On the Unseating of Nawaz Sharif

I avoid talking about politics because I’m not truly well-versed in the subject. But I will say this much about the unseating of Nawaz Sharif and the rest of the gang.

People are complaining that this is harmful for Pakistan’s democracy. Only a crazy person would imagine that what we have in Pakistan approaches anything near a functioning democracy. You can call it experimental democracy, 12-step democracy (recovering from an addiction to dictatorship) or DIY democracy. But this is not democracy.

In a country where political parties form on the basis of clans, shared bloodlines and kinship, in a country where parties gain votes through force or money, in a country where once elected, leaders have a free reign to loot and plunder, in a country where there is no legal way to remove dishonest leaders, we don’t have democracy.

We only have an imitation of democracy, fashioned to please Western observers so that they’ll continue to inject us with cash transfers and aid and military reparations. We have perfected the art of lip service. We know what to say and how to act so that we have the patina of democracy, but none of its roots.

In truth, we operate on institutionalized revenge politics, on a national scale instead of provincial. There is nothing democratic about how our leaders gained office, so don’t expect anything democratic about the ways and means used to remove them.

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