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January 10, 2013

Controversial Tahirul Qadri has exposed the system

January 10, 2013

ISLAMABAD: For many, Allama Tahirul Qadri is a distrustful stranger in today’s politics but the man has badly exposed the hollowness of the country’s democracy and its extremely fragile foundations.

Those claiming to enjoy the trust of the masses and having huge presence in parliament appear completely defenceless against Qadri’s surprisingly powerful and logical onslaught. They attack the political invader for invading their domain but have no answer to the questions raised by their new adversary.

Controversies surrounding his personality apart, the Allama has smartly and shrewdly exploited the serious flaws in the existing system and presented them in such a fashion that democracy here looks nothing but a farce and a fraud.

He may or may not be following someone else’s agenda, he can go to any extent to achieve his political gains, his long march may bring anarchy and chaos but Qadri’s slogans are too striking to be ignored by an average Pakistani.

We may curse him in any manner but isn’t the fact that (i) most of the parliamentarians do not fulfil the conditions set by not fulfil the conditions set by the Constitution, (ii) there have been/ are fake degree holders in the parliament, (iii) some of those after having caught red-handed to have defrauded the system to get into parliament have been re-elected without any question raised about their suitability to represent the people, (iv) though not touched by Allama, many despite having dual nationality still got their way in the National Assembly, Senate and the provincial assemblies, (v) the vast majority of the parliamentarians don’t or hardly pay any tax whereas almost 70% have violated the law of land by not filing otherwise mandatory annual tax returns, (vi) corruption during the last four-five years attained new heights and according to the chairman NAB daily corruption ranges between Rs10-12 billion, (vii) the politics and democracy here are entirely hijacked by a few families, (viii) governance under the present democrats is at its worse while merit has no relevance in the government appointments generally made on political basis, etc.

Citing the corruption of rulers and parliamentarians, their fake degrees and tax evasion etc, Allama refers to certain conditions set by the Constitution for the MPs. The democracy in Pakistan appears a sheer deception when Allama reads out that an MP under Article 62 of the Constitution should be of good character and is not commonly known as one who violates Islamic injunctions; should have adequate knowledge of Islamic teachings and practice obligatory duties prescribed by Islam as well as abstain from major sins; should be sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, honest and ameen etc.

No argument works when a question is raised that how many of our present MPs and their leaders fulfil these conditions set by the Constitution. Here Allama despite his own failings and controversies wins against the dominant political forces. The democracy that we practice stands exposed because of the failure of our political parties, the parliament, the Election Commission of Pakistan and successive governments to evolve a mechanism whereby only honest and upright people could be allowed to contest for the parliament.

Democracy is all about people and their welfare but this is not the case in Pakistan. On talk shows and in their political statements, the counter-attack of the PPP, PML-N and others is mainly focused on the intentions, personality, nationality and credibility of Allama and not on their own failures and misdoings.

They may succeed this time to fail Allama, who chose an extremely dubious timing for his “revolution”, but may not do it next time without reforming the sham democracy in the best interest of the people. Democracy can only be defended by the people if they are served in the best manner by those elected by them. What we have seen during the last five years, has been disappointing to the extent that a large of number people in Pakistan have lost their hope about the future of democracy and even the future of Pakistan.


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