The historic occasion of the 18th Amendment paired with the UN report on the murder of Benazir Bhutto provides an important moment to reflect on how far we have managed to come in so short a time. It was only a few short years ago that democracy was only a dream. But we have proved that it is a dream that can be realized. We have made so much progress that we deserve some celebration, but we must also keep our eye to the final score. We have much work left to do.
Asma Jahangir provides a worthy reminder in her column for Dawn today that “the proposed amendments are not perfect, but they do lay the foundation for a clearer direction in the future.” Ultimately, she provides wise guidance for us as we keep our eyes looking to the future of our nation.
Let us hope that streamlining the constitution remains a process rather than a one-time exercise. Pakistan’s democratic system can only go forward if its structural defects in governance are addressed first. As a first step, a legal framework is crucial for sound governance but greater skills and a higher level of integrity are needed to sustain any form of democratic transition.