Tag Archives: dictatorship

Daily Dawn: Failure of dictatorship and democracy

Cross Post from Daily Dawn

By Niaz Murtaza
Friday, 09 Jul, 2010


HOW would you feel if you lived in a poor neighbourhood and your neighbours started getting rich while you became poorer?

Angry, envious, depressed, suspicious? Pakistanis have experienced these emotions collectively as East Asia and the Middle East developed. Now even countries down the road in South Asia are developing.

Dubai and Korea are already rich, India is moving and, to add insult to injury, unconfirmed rumor has it that even Bangladesh is on to something since the familial break-up. Thank God for Afghanistan and Nepal! We can still walk around in the neighbourhood with some semblance of self-respect.

Perceptively concluding that our failure has something to do with governance, we tried both dictatorship and democracy, but neither worked. This calls for an urgent analysis of why what works for swans does not work for us, and developing our own walk.

Sociologists say that political systems derive from social structures. Democracy works best in societies with atomistic families where sub-national identities between national and family levels, e.g., based on community and religion, are weak or do not affect people’s political choices, which are based on policies.

Continue reading



Filed under Democracy, India, Islamabad, Pakistan

Room for optimism

[‘The audacity of hope’? ‘Hope dies last’? Or, just the reality of Pakistan in its many aspects? Here’s how Mohsin Hamid sees it. – PTH]

Dawn, Friday, 09 Apr, 2010
 EVER since returning to live in Pakistan a few months ago, I’ve been struck by the pervasive negativity of views here about our country. Whether in conversation, on television, or in the newspaper, what I hear and read often tends to boil down to the same message: our country is going down the drain.

But I’m not convinced that it is.

I don’t dispute for a second that these are hard times. Thousands of us died last year in terrorist attacks. Hundreds of thousands were displaced by military operations. Most of us don’t have access to decent schools. Inflation is squeezing our poor and middle class. Millions are, if not starving, hungry. Even those who can afford electricity don’t have it half the day.

Yet despite this desperate suffering, Pakistan is also something of a miracle. It’s worth pointing this out, because incessant pessimism robs us of an important resource: hope.

First, we are a vast nation. We are the sixth most populous country in the world. One in every 40 human beings is Pakistani. There are more people aged 14 and younger in Pakistan than there are in America. A nation is its people, and in our people we have a huge, and significantly untapped, sea of potential. Continue reading


Filed under Democracy, Economy, Education, Identity, Judiciary, Languages, Media, Pakistan, Religion, Society, state, Terrorism


By Muhammad Hassan Miraj 

   They  all stood silent as  the standards were lowered. It was 23rd Day of October in 42 BC and the battle of Philippe had just ended. Lying ahead of the impeccably  formed up legions, was the purple mantle wrapped body of one of the greatest men Rome ever produced. “He was the noblest Roman of them all”. Mark Antony said as he paid homage to Marcus Junius Brutus, commonly known in the historical world as Brutus. The fame brought to Brutus is  attributed towards his role in assassination of  his trusted friend and mentor, Julius Caesar, the Counsel of Rome. Fewer could see that he did this to save his Republic. A larger than life cause for Romans, perhaps their alternative for religion. Brutus feared that given Caesar s autocratic nature, Rome would soon turn into a monarchy and will be deprived of her Republic soul. He was, of all others, brave and courageous enough to stand against it and act in time. Time proved, he did it right. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan

The Illegitimate Messiah Syndrome

Many Pakistanis are still not prepared to develop the patience required to see democracy through its early, evolutionary stages – especially difficult stages as a result of the violence done to it by military dictatorship after military dictatorship. They still look for and believe in personalities, not for a sustainable and equitable system. Many will tell you that the only cause for all of Pakistan’s woes is “humain aaj tak koi ddhang ka  leader nahin mila (we never found a decent leader)”. The observation is correct. But the way we have gone about finding a decent leader has been completely wrong. Continue reading


Filed under Democracy, India, Jinnah, Pakistan

Caveat emptor


Dr Munawar Hassan, Ameer Jamaat e Islami Pakistan, and his verbal acrobatics:



After listening to his sermon on the Constitution, lets move on to the military dictator the JI fully supported. For those who say politicians are more corrupt than military dictators, who do not consider the Constitution to be law (let alone the highest law), or even equally corrupt, here is a video clip of the man at the root of many of our problems today: Continue reading


Filed under Democracy, Islamism, Jinnah's Pakistan, Pakistan

Libya’s 40 years of autocratic rule and Pakistan

Bilal Qureshi

While flipping channels, I noticed the difference between the coverage on Pakistani channels and BBC and CNN. The local channels are reporting about the 40th anniversary of Libya’s so-called revolution. And of course, BBC and CNN were reporting about the elections in different parts of the world.

I couldn’t help, but notice that Pakistan’s channels are glorifying Libya’s undemocratic, uncivilized and out of touch government that denies its people the right to vote, the right to chose or elect their government, the right to assemble and voice their opposition to any or all government policies. In addition, Pakistani channels are also presenting Libya’s ruler, who has been in power for 40 years, as a heroic figure.

This made me sick. Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan

Bitter Realization for Musharraf

By Yasser Latif Hamdani

Chaudhry Shujaat, the president of the Pakistan Muslim League Q which was created by Musharraf himself,  has started to bad mouth Musharraf publicly.  How ironic! Continue reading


Filed under Pakistan