Letter: Politics in Pakistan – Haroon Barakzai


Politics is considered as an investment in Pakistan. Very few people will enter political career for the sake of welfare of the deserted, ignored and submerged classes of society. An ordinary man cannot think of doing so. He will remain the voter for ever making smooth the entry of traditional players into the corridors of power. Becoming a politician needs more money than pursuing education at Oxford because at the time of elections buying ID cards is an accepted norm in Pakistan.

Armed body guards and armed supporters at polling stations are used for the victory at polls. An educated, middle income earner cannot do the same. The support of bureaucracy is also needed for those candidates who contests¬†the seat under a party ticket. The end result is a minister of either federal or provincial assembly. The minister possesses no knowledge of the ministry he or she is in-charge of. Because democracy in Pakistan doesn’t require any academic qualifications but only a bachelor degree, which is also available freely in the market for a mere 10 to 15 thousand rupees.

Also, neither the members of parliament nor the ministers are required to undergo any training before contesting the elections. If they win, they are awarded with ministries having no prior knowledge or experience. The ministry is also awarded on the basis of personal relations and repayment capacity of the minister. The investment starts bringing fruits to a selected few. The masses are ignored.  Development projects gets a second or third priority. Democratic credentials are crushed and even the constitution is abrogated right from the very start.

That is the sad state of Politics in Pakistan
(Haroon Barakzai)

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