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Pakistan needs to learn from India about democracy: Daily

The manner in which the Indian presidential election was conducted "with none of the innuendo and suspicions which surround similar events" in Pakistan is testimony to the way in which systems have been institutionalised in India, said a Pakistani daily.

world Updated: Jul 24, 2012 11:29 IST

The manner in which the Indian presidential election was conducted "with none of the innuendo and suspicions which surround similar events" in Pakistan is testimony to the way in which systems have been institutionalised in India, said a Pakistani daily.

An editorial in the News International Tuesday said that Pakistan needs to look across the border to learn some lessons in politics and governance.

"The Indian presidential election has proceeded as smoothly as most such events in that country, with its advantages of a well-entrenched democratic system which follows the dictates of the constitution clearly and visibly," it said.

The daily said that this stability is something "we badly need in our own country where so much anarchy prevails over many political matters, including the precise interpretation of the constitution".

Without much controversy, Pranab Mukherjee, India's former finance minister, has become the thirteenth president of India.

"The manner in which the transition has taken place, with none of the innuendo and suspicions which surround similar events at home, is testimony to the way in which systems have been institutionalised in India, making it virtually impossible for anyone to tamper with them or create a gap in the running of democracy.

"Sadly, we have over the past six decades faced just the opposite fate. This is one reason why our democracy has been unable to remain stable or durable. With our perpetual political upheavals and military interventions, democracy in Pakistan has failed to establish itself as a force that cannot be disturbed by any outside element."

The editorial went on to say that there is also something else to consider when comparing the divergent political fates.

Lauding Mukherjee, it said that he is a highly respected and experienced figure and "he drew widespread respect as a man who had served his country well and steered largely clear of major controversy".

"It is important then that the person who occupies the presidency is an individual unmarked by scandal, and able to rise above petty political matters. This too is something we need to learn," the editorial noted.

The daily said that many of the country's problems stem from the "acts of the president (Asif Ali Zardari) himself and his dual role as head of the ruling party".

"We can be sure that Mukherjee will be able, with his vast experience, to do a good job in his new post simply because he enjoys status as a leader who has risen through a stable democratic system and is looked up to by his people as a man they can trust. We can only wish we could follow suit," it added.