Pakistan in Transition Towards a Substantive Democracy
Dr. Huma Baqai

The democratic dispensation in Pakistan is viewed as stunted. An illustrious civil rights lawyer Aitzaz Ahsan calls it a “bonsai democracy” which is cultivated but neither have deep roots nor wide branches, a showcase exercise for western consumption. The recent smooth transition of power from one political government to another is a positive emerging trend in the political history of Pakistan. This happened inspite of the security challenge the country faced pre, during and post elections. These developments indicate that the democratic dispensation in Pakistan is passing through the consolidation phase, where all contenders of power, despite challenges and deficiencies, a practice not prevalent in the past, a close view of events show judiciary and media emerging as the critical drivers of democracy. The chances of the process sliding back minimized if these emerging trends are facilitated. The three major trends identified are:-
1. The strengthened Democratic Institution of Pakistan specially the judiciary and the media.
2. The realignment of its civil military relations
3. Pakistan relations with India and US.

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