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A Tale of Two amendments -- What the 18th Amendment Means for the People and Politicians of Pakistan

For want of time, and the desire to explore new mediums, I am experimenting with podcasts. It is not easy uploading directly to the Huffington Post, so I have placed a broadcast on another site, and am linking in.

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 and mitigating clauses 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 because politicians within a democratically elected framework momentarily set aside petty bickering to pass a comprehensive set of changes harking to the spirit of 1973; before the right wing Islamist dictator Zia ul Haq with his penchant for public floggings and the hanging of democratically elected leaders, and far prior to the self-serving Musharraf with his anti-Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto agenda. This is not to laud Pakistan's politicians for evolving into 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. But it benefits the people nevertheless, and strengthens the tenuous grip of a fledgling democratic process.

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

The link to the blog with the podcast is here.

Your comments are more than welcome. Let me know if podcasts are a superior (or inferior) medium for the exchange of ideas.

Yours, in the spirit of experimentation.

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