Islamabad, Jan.22 : Political analysts in Pakistan are of the view that a majority of the country's politicians are feudal in their approach, and don't hesitate to use their pelf for extorting cash or kind rewards for services rendered.
There are some politicians who say that if the present system of administration and justice undergoes a change, there is every chance that powerbrokers like them will reform themselves too.
As Pakistan prepares for the February 18 elections, political analysts say the country's feudal political system -- organized around ethnic tribes, family dynasties and personality cults -- has retarded the development of democracy.
The Washington Post quoted Rasul Bakhsh Rais, a political scientist at Lahore University of Management Sciences as saying that "There's no hope with the current political parties, because none are committed to public service."
"The ruling class in Pakistan has lost its sense of humanity and balance. They are not givers, they are takers," he told the paper.
According to the paper, only Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif stand out as credible products of the Pakistan electoral system in the last 20 years, but they used their power to tarnish democracy and to enrich themselves and their families.
Babar Awan, a senior member of Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP), lays all the blame for Pakistan's troubled quest for democracy at the doorstep of the military.
Pakistan, he adds, has had 32 years of military rule during its 60 years of independence from British colonial rule.
"Political norms need an enabling environment to flourish. If Pakistan gets a chance of continuity for four, five or six elections, it will turn into a two-party democracy," he told the paper.
Ali Ahsan, the son of Supreme Court Bar Association President, Aitzaz Ahsan, believes that Bhutto's death last moth "potentially opens the way to greater party democracy.
When she was in power, her control over party affairs was absolute, but with her death, the control by others will have to be more inclusive, he adds.
Pakistani cricket hero Imran Khan has been unable to break the feudal lock on Pakistani politics, though he has good looks, is a household name, and possesses a squeaky-clean reputation, besides charisma.
Khan, however, says that he is optimistic about the future.
"It is a revolution that is irreversible. They'll (the military regime) never get the genie back in the bottle," he says.
That is the conclusion of leaders in virtually every political camp, who argue that independent judges and free media are the keys to democratic growth in Pakistan.