Democratic Centralization vs Rule of Law based Decentralization

Our political dynamics are changing drastically with new players emerging and old players losing their positions. We are also seeing a power struggle between so called Rightists vs Leftists or Seculars vs Theocrats and somewhere there are parties which place themselves in-between. People are even talking about Judicial Martial Law.

But over all out look shows that the focus is on putting together a centralized system with some aspects of democracy. Our feudal culture, history of martial laws and domination of state institutions have restricted our minds to run things from centre with iron fist or authoritarian ways.

What is lacking in this approach is the realization of our diversity in the society. We are a country with diversified ethnic, sectarian and other social classes. Many of us cite China as an example and consider their Democratic Centralization as an ideal concept for Pakistan. We need to know that China has a dominant socialist ideology and their culture is pretty much same throughout China. They have a civilization which can be called as a Chinese Civilization. On the other hand Pakistan doesn’t have a single Pakistani Civilization. Pakistan is on the meeting point of several civilizations on both sides of Indus and which show different cultural and demographic colors if we move from Karachi to K2.

We cannot have a same system for Karachi and FATA or Islamabad and Dera Bugti. Attempts were made by Military dictators like Zia, Musharraf and Ayub who tried to implement their personal ideologies on the whole country and ending up creating a mess. Similarly civilian feudal-corporatists also tried to implement their vision on the whole country and again added to the mess. Even those who talk about liberalism have their own sectarian, ethnic and social class prejudices backing their ideals.

We need a decentralized system where federal government has minimum authority to run defense, dispute resolution and few other things. Even with them a concept of voluntary involvement and local considerations need to be taken into account. We need a system where decision making is brought to the local level which will also ensure merit among different localities selecting their leaders. It is unfair for those who don’t elect a corrupt government but they also have to face the bad consequences of its actions. To keep things in tact we can have a constitutional setup where rules of engagements should be mentioned between different constituents of the country. In short we need a “Rule of Law based Decentralization”.

This decentralization should be in Governance, Legislation and Economics. This is not something impractical; we can see some colors of it in countries like United States or Australia. Obviously for that we need to consider the ideology which dominated at the time of the creation of the country which is also reflected in the Objective Resolution. If we talk about Islam then “Meesaq e Madina” can show us how Muslims and Jews made an agreement by accepting each other as a reality. Even in a centralized country like China, they had to make adjustments in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. Even Russia has different Republics with some autonomy. In Pakistan’s case Quaid e Azam made agreements with our tribes which resulted in the tribes becoming part of Pakistan. These agreements allowed the tribal people to maintain their autonomy and also accept few fundamental laws of Pakistan. We also need a loose central structure to avoid the class clashes.

At the moment power is concentrated to center and everyone wants to control it either through the power of masses or power of gun. We even cannot afford a democratic system where 90% decides to suppress the remaining 10%. It will create the sense of alienation and hopelessness in the parties not in power and so can result in an undesirable retaliation which can be damaging for all.

We need to come out of the copycat mentality and be genuine in our approach as our problems are genuine and bit different from where we are trying to import the solutions.Mutual existence can only prevail through mutual acceptance of each other as a reality.

Note : A bit edited version is also available on http://blogs.thenewstribe.com/blog/66276/decentralization-a-solution/

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Vigil held for release of Dr Aafia & others–>The Nation

The way things are going in USA courts, it seems Aafia is not going to get a fair trial. The real issue of her relationship with Al-Qaeda will not be addressed because FBI doesn’t have any evidence and the charges put on her are real baseless. Anyone with even minor sense of justice can see the shallowness of the fabricated evidence.

She is charged of snatching a weapon and trying to shoot American soldiers .The real great thing is that in the process she herself got shot.

This is all bullshit and ridiculous. Is American army an army of eunuchs? A weak woman snatches a gun and tries to shoot them?

There is still no clue about the 2 missing children of Aafia.

It’s also interesting that even after so many years (She was abducted in 2003 from Pakistan by USA and Pakistani agencies which was also reported at that time in local and international media) FBI has come up with such a lame case and even in that they didn’t have enough evidence to connect her with Al-Qaida or terrorist activities so this question was put aside by the court.

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Vigil held for release of Dr Aafia & others

The Nation

Source : http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Islamabad/20-Jan-2010/Vigil-held-for-release-of-Dr-Aafia–others

ISLAMABAD – A number of citizens Tuesday protested in front of the Parliament by lighting candles, protesting the illegal abduction and detainment of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui and other missing persons in United States prisons.
Relatives of the missing persons, civil society activists along with students, teachers, doctors, journalists, professionals, and representatives of human rights organisations were present at the occasion. Dr. Atia Anayatullah (PML-QA), Senator Talha Mehmood and Syed Bilal President Jamaat-e- Islami were also present at the occasion.
Over 300 people lit candles to show solidarity against the abduction of Dr. Aafia. They wore red scarves and bands as a sign of emergency and raised slogans against her detention.
Protests and Candle-lit vigils were planned in various countries in support of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui. The start of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui trial had been declared “Free Dr Aafia Siddiqui Day” across the U.S., UK, Pakistan, Australia, Spain, Qatar, Turkey, and the Middle East. In Pakistan, peaceful vigils were held in Karachi and Lahore press clubs and Islamabad along with other international venues at the same time.
Participants at the occasion vehemently condemned her detention and appealed for efforts to secure her immediate release. “Dr Aafia is a daughter of Pakistan and her return to Pakistan is a very vital issue”, they noted.
They said that the Government must take immediate steps for safe recovery of all the missing persons including Dr. Aafia. They said that after taking charge in January 2009, American President Barack Obama said that he would work for protecting human rights, and closure of Guantanamo prison was the proof of his statement.
In accordance with the said statement of the American President, they continued that American government must release Dr. Aafia immediately.
While talking to TheNation, Chairperson Defence of Human Rights in Pakistan (DHRP) Amina Janjua, who is the wife of one of the missing persons Masood Janjua, said that Dr. Aafia went missing in 2003.”She had spent many years in pain and miseries, and we are here to show solidity against her abduction and pain”, she added.