Post-Democracy in Pakistan

As in the USA, the Pakistani government has forgotten that the primary benefit of representative democracy is avoiding violent partisan battles led by political leaders driven to hold on to power for fear of being punished after the fact:

All hell is breaking loose in Pakistan, amid fears there could be a slide into widescale civil unrest or even full-blown civil war, after on Tuesday the former Prime Minister Imran Khan was arrested and taken into police custody while he was entering the Islamabad High Court for a hearing in a case.

The 70-year-old cricketer-turned-politician has been pursued in court filings by Pakistan’s anti-corruption agency, but the dramatic move to actually detain Khan is a huge and unprecedented escalation, threatening to unleash mayhem in the streets of the nuclear-armed country.

His party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), immediately called for mass protests, which quickly exploded across multiple cities and in front police and military locations, including in the capital Islamabad, but also in Lahore, Karachi, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Peshawar, and Mardan – according to international reports.

Viral images and video of Khan being escorted by security forces in riot control gear and whisked away in an armored van are fueling anger in the streets. A government statement has said the arrest was “for the crime of corruption”.

According to Al Jazeera, “Khan has been slapped with more than 100 cases – including corruption, ‘terrorism’ and even blasphemy – since he was removed from power last April through a parliamentary vote of no confidence.”

The fact that most of the people around the world are very ill-suited for even modestly democratic forms of government when not forced to abide by them by an external power is rapidly becoming inescapable to even the most casual observer.