Dreams and realities

 
August 04, 2020

I recently read an interesting book titled, 'Between dreams and realities: Some milestones in Pakistan's history' authored by Sartaj Aziz, ex-federal minister for finance/foreign affairs. The book...

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I recently read an interesting book titled, 'Between dreams and realities: Some milestones in Pakistan's history' authored by Sartaj Aziz, ex-federal minister for finance/foreign affairs. The book provides an in-depth 'insider' account of the chaotic political and administrative history of Pakistan; for about four decades, Aziz has enjoyed on-and-off privy to the power corridors. Hence, this book is a must-read for political analysts, historians, and journalists alike who wish to hone their intellectual skills about Pakistan. Aziz conveys the fact that four important lessons need to be learnt: one, we can survive as a dynamic and vibrant political entity and nation-state only through a genuine democratic framework. Two, a self-sustaining democratic framework can be built on strong institutions and rule of law 'under civilian supremacy'. Three, all three pillars of state: parliament, judiciary, and the executive must function within the constitutional parameters. And, four, the vitality of this nation does not hail only from its economic gains or its military might, but also from its shared values, cultural heritage and social vision. In other words, diversity, harnessed through democratic principles and forces, can increase the vitality of Pakistan.

Our coming iconic landmarks are the 75th birth anniversary of Pakistan and the 50th anniversary of our 1973 constitution. Much time has been lost, but there is still time to develop a new or revised democratic constitutional order so that the above four recommendations are fully enforced to realise the dream of Quaid-e-Azam's Pakistan! Otherwise, the game of musical chairs shall continue between inept civilian governments on the one hand and military-led or supported hybrid regimes on the other.

Abbas R Siddiqi

Lahore



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