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April 12, 2017

‘Democracy means taking power and returning it as good governance’


April 12, 2017

Lecture at AWKUM

PESHAWAR: While former cabinet secretary Ejaz Rahim lauded the services of Khudai Khidmatgar Tehreek leader Abdul Ghaffar Khan, lovingly called Bacha Khan by his supporters, activists of Pakhtun Students Federation (PkSF) - the followers of Bacha Khan - chanted slogans outside the hall where the lecture was underway.

The PkSF activists at the Garden Campus were protesting and forcing closure of classes as they said the Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan (AWKUM) has been without a vice-chancellor for the last one month. They also had other demands.

“Bacha Khan and his son Abdul Wali Khan were great statesmen of their times,” said Ejaz Rahim, who served as chief secretary of the then NWFP (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), deputy commissioner of Mardan, cabinet secretary with three prime ministers of the country and a number of other positions in the past.

He has also been decorated with the highest Pakistani [civil] award Sitara-e-Imtiaz. Speaking on “Democracy, Leadership and the Pursuit of Happiness”, Ejaz Rahim impressed the participants with his vivid explanation of history and contemporary situation.

He said the students protest in universities, and people from other walks of life also protest on petty issues in Pakistan because there are problems in our primary education, which lacks lessons on patience and fortitude. 

Ejaz Rahim mentioned five major breakdowns in Pakistani society, ie the lack of social justice, lack of security, violation of merits in institutions, lack of public trust in leadership, and lack of ethics. He also discussed various theories on happiness by various philosophers.

“Democracy is the only way of peaceful change. People have defined democracy in different ways but I say that democracy means to take power from people legitimately and give it back to people in the form of good governance,” he said.

Answering questions at the end of his talk, he said that most people were going overseas for PhD studies since the country lacks resources. To a question about Indian democracy, he said he travelled to various Indian states and found that Muslims were treated badly there.

To a question about bowing to demands of Maulana Sufi Muhammad in Malakand region in 1994 when he was chief secretary of the province, Ejaz Rahim said that he had agreed with Sufi Muhammad and drafted Nifaz-e-Shariat Ordinance to save lives and prevent bloodshed in the region.


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