious economic and political conditions. In this regard, to brush up the economy, the idea of doing a Charter of Economy has been floated in the National Assembly.  It, indeed, is a good idea to have charter of economy but actually what the country more pressingly needs than this is another charter of democracy.

It is a known fact that politics and economy are intermingled in a way that if one is good the other gets better, and vice versa. Political stability plays a vital role in the overall development of a country. As they say, “Politics, not economy, is the key to success,” we must bear in mind that in order to make Pakistani politics mature and people-oriented, there is a crying need of a hale and hearty democracy. To strengthen democracy and democratic culture, a charter of democracy seems to be sine qua non.

Pakistan's former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif (2nd L) and Benazir Bhutto (2nd R) pose with Asif Ali Zardari, husband of Bhutto (L), and Kalsoom Nawaz, wife of Sharif, at Sharif's residence in Jeddah in this February 10, 2005 file photo. Pakistani opposition leader Bhutto was assassinated on December 27, 2007 in a gun and bomb attack as she left an election rally in the city of Rawalpindi. REUTERS/Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League/Handout (SAUDI ARABIA).  EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.

However, it is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan has already experienced one charter of democracy –the one signed by Mian Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan Muslim League and Ms Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan People’s Party on May 14, 2006 in London. The document forged a sort of alliance between two major political parties of Pakistan, outlined steps to end the military interventions and to restore a civilian, democratic rule.

However, this charter was signed only by two major political parties; they did not take other major political parties into confidence which is why it soon hit a snag.

To arrest the current political decline and the continued economic drawdown, the current government especially Prime Minister Imran Khan should take all political parties on board so as to sign a new charter of democracy. Majoritarian and absolute behaivour of the government should be abandoned for the sake of country’s development and progress otherwise devastating results await us.

The writer can be reached at bashir.sagar741@gmail.com

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