What is wrong with Pakistani Politics?
Dr Mir Sadaat
Political instability in Pakistan has become a serious and menacing problem. It is creating enormous problems for our society and also hindering the development of country. Due to a bad political discourse in our society the concept of human agency is diminishing, structural factors such as social class, religion, gender & ethnicity are taking roots. As a result, vigilantism & protests are getting more common. We as a society need to redefine our social contract through community engagement & discourse creation with help of political dispensation. The fundamental problem with Pakistani politics is that it depends heavily on undemocratic or non-political means to get a democratic end. It is not about have or have not but why not me!
Political stability plays an imperative role in keeping a society cohesive and in preserving acceptability within the state. It is a precondition for the economic growth, social amalgamation, and sovereignty of law in a state. The stability of political system has direct effects on the processes of nation and state building. These both require stable political systems for their evolution and booming. The development of nation and state without firm and organized system of politics is not possible and government becomes only a tug of war amongst various interest groups as we are witnessing these days.
Pakistan is still struggling to overcome the problems of centralization of authority, national integration, economic development, political participation, social welfare, and most importantly constitutional supremacy. Political parties of Pakistan are not correctly organized from their inside structure, absence of party elections, domination of any family or group or ethnicity on the party. Such things limit the scope of party particularly in terms of its voters and expressly limiting its aims and objectives and loses the national character. The frail organization and inopportune working of such parties paves the way for coalition governments, which has become a very common set for every government. They exert their whole energy for maintaining the coalition set up and remain in continuous pressure from partner groups.
The successful implementation of domestic and foreign policies requires strong support from people, but unfitting working of political parties do not provide people a platform rather it splits and exploit the public opinion for their own interest. Leaders use religion, sect or ethnicity to raise the emotions of people then exploit them for their own purposes. The paramount effect of political instability is that its splits the society on various grounds as many sections of society are not content with the arrangements of government and a state of mistrust prevails in the country. The frustration and suspicion of society leads them towards the fulfilment of individual interests and ignorance of national/ collective interests. The negative forces external and internal obviously benefit from the vacuum created because of instable conditions.
The social and economic change has also multiplied political demands and broadens political participation. As Samuel pointed out these “changes have undermined traditional political institutions and enormously complicated the problem of creating new bases of political associations and institution”. Demands and race of different communities for scarce resources have politicized communal divisions and tensions between provinces, and incapability of institutions to respond to such demands has created an identity and legitimacy crisis in Pakistan.
The current political instability in Pakistan has elevated the external and internal challenges. We are facing serious challenges specially in the realms of policymaking and economics. The global community is providing aid and assistance to us but in presence of current political landscape and instable conditions such steps are not yielding any constructive outcomes. The instability poses challenges in the realms of national security, societal cohesion, national economy, facing war of terrorism, policy making, integrating in the world politics and economy, gaining global support.
The situation of mistrust of the foreign world on political structures of Pakistan has created a complex scenario for the people of Pakistan who are the real suffers of all this situation including weak economy, natural disasters, and political instability. The prosperity and heath of society and economy is not largely but wholly solely dependent on the stability of the political system of the state, and a cure for the possible ills arising from the dysfunction of the system.
Out of Pakistani politics comes more uproar than progress. Political commotions upon the grandest scale, political events of astounding suddenness, political characters of the greatest ability, abound, but still, permanent results are rare, and we look in vain for miracles. The question is that if political parties are serious about democracy, when they come to the Parliament they should make such arrangements which could fulfil the gaps particularly in electoral process. It is no doubt that real democracy exists where representatives are elected not selected. If the political leaders are really keen to fix the system then they should join the hands to move forward for the betterment of Pakistan but not for personal interests.
For our politics to grow we need informal non-purposive & unruled everyday civic talks to create bridges between our private self-interest & sense of reciprocity & belonging that makes civility and collective political action possible. Discourse creation is fundamental for political change.