Then let’s start. Let’s take the economic agenda first:
1. Feudalism should be abolished completely
2. It will be a Social Democratic Economy…Public sector along with largely private enterprises. Public sector should be expanded to provide universal education and health services….
3. Everyone pays taxes to get services. At least everyone files taxes whether rich or poor. Role of indirect taxes should be minimized which is regressive but main source of government income. In a mixed economy taxes are the only instrument to distribute wealth on equitable basis. It is the only way to fund government operations without borrowing. And inflation or rising prices can only be checked if government borrowing is brought down to zero.
4. Electricity and gas should be supplied on continuous basis to run the industry and trade smoothly.
5. People living beyond their means and having wealth beyond known sources should be prosecuted and brought to justice.
6. End of monopolies or they should be regulated wherever necessary. Monopoly in media should be ended: Like the US one group should not have major newspaper in more than one region.
There are few things as drearily predictable as Pakistani hacks watching revolutions in progress in other countries and wistfully wishing we could have one ourselves. The overthrow of the Tunisian government swiftly followed by the likely removal of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt has provided lovers of facile arguments a bonanza.
Beyond puerile platitudes extolling the virtues of spirited street power and pleading with the masses to storm the capital, no one seems interested in explaining exactly who the revolt should be directed against or even who will be directing it. Unenlightening tirades against the ‘establishment’ do not count as an explanation since they are about as specific as a stoned teenager railing against The Man.
Pakistan right now has a flawed, nascent democratic system in place, one that is incrementally becoming less imperfect and more secure. From the holding of elections that were as free as any have been in the country to the passage of the 18th amendment, we have made undoubted progress after the Musharraf blight. Sure, we are all unhappy at the rapid rise of religious extremism and the government’s cowardice in tackling the blasphemy issue. Endemic corruption and a growing economic crisis please no one. But using that as bait in calling for mass upheaval is extremely childish. Democratisation is better achieved through a slow process of elections, bitter political debates and give-and-take between transient governments and the permanent military.
…. Despite a wave of public protests, Egypt is unlikely to emulate Tunisia, due to factors also present in Pakistan. Egypt has a sharp religious divide between Coptics and Muslims as well as numerous Islamic groups pitted against each other. Arab analysts cite low levels of literacy and a general feeling of apathy and defeatism in the population as further reasons that Egypt will continue to fester rather than revolt. Pakistan has these and additional factors which militate against a revolution: deep and multiple ethnic, linguistic, tribal and sectarian fault lines; a paucity of alternative intellectual narratives, radical leaders or strong unions; and an elected government and freedom of speech. Ironically, democratic elections and free speech help perpetuate the corrupt, unjust stranglehold of the feudal-industrial power elite. Revolutionary forces require a moral impetus that illegitimate dictatorship provides but elected government does not. Secondly, frustration needs to simmer under a repressive regime until it reaches the temperature for mass revolt. Pakistan’s free media allows an outlet for public dissatisfaction. The often harsh treatment of politicians and police officials at the hands of journalists and judges ameliorates public anger. Vocal opposition parties, unhindered street protests and strikes allow a regular release of fury, draining the momentum necessary for the emotional surge that revolutionary zeal requires. …
The citizens’ revolution in Tunisia that forced dictator Zine el Abidine ben Ali to flee the country provides many lessons for the Arab world. Regimes should keep the lessons in mind to avoid repeating Tunisia’s experience in their own countries, while citizens can draw inspiration in hopes of effecting democratic change. …
The threats to the Pakistani state include socio-cultural intolerance, religious extremism and the use of violence to pursue self-articulated narrow ideological agendas. If these negative trends are coupled with a faltering economy, there is little hope for a stable, democratic Pakistan. …
So, the MQM has finally decided to quit the PPP-led coalition government at the centre. I am not sure what the fallout of this event would be like by the time this article is published, so I would not dare slip into an analysis mode here. Instead, I want to ask a few very simple questions. …
“Faisla Aap Ka” is an outdoor program and audience based show hosted by Asma Shirazi live from Liaqat Bagh Rawalpindi where Benazir Bhutto was murdered on 27 Dec 2007. The concerning guests and public wants to see the masterminds of assassination of Benazir Bhutto behind the bars. The public opinion is that the elected democratic government don’t have any authority or power to do something and it is unable to disclose the faces which were behind the assassination because it is lacking the power to take any action against real culprits, if the elected government of the PPP go to take any action against the powerful masterminds, the establishment will overthrow the fragile elected democratic government. … people are hoping for justice in Pakistan but they don’t know when will the dream come true …
Courtesy: SAMAA TV ( Faisala Aap Ka with Asma Shirazi, 26 December 2010)
Executive Summary – Pakistan has been in quest for stable democratic system from its very inception.The process of its democratization has been slow and passive. Its nature has remained fragile. It has been showing high vulnerability towards non democratic interventions. Besides, it has been easily falling prey to non civilian forces. As a result, Pakistan has been continuously failing to offer what a democracy promises. Such pathetic scenario has various reasons behind it at all three levels: State, government and society.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has called on authorities to investigate the murder of Pakistani journalist Abdul Hameed Hayatan, whose body was found with gunshot wounds on 18 November outside of Turbat, in western Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.
“I condemn the murder of Abdul Hameed Hayatan,” said Ms Bokova. “An act of violence on a journalist is not only a crime against the individual victim. It also represents an attack on freedom of expression, which is a fundamental right and a cornerstone of democratic society. I call on the authorities in Pakistan to spare no effort in investigating this murder and bringing the culprits to justice.”
Known also as Lala Hameed Baloch, Hameed, 25, was found dead in a canal alongside his friend Hamid Ismail after they disappeared from their home town of Gwadar, in Baluchistan’s west, on October 25, according to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ). Hameed reported for the Urdu-language Daily Intikhab, and worked as a stringer for several other news outlets.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) notes that Hameed’s murder brings to 11 the total number of reported deaths of media workers in Pakistan this year. Four of these deaths have been in Baluchistan. …
– “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding” – Albert Einstein.
Youth make- up one fifth of the South- Asian demography. Most often we see youth as victims or perpetrators of violence. History is witness to the fact that youth as members of an ever changing, dynamic and energetic group in societies play a crucial role in transforming conflict ridden societies into democratic and peaceful societies. This is a critical mass which needs to be involved when it comes to transformation of violent relationships, structures, attitudes and behaviors towards peace building.
Call for end to bickering among institutions
HYDERABAD, Oct 20: Judiciary and Executive are two important pillars of a democratic society and the present split between the two is apt to creating disastrous situation for the state, if not checked early.
This and other similar concerns were expressed by the Sindh Democratic Forum over boiling political state of affairs ruling the country. The SDF, in a statement, criticized the national institutions of not resolving the basic issues of general public like growing inflation, increasing poverty, lawlessness, daily killings, unemployment, electricity problem and other allied issues instead were busy in bickering with each other over petty matters.
People had endured enough and now they want peace for which cooperation among national institutions was a prerequisite, it further stated. Commenting over the midnight drama between the judiciary and the executive, it stated that perhaps it was for the first time in contemporary judicial history that a full bench was called on a rumour which has damaged the sanctity of justice. The democratic-minded people feel the elected parliament a supreme body and because the 18th Amendment was passed by the representative of 16 parliamentary parties, therefore there appears no supra body which can challenge parliament’s decisions, said the SDF. The coverage of court proceedings, judges’ statements, conservative comments by media and support of right wing political parties is portraying as if judiciary was being influenced by armed forces and they were trying to disband the present democratic setup, it further said. The SDF appealed to superior judiciary to protect the cause of justice and avoid creating the impression as if it were against the elected parliament and democracy. Judiciary being an important pillar of state and custodian of justice should give a shut up call to irresponsible statements of media, besides taking suo-motu notice against such utterances, it said.
Read more : DAWN
No government in Pakistan can dare to undo the constitutional provisions that make the country a religious state. As a matter of fact, democratic and military governments compete with each other to make it more religious. Presently, no political force or institution exists that can usher in modernity and enlightenment in Pakistan
An article titled ‘Bangladesh, “Basket case” no more: Pakistan could learn about economic growth and confronting terrorism from its former eastern province’ appeared in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) (September 29, 2010). During the same period, President Barack Obama specially congratulated Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed when she came to receive the prestigious United Nations (UN) award. Bangladesh was one of the six countries from Asia and Africa who were honoured for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Why have the US media and President Obama started pampering Bangladesh? Has Bangladesh bypassed Pakistan in economic development or is it about to do so in the near future? …
… In societies like Pakistan where the ruling elite is still largely drawn from the feudal class and the middle class is smaller, weaker, and has been infested with conservative social traditions, democratic periods have been conducive to narrow-mindedness …
Brussels : 31st Oct. 2009 – Detention of hundred GBDA Leaders and workers exposed fraud Elections of Pakistan. The so-called election after announcement of a fraud package has been exposed. Top leaders of Gilgit Baltistan Democratic Alliance (GBDA) have been detained by regime in Gilgit today. Wajahat Hassan Khan Chairman APNA and Engineer Amanullah Khan Chairman GBDA along with all the 3 candidates of Gilgit constituency have been arrested by Police on the direction of Pakistan security forces today on 31st. Oct. at the occasion when they announced public gathering tomorrow on 1st. Nov against the illegal occupation.
The Gilgit Police have arrested Engeer Amanullah Khan Chairman GBDA, Burhanullah General Secretary, Shahid Hussain GBDA candidate for LA 1 Gilgit 1 constituency, Adv. Mohammad Farooq. GBDA candidate for LA2 Gilgit 2 Constituency, Afsar Jan GBDA candidate for LA 3 Gilgit 3 constituency, Adv. Ehsan Ali former President of Gilgit Baltistan Bar Council, Wajahat Hassan Khan Ex Member of Gilgit Baltistan Council and Col. (Retired) Nadir Hassan, Mohammad Javed former member of District Council and Akbar. Dozens of Balawaristan National Students Organization (BNSO) and Karakorum Students Organization (KSO) members havealso been detained by Gilgit Police when they start to organize public gathering.
This is the only indigenous nationalist Political Alliance (mainly consists BNF and KNM) of this disputed region which is under Pakistan occupation, has been barred in taking part in election process, by giving all the facilities with huge funds to the Pakistani parties, who are taking part in the coming elections on 12 Nov. 2009. Though according to UNCIP Pakistan has to withdraw its forces and civilians, but in practice forces and its intelligence agencies have been suppressing the whole indigenous population of Gilgit, Baltistan. The 2 million indigenous people are not allowed to raise their voices by political process and they don’t have access to Justice, Education and economical progress instead of huge natural resources. The regime does not allow GBDA to hold election rallies and public gatherings, which is the clear indication of unfair and partial elections in the coming days, where GBDA is contesting Elections instead of not endorsing elections under occupation.
We condemn of this act of occupying regime and we are going to tell the international community that government and its behind hidden and actual government (Security Forces) has decided to elect all the Pakistani backed candidates including PPP ; PML, JUI, JI and MQM. The MQM has been sent to this disputed region by primer spy agency first time with huge funds and other facilities, while the government is backing PPP. In such situation we don’t have trust in the elections.
Awami Tahreek is hosting a country wide conference on “National and Democratic Question in Pakistan”
On Sunday May 24, 2009 at Hotel Regent Plaza, Kohnoor Hall room (12:00 to 6:00 PM). Participants of the conference would also deliberate on the lawlessness in country and suggest possible solutions. Pakistan’s leading nationalist, democratic; leftists, writers, intellectuals and lawyers would attend and speak in this half day conference. Some 400 delegates of different political and social movements would participate in the conference. Awami Tahreek would like to invite you in this conference. Having you would be a privilege to us.
Rasool Bux Palijo, Awami Tahreek, Sindh
Awami Tahreek is progressive and pro-people political movement
Awami Tahreek is progressive and pro-people political movement of peasants, writers, students and working class people of Sindh. Since its inception in 1970s it has worked for democratization in country, giving voice to voiceless people of Sindh. It has established working class leadership at gross roots level in a society which is dominated by feudal elite and class which is patronized and sponsored by undemocratic elements in this country. AT believes in social change and transformation of Sindhi society by building alliances with working class people of other provinces of this country and seeks solidarity with people at large in world.
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