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Lahore
Monday, May 16, 2022
EditorialPakistan Day pledge: Strengthen democracy

Pakistan Day pledge: Strengthen democracy

In 1940, the Lahore Resolution was passed on March 23, which later came to be known as the Pakistan Resolution, and later as it was this day when it was decided that the Muslims of British India are in need of a separate homeland. Although the resolution was primarily drawn up so that the persecuted minority of Muslims in India could get a separate homeland, the homeland was to offer refuge to and provide a home to anyone who felt oppressed in Hindu-majority India. Many non-Muslim leaders also supported the resolution as they believed that they will also receive equal rights and opportunities in the new country. Alas, it was a dream and remains one to this day. If we look at Pakistan now, it is extremely different from what those who struggled for Pakistan had imagined. The country was supposed to be a democracy where all citizens would be equal, regardless of caste, creed, and religion. The country which the forefathers created was to provide justice to anyone who came knocking. It was supposed to be a safe haven for the oppressed and a place where all citizens could exercise their rights without any obstacle. To the disappointment of the founders of Pakistan, the country, neither remained democratic nor did it allow religious minorities to practice their faith in peace. The justice system failed to do its job correctly on many occasions and other state institutions also did not live up to their founder’s legacy. The current circumstances in Pakistan are also an ode to the failure of the system at large.

Since President Musharraf stepped down, there have been three terms of seemingly democratic governments. Every time, however, prime ministers were removed from their seats. This time too, there is chaos in the parliament and it seems like the current prime minister will face the same fate as his predecessors. Pakistan is a sham democracy, to put it in simple words. The facade seems like it is well kept but it is crumbling with each passing day. Pakistan needs reforms in all sectors and it needs to go back to its roots to see what the founding fathers had imagined for the new state. This Pakistan Day, the nation needs to pledge to develop secular values so that all citizens are able to exercise rights. For this secularism to prevail there must be a strong foundation of democracy and education. The justice system also needs to be independent and people who run it need to be just in all matters and no personal bias should come in the decisions they make so that people are not afraid to look towards the courts. All of this can be done through a strong democratic system.

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