In 2007, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared September 15 to be the Worldwide Day of Democracy, to advocate for and uphold democratic principles and urged all member nations and organizations to honour the day in a way that contributes to public awareness. While democracies share characteristics, there is no unique model of democracy that belongs to a single nation or region. What exactly is democracy? The concept of democracy initially originated in ancient Greece in the municipality of Athens’s political and intellectual writings. Demos, which means “(common) people,” and krátos, which means “force or might,” are the roots of the word. In 508-507 BC, Athens developed what is typically regarded as the first case of democracy. However, the people are the centre of democracy, and self-government is its central concept. So, if the citizens were in power themselves, do you think they would make policies that would harm them? Policies that benefit the people are the substance and demo of democracy. According to this criterion, Pakistan’s ‘democracy’ may appear to be one, but it does not function as one. Some of the causes of democracy’s failure are fundamental. The need for democracy was common during the period of independence. Its principle of self-determination had created a justification for the concept of Pakistan as well as a roadmap for development. The British had introduced Western political structures or the Westminster system. However, with a strong emphasis on law-and-order strategies, the British also expanded or introduced non-democratic behaviours and structures, such as feudal and a ruling civil service. However, both were instruments of governance and weapons of colonial dominance, providing stability but only satiating the bare necessities of people’s desires. The overall goal of the system was to uphold British hegemony. Regular elections that are seen as fair, free, and honest by all competing political parties are the first essential component of a true democracy. Cyril Edwin Mitchinson Joad, a British philosopher, said something about socialism long ago that is now applicable to democracy. Socialism, he claimed, is like an umbrella that is losing its shape because everyone wears it. These institutions and practices needed to be modified after independence to realize the goals of democratic governance but were instead strengthened due to the existential dangers the new state was facing. Along with the immense administrative and humanitarian obstacles of resettling millions of refugees, there were also significant economic and security challenges. The difficulties of creating a nation and a state worries about unification, and the polarizing pursuit of a national identity were factors. Additionally, Pakistan looked to its Islamic heritage, its powerful military, and its centralized bureaucracy as solutions. By utilizing the leadership vacuum, strong institutions or groups arose and eventually took control of the country’s politics. Administrative difficulties exacerbated overdependence on the administrative processes, and the national interests and resource allocation were distorted by the focus on security. By opposing education, women’s rights, and socioeconomic liberation, feudal support by religious organizations exacerbated social inequalities. All of this was hardly supportive of a democratic setting. The country grew to rely on assistance like the US and Saudi Arabia who intended to utilize it for their own geopolitical goals as a militarized civil-military bureaucracy, dominating social groups and religious orthodoxy damaged the political process and contributed to its crisis of governance. The US acquired a share for military reasons, whereas Saudi Arabia saw a business opportunity in the nation’s flourishing religious landscape. With sectarian complications making the nation sensitive to Saudi-Iranian competition and with a portion of its ethnic mix linked to Afghanistan, the terrain became exposed to outside influences. It encouraged extremism. Instead of spurring a march toward progress, internal dynamics, regional rivalries, and global politics created the perfect environment for a significant step backwards, allowing non-democratic forces to seize and maintain power. Pakistan was ruled alternately by civilians and the army, but the system stayed the same, “unharmed” by democracy. To sustain the system, they worked together after competing for power. With the assistance of the legal system and administrative structures as well as an incorrect emphasis on religion, they realized all they needed was one another. There was no concern for accountability or electability in any of this. The personnel were not necessary. So, they did not do much to help them. We would put up with the army’s interference to assist us in removing all of them when the expense of upholding a “democracy” run by civilians became intolerable. But the military started acting like politicians instead of returning to the barracks. Then, when democracy lets us down once more, we will long for it. Long-term military rule has changed the equilibrium of power, with civilian governments now abiding by the security establishment’s interests. The truth is that no one organization is fully to blame for democracy’s problems. Ideology and political action alternations. When it comes to communicating ideas and organizing political action, the ruling class has a specific role to play. Despite being preoccupied with the notion of democracy in Pakistan, this sector has not played its due role. To drive the military back and promote electoral democracy, countries that have recently transitioned from prolonged periods of military or authoritarian control to liberal constitutionalism and democratization should take a page from Turkey, Indonesia, and Brazil, to mention a few. These civilian governments delivered in the economic sphere made sure of decent governance, gave the common people a safe and tranquil way of life, and gave them hope for a better future. The only way a non-functioning administration can secure democracy is by using propaganda to weaken the military. Can Pakistan’s leaders learn from these nations about enhancing the chances for democracy? If the dominant super elite internalizes democratic ideas and norms and attempts to put them into practice in letter and spirit, democracy develops gradually over time. The nation will experience a deficit in democracy until the competing political actors learn to self-regulate them in accordance with the essential tenets and values of democratic philosophy. Regular elections that are seen as fair, free, and honest by all competing political parties are the first essential component of a true democracy. Every candidate should have an equal opportunity to compete, and all steps leading up to the nomination filing, the election campaign, the polling place arrangements, the counting of votes, and the announcement of the winner should satisfy the candidates and independent observers. Summarily, democracy, which has never really been debated, has just found a new flame thanks to populism, which is fueled by the persuasive rhetoric of morality, nationalism, and religion. ‘Democracy’ is not experiencing a fresh awakening. They have switched from falsehood to illusion without realizing it. We require a more in-depth discussion about democracy. What someone does not know cannot be changed. Nations do not become democratic since they have changed; they become democratic because of change. Rearranging the cards will not work. Clearing the deck is necessary. The writer is a freelance columnist.