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Who will be crowned as next pm of Pakistan today?

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Pakistan is Going to win today as Our Voters proved by giving tough time to their Leaders who went to them for canvassing. People quizzed the candidates that first give Account of their Previous Tenure of Five years and then ask for Votes.

The New  Set of Lies came while influencing the People and getting Support from the Voters  But this time the voters were not deceived as they were well prepared,  given the  Media Reports, Political Debates and  Social Media Findings as well as the Surveys that drove the last nail in the coffin and established the winning trends  of  the various Parties especially PTI, PPP and PML –N

The Candidates appeared helpless before the People during the Political campaigning. There were New faces who entered in the Politics very first time and Those who made alliances on the basis to defeat  PPP in Sindh to provide an alternative for the Prosperity of Sindh especially in  Education and Health Sectors. The infrastructure also needs to be improved and as well as the overall Governance Model. There is great Need of altering Centralized  Local Governance System as Local Governance is considered as basic Democracy and the choice of people.

With  PSP  and  GDA making their Debut as Alternative Forces followed by  Religious Parties  Alliance  (Muttahida Majlis-Amal )MMA appear as Strong Contestants and may grab sufficient Seats all over  Pakistan Especially in KPK, Baluchistan, Punjab and Sindh.

In this entire contest, PTI leads the rest based on the  Social Surveys, Gallup Pakistan Surveys, Surveys conducted by Various  Media Houses such as Dawn, Geo  TV and  Duniya TV.

The main contest is between PTI, PPP, PML-N and the   Independent candidates.  The political parties have left the vacuum in Baluchistan as No mainstream party staged any  Political Rally and There was no any Mass  Political Gathering from any leading Political Party  I.e PTI, PPP or  PML –N Except  Baluchistan  Awami Party, National Party of PkMAP and MMA.

The Causes may be the Ongoing incidents of  Suicide Attacks as Happened in Mastung where death Toll surpassed 100 Including the  Great  Leader Siraj Raisani of BAP. Peshawar  Suicide Attack gobbled Haroon Bilour and other  Party ANP. The latest was of Sardar Ikramullah Gandapur of PTI  killed in a  Suicide Attack in DI Khan along with other Party Workers. This insecure environment forced many parties to limit their Political activities as they could not risk the precious lives of their Party  Leaders as well as their energetic workers.

Despite all odds, All the parties tried to reach the Voters and Presented their Political  Manifestos before the People. The Manifestos were full of the new and the  old Promises such as the creation of Jobs, Improving Education and Health Sectors. Improving Infrastructure and Communication gateways. There were also reports of busying and selling of  Votes through Money in Some parts of the Country.

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With ECP  tasked with a mammoth National  Duty assisted  by  Great  Polling  Staff (Trained and Groomed ) as well as given the  First Class Magistrate  Powers and Secured by  Police and  Pak Army Personnel at the  Polling  Station, It is estimated that there would be peaceful environment all-around at all the  Polling stations especially those  Polling Stations that are declared as “Most Sensitive” where  CCTV cameras have been installed for monitoring the  Polling process and avert any untoward situation throughout the country.

Even Army has also been given the Magistrate Powers to make security arrangements at all the Polling Stations.  The Best thing the ECP has done that is “RMS” Results in Management System powered by NADRA Experts.

The Presiding Officers were also trained during their Two days Training regarding “RTS” Result Transmission System. The Dedicated and hardworking Team of  Master Trainers and NADRA Personnel were engaged to train the polling  Staff regarding the use of Android-Based  ECP RTS Application and the way to transmit  NA and PA results to ROs, PEC of the Respective Provinces and the  ECP  Headquarters Islamabad.

These applications were activated by ROs one day prior to the Poll Day.   RTS will prove transparent and timely Result Transmission and it will contribute to the immediate Result consolidation Polling Station wise by Taking Screenshot of Form-45 Result of account.

Truly, the Credit goes to ECP for imparting training to the Polling Staff through the Development Partners  UNDP and  DAI throughout Pakistan. The  Dedicated and  Experienced  Masters Trainers were hired to fulfil that  Mammoth Task and The task was achieved quite nicely above 100% in Sindh,  Punjab, KPK and Baluchistan,  The Polling Staff is ready to undertake today’s polling Proceedings in a Professional Manner and with pride.

The field force of  Polling Staff will be assisted by the Police, The Rangers and the Army to ensure law and order within 400 Square Meter Radius. The Voting time will start from 8:00 Am and will continue without break till 6:00 PM.  The Results are expected to Start Pouring In by 7:00 PM or 8:00 PM and fill the Television Screens.

As per the updated list of  The Election Commission of Pakistan, There are total 3,459 candidates contesting for 272 general seats of the National Assembly whereas  8,396 are running for 577 general seats of the four provincial assemblies of Pakistan.

The National Assembly has total   342 Seats including 60 seats reserved for Women and 10 for Minorities. The Number of directly elected members is 272. The Majority Party is required to obtain at least 172 Seats to have simple Majority to form Government at Centre. The Number of reserved seats for women and Minorities may be inclusive in 172 Seats.

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Punjab enjoys the huge number of NA seats i.e 183, followed by Sindh 75, KPK 43 plus 12 Fata seats after Merger the Total becomes 55, Baluchistan 17 and Federal Capital 2.  That means the parties will consolidate on Punjab,  the high number of  NA seats , Sindh and KPK as the third in a row.

If  PTI  wins  130 General Seats, 30 Women and Minority Seats and 20 Independents join them , they will definitely form their independent Government without any coalition partners. It falls short, then the alliances with MMA, GDA, Baloch  National Parties, MQM or  PSP could not be ruled out as  PPP appears far behind on national front since they have fielded insufficient candidates in Punjab despite having 183 Seats more than required  Simple Majority i.e 172 Seats.

With Leadership in Prison and Disarray, PML-N has not run its Election Campaign Effectively except media campaigns.  The  Media  Campaigns were huge by PPP and PML-N,  Moderate by PTI and MMA.

Moreover, for provincial assemblies, there are 4,036 candidates contesting for 297 general seats of the Punjab Assembly; 2,252 candidates will contest 130 general seats of the Sindh Assembly; 1,165 will compete for 99 KP Assembly seats and 943 will contest for 51 general seats of the Baluchistan Assembly.

If  PTI grabs maximum seats from  Punjab, KPK and few seats from Sindh, it will definitely form Government in KPK, Punjab and with GDA  in Sindh.  But it is up to the  Voters who they vote for and who they want as  Next PM of Pakistan.

Since their votes will decide the Fate of Imran Khan, Bilawal Bhutto or  Shahbaz Sharif as their  PM  for  Next Five Years.  These  Elections are very vital to resolve the issues such as weakening of  Rupee against the dollar ,since it will be the tough challenge for the Finance Minister of the New Government, Followed  By  Energy crisis, law and Order, Education, Health and  Construction of  New Dams for Electricity  Generation and overcoming the  Power Shortfall.

Whoever becomes the Next PM, he will have to solve the long-standing issues and bring Prosperity in Pakistan.  He will have to revisit the foreign Policy,  Internal Policy, water Policy and  Economic Policy to carve them to suit the needs of the country and ensure  Service Delivery.

So , Dear fellow  Pakistanis, be it rain or Sunshine, leave the houses today and cast your precious vote for change.

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Democracy

Intense polarization and Pakistan’s democratic future

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Pakistan has been a polarized polity and consequently, a divided society for the past half century, and even longer if we look back deeply into its history. It started with the serious differences among the political elites of the country over the character of the state, quality of federalism, relationship between religion and governance and ideological choices. One may argue that it could be a normal process in a diverse nation’s struggle to take a definite direction and achieve stability in the formative phase. But one wonders why it would take nine years in writing the first constitution and then its annulment within three years without any general elections or transfer of power happening under it.

Without getting into the details, it was the inability of the ruling elites, their diverse regional backgrounds, personal vested interests in power grabs, and for that purpose, engineering of political manipulation to wreck governments and forms new ones.
Factions of the same elite under different party platforms kept displacing one another from power endlessly until the military took over in 1959. There is another view that political elites were innocent and they were actually played against one another as puppets by the civil and military bureaucracy.

This is too charitable a perspective to excuse the political elites and their never-ending factionalism, which continues to this day, after a long history of 74 years. If they had played by the rules, demonstrated political solidarity on principles and forged a political consensus, the democratic norms and convention would have gelled over time. The recent ouster of former prime minister Imran Khan, despite the fact that he had the largest party in the parliament with 156 members losing power to a motley group of political factions, the closest second having only 86 members and forming the new government, speaks a great deal about persistent polarization. The sad story of Pakistan is that naked factional elite interests have shaped these power plays, often by seeking friendly intervention from the powerful judicial and security institutions.

Generation after generation, coming from the same feudal-tribal social background, Pakistan’s political elites have promoted political values that run counter to nation and state-building.

The normal and expected role of the political elites in any form of political system is working toward stability, order, national unity, solidarity and continuity along with ensuring progress, social and economic development.
The Pakistani elites have done quite the opposite: polarizing and dividing people along ethnic, religious, ideological and narrow political lines. Generation after generation, coming from the same feudal-tribal social background, they have promoted political values that run counter to nation and state-building in ethically and demographically diverse society.
Ultimately, it is the rapacious character of the Pakistan ruling classes, their low commitment to rule of law and accountability and access to power as means of material benefits that have stunted the growth of democracy. In such conditions, the military has assumed the role of ‘guardian’ of the state, and has regularly managed political conflicts erupting over power struggles among the elites.
The present polarization between the PTI and the rest of the 11 so-called political parties and factions is not new. It is a continuation of the same historical pattern, only the main characters have changed. Each successive confrontation has been more severe than before. The ongoing clash looks like political warfare with no-holds-barred, barely covered with a fig leaf of constitutionality. This has been in the making for the past nine years when Imran Khan challenged the fairness of the 2013 elections. The others, in return, questioned the accuracy of the 2018 vote and vowed to oust him from power by forming a joint alliance, launching street demonstrations, and finally succeeding by winning over dissidents from his party and coalition partners and moving successfully a vote-of-confidence motion in the National Assembly.
The sudden change of heart by four coalition groups supporting Khan and the open betrayal of 20 members of his party have raised many troubling questions about the neutrality of powerful state institutions. This adds another dimension to the political conflict playing out in media, civil society and the general public. 

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Khan has instantly decided to engage in popular agitation against what he calls an ‘imported’ government by weaving a narrative of foreign ‘conspiracy’ and accusing some as ‘traitors.’ His decision to resign from the national assembly en-masse is stunning and may prove to be an adventurous path to Azadi‘liberation’ for the country. He will be doing politics now not in the parliament but in the streets, rousing public anger against the ‘corrupt mafia’ and demanding fresh elections. 

Via ArabNews

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Democracy: A colonial hangover

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The system is premised upon the idea that one head would count one vote. Although the notion theoretically solves the basic inequality problem, it generates far greater inequalities’

Right after the Second Great War, though the British did leave this continent for good, they left a mess for the people of the newly founded nations to collect. Oftentimes, while trying to rationalise their colonial past, many of its fervent advocates claim that one of the greatest things that colonised countries inherited, which they would not have otherwise, was the idea of democracy: A new system of governance. A facile narrative to cover their smelly past, but also a false one.

Like many other nation-states, Pakistan also adopted democracy at the time of its inception, taking its cue from the then supposed leaders of the world. It hoped that by doing so, it too would reap the benefits that democracy promised to bring along – equality, freedoms, free-market economy and stability. However, many of these states descended into martial laws under despotic rules or turned rogue. Pakistan’s own fate was no different.

Perhaps, there are inherent flaws that everybody tends to overlook because of the way it was delivered to us and by whom – our old masters giving us the parting gift. But why is it that, to date, the same system working with far greater efficiency in the West fails miserably in developing nations?

Free market is a preeminent feature of democracy and in theory, it was supposed to be the lodestone towards freer and more egalitarian societies. But all it accomplished in reality was a further chasm in inequality and degeneration into pure consumer capitalism. This marvel made it so that power would concentrate in the hands of the affluent, making it essential for the politicians to remain in their thrall if not from within them. This notion is precisely misleading when looking at western societies. The idea of social-welfarism – which began in the early 1900s only – bridged this gap to an ‘acceptable’ degree both in terms of social and economic equality. But can this ever be achieved in countries like Pakistan or India: Reeking of moral corruption, notoriously venal, elections manifestos premised upon intolerant suppositions, bedevilled histories and above all, rugged with indigence?

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The system is premised upon the idea that one head would count one vote. Although the notion theoretically solves the basic inequality problem, it generates far greater inequalities. This perspective is not supposedly a new idea and was also put forth by B.R. Ambedkar at the time when he was penning the Indian constitution. The idea of an English democracy did not particularly resonate well with another leader of the Indian freedom movement: Mahatma Gandhi.

One might inquire the reason why these leaders were so sceptical of democracy. The answer can be found precisely in today’s time. Even a fleeting look at the Modi regime could call a day of reckoning for all purveyors of democracy: de facto martial law in Kashmir, systemic persecution (as witnessed in Gujrat) and discrimination against ethnic minorities, populism at its peak, leading India into regressivism – and all this being done by the ‘democratic power’ vested in Modi by the ‘largest democracy’ in the world. Maybe such foresight left some of the leaders of the Indian Independence Movement disenchanted with democratic prospects, fearing that such a system would spawn the same problems that they sought independence to curb.

Pakistan, billed as the single Muslim nuclear power has always had to maintain an international image. The problem with the image is that it is examined on western ideals of which democracy stands to be the single biggest factor, irrespective of how nominal it is. This ensures aid, loans, and all sorts of international support for said country.

If such a scene is set, how can really a country decide what system serves its people best? It is as if countries are being goaded into something simply because they cannot yet afford a dignified existence for their people. It is not to whinge that democracy is rooted in every problem or to anoint it with a gilded halo as the saviour of nations.

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The point in matter is to maybe think beyond for more egalitarian and just systems of governance. To not only aim at democracy as a metric to be reasoned among civilised nations. To make it in essence, once again, the society of Lycurgus, the society of Plato, the society of Marcus Aurelias which could push beyond what they could see. These rusty gateways of discourse, which would require some pushing, need to be opened. Maybe democracy works, maybe it does not – but the answer, in the end, lies with the people.

Via MM

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Democracy

LGs and welfare

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WITH a renewed focus on conducting local government elections, the issue of grassroots governance has bounced back into the news and policy cycles. This is reflected in the various aspects of LGs being dissected by political and civil society stakeholders, and activities — including protests by political parties — to find better and lasting ways to improve local governance.

Historically, the local bodies, first introduced during Gen Ayub’s military regime, have waxed and waned in line with the wider political schemes of state managers. It is an open secret that LGs are strategically renewed by military governments for undermining the established local political elite and manufacturing into existence a new layer of more pliable grassroots leadership. Meanwhile, elected governments and political parties too have neither looked kindly on the prospect of LGs taking root for similar fears that their locally established leadership might be challenged by new political actors.

However, irrespective of the intention behind the strategic diminishment and resurrection of LGs, the consensus across the political and academic spectrum is that local bodies are the linchpin of service delivery and the chain of political representation. Moreover, their role as connectors of higher-tier government structures and grassroots also remains unchallenged. In this respect, while many aspects of LG service delivery roles are being pored over, the role as a deliverer and administrator of social protection programmes has not been given the attention it deserves.

In Western democracies, the political governance landscape is based on local parish and councils. It is unimaginable to see them knocked out of the political representation and service delivery chain. In the UK, without local councils administrating education, social welfare systems etc, the whole edifice of a unitary state would come crumbling down. In Pakistan, however, LGs have been turned off and on like tap water, discouraging the exercise of people’s right to local representation.

With LGs, Ehsaas can have a greater reach.

The role of LGs in the administration of social welfare programmes is by now also well established in the developing world. Brazil is both associated with introducing participatory budgeting at the municipal level and the use of LGs in the administration of its famed cash transfer programme Bolsa Familia. This model has been copied in the rest of Latin and South America with municipal offices playing an ever-greater role in the roll-out and administration of similar cash transfer programmes. Brazil’s municipalities are at the front and centre in managing its social registry, carrying out a broad set of functions including identification of low-income areas, registration of beneficiaries, data collection and verification, training and outreach etc.

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In Colombia, LGs are responsible for processing new applications and updating existing beneficiaries’ data on a rolling basis. Each municipality signs an agreement with the national cash transfer programme, committing to specific obligations and responsibilities. Committees are also established at the municipal level to handle complaints and allegations of ineligible beneficiaries.

In Pakistan, however, the role of LGs in the roll-out and administration of cash transfer programmes has been not systemically thought through. One of the key reasons for this is the evolving and expanding nature of the Ehsaas or Benazir Income Support Programme and the uncertainty about the continuance and longevity of LGs.

However, now that LGs seem to be back in fashion, steps should be taken to make them a permanent feature of political representation and service delivery chains. Only when the LG system is allowed to put down roots and firm up its uninterrupted presence can we begin to think about ways to shoehorn social protection programmes into LG structures for ease and confidence of its beneficiaries.

As the Ehsaas programme expands, LGs can provide it with a firm foothold, acceptability and greater reach among the public. Pakistan should definitely learn from the pragmatic fusion of local bodies and social protection programmes for better service delivery and generating wider public involvement (and hence support) at local levels. Political parties also need to change course and see LGs as the permanent enhancer of representative and service delivery aspects of democratic governance rather than as competitors of established local elites. In the longer term, there is also a long-overdue requirement for conducting research into how the absence of LGs has contributed immensely to the crisis of democratic governance and falling standards of centralised service delivery that we see today.

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