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“What is the difference between a democrat and an autocrat?” “That’s rather obvious, isn’t it”? “Humour me”. “A democrat is elected while an autocrat is self-appointed”.

“Elected in a general election or a party elects him or her or indeed selected by a higher power? And self-appointed because he/she was born to a certain family or because of a portfolio that was held after a promotion or a…”

“OK I hear what you are saying. That the definition of a democrat varies from one party to another and one country to another, as does the definition of an autocrat because someone who is democratically elected may turn into an autocrat within his party…”

“Right, so in the Land of the Pure, a democrat is someone who comes to power after general elections but rules dictatorially…”

“Though his rule maybe limited to bad-mouthing or complimenting members of parliament…”

“Right but the reason I asked you to tell me the difference between a democrat and an autocrat was not to comment on our democrats or autocrats but to point out the differences between how a democrat and an autocrat deal with their critics?”

“Well murder is one way. Yesterday a senior Biden administration official revealed that the US had warned India over concerns that New Delhi was involved in a plot to murder a Sikh separatist, a plot that incidentally was foiled by the US authorities…”

“Modi is a democrat!”

“Right and the US is a democracy and I will mention one location: Gaza.”

“Don’t forget the murder of Imran Farooq and then there was Khashoggi and…”

“We have the disappeared for want of a better word”.

“Flip a coin: disappeared for months or years versus death”?

“You know I haven’t seen a coin for quite a while so I can’t really flip one. Can you give me an alternative”?

“You being facetious.”

“No I don’t have any coins in my wallet – I used to in the good old days…”

“Well then coin a phrase if you will”.

“John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the US stated, “Is not the brand of double-dealer stamped on the forehead of every democratic slaveholder? Are not fraud and hypocrisy the religion of the man who calls himself a democrat, and hold his fellowman in bondage.”

“My only comment: the reference to slave holder is perhaps still relevant in this country given the slavish support of all non-family members to the party head”.

“Welcome to Pakistan.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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