The PML-N government of Mian Nawaz Sharif, a civilian, democratically elected government that claims that it represents the people’s aspirations, is about to complete its first year in power. One of its promises was the devolution of power. Needless to say it is also one of the fundamental requirements of democracy. There was much hullabaloo about the local bodies’ polls soon after the government took charge. At the time these lines are written, elections for local bodies have been held in just one province – Balochistan. The remaining three provinces are delaying the matter on one pretext or another. The Election Commission of Pakistan has announced and cancelled the election schedule for these three provinces at least twice.
What focused my attention on this state of affairs was General (R) Pervez Musharraf’s recent interview to SouthAsia in which he claimed that his government was the most democratic. That’s true insofar as the devolution of power is concerned. This claim may have rubbed some people the wrong way - especially those whose evenings are spent thrashing Musharraf on talk shows - but can anyone deny it in view of the situation that prevails in the country? Who do we blame for the failure to hold LB elections?
Ahsan B. Imam