Crisis of State & Government in Pakistan

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Shamshad Ahmad*


(The story of Pakistan is one of remorseless tug and pull between the ci- vilian and military rulers on the one hand, and the liberal and religious forces on the other.  In the process, the country has failed to develop a sustainable democratic system based on constitutional supremacy and institutional integrity. The main casualties have been the rule of law, the state institutions and the process of national integration. It is the story of a society that has been going round in aimless circles for the last 62 years. Indeed, since independence, the people of Pakistan have had no role in determining the course of their history or the direction of their country’s political, economic and social policies. They have been exploited in the name of ideology and external threats while the real domestic challenges facing the nation have remained unaddressed. Pakistan’s difficulties have been aggravated by long spells of military rule, which never allowed democracy to take root in its soil.

It is not important whether we have a parliamentary or presidential system because both, if rooted in the will of the people, are democratic. It is time we seriously considered giving a chance to a genuinely democratic presidential system, especially “designed for and tailored” to Pakistan’s needs. We must understand that we are not Turkey or France and should look at other more authentic but practical presidential models. We also need to explore “a proportional reorientation” system to ensure greater access to non-feudal, non-elitist educated middle class people in assemblies and governmental cadres. Author).


Every community, however remote from the centers of civilization its habitat may be and however primitive its culture, is organised politically albeit in a rudimentary form. Moreover, in all regions today, allegiance to the political organisations of the community is normally self-inclusive and compulsive. Each individual whether he likes it or not is a member of some state.

The state is as old as recorded history; and political theory is as old as the state itself. It is also said that systematic political theory appeared first among the Greeks of about the 5th century BC. This is true in one sense; in writings available from earlier periods, there is little explicit discussion of what could now be construed as major questions of political theory.

A doctrine concerning the right location of political supremacy or the proper sphere of governmental activity has ordinarily some logical relation to a theory of the rational or moral basis of political authority in general. A system of political doctrines sets up, or else assumes, some universal criterion for judging the reasonableness or justice of any given governmental organisation or policy. When certain powers are ascribed to a state over its subjects, there has to be some sort of a theoretical standard by which to appraise the soundness of the claims.1

Ever since the Platonic period, philosophers have sought to determine the nature and meaning of a “good society and a good state” often giving their own interpretations of what an ideal society and an ideal state ought to be. Four of them, namely, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, in particular, have made a great contribution to the development of the concept of an ideal state as well as on “methods of government.” Each one of them established a set of premises and, based on them, suggested idealistic or pragmatic approaches to the structure of society, role of leadership, rights of individuals and the nature and basis of justice.

Their interpretations have been formulated in western political thought as diverse concepts of state and methods of government. The foremost in this philosophical chain, however, is Plato’s ideal of the city state and his concept of the philosopher king.  In Plato’s Republic (375 BC), justice is the central question addressed as a “concomitant virtue” that results from harmonious cooperation among “virtuous individuals” participating in the affairs of the state.2

According to Plato (428-348 BC), justice prevails only when each person assumes his responsible role in the state and contributes to it according to his “virtuous talents.” He elaborates that “in a just society, each man does what he is best fitted to do by nature, accepting the task which he is most able to accomplish; not only does he perform his own special work, but he minds his own business as well.” He emphasized: “indeed, interference with others who are attempting to carry on their proper tasks creates conflict and disharmony, the essence of injustice.”3

Aristotle (384-322 BC) in his “Politics,” besides giving a philosophical “theory of the State,” provides the conceptual framework of the state, citizenship and the nature of government. He also makes a detailed study of the “methods of government.” His greatest contributions to political theories are his differentiation between the lawful monarch and the willful tyrant, his argument that people have the right, by virtue of their natural collective judgment, to elect their leaders and to hold them accountable, and his concept that the state and society are man’s vital necessity.

For Aristotle, good governance is a relative matter; there is no best form for all peoples at all times. A good government is one whose rulers seek the welfare of the people, whereas a corrupt government is one whose rulers are primarily interested in their own wellbeing. A good government degenerates into a corrupt one when the rulers begin to devote themselves to private gain instead of public welfare. Thus each good form of government has its corresponding corrupt form.4

Aristotle also applied the principle of “moderation in all things” to the problem of evaluating any State: for example, was it too large or too small for its population and location, or for the character and skills of its people? He concluded that the good State is one in which the middle class constitutes a majority.

In Aristotle’s view, extremes must always be avoided, for too many individuals in a given occupation will disturb the equilibrium of the State. Too many soldiers, too many public officials, or too many of any other group except the great middle class will harm or even destroy the State. He cited the example of Sparta which was destroyed by over- emphasis on the military way of life. The lesson of history is that the basic nature of man requires peace, not war, and a State, in order to survive and prosper, must be organized for peace, not war.

The political philosophy of Machiavelli (1469-1527) was based on the “doctrine of  necessity”  (sounds  familiar!) that justified any ruler in using every means necessary, fair or foul, to maintain a strong government. “The end justifies the means, even though that end is for the sole benefit of the tyrant.” In his classic work, The Prince, Machiavelli analyses as to what the ruler whom he calls “the Prince” needs to do to maintain his full personal power, and to what extent and by what means the Prince should keep faith with his subjects. He was of the view that the “Prince should keep faith with his people by resorting to both law and force.”5

Machiavelli’s philosophy of government is premised on his assumption that in the absence of virtuous citizens, there are only “corrupt masses” and since the end justifies the means, they can be controlled only by a Prince through his “deceitful and vicious behaviour.”6 Machiavelli also believed that to gain political power, it is necessary either to be “the child of fortune and be born into power” or to “acquire power through deceit and conquest.” To retain power, it will be necessary to eliminate enemies within the state, and in destroying his enemies, “the ruler must get rid of them decisively without mercy, lest some individual suffering from minor injuries return to seek revenge.”

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) believed that the state must have sufficient civil power to enforce covenants and to curb the basically anti- social instincts of individuals. His philosophy is based upon a “social contract” theory which constitutes a conceptual foundation for western democracies. In his view, man is fundamentally an “untrustworthy corrupt being” who has to protect himself from his fellows just as beasts in the jungle do. Man, according to Hobbes, is not only so corrupt but also so quarrelsome and belligerent that, except for very brief intervals between quarrels, he is constantly fighting others.

For Hobbes, the “social contract” is essentially a means of establishing civil rights by implementing the “golden rule” (Do unto others what you would have them do to you), instead of nature’s law that might makes right.  A question, however, remains as to what happens if one party to the “contract” refuses or fails to live up to the responsibilities by which he is bound. Hobbes’ answer is that a “power” greater than those who are party to the contract, does see that those who have so engaged do fulfill their obligations under penalty of punishment.

This “power” or individual who himself is above the law (immune) is called Leviathan, a moral God whose power to act issues from “natural right” for he is the strongest power on earth (or at least in the nation). This power is assumed to be the king, but if a power mightier than he should arise on the horizon and subdue him, then “potentate” would become the Leviathan. Where there is no king with absolute power, the “contract” is made with an assembly of men, and the state is called a “Commonwealth.”7  In substance, his theory amounted to identifying government with force; at least, the force must always be present in the background whether it has to be applied or not. 8

John Locke (1632-1704) is equally important to the “social contract” theory. His philosophy was contained in two essays published in 1690 with the avowed purpose of defending the 1688-1689 Revolution in England replacing James II with William III. Convinced that the crown had been brought under parliamentary control and that religious liberty had been restored, Locke published his two treatises on government in 1690 as vindication of the Revolution. The First Essay on Government argued against the monarchy’s divine right to rule; the Second against the absolutist theory of government, especially as advocated by Hobbes. Like Hobbes, he believed that human nature allowed men to be selfish but in his view, human nature is also characterized by reason and tolerance.9 Locke  advocated  governmental  separation  of  powers  and believed that “revolution” is not only a right but an obligation in some circumstances. He also placed more emphasis on natural liberty and rights than on natural self-interestedness, and shared the assumption with Rousseau that society must reflect the needs and desires of its citizens as the foundation for the “social contract.” These ideas seem to have had profound influence on the Constitution of the United States and its Declaration of Independence.10

There may be no ideal state but in his “Social Contract,” Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) presented his ideal of a state, simple and small enough for the individual to take an active part in its government, thus ensuring that a citizen’s needs are answered by the State. Rousseau accepted Hobbes’s concept of absolute sovereignty, but equated sovereignty with the legislative power of the people as a whole. His democratic philosophy upholds the principle that sovereignty resides in the people alone and that all other power is dependent upon this fundamental sovereign power. He was not, however, as optimistic as Locke about human nature and acknowledged the dominance of instincts, emotions and faith over reason in the human soul.

As to the form of an ideal State, Rousseau favored a Republic ruled by laws, in which the government, run by popularly elected officials, would implement the general will, while in his view absolute sovereignty rests with the citizens as a body politic. Each individual will share in the general will which ought to prevail for the good of all. He believed that the particular structure is of minor consequence but there is no substitute to a democratic system in which the sovereign power rests with the people, for they alone are in possession of an inalienable will. Although power may be delegated, the will cannot be delegated. 11

In Rousseau’s view, “sovereignty, being nothing but the exercise of the general will, can never be alienated.” According to him, there is no substitute to a democratic system in which sovereign power rests with the people, for they alone are in possession of an “inalienable will.” He concluded that “if there were a people of gods, it would govern itself democratically.”12


The concept of sovereignty has had a long history of development, and it may be said that every political theorist since Plato has dealt with the notion in some manner, although not always explicitly. The foremost in this philosophical chain is Jean Bodin (1530-1596) who is considered to be the modern initiator of the concept of sovereignty, with his 1576 treatise Six Books on the Republic which described the sovereign as a ruler above human law and subject only to the divine or natural law.

Jean Bodin predefined the scope of the divine right of kings, stating “Sovereignty is a Republic’s absolute and perpetual power.” According to him, sovereignty is absolute, thus indivisible, but not without any limits: it exercises itself only in the public sphere, not in the private sphere. It is perpetual, because it does not expire with its holder. In other words, sovereignty is no one’s property: by essence, it is inalienable. He also used the concept of sovereignty to bolster the power of the king over his feudal lords, heralding the transition from feudalism to nationalism.13

The concept of state sovereignty, the principles of international law, and the politics of the “balance of power” have been seen as the cornerstones of the modern state system. The first has been elevated to the dignity of a political theory and later to that of a juristic idea underlying the whole structure of modern international jurisprudence. The second has evolved into a system of public law in the community of nations. The third has become an avowed principle of foreign policy, accepted and acted upon so consistently by all the great states that it may well be viewed as the central theme about which the web of diplomacy is woven.14

The doctrine of sovereignty developed as part of the transformation of the medieval system in Europe into the modern state system, a process that culminated in the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. In some ways the emergence of the concept of sovereignty ran parallel with the similar emergence of the idea of private property, both emphasizing exclusive rights concentrated in a single holder, in contrast to the medieval system of diffused and many-layered political and economic rights.15

Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) identified state as an organic whole in constant process of development, and designated “constitutional monarchy” as the highest form of state, not democratic in the sense that sovereignty resides in the people but representative in the sense that the ruler is the figurehead of an organic totality, exemplifying the world spirit. He asserted that “sovereignty is in the personality of the whole, and is represented in the person of the monarch.”16

The Hegelian  doctrine  was  reflected in  autocratic  constitutions set up in the German states during the first half of nineteenth century. Particularly in the Prussian constitution of 1851, and in academic treatises upon that document, one found excessive assertions of the principle of political authority.17


“…The  strongest  is  never  strong  enough  to  be  always  the master, unless he transforms strength into right and obedience into duty…”                            –Jean Jacques Rousseau: The Social Contract.

Historically, different social arrangements and legal structures have warranted different forms and styles of leadership and governance. Leadership is always a complicated amalgam of an individual personality, the needs of and expectations of a community and the exigencies of the age. The diverse theories of state and government have over the centuries led to one of the great continuing inconclusive discussions: whether a society creates its leaders or is created by them.”18

Plato’s preferred ruler was “the philosopher king” provided there is such a “superior person who could rule with perfect wisdom and justice.” According to him: “until kings become philosophers, or philosophers kings, there is no hope for the state.” In the absence of a “philosopher king,”  Plato  considered  a  Republic  administered  by  an  aristocracy of the best qualified persons (morally and intellectually) as the most wholesome government.19

For Aristotle, good governance was a relative matter as there is no best form for all peoples at all times. He differentiated between the  “lawful monarch” and the “willful tyrant,” and favoured a government that sought the welfare of the people.

In imperial China, Han Fei Tzu (280-230 BC) idealized the leader as a “distant” figure of enlightened subtlety who kept very close counsel and ruled not by virtue but by law. Having been a prince in the ruling house of Han province, Han Fei Tzu addressed problems of authority and governance as basic to the system of a state. He perceived that “nature abhors a vacuum” and set a leader in this empty space to shape and mould his people. Through the leader, the citizens were to be formed not only as individuals but as members of a community. His doctrine envisaged methods to be followed by government to ensure the “governed people are not allowed to do what is bad.” 20

The legendary Lycurgus, depicted by Plutarch, inaugurated in Sparta a systematic society in which the good of the community so dominated the will of individual citizens that virtue and law were one and there was no need for strong personalities among subsequent leaders. Lycurgus would have been rejected by Ibn Khaldun, the great fourteenth century Arab social scientist, who believed that social forces, not individuals, generated history; consequently Ibn Khaldun’s ideal leader is a gentle person whose mission is to promote the interests of his subjects.21

Machiavelli’s concept of “leadership” relied more on the ends rather than the means. His “prince” had to be strong, pragmatic and ruthless enough to unite the then city states of Italy. In the absence of virtuous citizens, he believed, there are only “corrupt masses” who can be controlled only by a “prince” through his “deceitful and vicious behaviour.22

Machiavelli’s Prince has to be a “hypocritical and vacillating” personality wearing the face of “mercy, faith, integrity, humanity, and religion” to create a public image, but often acting contrary to those very ideals. Only a few perceptive individuals will discover his real character and they will not dare protest or move against “the vulgar tide” adhering to the mighty Prince, who will continue to hold the balance of power.23  For Machiavelli’s “prince” it is necessary to be “the child of fortune and be born into power” or to “acquire power through deceit and conquest.”24

Rousseau’s “Social Contract” visualized a democratic system in which the sovereign power rests with the people, for they alone are in possession of an inalienable will and all other power is dependent upon this fundamental sovereign power. In his view, only a popularly elected government can implement the general will.25 Hegel, on his part, glorified the state power beyond limits and considered its authority as inevitably embodied in an “autocratic and powerful” government. He recognized sovereignty of the general will but according to him, only “wise rulers” knew what that will was.

All these theories aside, in practical terms, history is replete with tales of political figures who not only equated themselves with the state but also viewed their reign as a mere extension of their own egos and idiosyncrasies. Even today, there is no dearth of “willful rulers” of all sorts, elected or unelected, civilian or military, casting their shadows across the world. State is once again, for all citizens and in all matters, the highest arbiter of conduct and opinion, and is entitled to choose its own means of asserting its supremacy. Ends justify the means no matter what happens to democratic norms and fundamental rights and freedoms. Modern patterns of power and leadership now represent a curious convergence of Machiavellian “doctrine of necessity” and Hegelian “philosophy of the state.”

“Take me to your leader” is easier said than done in today’s world. Nations are not led by leaders any more.  Modern civilization has become an aberration of nature, for “man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.” Countries, including those considered mothers and champions of democracy are no longer governed by moral imperatives. We are now familiar with what the former US President George W. Bush considered to be the limits of his power—nothing. Sometime he even claimed divine authority.

In pursuing his war on terror, George W.Bush claimed to be in direct communication with God and insisted he was driven with a mission from God. He once spontaneously expressed his mindset when he said: “I am driven with a mission from God. God tells me: George go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan; and I did. Then God tells me George go and end the tyranny in Iraq; and I did.”  In the name of God, Bush played havoc with the world. Apparently, he also had a divine mission to protect and strengthen world’s military dictators and authoritarian regimes. He used them as pawns of his global belligerence.

On several occasions in public appearances during his presidency, George W. Bush was defending his policies including the one on domestic spying without court approval, citing the inherent “war powers of the presidency” under the U.S. Constitution. In doing so, the president pointed to his status as commander-in-chief and the resolution

— approved by Congress after the 9/11 attacks — authorizing him to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against the terrorists. It was an obvious overreach of presidential prerogative; it all smacked of France’s Louis XIV’s famous dictum: “L’etat, c’est moi”— “I am the state.” 26


Ever since the emergence of the nation-state, the world has experienced many forms of political systems ranging from monarchies to republics; from aristocracies to oligarchies and from tyranny to democracy. The explanation and appraisal of democracy however has been a favourite theme of ever-ongoing discussion since the earliest times of political speculation. After centuries of trial and error, democracy has emerged as the preferred choice. It is now considered universally applicable and is also the most prevalent model of government in our era.

The arguments for democracy have been set forth in three principal forms: namely, the doctrine of natural rights, the theory of the wellbeing of the many, and the idealist view that democracy facilitates the full realization of the most characteristic potentialities of human personality.27

The theory that man has a natural right to participate in government received  its  full  expression  in  the  terms  that  became  the  formulas for future democratic doctrine, applicable notably in the seventeenth century parliamentary revolution in England (1688). John Locke sought to establish scientific justification for this revolution by constructing a theoretical foundation for the whole structure of a just and rational political authority.

The utilitarian argument is that, “since political government has no other end than the wellbeing of the individual men and women that make up society, and since each individual’s wellbeing ought to count for as much as that of any other individual, a society is properly organised politically  to the extent that its constitution and policy tend to promote the interests, conserve the rights, and extend the capacities and opportunities for happiness of the greatest number of individuals in the community.”28 Democratic governments are supposed to meet these requirements as they are least likely to subordinate the welfare of the majority of the community to any particular person or segment of society. Democracy means government by those who have the greatest concern for and the greatest awareness of the interests and rights of the people at large.

The idealist conception of democracy is concerned primarily with less tangible values; not with democracy’s demonstrable benefits in preserving order and security, extending physical comforts, and providing means of education and culture, but with its effects in developing the latent intellectual and spiritual qualities of individuals. Democracy’s superior virtue, it is argued, following John Stuart Mill, lies in the fact that it calls into activity the intelligence and character of ordinary men and women.29

The modern version of democracy is a representative system in which the problem is how to secure a system of voting that ensures the election of representatives who reflect as completely as possible the varieties of opinion of the electorate. The question of representation is thus the most fundamental problem of today’s democracy. “Pure” democracy, in which the politically qualified members of the community meet together for the discussion and decision of public questions, is universally regarded as suitable only for small communities with simple collective needs. It has never widely existed and has now generally disappeared.30

Government by popular majorities means rule by the average man, who is generally less intelligent, controlled in his opinions and conduct more by emotion than by reason, of limited knowledge, lacking the means of leisure necessary for the acquisition of information, knowledge and understanding, and suspicious of any superior ability in others. What political virtue, it is asked therefore, is there in mere superiority in numbers? Our own national poet philosopher acknowledged this by saying that “democracy is a form of government in which heads are counted, not weighed.” In practice, it may indeed be the most difficult of all forms of government since it requires the widest spread of intelligence and education. In the words of a cynic, “you must not enthrone ignorance just because there is so much of it.”

But all this notwithstanding, one thing is clear. In today’s radically transformed world, there is no alternative to a democratic form of government. With national boundaries redrawn, and new concepts and ideas having replaced old ones, the dominant themes of world affairs today are those of globalization and integration through greater economic interaction between nations and peoples, promotion of development and democracy as mutually reinforcing imperatives and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights.


The  sum-total  of  the  above-cited  historical  contributions  leads us to the conclusion that states and methods of their governance are always based on a “social contract,” which provides for the security and protection of its citizens and their property by utilising the whole force of the community. In joining this arrangement, each person is, in fact, preserving his freedom, and obeying no one but himself.

For any state in the contemporary world, its constitution is its solemn and inviolable “social contract” which guarantees fundamental freedoms and basic rights of its citizens, including their inalienable right to choose or change their government through independently cast ballot, and which establishes the power and duties of the government and provides the legal basis for its institutional structure.

For the people of Pakistan, the challenge remains to find their place in the annals of political history. For our political illiterates, however,

‘a good society and a good state’ or for that matter ‘good methods of government’ remain merely philosophical expressions with no practical relevance. To them, the essence of politics today is nothing else but power and bounty, no matter how they achieve these.31

The nature and form of our political system has long been the subject of debate in our country with no clarity in the minds of our people as to which system suits them most. At the time of our independence, we inherited, like India, a parliamentary tradition but soon lost track, groping in the maze of political chaos and confusion. Since then, while India has persisted with the basic norms of parliamentary democracy, we have been experimenting with distorted versions of almost every form of government ranging from democracy to dictatorship, from civilian to military rule, and from parliamentary to presidential system.

Viewed from this perspective, we must confess, the evolution of the political system in our country has been a tale of woes and wiles. We have been experimenting with different systems at different times and sometime all at the same time. We have done things in the name of democracy that no other country in the world has ever experimented. With an ingrained culture of “political opportunism and ineptitude” we have yet to discover a theory of state and methods of government which will suit the genius of our nation.

After the Quaid’s death, we in Pakistan have remained confronted with an endemic leadership crisis, and have been experiencing systemic aberrations with endless political merry-go-rounds and jockeying for power. Consistency has never been a virtue as our history of frequent governmental breakdowns and military coups reflect. For decades, we have had a parliamentary system without parliament ever functioning as a “full sovereign body” or playing a role in the decision-making process.

Even today, “legislating” is a business beyond our parliament’s purview. The legislators give priority to their own perks and privileges.

To them, genuine pluralism, good governance, the rule of law, the separation of powers, institutional integrity, and normative standards are secondary.

We have also been experimenting with our own version of the presidential system, at times under chief martial law administrators, including a civilian one, with no precedent and no relevance to established models of world republics. Our present “neither parliamentary-nor- presidential” system under a military dictator’s legacy in the form of Seventeenth Amendment also has no parallel in political philosophy or contemporary history.

The closest parallel to our system of government is perhaps the Cromwell era of the seventeenth century in England known for its assorted political experiments. These included the establishment and dissolution of several parliaments, military rule, rule of the saints, establishment and collapse of the ‘lord protectorate’ and finally an unsuccessful attempt by Cromwell in the form of ‘humble petition and advice’ to legalise his power through parliamentary authority.32

But Cromwell was at least conscientious enough to admit that the source of his authority was force, not law. And he died a frustrated man within seven months after he dissolved the last parliament in disgust, having utterly failed in securing any popular basis for his power.33

In Pakistan, as in the England of the Cromwellian era, fundamental values of freedom, democracy and human dignity have been breached with impunity. Constitutions have been violated in letter and spirit with ‘a custom-made’ judiciary always available to sanctify military coups. The tragedy of our nation is that democracy was never allowed to flourish. Machiavelli’s political philosophy based on the “doctrine of necessity” became an integral part of our body politic. We have become an archetypal example of the Machiavellian princedom in which the willful ruler uses every means to maintain his rule.

In Pakistan, this doctrine was repeatedly sanctified allowing successive dictators, civil or military, to circumscribe the supremacy and integrity of the Constitution. Ironically, almost in every instance, there was someone from the judiciary to provide a legal cover to this unconstitutional power play which not only reinforced the systemic aberrations of our body politic but also prolonged the staying power of the “willful ruler” as well as the agony of the nation.34

In his historic address to Pakistan’s first Constituent Assembly on 11 August 1947, the Quaid-e-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, had urged the federal legislature to function as a fully “sovereign body.”35

Unfortunately neither the Constituent Assembly nor the subsequent parliaments in our history have been able to function as a “full sovereign body” as was envisioned by the Quaid. He also reminded the legislators of their “onerous responsibility” of framing the future Constitution of Pakistan and functioning, as a full and complete sovereign body, as the federal legislature of Pakistan.36  It took our politicians nine years and several governments to frame our first Constitution in 1956 which was abrogated in less than three years.

Since then, we have had two Constitutions, one promulgated by a field marshal president on 8 June 1962, which was first overtaken by the proclamation of “emergency” on 6 September 1965, when the armed conflict with India began and then abrogated altogether by the next chief martial law administrator president on 25 March 1969, and the other adopted by an “elected” legislature of the truncated Pakistan in 1973, which has since been amended 17 times leaving very little of the original text in its essence. It is a different Constitution altogether.

A cycle of frequent political breakdowns and resultant long spells of military rule disabled our institutional framework unleashing a culture of political opportunism. Mostly, we have had a “trivialized” parliament playing no role in the country’s decision-making. Since our independence, we have been experimenting with almost every form of government from democracy to dictatorship, from civilian to military rule, and from parliamentary to presidential system. We also tried a half- baked version of socialism, the outcome of a personalized and arbitrary decision by an elected prime minister nationalizing in one stroke our banks, schools and colleges and major industries. Subsequently, the tide had to be reversed at huge national losses.

The Quaid had the ability to see far ahead of his times. Addressing the officers of the Army Staff College, Quetta, on 14 June 1948, he reminded the armed forces of their constitutional responsibilities, urging them “to understand the true constitutional and legal implications of their oath of allegiance.” Indeed, he had foreseen the ominous writing on the wall. The tale of our country’s subsequent political history is a sad reflection on our successive failures to uphold and preserve the sanctity of our Constitution. We have had long spells of military rule, and paid a heavy price in terms of broken oaths and resultant institutional paralysis.37

We lost half the country after our first-ever “free and fair elections.” We have executed an elected prime minister and exiled two others. We have had three constitutions — two of them abrogated by successive military rulers within a period of 10 years, and the third one adopted by an “elected” legislature of a truncated Pakistan in 1973 which has since been amended by two military rulers 17 times and what remains is a mutilated document with no semblance to the  original text.

India, despite its huge size and socio-economic challenges, remains steadfast in its democratic experience and today enjoys global respect as the world’s largest democracy. It has enjoyed a providential continuity in its leadership and political institutions with the supremacy of the constitution and sanctity of the recognised political processes remaining inviolable. Governments have always changed through an electoral process and the political leadership remains subservient to the will of the people which is exercised on a regular basis through fair and free elections.

Even a country like Bangladesh, which broke away from Pakistan after being subjected to a military operation, is today respected globally as a democratic country where governments change through elections. It is also the home of the internationally acclaimed Grameen Bank which gave the world the concept of micro-credit. This shows that democracy does sharpen the innovative intellectual faculties of a nation.

Sixty two years after independence, where do we stand as a nation and as a member of the international community today? What has happened to the vision that our Quaid had delineated for our country as a democratic and progressive state which he thought would be “one of the greatest nations of the world?” These are painful questions and need an equally painful self-reappraisal to be able to find their answers. A cursory look at Pakistan’s chequered constitutional and political history might give us some idea.


Pakistan’s  post-independence  political  history  has  been  replete with endemic crises and challenges that perhaps no other country in the world has experienced. It has gone through traumatic episodes, including costly wars and perennial tensions with India, loss of half the country, territorial setbacks, political breakdowns, military take-overs, economic stagnation, social malaise, societal chaos and disintegration, sectarianism, and a culture of violence and extremism.

Ever since its birth, Pakistan’s quest for survival has been as compelling as it has been uncertain. It has been engaged in a precarious struggle to define a national identity and evolve a political system for its ethnically and linguistically diverse population. Pakistan is known to have over twenty languages and nearly 300 distinct dialects. This diversity contributed to chronic regional tensions and provincial disharmony which not only impeded the process of constitution-making but also remained a .potential threat to central authority.38

While the provincial arenas continued to be the main centers of political activity, those who set about creating the centralized government in Karachi were either politicians with no real support or civil servants trained in the old traditions of the British Indian administration. The inherent weaknesses of the Muslim League’s structure, together with the absence of a central administrative apparatus that could coordinate the affairs of the state, proved to be a crippling disadvantage for Pakistan overall.39

Besides the military and the civil bureaucracy which wielded real authority, Pakistan underwent the Byzantine intrigues of politicians thus unleashing continuous political and economic crises. The politicians were corrupt and addicted to power for securing only the interests of the elite. They foisted themselves as the representative authority and the hope of a democratic state that could provide socio-economic justice and fair administration to all Pakistani citizens remained elusive. The raging controversies over the issue of the national language, the role of Islam, provincial representation, and the distribution of power between the center and the provinces delayed constitution making and postponed general elections.40

At the time of independence in 1947, we inherited the Government of  India Act,  1935,  which  remained  our  constitutional  framework with necessary adaptations and modifications in the form of Indian Independence Act 1947 passed by the British Parliament.  Under this Act, a “sovereign” Constituent Assembly was established with the twin tasks of (a) drafting the new Constitution of Pakistan, and (b) acting as the Federal Legislature of Pakistan.41    For nine years, we “practiced” democracy with a quasi-parliamentary system in a political void for we had no constitution of our own.

The first major step in framing the constitution was the adoption of the Objectives Resolution in March 1949 defining the basic principles of the new state. It provided that Pakistan would be a state “wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed; wherein the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives in the individual and collective spheres in accordance with the teachings and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah; [and] wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to freely progress and practice their religions and develop their cultures.”42

Seven years of debate failed to produce agreement on fundamental issues such as regional representation or the structure of a constitution. This impasse prompted Governor General Ghulam Mohammad to dismiss the Constituent Assembly on 24 October 1954 in what was the first coup, though a civilian one, in Pakistan’s history which resulted in a constitutional deadlock. The Supreme Court of Pakistan upheld the action of the governor general, arguing that he had the power to dissolve the Constituent Assembly and veto legislation it passed. This preeminence of the governor general over the legislature was referred to as the viceregal tradition in Pakistan’s politics.43

The new Constituent Assembly, which was soon elected, produced the Constitution of the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan” which came into force on 23 March 1956. It provided a parliamentary form of government with a President elected by the members of the National Assembly and two Provincial Assemblies, and a Cabinet of Ministers headed by a Prime Minister appointed by the President. This Constitution remained operative for about two and a half years. The political instability resulting from frequent changes of governments at the Centre and in the Provinces led to the abrogation of the Constitution and declaration of Martial Law throughout the country on 7 October 1958. The Commander-in Chief of the Pakistan Army, who was acting as the Chief Martial Law Administrator, became the President of Pakistan on 27 October 1958.44

On 1 March 1962, Field Marshal (as he had by then become) Muhammad Ayub Khan promulgated a new Constitution which came into force on 8 June 1962. It provided essentially a presidential system with no checks and balances. This Constitution was rendered superfluous when on 6 September 1965 (the day the war with India broke out), emergency was proclaimed in the country suspending all the fundamental rights available under the Constitution.45  The country continued to be governed by the emergency measures till 16 February 1969, when the Proclamation of emergency was revoked by the President.

After a political agitation and resultant disturbances all over the country, President Ayub was forced to relinquish his office on 25 March 1969.  He handed over all powers to his “natural” successor, General Yahya Khan, the Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army, who took over as the Chief Martial law Administrator and assumed the office of the President. The new military ruler abrogated the Constitution and dissolved the National and Provincial assemblies.

On 4 April 1969, General Yahya Khan as Chief Martial Law Administrator issued a Provisional Constitution Order which was to serve, along with the Proclamation of Martial Law dated 25 March 1969, as a guide-post for “the working of the machinery of Government” and for the State of Pakistan “to be governed as nearly as might be in accordance with the abrogated Constitution of 1962.” All fundamental rights were annulled. It was during this period that under the Provisional Legal Framework Order (1970) issued on 30 March 1970, fateful general elections were held in December 1970, which then led to the break-up of Pakistan, the worst tragedy that could happen to any country.46

The next Constitution, adopted by the parliament of the truncated Pakistan and enforced on 23 March 1973 provided for a federal parliamentary system of government with the chief executive’s authority vested in a popularly elected Prime Minister, who subject to support of the majority in the Parliament was to function as head of government. The federal legislature was a bicameral Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) composed of the Senate (Upper House) and the National Assembly (Lower House).47

On 5 July 1977, another Martial Law was proclaimed and the Chief of the Army Staff, Gen. Mohammad Ziaul Haq, assumed office as Chief Martial Law Administrator. He declared that the Constitution would remain in abeyance. The Parliament was dissolved and the civilian governments at the Centre and in the Provinces ceased to hold office. Later, when the President elected by the former parliament resigned, Gen.Ziaul Haq became President but also retained his post of Chief Martial law Administrator. On 24 March 1981, he issued the Provisional Constitutional Order 1981 restoring selected articles of the Constitution.

General elections on a non-party basis were held in the country under the amended 1973 Constitution in February 1985. Prior to this event, a referendum was conducted on 19 December 1984, which indirectly was used as an affirmative vote for President Ziaul Haq to continue as the President for the next five years. Civilian governments were installed both at the federal as well as provincial levels. Mohammad Khan Junejo, a member of the National Assembly from Sindh, was appointed Prime Minister.

Martial Law was lifted on 30 December 1985. Prior to this, the National Assembly and the Senate had approved the Constitution (8th Amendment) Bill in October/November 1985 as a result of which the powers of the executive at the federal level were divided between the Prime Minister and the President. This amendment turned out to be the most detrimental to the people’s faith in the democratic system. It gave the president complete control and power over the “elected” set-up. Since then successive presidents, civilian and non-civilian, took recourse to the 8th Amendment to dismiss governments and legislatures at will.48

Under the amended Constitution, the system for electing the president was also changed. The presidential electoral body was reconstituted and restricted to the National Assembly, the Senate and the Provincial Assemblies sitting together. Under the 8th Amendment, it was made obligatory for the Prime Minister to keep the President fully informed of the affairs of the Federation and of the proposals for legislation. At the same time, in exercise of his functions, the President was required to act in accordance with the advice tendered by the cabinet or the Prime Minister. The balance of power was thus blatantly in favour of the president.

The legislative powers between the Federation and the Provinces were distributed as shown in two lists under Part V of the Constitution (i) federal Legislative List and (ii) the Concurrent Legislative List. While legislation in the Federal List was only the prerogative of the Federation, the Concurrent List was open to both the Provinces and the federation with equal right to frame laws.49

On 29 May 1988, President Ziaul Haq dissolved the National Assembly and removed Prime Minister Junejo under article 58-2-b of the Constitution. He claimed that Junejo was conspiring against him in order to undermine his position, and accused the National Assembly of corruption and failure to enforce Islamic way of life. He also expressed his intention to hold new elections on a non-party basis as in 1985, but the Supreme Court ruled that this went against the spirit of the constitution. Political confusion ensued as a result of Zia’s proposal to postpone the elections to re-structure the political system in the name of Islam. There was fear that Zia may impose martial law and the Muslim League became divided between supporters of Zia and Junejo. The political uncertainty continued till President Ziaul Haq was killed in a mysterious air crash on 17 August 1988. 50

In accordance with the stipulations of the constitution, the chairman Senate, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, was sworn in as president and elections were announced. For the first time in fifteen years, the November 1988 elections were based on political party platforms. None of the parties secured an outright majority in the National Assembly but the Pakistan People’s Party won the largest number of seats. Benazir Bhutto, the PPP chairperson, became prime minister after her party managed to cobble together a working majority in coalition with a number of smaller parties. Her government was dismissed by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in 1990 under the 8th amendment, and this was upheld by the Supreme Court. Fresh elections were accordingly held and the PML-N leader, Mian Nawaz Sharif, was elected Prime Minister.

The game of political snakes and ladders continued with abandon. Nawaz Sharif was removed by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in 1993 after a tense “turf-related” struggle between the two. Elections were held again and Benazir returned to power in 1993. Her second government was also short-lived as it was dismissed in 1996 by Farooq Leghari, who had been her hand-picked choice as the president. The next elections resulted in a landslide victory for Nawaz Sharif who became Prime Minister for another term in February 1997.51

Despite his “heavy mandate,” Nawaz Sharif’s government was toppled on 12 October 1999 by the Army and Gen. Pervez Musharraf took over as the Chief Executive with full powers of a Prime Minister. In 2002, he removed the elected President, Mohammad Rafiq Tarar, and assumed that office himself. He also amended the Constitution with impunity. The 17th Amendment left the 1973 Constitution totally changed in its substance. A Parliament was elected in 2002 which virtually had no role to play in national affairs. It was a “trivialized” parliament meant only to rubber-stamp the decisions of the military ruler, who had become increasingly powerful because of the post-9/11 US backing for him.


Ironically, Musharraf himself acknowledged that given Pakistan’s checkered political history, alternating between martial law and sham democracy, the way to true democracy had been “difficult, requiring travel on several different paths at once.” In his book, In the Line of Fire, he claims: “Our main political parties have in reality been no more than family cults, a dynastic icon at their head. Remove the icon, and the party evaporates.” Did he do anything to change the situation?

On the contrary, at the advice of a close friend and associate, he established a “king’s party” of his own, the “Q League.” This new entity was also not without a dynastic cult, a feudal one, which derived its power from no one other than himself as its “uniformed” icon. He knew only too well that the “Q League” could not survive without him as, in his own words, “Remove the icon, and the party evaporates.”52

Musharraf also tried to impose his own brand of governance on the country as described by him in Part IV of his book under the heading “Rebuilding the Nation.” He moved along with his personal agenda under the pretence of “putting the system right” through what he claimed was a “silent revolution” in the guise of a new local government system and police reforms. The ill-disguised purpose of both was not to rectify the existing system but to manipulate grass-roots support for the “king’s party.”

The damage that both these mechanisms, for the ostensible purpose of “national reconstruction,” have done to the country’s professional administrative machinery and the corruption they have spawned constitute major impediments in the way of efficient governance. It is vitally important that the entire local government structure created by Musharraf along with the self-serving police system be dismantled.53 nature of these reforms. He acknowledged this at the bottom of page333 of his book in the context of what he described as the “serious downside” of democracy in Pakistan. According to him, this is the problem with democracy in “illiterate, feudal, tribal, and parochial societies.” Alluding to his “devolution” plan, he reminded the people of Pakistan not to “bellyache” about the poor quality of parliamentarians and ministers because there are none others that they can elect. In other words, he gave them his “devolution” plan with all its “bellyache” effects only to tell them: you asked for it.54

But Musharraf should have also known that Pakistan’s peculiar socio-economic and political culture, based on feudal and tribal structure, economic disparity, illiteracy, and inequality of wealth and power is only symptomatic of a lopsided situation that cannot be corrected by bellyache- giving “devolution” plans or by putting the police at the beck and call of the feudal lords, the chaudharis and the waderas. Unfortunately, despite Musharraf’s reforms, nothing is right in our political system. It is neither parliamentary nor presidential, and is without any parallel in contemporary history. The Pakistani people are losing faith in the democratic system. They feel it is genetically corrupt, haphazard and based on the machinations of the military and the bureaucratic elite.

This perception was reinforced by the fact that Nawaz Sharif was elected prime minister in 1990 but dismissed in 1993 even though he had liberalized the economy, restored confidence of domestic and foreign investors, the impact of which was that investments increased by 17.6 percent. Alongside this the GDP registered a growth of 6.9 percent while the inflation rate was kept below 10 percent. President Ghulam Ishaq Khan was accused of conspiring with Benazir Bhutto in the dismissal of Sharif. For the first time in Pakistan’s history, the Supreme Court declared the dismissal of the National Assembly and Sharif government unconstitutional and reinstated the elected political dispensation.55

The most grotesque travesty of all norms of justice was Musharraf’s National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) of 5 October 2007. As he was nearing the completion of his five-year presidential term, he had earlier, in March 2007, ignited a constitutional and judicial crisis by removing Pakistan’s Chief Justice through an illegal “presidential reference” in order to preempt any ruling by the latter on his eligibility for re-election. He was determined to remain in power at any cost and by all means, no matter what happened to the country or its people. However this back- fired as the Chief Justice was reinstated on 20 July 2007 by a bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Khalilur Rahman Ramday. Prior to the restoration of the Chief Justice there had been a massive and unprecedented public outcry against his dismissal.

On 6 October 2007, a day after the promulgation of the infamous NRO, Musharraf got himself re-elected as president for another five- year term in violation of the Constitution.  The election was not only farcical but also betrayed shameless political manipulation. The support of the Q-League for Musharraf was never in doubt and it was ensured that the main opposition party, the PPP, would not stand in the way. The main purpose of the NRO was to indemnify the leadership of the PPP from criminal prosecution as a quid pro quo for Musharraf’s re-election in violation of Pakistan’s Constitution. 56

The NRO unveiled the real face of Pakistan’s politics of “loot and plunder” about which Musharraf had been trying to convince the people ever since he usurped power. The message he sought to convey was that it was this rampant corruption that justified military take-overs in the country.  By granting “amnesty” for all “politically-motivated” corruption charges from January 1986 to 12 October 1999 in the name of “national reconciliation” and “political harmony,” General Musharraf in fact achieved two sinister objectives. First, he managed to besmear the image of Pakistan’s politicians as he had depicted them in his book In the Line of Fire; and, second, he neutralised the country’s largest political party during the process of his controversial “re-election.”57

It was political expediency, and not any lofty ideal of national reconciliation, that underpinned this arrangement. Benazir Bhutto was to return to Pakistan to be elected as prime minister while  Musharraf was to shed his military uniform and continue as the president in the new American-choreographed political dispensation. The NRO was political future. He accordingly tried without success to persuade Benazir Bhutto not to return to Pakistan.

On her return from exile in October 2007, it did not take Benazir Bhutto long to discover the real mood of the people. She heard the thunder of the gathering political storm and the populist slogan of “Go Musharraf Go.” She spontaneously started working in line with the Charter of Democracy that she had co-authored with the PML-N leader, Nawaz Sharif, in August 2006. A democrat to the core, Benazir Bhutto could not let her name be sullied by association with a dictator. She realised democracy would not return through dubious deals, and joined the people in their struggle for the independence of the judiciary.

Addressing a rally at Liaquat Bagh on 27 December 2007, Benazir Bhutto told her supporters: “I put my life in danger and came here because I feel this country is in danger. People are worried. We will bring the country out of this crisis.” She also alluded to the dangers she faced, as she had been doing ever since she returned to Pakistan in October after a long self-imposed exile. Within minutes of her departure from the rally, she was killed in a terrorist attack under mysterious circumstances.

Though two years have passed since that tragic event, her assassination is yet to be properly investigated. At another level, the country has drifted into an abysmal political chaos and confusion. No one knows what lies ahead for this tortured nation, which stands completely torn apart and emotionally shattered. With a dictator’s legacy of the notorious 17th Amendment still intact, the country remains shorn of genuine democracy. Governance is at its worst. Corruption has soared to alarming levels. The NRO, being an outright constitutional subversion and judicial circumvention, is dead.58 The cases that had been set aside under this defunct ordinance will now be settled through the courts.

The assemblies that had elected Musharraf for his first term were nearing the completion of their tenures and he hastened to have himself re-elected by the same rubber stamp federal and provincial legislatures. General Musharraf then shocked the world through his 3 November action -by not only promulgating a “provisional constitutional order” (PCO) but also illegally removing those judges of the superior courts who refused to take fresh oath under the PCO. It was an undeclared ‘martial law’ in the name of “emergency” and an assault in one stroke on the constitution, the judiciary, the media and the fundamental rights of the people.59 It was a re-play of Louis XIV’s arrogant assertion: “It is legal because I wish it.”


The 18 February 2008 election finally presented the people of Pakistan an opportunity to give their verdict. We now have a government which the people brought to power to bring an end to dictatorship. Pakistanis opted for democracy and showed to the world that contrary to what General Musharraf had been telling his Western audiences, they were fully capable of practicing real democracy with all its fundamental norms and values.

The people of Pakistan do not accept the mutilated constitution as it now exists. They want this basic law to be restored to the form it was on 12 October 1999 as the legal basis of their governmental structures and powers. Only then can there be institutional integrity as well as a guarantee for their fundamental freedoms and rights, including their inalienable right to choose or change their government through the democratic method of free and fair elections.

The people thought that with their vote for a change in the system, “real” democracy would finally return to their country. But till now this has proved to be a forlorn hope. What prevails is a farce in the guise of democracy. The PPP Co-Chairperson, Asif Ali Zardari, has got himself elected as president without relinquishing his party post. This is a violation of the tradition and an ethical code established by Quaid- e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah in 1947 when, as Governor General, he refused to remain head of the Muslim League.

Furthermore, Zardari, for the first one-and-half years of his presidency, despite solemn pledges that he would rescind the 17th Amendment, tenaciously clung to this legacy of his dictator predecessor.

He continued to wear the shallow mask of democracy but refused to divest himself of General Musharraf’s absolute powers. For an elected president, there is no justification to continue to draw his strength from undemocratic legislative instruments left behind by a military ruler.

In the Charter of Democracy, the leaders of the two mainstream political parties, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, had reaffirmed their commitment to the restoration of the 1973 Constitution as it stood on 12 October 1999, and also to the fundamental values and freedoms as available in all democratic societies. Despite the pious reiterations that the Charter of Democracy would be faithfully implemented, it seems to have been declared “a no go area” for the “elected” National Assembly.

For us, perhaps, this is one more agonizing moment to reflect on what, after all, is wrong with our nation. It is nothing but our governance failures and leadership infirmities as well as the lust for power that continue to undermine the democratic process and the institutional integrity of the country. Democracy is not all about elections or the principle of universal suffrage. It is about the people who are the final arbiters of their destiny and for whose welfare the elected leaders must devote themselves.

The people may vote as they have been “voting so affectionately” for three decades for Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, but ultimately it is history that intervenes with its judgment in cases where the people made a wrong choice. Despite the US backing till the last, General Musharraf did not survive more than a year of his “unconstitutional” new term. History didn’t let him complete his five years. He was forced to quit, and now stands doomed to ignominy.

President Zardari has been in office just a little over a year and a half but history is already   judging him. It is between history and Zardari now. The question is if democracy can make history in America, why doesn’t it make history in our country? Don’t we have anyone with credibility to bring stability to our country? Where is our Obama? Or shall we look for a Harry Potter to come and rescue our nation!!

But changing faces alone will not do. In order to root out our domestic weaknesses and systemic aberrations, we need nothing short of a revolution. Land reforms and the undoing of privileges for the “privileged” at state expense should be the first step. It is time to say good bye to political dynasties and the feudal and elitist political culture. It is time for the genuine empowerment of the people. Only men and women of integrity, not the corrupt breed of politicians currently at the helm, can provide the leadership that the country so desperately needs.


The story of Pakistan is one of remorseless tug and pull between the civilian and military rulers on the one hand, and the liberal and religious forces on the other.  In the process, the country has failed to develop a sustainable democratic system based on constitutional supremacy and institutional integrity. The main casualties have been the rule of law, the state institutions and the process of national integration. It is the story of a society that has been going round in aimless circles for the last 62 years.

Indeed,  since  independence,  the  people  of  Pakistan  have  had no role in determining the course of their history or the direction of their country’s political, economic and social policies. They have been exploited in the name of ideology and external threats while the real domestic challenges facing the nation have remained unaddressed. Pakistan’s difficulties have been aggravated by long spells of military rule, which never allowed democracy to take root in its soil.

The question of provincial autonomy still remains the key to addressing the issues of federalism in the country. There is also a strong underlying resentment in Balochistan (and in other provinces also) against what is seen as continued “Punjabi dominance,” inequitable distribution of power and resources, and exploitation of the province’s natural wealth. In East Pakistan too, the problems started with a similar deep-rooted sense of deprivation and a feeling of political and economic alienation which, over time, became a politico-constitutional crisis involving a demand for larger autonomy, and leading eventually to the break-up of the country.

Our Constitution has been amended time and again for reasons of political power and expediency. If any changes are needed in the Constitution to redress provincial grievances, they should be made to remove the underlying causes of injustice and socio-economic deprivation of the people of smaller provinces. These are exceptional times warranting exceptional responses to our problems. We must avoid reaching a point of no return.

Given Pakistan’s peculiar socio-economic and political culture, based on feudal and tribal structures, accompanied by crippling poverty and illiteracy and the pathetic performance in our political conduct since independence, we, like most developing countries, are perhaps not yet fit for the parliamentary system. Britain struggled for centuries to reach its current parliamentary status. For us, it would be too long and too arduous a journey that we cannot afford especially if we are chasing only illusory goals.

It is not important whether we have a parliamentary or presidential system because both, if rooted in the will of the people, are democratic. It is time we seriously considered giving a chance to a genuinely democratic presidential system, especially “designed for and tailored” to Pakistan’s needs. We must understand that we are not Turkey or France and should look at other more authentic but practical presidential models. We also need to explore “a proportional reorientation” system to ensure greater access to non-feudal, non-elitist educated middle class people in assemblies and governmental cadres.

If the history of the power game in our country is any guide, and if our political inadequacies have any lesson for us, we need to extricate ourselves from the parliamentary marshland and look for an alternative form of government that suits our nation’s “genius,” and in which the sovereign power rests with the people who alone possess the “inalienable will.” Cromwell knew that “no system of government, however efficient, can long survive unless it rests upon the consent of the governed.”


1              Recent Political Thought: Francis W. Coker (Calcutta, 1957)

2              The Republic, Book VII: Plato

3              Ideas of the Great Philosophers: William Sahakian

4              Politics, Book III: Aristotle

5              Ideas of Great Philosophers: William Sahakian

6              Ibid

7              Leviathan: Thomas Hobbes, (London, 1651)

8              A History of Political Theory: George H. Sabine (London, 1959)

9              Two Treatises of Government: John Locke (1690)

10   Visions of Politics: Quentin Skinner (Cambridge)

11   The Social Contract: Rousseau; Translated by Henry J. Tozer (London, 1902)

12   Ibid

13   Jean Bodin et son temps; Henri Baudrillart, (Paris 1853)

14   Ibid

15   Sovereignty; Barrry Buzan, Answers.Com

16   Recent Political Thought; Francis W. Coker, (Calcutta, 1957)

17   Ibid

18   Ibid

19   Ibid

20   Han Fei Tzu: Basic Writings; Aspen Institute, New York

21   Ibid

22   Recent Political Thought; Francis W. Coker,1957

23   Ibid

24   Ibid

25   Ibid

26   The Boulder Daily, Colorado 27 January, 2006

27   Recent Political Thought: Thomas W. Coker, PP 2991-307 (Calcutta, 1957).

28   Ibid

29   Ibid

30   Ibid

31   Challenges to Political Stability: Shamshad Ahmad (Dawn, June 09, 2006)

32   British History: Ramsay Muir PP 281-285 (London, 1950)

33   Ibid

34   Ibid

35   Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah: Speeches and Statements 1947-1948 (Islamabad


36   Ibid

37   Moving Away from the Quaid’s Vision: Shamshad Ahmad (Dawn, March 23, 2005)

38   Dreams Unfulfilled: Shamshad Ahmad (JBD Lahore, 2009)

39   Pakistan: A Political History; Asia Society’s Encyclopedia of Asian History (2008)

40   Ibid

41   Pakistan Year Book 1969; Government of Pakistan; National Publishing House Ltd, Karachi

42   Ibid

43   Pakistan: A Political History; Asia Society’s Encyclopedia of Asian History (2008)

44   Ibid

45   Ibid

46   Ibid

47   Ibid

48   Ibid

49   Ibid

50   Ibid

51   Ibid

52   In the Line of Fire: Pervez Musharraf  (Simon & Schuster, NY, 2006)

53   Ibid

54   Ibid

55   A Political History; Asia Society’s Encyclopedia of Asian History (2008)

56   A dictator’s ‘akhri mukka’: Shamshad Ahmad (The News, November 21, 2009)

57   Ibid

58   Ibid

59   Turning strength into right: Shamshad Ahmad (Dawn, February 18, 2008)