Opinion

True democracy in Pakistan can prevent extremism

“When all power was with the prime minister as in 1977 and 1999 the military [still] carried out a coup. Everything will depend on whether politicians can lead and run country well. Politicians need to show responsibility in opposition and in government because the military is always on standby to take over when they don’t,” he was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

Yet it is not just politicians who must show responsibility in opposition in order to foreclose a pretense for a military takeover. As Tarek Fatah, a Canadian activist noted in the Daily Times, more than the army, “it is the judiciary, appointed to their privileged positions by past military dictators, which seems to be working against the current government,” some of whom suggest the constitutional changes brought by the 18th Amendment bill will be struck down by the courts. According to the press, Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, has said that parliament has the sole authority to amend the constitution and that the Court must obey the constitution and not try to overturn it

President Zardari has fulfilled the promise he made to the people of Pakistan last March. With greater power being shifted to the Pakistani people should come greater stability and security, if the judiciary, opposition parties and the media would end the political maneuvering, accept the roles they were elected or appointed to carry out, and work together to secure Pakistan’s economic and political future.

Dr. Majjida Ahmed is the Chief of Medical Staff at Whittier Hospital Medical center, and is in Private Practice in Whittier, California. She is a founding member of Americans for Democracy & Justice in Pakistan, an organization dedicated to educating the media, political leaders and the public about the importance of supporting democracy and democratic institutions in Pakistan.