Dividends of Democracy -by Malik Zameer Hassan Awan

Pakistan, a country which has been either under one man rule or it has been under an institution which commands full authority till to date in Pakistan and for years it was not answerable to any of state’s pillar those are the judiciary, government, media or executive. This neither let democratic culture take place in our society nor itallowed political culture to grow within the frontiers of politics and political parties. Pakistan Peoples Party, which has been striving to inculcate a democratic culture in Pakistan lost not only top leadership in military coups but also faced worst persecutions in Pakistan, several of its workers were put in death cells, many were abducted but it kept struggling against the mindset which has been on mission to side Pakistan towards anarchy and fundamentalism, the struggle against the thought which want a theocratic Pakistan was on the way in 2007 when the then President of Pakistan and Chief of Army Staff General Perviaz Musharaf felt threat from this continued  struggle which started on 30th November 1967, and to get rid of this continued struggle Pakistan establishment had only one way out  and that was wiping out the root cause of this democratic struggle who obviously was Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, and then the story of her life ended on 27th December in Liaquat Bagh when she was shot dead following a suicide bomb blast.
Following her death Pakistan faced the worst crisis and anarchy in Society, when the angry mobs from across Pakistan set each & everything on fire which they found on roads either it was railway engines, buses, rollers, shops even Government offices and the then ruling party’s offices were also set on fire, from Karachi to Khyber, Kashmir to Gwader . From Landhi to take-home , angry mobs were on roads and Pakistan was facing worst aggression of its history. But Soon after this incident President Asif Ali Zardari came on the seat and was set to command a party which could have gone into various segments but no doubt the federation remained a federation, symbol of federation –PPP remained intact and solid.
Asif Ali Zardari Leaving for Lahore, Pakistan in 2005
The biggest challenge for President Zardari was to get Pakistan Peoples Party into elections, as it was a time when a majority of opposition parties had decided to boycott elections under Perviaz Musharaf but President Zardari knew it well, this act won’t help democracy but will further give place to Military General, We shouldn’t forget it was President Zardari who convinced PML’N and Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif not to boycott elections. But only contesting elections was not a big deal, the main agenda for President Asif Ali Zardari was to inculcate democracy in Pakistan and to kick out the then Dictator out of presidency as four years Presidency remained rooted cause of wiping out democracy in Pakistan. After elections 2008 in which PPP got a silent majority in the lower house of parliament  & in provincial assemblies of Sindh, KpK, Punjab and Balochistan.
nawaz_sharif_and-asif_zardari4This victory for PPP not only forced the establishment to stop their mission but also convinced PPP and its Leadership to create a state which Shaheed Benazir Bhutti and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto dreamed of, But it was not that easy till General Perviaz Musharaf was sitting there in President House. In this blog being precisely I have tried my best to detail some of the achievements of the current government.
In 4 years
Law Making and constitution :-

  •  Restoration of the constitution of 1973 back to the position it was abrogated.
  • New Mechanism for appointment of judges was introduced to get rid of Politicizing judiciary.
  • Concurrent list which had to be abolished from the constitution of Pakistan many years back, it was abolished by the current government.
  • A new mechanism was introduced in Pakistan’s constitution for appointment of Chief Election Commissioner & today we have an independent election commissioner “Justice Fukhruddin Ibrahim”.
  • Reforms in FATA.
  • To hold government more accountable the seat of Chairman of Public Accounts committee was given to Opposition leader in the assembly.
  • FANA was given provincial states as ” Gilgit- Baltistan”.
  • Abolition of National Security Council.
  • Access for general Pakistani citizens to all the materials and information related to Public.
  • NFC Awards for the 1st time in history, when the all federating units accepted the award without any accusation on central government.
  • The 1st time government made Secret and spying agencies answerable to Parliament.

Most of the work has been done which PPP promised in its constitution, and I can challenge here any one may check PPP’s 2008 constitution and you will find almost 90% of promises fulfilled, and those in a worst circumstances, when the entire world was facing financial crisis and while Pakistan was going through its tough time and situations as during democratic transition we face several routine clashes within state institutions then it was going through a war against extremism and terrorism, which not only effected its economy but also damaged its social fabric of society.
One of the biggest constitutional achievement of PPP is 18th Amendment,

  • 69% of articles of Pakistan’s constitution were amended.
  • 20% were substituted.
  • 7% were inserted.
  • 3% were omitted.
  • 1% was repealed.

4 year’s assembly completed by following :-

  • In 1st year members had 100 sittings in 365 days.
  • In 2nd year members had 107 sittings in 365 days.
  • In 3rd year members had 109 sittings in 365 days.
  • In 4rth year members had 103 sittings in 365 days.

In 4 years around 13,127 questions were asked in Parliament out of which,

  • 10,467 were answered completely by relevant authorities.

Since PPP formed its coalition government Balochistan issue has been one of its top priorities and almost the deteriorating law & order situation in Balochistan has been a challenge for the current government, as Baloch’s have been demanding a separate state since Akbar Bugti’s assassination. But not all  Balochs, the majority want rights promised in 1973 constitution rather than a separate entity, But PPP’s leadership & President Asif Ali Zardari has been putting a great emphasize on Balochistan issue which to some extent has been halted by PPP Pro-Balochistan policies, among them were

  • Giving more economic power to Balochistan government, which later was also given in NFC award and 18th Amendment.
  • Giving more and more federal jobs to Baloch Youth.
  • Announcing Balochistan package for development works.
  • Recruiting Baloch youth in the armed forces.
  • Giving special priority to the Balochs for jobs in province & federal.
  • Cases against Baloch leaders have been taken back by provincial and central government.

A lot many other initiatives were taken to get deprived Baloch Youth into the mainstream and to some extent there has been success but still a lot more needs to be done in Baluchistan.
During last four years PPP and its members played a vital role for Pro-Women legislation which includes,

  • The Criminal law (Amend) Act, 2010. (PPC amendment in section 509 against sexual harassment). Signed By President Asif Ali Zardari on 31st January 2010.This amendment adds a clear definition of “sexual harassment”  for the 1st time in the history of Pakistan.
  • Protection against harassment of women at workplace act. 2010. Signed by President Zardari on the 9th of March 2010.
  • Criminal law (2nd amendment ) act 2011 (Acid 7 burns crimes). Signed by President Zardari on 22nd December.
  • Criminal law (3rd Amendment) act,2011 (anti women practices Act). Signed by President Asif Ali Zardari on 22nd December.

This amendment declares the following practices, whether cultural, traditional or otherwise a crime in Pakistan for the 1st time :

  • Giving a female in marriage or otherwise in badla -e-Sulha, wanni or sowara.
  • Depriving women form inheriting property.
  • Forced marriages.
  • Marriages with the Holy Quran. etc
  • Women in distress act 2011. Signed by President Zardari on 22nd December 2011.

National Commission on the status of Women Act, 2012. Signed by President Zardari on 8th March, 0212.
There has been a financial crisis in all over the world for last many years, huge economies striving to stand back on their feet, while Pakistan has been in a state of war which affected its economy badly, the thus PPP government realized growing inflation and price hike and wisely introduced programs to support poors and especially women who in our culture acts as Finance ministers in house. To make women economically important in a household PPP introduced the Benazir Income support program for women, through this program more than 70, 000 families were given RS 124.68 billion as of April 15, 2012 on various activities including cash transfer, graduation program and emergency relief along with nationwide poverty score card survey. Along with these billions of Rupees were directly given to females at Doorsteps through an independent and transparent system.
Pakistan has been a front line ally against the war on terror, due to which not only its economy has been under threat but also its frontiers and inside territory became unsafe due to its role against Al-Qaida and terrorism. Being a Frontline ally on war against terrorism Pakistani state lost thousands of its innocent soldiers and civilians but are committed to fight against militancy and extremism & PPP as a political party and as a leading coalition party played its role not only against militancy but also helping those who have been evicted from international war on terror. In Malakand Division 4 Million people were displaced, and became  Idps, when PPP led government started operation in Malakand against the militants challenged the writ of state, PPP mobilized all physical & human resources to accommodate these Idps by creating shelter and by providing them all necessities of live in (IDP) camps, after the operation ended and got success, Not only these 4 million Idps were settled back to their homes but also PPP government paid for the structure and house destroyed during operation.And Today Swat is safe once again, You may Visit it any time.
Infect this current government has been facing worst challenges of history and Pakistan, those includes wave of extremism, militancy, financial crisis, share of power between institutions, legal battles between state institutions, constitutional problems along with this government had to face various challenges on international level those includes continuous border escalations and border violations from Afghanistan and attack on Pakistani civilians and  soldiers, then after Mumbai attacks there were allegations battle between both the countries, Pakistan & India. But again PPP government played an important role on foreign fronts and avoided any escalation with any of these countries.
flooding-of-sindh-1342983163-5613Not only this, one of the biggest challenges in PPP government has been two disastrous floods in Pakistan, which further deteriorated its already deteriorating economy, almost each & every seasonal crop were destroyed, millions were displaced and millions lost their homes & households, but PPP remained in front not only settled back those floods displaced people but also managed to set & construct their homes once again. Either we accept or not but without policy of reconciliation it was not possible to kick out Pervaiz Musharaf and to minimize the role of establishment in national affairs, and the credit goes to PPP and Preisdent Asif Ali Zardari who toed Policy of reconciliation even though he lost his various workers in Karachi but salute to the families of  thousands of PPP workers who have been killed in Karachi but still say Geay Bhutto, Geay Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, Geay President Zardari Geay Bilawal Bhutto Zardari because they know its only reconciliation which can get Pakistan towards road of development & progress otherwise confrontation would only favor Pakistan’s establishment which neither want a democracy nor civilian rule.
Pakistan Tractor
Malik Zameer Hassan Awan
Secretary Information
Peoples Youth Organization- Karachi.

Source: Pro Pak Policy 

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