Red, White and Black

Hide and Seek
29 November, 2005, 2:41 am
Filed under: Pakistan, Politics

In a statement at the end of a three-day summit here, they welcomed Pakistan’s progress in restoring democracy since its reinstatement to the Commonwealth in 2004, and gave it two years to resolve the issue of Musharraf’s dual role.

Commonwealth leaders “reiterated that until the two offices are separated, the process of democratisation in Pakistan will not be irreversible,? the statement said.

The statement “noted that the holding by the same person of the offices of head of state and chief of army staff is incompatible with the basic principles of democracy?,

Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri was reported as saying on Saturday that the Commonwealth had praised Pakistan’s progress on democracy and it “fully supported? Gen Musharraf’s decision to stay chief of the army and president until 2007.

Story here.But the Commonwealth knows very well, that Musharraf isn’t going to relinquish either office. There will always be pressing concerns. So what’s the point of the charade? It’s just a silly game of cat and mouse.

But then what has this whole democratic set-up given us? Without even debating how ‘democratic’ the whole set up, I would like to question the democratic aspirations of our legislators. The National Assembly barely manages to maintain Quorum and just scraps enough meets to satisfy the constitutional requirements- and then what do our esteemed legislators do in the house? Stage walk-outs? Exchange allegations? When have we seen a constructive debate in the National Assembly? What is that one piece of legislation that our legislators have presented their voters with? So then why does the National Assembly meet? To satisfy the ones in the Commenwealth? To waste taxpayers’ money?

Really, what is the purpose of this whole charade? Why do we bother?


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