Pakistan is an illiberal democracy of 199 million people located in South Asia. A series of disasters currently beset the young nation and threaten its stability as a nation. Dislodging the Taliban is still a serious obstacle in the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas despite over ten years of intermittent warfare. With one of the highest illiteracy rates as well as the second largest out of school population in the world after Nigeria, Pakistan’s education system is in ruins. Exacerbating all of these problems is severe poverty which has been enabled by the corruption and ineptitude of the government. The feebleness of the government which has worsened all of these crises is especially prevalent in the ongoing energy dearth which has led to rolling blackouts and riots.
On March 27 2016, a suicide bomber detonated his vest at the gate of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, a popular amusement park in Lahore. By the end of the day 75 women and children were dead and the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan or TTP claimed responsibility. Since 2004, the TTP has waged an insurgency against the government in Islamabad utilizing terror tactics such as the “soft targeting” seen in the Easter Sunday Lahore attack (Qandeel, 6-8). Pakistan, a key ally of the U.S. in the “war on terror” vowed to destroy the TTP in wake of this particularly brutal attack. Historically the Pakistani military has had mixed success combating these insurgents. In 2007, the TTP assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and in 2014, its operatives massacred over 141 people, mostly children, at a military run school in Peshawar. Harsh reprisals by the military meet these violent outbreaks, leaving tens of thousands of ...
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...aranteed an allotted number of Parliament seats are often left unrepresented and face brutal reprisals from the TTP and occasionally form the Pakistani army which views them as a fifth column. Women, who vote in the federally administered region and other conservative areas despite the threats of murder and even attacks involving deadly acid, now face local laws, which ban them from voting outright.
The government of Pakistan is illiberal because it has no real accountability to the people. Despite the election of Sharif in 2013, he serves at the prerogative of the military. Human rights abuses by security forces are a daily occurrence and redress is nonexistent. Political coercion whether perpetuated by the PPP or TTP operatives in Waziristan ensures that elections are anything but free or fair and that women’s rights are largely ignored.
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