Decades or Revival of Democracy in Pakistan 1988-1998

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Decades or Revival of Democracy in Pakistan 1988-1998...

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Decades or Revival of Democracy in Pakistan 1988-1999 Abstract  The demise of Zia was the beginning of a new era and the dawn of democracy after a long interval.  The partial democracy democracy established established in during Zia regime was a paradox. It suppressed rather than solving problems thus maintaining a status quo.  The decade long authoritarian authoritarian rule rule had damaged damaged the fabric of the democracy. A new democratic era 19!99 started with a hope that it will bring prosperity to the people and will strengthen democratic machinery machinery but was not up to the mar" of people. #ith the fast changing governments$ corruption$ unstable political parties and high presidential powers of the president democracy does not %ourish its roots. &uring the era 19! 1999 the army played the role of a silent spectator.  They got bene't of the wea"nesses wea"nesses of successive governments and ultimately appeared on the s"y of democratic set up in the shape of a bloodless coup in 1999. This paper is an attempt to highlight the performance of democratic rule$ its problems and prospects and causes of its failure.

Keywords: Democracy, Pakistan, Benair B!"tto, #awa $!arif% &%

&ntrod"ction

 (eneral Zia)s sudden death in plane crash on 1* August 19 changed the picture of the political scene. +ommenting on this incident ,ena-ir ,hutto said$ Zia)s death has removed removed the shadow under which myself and all those dedicated to democracy have been living/. 0ali 2yed$ 1993.4After his death$ (eneral Aslam ,eg too" over as the chief of the army sta5. (hulam Ishaq 6han became the president of 7a"istan being the then chairman of the senate. 8e announced general elections in 7a"istan. lections were held on party basis. The main rival political parties were 7a"istan 7eople 7arty$ led by ,ena-ir ,hutto and the 0I:I4 Islami :amhori Ittehad$ 0Talbot$ 19994 led by ;awa- 2harif. #hen elections were held in 19$ ,ena-ir ,hutto became the 7rime inister of 7a"istan. ,ut her government was short lived as the 7resident 7resident dissolved her government government under the th amendment. In 199< general elections were again held and ;awa- 2harif became the 7rime inister but his government was also dissolved by the same president (hulam Ishaq 6han. Againg in 199= and 199> both ,ena-ir and ;awa- 2harif became the 7rime inisters respectively but they were unable to maintain cordial relations with the top military commanders. 0?i-vi$ 3$ the central and provincial Assemblies were dissolved$ and the central and provincial cabinets were dismissed. This was the 'rst phase of artial law. 0?i-vi$ 3 there seems to be a slight change in the situation. Jnfortunately$ a new problem has arisen is the large number of bomb blasts in 7unDab a few examples. 02arwar$ [email protected]

 ne of the achievements of these governments was the separation of Dudiciary from the executive when the national Assembly of 7a"istan$ at last on 1Eth April$ passed the bill of separation of executive from the Dudiciary after a long marathon session. ,ena-ir ,hutto at this historical moment said #e strengthened the institutions and have sacri'ced party politics./ The most disturbing issue in politics of 7a"istan was the confrontation between the 777 and 7 0;4 led by ;awa- 2harif.  This confrontation has de'ned politics and the broader issue of democratic transition in the country since 19. The atmosphere of political intolerance$ personali-ed politics and the issue of political power might explain the parties) self! destructive hostility toward each other. 0Ibid4

n Eth ;ovember 199>$ 7resident Garooq Ahmad 6han eghari dissolved the ;ational Assembly and appointed ali" eraD 6halid as the care ta"er 7rime inister and pledged to hold elections on =rd Gebruary 199*. 8e charged the government of %aunting 2upreme +ourt Dudgments and ridiculing the Dudges. It is also alleged that ,ena-ir ,hutto)s government tapped the phones of 2upreme +ourt  Dudges$ army oCcers and senior government oCcials.02arwar$ [email protected] +orruption was one of the charges that president aghari leveled against ,ena-ir ,hutto in dismissing her government in ;ovember 199>. The question to how president aghari$ the party loyalist for more than two

decades$ turned against the 777 governmentO And why did :ustice 2aDad Ali 2hah$ who was handpic"ed by ,ena-ir ,hutto$ sided with aghariO The answer to these questions lies partly in the inability of ,ena-ir ,hutto to maintain a wor"ing relationship with persons of stature who showed some degree of independence$ and partly in the feudal tradition of intrigues$ shifting alliances and the personali-ed nature of 7a"istan political culture. 0ahmood$ 3
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