18Th Amendment by Hisham Wyne

For want of time, and the desire to explore new mediums, I am experimenting with a new form of information broadcast – the podcast.


The 18th amendment is, amusingly, a contradiction. It is a step forward because it is a step backwards. It represents a purge of all the fiercely self-interested clauses and mitigations inserted within Pakistan’s original 1973 constitution (largely agreed to be the complete, pre-meddled version) by a succession of military dictators to justify their actions post priori.

 

The 18th amendment is a watershed moment also because politicians within a democratically elected framework set aside petty bickering momentarily to pass a comprehensive set of changes harking back to the spirit of 1973; before the rightwing Islamist dictator Zia ul Haq with his penchant for public floggings and hanging  democratically elected leaders, and far prior to the self-serving Musharraf with his anti-Sharif and Bhutto agenda. This, of course, is not to laud Pakistan’s politicians as true conduits for the masses. I rather suspect collaboration on the 18th amendment comes from a desire to keep military dictators out of power for the good of the politicians more than the people. Yet it serves the people well by strenghtening a nascent democratic process.

 

In delicious contrast, the 18th amendment to the constitution on the US was a blatant attack on personal liberties through the commencement of Prohibition of all liquour sales to individuals. The similarly named 18th amendment in Pakistan promises to a more progressive and wholesome agenda for all concerned- save potential military dictators.

 

Your comments are more than welcome. Do let me know if podcasts are a superior or worse medium for the exchange of ideas, and I would love for you to point out areas for improvement and work as well. Yours, in the spirit of experimentation.