No more dictators: Pakistani daily

Islamabad, June 5 (IANS) The country wants a solid democratic order “free of dictators”, a leading Pakistani daily said Wednesday.

“…a sentiment is resonating in the country for the establishment of a solid democratic order free of dictators and their cohorts among politicians,” said an editorial in the Dawn Wednesday, a day when Nawaz Sharif is all set to become prime minister for the third time.

Pakistan has had a turbulent history, suffering long spells of military rule. The last of its military strongmen was General Pervez Musharraf who returned to the country after four years in exile and was put under arrest for various cases.

Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai in his speech in the National Assembly Monday wanted political parties to shut their doors forever on those who have betrayed democracy.

“The underlying desire in parliament is for the politicians to be allowed to run the affairs of the country – a job for which they are elected by the people and for which it is ultimately the electorate that must hold them accountable. The country’s first smooth transition from one elected government to another is a good occasion for making this vow.

“…the sentiment itself should reassure Pakistanis. Betrayed frequently, they will need to be constantly told that the change towards democracy is for real and permanent,” said the daily.

The editorial observed that this call for respect and supremacy of the popular mandate is “as much a celebration of the positives that Pakistan has finally been exposed to as it is a warning to old interventionists and their easy allies among the politicians”.

“It could be further interpreted as a sign of caution to any individual and group against exceeding their constitutional authority at the cost of parliament.”

It went on to say that the “voices against dictators and their accomplices did make some uncomfortable in a house `full of people who had supported’ Pervez Musharraf”.

“Responses to the idea will vary from party to party, from the treasury to the opposition, from those who made compromises in the past to those who must continue to make them now. Consensus will take time and it is the closing of the gaps between various positions that will determine the distance that Pakistani democracy has covered so far.”

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