Pakistani Democracy Is Not Meant For The People

Pakistani Democracy Is Not Meant For The People

Pakistani democracy, though it is ‘by’ the people, it is not meant ‘for’ the people. Actually, Pakistani democracy is exclusively for the ruling/elite class. When the rulers need to reach Parliament, they need ‘the thumb’ of the poor people after which they leave them at the mercy of the police, patwari and katchehri. This sham democracy and institutional inability is hampering societal development and democracy for the people. Most of the petty issues which could be tackled by active participation of local government representatives should be entrusted to them. For example, kite-flying which causes loss of human life is declared a crime. Arrested children, upon complaints, are mal-treated and mistreated at the police stations. Their parents are forced to grease the palms of the police at the local police station while those who are unable to pay due to extreme poverty end up facing protracted litigation. The emotions of parents are exploited by the police. This circus is made to continue unabatedly while neither the government nor the courts take pain to rectify this violation of law and to provide relief to the masses who always bring these leaders into power by standing in long queues just to vote for them.

While raids by police continue to be carried out for arresting children who are involved in kite flying – and most of the time those not involved are also arrested – it is observed that police personnel do not care to observe and respect the dignity of man and privacy of home and violate these constitutional rights blatantly. This is a painful practice which is routinely committed by the police. They do not exercise caution unless one takes the matter to the High Court level. Even then the police would only be faced with the usual action of “suspension” which is reinstated/restored within months. The political slogan made by every political party “to change thana culture” always turns out to be an unfulfilled dream and thana culture becomes more brutal in different forms. The ruling/elite class which does not have to face such problems even remotely, doesn’t think it necessary to change it for the common man because here in Pakistan democracy is not meant for the people.

This situation is prevalent in all provinces of Pakistan, though some improvement has been observed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the situation in Sindh and Punjab is horrible and needs immediate attention of the respective provincial governments. In this scenario, implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) and curbing extremism and terrorism by such policing creates reasonable doubts on the police’s ability to curb terrorism and extremism from Pakistan and there are chances that NAP will be failed due to such ignorance and inability by the police.

Since local governments have now been elected, local bodies representatives should be more involved to check all such crimes as kite flying and checking on tenancies to control terrorist activities, etc. This task, though difficult, is not impossible. It requires a vibrant local and provincial government and it is advisable that the federal and provincial governments must devolve the necessary powers to the local government, otherwise it would be presumed that the meaning of democracy in Pakistan is totally different from what its is supposed to be and here it would only mean ‘democracy by the people and for the ruling/elite class’.


The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of or any organization with which he might be associated.

Muhammad Imran

Author: Muhammad Imran

The writer holds a degree in LL. B (Punjab University) and M. Phil (Islamic Studies) and is an LL. M Candidate at University of Lahore. He has avid interest in Constitutional Law and is currently working at the Shaikh Ahmad Hassan School of Law (SAHSOL), Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).