Tuesday September 06, 2016







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Time To Reform Political Parties


While so much is going on in Pakistan, government should move to reform political parties in Pakistan.


First, what is wrong with current political set-up?


The fundamental fact about Pakistanís political parties is none of them is democratically organized. Almost all political parties are organized around charismatic leaders who are replaced by their family members in case of their absence from the scene under any circumstances.


The second problem with current political parties is they are under influence of powerful families. Fathers, sons, brothers and sisters of certain families carry so much weight in different political parties; parties almost become hostage to those powerful individuals or families.


These impediments do not allow democratic culture flourish in Pakistan. Pakistan cannot become a true democracy until we reorganize our political parties on true democratic fashion.


How can we democratize our political parties?


The first and foremost thing to democratize political parties is the enrolment of voters by Election Commission on the basis of party affiliations.


Each Pakistani who is legally entitled to vote must register with Election Commission and declare his party affiliation in his registration form.


After having all the voters registered, Election Commission should organize political parties through electoral process. Election Commission should hold within party elections and establish political leaderships on the basis of votersí consensus. This method should be adopted for choosing leaders from bottom up. Even various Chairmen and Presidents of Political parties should be chosen through the similar party elections held under the auspicious of Election Commission.


Right now, Party leaders appoint political leaders at various levels. The appointment of political leaders by Party leaders is the biggest hurdle in establishment and strengthening of democratic system in Pakistan.


Once Election Commission registers voters on the basis of party affiliations and establish political leaderships through electoral process, a true democratic system will start unfolding in Pakistan.


In order to become a democratic society, Pakistan has to establish and implement these procedures.


In absence of these procedures, Pakistan cannot become a democratic state. Political parties will continue facing make and break scenarios. Horse trading will continue, leaders without political credibility will continue controlling the political parties and democratic process will remain in the doldrums.


True democracy means real representation of the people of Pakistan at all levels of legislation and governance. It wonít happen until political parties are reformed along these suggested lines. Particularly, at this critical juncture when Pakistan is moving towards unfettered democracy, political leadership must consider putting the process of reformation of political parties in place.



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