In Pakistan`s chequered history no elected government has been allowed to complete its term of office. Frequent military interventions have done colossal damage to the integrity and solidarity of the country. As a consequence, Pakistan has failed to achieve political stability, sustained economic growth and a clear sense of national solidarity. The 1973 constitution, which has the consensus of all the federating units, has been amended by the autocratic rulers beyond recognition. What we see today is continuing military rule, with a façade of democracy.
The three main pillars of a sustainable democratic order are: a sovereign parliament, an independent judiciary and a free and fair electoral process. All the three institutions have been greatly weakened in the past 8 years:
- The Parliament had been denied its due role in policy making and virtually reduced to a rubber stamping body. It could not even discharge its constitutional responsibility of electing a Prime Minister.
- The unconstitutional removal of the Chief Justice of Pakistan in March 2007, and the forced retirement of 55 additional Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Courts after 3 November 2007, dramatically exposed the game plan of Military rulers to have a pliable judiciary that will sanctify the continuation of Musharraf`s rule under a civilian façade.
- The manner in which the general elections of 2002 and local body`s polls of 2005 were manipulated and rigged has virtually destroyed the credibility of the electoral process in Pakistan.
In these 8 years, Military has taken control of almost all the vital economic sectors of the country and most important positions are now occupied by retired or serving army officers. The process of accountability has been focused on politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats. Army has been deliberately kept out of its purview. In fact the National Accountability Bureau has been blatantly used as a political tool to coerce turn-coat politicians into playing second fiddle to military ascendancy in matters which are purely civilian in a democratic country. Curbs on democratic freedom and the media remain draconian. To justify the military take over and forestall the emergence of strong political alternatives, the military regime has been vigorously pursuing a systematic campaign to malign politics and politicians and divide and pressurize all the mainstream opposition parties.
The military government has totally failed to achieve any of the objectives announced as its seven (7) point`s agenda in October 1999. There has been a sharp increase in prices, unemployment and poverty. Governance and law and order are at their worst in Pakistan`s history. Car thefts, burglaries, bank robberies, political and sectarian violence have increased by the day ever since the military government has taken control of the country. The centre - province relationships have been deteriorating especially on the issue of water and distribution of financial resources under NFC. Baluchistan has reached a point where an armed confrontation is taking place between the Federation and the local leadership. Because of the mishandling by the present government and the brute use of force, there is great disillusion in the NWFP and the Tribal areas.
The present government has explicitly recognized that the income disparities in the country have increased during the last few years which are sad news for the people of the country. Although the consumption inequality has increased both in urban and rural areas, the inequalities in urban area have grown at a higher rate. Sectors like rural development, rural electrification and low cost housing performed dismally and have shown declining trends. The inequality reflects distortions in the availability and quality of hea