Sunday 15 January 2012

What Pakistan Can Teach Egypt

A short, yet interesting, article by Arif Rafiq came out in The National Interest titled "Five Lessons Egypt Should Learn From Pakistan." The article is one of a batch of an increasing amount of pieces that make the argument that Egypt is starting to look much less like Turkey, and much more like Pakistan, the latter a democracy (dominated by Islamist Political Parties) where the military establishment plays quite a large and extra-constitutional role.

Rafiq argues that there are five things in particular that Egyptians need to keep in mind as it begins its democratic experiment in light of its current unique set of circumstances. They are:

1- Civilian Forces (Parties, Public Personalities, etc...) should remain one united front vis-a-vis the Military Establishment, rather than be divided under any circumstance.

2- Parliament should have strong powers, capacities and competences.

3- The civilian government should have all the powers that it is expected to have, without compromise or power-sharing.

4- Without proper economic growth and management, the country will grow unstable, and popular unity around civilian democracy will be weakened.

5- The government, political parties, and the state should work to bring together all elements of society, ethnic, religious, gender, and geographic groups of any kind, into one grand national cordial consensus, so as not to disenfranchise any element or group and weaken the consensus on civilian democracy in any way.

Give it a read.

I will write a piece on the issue of Pakistan as well, once I get the chance.

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