Pakistan: Democracy and Conflict Harinda Vidanage PhD
Discussion Pakistan’s problems stem from its very origins and that the identity of Pakistan has never been clear nor has a consensus been developed on the purpose of Pakistan (FarzanaShaikh)
When it comes to Pakistan everything is important and uncertain (Cohen 2011) • 6th largest population, may be the 5th largest soon, will soon outpace as the most populous Muslim nation • Fastest growing Nuclear Arsenal will soon be the Fourth largest in the world.
Formation • ChaudhriRahmat Ali: envisaged a confederation of Muslim states in the subcontinent linked to the original Pakistan. • Jinnah, Muslim League and Pakistan • Without specifying the boundaries the All India Muslim League in its annual session in March 1940 demanded independent Muslim states in the North West and North East of India.
Challenges • Failure to strengthen the ideology of Pakistan • The feudal class political structures • Military and civil political relationships • Reconciliation between ethnic and religious identities • Political leadership, since independence a major characteristic was political instability with a succession of political leaders coming and going and some ending up being assassinated till 1958 the military leader Ayub Khan became the president.
Inherited problems of the partition • 30% defense forces from India • 90% of Subcontinents industry and taxable income base remained in India, with economy base being entirely agricultural apart from Karachi. Thus power of feudal landlords remained a key feature.
More challenges • Ten years after partition Pakistan lacked a constitution, a civil society, political system, a press which paved way for military dominance in the state. • 1959, six presidents, eight plus prime ministers. • The separation of East Pakistan amply demonstrated that faith and political interests were two different matters. • The Issue of Bengalis nationalism and deprivation of the East
A history of misfortune for Pakistani prime ministers • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16991829
Military guided democracy • 1958 -1969: Gen. Ayub Khan • 1969 – 1971: Gen. Yahya Khan • 1977-1988: Gen. Zia ulHaq • 1989 – 1999: “lost decade” Bhutto and Sharif • 1999 – 2008: Gen. Musharraf
Wide gap between people and government • Military dependency for internal security • 18 Amendment reversed 8th Amendment and 17th Amendments of 1985 and 2003 which made Pakistan semi- Presidential republic. • No consensus on role of major state institutions (Ex ongoing political crisis) • Army’s role recessed • Power of civil society and media • Political culture • Post May 2011, foreign policy
Political Parties • The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is associated with the Bhutto family • Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML(N)) Nawaz faction allied to Nawaz Sharif • Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-i-Azam) (PML(Q)) with influential supporters of the Army • Tehreek e Insaf (Movement for Justice)
The United States is not wholly responsible for Pakistan’s unhealthy civil military relationship, but it is not innocent of responsibility. • For all its importance to so many issues and for all this tangled mutual history, Pakistan is little understood in the United States
For most of the last century the United States has been a partner of Pakistan military dictators, enthusiastically embracing all four generals who have ruled Pakistan
Democracy: weakening or consolidating? • Local issues, urban, rural, development, demography (population doubles every generation) (current 180 Million – 250/330 by 2050) • Collective Identity • Economy, education and youth • State coherence, capacity, bureaucratic effectiveness • Political leadership • China’s role, 35 Billion dollar development package
memogate The latest manifestation of this ongoing row reignited spectacularly in October 2011 through what has become known as the "memogate" scandal. This arose in the wake of an anonymous memo unearthed in Washington that sought US help to avert a possible military coup in Pakistan following the killing by US forces of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in May.
Why have the judiciary and the government fallen out? If the PPP's relations with the military have traditionally not been warm, the same can also be said of its relations with the judiciary. The Supreme Court is conducting its own investigation into the "memogate" affair which is separate from a parliamentary inquiry. Petitioners in the case are demanding that Mr. Haqqani (Former Ambassador to USA) and President Zardari should be tried on charges of treason. The judiciary is also pursuing the government over the thorny issue of corruption. In 2009 the Supreme Court overturned an amnesty protecting President Zardari and hundreds of other politicians from being prosecuted for corruption. Pakistan's prime minister now faces contempt charges over the government's refusal to reopen these corruption cases.