Hypocrisy and democracy are two concepts that often go hand in hand. The level of democracy in Pakistan has been a topic of much debate since the country’s independence in 1947. Despite being the world’s only Islamic republic, Pakistan has had a tumultuous journey towards democratic governance. In this article, we will examine the level of democracy in Pakistan since independence till now, with facts and figures.
Pakistan was established as a democratic country after gaining independence from British rule in 1947. However, it has faced numerous challenges in establishing a stable democratic system. The country has undergone three military coups, two of which were led by General Ayub Khan in 1958 and General Yahya Khan in 1969. The military rule had a significant impact on the country’s political stability and the development of democratic institutions.
After the end of military rule in 1971, the country saw a return to democratic governance. The general elections of 1977 marked the first time in the country’s history that a civilian government was elected through free and fair elections. However, this democratic experiment was short-lived as General Zia ul Haq staged a military coup in 1977, overthrowing the elected government. General Zia’s military rule lasted until his death in 1988, after which the country saw a return to democratic governance.
Since then, the country has been under democratic rule, with the exception of General Pervez Musharraf’s military coup in 1999. General Musharraf’s rule lasted until 2008 when he was forced to resign following widespread protests against his government. Since then, the country has been under democratic rule, with the exception of a brief period of military rule in 2014, when the military took control of the government following allegations of election rigging.
The level of democracy in Pakistan can be measured by several indicators, including freedom of speech, press freedom, electoral process, and the rule of law. Let’s examine these indicators in detail.
Freedom of speech and press freedom are two crucial indicators of democracy. Pakistan has struggled to establish a free and independent press. The country has a long history of censorship and media control by the government. In recent years, the situation has improved, and the country now has a more vibrant and independent press. However, the country still ranks low on the World Press Freedom Index, with a ranking of 145 out of 180 countries in 2020.
The electoral process is another important indicator of the level of democracy in a country. Pakistan has had a mixed record in this regard. The general elections of 1970, 1977, and 1988 were considered to be free and fair, but the elections of 2002 and 2008 were marred by widespread allegations of election rigging. In recent years, the country has made significant progress in improving the electoral process, with the establishment of an independent Election Commission and the implementation of a number of electoral reforms. However, the country still ranks low on the Democracy Index, with a ranking of 111 out of 167 countries in 2020.
The rule of law is another crucial indicator of democracy. Pakistan has struggled to establish a strong rule of law, with widespread corruption, political influence, and lack of accountability. The country’s judicial system is often seen as slow, inefficient, and prone to corruption. Despite these challenges, the country has made some progress in recent years, with the establishment of independent anti-corruption agencies and the strengthening of the judicial system.
In conclusion, the level of democracy in Pakistan has been a topic of much debate since independence. The country has faced numerous challenges in establishing a stable democratic system, including military coups, censorship, election rigging, and lack of accountability. Despite these challenges, the country has made significant progress in recent years, with improvements in the electoral process, press freedom, and the rule of law. However, the country still ranks low