Among many prerequisites for a functioning democracy, the presence of mainstream political parties is the instrumental one. Ideologically driven honest political parties in any democracy not only compete with other parties–thereby improving the standards of public services, but also keep a check on the ruling party so that the latter does not transgress the limits.
However, a comparison of our political parties with those of the west manifests a stark contrast. Take, for example, the American political parties. The Democrats and the Republicans present their agenda before the elections and make people au courant with their policies. Both parties are ideologically driven and give tough competition to each other. Hence, they also keep a check against any undemocratic tendency.
On the other hand, the political parties in Pakistan are neither honest nor Ideologically driven. Conversely, they are driven by ethnicity and selfish gains. This creates a great stumbling block in Pakistan’s way to becoming a fully-functional democratic state. Pakistani political parties seem to be unclear themselves about their agenda and policies.
On many occasions, they seem to be confused about their actions and take arbitrary decisions just to show their presence. Their philosophy is not clear and this makes it difficult for a common citizen to choose the correct representatives. Further, the image of political parties in Pakistan has been tarnished by the indictments of corruption and crime.
Pakistan is, thus, facing a political crisis. Is Pakistan slowly moving towards monopolisation of one political party? Is the opposition parties still in a position to give competition and keep a check? Do political parties need to get reformed? Is the present situation satisfactory enough to run Pakistan’s democratic structure? These are some of the questions which draw varying opinions from the public.