I often hear people say: ‘what has democracy given us’? It is followed by a tirade against corrupt politicians. The issues and the problems that an average Pakistani faces on daily basis are not because the democracy but because of the lack of democracy. The story of Pakistani democracy is basically a short sentence of democracy punctuated with lots of dictatorships. Furthermore, democracy has not taken root in the country. Even political parties are still in the process of becoming democratic. For example, representatives that we elect for federal and provincial assemblies are supposed to carry out legislative business. However, these members of federal and provincial assemblies get involved in the development work. The development work needs to be carried out by local governments. However, we in Pakistan have not been able to introduce a truly local government system. Democracy is all about providing government to citizens at their door-step and it is only possible through local governments. So, it is not democracy that has failed us. In fact, we have failed ourselves by not putting in place local governments. The day we will have effective local governments, Pakistanis will have better delivery of services from government departments. What is an effective local government? This issue will be addressed in another post.
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