Democracy san Constitutional Liberalism of No Use

Democracy san Constitutional Liberalism of No Use
This bundle of freedoms – called constitutional liberalism – is not synonymous with democracy and is theoretically different and historically distinct from democracy. For much of modern history what characterised governments in Europe and North America, and differentiated them from those around the world, was not democracy but constitutional liberalism.

During the 19th century most European countries went through the phase of liberalisation long before they became democratic.

For 156 years until July 1, 1997, Hong Kong was ruled by the British Crown through an appointed governor general. Until 1991, it never held a meaningful election, but its government epitomised constitutional liberalism, protecting its citizens’ basic rights and administering a fair judicial system and bureaucracy.

Elections are an important virtue of government, but they are not the only virtue. Democracy does not end with the ballot, it begins there. Governments should be judged by yardsticks related to constitutional liberalism as well. Despite the limited political choice they offer, countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand provide a better environment for the life, liberty and happiness of their citizens than do illiberal, sham, democracies like Slovakia, Ghana and Pakistan under their elected governments. Constitutional liberalism has led to democracy everywhere, but democracy does not seem to bring constitutional liberalism. In fact, democratically elected regimes in the Third World generally ignore constitutional limits on their powers, deprive the citizens of their basic rights and freedoms and, in the process, open the door to military rule, as has happened several times in Pakistan.

Contrary to what President Zardari says and believes, today the greatest threat to Pakistan’s democracy, in fact Pakistan itself, stems not from religious militancy and sectarianism but from (a) the absence of a genuinely democratic political order, and (b) the surging American imperialism. The Farewell Address of George Washington will ever remain an important legacy for small nations like Pakistan. In that notable testament, the Father of the American Republic cautioned that “an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.” “It is folly in one nation,” George Washington observed, “to look for disinterested favours from another…it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character.” No truer words have been spoken on the subject. Pakistan is paying, and will continue to pay, a very heavy price for the folly of attaching itself to America. In this country democracy is only permissible when the results are favourable to America.

Governments are instituted to secure certain inalienable rights of human beings as the American Declaration of Independence put it. If a “democratic” government does not preserve liberty and law and does not protect the life, property and honour of its citizens, that it is a “democracy” is a small consolation.

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By: Roedad Khan, a former federal secretary.


Who Invented Numbering System

The system of numbering in use all round the world is probably Indian in origin but the style of the numerals is Arabic and first appears in print in the work of the Muslim mathematicians al-Khwarizmi and al-Kindi around 825. Algebra was named after al-Khwarizmi’s book, Al-Jabr wa-al-Muqabilah, much of whose contents are still in use. The work of Muslim maths scholars was imported into Europe 300 years later by the Italian mathematician Fibonacci. Algorithms and much of the theory of trigonometry came from the Muslim world. And Al-Kindi’s discovery of frequency analysis rendered all the codes of the ancient world soluble and created the basis of modern cryptology.

Terrorist ? Who ? ? ?

Of the 44 predator strikes carried out by US drones in the tribal areas of Pakistan during 12 month of year 2009, only 5 hit their actual targets, killing 5 key Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, but at the cost of over 700 innocent civilians.

The US drones killed 708 people in 44 predator attacks targeting the tribal areas of Pakistan between January 1 and December 31, 2009. Thus, for each Al Qaeda / Taliban terrorist killed by US drones, 140 innocent Pakistanis were also killed.

Of the 5 successful predator attacks carried out in 2009, the first one came on January 1, which reportedly killed 2 senior al-Qaeda leaders (Usama al-Kin and Sheikh Ahmed Salim). The second successful drone attack was conducted on August 5 in South Waziristan that killed the most wanted fugitive chief of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan Baitullah Mehsud along with his wife. The detail of rest is not known