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Political Situation

April 14, 2017 • admin

(1947 TO 1969)
Language Controversy
6. Soon after the creation of Pakistan language crises started in East Pakistan. East Pakistan had about 22% Hindus mostly associated with education. They polluted the minds of youth in school and colleges, as regards to Urdu being official language of both wings. Khawaja Nazim Uddin as Chief Minister of East Pakistan had promised that Bengali would be one of the official language of Pakistan and would request Centre to adopt it, but when he became Prime Minister after the death of Liaqat Ali Khan in October 51, didn??™t uphold his promise. Agitation continued until Bengali was accepted as one of the state languages in 1954.
Constitution Making
7. First Constituent Assembly passed ???Objective Resolution??? in March 49. This resolution laid down the fundamental principles of future constitution. First interim report was presented on 28 September 50, which was subjected to severe criticism. After the assassination of Liaqat Ali Khan, Khawaja Nazim Ud Din became Prime Minister and Consolidated report of Basic Principle Committee (BPC) was presented in Constituent Assembly on 22 December 52. This report too received severe criticism both from East and West Pakistan. East Pakistan rejected it because of the introduction of the system of parity and converting their majority into minority. This dead lock was ultimately resolved by dismissal of Khawaja Nazim-ud-din on 16 April 53. Muhammad Ali Bogra was appointed as new Prime Minister.
Muhammad Ali Bogra Formula
8. On 7 October 53 Prime Minister presented a compromise formula, which contained following recommendations: –
a. Central legislature to consist of two houses. The allocation of seats was to be as under: –
Unit Upper House Lower House Total
(1) East Pakistan 10 165 175
(2) Punjab 10 75 85
(3) NWFP and Tribal 10 24 34
(4) Sind 10 19 29
(5) Balochistan 10 17 27
Total 50 300 350
b. The houses would have co-extensive powers in all matters and in case of differences between the two houses, the issue was to be decided in a joint session where each wing would have 175 seats.
9. These suggestions were generally hailed by almost all sections of public opinion and work on drafting of constitution started.
10. To counter the majority of East Pakistan, provinces of West Pakistan were merged as one unit.

Constitution of 1956

11. Constitution of 1956 was promulgated on 23 March 56. It significant are as flashed: –
a. President shall be Muslim, elected by both National Assembly and provincial legislatures.
b. President shall appoint Prime Minister, Judges of Supreme Court and Governors in provinces.
c. President could summon, prorogue or dissolve the National Assembly.
d. National Assembly was to consist of 300 members, 150 from each wing.
12. The parliamentary democracy met an end when politicians resorted to floor crossing. The governments were so frequently changed that in 32 months of 1956 constitution, people saw four Prime Ministers. Resultantly, Martial Law was imposed in October 58.

Ayub Khan??™s Era
13. Ayub Khan declared himself as President after Sikandar Mirza resigned. He introduced industrial, agricultural, economic and social reforms. He introduced basic democratic system, which truly did not represent the people. He promulgated 1962 Constitution, under this Constitution, Presidential system of government was introduced with all powers of center and provinces vested in President.
14. In April 62, he lifted ban on political parties and became president of Convention Muslim league. Where as, in East Pakistan Suhrawardy and Sheikh Mujib after release from jail made National Democratic Front (NDF). Muslim League supporters also made Council Muslim League on October 28, 1962. Khawaja Nazim Ud Din was made President of the party. On 21 July 1964, Combined Opposition Party (COP) was formed. COP was successful in bringing Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah as joint candidate for the presidential elections against Ayub Khan. Elections were held in January 65 and Ayub Khan got elected as president.
Effects of 1965 War
15. East Pakistan felt endangered of being isolated, as the government and Armed Forces were concentrated in West Pakistan. Politicians of East Pakistan reinforced their autonomy movement by declaring that East Pakistan needed exclusive defence preparedness. On this pretext, Sheikh Mujib gave his famous six points. Bhutto formed Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in November 67.On 25 March 69, Ayub Khan handed over power to General Yahya unconstitutionally under strong public pressure.

(1969 TO 1988)
Pre ??“Poll Political Situation
16. After taking over the country in crises, Yahya promulgated LFO, primarily to hold elections in which East Pakistani demands were met and elections to be held on the basis of adult franchise, first time ever in Pakistan.
General Elections 1970
17. In 1970 elections, Awami League won 167 out of 169 seats in East Pakistan only. PPP won 87 out of 132 seats, only in West Pakistan. Election results showed a complete polarization between East and West Pakistan.
Post Election Parleys
18. Due to non-democratic attitude of Mujib and Bhutto, Yahya strived to find solution of the situation of flux and anxiety. Resultantly, several meetings were held between political leaders and military authorities but their stubbornness seriously hampered any prospects of peaceful solution.
Postponement of National Assembly Session
19. Yahya had announced 3 March 1971, for National Assembly session at Dacca but, Bhutto refused to attend it. On 22nd February, Yahya decided to postpone the session, which led the country on the path of self-destruction. Mujib called for strike on 7th March 71 and had a parallel government. Yahya then decided to sue the military instrument to impose the will of the central government. The military crack down began on night 25/26 March and civil war erupted. Resultantly intervention by India completely upset the situation in East Pakistan.
India??™s Role
20. India found it an opportune moment to settle her scores against Pakistan, once for all. Indra Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India declared on 15th June 71 that India would not for a moment consider a political settlement, which meant the death of Bangladesh. Resultantly refugees were used as a pretext for war. Pakistan was divided in two independent states on 16th December 71.

Bhutto??™s Era (1971 TO 1977)
21. Bhutto, became president and first civilian martial law administrator in December 1971. He launched a massive programme in different walks of life. He adopted a democratic methodology on two major issues: constitution making and making peace with India at whatever available. He rebuilt residual Pakistan on the ashes and debris of East Pakistan and initiated a more vibrant and independent foreign policy. After the Indian nuclear explosion, he stressed the need of a nuclear bomb for Pakistan even at the cost of eating grass.
Bhutto??™s Purges and Regionalism
22. His era might have lasted much longer than what it did, due to the follies of the man who led the country. He nationalised virtually all industry and handed over industrial enterprises to bureaucrats and through them, to his own nominees. Adoption of ???Sindhi ??™ as the official language created ethnic tension between Sindhis and non-Sindhis in the province. Besides this, the lateral entry of Sindhis in Civil Services of Pakistan ignoring the merit opened a Pandora??™s box for corruption, nepotism, and favouritism. He was competent and over bearing, internationally well known and internally admired and hated both.

1977 General Elections
23. Elections were held on 7th March 77 in which PPP received a landslide victory, by winning 155 seats in a house of 200. Pakistan National Alliance rejected engineered results and mounted a nation wide movement against Bhutto. All efforts to quell the mass upheaval and political settlement failed.
Zia??™s Martial Law(1977-1985)
24. It was in this backdrop that, that General Zia Ul Haq imposed Martial Law on 5th July 77, which continued uninterrupted up to 30 December 1985. His handling of the Afghan crisis demonstrated astute statesmanship and indomitable courage. He also made efforts to rectify imbalances in the growth and distribution system of wealth. His interest free banking system in the country was fully supported by the masses. He opened ???peace offensive??™ against India and maintained it throughout. However, ethnicity, sectarianism and regionalism gained rise and inter provinces tension assumed a serious shape. Kala Bagh Dam, yet another unsolved problem to date arose during Zia??™s regime.
25. Zia introduced 8th amendment in constitution on 2nd March 85, resultantly; President became the most powerful institution. He appointed Junejo as Prime Minister in 85 and dismissed his government on the pretext of signing Geneva Accord. On the contrary, Zia wanted a broad-based government installed in Kabul before signing the accord. Events later proved that he was right. He died in an air crash on 17th August 88.

(1988 – TODATE)
Benazir In Power
26. The elections of 1988 seemed to herald a new beginning in Pakistan??™s search for a viable democratic order. The PPP won 93 out of 215 contested National Assembly seats, and on December 1, Benazir Bhutto, became Prime Minister. The Islami Jamhoori Ittehad won 55 National Assembly seats to become the major opposition under Nawaz Sharif.
27. Given the euphoria and high hope, the ensuing months brought increasing disappointment, disillusionment, and frustration for everyone. Whichever interpretation one prefers, it is clear that the twenty months of Benazir Bhutto??™s government was not a period of great accomplishment. No legislation, other than the annual budget was passed. The Prime Minister, her family and her associates came under increasing attacks for corruption. What had begun as a period of high hopes and expectations ultimately deteriorated into familiar pattern of frustration, suspicion, anger and rumor of military takeover.
28. On 6th August 90, President Ghulam Ishaq dismissed Benazir Bhutto??™s government, dissolved the National Assembly and appointed a caretaker government under Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi. He scheduled national and provincial elections on 24th and 27th October respectively.
IJI Regime (1990-1993)
29. The convincing victory of IJI in 90 had raised the hope that Pakistan was entering a new era of stability. The IJI, by wining 106 seats in the National Assembly, did far better than its rival, the PPP, which could capture only 45 seats. The IJI was also able to form coalition governments in the provinces.
30. Nawaz Sharif quickly restored the confidence of the business community of the country. He took decisive and concrete steps towards denationalization of industrial units and allowed new banks in the private sector. The economic climate in the country improved and it seemed that Pakistan was attracting considerable foreign investment. The government also succeeded in bringing down inflation to 9.6 percent and reducing the budget deficit from 8.8 percent in 90-91 to 6.9 percent of the GDP.
Reasons for Failure
31. First, the law and order situation in various parts of the country was unsatisfactory. Second, the corruption in the civil bureaucracy and among political leaders became more pervasive. Third, the IJI coalition resting more on political expediency than on common programme began to disintegrate in 92. Fourth, Benazir Bhutto was relentless in claiming that the 1990 elections were rigged. Finally it was the power play between the President and Prime Minister that pulled the IJI government down.
32. Nawaz Sharif and Ghulam Ishaq Khan could not keep the simmering power rivalry contained, when the time came to appoint a new Chief of Army Staff in February 1993. This ended in the dismissal of Prime Minister. The Presidents decision was challenged in the Supreme Court, which restored the dismissed government. The situation got so worse that the Army had to intervene to effect rapprochement between Prime Minister and the President. Their mutual differences could not be reconciled which resulted in the resignation of both. The arbitration by military in political matters at the call of politicians was an open reminder that the nation did not emerge sensible even after East Pakistan crisis.
Benazir??™s Return To Power (1993 ??“ 1996)
33. No one in Pakistan in early 1993 expected that Benazir Bhutto would soon return to power for a second time. Despite political misfortunes, she was quite successful in keeping the mass support for her party and her father??™s legacy alive. She successfully wooed the Muslim League faction led by Hamid Nasir Chatta, and also offered partnership to some minor religious political parties. Benazir was also able to get Sardar Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari elected as the new President.
34. Benazirs second reign was marked with corruption, mismanagement and nepotism. She instead of strengthening the institutions worked for feathering her party and family. Her main undoing was her arrogance, which distanced her from sincere advice of her supporters. She even alienated her hand picked President, who because of a combination of personal reasons and the looming threat of economic breakdown acted and axed her government.
Nawaz Sharif??™s Return To Power
35. In elections of February 1997, PML (N) won two-third seats in National Assembly and also won majority in Provinces. Nawaz Sharif with his over two-third majority in both the Houses was able to secure the passage of a bill abolishing the powers of the President to remove the Prime Minister. Obsessed with his constitutional powers, he damaged the institutions by axing President, Chief Justice of Supreme Court, Army and Naval Chiefs. Present COAS removed him on October 12, before he could continue his game play with institutions.

36. No individual or act can be blamed for the dismemberment of the country. It was the tragic result of a cumulative affect of inept leadership and incorrect domestic and external policies over the years, which brought the nation to the brink of disaster. Finally few faulty decisions in 1971 pushed it over the precipice. Some of the vital elements, which can be attributed to poor politics till to date are: –
a. Leadership Crisis. After the death of Quaid-e- Azam, a leadership vacuum occurred for a new state faced with numerous issues. Leaders, who migrated from India, had no direct contact with the people at the grass roots. The leaders like Mujib and Bhutto vested their interests on regional rather than national basis. The present leaders are following the same footsteps and have a marked preference to maneuver for power.
b. Politicians Class.. In West Pakistan feudals were the main political leaders. Representation of different classes in first constituent Assembly clearly indicates dominance of Feudals in west Pakistan as against educated lot in East Pakistan:-

East Pakistan West Pakistan
(1) Feudal – 28
(2) Lawyers 20 3
(3) Retired officials 9 5
(4) Industrialists 3 4
(5) Miscellaneous 18 –
c. Civil Services. Even after seventeen years of independence (1964) representation of East Pakistan was negligible in civil services. 54 percent of the country??™s population had only 51 civil servants as against 680 of West Pakistan.
Secretary 19 –
Joint Secretaries 38 3
Deputy Secretaries 123 10
Secretaries 510 38
d. Hindu Influence. Bengali society in East Pakistan was under a strong Hindu influence and formed twenty percent of East Pakistan??™s population. Majority of teachers in schools and colleges in the eastern wing were Hindus, who played a dominant role in molding the ideas of Bengali youth.
e. One Unit Issue. One unit was adopted on 14th October 55 by integrating four provinces of West Pakistan. This was considered to be a fresh move to deprive the Bengalis of their legitimate right.
f. Imposition of Martial Law. The political Leaders in the Eastern Wing didn??™t appreciate the imposition of Martial Law because it meant a strong center, a more powerful military or civil government in which they were under represented.
g. Economic Deprivations. Per capita GDP in East Pakistan in 59 ??“ 60 was Rs 269 whereas; in West Pakistan it was Rs 355. In year 1969-70 in East Pakistan, it was Rs 314 against Rs 504 in West Pakistan. In just ten years the per capita income gap increased twice between two regions of the same country.
h. Presidential System of Government. Presidential system of government did not suit the people of East Pakistan. They had been demanding greater regional autonomy. What they got in 1958 was greater Central control.
j. India??™s Role. Not withstanding these difficulties, events in East Pakistan might have taken a different course if India had not played her role through covert and overt operations.
k. Constitutional Crisis. One of the major reason for the failure of political system in the country has been the inability to chalk out an acceptable constitution. Three constitutions (56, 62 and 73) were adopted in a short period of 28 years. The first two were abrogated whereas the third was suspended and later restored.
l. Stable Party System. The failure of democratic process may well be ascribed to the lack of stable party system. It has invariably been personality oriented and hence has failed to become institutionalized in the political life of the country.
m. Social Mobilization. This facet of the problem involves the government in reaching down into the society and affecting basic politics. In Pakistan, the gap between ruler and the ruled is still alarmingly wide.
n. The Ruling Troika. The triangular relationship between army, bureaucracy and the ruling elites is so strong that they do not allow the middle class to rise to power. Out of 52 years of independent life, 23 years have been ruled by the military generals, 4 years by the bureaucrats and the rest by handful politicians playing game of musical chairs within themselves.
o. Federalism. In Pakistan so far, federalism experiments have miserably failed to contain the opposing forces of regionalism and nationalism. The basic reason for its failure arises from the fact that these federating units are artificial creations from colonial days and lack inner balance due to differences in size, resources, population, and level of socio-economic developments.
p. Internal Variance. Severe internal variance has punctured Pakistan??™s history ever since 1947. Local and provincial wheels of power are lubricated by wide spread corruption, localism, tribalism and regionalism.

37. Constitution. In the elections under present system the result is declared on the basis of highest number of votes. For example, in 1990 elections PPP secured 36.83% votes as compared to 37.37% of IJI, but their representation ratio in the assembly came out 44 seats and 107 seats respectively (130% more seats by IJI). This system does not fully represent the will of the people. The system of proportional representation is an option to solve the problem because: –
a. It represents full diversity of opinion within a nation and the legislation can be regarded as decision of the nation.
b. It reduces the anomaly of the plurality system, whereby some parties may win more seats with fewer popular votes than their opponent.
c. It stresses importance of political parties and execution of their programme rather than individual socio- administrative services raising them above the level of local councilors.
d. The parties get greater opportunity to subject their members to discipline.
e. It encourages commitment to national programs.
f. Politics does not become business.
g. And it helps to reduce influence of bureaucracy.

38. Federalism. As regards to federalism, we should: –
a. Set up an autonomous commission, which should recommend redistribution of existing provinces on the basis of language, socio-economic characteristics and administrative requirements.
b. The existing units may be broken up into such a size as divisions.
c. Matters of exclusively provincial concern should be left to the jurisdiction of the provinces and all subjects of exclusively national concern should be assigned to the federal authority.
d. Inter Provincial Coordination Council should be created for the management of matters of inter- provincial concerns.
e. In addition, a Federal Provincial Council should be established to review revenue allocations, grants, and aids, and to oversee planning and development.
39. Party System. The failure of democratic process in Pakistan may well be ascribed to the lack of a stable party-system. At best the system can be described as political factionalism rather than party system. To promote a healthy and competitive party system:-
a. The fundamental issues of ideology, territorial integrity, security, defense, the sanctity of the constitution, and permanent elements of foreign policy should be declared above all political controversy among the political parties.
b. In order to discourage mushroom growth of parties, parties securing minimum 10 percent votes in a general election should be allowed to function. A party should be recognized only if it secures at least 10 percent of the total seats of that body.
c. All political parties should hold periodic elections within their party organizations.
d. Minimum qualification to become a member of National Assembly should be BA.

40 Role of President. Pakistan has not been able to achieve balance between President and Prime Minister. Either there were too strong Prime Ministers, or autocratic Presidents. In order to achieve a balance, the method of electing the President is of great importance. This could be done either by electing President on non-party basis; or through a specially constituted Electoral College. The President should have sufficient powers to act as a constitutional umpire rather than merely as a figurehead. Hence, the President should be invested with ???emergency powers??? for a specific period of time and under specified conditions, to be approved subsequently by the National Assembly.
41. National Security Council. A council under the President, as supreme commander of the Armed Forces to ensure national consensus in all matters including a truly independent bipartisan foreign policy should be established.
42. Despite a common religion and homogeneous geo-physical environments, Pakistan is yet to achieve the desired national cohesion. Prolonged political instability, ethnic diversity, a non-egalitarian social order, power politics, palace ??“ intrigues, horse-trading, sectarianism and pronounced socio-economic disparities have created threatening polarizing pressures on the integration of the country. Such an internal situation attracts exploitation by inimical forces. Change is the need of hour, through positive role of media, improved constitution, independent judiciary and stable party system for a democratic Pakistan.

Categories: General

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