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Thread: The Rule of Two!

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    The Rule of Two!

    The Rule of Two!
    By Dr
    Haider Mehdi
    Gentle reader, hear Poliphilo tell of his dreams…

    Here you will see perfect palaces of kings,
    The worship of nymphs, fountains and rich banquets.

    The guards dance, dressed in motley, and the whole
    Of human life is expressed in dark labyrinths.
    Elegy to the Reader,

    Hypnerotomachia Poliphili

    Pakistan’s 21 st century democracy has surpassed the
    splendor of kings, the powers of czars, the persistence of ruthless dictators,
    the epitome of capitalistic glory, the wheeling-dealings of perfect con artists,
    the alliance of common vested interests, and the ultimate attempt to deceive the
    common citizens. A media report claims that a whopping Rs. 7 billion has been
    set aside by the coalition of like-minded traditional politicians of political
    status quo orientation to buy out a large chunk of electronic media in the
    service of maintaining themselves in power by aggressive propaganda campaigns,
    massive disinformation assaults on their adversaries – and billions more to
    outright purchase the next general election as if it were a commodity. It seems
    that winning the election is going to be a straightforward shopping spree in an
    open “Juma Bazaar.” This very specific brand of Pakistani democratic doctrine,
    owned and promoted by the political leadership of the two major ruling parties,
    the PPP and the PML-N, is aimed at “Saving Democracy” in Pakistan.
    The everyday persistently chanted mantra of the
    PPP and PML-N leadership is to “Save Democracy” – as if the future of Pakistani
    democracy is synonymous with the preservation of political powers in the hands
    of the incumbent PPP/PML-N leadership personified in “The Rule of Two.”

    The fact of the matter is that the “Saving
    Democracy” slogan has become a kind of meaningless and rundown deceptive
    rhetoric – worthless, useless, and dubious in its conception as expounded by the
    PPP and the PML-N leaderships respectively. Democracies are neither saved nor
    run by slogans only. We know that political slogans are meant for public
    manipulations, altering the masses’ perceptual landscape and presenting a
    distorted view of the hidden agendas prepared specifically by vested interest

    Here are some examples from the global political arena
    to illustrate my point: Not long ago, the Clinton Administration coined the
    phrase “Road-Map for Peace” to resolve the Palestinian issue. It was used with
    such careless frequency, non-serious implications, and manipulative audacity
    that the term lost all of its significance. In fact, just the mention of the
    term caused outrageous reactions in thinking political circles – it meant that
    no serious political process was being initiated to resolve the issue and the
    slogan was used primarily for public consumption to pacify peace activists and
    to consolidate the political status quo in the Middle East.
    Then came the US and its allies bombing Iraq and
    Afghanistan and the slogan “to promote democracy” in the Muslim world. After
    over a decade-long destruction of two of the oldest human civilizations and the
    brutal massacre of countless people, the word “democracy” seems like an insult
    and a slap in the face of the entire humankind. Only the apologists of the
    global political status quo would disagree with this view – and that is a
    It is obvious that in an age of electronic media
    with massive global and local audiences, political slogans are coined for the
    explicit purpose of public deception. And the sad part of this entire
    manipulative dynamics is that those distinct slogans and precisely-aimed
    terminology seem to work perfectly – at least for a specified time until the
    damage is done.
    In present-day Pakistan, the traditional vested
    interests ruling elite, reactionary, conservative, non-progressive, backwards
    and politically status quo oriented, seems to believe that the “Save Democracy”
    slogan is a perfect tool to railroad the public into political submission for
    the continuity of the PPP/PML-N “Rule of Two.” However, I claim that they are
    grossly mistaken, amazingly uninformed of public sentiments, dangerously
    ignorant of political ground realities prevailing in the country, absolutely
    unaware of the historical dynamics of change that are growing in the
    undercurrents of the failing political system, its structure, its leadership and
    its political culture. Presently, they are living in a fool’s paradise.

    Continued on page 2.....

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    Continued from page 1

    Or is it a “democracy” in which each and every norm of democratic principles are
    violated? Is it a “democracy” in which the major opposition party ignores the
    fundamental rules of democratic engagement and responsibilities because of a
    “muk-muka” alliance between “The Rule of Two”?
    Or is it a “democracy” to be saved in which the
    deprivations of the common citizens multiply daily, depressed and bankrupt
    citizens commit suicide because of financial hardships, women sell their bodies
    to feed hungry children, children cannot go to schools, the sick die without
    medical aid, and the rich become richer at the expense of common citizens?
    Or is “The Rule of Two” going to save a “democracy” in
    which power, gas, petrol, daily consumable items and the safety of people are
    virtually non-existent? Are they (The Rule of Two) going to save a “democracy”
    in which the last five years of the national debt has multiplied at a rate equal
    to the past 60 years?
    Centuries ago, Plato said that a ruler must not
    be a traitor. The king must be a philosopher who is selfless, dedicated to the
    welfare and happiness of each and every citizen, and responsible and accountable
    for his political behavior. The happiness of citizens is the ultimate test of a
    civilized society and its rulers.
    Ask yourself, gentle Reader, a serious question:
    What has “The Rule of Two” given to the common citizens of Pakistan in the kind
    of “democracy” that they are bent on saving?
    Is this a democracy – or a worthless,
    meaningless slogan of skillful deception?
    Gentle Reader, you will have to make your own
    Think about it seriously! Here the whole of
    human life is expressed in dark labyrinths.
    ( The writer is UAE-based academic policy analyst,
    conflict resolution expert and the author of several books on Pakistan and
    foreign policy issues. He holds a doctorate and a masters degree from Columbia
    University in New York. Email:[email protected])

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