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Independence Of Pakistan 1947 History Essay


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This paper highlights the causes of military intervention in Pakistan and its effects on the polity of the country. The military bureaucracy oligarchy occupied a dominant position and has been in effective command of state power ever since the creation of the state. This oligarchy installed politicians and political parties in office to provide a façade of parliamentary government for a decade; it then decided to expel them in 1958, when the prospects of the impending general elections seemed to pose a challenge to its supremacy. The intervention of this oligarchy and more particularly, of the military, became more effective and intensified when the new state started facing problems of vast magnitude. These included inexperienced and inadequate administrative staff, a massive refugee problem, poor economic resources, regional conflicts, the decline of the Muslim League and the advent of coalitional politics and unstable governments. This ultimately led to the collapse of the parliamentary system, the utter failure on the part of the political leadership to provide a functioning civilian government by developing a consensus on the rules of polity, and the total indifference of the elites towards the masses and their problems. It is interesting that India and Pakistan provide illustrations of the contrasting as well as changing patterns of civil-military relations. The most outstanding contribution of British rule in India in the field of military administration was the norm and practice of civil-military relations which emphasized overall civilian control and the military's aloofness from politics[Yeena Kukreja] However, in Pakistan, after little more than eleven years of the façade of civilian parliamentary government, the military intervened and imposed its own rule. On four occasions, the military intervened overtly and imposed martial law throughout the country: October 1958, March 1969, July 1977 and October 1999. The military justified its extreme action on the ground of instability in the country.

Literature Review:

The decline of civilian institutions in Pakistan was set in motion primarily as a result of the serious crisis of political leadership within a couple of years of Independence. After Quaide-

Azam, Liaquat Ali Khan's assassination resulted in the conversion of the office of the Governor General into an instrument of bureaucratic intervention [Rizvi] From 1951 to 1958, Pakistan had only two Governors-General and one Commander-in-Chief while seven Prime Ministers toppled one after the other.23 Bureaucratic intervention, preemption and opposition among the political leaders made a sham of the parliament and the cabinet government. In reality the focus of power had shifted to the bureaucratic and military institutions.[Shafat] Liaquat Ali Khan's mysterious assassination left the ambitious bureaucracy in total command. A strong nexus was also formed between the civil bureaucracy and the military. It is not surprising that in Pakistan's first two decades, 'the locus of power centered on the civil services rather than the political leadership, whom it dominated, or the army with which it closely collaborated.[Hamza Alvi] As the political forces fragmented and political institutions declined, the bureaucratic elite gained the upper hand and dominated policy making. In 1958, General Muhammad Ayub Khan justified the coup

on the basis that the country had to be rescued from chaos. This became the mantra for all the succeeding military takeovers. This was the fallout of the circumstances of the pre-1958 period, during which Pakistan was facing ideological and ethnic divisions as well as administrative and security problems.[ Ian Talbot ]The poor institutionalization of the Muslim League, and the centralization of power within it, hindered the establishment of a truly participatory democracy. The frequent dissolution of the provincial and national governments made it difficult to lay the foundation for a parliamentary system. Political and constitutional crises added to the tensions between the Centre and the provinces. [ Sumita Kumar] Such problems made it possible for the bureaucracy and military to maintain a superior position in the power structure of the country. Pakistan represents an example of how an apolitical military could slowly be drawn into the political field due to the failure of political institutions and politicians, low political mobilization, as well as external factors. In short there are multiple causes of military intervention in the political sphere of Pakistan. No single factor can be cited as the sole factor for the militarization of the country. Today, Pakistan stands at the cross-roads of history. Pakistan is fighting against the menace of Talibanization of the Tribal Areas. The basic causes of repeated military intervention in the politics of Pakistan, which turned the polity into a praetorian state, are explained in the next section. After Pakistan's second coup by General Zia ul Haq in 1977, a large portion of the constitution was placed in abeyance, including fundamental rights and Article 17 on the freedom of association. Zia also promulgated the Martial Law Order (MLO) 31 in June 1978, setting up disqualification tribunals to inquire into charges of misconduct against those who had contested the 1977 elections. All forms of political activity were effectively controlled and dissent was dealt with through harsh punishment under laws specially devised for this purpose. Musharaf and the military maintained power for almost nine years, utilizing the same tactics of suppressing democratic forces and rigging national and local elections. He consolidated his power in December 2003 primarily through passage of the seventeenth amendment to the constitution, which transferred a number of powers from the prime minister to the president, including authority to dismiss the prime minister and the national assembly.

Independence of Pakistan 1947

Pakistan got its independence from British India on 14th August 1947.Pakistan was created to establish an ideological Islamic state. Soon after its independence it faces a lot of problems from internal and external point of view. Problem of Kashmir played a very important role throughout the political history of Pakistan till now. Role of Army in governance of Pakistan is very critical to examine.

Failure to Hold Elections:

After the independence Pakistan should have hold elections and should have allowed government of the people to take care, but Quaid-e-Azam did not do that. Instead he used people by selection not election.India held election in 1949 and paved the way for democracy.

Failure to Draft Constitution:

Pakistan did not draft a constitution unlike India it used Council Act of 1935. Lack of proper rules and regulation Pakistan was not able to keep moving in progressive direction and it allowed bureaucratic setup to take over without considering the will of people.

Death of Muhammad Ali Jinnah:

Founder of Pakistan died after 1 year of its independence. It was a very great shock to Muslim league and there was no direct substitute for him. Lack of proper succession planning led Pakistan into leadership crises.

Death of Liaquat Ali Khan:

Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaqat Ali khan who was a great supporter of Muhammad Ali Jinnah was shot dead in Rawalpindi leaving Pakistan into deep leadership crises. A gap was created who will take care of Pakistan.  Bureaucracy find the opportunity and fill on this gap replacing people from Muslim Leagues. Technocratic setup was established in Pakistan from 1951 to 1958.

Ayub Khan Take Over:

 Iskander Mirza declared martial law on 7 October 1958, Ayub Khan was made its chief martial law administrator. After the collapse of the Cabinet of Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar, Feroz Khan Noon formed the Cabinet with the support of Republican Party (Pakistan), Awami League and Krishak Sramik League. Iskander Mirza was bit distressed by this alliance because in next general elections, Suhrawardy and Noon were dreaming about becoming Prime Minister and President respectively. On the other side, in West Pakistan Muslim League had become very popular due to leadership of Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan. These events were against Iskander Mirza hence he was willing to dissolve even Pakistan's one unit for his advantage. Hence he declared Martial Law on midnight of 7 and 8 October 1958 abrogating the 1956 constitution, Ministers were dismissed, Central and Provincial governments and assemblies were dissolved and he appointed C-in-C (Commander in Chief) General Ayub khan to lead the country with him.


In 1960, he held an indirect referendum of his term in power. Functioning as a kind of Electoral College, close to 80,000 recently elected village councilmen were allowed to vote yes or no to the question: "Have you confidence in the President, Field Marshal Mohammed Ayub Khan?" Winning 95.6% of the vote, he used the confirmation as impetus to formalize his new system.

Legal reforms

Ayub Khan introduced the Muslim Family Laws through an Ordinance on 2 March 1961 under which unmitigated polygamy was abolished, consent of the current wife was made mandatory for a second marriage, brakes were also placed on the practice of instant divorce where men would divorce women by saying "I divorce you" three times. The Arbitration Councils set up under the law in the urban and rural areas were to deal with cases of (a) grant of sanction to a person to contract a second marriage during the subsistence of a marriage; (b) reconciliation of a dispute between a husband and a wife; (c) grant maintenance to the wife and children

Presidential election of 1965

In 1964, Ayub confident in his apparent popularity and seeing deep divisions within the political opposition, called for Presidential elections. He was however taken by surprise when despite a brief disagreement between the five main opposition parties ( a preference for a former close associate of Ayub Khan, General Azam Khan as candidate was dropped), the joint opposition agreed on supporting the respected and popular Fatima Jinnah, the sister of the founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Despite Jinnah's considerable popularity and public disaffection with Ayub's government, Ayub won with 64% of the vote in a bitterly contested election on 2 January 1965. The election did not conform to international standards and journalists. It is widely held, that the elections were rigged in favor of Ayub Khan using state patronage and intimidation to influence the indirectly elected electoral college.

Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan 1969-1971


He was a senior Army Commender who was the third President of Pakistan and the military dictator from 1969 until the dissolution of East-Pakistan, in 16 December 1971. Khan was commissioned into the Indian Army and served with distinction in World War II, seeing active service in the North Africa, Middle East, and Mediterranean theatres of the war.After the war, he opted for Pakistani citizenship and became one of the earliest senior officers in the Pakistan Armed Forces. After Operation Grand Slam during the Indo-Pakistani war of 1965, Khan was promoted to become one of the Pakistan Army's top commanders. He was first appointed as Chief Martial Law Administrator on March 20, 1969, succeeding Field Marshal Ayub Khan as military dictator and president on March 29, declaring martial law and dissolving much of the civilian infrastructure, government ministries and appointments, replacing them with military infrastructure and personnel instead.

Yahya's Role in Creation of Bangladesh:

Yahya Khan and his military advisers proved no more capable of overcoming the nation's problems than their predecessors. The attempt to establish a military hierarchy running parallel to and supplanting the authority of the civilian administration inevitably ruptured the bureaucratic-military alliance, on which efficiency and stability depended. Little effort was made to promote a national program. These weaknesses were not immediately apparent but became so as events moved quickly toward a crisis in East Pakistan. On November 28, 1969, Yahya Khan made a nationwide broadcast announcing his proposals for a return to constitutional government. General elections for the National Assembly were set for October 5, 1970, but were postponed to December as the result of a severe cyclone that hit the coast of East Pakistan. The National Assembly was obliged within 120 days to draw up a new constitution, which would permit maximum provincial autonomy. Yahya Khan, however, made it clear that the federal government would require powers of taxation well beyond those contemplated by the six points of the Awami League. He also reserved the right to "authenticate" the constitution. On July 1, 1970, the One Unit Plan was dissolved into the four original provinces. Yahya Khan also determined that the parity of representation in the National Assembly between the East Wing and the West Wing that had existed under the 1956 and 1962 constitutions would end and that representation would be based on population.

The first general election conducted in Pakistan on the basis of one person, one vote, was held on December 7, 1970; elections to provincial legislative assemblies followed three days later. The voting was heavy. Yahya Khan kept his promise of free and fair elections. The Awami League won a colossal victory in East Pakistan, for it was directly elected to 160 of the 162 seats in the east and thus gained a majority of the 300 directly elected seats in the National Assembly (plus the thirteen indirectly elected seats for women, bringing the total to 313 members) without winning a seat in the West Wing. The PPP won a large majority in the West Wing, especially in Punjab and Sindh, but no seats in the East Wing. In the North- West Frontier Province and Balochistan, the National Awami Party won a plurality of the seats. The Muslim League and the Islamic parties did poorly in the west and were not represented in the east.

Any constitutional agreement clearly depended on the consent of three persons: Mujib of the East Wing, Bhutto of the West Wing, and Yahya Khan, as the ultimate authenticator representing the military government. In his role as intermediary and head of state, Yahya Khan tried to persuade Bhutto and Mujib to come to some kind of accommodation. This effort proved unsuccessful as Mujib insisted on his right as leader of the majority to form a government--a stand at variance with Bhutto, who claimed there were "two majorities" in Pakistan. Bhutto declared that the PPP would not attend the inaugural session of the assembly, thereby making the establishment of civilian government impossible. On March 1, 1971, Yahya Khan, who earlier had referred to Mujib as the "future prime minister of Pakistan," dissolved his civilian cabinet and declared an indefinite postponement of the National Assembly. In East Pakistan, the reaction was immediate. Strikes, demonstrations, and civil disobedience increased in tempo until there was open revolt. Prodded by Mujib, Bengalis declared they would pay no taxes and would ignore martial law regulations on press and radio censorship. The writ of the central government all but ceased to exist in East Pakistan.

Operation Silence:

Tikka Khan's emergency plan went into operation. Roadblocks and barriers appeared all over Dhaka. Mujib was taken into custody and flown to the West Wing to stand trial for treason. Universities were attacked, and the first of many deaths occurred. The tempo of violence of the military crackdown during these first days soon accelerated into a full-blown and brutal civil war. On March 26, Yahya Khan outlawed the Awami League, banned political activity, and reimposed press censorship in both wings. Because of these strictures, people in the West Wing remained uninformed about the crackdown in the east and tended to discount reports appearing in the international press as an Indian conspiracy.Major Ziaur Rahman, a political unknown at the time, proclaimed the independence of Bangladesh from Chittagong, a city in the southeast of the new country. He would become president of Bangladesh in April 1977. A Bangladeshi government in exile was formed in Calcutta.

Fall of Dhakka:

In the fall, military and guerrilla operations increased, and Pakistan and India reported escalation of border shelling. On the western border of East Pakistan, military preparations were also in evidence. On November 21, the Mukti Bahini launched an offensive on Jessore, southwest of Dhaka. Yahya Khan declared a state of emergency in all of Pakistan on November 23 and asked his people to prepare for war. In response to Indian military movements along and across the Indian-East Pakistani border, the Pakistan Air Force attacked military targets in northern India on December 3, and on December 4 India began an integrated ground, naval, and air invasion of East Pakistan. The Indian army launched a five-pronged attack and began converging on Dhaka. Indian forces closed in around Dhaka and received the surrender of Pakistani forces on December 16. Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi proclaimed a unilateral cease-fire on December 17,1971.

General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq 1977-1988

Early life:

General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was the one who enforced Martial Law for the third time in the brief history of Pakistan. Second child and eldest son of Muhammad Akram, a teacher in the British Army, Zia-ul-Haq was born on August 12, 1924, at Jalandhar.After receiving his early education from Government High School Simla, he did his B. A. Honors from St. Stephen College, Delhi. He was commissioned in the British Army in 1943 and served in Burma, Malaya and Indonesia during World War II. When the war was over, he decided to join the armored corps. At the time of Independence, like most of the Muslim officers in the British Army, Zia-ul-Haq opted to join the Pakistan Army. As a Major he got an opportunity to do a training course in the Commander and Staff College of United States of America in 1963-64. During the 1965 War, he acted as the Assistant Quarter Master of 101 Infantry Division, which was posted at the Kiran Sector. He remained posted in Jordan from 1967 till 1970, where he was involved in training Jordon's military. He was appointed as Corps Commander of Multan in 1975.

Promotion and Betrayal:

On April 1, 1976, in a surprise move the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, appointed Zia-ul-Haq as Chief of Army Staff, superseding five senior Generals. Bhutto probably wanted somebody as the head of the armed forces who would not prove to be a threat for him, and the best available option was the simple General who was apparently interested only in offering prayers and playing golf. However, history proved that General Zia-ul-Haq proved to be much smarter than Bhutto thought. When political tension reached its climax due to the deadlock between Bhutto and the leadership of Pakistan National Alliance on the issue of general lections, Zia-ul-Haq took advantage of the situation. On July 5, 1977, he carried out a bloodless coup overthrowing Bhutto's government and enforced Martial Law in the country.

Zia in Power:

After assuming power as Chief Martial Law Administrator, Zia-ul-Haq promised to hold National and Provincial Assembly elections in the next 90 days and to hand over power to the representatives of the Nation. However, in October 1977, he announced the postponement of the electoral plan and decided to start an accountability process of the politicians. In a statement, he said that he changed his decision due to the strong public demand for the scrutiny of political leaders who had indulged in malpractice in the past. The Disqualification Tribunal was formulated and many former Members of Parliament were disqualified from participating in politics at any level for the next seven years. A white paper was also issued which criticized the activities of Pakistan People Party's government under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

With the retirement of Fazal Ilahi, Zia-ul-Haq also assumed the office of President of Pakistan on September 16, 1978. In the absence of a Parliament, Zia-ul-Haq decided to set up an alternative system. He introduced Majlis-i-Shoora in 1980. Most of the members of the Shoora were intellectuals, scholars, ulema, journalists, economists and professionals belonging to different fields of life. The Shoora was to act as a board of advisors to the President. The idea of establishing this institution was not bad but the main problem was that all 284 members of the Shoora were to be nominated by the President and thus there was no room for dissention.

In the mid 80s, Zia-ul-Haq decided to fulfill his promise of holding elections in the country. But before handing over the power to the public representatives, he decided to secure his position. Referendum was held in the county in December 1984, and the masses were given the option to elect or reject the General as the future President of Pakistan. The question asked in the referendum was phrased in a way that Zia-ul-Haq's victory was related to the process of Islamization in the country. According to the official result, more than 95 percent of the votes were cast in favor of Zia-ul-Haq, thus he was elected as President for the next five years.

Non Party Election:

After being elected President, Zia-ul-Haq decided to hold elections in the country in February 1985 on a non-party basis. Most of the political parties decided to boycott the elections but election results showed that many victors belonged to one party or the other. To make things easier for himself, the General nominated the Prime Minister from amongst the Members of the Assembly. To many, his nomination of Muhammad Khan Junejo as the Prime Minister was because he wanted a simple person at the post who would act as a puppet in his hands. Before handing over the power to the new Government he made certain Amendments in the Constitution and got them endorsed from the Parliament before lifting the state of emergency in the county. Due to this Eighth Amendment in the Constitution, the powers of the President were increased to an absolute level on the plea of safeguarding national integrity. As time passed, the Parliamentarians wanted to have more freedom and power. By the beginning of 1988, rumors about the differences between the Prime Minister and Zia-ul-Haq were rife. The general feeling was that the President, who had enjoyed absolute power for eight long years, was not ready to share it with anybody else. On May 29, 1988, Zia-ul-Haq finally dissolved the National Assembly and removed the Prime Minister under article 58(2) b of the amended Constitution. Apart from many other reasons, Junejo's decision to sign the Geneva Accord against the wishes of Zia-ul-Haq proved to be one of the major factors responsible for his removal.

After 11 years, Zia-ul-Haq once again made the same promise to the Nation to hold fresh elections within next 90 days. With Benazir Bhutto back in the country and the Muslim League leadership annoyed with the President over the decision of May 29, Zia-ul-Haq was trapped in the most difficult situation of his political life. The only option left for him was to repeat history and to postpone the elections once again.

End of Zia :

Zia-ul-Haq died in an air crash near Bhawalpur on August 17, 1988. The accident proved to be very costly for the country as almost the entire military elite of Pakistan was onboard. Though United States' Ambassador to Pakistan was also killed in the misfortune, yet many do not rule out U. S. involvement in the sabotage. They believe that United States could not afford Pakistan to oppose Geneva Accord and thus they removed the biggest hurdle in their way. The remains of Zia-ul-Haq were buried in the premises of Faisal Mosque, Islamabad. His death brought a large number of mourners to attend his funeral, including a large number of Afghanis, which proved to be one of the biggest in the history of the country.

General Pervez Musharaf 1998-2008

Early days of Life:

General Pervez Musharaf was born on August 11, 1943 in Old Delhi. His Father was a diplomat; he rose in Karachi, Pakistan and Istanbul, Turkey. He was a member of the PMA's Artillery Regiment in the 1960s, started his career as 2nd lieutenant and fought against India in 1965. He served as company commander of the SSG (Special Service Group) in the 1971 war against India. He worked his way up through the military ranks and political appointments to become General and Joint chief of army staff in the year 1998.He took over as Pakistan's President in 1999 and remained at the same position until his resignation in 2008.

He was born into a family of civil servants. His father, Syed Musharaf was a member of the Pakistani Foreign Services (PFS) as a diplomat and later, remained as secretary of foreign affairs. His mother Zarin Musharaf worked for the UNO. Shortly after the INDO-PAK division in 1947, Syed Musharaf moved with his wife and three children Pervez, Javed, Naved from Delhi to Pakistan.

The Syed family spent a period of seven years, from 1949-1956, in Istanbul, Turkey.Pervez Musharaf's father was a diplomat there. The family moved back to Pakistan from Turkey, and Musharaf attended School in Karachi and graduated in the year 1958. He later attended Forman Christian College situated in Lahore.

Military Service:

In the year 1961, He was selected for the training at PMA. He became commissioned officer and joined as 2nd lieutenant in 1964 in Artillery regiment and later joined the SSG. He fought against India in war of 1965 as a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery. Due to bravery he was promoted to Captain Rank. Musharaf moved up the ranks as Pakistan continued to battle against India over territory issues.Throughout his military career at remained at various Positions.

Till the end of 1980's, Musharaf remainedcommand in charge of an artillery brigade. In the early 1990's, he was promoted to the rank of Major General and was assigned as in charge to infantry division and later was given responsibilities to command an elite strike force. After that he remained as Deputy military secretary and Director General of Military operations in Pakistan. As his Rank and Command rose, Musharaf was also making inroads/ Contacts in the political arena. In early 1998, Musharaf was promoted over his other senior officers by than Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as Army Chief and as Joint Chief of Staff Committee

Rise through the Ranks

In the Year 1999 from May to July, tensions between these two countries India and Pakistan made them to take Ammunition and arms once again, what known as war of Kargil. Conflict rose due to Kashmir Issue and Northern areas of India. Plan for the war was executed by the PM Mian Nawaz Sharif and than Army Chief Musharaf, who was himself appointed by PM. Pakistani Soldiers with assistance of Kashmir militants took position a long in Indian Territory, but soon Indian army was able to take back their position and were able to take charge on Pakistan and Kashmir militants. Some reports suggest Indian intelligence agency (RAW) had reports regarding such planning by the Pakistani leaders. Indian Army with high Artillery and night raids attacked back to their enemies. Such strong and Active Action and position made them to control and it acted also as Surprise to the Pakistani Government, it was a complete blow. Nation Pride was at stake, they were not able to reveal the truth as to how such strong position was just a chunk, in minds of Pakistani government they were giving surprise to the Indian Government, but Indian army was all ready to surprise the Pakistan Government. All such issues started a blame game within Government officials. The Pakistan Army planned a nuclear strike on territory of India. That would have made sabotage. The news for such action reached to the US President of That time Bill Clinton, who gave the Pakistan PM a clear cut warning if such strike is done. The warning proved to be beneficial for the Indian officials, as Pakistan officials ordered their forces to get back, and all militants were destroyed.

The war acted as a big loss to Pakistan, lost its army officials. Blood, moral, treasure and loss of prestige was the total output to the war. PM claimed Army Chief for the War debacle.Senior army generals who were loyal to the Army chief Pervez Musharaf knew that Prime Minister was in verge of throwing all his bad on Army Chief and Army. He was trying to distance himself from any responsibility of such loss and embarrassment. PM tried to dismiss Army chief in Oct, 1999 but loyalty helped Musharaf. Army chief was out of country on official tour, Karachi Airport authorities were ordered to seize the landing of aircraft carrying Musharaf. PM after such order was placed in house arrest and whole Nawaz Sharif government dismissed. Later he was forcefully exiled to KSA. The sitting President Rafiq Tarar was also removed after 2001, Army Chief appointed himself as President of the country. Country remained under the third military rule till 2008.

Political Contest

Shortly after Musharaf's seizing of the government in 1999, several Pakistanis filed court petitions challenging his assumption of power. Musharaf had always claimed his intention was to institute democracy in Pakistan. But in the face of the threat from the court, he issued an order that required all judges to take new oaths of office and agree not to make any rulings against the military. Many judges resigned instead, calling the move unconstitutional. The Pakistani Supreme Court asked Musharaf to hold national elections by October 12, 2002. To ensure his continued control, Musharaf held a referendum on April 30, 2002, to extend his term of office another five years after the October elections. Musharaf government claimed an 80 percent turnout in favor of the referendum, but election officials reported some irregularities for which Musharaf apologized-and the decision to hold October elections stood. In October 2002, national elections were held, and the pro-Musharaf Pakistan Muslim League won a plurality in the Parliament. But opposition parties and coalitions formed against Musharaf, and the Parliament was virtually paralyzed for over a year. In November 2003, Musharaf agreed to hand certain powers over to the newly elected Parliament. The National Assembly elected Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali as prime minister. In December, Musharaf made a deal with a coalition of six Islamic parties to leave the Army by the end of December 2004. In exchange, the Parliament passed the 17th Amendment, which retroactively legalized Musharaf's 1999 coup. But militant extremists continued to criticize his moderate policies at home. They often openly defied his directives until he brought in the army to quell the rebellions. In late 2004, he went back on his agreement to leave the Army, stating that the country was in too much turmoil for him to relinquish power, and pro-Musharaf legislators passed a bill allowing Musharaf to hold both the chief-of-Army and head-of-state positions. Though this law stood, it was not without controversy, and it motivated political forces in the assembly to continue applying pressure to Musharaf.


Musharaf was reelected in October 2007, but the election was contested by a number of judges because he still held the dual positions of army chief and head of state. Musharaf had several of the judges arrested, suspended the constitution, and declared a state of emergency, shutting down all private media channels. On November 24, 2007, the Pakistan Election Commission confirmed the reelection of Pervez Musharaf as president. Musharaf resigned from the military on November 28, 2007, thus releasing some of the pressure and continuing what seems to be a "passive-aggressive" pattern of political maneuvering to stay in control with as much power as he can garner.

On March 22, 2008, the Pakistan People's Party named former Parliament Speaker Syad Yusaf Raza Gillani its candidate for prime minister to lead a coalition government against Musharaf.Pressure continued to mount and on August 7, 2008, the coalition sought Musharaf's impeachment for "eroding the trust in the nation." At first Musharaf resisted, saying he would defeat those who tried to push him out of office. On August 18, 2008, however, Pervez Musharaf resigned from the post of president in response to the coalition government's threat of impeachment. It is believed that, had the impeachment taken place, he would have faced corruption and possibly murder charges.

The departure of the former general set off wild celebrations in Pakistan. After his resignation, Musharaf went on a pilgrimage to Mecca and has made a few public-speaking appearances in the United States. He has said that he would like once again to participate in Pakistani politics but has no plans for the immediate future.


The verdict of Pervez Musharaf's time as leader of Pakistan is a mixed one. He did much to improve Pakistan's financial condition, making it the world's third-fastest-growing economy in 2006 and a preferred country for investment. His policies and alliances helped Pakistan substantially reduce its foreign debt and reduce poverty, and they set the country on a path of prosperity, growth, and economic reform.

Musharaf's liberal policies led to more freedom for the broadcast and digital media. During this time, Pakistan experienced huge growth in the number of radio and television stations. Many Pakistanis living abroad get their news from home sources reported on international networks or on the Internet. Under his strong-armed leadership, business and finance grew in Pakistan with increased banking interests and small manufacturing growth. Such policies also put him at odds with more fundamentalist elements in the country.

However, Pervez Musharaf often found himself sandwiched between internal pressures from a culturally and politically diverse and evolving population and the United States, who saw Pakistan as a major factor in the effort to defend itself against terrorism. As a result, Musharaf had to make up the rules as he went along, which often resulted in what looked like erratic behavior. His high opinion of himself and his abilities comes from successes in his military career and the unshakable belief that he is the best person for the job. He leaves power with several unfinished projects: a fragile democracy in Pakistan; an agreement on the fate of Kashmir dealing with increased Islamic fundamentalism and militancy within the country; and much-needed political and economic reform.

Past Factors in Failures to Consolidate Democracy

1.The Military:

Immediately after partition from India in 1947, Pakistani political leaders underlined the primacy

of creating the constitution. However, after the death of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the country's founder, in 1948, and the assassination of the first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, in 1951, establishing a viable political system proved daunting. The ruling elite began to cultivate the military to strengthen their political position. Such military support enabled Governor . General Ghulam Mohammad to dismiss the first constituent assembly in 1954 and include senior military personnel in the cabinet afterward, signaling that the real political power had shifted from parliament to the governor-general and the civil service, with the support of the army. This was confirmed in 1958 when General Ayub Khan, the army chief, orchestrated a military coup d'état and became the country's first dictator. All political parties were abolished and the lective Bodies Disqualification Order of 1959 (EBDO) sidelined and punished political leaders. It was not long before the army formed an alliance with the civil bureaucracy that left no room for the parliamentary democracy the country's founder had envisioned. According to political and defense analyst Hasan Askari Rizvi, the military takeover in 1958 removed the political leaders and the so-called democratic institutions from the scene, giving a free hand to the civil service and the army to run the country: "The Army served as the brain and the civil servants as the hand of the new regime." General Ayub Khan also set the precedent of keeping a tight rein on political parties. Article 173 of the 1962 constitution prohibited any person from contesting elections as a member of a political party unless permitted by an act of the central legislature. The Political Parties Act, passed in July 1962, allowed only limited political activity. Successive dictators perpetuated these and other tough measures against political parties, introducing various laws and regulations to restrict or ban political parties and political activity that would threaten their rule. After Pakistan's second coup by General Zia ul Haq in 1977, a large portion of the constitution was placed in abeyance, including fundamental rights and Article 17 on the freedom

of association. Zia also promulgated the Martial Law Order (MLO) 31 in June 1978, setting

up disqualification tribunals to inquire into charges of misconduct against those who had contested the 1977 elections. All forms of political activity were effectively controlled and

dissent was dealt with through harsh punishment under laws specially devised for this purpose.

Musharaf and the military maintained power for almost nine years, utilizing the same tactics

of suppressing democratic forces and rigging national and local elections. He consolidated his

power in December 2003 primarily through passage of the seventeenth amendment to the

constitution, which transferred a number of powers from the prime minister to the president,

including authority to dismiss the prime minister and the national assembly.

2.The Mullahs and the Military

In a deliberate process of depoliticization, political parties and politicians were discredited; democracy and democratic norms were questioned and portrayed as unsuitable to the Muslim

character of the state and to the cultural traditions of Pakistan. Ayub Khan's Maintenance of

Public Order Ordinance (MPO) of 1960 provided for preventive detention of "persons acting

in a manner prejudicial to the integrity, security or defense of Pakistan or any part thereof, or

external affairs of Pakistan, or public order, or the maintenance of supplies or services." The

MPO's primary targets were moderate politicians who opposed the dictatorship. In the late

1970s, General Zia ul Haq's military regime took a further step and based Pakistan's legal and

educational systems on a strict Sunni interpretation of Islamic law. This formalized the state's

ideology into an official policy of Islamization that was used more for controlling political opposition Musharaf and the military maintained the belief that secular politicians, not religious

parties, were their rivals for political power, and they continued to use the religious parties

for their own political advantage against their moderate political-party opponents. Major figures among the secular opposition were exiled or jailed on corruption or sedition charges, positioning the religious parties as Pakistan's sole major opposition group. This enabled religious parties to exercise greater influence than would have been possible in an open, democratic political system, in light of their poor electoral performance in Pakistan's intermittent elections.[ Hussain Haqqani]Thus, successive dictators manipulated religion and supported religious parties to control and attack their moderate political opposition who were for Pakistan's democracy. to the dictatorship than for purely religious purposes.

3.Compliant Judiciary:

The military's grip on power was legitimized early on by a compliant judiciary. On October

27, 1958, the Supreme Court of Pakistan put its "stamp of approval" on the military regime in a ruling that "a successful coup d'état is an internationally recognized legal method of changing

a constitution."[Rizvi] The judiciary attempted to explain its failure to protect the constitution through what they called the "doctrine of necessity," which relied on the dubious argument that the army's intervention could be justified because of the need for political stability. This doctrine, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG), was first developed in three cases in 1955, to justify the titular head of state's extra constitutional dismissal of the legislature. Drawing on this precedent, the Supreme Court validated Ayub Khan's 1958 declaration of martial law as well as Zia's and Musharaf later coups. Some courageous judges refused to sanctify authoritarian interventions and preferred to resign rather than undermine constitutionalism

and the rule of law. Most judges, however, abdicated their duty to uphold the law by legitimizing military rule and intervention. The Supreme Court judgments gave military regimes the trappings of legality and hampered the growth of civilian institutions and moderate political parties.

An editorial in the newspaper Dawn aptly summarizes the judiciary's role in paving the

way for dictators to distort the constitution and turn parliament into a rubber stamp:

"In the case of Zia and Musharaf, the Supreme Court not only validated the takeover but

also authorized them to amend the constitution-something grotesque, because the apex

court was giving to them general powers which it did not possess. Once given legitimacy

Ayub, Yahya, Zia and Musharaf proceeded to consolidate their hold politically. They

mostly created a "king's party"-the name in each case was Muslim League-tailored

politics for years, hounded and jailed those who refused to fall in line by issuing a series

of decrees for which they had the court's authority, and then organized bogus elections.…

While the collective guilt is here, there is no doubt the judiciary's initial legitimization

of the coup paved the way for others to follow."

4.Political Parties:

While the mainstream political parties have suffered at the hands of the military in the struggle

for democracy under dictatorships, they have also been accused of not meeting democratic

standards when they have formed governments. Allegations of corruption, incompetence, patronage, and partisanship have plagued all Pakistan's elected governments. The party leaders

also have not implemented basic democratic standards within their parties, despite the zeal for

such reforms from rank-and-file members. Members of small elite tend to dominate party

leadership, using their positions to accrue personal wealth rather than serve their party or the people. Nominations to run for elected offices are usually determined by the party leader ratherthan being openly contested. Party office bearers are appointed rather than selected on merit or by election, and party policies and platforms rarely involve input from members.

Some politicians have even weakened the party system and contributed to the overthrow of elected governments by accepting bribes to cross the floor, splitting parties into factions, and becoming intelligence agency informants. In 1988 some parties agreed to join the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), an ISI-arranged alliance of right-wing and religious political parties, to prevent Benazir Bhutto's PPP from sweeping the polls. With the cooperation of party leaders, the ISI orchestrated the reunification of the two Pakistan Muslim League factions, which were joined by smaller parties, to campaign against the PPP. The military-backed opposition failed to prevent a PPP victory in the elections, but ISI manipulations led to greater electoral success for the religious parties. An apology on the floor of the national assembly by PML-N assembly member Khawaja Muhammad Asif in 2003 confirmed that the party had "facilitated" the dictatorial rule of General Zia. After the PPP's victory, the ISI never ceased trying to unseat Benazir Bhutto. In October 1989, in an operation named Midnight Jackals, the ISI tried to sway PPP members of the national assembly to back a no-confidence vote against Bhutto and managed to convince the Mohajir Quami Movement (MQM) to switch its support from the PPP to the opposition. In 2007 Bhutto negotiated a secret agreement with General Musharaf that allowed her to return to the country and provided immunity to thousands of officials charged with allegations of corruption in return for her support of Musharaf for another term as president. The willingness of some political parties to collude with the intelligence agencies and military against their political opponents has been key to the military's ability to weaken popular parties and maintain control of the political process.

Current Sinerio:

The period after the election held a great deal of promise. General Ashfaq Kayani, who took over as army chief, ordered the withdrawal of military officers from all Pakistan government civil departments and announced the army would stay out of politics and support the new government. In a step toward civilian oversight of the military, two pages of the 2008-09 defense budget were laid before the senate for debate, for the first time in the country's history. Until then, parliament had only received one line on defense spending, even as it consumed a substantial share of the country's total budget. While complete defense budget details were still not forthcoming, taken together with Kayani's earlier commitment to keep the army out of politics, it signaled a potentially new era in which the military would acknowledge civilian oversight.Since then, however, the military seems to be jealously guarding its hegemonic position. The government has met resistance in bringing the intelligence agencies under civilian control, according to the CoD. In July 2008, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani issued an order to place the ISI under the jurisdiction of the Interior Ministry, which would have given the civilian government administrative, financial, and operational control of the agency. Within hours, however, the prime minister was forced to rescind the order due to an uproar from the military. The government's move may have been ill-planned and poorly timed, but the military's rejection and the civilian government's backtracking clearly showed the lingering anomalies in the civil-military equation. Meanwhile, General Kayani has strayed from his original promise to keep the army out of politics. In October 2009, the army issued a press release opposing the U.S. Kerry-Lugar aid bill, which grants Pakistan a $7.5 billion civilian aid package over a five-year period. The army was vehemently opposed to provisions that required the U.S. administration to monitor progress on civilian oversight of the army, and the angry outburst set off a media frenzy and created a political crisis, even as the army continued to receive millions of dollars in military aid from the U.S. government. The Kerry-Lugar bill passed, but the message conveyed was that regardless of what the elected politicians said, it was still the army that mattered on foreign affairs and defense policy. In a further sign of the army's mounting power over the civilian overnment, General Kayani and not cabinet ministers called civilian heads of major government departments, including finance and foreign affairs, to his army headquarters in the lead-up to the launch of a U.S.-Pakistan strategic dialogue in March 2010. In both Pakistani and U.S. media, much was made of how Kayani drove the agenda for the talks in Washington, even though the foreign minister was the nominal head of the Pakistani delegation. The surprise U.S. attack on Osama bin Laden on May 2, 2011, at a residential compound close to the military's premier training academy in Abbottabad underscored the army's dominance more than ever. Despite the military's own admission of "shortcomings in developing intelligence on the presence of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan," the public debate in the days following the attack focused almost exclusively on U.S. violation of Pakistani sovereignty, ignoring the role of the military in the massive security breach and intelligence failure. The response by the civilian leadership was delayed and low key while the military set the tone and defined the message that framed the public debate on the issue. The president's only public statement came in a column in an American newspaper the morning after the attack, where he declared that Pakistan was not involved in the raid and did not know bin Laden's whereabouts beforehand. Since then the president has remained silent about the spectacular event. It is too soon to say whether the bin Laden affair will result in any fundamental rebalancing of civil-military relations, but so far it seems that the government is not inclined to make any dramatic changes. Without a clear commitment and the initiation of an explicit process, democratic institutions will remain fragile and democratic consolidation out of reach.

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