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The brief was prepared for GeoPolitica – a Romanian journal of political geography, geo-politics and geo-strategy

- for its special issue on Pakistan titled Pakistan: A Rising Global Player in the Emerging Geo-Strategic
Environment.

I am sure, democracy is in our blood. Indeed, it is in the marrow of our bones. Only centuries of
adverse circumstances have made the circulation of this blood cold. It has become frozen, and
our arteries have not been functioning. But thank God, the blood is circulating again.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Presidential address at the session of the All India Muslim League on April 24, 19431

Democracy is among the phenomena that are better the people have to remain informed, involved and
understood than defined. From Aristotle’s detested engaged to ensure their true representation.3 With the
perception of democracy as mob rule to the time when changing dynamics of society, concepts like liberty,
Fukuyama considered it as the climax of mankind2 to inclusiveness, sovereignty and representation keep
the present time when exclusionist pluralism has changing. This explains why democracy remains an
caused serious blows to an inclusive and equal world, ideal even where achieved to a certain degree. No
democracy has remained a process and an ideal. With society can therefore claim having achieved
its varying interpretations, democracy is generally democracy to its fullest and no society has the reason
seen as a set of institutional arrangements but its to abandon the pursuit for the ideal in democracy.
essence lies in the shared values of collective concern
and participation in public life and affairs of the state. The formative years
In fact, definitions and interpretations of democracy The birth of Islamic Republic of Pakistan in August
can be boiled down to being the ‘institutionalisation of 1947 was a political miracle in many respects. It is the
the collective conscience of a people’. only country in the world the struggle for which was
If taken as a definition, it essentially means that aimed at institutionalising an ideology and that was
democracy would have an inherent variation in achieved solely through non-violent political process.4
different cultures and times. It also means that the The President of All India Muslim League (AIML),
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, led the political campaign for
character of democracy in a particular society is
Pakistan and achieved it without any violence, chaos
shaped by the preferences and practices of its
members. It further means that mere constitutional and or disruption. Jinnah, whom Pakistan likes to call
subordinate laws are not sufficient to guarantee that the
will and consent of people will actually prevail, rather

1 Yusufi, Khurshid Ahmad Khan. "Speeches, Statements and Messages of the Quaid-i-Azam." Lahore: Bazm-i-Iqbal 2 (1996): 70.
2 Francis, Fukuyama. "The end of history and the last man." Op. cit (1992): 49-50.
3 Learned Hand, The Spirit of Liberty Speech, http://www.learnedhand.org/?p=4
4 Jabbar, Javed, Pakistan: Unique Origins, Unique Destiny? Islamabad: National Book Foundation, 2012, p. 73

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Quaid-e-Azam (great leader), was a democrat and majority Indian National Congress and the masses of
champion of civic rights.5 all religions and castes; and the message for a separate
homeland was well communicated.
Despite the democratic spirit that the Muslims of the
Subcontinent had demonstrated during their struggle The transition phase
for freedom, the country’s formative years defined the
future trajectory of statehood in a different fashion. On June 3, 1947, the British Government proclaimed
These formative years formally started in March 1940 establishment of two dominions on religious grounds
in August. Chaos and arbitrariness are obvious when
when a public convention of the AIML passed a
there were merely 10 weeks available to carve Pakistan
resolution (Lahore Declaration) for a separate
out of the Subcontinent and put the partition and
homeland for Muslims. This resolution was a turning
point that came only months after the 1939 elections independence in place.8 Pakistan’s territory was not
for the federal and provincial legislative assemblies in even fully demarcated at the time of its birth. Pakistan
which Muslim League suffered a humiliating defeat at was almost an ‘overnight’ state and an ‘overnight’
the hands of the Indian National Congress, led by nation.9 The confirmation that the Subcontinent was to
Nehru. In fact, Muslim League had only completed be divided had been a shock to Hindu nationalists
formation of its organisation in all provinces by 1938, whose religious ethos would consider the land of India
as sacred and indivisible.10 Though riots had already
and that too with varying strengths.6
taken place in Bengal and Bihar in 1946, widespread
Immediately after passage of the Lahore Declaration,7 riots broke out through most parts of the Subcontinent
the slogan for Pakistan became so popular that through after declaration of Indian Independence Act. In these
the wave of this public sentiment Muslim League conditions, Muslims who opted to migrate to Pakistan
emerged as the key representative political party of as well as those who preferred to stay in their ancestral
Muslims throughout the Subcontinent. The masses lands were targeted. One of the largest human
rallied behind the party for a cause but this does not migrations took place during the second and third
mean that they were organised on political lines as well quarters of 1947 and Pakistan received around 10
and Muslim League remained a uniting platform, million muhajireen11 who were wounded, sick, looted
rather than an organisation. Further to damage the and broken.12
objectives of the League, several prominent Muslims
The areas that became part of Pakistan had very poor
who had stayed away till now, joined it to surf the tide.
AIML succeeded on most Muslim majority seats in the infrastructure and hardly any industry.13
1946 elections. It was hardly the AIML shaping the The partition plan included a formula for division of
movement, rather it was the movement that shaped the assets but Pakistan hardly got anything from India that
Muslim League. The 1946 electoral results carried an
unmistakable message for the ruling British, Hindu-

5 In his broadcast talk on Pakistan to the people of the USA in February 1948, Quaid-e-Azam had said, “The Constitution of Pakistan has
yet to be framed by the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. I do not know what the ultimate of this constitution is going to be, but I am sure
that it will be of a democratic type, embodying the essential principles of Islam. Today, they are as applicable in actual life as they were
1,300 years ago. Islam and its idealism has taught us democracy. It has taught equality of men, justice and fair play to everybody. We are
the inheritors of these glorious traditions and are fully alive to our responsibilities and obligations as framers of the future constitution of
Pakistan. In any case, Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state, to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-
Muslims – Hindus, Christians and Parsis – but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens
and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan.” Yusufi, Khurshid Ahmad Khan, Speeches, Statements & Messages of the Quaid-
e-Azam, Vol. IV, Lahore: Bazm-i-Iqbal, 1996 P. 2694
6 Khaliquzzaman, Choudhry, Pathway to Pakistan, Lahore: Longmans, (1961), p. 190
7 This resolution was ironically named Pakistan Resolution by Hindu press, but the same name became popular and is still referred to as

such.
8 Talbot, Ian, and Gurharpal Singh. Partition and region: Bengal, Punjab and the Partition of the Subcontinent. Oxford University Press,

1999.
9 Jabbar, p. 73
10 This is despite the fact that Indian Subcontinent has never been a single empire prior to becoming a colony of the British.
11 Muhajir (pl. muhajireen) is generally translated in English as refugee. This Arabic term, however, refers to a Muslim who permanently

abandons a place and migrates to another in search of a better environment for his/her faith. Abou-El-Wafa, Ahmed, Professor, The Right
to Asylum between Islamic Shari’ah and International Refugee Law: A Comparative Study, Riyadh: UNHCR, 2009
12 Jabbar, p. 79
13 Aziz, Sartaj, Between Dreams and Realities, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 347

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was actually useful.14 The Muslim League was the vision and capability to read public sentiments and
undergoing a major crisis and transition from being an to translate them into policy documents.
anticolonial movement to adapting itself to the
This should have been a take-off point; Pakistan’s
different function of governing a country.15
Meanwhile, the death of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad constitution should have been made on the basis of this
Ali Jinnah merely 13 months after creation of Pakistan much-celebrated resolution, and democracy should
have prevailed ever since. The reality has, however,
in September 1948 proved a serious blow to the nation.
The economic condition as well as future prospects been much different.
were fragile and deliberate attempts to cripple the From 1951 to 1958, Pakistan had seven prime
economy could be sensed.16 The country’s military ministers and the political scene remained like a game
was in a bad shape while battle had broken out on the of musical chairs. Then the military took over and the
Jammu and Kashmir front. Besides, the country’s two country was under military rule from 1958 to 1971.
wings were separated by around 1,000 miles.17 Following two years of civilian martial law a
In the midst of its unique challenges characterised by parliamentary system under a political setting was put
riots, large-scale migration, economic disparity, in place in 1973. The military took over again in 1977
nation-building and security threats, the country and General Zia-ul-Haq remained at the helm of affairs
till his death in 1988. Parliamentary democracy was
started off by laying the foundation on the principles
revived in 1988, and during the next 11 years Pakistan
of “democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social
justice, as enunciated by Islam” through the Objectives had four governments (apart from caretaker
Resolution of 1949. This resolution is of primary governments). In 1999, the country witnessed another
military coup led by General Pervez Musharraf. He left
significance in any debate that aims to understand the
office of the president in 2008. Since then there have
nature of the State of Pakistan. It is in fact the
articulation of the ideals of the founding fathers, been two governments, from 2008 to 2013 and 2013 to
articulation of the public conscience and the essence of 2018, each of which completed its five-year term.18
the freedom movement. In political sense, it spelled Thus, during 72 years of its existence, the country
out the objectives on the basis of which the experienced 33 years of military rule. Only three
constitution was to be framed. The document is governments could complete their full terms
remarkable also in the sense that it defines democracy (including one under a military ruler from 2003 to
in indigenous context and aims at developing a hybrid 2008), and no prime minister could serve a full term in
model in which Islamic ideals meet the modern office. The country had its first constitution after nine
concept of a nation state. Above everything else, this years of its creation, which lasted only a couple of
was a manifestation that the political leadership had years (1956-1958). The second constitution was given

14 A glimpse of this has been recorded by Brian Cloughley in these words, “170,000 tons of equipment and stores for Pakistan were
intended to be dispatched in 300 trainloads from India; only three railway wagons arrived, and these contained either obsolete items or
rubbish.” Cloughley, Brian, A History of the Pakistan Army: Wars and Insurrections, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 4
15 Huntington, Samuel P., Political Order in Changing Societies, Virginia: Yale University Press, 1968, p. 17
16 On December 30, 1947, Prime Minister of Pakistan had written to the Indian Prime Minister, “The systematic sabotage against the

implementation of partition, the stoppage of such essential requirements as coal and rail transport, the deliberate with-holding of Pakistan’s
share of funds and arms and equipment, the wholesale massacre of Muslim population, are all designed towards one aim, namely, the
destruction of Pakistan” … “India’s forcible occupation of Junagadh, Manavadar and other states of Kathiawar, which had acceded to
Pakistan as well as the fraudulent procurement of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir State are acts of hostility against Pakistan whose
destruction is India’s immediate objective” Rizvi, Hasan Askari, The Military and Politics in Pakistan 1947-86, Lahore: Progressive
Publishers, 1986, p. 38; Also see: Jabbar, Javed, Pakistan – Unique Origins; Unique Destiny, Islamabad: National Book Foundation, 2012,
p. 77, 78; and Ali, Chaudhary Muhammad, The Emergence of Pakistan, Lahore: Research Society of Pakistan, 1975, 175
17 Eastern wing of Pakistan, commonly referred to as East Pakistan, was later severed from Pakistan and was established as Bangladesh in

1971.
18 The reader should be cautious from drawing a comparison between Pakistan and India merely on the basis of shared history and dates

of independence. Pakistan not only lacked formal continuity in terms of political centre, it also had to evolve a new federal structure, craft
a new constitution, make institutions for providing financial sovereignty, adjust anew in international arena, adjust the demographic
imbalance caused by largescale migration, and all that when the country lost its consensus leadership within months after its creation. India
had the utility of Nehru’s leadership who had not only led the independence movement but also had the opportunity to serve as its prime
minister for 17 years after independence. The Indian National Congress had been spearheading the freedom movement for a much longer
period than the All India Muslim League and had a strong reservoir of leadership, as opposed to AIML that took off only after 1940. See
Husain, Ishrat, Governing the Ungovernable: Institutional Reforms for Democratic Governance, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2018,
p. 57

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by General Ayub Khan and remained in force up till British and were used as their pawns to control the
he held office. The third and currently in force locals and for the benefit of the rulers. As such, these
constitution was formulated by the Parliament in 1973. landlords not only held huge resources but also
This constitution is a key milestone in Pakistan’s significant authority over their lands. Most of them had
history. It is another manifestation of the vision and got this prominence for having betrayed their fellow
wisdom of the political leadership for stewarding the countrymen and having served the objectives of the
nation to its objectives by putting aside their internal colonial rulers. When the tide turned in favour of
differences. The two military rules (from 1977 to 1988 Pakistan, they were quick to shift their allegiances and
and from 1999 to 2008) did some tinkering with the were able to hold the same prominence in the new
constitution but could not abrogate it. The Eighteenth setting where a leadership gap was obvious. With the
Constitutional Amendment Act of 2010 has sought to sole intent of clinching more power, the feudal lords
do away with most such deviations.19 served as the political leadership of the new country
and were a major reason for political instability and
The three legacies of the colonial period and intrigue during the initial years. They would easily
national politics bargain their positions and would covertly revolt
Looking at this game of political see-saw one wonders against a sitting prime minister in favour of an aspiring
how the national leadership of a country that had very one.
clear ideals before it could be so reckless with its
In fact, they had raised a political class and set a
destiny. The answer again lies in the origins. political tradition that was deeply entrenched in
The colonial rule that lasted for almost a century feudalism. During later years, when feudalism lost its
thrived on the basis of three groups of the locals.20 shape and power to some extent, the feudal mind-set
survived and impacted national politics to a great
The first such group is civil bureaucracy that was on deal.22
one hand given a sense of superiority over the masses
and kept at physical and intellectual distance from The third group was the military. It was undergoing a
them in all respects, and on the other hand was trained transition from a former colonial army into a national
to essentially serve their bosses.21 Though the army.23 Like every other army, it had all three political
bureaucracy of every level played an important role in advantages that Finer had counted: “a marked
a state of administrative chaos after the creation of superiority of organization, a highly emotionalized
Pakistan, but simultaneously found a vacuum of symbolic status, and a monopoly of arms”24. Though
leadership and stepped forward when the country’s the military was in a bad shape itself but it was trained,
third governor general came from its ranks. The third disciplined and highly motivated to guard the country
governor general removed the leader of Muslim and the people against all odds. During very initial
League Khwaja Nazimuddin from premiership and days the military received widespread respect due to
appointed Pakistan’s envoy to the US (another its services to the immigrants and affectees of floods,
member of civil bureaucracy) as prime minister. as well as fighting a war with its meagre resources on
Eyebrows were naturally raised and the suspicions of the Kashmir front25 immediately after independence.26
foreign intervention in the country’s politics were
rightfully suspected.
The second group was of the feudal lords who were
raised by granting huge lands, statuses and titles by the

19 Nuri, Maqsudul Hasan, Muhammad Hanif and Muhammad Nawaz Khan (eds.), Eighteenth Amendment Revisited, Islamabad: Islamabad
Policy Research Institute, 2012, p. ii
20 Waseem, Muhammad, Politics and the State in Pakistan, Islamabad: National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research, 1994, pp.

21-59
21 Waseem, pp. 135-141
22 Jaffrelot, Christophe, Pakistan at the Crossroads: Domestic Dynamics and External Pressures, Haryana: Penguin Books, 2017, p. 12
23 Jaffrelot p. 29
24 Finer, S.E., The Man on Horseback: The Role of the Military in Politics, London: Pall Mall Press Ltd. 1962, p.6
25 Pakistan Army, Kashmir War 1947-49, Pakistan Army Web Portal,
https://www.pakistanarmy.gov.pk/AWPReview/TextContent9900.html?pId=195&rnd=444
26 Waseem, p. 141

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These were the times when there was unrest in East have provided an enabling environment against
Pakistan on linguistic27 and in Punjab on religious democratic development.
grounds.28 On the foreign front, Pakistan was looking
for allies in an environment when India had brought its Spirit of democracy
military to the borders, had forcibly annexed the states One would wonder how the people had responded to
of Junagadh, Manavadar and Hyderabad29 and had these episodes of political see-saw and whether they
fought a war on Kashmir with Pakistan.30 On the had been silent spectators to the happenings in the
Western side, Afghanistan was contemplating country. The rough road treaded by democracy in
establishment of Pakhtoonistan (land of the Pakistan might convince someone to conclude that
Pakhtoons) by annexing areas of the North Western democracy has failed in or is not meant for Pakistan.
Frontier Province. The military was therefore formally
given a role in the affairs of the state with full In fact, the answer to such suspicions has always been
consensus and support by the political leaders.31 Major given by the people themselves as they are the biggest
General Iskandar Mirza was appointed as defence stakeholders and the most fervent supporters of
secretary in 1947 and as interior minister in 1955. He democracy in Pakistan. The spirit of Pakistan
then took over the reins of the country as governor Movement and the ideal of Quaid-e-Azam are so
general. He was the first to bring martial law to the strongly embedded that they have their appeal and
land in 1958 through his appointed Commander-in- inspiration even after seven decades. Apart from what
Chief General Muhammad Ayub Khan. Ayub has been summarised above, these people have gone
dismissed Mirza within a few days and took full charge through the hardest times. They have seen two full-
of the country. scale wars in 1965 and 1971, and two limited wars in
1948 and 1999 with India, have lost the eastern wing,
With these beginnings, the three groups remained and have faced natural calamities like earthquakes, and
significantly relevant in national politics and the severe floods.34 The country faced, survived and
democratic journey in varying degrees. The civilian prevailed against cessationist movements, terrorism,
bureaucracy soon confined itself to its business and internal displacements and a huge influx of refugees.
kept itself engaged in administering the affairs of the The constants have been a hostile bigger neighbour
state as per their roles. The military had its phases. (India) on the eastern side and a volatile neighbour
There were times when it took charge of things while (Afghanistan) on the west that has kept Pakistan in the
at other times it preferred politicians to manage the eye of the storm for decades. Through the cold war
affairs of the country.32 In political camps too, regard followed by global power politics, foreign backing has
for democratic principles gradually increased and unfortunately been available more to military rules
politicians without a feudal background played their than the democratic dipensations.35
role in promoting mature political culture.
The people of Pakistan have reacted with maturity and
To sum up, the roots of instability in Pakistan lie in have realised that democracy is a process for which
loss of consensus leadership during its early years, they have to remain consistent despite all odds. They
feudalistic political culture and the military’s inherent are mindful that any response to a situation has to be
conviction that based on its organisational discipline it in a proportion and should not undermine the security
is better suited to steer the country to progress.33 With and solidarity of the state itself. While political
these domestic problems, international power politics, gambling and intrigue has been on the forefront of
hostility with India and continuous regional instability national political scene, the opposition has always

27 Matinuddin, Kamal, Tragedy of Errors: East Pakistan Crisis 1968-1971, Lahore. WajidAlis Pvt Limited, 1994, pp. 47-52
28 Report of the Court of Inquiry constituted under Punjab Act II of 1954 to enquire into the Punjab disturbances of 1953, Lahore:
Superintendent Government Printing, Punjab, 1954
29 Ali, Mir Laik, Tragedy of Hyderabad, Karachi: Pakistan Co-operative Book Society, 1962
30 Hodson, H.V., The Great Divide: Britain-India-Pakistan, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1985, pp. 427-493
31 Rizvi, p. 42
32 Akhund, Iqbal, Trial and Error: The Advent and Eclipse of Benzir Bhutto, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2000, pp. 118-125
33 Khan, M Asghar, Pakistan: Politics and Military Power, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 6-9
34 The massive earthquake of October 2005 killed over 85,000 individuals, while floods in July-August 2010 affected approximately 20

million people, killing nearly 2,000 and displacing over 12 million.


35 Ali, Murad. "US aid to Pakistan and democracy." Policy Perspectives (2009): 119-132.

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been very vibrant as well. There have been largescale Pakistan, 81% of Pakistanis showed confidence in
political movements and no government could take a democracy as a system of governance as against 19%
visible drift from the national ideals enunciated in the who preferred military democracy. A January 2018
Objectives Resolution. survey by the same organisation indicates that people
are keen to be taken on board on key national issues.
Alongside the restriction and strictness of the martial As much as 68% of Pakistanis39 would like to vote
law governments, the security situation of the country,
directly on major national issues to decide what
the immature political culture and confidence in the becomes law.40 At the same time, 62% support
armed forces served in favour of military rule. Still the representative democracy as well.41
people did not stop acting in favour of democracy.
Finer had pointed out two “crippling weaknesses” of In practical terms, the people have used their votes to
the military in political field, namely the ‘technical express their preferences and have voted out political
inability to administer any but the most primitive governments that have disappointed them. The power
community’ and ‘their lack of legitimacy’ for which is not confined to a single political party and every
they have to seek civilian collaboration.36 Rulers election has brought change. Increasing literacy and
coming from the military, Ayub Khan, Zia-ul-Haq and spread of information through the media is producing
Pervez Musharraf held referendums to give legitimacy general awareness and choices are becoming saner.
to their regimes but the people generally stayed The most encouraging fact is that the youth are the
indifferent to the process (though official figures most significant group that has to play a role. Pakistan
showed immense approval for their preposition). being the youngest country in the world,42 youth (18 to
Public response was entirely different when the same 35 years) constituted 44% of the total registered voters
rulers allowed some political process and held in the 2018 elections. Youth being the most optimistic,
elections to allow selection of public representatives.37 the most passionate and forward looking segment are
Despite the fact that these elections were held in shady a good omen for democracy in Pakistan.
conditions and with several restrictions, people
A socio-political change is taking place in the country.
realised that revival of political activity, in whatever
Three governments have successively completed their
form, is the only way to reviving democracy. This
public sentiment was so obvious that every military five-year tenures (2002-2007, 2008-2013, 2013-2018)
while the fourth successive government has come in
ruler had to give a political cloak to his regime. This
was done by putting restrictions on independent through elections. Different political parties have been
political voices and creating a king’s party on each and are ruling in the centre and the provinces have
successfully established a working relationship despite
occasion.38 In such instances, the politicians who
political differences. Similarly, system has continued
served the feudal mindset mostly served the purpose.
to run smoothly in spite of the governments having
Despite all odds, hope is not lost as long as the people difficulties in legislation for not enjoying majority in
of Pakistan subscribe to democratic principles. In fact, the upper house of the Parliament, the Senate. All
the country has progressed significantly on many national institutions are also part of the process. The
fronts. The first and the foremost sign of optimism is judiciary and media too are going through phases.43
the near consensus among the people with respect to There definitely are occasional vibes against optimism
confidence in democracy. Several surveys conducted for democracy but the reasons for optimism are much
recently have exhibited such widespread confidence. stronger and more frequent. Like in many countries of
In a survey conducted in October 2017 by Gallup the world, the tussle between political parties, blame

36 Finer, 14
37Chaudhry, M.A.K. Martial Law Ka Siyasi Andaz. (1988), p. 81
38 Asghar Khan, pp. 198-200; 213
39 The figure is comparable with USA (68%), Europe (70%) and Africa (64%).
40 Gallup Pakistan, Views about Democracy in Pakistan as compared to the World, http://gallup.com.pk/wp-
content/uploads/2018/03/Report-on-Global-Democracy.pdf
41 ibid
42 UNDP, Pakistan National Human Development Report UNDP (2017). https://www.undp.org/content/dam/pakistan/docs/HDR/PK-

NHDR.pdf
43 Newberg, Paula R., Judging the State, Courts and Constitutional Politics in Pakistan, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, (1995);

Munir, Kishwar, and Iram Khalid. ‘Judicial Activism in Pakistan: A Case Study of Supreme Court Judgments 2008-13’. South Asian
Studies (1026-678X) 33, No. 2 (2018), pp. 321-334

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game, issues of Civil-Military relations continue, leadership and guarantees for peaceful political
though with varying degrees, but it appears much more settlement of issues. Discontinuing them is always a
clear now that the democratic process is here to stay. bad omen for democratic principles. Literacy is a
national emergency, increase of which would surely
Conclusion help in numerous ways including maturity of political
The people have put their confidence in political voices and choices. The ‘failure of democracy’45 has
parties in the hope for mature policy making and very grim implications like the one that Pakistan saw
inclusive national development. The promotion of when it lost East Pakistan.
democracy would require political process in all
Democratic institutions and traditions take a long time
segments and levels of society. This has to start from
to develop strong roots. Political institutions have
promoting democracy within the political parties and historically been products of interaction and
side-lining the feudalistic approaches within their disagreement among social forces46 and the people of
ranks. Political governments have also been shying Pakistan understand that the road to ideal is long and
away from sharing their power with grassroots tough, but it is a process through which they will be
political leadership and have been avoiding local able to institutionalise their collective conscience and
government elections. If elections for local bodies practice the principles of “democracy, freedom,
were held, their powers were curtailed.44 The student
equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by
unions and trade unions too are nurseries for political
Islam” in letter and spirit.

Prepared by:
Syed Nadeem Farhat
Senior Research Officer
Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad.

For queries:
Syed Nadeem Farhat
Senior Research Officer
nadeem@ips.net.pk | www.ips.org.pk

44 Khan, Abdul Qayum, ‘Local Government and Judiciary in Pakistan after 2010’, Pakistan Perspectives, vol. 22, No. 1, January-June,
(2017), 27-41
45 Aziz, Sartaj, Between Dreams and Realities, Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2009 p. 26
46 Huntington, p. 11

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