Militarism and Democracy in Pakistan

Intolerance and a tendency for militarism can only lead Pakistan to ruthless rulers and scheme politicians like Cersei Lannister and Petyr Baelish of Game of Thrones

There is more than one reason why I believe Jon Snow will end up sitting on the Iron Throne. It is not just because of a now apparent truth about his bloodline or because he is bold and handsome. I don’t exactly agree with the “fortune favors the bold” cliche anyway. I believe so because he just doesn’t want power. Continue reading “Militarism and Democracy in Pakistan”

A Dialogue for Civilian Supremacy

In Pakistan, civilian supremacy is contested in matters related to defence and foreign policy

The challenge to bring the military under civilian supremacy is not exclusively Pakistani. It is faced by governments the world over, democratic and non-democratic alike. However, our presumed or real existential threats have made this the foremost institutionalisation challenge for our people. Continue reading “A Dialogue for Civilian Supremacy”

The Necessity of Democracy

We must ask ourselves whether democracy is necessary at all

This essay on democracy is written in continuance of the chain of thoughts that triggered last week’s essay. Please read the previous week’s essay: The Necessity of Constitution first if you haven’t already.

Democracy – most people love it; some despise it while all are intrigued by it. It is arguably the most commonly referred-to political phenomenon in human history. The idea of democracy is pervasive throughout the recorded intellectual discourse on organised society since Greek antiquity. Continue reading “The Necessity of Democracy”

NGOs and Challenges for the State

ABSTRACT:

The dawn of 21st century has seen a growing interest in civil society organizations and their potential role in achieving development goals and sharing the burden of governance and public management. These civil society organizations have shaped up in the backdrop of modern concepts such as public accountability, policy advocacy and social and political change, and have also played their role in defining the new paradigms of public administration and global governance. Pakistan has seen a remarkable growth in the number of civil society organizations as well as their scope and role in the public space. This paper lays the foundations of exploring the idea of civil society, its philosophical connection with political liberalism and various challenges it poses as new social and administrative phenomena. The paper argues that NGOs, with their organized mobilization of citizenry for social and political change on the one hand, and while competing for provision of public goods and services due to privatization and contractualism on the other hand, have become a powerful tool of political and administrative control. Continue reading “NGOs and Challenges for the State”

Social Justice and Motivated Violence

In a very stimulating recent article, David Dubois of the INSEAD has studied the patterns and reasons of bad behavior in different levels of social classes. Initially, he refers to the anecdotal evidence that suggests that people higher in social class are more likely to behave unethically; he goes on further to acknowledge that people in the lower social class can also have unethical behaviors. However, what differentiate the two are the reasons for which people in different social classes behave unethically. David Dubois’ work “found that higher-class individuals are more likely to cheat when the unethical behavior benefits the self but lower-class individuals are more likely to cheat when the unethical behavior benefits another person”. Continue reading “Social Justice and Motivated Violence”

On the White Man’s Burden

Intellectuals across the world would continue to debate whether modern science is a gift, or a curse. Modern science has brought a magnitude of convenience in life that could not have been imagined a century or two ago. If by convenience, the understanding is that it has reduced distances, travel times, communication difficulties, and has substantially increased ease of doing things and much more, then yes, it has certainly done so. Some would say that science is immoral; it has brought a lot to human species but at the cost of much that was very dear, and essential for human survival, for example the environmental cost of scientific development. Continue reading “On the White Man’s Burden”

Stability in Pakistan and Lack of Optimisim

Written on April 14, 2013

As national elections in Pakistan draw closer, there are still some who doubt that the elections will be held as per schedule.  It is widely believed that many in the political mainstream, the civil and military bureaucracy, and judiciary, as well as in the media are not only hoping but striving to postpone the general elections. It is also widely believed that only one political party would suffer if the elections are postponed i.e. Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) which is currently considered to be the front-runner in the run up to the elections, as if all others including the country itself would benefit from the delay.

However, statistics as well as the historical precedence would say otherwise. Continue reading “Stability in Pakistan and Lack of Optimisim”