Political Angle Of The Distributive Process

ByUmair Ali

Trainee lawyer


September 18, 2022

Umair Ali discusses a relevant issue

The current crisis in the country due to heavy rainfall; and flash floods has brought to fore yet again the thorny issue of the process of distributive practices prevailing in Pakistan. The distribution of aid organised locally and received from international donors has become a serious matter owing to the profound inefficiency witnessed throughout the length of the country. The political angle of this matter is different.

It is historically proved that the end of hybrid monarchies took place essentially due to the fact that the most important aspect of governance is related to the primary distributive system that uniquely encompasses all aspects of human existence, and cannot function without political channels because only they possess the capacity to channelise distribution of collective resources of a nation state.

It is now visibly recognised that the participation of political angles or elements is the most viable tool of ensuring that the people of a state receive their due of the national resources because it is only the presence of political elements that are able to ascertain and monitor public aspirations and their needs.

In modern time this requirement is fulfilled by the political angle or parties though in Pakistan their presence is reviled by the arbitrary forces that consider them to be impinging on their right to decide every issue arbitrarily. It is, however, considered incumbent on modern governance practices that organised political parties to transform themselves into vehicles of political power.

And it is expected that with the passage of time their all pervasive presence will place them at the top of institutional pyramid in a country. They are temperamentally different than any other congregational platform owing to their unique claim to pragmatism in a polity.

Political Angle Of Parties And Organisation

It is now widely argued that political parties and their organisation are more important in explaining democratic outcomes than the levels of per capita income of a country or the extent of inequality or a resource constraint because they preside over distributive mechanism.

It is also becoming obvious that the relationship between class alliances and their link to political parties may well hold true in most countries. And it is now quite manifest that stable class alliances in association with strong political understanding are pre-requisites to sustainable democratic process.

There is a considerable difference of opinion in Pakistan about the authenticity and integrity of political parties but it must always be kept in view that the incessant campaign against their presence and role has been the preferred method of the arbitrary forces of the country that believe that discrediting the political parties will ensure their dubious dominance of the governance affairs of the country.

In this context it should always be borne in mind that the political class was not allowed to function as they were required to do and most painfully they were arbitrarily declared a failure. The so-called failure of Pakistani political class was exploited by military rulers who conveniently netted in corporate interests as well as land owning classes thereby depriving civilian political forces of the tools of resource distribution.

Bereft of this essential ingredient of governance, political forces were easily marginalised and left with no recourse but to play second fiddle to military regimes or to agitate against them. In the process the military establishment carved out a corporate identity obtaining a powerful economic base to operate from.

Political Angle Of Resurgence Of Democratic Activity

Viewed in this backdrop the resurgence of democratic political activity in Pakistan saw many political parties emerging as political forces willing to accommodate the converging interests of the land owning elements and urban middle class that provided sustenance to their electoral appeal.

Despite political engineering of military regimes altering the inherent representative landscape of Pakistan and shrouded by militaralistic perceptions of the polity, these political parties took root as dominant national political presence and are currently openly challenging the hold of the arbitrary forces on the reins of decision making.

The result is often perceived by the arbitrary forces as a challenge underpinning distributive mechanism that they considered as their exclusive preserve. The arbitrary forces have been trying hard to keep such challenge as much peripheral as possible they want to keep in control the intricacies of distributive mechanism.

On the other hand, the Pakistani political class realises the importance of distributive mechanism and is working hard to reclaim this crucial lost ground. It knows that if they lose this battle then they will be cornered by fissiparous forces already challenging it.

The result is the efforts of the political class to go forward to ameliorate the difficulties faced by the flood-affectees despite resource constraints. In the process they face the wrath of the people who are conditioned to detest them but they persist in their work simply because it is the task they are mandated to undertake under the requirements of political responsibility.

Side by side one can also witness another strand of activity that is publicised as undertaken by a separate force giving the impression that it was conducted by elements that have higher motives than political despite the fact that both these activities pertain to a distributive process that essentially falls in the political domain. The Weekender


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