Rule of Law is the Soul of Democracy
As a body cannot live without soul similarly a democracy cannot exist without rule of law. The rule of law is the cornerstone of any democratic society, as it ensures that all citizens, regardless of their status or position, are held accountable to the same set of laws and regulations. It is a fundamental principle that is essential to the functioning of any society and plays a critical role in maintaining peace, order, and stability. The rule of law guarantees that no one is above the law, and everyone is treated equally under the law.
The word democracy is derived from the Greek words “demos”, meaning people, and “kratos” meaning power; so democracy can be thought of as “power of the people”: a way of governing which depends on the will of the people. Democracy is a form of government that is based on the principles of equality and freedom. It is a system of government that is designed to give citizens a voice in the decision-making process and ensure that their rights and freedoms are protected. The rule of law is an essential component of democracy because it helps to safeguard the rights and freedoms of citizens and prevent abuses of power.
The rule of law ensures that everyone, including government officials, is subject to the same laws and regulations. It means that the government must follow the same rules and procedures as everyone else, and that no one is above the law. This principle is essential in preventing abuses of power, corruption, and injustice.
In a democratic society, the rule of law serves as a safeguard against tyranny and oppression. It ensures that the government is accountable to the people and that citizens have a say in how they are governed. It helps to prevent arbitrary arrests, detentions, and other forms of human rights violations, and it ensures that individuals are given a fair trial and due process of law.
The rule of law is essential in ensuring that businesses and investors have confidence in the legal system. It provides a stable and predictable legal environment that is necessary for economic growth and development. It also ensures that individuals and businesses are protected from arbitrary actions by the government and that property rights are respected.
In a democratic society, the rule of law is essential in promoting social justice and equality. It ensures that everyone is treated equally under the law, regardless of their race, gender, religion, or social status. It also helps to ensure that the rights and freedoms of minorities are protected and that they are not discriminated against.
The Ups and Downs of the Pakistani Democracy
When Pakistan gained independence from British colonial rule in 1947, it was declared a democratic state, with a parliamentary form of government.
Pakistan’s first Constitution was adopted in 1956, which established a parliamentary system of government with a Prime Minister as the head of the executive branch. However, the Constitution was suspended in 1958, and the country was ruled by military dictatorships for the next decade.
In 1971, Pakistan witnessed a major political crisis when its eastern wing, East Pakistan, declared independence and became Bangladesh. This event led to a significant shift in the country’s political landscape, and democracy was again suspended.
Pakistan remained under military rule for most of the 1980s, with General Zia-ul-Haq as the country’s ruler. During his tenure, Zia-ul-Haq introduced several controversial measures, including the introduction of Islamic laws and the restriction of civil liberties.
After Zia-ul-Haq’s death in a plane crash in 1988, democratic elections were held, and Benazir Bhutto became the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan. However, her government was dismissed by the President in 1990 and Nawaz Sharif became the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Sharif’s government was dismissed in 1993 on corruption charges and Benazir was again elected as Prime Minister in 1993. She served two terms before being removed from power again in 1996.
In 1999, General Pervez Musharraf overthrew the Nawaz-league government and assumed power. During his tenure, Musharraf introduced several reforms, including devolving power to the provinces and strengthening the local government system.
In 2007, Musharraf declared a state of emergency and suspended the Constitution. He was forced to resign in 2008 following widespread protests and the reinstatement of the Constitution.
After years of military rule, democratic elections were held in 2008, and the PPP emerged as the winner once again. Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of Benazir Bhutto, became the President of Pakistan, and Yusuf Raza Gilani became the Prime Minister. However, the government was criticized for its corruption and mismanagement, and it was dismissed in 2013 after completing its term.
In the 2013 general elections, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) emerged as the winner, and Nawaz Sharif became the Prime Minister for the third time. However, his government was dismissed in 2017 by the Supreme Court of Pakistan
Since then, Pakistan has seen several democratic transitions, with the most recent one being in 2018, when Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party won the general election, and he became the Prime Minister.
Pakistan has a complex and often tumultuous history with democracy, with multiple military coups and periods of authoritarian rule. However, the country has also seen several democratic transitions, with the most recent one being in 2018. The future of democracy in Pakistan remains uncertain, but the country’s citizens continue to strive for a more democratic and representative government.
The people of Pakistan are optimistic for the true democratic system in the country, where the rule of law should be practiced in its purest form.
In a nutshell, the rule of law is the soul of democracy. It is a fundamental principle that ensures that everyone is subject to the same laws and regulations and that no one is above the law. It plays a critical role in maintaining peace, order, and stability in society and it helps to safeguard the rights and freedoms of citizens. Without the rule of law, democracy cannot function, and society would be subject to arbitrary actions by the government, leading to tyranny and oppression.