• Friday, December 15, 2017

Featured 'The System'-by WAJsal

Discussion in 'Pakistani Siasat' started by WAJsal, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. WAJsal

    WAJsal MODERATOR

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    Nothing too serious. Just utilizing some free-time. I hope i am not repeating the same things... Thought it would be interesting to discuss this, especially in today's context when the debate is so hot in Media and. Enjoy and before posting i would like to thank @Joe Shearer , for his help in editing.
    PS: fancy English is all his doings...
    @Side-Winder , could you please look to share it on social media, give it more audience. Would be appreciated.
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    The ‘System’-By WAJsal
    upload_2016-10-14_15-46-45.png

    The recent comments made by former President Pervez Musharraf regarding Democracy and its ineffectiveness in Pakistan incited strong and harsh reactions from different democratic sectors, particularly the politician. These statements begged the same old questions in one’s mind, ‘whether democracy is actually the best system for Pakistan…’ and many such questions linked to that.

    Being a keen observer of the political history of Pakistan and a firm supporter of a democratic system and democratic ideas, these comments also begged me to question my beliefs. Before one shares one’s analysis on the subject, one begs the question whether democracy is a better system compared to dictatorship, and specifically in the context of Pakistan. One doesn’t have to give it much of a thought, really. Dictatorship in Pakistan has caused almost irreversible damage to the country and to its ideology; democracy, on the other hand, has never been given a proper chance to grow and prosper. One thing the general public is quite wrong to do is to confuse democracy with the politicians who are associated with the system. Dictatorship has not really been an efficient system anywhere in the world, any time in history, apart from there being no checks and balances in it. Instead, a class, the ruling class, is un-touchable and beyond the law, while comparatively, democracy, if properly administered, has all the checks and balances a system requires.

    Moving on to the main topic of my write-up, do I think that Democracy in Pakistan has no checks and balances and that it is an ineffective system for Pakistan? Yes and a no. Democracy is not a divine system, it is not flawless, it’s is not mistake free. In my opinion any system without the right people in the right place will inevitably become a useless and a corrupt system. Be it by design and intent the best functioning system ever, a system requires devoted and “right” people to be successful. It requires a will, will from the “right” people, will from the “right” type of people, will from the general public. There are many examples of countries doing much better than they should only because of the “right” people leading in the right place. Right people is put in quotation marks as it is not my intention to propose an elite ruling class, only individuals, as the right people.

    There are today certainly few or no checks and balances in Pakistan, be it under a democracy or a dictatorship; the scale does vary regarding the degree of corruption in both systems. The problem with democracy in Pakistan is with certain gaps in the judicial system and the whole system, of which the judicial section forms a part, in general too, which allows the corrupt room to breathe and to practice freely what they do. The biggest hurdle in my opinion is still having the wrong people at the right place. Honesty is lacking and is the biggest piece of the puzzle. Politicians most often do give democracy a bad image in Pakistan, but they should not be confused the ‘system’ at all.

    Not to get into the technicality of things, there are many gaps in justice system which are exploited by the corrupt. Justice is very hard to find and is usually very slow to find. There are cases of people getting a judgement after 17 years and being released from involuntary imprisonment in jail. These are some of the biggest flaws in the system, but the biggest flaw is our ignorance of these flaws. There is no will from any concerned authority. The status quo ante remains and people forget everything wrong that happens in a matter of days.

    One wonders why the status quo ante never works in our favour, to improve the ‘system’ as a whole, fix basic problem of mentality with the police, fix basic problems faced by farmers who face number of problems from the ‘Patwaris’. Is it really impossible or beyond our understanding to fix these basic problems, fix electoral system. Strengthen the system and democracy. Do we not have the resources to fix these problems? No. The only thing lacking is the will. The corrupt are at the top in this country and every one of these small problems is most definitely in one way or another linked to the ruling elite. The ruling elite is in one or the other linked to every sector facing corruption, or to activities that are exhausting the countries resources and weakening the economy.

    In simple words, the status quo ante would never fix the basic problems faced by the people as it feeds them in one way or another. If the ‘system’ as a whole is fixed, the majority of the present ruling class would either be in jail or would have to find a different profession.


    The Way forward…

    “Pakistan had retained the structure of the colonial state from its inception. Lacking an indigenous bourgeoisie, dominated by a feudal elite totally dependent upon the colonial bureaucracy, deprived of well-structured programme-oriented and duly encadred political parties and without a judiciary which would jealously protect civil authority and the citizen rights, Pakistan saw a gradual choking of the democratic spirit from its early days.” Aitazaz Ahsan-Divided by democracy


    Pakistan’s future certainly lies in some form of democracy successive democratic governments have strengthened the system in general and the country is slowly but surely coming back on track. The system still requires many things to really deliver. For the general public, democracy or any other system means nothing as long as it is not delivering. The general public wants to see immediate results, which is not possible. The administrative system in Pakistan was never formed fully by the founding fathers[ an independent country, a free state was formed, but the administrative foundation was, as mentioned before, never laid down. Soon after its independence, Pakistan faced disaster. Pakistan was to have been a democratic state ruled by the people and by the people only. Instead, it was steered on a course that was contrary to the nation’s ideology.

    The Army in Pakistan plays a key role. Its role has become greater especially in times when it is expected to hold back and let the civilians lead. One thing that General Raheel Sharif has done has given Army the direction or a path of professionalism that it needs to follow. The psyche in Army has seen a change after the last episode of martial law; it has realized that ruling the country is not its job. The civilians should be allowed to make the laws and form policies. The important thing in this change of heart is for continuity of these policies to the time when civilians really do dominate the scene. Only if there is sustained continuity of these policies, and these ways of formulating policy, will the system get the time and the breathing space it needs to evolve gradually.

    The Judiciary plays a big role in any system; free and fair justice means a prospering society. The opposite holds true. A weak, failed society is a result of a flawed justice system. The Judiciary in Pakistan has always been under the influence of the powerful. The poor are left searching for justice for years, and decades in some cases. Judiciary needs to reak these shackles;, the general belief in the Judiciary is that it should not interfere with how a government is run or with any policy that is implemented. The sour taste of previous tenures, like the one of Iftikhar Chaudry, still remain. Some even go on to call it a ‘muk muka’ between leading elements preserving the status quo ante - the ruling parties and the judiciary. On the contrary, I believe that, it is the unfounded fear of interfering and the unfounded fear of questioning the people’s mandate that keeps the Judiciary from delivering. Delivering,for instance, in cases like the 2013 electoral riggings and the recent Panama leaks. The Judiciary needs to reform itself, it is the judiciary which should itself implement any reforms it suggests to the government. Appropriate constitutional amendments should be made and justice should be made fair, swift and equal for all. It should be realized that the Judiciary is the only institution or third party that should resolve political differences. When people looking to the army to arbitrate, it is a failure of the politicians, but also a failure of the judicial system.

    Moving on to the last point, the politicians are the ‘people at the right place’. Politicians need to look, have to look, to think about the country rather than their personal gains. The psyche leading us to a status quo ante needs to change, or I would go on to say that the psyche is beyond any external reforms. The people need to change the status quo altogether, need to use the power that they have. ‘The people don’t know the power they have.’ In a country like Pakistan, a small number of families, a particular class, rules this country and is eating it up from within like a termite eats wood. making it hollow and empty from within. All the resources are being looted and the beneficiary is this ruling class by and large. Any revolution or ‘change’ can only be brought in by the people and by the people only, by expressing their will through the ballot; forceful interventions by a third party have always made thing complicated. This in turn has benefited this class. Making a political martyr is the last thing Pakistan needs. In this, the Judiciary has to act as the instrument of the people, and has to ensure that the actions of the politicians are in consonance with the will of the people, since the people cannot act on their own.

    We have to bring in checks and balances in Pakistan,the system has gradually, over time, made good the lack of an original foundation and installed everything – almost everything All the institutions need all the laws present. Over time, every time we got thwarted, we learnt from our mistakes and improved the system incrementally. As stated before, it is the ‘will’ to implement these rules and regulations that is missing. There are surely some lacunae in the law, some gaps. But all society has flaws. These flaws, social, economic, and somewhat cultural take time to be resolved. The institutions that should be doing their jobs are influenced and directed by the politicians, which is a major problem. Fixing this involves making room for the ‘checks and balances’ a system requires in Pakistan.

    On a concluding note, I would like to add that in my opinion and in the opinion of many, Pakistan is at a very fragile state in its history. It might either boom and become the state long dreamt off or go into oblivion and be a weak and next to un-fixable state like Afghanistan or Iraq. There are surely many international powers in the picture that don’t want to see a resolution. We have taken a stand against terrorism and the times are not far when we shall have a peaceful environment, a stable secure environment, the society we used to have.

    As we have seen, this will need the Army to stand aloof from the administration of the country and of policies, and to do its job of defence of the state without getting into each and every aspect of the functioning of the country.

    It will need the Judiciary to act according to the strictest principles of constitutionalism and the rule of law. The Judiciary must search for the best interests of the people, as evidenced by their will revealed through the ballot, and must not make the mistake of assuming that the politician wholly represents the will of the people: today, the politician only represents the self-interest of the politician.

    The political class has to reform, or submit to reform; we need politicians who put the country above themselves.

    Most of all, we need the people to remain fixed and unchanging in their resolve to achieve a well-governed, prosperous and peaceful state, and to demand this through their exercise of their vote, and through a watchful vigilance over the direction that the country is taking.

    All the efforts are a waste without the continuity of the policies. The averity in general public has to grow. Pakistan cannot afford to go back anymore. No international power can dictate us anymore. We shall not be ruled a class of families looking to destroy this country and looking to remain in rule for years to come. Democracy is the future of this country, a people’s revolution is required. Right people in the right place is the only thing Pakistan requires.

    First posted on PDF
    (Please don't use this without any permission.)
     
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  2. WAJsal

    WAJsal MODERATOR

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  3. Joe Shearer

    Joe Shearer PROFESSIONAL

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    Let me make it VERY CLEAR that I am appreciative of the original and lucid thought of the single author. Any grammatical correction that was done was peripheral.
     
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  4. knight11

    knight11 BANNED

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    Why this ??
     
  5. Vapnope

    Vapnope FULL MEMBER

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    Army should its play its part to strengthen the democracy. Army should discourage the prevailing mindset that martial law is good for country.
     
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  6. saiyan0321

    saiyan0321 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Great write up @WAJsal

    I have often stated that each system be it democracy, dictatorship, monarchy e.t.c has both positives and negatives. Some may have more negatives than positives. The reason for Pakistan's condition and the reason for Pakistan's weak political structure is not dictatorship but the flip flopping the nation willfully indulged in. Running a nation is not a joke nor is it a game yet the people of pakistan treated it as such.

    When the first martial law happened under ayub khan, the people welcomed him with open arms. Tired of the rubbish of bureaucracy as well as the politicians with their thirst of power, the people openly welcomed the ouster and coming of a dictator. This started a system where the people would welcome the army but after 6-8 years call for democracy, only to welcome the army once again.

    This flip flopping reached such heights that army itself said enough with both kiyani and raheel refusing any martial law especially kiyani despite there being extreme pressure on kiyani by the people to rid pakistan of the corrupt PPP govt.

    After 70 years we found ourselves with little progress to show for bcz a single system was never allowed to mature. Even now we have democratic parties urging military to take over in their own thirst for power and will openly abuse the military when they refuse and allow democracy to flourish.

    It has been only 8 years since we had democracy. Out of those 8, 5 years have been the rule of the most corrupt party that choked pakistan and pak economy. In these 8 years we have witnessed the most horrific war aka the war on terror placed upon pakistan. One cannot expect Paradise in such conditions and the immature and impatient nation must realize this.

    Democracy hands the people the tools to build their own futures and their own destiny. They can vote anybody they want and cannot say that they are not guilty of state corruption bcz the ruler was imposed upon us. No. You have elected him and you will be responsible as well. In a nation that suffers from the "messiah" complex in every facet of life be it state or cricket or work life, the concept of self help and self rise is a difficult one to understand.

    You are right the judiciary needs Reformation and the political class needs reformation and accountability needs to be the norm yet all of this will not come until we make the elected individual accountable to the nation. How? By NOT electing him if he does corruption or does any anti state activity. By taking away his power which you provided to him. This is the step first towards creating accountability. The other elected individual will see and will pass reforms to please a critical nation that is not sheep but wolves willing and ready to pounce on the smallest of mistake.

    So the question is have we taken this first step. We have thrown PPP the last federal party to only being present in interior sindh.

    If we cannot showcase our power then we cannot create political reforms which will lead to judicial reforms.

    Remember we have tools of power. We decide who rules sbf who doesn't. We make and unmake leaders. Until we start using this threat fully, we will never evolve out of the "messiah" complex, we will never allow democracy to flourish and we will never have the political and judicial reforms we so desperately seek.
     
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  7. TheNoob

    TheNoob SENIOR MEMBER

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    Its his original article.
     
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  8. knight11

    knight11 BANNED

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    Yes, I know that, but thought he would like to get been posted to spread his thoughts.
     
  9. TheNoob

    TheNoob SENIOR MEMBER

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    you can still do with permission and proper credits.
     
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  10. coffee_cup

    coffee_cup SENIOR MEMBER

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    Democracy = Govt of the people, by the people and for the people with accountability.

    Democracy is not about putting some families and their stooges into power, where the actual choice is rigged by power and corruption. And there are no checks and balances. So agreed with you @WAJsal .

    Furthermore, before people could give their verdict and make a choice, they must be educated about the consequences of the decisions they are gonna make. They should be taught about their rights and their duties.

    Countries should have a very high literacy rate (ideally above 80%) if people are to be given a choice of Western style of democracy. It is not suitable for all environments.


    Pakistan needs a kind of techno-political set up which runs stable for at least 10 years. Where strong true federal national "democratic" parties with their manifestos emerge and people know how to elect.

    Only after that Pakistan can afford to experiment with Western style democracy (perhaps even then it wont work).

    The current sham system is definitely a curse on Pakistan!
     
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  11. Arsalan

    Arsalan PDF THINK TANK: CONSULTANT

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    Nice read @WAJsal
    You were writing on a subject that is huge and deep and i understand that only this much could have been covered in a single post. Excellent.

    If i may, i will like to quickly point out some points that i found really interesting.

    First, i loved this, "One thing the general public is quite wrong to do is to confuse democracy with the politicians who are associated with the system. I do not think this could have been put more nicely for everyone to understand.

    Then you mentioned how democracy with proper checks and balance would be ideal for us however you still say that you are talking about democracy in Pakistan, with Pakistani perspective. It was nice that you do go ahead and mention how the system in our country (if there is one) is far from perfect and generally speaking, needs a make over! Without that, the democracy or dictatorship wont do us any good and will be the same. So in short, when talking about democracy from a Pakistani perspective we cannot ignore the fact how it needs an overhauling. The question of "How" remains but perhaps we should leave it from some other time? For now, the democracy, HOW it is practiced today is not doing us a lot more good than dictatorship, slightly better but no way near the place it is supposed to be or it is regarded to be.

    Just to add a quote here, one that i always, ALWAYS find interesting and it makes me think of our "democracy" is:
    We too cannot trust "everyone" with democracy. It is time we realize that.

    You mentioned, in fact, put up a question, why the status quo never works in our favor. Well, you might have hit a never there man. To simple put, without hurting many and not going into details, it is not just the democracy but the whole system associated with it that will need a new life.

    You go ahead and rightly point out judiciary as one of the associated setup. Excellent work there. I can not really add much more to this as i think you have covered it all brilliantly. Same goes for the military as well. They have learned the lesson and are in no mood to intervene. No people will argue that it is because they do not have to or because the do not want to OR because they cannot, i wont go down that road either. Let us keep the discussion in areas where there is no mud slinging, just like you did. So i will conclude that army is not going to intervene anytime soon. This is for good or for worst only time will tell. However is the history is something to learn from, i am confident that it will be for the long term good, Inshallah.

    Again, thanks for the article. A nice read. :)
     
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  12. Shah01

    Shah01 FULL MEMBER

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    Thank you WAJsal, very good write up. A few comments:

    This will take time before the general public realize it. It is very difficult to setup a democratic system in a country where people are illiterate and follow their family/cast/chaudaries etc for voting. So even though the system of voting is not rigged technically it is. Would this change? Yes but how? with greater literacy and urbanization. It will take time but the system needs time to improve as you have mentioned.

    Too many gaps and this will only get worse with population growth and inequality....

    How do you think we can fix these? It will take a life time if not more. We bought some land some 25 years ago and now the grand daughter of the feudal has open a case against us saying they didn't sell it and we've been renting it.....
    If that was not enough the Government itself opened a case on another piece of land which we have owned for more than two decades (this involves almost 70 plus morabbas with thousands of people about to lose their life savings).....

    This will not happen far from it. See above

    They do have power but when the entire nation is complicit then the nation will need to be replaced to introduce change....

    Political system is such that politicians will always look out for their interests and also give favours to their family and friends (if you don't believe please read up on UK politicians and how they make some of the policies etc). It is not all doom and gloom as justice is quick and fair in UK for the general populace.

    As I have stated above people are complicit so to have a revolution you will need a different generation. Finding right people will be the next step.
     
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  13. The Eagle

    The Eagle MODERATOR

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    @WAJsal Nicely write up and interesting read as per current situation.

    I would like to add as, the current lot of corrupts actually worked it out with a well planned scenario where "the one that can do a work is put to the task of talks while on other hand the talkative is assigned to do the work". This is an approach by these corrupts so that the "will" cannot be succeeded at all.

    Indeed there are many flaws from top to bottom and the general public is not playing the role that it should by empowering the people that deserves. What really happening is, people are under spell to worship the specific lot/family and a person due to his magic words and once the same is in power/house the same people starts complaining about and asking Military for help. Indeed Marshal law is not a feasible thing nor we can afford anymore and COAS has made it clear since joining the office even when there were rumors of Military taking over during last Dharna in Islamabad.

    The corrupt lot will never ever opt a way whereby the system can be aligned on the right track for the sake of people and this country as such elite is only interested for its own gains and businesses. This is the time that people must realize their true power and not to elect the same people that have been cheating them since long especially two royal families. The day when public realized that actually are worshiping a specific political breed that has nothing to do with Pakistan, will be the day of true change in country. It is true that these Kings and Princess has drugged the system and have more influence upon the departments as well whereby the Sarkaris are under influence of political power and money as well. Bureaucracy is plagued with political influence merely because of its own competence and due to personal greed of people in power.

    People rather asking to Military for justice, must realize themselves that actual need can be fulfilled only by democratic means only when the right people are elected not by worshiping the same family due to caste, bradary and influence system. It seems like an education platform from within the public is required to put some sense into these blind followers to open their eyes and minds and stop participating in a corrupt political program to damage the country. People must understand that the elite whose own investments and properties are abroad as well as their businesses are nowhere loyal to this country or the people.

    The political elites deliberately tasked the wrong people for different jobs whereby the results are understood and as clear as daylight that nothing will happen except disaster. Currently, the level of competency is, being the Choudhary, Khan or Wadera or Sardar can win an election while on other hand the educated and competent lot has to serve the same corrupt politicians. Politics in Pakistan is currently like a family business to secure the assets and investments as well as the enhance the growth of personal treasury. A channel through local means or through social frequency is needed to educate the people about the difference of being blind followers and rightly utilizing the power of vote. The current Kings and their royal families are actually taking full advantage of us people because of our blind support based upon language, caste or family relations. In other words, currently it is not the democracy but two royal families ruling the kingdom turn by turn in the name of so-called politics. Currently, people are under impression that if one has to achieve some personal means, must have a good relations with political elite rather than believing in the system which is deliberately infected by such corrupt politicians hence no trust on any department except the political office.

    Further more, the judicial system is deliberately strangled within the definition of law through many strings that starts with interference by empowered advocates and as you right summed up, thanks to Choudhary for doing so. Now these lawmen themselves, try to influence the Judicial Institution, black mails by different means and if the institution is question where it is found some discrepancy or by a person being aggrieved, it is painted as more of blasphemy. The formation of Military Courts was decided when it was clear the civil courts are under influence of their own lawmen and many technical excuses provided by the constitution whereby many departments took full advantage to walk out cleanly. Criminals are having bailout just because of the incompetency of the local Police etc being influenced by political elites that help them to be appointed in wished area and posts.

    Indeed, an overall reform is needed but cannot be started until & unless the will of the people that must strive for the same in the manners whereby not only individual but the whole nation will prosper and grow in every aspect.

    Again, thanks for the nice write-up.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
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  14. bananarepublic

    bananarepublic FULL MEMBER

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    @WAJsal excellent read
    A democratic country cannot flourish until the people are educated and i am not taking about western style schools etc
    a suitable environment will only bread an educated mass that is what i think
     
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  15. RAMPAGE

    RAMPAGE SENIOR MEMBER

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    @WAJsal has alluded to the obstacles in the way of Pakistan's system meeting the standards set by the western world, but he doesn't seem to give any suggestions on as to how we should go about doing that. Military intervention is merely one of the many facets of those obstacles and one that is increasingly used by the corrupt political dynasties as a scapegoat to blame for their own corruption incompetencies. In Pakistan's case, It merely slows down the process of political reforms but unfortunately no decisive attempts are being made to that end.

    Let's talk about political reforms. Here I would suggest to readers the study of the working of the Parliment, its history and also the contrast between the nomination of prospective parliamentary candidates in Pakistan and the western world. Britan would be a good place to start. The problem, as you have pointed out, is the complete domination of dynastic politics headed by business tycoons and landowners, you can call them the second estate, though second to none in rank, or Pakistan's very own Lord Temporals If you will. The only difference is that they sit in both the upper and the lower houses. There is the clergy, of course, but comparatively of little consequence in the politics. These Lord Spiritual equivalents tend to claw at the political systems from the outside of the Parliment. Our political lairds run their political parties by nominating smaller landowners, sons of landgrabbers and the like, in exchange for inducements that cannot possibly be afforded by the honest-to-god people we would like to be governed by. Another unfortunate reality, one that cannot be helped (not right away in any case) is the electorate, no more sane than a crowd from the middle ages cheering for the executioner, which decides to vote based on unqualified intuition and the charm of his laird.

    The way to initiate these political reforms would be to set up a political party headed by well-known intellectuals of one mind, with a clearly defined party politics, charter and manifesto. Not a conservative party, not a liberal party but a labour party. But this time, it would not be headed by the landowner Bhutto but by the people. This party will nominate its candidates with selection committees composed of upstanding citizens and will nominate candidates based on merit and merit alone. Only this sort of representation will get you the political reforms at the pace they're needed. As for the Judicial reforms, they're trickled down from the legislative assembly. So political reforms should be the primary concern here.

    @Oscar @Joe Shearer @Arsalan @hellfire

    @wxyz Thought I should tag our Bhutto-in-training.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
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