Whither political ethics?


The chequered history of democratic development in Pakistan is marked by a substandard record of political ethics which direly needs reforms to attain a level of political maturity for long term sustainably and democratic strength in the future.
Both the Parliament and the Election Commission of Pakistan ought to play a pivotal role in this direction, otherwise, the democratic system may not gain the required strength matching developed democracies.
Infact, in developed democracies the elected government is allowed to work for its tenure till the next election unless some serious system breakdown occurs supported by a mass uprising or some top judicial verdict to stepdown comes.

In recent months, the political environment in Pakistan has been marred by lot of allegations and counter allegations by political leaders.
In most cases, such campaigns have been devoid of definite evidence.
Consequently, now legal proceedings are threatened by parties warring against each other.

The political atmosphere is thus badly marred.
The intelligentsia of the electorate is watching the warring political factions.
In fact, the political parties of a sound democratic system need to project a maturity level while projecting themselves and interacting on public issues.
The recent projections on the Panama and Dawn leaks have not been impressive.
Allegations and counter allegations based on unfounded suspicions have exposed the maturity levels of the parties involved in the blame-game on these issues.
However, it is a fact that the political parties of Pakistan will gain better maturity standards with the passage of time after a couple of more national elections.
UK reached their present democratic standards with 600 years of experience.
Likewise, USA has gained their democratic performance level after around 200 years of experience with a working democracy.

There is a dire need to evolve a political code of ethics for all registered parties operating in the country.
The Electoral Reforms Committee should formulate such a code to help in growth of healthy democratic conditions.

Such a draft code to be agreed by all parties should be passed by the Parliament as a part of the electoral reforms in process.
After approval of such a political code of ethics, it should then be made part of the approved electoral reforms.

All contesting candidates in the next national elections should be bound to sign the political code of ethics as a precondition to contest elections.

Non-acceptance of the code by a contesting candidate should bar them from contesting the national elections.

The proposed political code of ethics may, include the following major provisions.
Firstly, no political party or its contesting candidate will make personal allegations of corruption or immorality of character without concrete evidence capable of judicial scrutiny.

No political party or its contesting candidate would use armed groups to harass or terrorise opponents.
No political party or its candidate will raise issues concerning national security, armed forces or higher judiciary without culpable evidence.
No political party or its candidate will raise issues concerning the ideology of Pakistan as specified in the Constitution of Pakistan.
And lastly, an elected political government would be allowed to complete their term of office unless the elections are held void by the Election Commission of Pakistan or the Supreme Court of Pakistan or a no confidence motion is passed by the Parliament in a joint session.

 

The writer is former Adviser Federal Inspection Commission, Government of Pakistan.

eei0910@yahoo.
com

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