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Rasheed Khalid

The News

Published Date: Sep 30, 2014

1985 partyless polls spoiled politics: Asad Umar


Umar has said that the 1985 party-less elections spoiled Pakistan’s
political culture as the ideological content was taken out of the body

The PTI leader was speaking at a seminar on
‘Democracy, development and the role of youth’ organised by the
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here on Monday.

Umar said that after 1970 election campaign the youth and
intelligentsia indulged in dialogue and debate between Leftist and
Rightist leaders over social, economic and cultural issues but the
party-less polls first local bodies in November 1979 and then assemblies
polls in February 1985 gave a greatest blow to growth of political
awareness and consciousness in the people. Discussing how to bring the
youth back to ideological issues, he said that youth should be given
space and demanded fixing 35 per cent quota for young candidates in the
assemblies. He said that youth should be given party-based funding also
to participate in electorate process.

Dr Farzana Bari,
director of the Gender Studies at Quaid-i-Azam University, said that
youth is not homogeneous category. She said democracy should be seen
embodied in political environment of the country. She said that our
system is feudal and ‘jagirdari’ so those classes enter power corridors,
hence legislation is also discriminatory.

Gen Talat
Masud, former chairman of the Pakistan Ordnance Factories BoG, said that
in 1940s, parties in areas now in Pakistan were opposed to Pakistan
whereas Muslim League was either in now Bangladesh or the territories
now in India.

He said that to promote democracy,
political parties should be strengthened for which they should hold
elections within parties. He asked for strengthening judiciary also
because powerful courts were essential for democracy and human rights.

Ramay from SDPI said that while talking of youth, we should engage them
in academic, intellectual and professional debate. He said that youth
should be given sense of belonging, inclusion and participation.

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