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Senior journalist M. Ziaduddin said that democracy was not an end in itself

According to a press release, they agreed that the democratic process in the country had been a combination of good and bad outcomes but that a sustained period of democracy was essential for ensuring accountable governance in Pakistan.

Senior journalist M. Ziaduddin said that democracy was not an end in itself, but a mean to the end of equitable distribution of wealth and power in a state and society. He argued that Pakistan had not transitioned from a feudal to a democratic polity, and maintained that democracy had not taken roots in the country because of the ascendance of military and the civil bureaucracy in the political history of Pakistan.

Ziauddin complimented the current government for developing consensus on the 18th Amendment as well as the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award. He also called the judiciary the most powerful and independent in Pakistan’s history and referred to it as a good sign for the future of democracy in the country. He added that the judiciary and the media were collectively exercising collective control over the executive for keeping its activities in check. He argued that putting the whole blame of bad governance on the political government was not correct and that the rot in the civil bureaucracy and lower judiciary etc. was equally responsible for it.

Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS) Executive Director Ashraf Jehangir Qazi referred to modernity, as a precursor for democracy rather than vice versa, and argued that in western societies it was the democracy that had followed modernity rather than the other way round.

He defined modernity, as the presence of institutional structures for addressing a community’s problems rather than certain predefined notions of living a life. He advocated the mobilisation of masses on the basis of people-centric programmes for achieving modernity and, thus, a substantive democracy in South Asia.

Lieutenant General (r) Saleem Hayder added that such mobilisation would need sincere leadership. Dr. Tanvir Ahmad Khan maintained that even though Pakistan was having all the democratic institutions, they were unable to deliver effectively because of lack of attention towards institutions that enable democracy such as land reform and independent election commission.

The participants of the discussion also included: Ashraf Azim, president of IRS; Brigadier (r) Bashir Ahmed, senior fellow; Dr. Shaheen Akhtar, senior research analyst; Aarish Khan, research analyst Arshi Saleem Hashmi, associate professor at the National Defence University.The news.

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