BY OBAID UR Rehman.
A political party’s strength is judged by its own infrastructure and on how effective the leadership is at grass-root level. It is of sheer importance for a political party to conduct its own intra party elections so that elected leaders can become a genuine voice of a common worker of a specific region. Any political party that conducts intra-party elections and has a strong infrastructure of elected leaders can be termed as purely democratic party. Moreover, by having such an infrastructure, a party gets an edge over other parties as well and it obviously becomes a valuable reason for their leaders to prove their democratic political approach. The intra party elections also make it possible for senior most leadership to judge and execute the flaws within the party, as we have seen in near past that such kind of problems might become serious threats to political party in the form of mutiny.
In Pakistan, concept of intra party elections has not been really up to the marked over the times. The only political parties which we have seen to firmly believe in intra party elections are Jamaat-e-Islami, National Party and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf. Jamaat-e-Islami has a long history of conducting intra party elections which is one of the major reasons for party’s popularity and fame. Apart from Jamaat-e-Islami, it is Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf who strongly favours conducting intra party elections so that workers can feel the power of freedom in choosing their leaders on their own.
As far as other famous political parties are concerned including Pakistan Muslim League (N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), it is proven that they haven’t shown keen interest in conducting intra party elections. The major reason is obvious, the party matters and decision making power are under the control of family members of their leaders. In the last couple of years, political awareness has taken over the typical mind set and now people demand purity and accuracy in our political system as well as in our political parties.
A couple of days ago, PILDAT (Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency) has issued a survey report in which it has depicted the most and least democratic party of the country. PILDAT surveys are completely based upon public opinion, facts and figures, party policies and view points of various think tanks. The survey says that Jamaat-eIslami is the most democratic party in Pakistan whereas the central ruling party Pakistan Muslim League (N) is the least democratic party of Pakistan followed by Muttehidda Qomi Movement (MQM) and Jameeyat-e-Ulma-e-Islam – Fazal (JUI-F). Inspite of conducting the most popular intra party elections, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) got the third spot after National Party which has secured second place in the contest. Another biggest party of the country, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) also stands nowhere as per survey stats.
Accordingly, the stats which have been mentioned in PILDAT makes it clear to the people of Pakistan that how these political parties functions who claim to be the defenders of democracy in Pakistan, are themselves un democratic when it comes to their own party system. Survey says that Jamaat-e-Islami has been declared as the most democratic party of Pakistan because of the facts that regular elections within the party, constant change of leadership on upper and lower levels, meetings within the party to improve its infrastructure and the certain authorities being given to workers have actually made JI able enough to be declared as the most democratic party of the country. Such kind of political approach truly enhances the value, popularity and ratings of the party.
Talking about PTI, although it has got third spot but yet the concern of party leadership about conducting intra party elections and making it possible for their workers and members to choose their local leaders according to their own wish, have made PTI as another worthy democratic party. PTI is also planning to conduct intra party elections in April 2016 to improve party’s infrastructure and to bring its level to next heights. As far as PMLN in concerned, we must say that once the decision power is in the hands of senior most leadership, party working can’t be influenced by a party worker. Such kind of approach and thinking shakes the trust and faith of party workers and ultimately it could result in anti-party movements. Today, when purity and sincerity in political parties are judged seriously, then lacking democratic habits could be harmful for them. Citizens would have their faith and trust in those political parties which apart from claiming, practically set examples too of what they claim for.
OBAID UR REHMAN