Pakistan's democracy burden

Zafar Hilaly is a former Pakistani ambassador whose articles Londonstani has long enjoyed reading. From his writings Amb. Hilaly seems to embody some of the best traits of Pakistan's proud diplomatic corps. He's a staunch supporter of the rule of law, and a vocal critic of the destruction of Pakistan's institutions. In Londonstani's mental map of Pakistan's comment-sphere, Amb. Hilaly is definitely not in the pro-military camp. 

So, it was a surprise to see Amb. Hilaly call for the removal of the present government. Londonstani might not agree with Amb. Hilaly's final analysis, but it is a measure of how badly this government has done its job that people like the ambassador would rather have the military and/or judiciary remove it than to have it complete its last few months in power.

"Watching the prime minister pass by in a seventy-car cavalcade even as local investors flee; foreign investments dry up; hunger drives families to suicide and despair takes hold is a cathartic experience. Hence, even if dispatching the government before it has completed its term harms democracy and means that we can’t get to spew criticism at the regime, so be it. The risk is worth taking. As for the public, it is more than ready to trade democracy for bread, a modicum of jobs and a sliver of hope. They’ve had it up to their gills with democracy. All that democracy does is ‘to substitute election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few."

How much misgovernance will Pakistanis tolerate for the promise of eventual democratic progress? Amb. Hilaly for one has found his limit.

Read the whole article here.