Pakistan polls and subcontinent’s stability
Waliur Rahman, Former Ambassador: The common people of the subcontinent take a great interest in the politics. It seems that they do politics actively or at least try to do so. Politics has become a part of their everyday life, even if they are not actively involved with
As a result, any election means a huge preparation, attention and participation. This is particularly true for Bangladesh, India and Pakistan where election invariably creates a festive mood. The question of participation or boycott naturally comes along with it. Take for instance the case of Bangladesh where people’s huge interest gives a new dimension to the electoral culture. People’s fading interest in the rally-procession-meeting does not even bring politics to a halt. Politics is ubiquitous, be it inside or outside the house. From active political leaders to activists and supporters, politics is everywhere. The 11th parliamentary election of Bangladesh is likely to be held at the end of this year. The political parties of the country are gearing up for the upcoming parliamentary election and working on priority basis. The people’s participation in the city corporation polls is remarkable. Festive mood is in the air. On the other hand, Pakistan has just gone to polls. It is more important here to see whom the Pakistan army gave its support than who comes out a winner. It is quite difficult to rule the country without the army’s support. The history of Pakistan corroborates the fact. Pakistan has been under direct military rule for about half a century. The civilian rule here must maintain liaison with the Pakistan army. If anything happens otherwise, the civilian ruler must face ouster. The same thing happened to Nawaz Sharif. This is a big problem, as it does not consolidate democracy. The history of autocratic rule in Pakistan is nothing new. The dismal scenario of the country is a major threat for the regional security. If the intervention of the army continues in absence of democracy, the bleak scenario of the country will worsen further. The stability in Pakistan is badly needed for the greater interest of peace, development and democracy of South Asia. Whoever forms the new government in Pakistan, let them rule the country on their own without the intervention of the army. Let liberal diplomacy be practiced there. It is badly needed for the interest of a stable South Asia.
Translated by Hossen Sohel