Why Elections 2013 in Pakistan are the matter of Life and Death …?

Why Elections 2013 in Pakistan are the matter of Life & Death for us…?

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I represent common Pakistanis and half of its female population. I represent Pakistan’s youth, professionals and civil society. And being a representative of various important segments of society, I consider upcoming (May 11, 2013) Elections are a matter of life and death for myself, my family, friends and at large for my nation.

Why… Because we are living under constant threat. There are numerous threats to our lives, security, fortune, honour and future. We are left with little options to survive respectfully in this land of pure. Our leaders candidly commented that we can migrate to any other country if can’t bear lawlessness, corruption, inflation and injustice, since they are unwilling and incapable to resolve the issues.

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In the past 66 years, we have tried Bloody Democracy and paid its price… We suffered under Long Marshal Law Regimes and subjected to presidential and Parliamentary systems in the name of national interest, Islamization and Democracy Jamhoriat and Emergency… but nothing worked for our shattered country and bewildered people.

Since the times of independence, we heard our leaders saying “The country is going through crisis!” mulk nazuk dor sai guzar raha hai” and there is no climax of that crucial period. Thus it sustains today even after more than six decades of independence.

We yearn and wait for a saviour (masiha), an angel, a messenger and a mard-e-mauman to come and save us and give solutions to our ailments, forgetting that problem lies within us and only we can cure it. No one comes from outside to lead and guide us, We are to identify a leader from within us.

So if I and many others like me believe and share that we are going to vote to bring change in Pakistan this time… it should neither surprise anyone, nor must ignore as a cliché.

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We might not represent majority of country’s rural Population, its farmers, peasants and labourers but I’m sure they must also have a wish to choose  independently for a new and just social system. Thus, if we say that we consider a new party, an emerging leader who seems to be more honest, more daring and more progressive than the rest, it must not surprise the seasoned leaders and analysts. I’m not sure whether that new party will win the election or not, I’m also not sure whether they get majority from major cities, provinces and regions but I’m sure about one thing… People of Pakistan especially youth are ready to embrace change and these elections are the best times to bring that change which is the need of the time since it’s a matter of our existence and our survival.Pakistan_Elections_2013_ncefa_Pak101(dot)com[1]

Either these elections will make us or break us as a nation and as a Country. Choice is ours.Since this seems to be the last chance to live or die, to think and act or ignore and extinct. I have thus decided that either I will contribute through my free fair vote to construct my new, progressive Pakistan or leave the country for good.

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Do you think alike…?

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HAPPY WRITING; WANNA BE A FREELANCE WRITER

writer[1]I have been writing for around two decades… started contributing to mainstream press about 15-16 years back

I used to write for some leading English and Urdu newspapers and a few monthly magazines as free-lancer for several years

Then I quit when got busy in doing my PhD with a full-time job and demanding family life

After a long gap… i decided to resume freelancing  and started with an upcoming leading newspaper

Considering several burning issues, I came up with a thriving topic, scanned several issues of the newspaper for months to understand its format, gathered contact details of the concerned paper and section editor, discussed my topic with the relevant editor on phone and through emails and started writing after consensus and required brainstorming sessions

It took me a month to complete the feature with several revisions, edits, discussions and online interviews

Finally i shared my (masterpiece) feature with the  editor.

One week passed and no response…I gave a call to inquire about it after a week of my reminder mail.

I was asked to edit the article further, add some recognized people’s comments in the area and make it more pertinent and precise

As per brief, i reluctantly agreed to do another revision since i don’t want to let my hard work lost in files

And also because the editor assured to print the feature immediately after required changes

Another month lapsed after i sent the revised article with changes and there was complete silence

I lost my patience and sent a polite reminder

No response again…

Hesitantly i gave a call to the newspaper office to discover that the entire editorial team had been replaced and the new editor and staff found it difficult to trace my article in bulk mails.

“Why don’t you resend .. I will take a look and inform you then”, the new editor suggested me casually.

OK. I replied patiently and sent my feature again with previous correspondence details to share the efforts i made in writing, editing & revising the piece.

This time i was quite optimistic…

However again i got disappointed since there was no response, no acknowledgement

Finally i decided to give a final call .

On my follow-up, the concerned editor candidly informed me that she rather prefers investigative features based on field reporting, she might consider my feature when they will do a story on the topic and in the meanwhile i am advised to forget my feature for the time being.

I was totally demoralised by the blunt refusal. It took me months to think, research and write that feature and here is the editor who wants me to dump it completely.

But I didn’t give up, and send my the article with some editing to another newspaper for which i used to write for years

And it was taken readily with a promise for quick appearance in print

Life is like that and especially if you are engaged in writing or any other genre of creative and liberal arts that require expression and sharing with public,

you face the same challenges.It consumes you as a writer, artist, thinker, painter and poet completely. You put your heart and soul, pour your blood and sweat and invest all your energies to transform an idea into an expression and that expression into some form of sheer sharing

you want to hear and be heard, see and be seen, know and be known

you want to accept and be accepted,  appreciate and be appreciated

BUT. it is not an easy path…

patience, persistence and practice are the keys of success in this journey of expression

if you want to be a writer… it can be your passion but can’t be your profession

It can give you recognition, satisfaction and expression… But not a fortune, wealth and regular income at least not in our part of the planet

So friends if you want to be a writer, here is a piece of advice ….

Be Ready to face the failures patiently, and be persistent to put your message across relentlessly . And believe in what you write, create ans say

And one day you shall be heard, seen, appreciated and acknowledged… hopefully in your lifetime

HAPPY WRITING!!!

The Constitutional Story of Pakistan in perspective of the month of March and upcoming General Elections

23rd March has a great significance in the history of Pakistan. It is the day when famous Pakistan Resolution was moved and passed in a  Lahore Session of  the Muslim League in 1940 which made it clear that the partition of  Indo-Pak sub-continent and set up of a separate Muslim State is the ultimate demand of the Muslims of India and thus it laid down the foundation of Pakistan. Later,  after the establishment of the country,  Minar-e-Pakistan was built at the same place where Muslim League passed the resolution and the day has been celebrated as Pakistan Day since then.

But very few people know the fact that 23rd March has  another big reason to be remembered in Pakistan’s history. The first constitution of Pakistan was enacted on March 23, 1956 And Pakistan got a position of the free Republican State from the dominion of the Great Britain.

No one can deny the importance of a constitution in the modern democratic world. The idea of constitution was first elaborated by Aristotle in his classification of governments  as monarchies, tyrannies, aristocracies, democracies and so on. In its wider sense, the term constitution means the whole scheme whereby a country is governed; i.e. the body of doctrines and practices that form the fundamental organizing principle of a political state. In its narrowest sense, constitution means the leading legal rules usually collected into some document that comes to be almost venerated as “The Constitution.”

A symbol of a state’s independence and sovereignty,  constitution  clearly explains the division of power and functions among distinct branches of government including judiciary, legislature and executive as well as the relationship among the central and provincial units. So, on one side if it protects the civil rights and liberties, and on the other, it helps to rule out the political conflicts by maintaining a system of check and balance.

In some states such as the United States, the constitution is a specific written document; in others, such as the United Kingdom, it is a collection of documents, statutes, and traditional practices that are generally accepted as governing political matters.

As far as Pakistan is concerned, the task of framing a constitution was entrusted in 1947 to a Constituent Assembly that was also to function as the country’s interim legislature under the Government of India Act 1935, which was taken as the interim constitution with some changes. It was federal in form, with the Constituent Assembly and the a governor general at the centre and with provincial assemblies with governors of provinces on the provincial level. However, extraordinary wide powers were given to the governor general in establishing the power relationship among the various sectors of the country.

Pakistan’s first constitution was enforced in 1956 after nine years of independence. One of the lengthiest written constitution of the world, it provided for the federal , parliamentary form of government and allowed the president far-reaching powers to suspend federal and provincial parliamentary government. The 1956 constitution also included the “parity formula” by which representation in the National Assembly for East and West Pakistan would be decided on a parity rather than population basis.

This constitution failed to satisfy the different sections of the society and finally abrogated by the imposition of Martial Law in the country on  October 8, 1958. The then Commander in Chief, General Ayub Khan appointed a Constitution commission under the Chairmanship of Justice Shahab-ud-Din in 1960 to frame the new constitution.  A new and the second constitution  of the country was promulgated in 1962, provided for the election of the president and National and provincial assemblies by an electoral college composed of 80,000 members of local councils. Although a federal form of government was retained, the assemblies had little power, for, in effect, power was centralised through the authority of governors acting under the president. The constitution of 1962 remained in force till 1969. It  also could not accomplish the desired target of political stability and was superseded by martial law.

In April 1973,  a new constitution, the third in Pakistan’s 25-year history was adopted by the National Assembly and was enforced on 14th August 1973, which is still in practice.The present constitution of the country  is in written form, consists of a preamble , 280 articles and six schedules.Fundamentally federal in nature, it contains separate lists which explains the division of powers between the central and provincial governments. It also provides for the parliamentary form of government where the elected representatives of the people elect the Prime Minister who is the Chief Executive of the country and remain in power as long as he enjoys the confidence of the House. So it makes him responsible to the parliament and to the people for his activities.

The current constitution has for the first time established a system of two houses in the country. The lower House is known as the National Assembly where every province has representation on population basis and the members are directly elected by the public while the Upper House is  known as the Senate consists of equal representatives from all provinces. Reflecting the spirit of a welfare state,  the 1973 constitution ensure the protection of fundamental rights  including the right to life, liberty, property, freedom of expression etc., and also promise equal status to minorities and women.  It is partly rigid as the method of amendment to the constitution is both complicated and lengthy. A bill of amendment can be passed only when it is approved by the two-third majority of the national assembly and also by a majority of the senate along with President’s assent.

In short, the constitutional story of Pakistan is full of turns and moves Many amendments and chances have been brought in the constitution after 1973. The major one was the 8th amendment which was introduced in 1985 and gave discretionary powers to the President of Pakistan to dissolve the National Assembly. It was recently  canceled.

In fact,  the chief function of a constitution is to serve as the standard of the legitimacy by which governments may be judged. . It requires both stability as well as adaptability to the social, economic, technological, and other changes that are inevitable in the life of a state. But in case of Pakistan, most of the time constitutions were failed to meet the demand of the changing time and were often misused and misiterepreted by the various governments for  their purposes.As a politically aware and conscious youth of Pakistan, we are equally responsible to read and understand our constitution,   respect it and protect this scared document as only its protection can ensure the protection of our individual rights and national solidarity. And, of course, don’t forget that 23rd is not only  important historically but also constitutionally.