ALTHOUGH our politicians clamour for early elections, no political party, except for the JI and the PTI, has ever held intra-party elections to choose their own party leaders at local, district, provincial, or federal level.

The self-imposed chief of every party nominates individuals of his choice for local positions and their supporters endorse such nominations.

Also, party tickets to individuals in constituencies are not granted on merit, rather on the basis of wealth and loyalty to party bosses in order to tighten the grip over the party cadre and perpetuate dynastic parties.

There is much talk about electoral reforms, rule of law, elimination of corruption, but little effort to achieve the object.

I believe in a democracy where every individual is respected and no one is idolised or demonised.

For me, democracy is for uplift of the people and not for well-being of the few. I feel economic reforms are necessary for uplifting the people.

Everything hinges on the economy. Without financial resources, the very existence of the state is in danger.

An economically sound country can lay the foundation of a strong democracy and independent foreign policy. A nation leading a life of dependency is worse than a slave.

It is unfortunate that no party appears to have prepared a well-thought-out programme to generate resources and increase economic growth, without which all talks about free and fair elections, protecting and strengthening democracy, independence of the judiciary remain a distant dream.

Hence, all politicians, heads of pillar of state, bureaucrats, industrialists, business tycoons, media wizards, intellectuals and all those who matter in the scheme of things should join heads to solve this dilemma and evolve a long-term economic policy to steer the country out of the economic quagmire.

RAJA SHAFAATULLAH     Islamabad

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