Tag Archives: undemocratic

Federal Challenges to Polity: Sindh Perspective

jamichandioBy Jami Chandio

Since its inception in 1947, Pakistan has been faced with a crisis of federalism. Early decisions to centralize power deprived smaller provinces of their most pressing demands for joining the new state: increased national/provincial autonomy and the devolution of power. For six decades, the promise of federalism has eroded under the weight of unfettered military rule, imbalanced and undemocratic state structures, and the domination of all federal institutions by Punjab. With outside attention trained on Islamic insurgency, observers are missing the most crucial dynamic in Pakistani politics, that of declining inter-provincial harmony. The specter of separatist movements once again haunts Pakistan, which has been on the verge of becoming a failed state. To survive these existing crises, Pakistan must adopt further transformative constitutional reforms that limit the reach of the center to the fields of defense, foreign policy, currency and other inter-provincial matters. By restoring a balance of power both between the executive and legislative branches and between the center and the provinces, Pakistan can move a pivotal step closer to substantive democracy, participatory federalism and sustainable political stability.

Once partition was completed, the initial promises of autonomy and devolution of power went unfulfilled by Pakistan’s ruling elite. Critical decisions taken by the center concerning the ratification of constitutions and governing documents, the elevation of Urdu language, and the amalgamation of the provinces of west Pakistan into the One-Unit scheme in 1955 deprived the provinces of the authority and position in the federation they expected upon joining the union. Federalism was bankrupted purposively, culminating in the ‘liberation’ of East Pakistan and the subjugation of the smaller provinces to the ruling Punjab-Urdu speaking nexus.

Continue reading Federal Challenges to Polity: Sindh Perspective

Poets return highest civil award by Govt. of Pakistan in protest against controversial & apartheid local govt. law in Sindh

Dur Mohd. Pathan

By: Khalid Hashmani

I salute Dr. Dur Mohammad Pathan for returning Tamgha-e-Imtiaz award to express the hurt and disappointment of people of Sindh with the SPLGO 2012. His statement that both PPP and MQM have badly harmed the integrity and solidarity of Sindh is reflective of the feelings of almost all North American Sindhis. Dr. Pathan called SPLGO a “black law” and expressed his dismay at the unprecedented speed of “few minutes” in which this law was passed in Sindh Assembly.

He has called for a round table conference of the leaders of the factions that oppose SPLGO and those who oppose it do a cool assessment of what is at the stake and what the majority of people who live in Sindh really want. He said that he had accepted the award because it recognized his contributions through poetry and literature but now that this government turned out to be “undemocratic”, he finds no joy in keeping this award.

We all know that today many in Sindh feel that they have been conned into putting their complete trust in PPP and for that mistake they will always regret!

– – – – – – — – –

Famous Sindhi Poet Late Mohammad Khan Majeedi’s daughter Marium Majeedi denies to accept Presidential Award from President Zardari due to controversial, Black & apartheid SPLG ordinance 2012, which is going to divide the Integrity of historical land of Sindh in future. The way the notorious SPLG 2012 ordinance was passed in a fraud manner through Sindh Assembly put a big question mark on PPP & MQM credibility as true representatives of the people of Sindh.

More details in Sindhi » Sindh Affairs

JOINT PRESS RELEASE BY MAJOR SINDHI DIASPORA ORGANIZATIONS IN SUPPORT OF SINDH NATIONALIST PARTIES UNIFIED DECLARATION OF 13th SEPTEMBER 2012.

Press release: We the undersigned Sindhi Diaspora Organizations (SDOs) that represent the most educated, progressive and economically stable section of Sindh Civil Society and who continue to maintain deep and robust socio-economic and political relations with Sindh

REJECT outright the recently promulgated Sindh Governor Ordinances that attempt to divide Sindh .

This thievery , gerrymandering and trickery by the MQM aided by PPP through obscure back room dealings between the MQM and the PPP in blatant disrespect of the recent parliamenatry decision taken by the Sindh National Assembly restoring the Comissionerate system to Sindh as a whole, STANDS condemned by ALL Sindhis at home and abroad.

We the Diaspora members of the Sindhi nation , who are forced to live abroad due to lack of opportunities and freedoms in our own resource rich motherland will defy all and any attempts to introduce Military Rule or Civil Government Rule through Ordinances or Armed Threats

We , the Sindhi nation will never allow our homeland to be divided politically, administratively, geographically or militarily.

Sindhi Association of North America, SANA

World Sindhi Institute, WSI, USA-Canada,

World Sindhi Congress, WSC, UK-USA, Europe

Sindhi Sangat of Middle East.

Powerful and successful shutter down strike in Sindh against imposing of controversial, undemocratic, black, repressive, discriminatory & apartheid “Local government ordinance”

SINDH – KARACHI : Sindh activist parties had called shutter down strike on September 13 (Thursday) against the imposing of former dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, black, repressive & discriminatory 2001 local government system on Sindh in the name of “People’s Local Government Ordinance 2012”.

By today’s powerful shutter down strike people of Sindh have given a shut up call to all those whose job is to loot and plunder by opposing people’s interests. After this powerful shutter down strike, the people of Sindh have actually written off their political future.

Source: Twitter, Facebook, Sindh e-groups/ e-lists

For more details » KTN News

http://ktntv.tv/ktnnews/news/13-09-2012/59147.html

‘Ousting PM instead of Parliament is the new khaki tactic’

By: Adnan Farooq

It goes without saying that the first thing which the Supreme Court will ask the next PM to do is to write the letter to the Swiss authorities. He will refuse too and the game continues

The Supreme Court’s verdict to disqualify Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani “is not a routine democratic change”, according to Ayesha Siddiqa. “In fact, it represents the new tactics of the military and its agencies,” she says.

Author of ‘Military Inc’, Ayesha Siddiqa is internationally known analyst on military and political affairs.

Commenting on the latest political developments in the country in an interview with the Viewpoint, she says: “Instead of ousting the entire Parliament, the military gets rid of prime ministers which has the same effect meaning a weak democracy. The judges seem to have become party to this”. Read on:

The opinion on Supreme Court’s verdict on Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani’s disqualification is divided. In general, the Opposition is hailing the verdict while the PPP and liberal circles are presenting it as a coup by other means. How do you assess the situation?

This is an intense political battle in which the Supreme Court is not neutral but a party as well. Look at the Supreme Court’s comparative behavior. There are times when it bails out murderers and looters but does not spare the ruling party in particular. Its wrath is mainly for the PPP and the chief judge seems to be making sure that he can ensure the PPP government’s ouster especially since he is now worried about his son being investigated.

Continue reading ‘Ousting PM instead of Parliament is the new khaki tactic’

For the good of democracy – By Farrukh Khan Pitafi

Democracy means government by the uneducated, while aristocracy means government by the badly educated.” — Gilbert K Chesterton

At a juncture when the propinquity of a truly democratic order was almost being taken for granted, Pakistan suffered the biggest disaster since the hanging of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. A three-member bench headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, who has vowed to protect democracy, sacked a democratically-elected prime minister on a matter of constitutional interpretation.

The sacked man, Yousaf Raza Gilani, and his party accepted the ruling with grace and nominated another candidate. But the day the prime ministerial nominee, Makhdum Shahabuddin, was to file his nomination papers, an anti-narcotics court issued a non-bailable warrant for his arrest, on a case that had been pending for weeks. Imagine, a court waking up on that precise day. The powers that be in the Islamic republic do not seem to care much for democracy. I have previously expressed hope in the growth of democracy and the institution building process. With the prime minister removed through an undemocratic, albeit legal method, that optimism cannot be sustained. It is clear that this is not the case of institutions clashing over boundaries, but disputes concerning other matters. Of course, the ruling party, too, is responsible for this sorry tale.

In Islamabad’s drawing rooms, it is being speculated that a government of technocrats backed by the army will soon be installed through a soft coup. Those who make these claims, carry a list of candidates for each ministry. Another theory is that the judiciary-executive tussle will result in the announcement of early elections and when the assemblies are dismissed, names in the aforementioned list will be adjusted in the caretaker cabinet, which in time, will be granted two to three years of extension. As the sacking of a prime minister and embarrassing an elected government by asking it to write a letter against its own head of state can be considered akin to protecting democracy, there is little doubt that this would also strengthen democracy.

Change may come in any shape, but if it comes through any means other than fresh elections, it will be detrimental. And change will definitely come. But let us fix responsibility for any undemocratic development. It should be remembered that the current democratic dispensation was founded on an intricate masonry of checks and balances. One function of the independent judiciary was to protect democracy. While it might have protected it from a military takeover, it has not been able to protect it from its own wrath. You can foresee the entire system collapsing. Some would say that the protectors of the Constitution have plunged the nation into another crisis-ridden bog.

If any undemocratic change comes, our armchair theoreticians assure us, it will not be limited to the cabinet and parliament alone, but will affect the judiciary as well. Perhaps, our judicial custodians have forgotten that they are part of the very democratic order that their recent verdicts seem to have so negatively impacted.

Courtesy:  The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2012.

Punjab PPP to counter ‘hard times’

Faryal mobilises Punjab PPP to counter ‘hard times’

LAHORE – The Pakistan People’s party (PPP) Punjab has activated itself against what it called conspiracies against democracy and the democratic government and reposed complete confidence in President Asif Zardari.

In this regard, President Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur held a party meeting at the Punjab Governor’s House on Saturday. The party meeting passed a resolution against undemocratic elements. Addressing the parliamentary party meeting, she asked the PPP leaders to prepare themselves for hard times and urged them to increase mass contact …

Read more » Pakistan Today

PPP’s recent decision to revive former dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, repressive, & discriminatory Local Government Ordinance 2001 is violation of its own Manifesto

– Translation by Khalid Hashmani, McLean

PPP’s recent decision to revive former dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, repressive, & discriminatory, Local Government Ordinance 2001 is violation of its own Manifesto

An article published in Sindhi Daily Kawish, August 13, 2011 by Naseer Memon provides further analysis of the unpopular decision by PPP to to revive Local Government Ordinance 2001. Naseer makes the following key points:

1. PPP’s recent decision to revive former dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, repressive, & discriminatory, Local Government Ordinance 2001 is violation of its own manifesto (refer to page 17 of the English version of People’s Party manifesto under “Local Government” section).

2. The argument by the PPP that their decision was simply in the sprit of respecting the mandate of a political party that won in the last local elections in some areas of Karachi and Hyderabad simply makes no sense. The mandate received on the basis of winning in local elections cannot supersede the provincial mandate.

3. Naseer asks to imagine how would have PPP and Sindhi masses reacted when former puppet CM of dictator Musharraf, Arbab Rahim’s government had made that decision. Indeed, they would called it treachery of the highest order and termed Arbab and other ministers in his cabinet as traitors.

4. The present government has not only failed to maintain law and order but does not even pay lip service to the notion of “merit”. The administrative matters such as hiring and job transfers are decided by corruption and influence-paddling.

5. The silence and poor performance by the leaders of Sindh PPP and the active Viceroy-like role played by Federal Minister, Mr. Babar Awan, created a feeling among Sindhis as if Sindhis have no say in how the province of Sindh is run.

6. PPP’s criticism of Sindhi nationalist parties and attitude that they have no right to criticize PPP since PPP won the last elections with overwhelmingly majority and that people did not vote for nationalist parties is inappropriate. Since the political party that Sindhis elected is not able to adhere to its own manifesto and properly represent people of Sindh, Sindh’s nationalist parties, Sindhi media, and Sindhi people have every right to criticize PPP. Indeed, they must urge Sindhi masses to remember who worked for their interests who did not when they go to the voting booths in the next elections.

Personally, I feel that it is very sad that not a single PPP official has expressed dismay or criticized this decision. I guess it must be so important for them to cling their positions than to resign to protest this dreadful decision of PPP.

Courtesy: Sindhi daily Kawish, 13th August, 2011.

SINDH – Every man, woman, and child is in unison to mark this Saturday, as a symbol of disgust against the PPP’s disregard to the aspirations of Sindh

– Nationalists to observe a complete shutdown, wheel jam strike, Saturday

What amounts to be the road map to divide the Sindh, the entire Sindh is outraged at the promulgation of the [former dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, repressive, discriminatory & black] Sindh Local Government Ordinance 2001. Every man, woman, and child is in unison to mark this Saturday, as a symbol of disgust against the PPP’s disregard of the aspirations of the Sindhi people. …

Read more → THE SINDH TELEGRPAH

SDF urged MPs to reject dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, repressive & discriminatory local govt ordinance

– MPAs urged to reject revival of LB system

HYDERABAD, Aug 11: The Sindh Democratic Forum (SDF) has appealed to the members of Sindh Assembly not to vote in favour of the ordinance promulgated about revival of the district government system in Sindh.

It urged MPAs to protect sanctity of their legislative power and defend the bill they had passed to get rid of a dictatorial system to divide Sindh.

It congratulated those legislators of Sindh Assembly who revived the commissioner system, adding that it was the time for every legislator to prove his loyalty to Sindh.

In a statement issued here on Thursday, the SDF alleged that the district government system was introduced by a dictator to hand over cities of Sindh to a specific group as independent administrative units. Under the system, a city of 20 million people was made a district while another city of Sindh was divided into four districts.

It said the commissioner system would ensure decentralisation of power and Karachi would come into its former position of five districts, which would ensure fair delivery of service to all, including minorities and other ethnic groups living in the metropolitan.

It criticised what it termed somersault of the government, saying that it revealed that the present government was so weak and baffled that it had succumbed to the pressure of killings in Karachi by a political group with terrorist outfit. The sons of Sindh were bewildered on the statement and actions of the person who was sitting in London, heading a political group and calling himself son of Sindh, but his actions were against the wishes and rights of Sindh.

It demanded that he should demonstrate his sincerity towards Sindh by denouncing Musharraf`s ordinance and should support the demand of Sindhis to restore five districts of Karachi and revival of Hyderabad district in its original position.

It supported the strike call for Aug 13 and requested all the people of Sindh to wear black armbands and demanded from the MQM leadership to denounce the Local Government Ordinance 2001 and demonstrate solidarity with the people of Sindh.

DEMONSTRATION: Activists of the Awami Tahreek, its women wing Sindhiani Tahreek, and students wing Sindhi Shagird Tahreek held a demonstration outside the press club here on Thursday to pay tribute to Zafar Ali Shah, Nabeel Gabol, Nawab Mohammad Yousuf Talpur, Ms Humera Alwani, Nawaz Chandio, Ayaz Amir and Hakeem Baloch for their courageous stand on the local bodies issue.

Speaking on the occasion, the leaders said that the PPP had committed treachery and treason with Sindh just to prolong its rule.

They said that by abolishing commissioner system throughout Sindh and restoring the local bodies system of the dictator, the PPP was trying to appease an ethnic terrorist organisation.

Those legislators who had raised their voice with the people of Sindh were true sons of the soil, they said and expressed the hope that other MNAs and MPAs would also emulate their brave and courageous colleagues.

JST: In view of the strike call given by the Sindh Bachayo Committee for Aug 13 throughout Sindh, the Jeay Sindh Tahreek has postponed its protest rally scheduled to be held in Karachi on Aug 15.

In a joint statement faxed to Dawn here on Thursday, the president JST, Dr Safdar Sarki and others said that the Aug 15 rally by the party had been postponed to ensure the success of the strike called for Aug 13. They called upon the party workers to fully participate in the strike call.

They paid tribute to Zafar Ali Shah, Nawab Yousuf Talpur, Mir Nadir Magsi, Ms Humera Alwani and Ms Sassui Palijo other brave sons and daughters of Sindh for taking a brave and courageous stand against the local bodies` issue.

They pledged to foil all anti-Sindh conspiracies through practical struggle.

Courtesy: → DAWN.COM

The uniqueness of Sindh

– By Ayaz Amir

Just when the sector commanders had been put on the back-foot, and the MQM was vociferating in a manner not seen since 1995 (Gen Babar’s operation), who should come to their rescue but President Zardari’s personal emissary, Montecello University’s most celebrated doctoral figure, Dr Babar Awan.

He has brilliantly appeased the MQM by restoring Gen Musharraf’s  loaded [undemocratic, black, repressive & discriminatory] local government system – first just to Karachi and Hyderabad and then, when … Sindh rose up with one cry against this hasty move, to the whole of Sindh. The MQM can hardly believe its luck – perhaps it hadn’t counted on so swift a Zardari capitulation – but anger in … Sindh is on the rise.

Dr Zulfiqar Mirza’s outbursts had angered the MQM but secured the PPP’s vote bank in rural Sindh. Dr Awan’s gymnastics have pleased the MQM but poured fuel over the burning embers of Sindhi anger. From one extreme the PPP has swung to the other.

The choice of Dr Awan as PPP plenipotentiary was bizarre. How was he qualified to negotiate on behalf of Sindhi interests? The PPP is now on the back-foot. All the certificates of cleverness earned by Zardari for his supposed political sharpness have gone with the wind.

Dr Awan has proved adept at stalling and frustrating the Supreme Court. From the PPP’s point of view, he should have confined himself to that doctrine of necessity instead of floundering in the waters of Sindh.

In an ideal world, the PML-N should have been quick to exploit this opening. Alas, if wishes could be horses. It showed itself eager, a bit too eager, to embrace the MQM when the latter fell out with Zardari. But this proved embarrassing when the MQM’s falling-out proved to be less than definitive. Small wonder, it has yet to get its thoughts in order on the anger on the rise in backwater Sindh.

All of us could do with some clarity on a crucial issue: while the logic of smaller provinces applies to Punjab, because it is too huge and unwieldy, it does not, and cannot, apply to Sindh. Babar Awan and the PPP came perilously close to the idea of Sindh division when they proposed one dispensation for Karachi and Hyderabad – the restoration of Musharraf’s  [undemocratic, black, repressive & discriminatory] local body system – and another for the rural, revival of the commissionerate system. Sindh rural instantly saw red and the PPP had to back down immediately, in the space of a mere 24 hours. But the alarm had been sounded and Sindhi concerns have yet to be addressed or placated.

Carving a southern or Seraiki province out of Punjab will not endanger Punjab identity. Indeed, it will facilitate the task of governance and give a sense of belonging to the people of southern Punjab who feel left out of the orbit of Punjab affairs. But anything even remotely connected to the notion of Sindh division is almost an invitation to dangerous conflict in this most sensitive of provinces.

We should not forget the history of 1947 migration. If we leave Bengal out of the equation, there were two great waves of migration in northern India at the time of Partition: one from East Punjab to West Punjab, and vice versa; the other from Delhi, Lucknow and Bhopal in the north, and Hyderabad Deccan in the south, to Karachi. These migrations were dissimilar in character.

While Punjab suffered the most in terms of looting, plunder, killings and mass rape, when the dust settled and passions had time to cool, the process of assimilation was relatively quick because East and West Punjabis, minor differences of course apart, came from the same cultural stock. With minor variations of dialect, they spoke the same language and shared the same history.

This was not so with the southern migration to Karachi and Hyderabad. Karachi was a cosmopolitan city even then – a mini-Bombay, so to speak – but it was the capital of Sindh, the culture and language of whose native inhabitants was radically different from that of the people who were coming to it from India.

Karachi soon became the centre not of Sindhi culture but of the culture of displaced Dehi, of Delhi as it had been before the tumult of Partition. Delhi today is a Punjabi city. Its old composite, Muslim-dominated culture, the culture from which arose the poetry of Mir and Ghalib, is a thing of the past, lost to the upheavals of time and history. No conqueror, not Taimur and not Nadir Shah, could destroy Delhi, or transform its character, as decisively as Partition did. Those who seek the old Delhi, authors like William Dalrymple, have to come to Karachi to catch a whiff of the past.

Pakistan would be the poorer without this infusion of Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad Deccan culture. True, there was a downside to it as well, …. brought with their culture also their own prejudices. Insecurity and fear were part of their migrational baggage and these were infused into the thinking of the new state. But in cultural terms the arid wastes of Pakistan were enriched by that influx of talent and learning.

Punjabis being Punjabis, no new centre of culture arose in Punjab. But in Karachi we saw the birth of a transplanted culture, its soul carrying the imprint of loss and nostalgia, the usual hallmarks of any migration.

The downside comes from this very circumstance. Sixty four years after Partition we continue to live in the past, beset by old insecurities even though the times have changed and the old certitudes which gave birth to those insecurities no longer survive.

Sindhis are entitled to be a bit upset by all these changes. After all, they too are the inheritors of a great civilisation. Moenjodaro is the oldest pre-historic site discovered anywhere in India. There are other mighty life-giving rivers in the sub-continent: the sacred Ganges, the winding Brahmaputra. But only the Indus, sacred river of Sindh, gives its name to India. Hindus migrating to India from Sindh in 1947 take great pride in their Sindh ancestry.

Sindhi anger, nay Sindhi anguish, is centred on a primal concern. Why must the transposing of cultures be at their expense? And there is a fear lurking in their hearts, the fear of the Red Indian and the aborigine, of becoming strangers in their own homeland. This is a concern which must not be scoffed at. The rest of us, and this includes the successors to the civilisation of Delhi, should avoid words or gestures that smack even remotely of designs against the unity and integrity of Sindh.

From the immortal land of the five rivers, now only three left with us, thanks to the vagaries of history, more provinces can be carved out and no harm will come to it [Punjab]. But let no Punjabi leader or politician say that if Punjab is to be divided the same logic should apply to other provinces. This is wrong thinking. The same logic does not apply to Sindh, it does not apply to Balochistan. It is relevant only to Punjab and Punjab will be doing itself and the nation a service if it takes the lead in this respect, illuminating the path that others can follow.

A word may also be in order about another fixation of the Punjabi mind: Kalabagh dam. If Kalabagh dam is right then there is nothing wrong with the dams India is building on the rivers Chenab and Jhelum. If we are objecting to run-of-the-mill dams in Kashmir, dams whose water is not stored but is allowed to run, how can we support a storage dam on the Indus at Kalabagh? The logic just does not hold.

History cannot be undone. We have to live by its consequences. But Sindh of all regions of Pakistan requires a balance and moderation in the conduct of its affairs. Any hint of an unnatural hegemony of one part over the other is an invitation to anger and despair.

Courtesy: → The News

Sindh strike – Yahoo! Search Results

SINDH – KARACHI : Sindh nationalist parties have called another shutterdown strike on August 13 (Saturday) against the imposing of former dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, black, repressive & discriminatory 2001 local government system on Sindh. …

Read more → Sindh Strike – Yahoo! Search Results

Sindh will become a Waterloo for President Zardari if he does not roll back dictator Musharraf’s undemocratic, repressive & discriminatory local government ordinance

Courtesy: → Express News Tv (Kal Tak with Javed Chaudhry, 11th aug 2011 -p3)

Via→ Zem TvYouTube

Pakistani-Canadians: On Egypt

Message of Solidarity by the Committee of Progressive Pakistani-Canadians to The Egyptian National Association for Change (Canada).

by Omar Latif, Committee of Progressive Pakistani-Canadians

The Committee of Progressive Pakistani-Canadians congratulates the Egyptian people on their success in ousting the dictator Hosni Mubarak and salutes their heroic and historic struggle against dictatorship and for freedom, democracy and social justice.

Backed and supported by the US and other western countries the Egyptian regime, like many other Arab regimes – as indeed most of the governments in Pakistan – have served the interests of the rich internally and that of imperialism regionally.

The Egyptian armed services, just like those of Pakistan, receive well over a billion dollars annually from the United States, most of which ends up in the pockets of senior officers. The ties and cooperation between the security agencies of the US with those of Egypt – as with the security forces of Pakistan – are even closer. Along with you, we hope, these relationships will end.

The Saudi monarchy – the most reactionary, despotic and US-dependent of the Arab regimes – has also played a significant role in aiding and abetting undemocratic and unjust regimes in the region – including those of Pakistan.

Continue reading Pakistani-Canadians: On Egypt

Secularism vs Islam?

Secularism Debate: A fallacious binary – by Saqlain Imam

The word secularism seems to be the most contentious one in the Pakistani political culture. Anything that is anti-religion or non-religious is dubbed secular; it is understood as a Western concept with no direct connection with Islam; for example, some people might find some Christian or Judaic values or practices secular. The word is used in its smallest possible definition to the widest and wildest interpretations. But in all kinds of debates, one thing is common — anti-secular groups use religion to justify non-democratic disposition of the state.

Although when we normally talk about secularism, it means governance that should stand separately from religion or religious beliefs, in the context of the Pakistani state, and indeed Pakistani society, the concept of secularism is widely, and perhaps deliberately, misconstrued.

It must be clearly understood right from the very beginning that religion, or in this case Islam, is not the only source to justify non-democratic governance. It depends on the peculiar circumstances of a nation and which forces are trying to use religion or secularism to support its non-democratic concepts of governance. Among Muslim states for instance, Turkey’s army uses secularism to support its non-democratic role, so did Pakistan’s Army in the 1960s. Currently, the Algerian government and Palestinian Authority are using secularism to strengthen their non-democratic role in their own systems of governance.

In Pakistan’s case, the dominant argument for the non-democratic actors to influence the country’s politics and governance is religion. This is not a suitable place to go into the details of how religion’s narration replaced the secular narration in Pakistani politics, or whether there was ever a secular narration at all in the history of the people of South Asia. But the fact is that currently seculars are supporting democratic forces, while the religious forces are bent upon undermining the democratic disposition of the state, constitution and society.

Take the role of Pakistan Army; it is now known as a ‘Jihadi’ institution, its official motto is “Jihad Fi Sabil Lillah” (Jihad for the cause of Allah). Pakistan’s Supreme Court’s recent verdict on the NRO amply and loudly speaks that it wants to re-write the constitution where democracy should be subordinate to the injunctions of Quran and Sunnah. Few people have realised that it’s a step to advance General Zia-ul-Haq’s doctrine in a much bolder manner. General Zia made the “amended” Objective Resolution an operational part of the constitution through undemocratic means. ….

Read more >> criticalppp