By Dipu Rai
16 March 2019
The abuse of democracy has been an old characteristic of Pakistan — and terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) are a direct fall-out result of this abuse of democracy.
A look at the data shows that the violation of democratic principles in Pakistan has been directly proportionate to terrorist attacks on Indian soil.
Branded as ‘hybrid democracy’ in the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)’s latest Democracy Index of 2018, Pakistan's democracy index deepened 10% in the last five year — whereas terrorist attacks spiked 177%.
The death toll of Indian security forces rises 94% in the same period
Pakistan, which stands at 112th position globally in this study, stood at 108th place five years back in 2014.
The EIU index tracked democracy in 165 countries, including India.
“In 2018, after a fiercely contested election, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), or PML (N), lost power to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), led by Imran Khan. The polls took a sour turn when the defeated parties alleged widespread election rigging,” the EIU observed in its report.
The EIU further added that Nawaz Sharif, honorary leader of the PML(N), was disqualified as Prime Minister by a Supreme Court ruling in July 2017 on corruption charges. The charges against Sharif were made after the release of the Panama Papers.
From religion to violence, almost all discussions in Pakistan centre around Kashmir. The undeclared war in Kashmir launched by Pakistan was an easy sell to the country as a 'jihad'.
And, as a collateral to this, in the last 30 years, more than 5,000 lives of security personnel have been lost in Jammu and Kashmir.
The latest such large-scale dastardly attack was when the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) attacked a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in J&K’s Pulwama district on February 14, killing 40 Jawans in one go. JeM even now operates openly from Pakistani soil.
Security analysts say Pakistan pumps in a lot of money to fund terrorism in Kashmir.
On 11 February, 2016, in an interview to India Today, Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf said the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) trains Lashkar-e-Taiba and JeM terrorists and terror attacks in India would not stop until New Delhi addresses the ‘core’ issue of Kashmir.
He further said, “Kashmir continues to arouse sentiments in Pakistan; anyone who is fighting in Kashmir is a freedom fighter.”
When India accused Pakistan of launching terror attacks in J&K and approached the United Nations to blacklist JeM chief Masood Azhar, China used its veto power in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to block the move.
Interestingly, China has a huge economic role to play in Pakistan — even as its internal democracy flounders.
What is Democracy Index?
The Democracy Index is a snapshot analysis of the state of democracy in 165 countries as conducted by the EIU.
In 2018, a total of 42 countries experienced a decline in their scores compared with 2017 — Pakistan is one of them.
The index is based on five categories — electoral process and pluralism, civil liberties, the functioning of government, political participation and the political culture of the country.