Pakistan is a democratic country. This is what the world believes. This is how the people knows it. And more than all, this is how Pakistan portrayed itself to the others. Right? If you think the same, then I am sure you are absolutely deprived of the facts and reality.
BTW What is Democracy?
The democracy in Pakistan has always been ill-fated. Apart from the people’s government, by the people, for the people… The term Democracy comprises of many other things. Out of all, the greatest aspect which stands out in a Democracy is the “freedom of expression”.
The democracy in any state doesn’t measure by how frequently does election held in that state, but how far the “freedom of expression” exists in the country.
Democracy without the freedom of expression is referendum under a fascist or fascist state.
Pakistan is witnessing its biggest democratic streak now, which has now transitioned to the third government after the successfully completed 5 years tenure of previous two governments consecutively. Since the start of the third government of P.T.I, a number of serious concerns are raised upon the freedom of expression.
It seems that the current government is in no mood to tolerate the criticism marked on it or the state institutions over their blunders or silly mistakes. Whether it came from the political circle or non-political circle, the government seems ready to going over it.
However its another question, that the government and establishment are a single body or a lies in a separate domain.
The recent general elections in Pakistan have raised a quite few questions over the transparency of the elections due to the involvement of non-political forces. Since then, a sarcastic tone had been conveyed by the opposition parties to criticize the non-political forces in an indirect way.
Pakistan holds a strange history of the interference of non political forces on several occasions. From the creation of Pakistan to the tough of war of power/government in earlier decades. The false use of Article 58-2(b), and the Mehran Bank saga of IJI… these are all the mysterious aspects of our past regarding the interference of non-political forces.
I will be no wrong if I say, Pakistan is governed 35 years directly by the military dictatorship and 37 years indirectly over the vendetta of democracy without civil supremacy. Enough to say that democracy has remained ill-fated in Pakistan so far.
The Rise Of Censorship
Recently, the government has started a crack down to silence the voices raised against its policies and mistakes, no matter either it comes from the media or the opposition. But in the age of social media, how would it be possible for the government to silence its all critics? Well, only the government can answer it in a better way. So far it tends to left no stone un-turned.
The fresh example of that is Shahzeb Jillani, who is a part of “Aaj Kamran Khan ke Sath” show team on Dunya News. Shahzeb specializes in making documentaries and detailed video reports on the past events which refreshes one’s mind at give the touch of nostalgia moments.
Recently, he had posted the video about the former Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo, highlighting his tenure of government along with many other videos.
Few days ago, the journalist came under a problem when he came to know that he had been summoned by F.I.A over his controversial marks about the state institutions.
Speaking about this issue, the journalist said that he had said nothing controversial about the state institutions. All he said was “Mr. Junejo was a moderate Prime Minister despite being the puppet of Gen Zia-ul-Haq“, which our institutions found controversial.
Moreover, the govt has also banned the former Finance Minister Miftah Ismail from speaking onto the television about the economic crisis, and analyzing the current economic situation. Not only this, he also granted with another surprise came in the form of his name in the ECL. One can differ with the opinion of Miftah and his party, but no sane person can believe, that the name of Miftah Ismail can ever be on ECL.
By going over journalists and the opposition politicians, the govt has gone an extra mile to put a bar beyond Supreme Court. It all came when the PTI government along with the MQM and Sheikh Rasheed filed a petition against Justice Qazi Faiz Issa over his remarks in the Faizabad dharna Case. In case you didn’t know, Qazi Faiz Issa roasted the state institutions over their prohibited involvement in the Faizabad Dharna.
*You can download the Faizabad Case Judgement by clicking here .
Those 3 major scenarios are enough to define the current situation of democracy in Pakistan which has been kinda ill-fated in the past.
A Clear-cut Message
From the past events, the government seems to be very clear-cut on going over those who raised question on the state policies. It is due to which the media anchors and journalists are bared for not speaking against the state policies and the involvement of non-political forces in the current politics.
If somebody still tries to break the shackles of Government policies, then the govt has got only one solution, which kept using repeatedly since the earlier days of Pakistan. That is none other than to throttle the voice using the “Censorship Formula”.
From Fatima Jinnah to the current era’s politicians, all have been suffered brutally from this curse. And you know whats’s more saddening is that, we may have entered in the year 2019, but we are still a victim of old 60-70’s policy. May we ever try to learn!