This Article appeared in Daily The News on August 21st, 2010.

Despite the unprecedented internal and external threats faced by the country, the attitude of our political leadership is appalling. Asif Ali Zardari’s visit to France and Britain was a display of sheer callousness, to say the least. As it is supposed to do, the media only reported the facts about what happened during his visits. But, through its political activists, the PPP decided to use pressure tactics against the media. This is not the behaviour of members of a civilised society.

In the past few years, civil-society organisations, the lawyers’ community and the media have played an extremely positive role. However, unless their efforts are effectively supported by Pakistani society, they could be neutralised by powerful lobbies and the government, through a combination of inducements and coercion. This support will take time to develop since the forces for change are scattered in our society and therefore cannot exert sufficient pressure on the government to persuade it to mend its ways and act in accordance with the wishes of the people of Pakistan. In view of this situation, ways have to be found to bring the democratic forces together.

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