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- Monday, September 17, 2012 - From Print Edition

This refers to Dr Atta-ur-Rehman’s article ‘A different democracy’ (Sept 8). Pakistan hasn’t seen good governance for the last 65 years. In the name of reconciliation, and for the sake of keeping coalition partners happy, incompetent, uneducated and corrupt feudal lords, who maintain strong vote banks in their respective areas of influence, are given ministries and made heads of organisations. If a person who does not know the rudiments of railways is made the minister for railways then the organisation is definitely going to be ruined.

Similarly, if a person who does not know the importance of dams is made the minister for water and power then we shouldn’t be surprised at prolonged loadshedding. In the US only one person, the president, is elected by the masses and the rest – all ministers and heads of organisations – are nominated by the president. Unfortunately, no one, from any political party, will support the presidential form of government as it will decrease their influence. Pakistan needs the presidential form of government to improve the system of governance.

Zakir Hussain Thalvi



This is with reference to Dr Atta-ur-Rahman’s article ‘A different democracy’ (Sept 8). If the illiterate population of Pakistan is denied its right to vote – as mentioned in Dr Rahman’s article – it will mean that 45 percent of Pakistan’s population will not vote in the elections. This can cause dispute and mistrust, particularly among the rural inhabitants. Also, the elected leader would represent only the remaining 55 percent of our population (provided that all of them utilise their right to vote).

It is very likely that the individual thus elected will cater to the needs of the educated urban class only, whereas the illiterate class, who has its own grave problems, will be left in despair. Living in a specific locality makes one fully aware of the difficulties faced by the residents there; only people who have lived in a place for years can truly understand what sort of a leader can pull his people out of their persistent gloom. It must be remembered that the real essence of democracy lies in the fact that it is the government of the people, and by the people which include the illiterate as well.

Isha Fahad

Cambridge, UK