Democratic Conundrum

So in the last few weeks I have had this discussion with a couple of people. In trying to find an ultimately grand and absolute democratic solution and stability one factor will always remain – Zardari. Given the way he has maneuvered the current government to survive opposition attacks, the army, the judiciary and new foes or fads (it is yet to be seen) credit needs to be given to him despite all the cons and negatives that have also accompanied the last 5 years. Fact of the matter is that no one else has managed in the history of Pakistan to take a democratically elected government and make it complete its term. For all intents and purposes Zardari has played his cards well and proven himself to be a complete politician. Unfortunately what has lacked has been what this country needs the most – somebody leading this nation with the nation’s interests at heart.

Political dealing and lobbying and appeasing the various ‘stakeholders’ and players is part and parcel in the democracy and politics of any country. It is part of ‘taking everybody’ along in the process of growth of a nation. So it shouldn’t be surprising to anybody that even in a solution for a brighter future for Pakistan the political wheeling and dealing will remain. What is needed is that the motivation for that dealing be the nation’s interests rather than self interests.

Musharraf when he came to power did so with a lot of fan fare. A lot of people had a lot of hope from him. But sadly after 4 years the derailment had started. The final nail in the coffin for most of his support was the killer blow of the NRO. Now in self exile, Musharraf lacks the support or the political clout to make any sort of return.

Imran Khan – created a lot of noise last year. The PTI started creating waves in the news, social media and the youth. Buzz started growing of a new hope. People actually started thinking along the lines of a what if and dreaming of change. But the party peaked way too early. A slight misjudgment in the timing of starting the ‘Tsunami’ wave and march by the politically lacking Mr. Khan means that currently PTI seems more like a fad of the past than anything else. Whether they can revive the buzz and energy they generated last year is yet to be seen.

Old stalwarts like the Shariff baradran, the Chaudry baradran etc have been tried and tested. So really it comes down to the fact that in terms of being politically sound and skilled Zardari stands above the rest. Now I know the last statement is enough to make you raise your eye-brows and start on war path to chew my head off. But it is the unfortunate truth that we all would arrive at once we think about it. And if we think about it a little further with a pinch of fiction and a dose of idealism then a Zardari with absolutely sincere ambitions and national interest in heart and mind would probably do wonders for this country. There in lies the democratic conundrum for me. I honestly don’t see any leader coming through a democratic setup to put this nation at least at the starting point of the right path. Of course nations aren’t built for greatness over a small course of 5, 10 or even 15 years. It takes more than that for the consistency to seep in to the grass root levels. For that change to be effective and become second nature it takes time.

So then Mr. President.. what say you? Ready to be written in a different light from now on? Who knows. I know it won’t happen but hey .. there aren’t any bans on dreaming or being unrealistically positive once in a while right? Smile with tongue out


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