How many traditional kings are there in Pakistan



Pakistan - political perspectives of democracy / by Klaus Klennert. - [Electronic ed.]. - [Bonn], 1994. - 26 pp. = 91 Kb, text. - (FES analysis)
Electronic ed .: Bonn: EDV -stelle of the FES, 1997

© Friedrich Ebert Foundation

Population explosion (3% increase), low level of education (65% illiterate), widespread ethnic and religious conflicts and, especially in rural regions, feudal structures of rule are central obstacles to development.

Since the founding of the state, a small unscrupulous layer of 400 families today has been exploiting the population and the state, supported by the military, a predominantly dependent judiciary and an increasingly corrupt bureaucracy.

The structurally "more modern" industrial capital is developing into serious political competition with the rural aristocracy, without previously showing any social and societal awareness of responsibility.

The strong influence of the USA has led to a violent anti-USA sentiment among the population at large, which can be politically manipulated.

Fundamentalist Islamic forces have less political acceptance than is perceived abroad. However, Islamic legal principles complicate everyday legal and administrative life.

A largely free press, a cautiously educated bourgeoisie, the formal political reluctance of the military and the comparatively free and fair elections in 1988 and 1993 are starting points for hopes for a continuation of the democratization process.

The history of the young state of Pakistan is marked by a change from democratically oriented forms of government and military dictatorships. After Zia-ul-Haq's eleven-year rule came to an end in 1988 with the death of the military dictator and later the authoritarian ruling President Zia-ul-Haq, the complex process of democratization of a society that was largely still dominated by feudal structures began with the reintroduction and implementation of formal democratic procedures traditional power interests.

Factors inhibiting democracy

1 Ethnic conflict constellations

Pakistan is made up of several large and numerous small peoples whose only historical common ground lies in Islam and their colonial past. Of the 117 million inhabitants in 1991, around 53% belong to the Punjabis[1], which traditionally dominate the military, politics and the economy of the northern half of the country. especially the Sindhis from the south of Pakistan, with approx. 18% the second largest ethnic group, always feel that they are being patronized, especially by the "Punjab" military. (It is said that about 80% of the military are Punjabi, the rest are Pathans.) The Pathans or Pashtunas on the other hand, who with 15.5% of the population settle in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and the semi-autonomous tribal areas on the Afghan border, but also make up around a third of the population of Baluchistan, have always been adequately represented in the military and in politics. This is one of the reasons why they do not have the feeling of inferiority that many residents of Sindh do.

The latter is particularly pronounced in the "Mohajirs", the" refugees "from India, who make up over half of the population of the megacities of Karachi and Hyderabad and therefore form the fifth largest" ethnic group "of the multi-ethnic state with approx. 5-6 million or 5%. and provincial politics, at least as a disruptive factor, have increased considerably since the mid-1980s. Although they have dominated the economy of the industrial and commercial metropolis of Karachi since the emergence of Pakistan and are well represented in the bureaucracy due to their relatively high level of education, they have no influence in the military and since 1992 feel that "their" cities have been occupied by the army in a state of siege.

The fourth largest people in Pakistan are largely unknown abroad Seraikiswho live in southern Punjab and northern Sindh with their unofficial capital, Multan. However, they have so far not developed a specific political identity, although - or perhaps precisely because - they include the largest number of Pakistan's poor.

The numerous tribes of Baluchistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area, form the decisive structural element of provincial politics, but have little influence on the politics of the nation-state due to their population share of only approx. 3% (excluding the Pathans) and their continually flaring up tribal conflicts .

Not represented at all in the parliaments of Pakistan are the numerous mini-peoples of around 1 million inhabitants of the northern Pakistani districts of Diamir, Gilgit and Baltistan, bordering China and Afghanistan, who are part of the Pakistani central government because of India's claim to these areas as part of Kashmir are directly subordinated. On the other hand, the 2.97 million Pathans of the tribal areas are overrepresented in the national parliament and especially in the "Länderkammer", the Senate.

The Christians, Hindus, Parsees and Ahmadias (together about 3% of the population), which are described as religious minorities, have been represented with 10 seats reserved for them in the 227-seat national parliament since the 8th amendment to the constitution, introduced by the military dictator Zia-ul-Haq in 1985, however, must elect their representatives on separate electoral lists so that they are excluded from mainstream parliamentary policy based on majority voting. You therefore feel like you are in an apartheid electoral system.

The 2.6 million Kashmiris The part of Kashmir called "Azad (free) Jammu and Kashmir" (AJK) by Pakistan also has no representation in Islamabad (albeit in AJK), as this part of Kashmir has its own constitutional identity due to the unresolved conflict with India and in the statistics of Pakistan is not listed. The decisive course for their policy is still being set in Islamabad.

2 Low level of education

A functioning democracy requires the insight that conflicts cannot be resolved with weapons, but rather through compromise through dialogue. A high general level of education promotes this insight, as individuals can form their own judgment through their own reading and a wide range of information and are not dependent on the information and (pre-) judgments of others.

In the UNDP Human Development Index, which measures per capita income and level of education, Pakistan ranks only 132nd out of 173 countries in the world. Around 65% of the population are illiterate. Education levels are extremely low, especially in rural areas, where 68.5% of Pakistan's population live, and among women. The number of students enrolled rose by 125-185 percent from 1980/81 to 1991/92, while the population "only" increased by 40 percent in the same period. However, the large number of illiterate people in the population will only decrease slowly, as there are few adult literacy programs and there is no compulsory education because there are still not enough schools and teachers for all children. The limited efforts are simply insufficient given the extremely high population growth of 3%. The political will to really advance general education is just as lacking as that to stop the population explosion, with both factors mutually reinforcing each other.

Opposite the illiterate is a small urban middle and upper class who have received a good education in English as the language of instruction, geared towards foreign countries in the West, and who are more interested in studying their children in the USA or England than the introduction of Urdu as a general teaching and teaching Teaching language, without which mass education is impossible. This secularly oriented middle and upper class consisting of the military, bureaucracy, industry and the intelligentsia is not opposed to the large mass of the uneducated or semi-educated, who as a rule only went through Islamic schools and who base their value system solely on Islam and its traditional culture however, on the principles of a democratic constitutional state.

3 The military

The ongoing conflict with India, above all over Kashmir, forms the basic legitimation for the outstanding social and political position of the military. Shaped by the traditional British corps spirit, combined with a corresponding elitist awareness, the military sees itself as the supporting pillars of the state. The political turmoil in the 1950s and 1977, the dishonesty, corruption and disagreement among the politicians provided enough reason for the establishment of military rule several times to save Pakistan from chaos and collapse, from the military's point of view. It is obvious that this also served to maintain one's own power and privileges. The 8th amendment to the constitution, which the military dictator Zia had approved by a handpicked parliament in 1985, today offers the military the opportunity to replace a government that it does not like through the president without having to intervene. A distribution of seats in parliament that does not guarantee an absolute majority to any party is advantageous.

The security policy concerns against the overpowering "archenemy" India represent the central factor of the politics of the military, and thus also of the politics of Pakistan. In foreign policy this means the weakening of India on all possible levels, or the strengthening of the own position, among other things by the Securing supplies for military equipment and spare parts. Domestically, a stable government that ensures internal security and order is important. In terms of economic policy, positive industrial and agricultural development should guarantee the economic basis of military security against India.

As soon as internal security could also endanger external security, the military still intervenes today. When the "Kalashnikov culture" took on ever worse forms in the aftermath of the Afghan war in 1991/92, particularly in Sindh, the military occupied all central points in both rural and urban Sindh and achieved a temporary decline in political and personal confrontations with weapons. In Karachi and Hyderabad, this was primarily directed against the Mohajir party, the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM), which was founded in 1983 with the help of Zia-ul-Haq to power the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in its stronghold Are to be pruned. However, after the MQM had so clearly dominated not only the politics of these cities but also the streets until 1992 that one could even turn against the military in individual cases, the army considered it appropriate to break up this abundance of power in the summer of 1992 in order to avoid the State, i.e. the army, in these cities. It is accepted that this is perceived by the people of Sindh, especially the Mohajirs, as a quasi-occupation by the Punjabis.

After all, the military’s outstanding position also results from their amalgamation with the country’s economy. On the one hand, the three branches of the armed forces with their 580,000 men, to which 270,000 paramilitary units have to be added, already represent a major economic factor per se Fauji Foundation established a foundation to provide for their relatives, which with the accumulated capital for pensions and social benefits is now one of the largest industrial complexes in the country. The Air Force has a similar foundation with the Shaheen Foundation, but it is of lesser importance. Thirdly, many high-ranking military officials have become landowners in southern Punjab and northern Sindh, as they were able to fortify themselves in the areas that had become agriculturally usable through new irrigation systems. After all, retired senior military officials hold key positions in nationalized industries, particularly heavy and nuclear industries.

4 The bureaucracy

Since the British colonial rule, the second strong pillar of the state has been the bureaucracy. The system of the British Indian Civil Service (ICS) was seamlessly continued in the Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP). The members of the CSP represented that layer of elite bureaucrats to which the other bureaucrats at provincial and district level were subordinate, so that the CSP had de facto direct access to the district level. In the unbroken tradition of British colonial administration, the Pakistani bureaucracy still sees itself less as a civil servant and more as a "master" who, in an authoritarian-paternalistic manner, determines what is for the good of the "common" people is good, and for whose services the ordinary citizen has to beg, beg and pay. Due to the public-law status of the large service companies (electricity, gas, telephone, water, etc.) and the nationalization of large industries and banks undertaken under Bhutto, the urban citizen's dependence on the administration is almost total. If he does not want to rush for weeks or months after things taken for granted, such as the supply of water or electricity, the issuing of a vehicle registration or the connection of a telephone, he is often only left with bribery, provided he does not have personal connections within the bureaucracy.

Together with the military, the bureaucracy is united in its endeavor to determine the fate of the country, even if it does so through electoral manipulation. The division of labor between the military and the bureaucracy provides for the military to be in charge of foreign and security policy issues, and that of the bureaucracy in the other areas. Parties, politicians, employers' associations, trade unions and other non-governmental organizations have therefore long been viewed as disruptive factors rather than legitimate democratic institutions. The opportunistic behavior of many politicians, entrepreneurs and trade unionists strengthened the establishment in its elitist consciousness.

In contrast to the military, which has been able to maintain its dominant political role to this day, the power of the bureaucracy seems to have decreased in the meantime. The military suffered considerable slaughter through its defeat in the war against India in 1971 and the defeat of East Pakistan, which allowed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, as a quasi-oppositionist, to take over power. His efforts to break the power of the military and the bureaucracy and to subordinate it to politics, however, led, among other things, to his disempowerment in 1977 by Zia-ul-Haq, triggered by the unrest caused by the election fraud by the PPP government. Even after the reintroduction of formal democratic procedures in 1988, the decisive course for Pakistani politics was repeatedly set by the military.

However, the bureaucracy suffered its first major blow when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto disbanded the Civil Service of Pakistan, their elite unit, in 1974/75. The old management cadre mostly stayed in office and continued to use their personal relationships with one another for their own purposes. Over time, however, their influence gradually diminished through retirement and transfers. The District Management Group (DGM) as a kind of successor group to the CSP still occupies the management positions in the administration, but no longer has the full power of the former CSP.

However, the governors of each province are still appointed by the president on the proposal of the prime minister and the chief secretaries are appointed directly by the central government. Since the governors, as representatives of the central government in the provinces, dissolve the provincial parliaments and thus remove the elected governments, and the chief secretary, as the highest official of the province, is directly assigned to the chief minister of this province, the central government and thus the heads of the bureaucracy in Islamabad, continues to have enormous influence on basic politics in the provinces.

With the dissolution of the CSP and the disappearance of the elitist political and moral claim, the corruptibility of the bureaucracy increased more and more. The industrialist Nawaz Sharif used this skillfully, not only to rise to the political ranks of Pakistan, but also to develop his family's medium-sized foundry into one of the largest industrial empires in Pakistan. His activities as Finance Minister of the Punjab 1982-1985, as Chief Minister (Prime Minister) of the same province 1985-1990 and as Prime Minister of Pakistan 1990-1993 offered him the best possible conditions. The exploitation of his political offices for the award of promotions, posts, licenses, public money and land as well as the additional potential for bribery based on his industrial empire led to the fact that the bureaucracy in Punjab was caricatured as Ittefaq Civil Service in 1993, named after the name of the industrial group of Nawaz Sharif. Since the Punjab, as the largest province, traditionally strongly influences the bureaucracy of the whole of Pakistan, the then President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, a veteran CSP member, saw the Pakistani civil servants in great danger of degenerating into the compliant tool of a corrupt politician.This was the real background to the power struggle between the president and prime minister in the spring of 1993, which ultimately led to the resignation of both adversaries, which was forced by the military.

For the first time in the history of Pakistan, a politician had managed to get not only he but also the leading representative of the bureaucracy to say goodbye. This was only possible due to the previously unknown phenomenon of the division of the bureaucracy (and probably also the military) into a pro and an anti-Nawaz group. It is doubtful whether the numerous transfers by Moeen Qureshi's interim government in the summer of 1993 could break Nawaz Sharif's favoritism. In any case, the prestige and influence of the administration at the national and provincial level has suffered, so that it is questionable whether the bureaucracy can play the political role in the future that it has played in Pakistan's previous history.

At the district and local levels, however, the bureaucracy still has a prominent position. As the highest administrative officer of a district, the Deputy Commissioner (DC) is practically a little king who not only reports to the entire administration and police, but who, as district magistrate, also has the powers of a senior public prosecutor. His orders can be checked by the commissioner of the next higher administrative unit, the division, and the courts, but in fact this is only rarely the case. In addition to the District Commissioner, the Superindendent Police (SP) has a decisive role in district politics. Since both (as well as the judiciary) can usually be easily influenced by feudal lords, large landowners, traders, industrialists and drug barons because of their corruptibility, the interplay of traditional position, money, administration, justice and police in district and local politics vital. Manipulation in the election campaign and the election results are therefore easily possible - as happened e.g. in 1990.

5 The feudal lords of Sindh and Punjab

The feudal system prevails in the rural areas of Sindh and southern Punjab. The land ownership is mostly distributed among a few families of the landed gentry, who to this day make up most of the most influential politicians in the country. Not only the Bhuttos and the interim Prime Minister from 1990, G.M. Jatoi, but also such as Pir Pagaro with his private army or the Makhdooms and Syeds of Nawabshah. The Legharis, who provide the current president, come from southern Punjab, as do the Mazaris, whose most famous politician was entrusted with the interim government in April 1993. These aristocrats of Pakistan, some of whom only received their lands through the British, are for the most part still the unrestricted rulers of the land and people of their regions today. Some of them, such as the Pagaros, Makhdooms, Qureshis and Gilanis, also enjoy the reputation of saints as religious leaders. Tenants manage small and very small units of their large estates in sometimes dire forms of the partial lease system. In addition, these tenants must, in Sindh Haris called, are still available to the landlord at any time for certain services. These Haris have been dependent on the weal and woe of their feudal lord for generations, which is usually also expressed in their voting behavior.

However, it must also be taken into account that in Pakistan the small man seeks protection and help from the strong man in the struggle for survival. Since the simple worker, tenant or employee in most cases does not have his own interest representation, he has no choice but to turn to his master or mistress. Which party the / which belongs is irrelevant. If the strong man is appointed or elected to an influential office, the social position of his followers increases automatically. You can now count on the fact that your own interests will be looked after better than before through the influence and financial strength of your master.

However, the unrestricted rule of the feudal lords in Sindh has been beginning to show cracks for a long time. The neglect of their lands, some of which were left fallow, and also of their tenants, led to a decline in their income and at the same time increased demands on luxury goods. The miserable situation of the tenants led to the increased formation of robber gangs, which, however, usually did not attack the family of the former landlord, but travelers or the regions of other landlords. This in turn provoked the creation of protective gangs of the other landlords, so that landlords (in Sindh Waderas some of them became leaders of robber gangs. Unless these "robber barons of the modern age" were land lords themselves, they were at least under the protection of one or the other feudal lord. This, or a relative, was or is often a member of the provincial or national parliament or occupies other high-ranking positions. Effective pursuit of these robber gangs by the police and administration are therefore tied.

In this unlawful and lawless situation of "robber baronship", which should indicate the beginning of the decline of the feudal system, robberies, murders and kidnapping of entire buses in Sindh in 1991 and 1992, including robberies even of the Karachi-Lahore express trains, became so rampant that the army saw a justified threat to internal stability and security. After weeks of clashes between President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief Asif Nawaz, the army finally began its long-announced clean-up operation in Sindh Province at the end of May 1992. After the population of rural Sindh, especially the numerous PPP supporters, suffered greatly from the army of Zia-ul-Haq, the intervention of the armed forces was welcomed for the first time. The situation normalized, but the question is what will happen if the army abandons its quasi-occupation of Sindh.

6 The tribal princes of the Northwest Frontier Province and Baluchistans

Traditionally, the tribal system predominates in the NWFP and in Beluchistan. While the Pashtuns in the tribal areas of the NWFP and Baluchistan have a "principally egalitarian attitude", the Sardar system dominates among the other tribes of Baluchistan.

In the central and eastern regions of the NWFP, too, the traditional system is in many cases no longer the only decisive factor. Feudal and modern capitalist conditions have become more and more established there. A prime example is the Saifullahs, who have been at the forefront of industry and politics in the NWFP and Pakistan since 1947. The widowed Begum Kulsum Saifullah is the matriarch of the family clan, which expanded its position through a clever marriage policy to become one of the leading families in Pakistan. Leading politicians at the national level, such as the military dictator of the 1960s, General Ayub Khan, or Ghulam Ishaq Khan, the president from 1988-1993, are just as much a part of the family as the former speaker of the National Assembly, Gohar Ayub Khan, the son of the above-mentioned general, or Senator Anwar Saifullah, Environment Minister under Nawaz Sharif and now under Benazir Bhutto.

The Saifullahs are closely related to the second political leading family of the NWFP, the Khattaks. The matriarch mentioned above is the sister of two former national ministers of the Khattak family and of the influential industrialist and former general Habibullah.

The Khans, under the undisputed leadership of Begum Nasim Wali Khan, have long determined the policies of the Awami National Party (ANP), which has played a crucial role in the politics of the NWFP for decades. The Hotis of the Yousafzai tribe have declined since one of their sons was sentenced to 10 years in prison for drug smuggling in the United States. The Syeds of Kaghan, in the Mansehra district, constitute another political family in the NWFP. Their political importance also results from their large forest and land holdings as well as various industries. Through the ruthless deforestation of their forests, which led to the great destruction in the flood disaster of 1992, they have received the nickname "Timber Mafia". In addition to these five extended families, there are various other prominent "Frontier Families" who help determine the politics of the NWFP. Party affiliations play a subordinate role. It is more important to maintain the family's influence on politics and the economy. Changes of parties and coalitions are therefore frequent.

In Baluchistan, especially in the tribal area of ​​the Baluch, however, society and politics are largely determined by the traditional princes (Sardars) and their families. This system is not in principle egalitarian as it was under the Pashtuns, but a mixture of tribal and feudal systems. The three "Js", the Jams, Jamalis and Jogezais, along with the "Marble Kings", the Zehris and the Raisanis, have long dominated Baluchistan's politics by taking the side of the Pakistani establishment and thus the tribes who marginalized Marris, Mengals and Bizenjos politically, as the latter fought for an independent Baluchistan until the 1970s. The Ahmedzais and Magsis, whose offspring Nawab Zulfiqar Ali Magsi, was elected as the new Prime Minister of Baluchistan in October 1993, for example, also have a great influence.

The Pashtun tribal system is most pronounced and untouched in the Federal Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on the border with Afghanistan, in which the Pakistani state has only limited direct influence. The tribes of the border regions to Afghanistan earn their livelihood in these barren and inhospitable mountain regions mainly through smuggling, drug cultivation and arms manufacture or trade. Since the beginning of the civil war in Afghanistan, the smuggling of opium and heroin, which is grown or produced in the tribal areas and in Afghanistan, and which is bought in Pakistan and abroad via Karachi (or more recently via the former states of the Soviet Union) has been particularly lucrative . The dominance of the Afghan refugees in the transport business of the NWFP and Beluchistan all the way down to Karachi could be used well for drug transport. The resulting drug barons began to influence Pakistani politics more and more through their money supply, which in some cases even led to their election to provincial and national parliaments.

There is also no universal suffrage in these tribal areas. Of the 2.97 million inhabitants from this region, only 35,406 were allowed to vote in 1993. The right to vote is limited to the so-called "Maliks", who receive regular grants from the Pakistani administration to ensure peace and order in their areas, and the senior citizens of the region, the so-called Mowajib Elders. Women and religious minorities such as Sikhs and Hindus have no voting rights at all. This system often leads to the open vote buying of voters in that a Malik who does not run for election in a particular year openly sells his vote for 10,000-15,000 rupees. The eight FATA representatives "elected" in this way in parliament, who in turn determine the eight senators in the Senate, tip the scales and often have decisive political influence in Islamabad. Elected with bought votes, they are of course particularly susceptible to attempts at bribery in the fight for a sufficient number of votes in parliament, which allows them to bring back the money they have spent and also make a decent profit.

7 Industrial capital

In the 1950s and 1960s, Pakistan's big industry and banks were ruled by the famous 22 families. By granting loans and participating in them, they were able to prevent the emergence of other large industrialists, so that the nationalization of their industries and banks (and later also of medium-sized companies) by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1971-72 was his consequence to promote the general industrial development of the country. Under Zia-ul-Haq, only two medium-sized companies were reprivatised. One of these was the Ittefaq foundry owned by the Nawaz Sharifs family. However, the nationalized companies of the 22 families were not returned to their previous owners, as this would have meant a reduction in Zia-ul-Haq's power base. The direct influence of the state, and with it the army, on large-scale industry, as well as the increasing control of these companies through the filling of leading positions with the military, were important pillars of his unpopular regime that he wanted to abolish. In the first short term of office of Benazir Bhutto 1988-1990 further modest re-privatizations were carried out. It was not until 1991/92 that Nawaz Sharif pushed the "denationalization" forward with great strides and had 65 state-owned companies (of 115 planned) sold, 55 of them to private entrepreneurs and 10 to the employees of these companies.

The prerequisite for his policy was that during the time under Zial-ul-Haq and Benazir Bhutto sufficient private capital had again accumulated in the country that could be taken over by state industries and banks. This wasn't a problem. For one thing, most of the 22 families had rebuilt new industrial empires. This included the Saigols, Adamjis, Dadaboys, Habibullahs and others. On the other hand, new industrialists had meanwhile arrived, such as the Avaris, Hashwanis or Aftabs, some of whom, like the Pirachas, came from the merchant class or were large farmers like the Interior Minister under Nawaz Sharif, Chaudhry Sujat Hussain. These old and new capitalists had financed their industries through loans from the state banks, which they simply did not repay for the most part and which the banks had in some cases written off as unrecoverable. The list of these "loan defaulters" published in August 1993 by the Moeen Qureshi interim government included - among others - all of the industrial families mentioned above. Numerous politicians were on the list as well as high ex-military officials. The total of the unpaid loans corresponded to almost the entire indebtedness of the Pakistani state, a clear indication that the often unfair practices of the big capitalists have contributed significantly to the critical state of public finances.

The privatization policy of Nawaz Sharif was essentially based on this class of capitalists, as his efforts to bring foreign investors to Pakistan in view of the unstable political situation, the inadequate legal and security situation and the less attractive living conditions for foreigners (alcohol ban, low recreational value, limited mobility of women) had largely failed.

The success of Nawaz Sharif's privatization policy, however, presupposed a comprehensive liberalization of money and goods traffic in accordance with the recommendations of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The resulting better import and export opportunities were further supported by the granting of cheap loans from the (still) national banks to potential buyers, who often only had to raise a small part of their equity to buy state industries. However, the privatization took place without public transparency, so that the suspicion arose that the state's "silverware" was being sold to relatives and friends of the prime minister. The great rush in which these companies were privatized reinforced these suspicions, but was understandable in his view, given the uncertainty of the length of Nawaz Sharif's term in office.

It was therefore a thorn in the side of Nawaz Sharif that he was accountable to parliament and the public for the taxpayers' money used, and that the press was exposed to the funds that had been misappropriated by his government. For him, democracy was only a means of attaining power, but not a principle to be upheld and maintained. Political opponents were bribed with money, posts or licenses, or, if this did not succeed, put under psychological or physical pressure. Various attempts to silence prominent journalists, however, failed.

8 The parties

In a democracy, parties should represent the link between the population and the government, mediated through the parliaments. The decisive directions of long-term policy should be worked out in the parties in a democratic process, and then, in accordance with the will of the people, be transferred to the executive branch through the parliaments for implementation. Ideally, the primacy of politics is enforced over all areas of public life.

As described, the main lines of politics in Pakistan are traditionally determined by the military and bureaucracy. The parties, in turn, are predominantly dominated by feudal lords and tribal leaders or princes, and recently also, albeit to a lesser extent, by industrial capital. The political significance of the parties is therefore clearly subordinate to the groups mentioned.

The weakness of Pakistan's political parties is historical and societal. Historically, Pakistan emerged from the struggle of the Muslim League for an independent Islamic state after independence.In contrast to the Indian Congress Party, which since 1884 had created an ever larger mass base across India and into the villages and was welded together in the anti-colonialist struggle, the Muslim League never had a real mass base. It did not form until decades later and attracted the urban middle class and the feudal lords in particular. Their political struggle was not directed against the pillars of the British colonial empire - military and bureaucracy - as was the case with the Indian Congress Party, but above all against this Hindu-dominated party. If the Indian Congress had a socialist restructuring of society in mind, the Muslim League had no such ideas, but limited itself to the admittedly daunting task of creating its own state.

After achieving this goal and after the untimely death of the two great leaders of the Muslim League, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Liaqat Ali Khan, the Muslim League split into various feuding groups, which were primarily their own interests and not the overall good of the young state of Pakistan Had an eye. Democratic national elections were not sought because that would probably have given the Bengali of East Pakistan power to govern, as they were numerically in the majority. In this political turmoil, the colonial institutions of rule of the military and the bureaucracy remained fully in place, which ultimately culminated in the takeover of power by General Ayub Khan. In the time of his benevolent military dictatorship, which was initially welcomed and in which the people are said to have felt better than ever before and after, parties were banned. It was only after his dismissal (and that of his successor General Yahya Khan) that free and relatively fair general elections were held in East and West Pakistan for the first time in 1970. While in East Pakistan the Mujibur Rehman party won the vast majority of the Bengali voters, Bhutto's PPP voted for "only" 39% of the voters in West Pakistan. On this basis, Bhutto ruled after the defection of East Pakistan and created the mass base of his party, which still continues today, by giving the "little man" the feeling for the first time that he had his own value as a person and not just feel like the object of his masters.

Under Zia-ul-Haq, the parties were banned again and only allowed again 11 years later, in 1988, after his death. Since then, the parties have formally formed the basis of democracy, but their internal structures are anything but democratic. Rather, they are internally a reflection of their society, which in the Punjab and Sindh is extremely hierarchical and in the NWFP and above all in Be-luchistan primarily segmented-hierarchical structured. In a polarized, non-egalitarian society, one can hardly expect egalitarian-democratic structures in its institutions.

Correspondingly, in the 1993 elections over 86 and 90% of the candidates for the two leading parties, PPP and PML, were feudal lords, land lords, entrepreneurs or tribal princes. There are no internal party elections, just numerous leaders and their followers. As in the 1950s, most of these politicians primarily have the interests of their own family, clan or theirs Biraderi, i.e. their "caste" or their tribe, in the sense and not that of their party or even their people. They form alliances of convenience that they dissolve again as required. World views, ideologies, and programs play no role (if one disregards the Islamist parties), but rather personal sympathies or antipathies and, above all, money and expected posts and benefices. If leading personalities fall out with the party leader, they either turn over to the opposing party, found their own party grouping, or run as independents in order to support the victorious party against posts, licenses or money allocations in parliamentary votes. The concept of horse trading, the mutual buying of parliamentarians, is now familiar to every Pakistani. In the spring of 1993 this term was supplemented by the "Lotas" [2], which mainly refers to those parliamentarians who are constantly changing from one ruling party to another.

Elections cost a lot of money all over the world. In Pakistan maybe a little more, as one tries to get the voters to vote by means of election gifts, especially in those areas where it is difficult to achieve or force the favor of the voters by other means.

However, these election investments yield exorbitant dividends. The already mentioned list of those politicians, feudal lords and industrialists of Pakistan who were more than one million rupees in arrears with the state banks, or who had written off loans of at least the same amount, read like the "Who's Who" of Pakistan. In addition to the industrialists already mentioned, there were 60 national and provincial politicians and 40 former high-ranking military officials. There was also a list of those people and organizations who hadn't paid their telephone, electricity, gas or water bills for years. Numerous leading names in Pakistani politics appeared here as well. The total of these unpaid public services amounted to Rs. 16 billion, although about half of this debt was caused by government institutions themselves. If you add the above-mentioned Rs. 62 billion of simply unpaid debts to these Rs 16 billion, the result is a sum that is 7 billion higher than the total domestic and foreign debt of the Pakistani state in 1992-93, whose interest and repayment now consume 40% of the annual budget. Public funds are therefore used indirectly to pay off the debts of the richest in the country.

The 1993 list of the country's taxpayers read similarly to the list above. Nawaz Sharif, now one of the largest industrialists in the country, had paid just Rs 2,680 in income tax in 1992. Chaudhry Sujad Hussain, his interior minister, who is also one of Pakistan's new major industrialists, had not paid any taxes. Agricultural income has so far not been taxed at all, since the feudal and landlords in the parliaments have known how to prevent this and the military governments did not want to forego the support of the feudal lords.

One can summarize that Pakistan was exploited from the beginning by a small, unscrupulous layer of meanwhile 400 families and was therefore only able to achieve limited successes in the economic and social development. The people therefore expect little from their politicians and parties: According to a survey from September 1993, 85% would have preferred to keep Moeen Qureshi's interim government set up by the military, as it had done more for the good of the community than they did in three months Rulers together for the past five years.

The only exceptions are the MQM and the Islamist parties. None of their leaders were on the long lists of the "Defaulters". But maybe only because they had barely had access to the great benefices so far. These parties are mainly recruited from the lower middle class, the MQM from the Mohajirs of Karachi and Hyderabad, the Islamist parties primarily from the rural regions of the NWFP and Balushistan.

The MQM has been the third largest political force in the country since 1988. Led by its charismatic leader Altaf Hussain, who lived in exile in England for fear of persecution and murder (less by the state authorities for leading a terrorist organization, but more by former followers), this young party developed ever stronger fascist tendencies until it became its militant wing Was crushed by the army in 1992. Although almost the entire management team of the MQM (who were then in government and parliament in Islamabad and Karachi) went underground, the MQM was able to win almost all the seats from Karachi and Hyderabad in the 1993 provincial elections. It traded as the Haq Parast Group (HPG), which means something like advocate of truth and justice. The national elections in 1993 were boycotted by the HPG in protest against the military's obstruction of its election campaign.

The Islamist parties, which had enjoyed full support from Zia-ul-Haq in order to legitimize themselves and maintain power, fell more and more politically sidelined with each election.

On the other hand, the numerous independents who regularly move into parliaments are of greater political importance. The majority electoral system adopted by England was supposed to produce stable parliamentary majorities. However, since non-grassroots party organizations form the basis of Pakistan's politics, in the last three elections 12 to 23% of the national parliamentary seats were occupied by independent individual candidates. This shows how high the importance of the individual person and how little that of the party is in a large part, especially in the rural constituencies. This encourages that horse trading and bribing with posts or money to get these independents to side with the big parties. Unstable political conditions are the logical consequence. Since 1992, therefore, a change in the electoral system has been increasingly thought of, with various groups favoring the German electoral system with its mixture of direct and proportional voting. However, this discussion ignores the fact that in Germany the distribution of seats is based only on the results of the proportional representation and that without a 5% clause the number of small parties in parliament is unlikely to decrease.

9 The Islamists

Islam was the ideological pillar for the creation of the state of Pakistan. Even today he is the main link between the various peoples of Pakistan. He clearly shapes the culture of the country. From the outset, however, there was a contradiction between the advocates of a secular and those of a fundamentalist Islam. In the first thirty years of the state of Pakistan, the secular direction dominated, represented in particular by the military and bureaucracy. Fundamentalist Muslims, like socialists and communists, were not accepted into the civil service at the time, and their activities were particularly monitored. However, Zulfiqar-Ali Bhutto's socialist ideas provoked strong opposition from the Islamists, so that he had to make various concessions to them. The ban passed under him against the Ahmadias to call themselves Muslims, as well as the alcohol ban, show this most clearly.

But it was only under Zia-ul-Haq that the Islamist forces received full state support and were allowed to join the bureaucracy and the military. The introduction of Islamic criminal law (Sharia), the unsuccessful attempt to incorporate Islamic principles into the economic system and the creation of separate voting rights for non-Islamic minorities within the framework of the 8th Amendment to the Constitution were an attempt to establish Islam as a state doctrine.

But the collection of the Islamic welfare taxes already met with resistance from the Shias, who still do not pay these taxes. The contradictions in the interpretation of Islam by the various Islamic schools of thought and numerous sects [3] also prevented the adoption of a general Islamic basic right under Zia-ul-Haq.

In spite of everything, Zia-ul-Haq gave the Islamists a stronger influence on politics and, above all, on society. Their thinking is primarily shaped by a one-sided, conservative, male-oriented interpretation of Islam and a corresponding missionary zeal. Western ideas of the Enlightenment and liberalism, the basis of Western democracies, are alien and suspect to them. If something does not fit into their ideas or if a Muslim does not behave in accordance with their strict interpretation of Islamic regulations, the accusation of un-Islamic or heresy comes. This demonization of dissenters has diminished since Zia's death, but the influence of the Islamists and the mullahs is still great enough to make any public revision of the Islamic laws introduced by Zia unthinkable for the time being.

10 The judiciary

Under constitutional law, the judiciary should represent the completely independent control body of the executive and legislative branches of a democratic state. In Pakistan, this independence is likely to be predominant among the middle judicial authorities, but less so at the lower and top levels of the judicial organs.

As a relic from the colonial era, there is the institution of the "magistrate" at the district level, which combines the functions of the chief administrative officer, the chief financial officer and the public prosecutor has judicial powers. The deputy commissioner of a district is also the district magistrate, to whom the assistant commissioners, who are also magistrates, who head the 3 to 4 subdivisions, report. Since these magistrates can imprison any citizen for up to six months without trial, and at the same time have the collection of taxes and fees under themselves (which also exist in the country in the form of, for example, the canal water fee), the normal citizen is against this omnipotence Administration almost passed out. Theoretically, he can challenge the administrative files at the courts, but he will hardly dare to do so, as otherwise the administration would make life difficult for him at all levels (the electricity or water is turned off, he does not get any papers , etc.).

At the highest level, the judges of the Supreme Court are appointed by the President of Pakistan, the judges of the highest provincial courts (High Courts) by the respective governor of the province. The President of Pakistan is in turn elected by an electoral assembly consisting of the National Parliament, the Senate and 43 MPs from each province. He then appoints the governors of the provinces on his own authority, with the prime minister having a right of nomination, which is not binding on the president. Once the president and governor have been appointed, they can no longer be controlled by parliament for the period of their term of office. The appointment of the judges of the highest courts is therefore left to the discretion of the President and the Governors, a relic from the 8th Amendment, which Zia-ul-Haq had added.

With the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of July 1992, Nawaz Sharif introduced rapid courts against terrorists and serious criminals for three years, parallel to the usual courts, against which there are only limited possibilities of appeal. However, it is up to the Prime Minister to decide which cases are heard in the express courts and which in the normal courts. This dual jurisdiction is difficult to reconcile with the rule of law.

At the middle and higher levels, however, the judiciary has a degree of freedom that it also uses to control and correct government decisions. This was evident, for example, in the numerous trials against Bena-zir Bhutto's husband, Asif Zardari, after his wife's government was deposed in 1990, in which the accused was acquitted in 7 out of 8 cases. Before that, however, Asif Zardari had to sit in pre-trial detention for more than two years on the basis of, in retrospect, untenable accusations. This is one of the many methods to cold-cut political opponents. Fictitious accusations through to accusations of murder with bribed witnesses have been used several times to politically muzzle well-known opposition members who, unlike unknown party members, cannot simply be beaten up at the police station.

The police and the public prosecutor's office are often compliant henchmen of unscrupulous politicians from the government camp. Significantly, the population regards the police as the most corrupt state institution. The posts of a Superintendent Police (SP) are awarded under the hand for 100,000 rupees or more. It takes about a year for the SP to collect this sum again through bribes, be it personally or through the levies of its lower police officers, who have to pass on part of the bribes they have received upwards. From the second year as Superintendent Police, the big earning begins.

The judiciary is also often referred to as corruptible. Various judges even in the highest courts, for example, have obtained extremely cheap land. And when Nawaz Sharif was reinstated as Prime Minister in April 1993, 45 million rupees are said to have been involved. Rumors are of course usually undetectable and are therefore only rarely published by the otherwise critical press, since the judiciary reacts immediately in almost all cases with a procedure because of "contempt of court", a legal institution that practically protects the judiciary from any criticism feit.

However, the greatest fundamental problem of the legal system has existed since the introduction of Islamic law by Zia-ul-Haq. Since then, two completely different legal systems have existed side by side, which are not coordinated with each other and even partially contradict each other.Certain areas, especially family law, have always been assigned to Islamic law. Through Zia-ul-Haq, however, Islamic regulations have found an influence on economic and criminal law, which have further increased legal uncertainty in the country. For example, the Hudood Decree for Raped Women has brought extreme disadvantage because women can very easily be jailed for fornication if they cannot bring up four male witnesses to their rape. As before, however, the Supreme Court is the Supreme Court and not the Sharia Court, so that in everyday practical life as in politics, in most cases, English law is still of decisive importance.

11 Abroad

The following does not attempt to outline Pakistani foreign policy, but rather to show the main influences from abroad on Pakistani domestic policy. The USA and Saudi Arabia as direct actors and India as indirect actors play the most important role.

The USA, and other western countries in its wake, have had a strong say in Pakistani politics since the 1950s as part of their anti-communist strategy. The common military-ideological interests were particularly expressed in the CENTO treaty and in the war against the communist regime in Afghanistan. The instrument of influence was predominantly military and economic aid, the latter also being and being mediated through the institutions of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, which are dominated by the USA. Only the first elected head of government of Pakistan, Zulfi-qar-Ali Bhutto, was a thorn in the side of the USA with his nationalization and his propagation of an Islamic atomic bomb. It is therefore assumed in Pakistan that the US has at least approved of his overthrow by Army Chief Zia-ul-Haq.

Zia-ul-Haq would certainly not have been able to last that long if, as president of a "frontline state", he had not had permanent support from the West, above all from the USA, in the war in Afghanistan. The disregard for democracy and human rights under Zia-ul-Haq was of secondary importance. The US Pressler Amendment even served in this context to allay the concerns of the American Congress about the Pakistani atomic bomb, at least as long as Pakistan was necessary as a starting point for the anti-communist struggle. Only when the basis of this cooperation no longer existed after the overthrow of the Najibullah regime in Kabul did the USA stop its military and economic aid with reference to the Pakistani nuclear bomb program, which it had known about for a long time. Pakistan has so far managed to bridge the effects of this stop of US aid. However, this made the tight budget and economic situation even more difficult.

With the discontinuation of military aid and the expiry of economic aid, the influence of the USA has only diminished slightly. The appointment of Moeen Qureshi as interim prime minister in July 1993 is said to have taken place at the suggestion of the American ambassador, so that "Mikel" Qureshi, the former World Bank vice president, was clearly perceived as a man of the USA in Pakistan.

The influence of Saudi Arabia on Pakistani domestic politics is not so obvious, on the one hand because it is probably not that strong, on the other hand because it is hardly mentioned in the press. The main influence is the financial support of Pakistan by Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states (with the exception of Iran) and contributes to the fact that it is almost impossible to withdraw Islamic laws or regulations that have been enacted. The economic dependence on the oil states of the Middle East also manifests itself in the 0.9 million Pakistani guest workers in these states, through which the Pakistani balance of payments has improved enormously and the standard of living of numerous families in Pakistan has been increased enormously. In 1990/91 45% of all guest worker remittances in Pakistan came from Saudi Arabia, and 67% from the whole of the Middle East. How strong the direct Saudi influence is on Pakistani politics is shown by the numerous trips by high and high-ranking Pakistani politicians to Saudi Arabia, which are officially often declared as pilgrimages ("to perform Umrah").

India's influence on Pakistan is of course not of a direct kind, but of a strongly indirect kind. Indian politics, especially in Kashmir, have repeatedly allowed Pakistani politicians to rally supporters or voters through anti-Indian campaigns. The opposition to India always offers welcome opportunities to find a national identity. The general anti-Indian stance is also used by the law enforcement authorities to blame the Indian secret service RAW on unsolved criminal cases. However, the greatest influence on the part of India is the maintenance of the state of tension, from which the military draws its justification for claiming 35-40% of the total budget annually, which greatly slows the country's economic and social development.

Developments promoting democracy

The development of a democratic and socially acceptable development of the country is decisively determined by the ability to cope with an abundance of fundamental social, economic, political and administrative, but also cultural problems. These include, among other things, the containment of the population explosion and a radical increase in the educational standard, especially of women in rural areas, the reduction of ethnic and religious conflicts and the dismantling of the domination of the military and bureaucracy. Fundamental is the overcoming of the feudal system, the general strengthening of the democratic culture and the development of its corresponding institutions and officials, as well as a fairer distribution of income and burdens.

The development of the last few years shows a few elements which give rise to modest hopes.

1 Three elections within five years

Within 5 years, three democratic elections were held, which, for the conditions of the subcontinent, were extremely peaceful, and of which the elections of 1988 and 1993 can be described as largely fair and free. All three elections were brought about by the dissolution of the elected parliaments and the dismissal of the respective government by the president, but this also happened in a peaceful manner, without the use of military force. Even the power-political stalemate between President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the summer of 1993 did not induce the military to take over power, but only induced them to persuade both adversaries to resign and to set up a genuinely neutral transitional government to prepare and conduct elections. This military policy was undoubtedly influenced by the clear rise in the place of democracy in American foreign policy that became evident everywhere after the "communist threat" disappeared.

This was preceded by a novelty in Pakistan's history: the Pakistani Supreme Court had declared the dissolution of parliament by the president and thus the dismissal of the Nawaz Sharif government on April 18, 1993, to be unconstitutional. This was the first time that a Prime Minister of Pakistan was reinstated in office and dignity by the Third Power.

The elections themselves showed the increased democratic consciousness of the general population through the voting out of numerous politicians, especially the Nawaz Sharif government, but also the former PPP government, as they had not taken care of their constituencies during their term of office. The election results of October 1993 also indicated a tendency among voters to favor the big parties, which could lead to a reduction in the influence of the independents and thus to a more stable political system. The unexpectedly poor performance of the various Islamist groups deserves particular attention, which clearly shows the voter's preference for a secular-democratic system over an Islamist-fundamentalist one.

2 Islamistan are losing ground

After the death of Zia-ul-Haq, the influence of the Islamists steadily decreased. The country’s Islamic parties, which are usually overrated by western countries, have never really achieved great success with the Pakistani electorate. They are divided among themselves and are divided according to the main Pakistani directions of Islam. For example, while in the first free and general elections in 1970 21.6% of the population voted for religious parties, in the elections from 1988 to 1993 it was never more than 7-8%. In 1993 the four Islamist parties together won only 9 of the 207 "Muslim" seats in the national parliament, i.e. only 4%, and in the four provincial elections also only 3%. This was astonishing, as the population of both major parties was disappointed, as neither the PPP nor the PML had created any real improvement in living conditions for the bulk of the population during their reigns. Above all, the well-organized Jamiat-i-Islam in their new, more cosmopolitan guise of the Pakistan Islamic Front (PIF) was expected to do better in 1993. These election results show that the amalgamation of Islam and politics is not what the clear majority of Pakistan's people want.

In the eleven years of Zia-ul-Haq's military dictatorship, which was under Islamic auspices, the Pakistani people have seen that Islamic slogans do not help them with their daily livelihood problems. From the beginning, deeply religious Pakistanis opposed their beliefs being drawn into the maelstrom of politics. The regulation of Islamic behavior "from above" has therefore prevented the emergence of an Islamic-social movement coming "from below", so that the Islamists today - contrary to the international trend - have lost more and more ground in Pakistan. They were even no longer represented in the conservative Nawaz Sharif government last year.

Even the adoption of the liberal "Enforcement of Sharia Law" under the government of Nawaz Sharif in the spring of 1991 did nothing to change this fact. On the one hand, this was shown by the rejection of this law by the representatives of the various Islamist movements, and on the other hand, by the fact that this law had no effect in everyday political and social life. By saying goodbye, however, Nawaz Sharif had fulfilled his election promise and thus cleverly brought the political discussion that had been going on since 1985 about the introduction of a fundamental Islamic right to a close.

3 reform approaches

How even structural reform approaches can be initiated in Pakistan by a development-oriented, disinterested and efficient government. showed in the summer of 1993 the interim Prime Minister Moeen Qureshi with his cabinet of technocrats. Priority was given to the Social Action Plan of the national and provincial governments, which had already been adopted during the reign of Nawaz Sharif. This plan includes a significant improvement in primary education and health care for the population. The public announcement of the debtors was a first step in making politicians accountable. The introduction of an agricultural income tax, even if only for farms with over 100 acres of irrigated land, had never been dared by any government. A judicial reform commission passed recommendations to separate the executive and judicial branches at the district level. Substantial steps towards the independence of the central bank have been taken, which would put an end to the manipulation of monetary policy by the politicians. Mostly free and fair elections were held, in which the impartiality of the government organs themselves was confirmed by the critical Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, which, along with numerous foreign observation groups, observed the elections.

It was hoped that the PPP, which was successful in the national and provincial elections in Punjab and Sindh, would push forward the reform approaches of the transitional government together with its coalition partner PML (Junejo Group). In any case, the PPP election mani-fest promised considerable progress in most of the problem areas aimed at further strengthening democracy, the economy and the social sector. The Social Action Plan and the economic policy measures of the transitional government are apparently being implemented, if only because otherwise the commitments of the UNDP or the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund would be withdrawn. Otherwise, several reform commissions have been set up, but their recommendations have not yet been adopted or incorporated into the government program. Instead, Pakistan's politicians are primarily concerned with overthrowing the government of the respective opponent by means of parliamentary defectors. While Nawaz Sharif has not yet succeeded in this at the national level, Benazir Bhutto in the North West Frontier Province was successful with this strategy, albeit with dubious means. The opposition will, however, push even more for the overthrow of the PPP / PML (J) minority government at the national level, so that Benazir Bhutto will continue to focus primarily on maintaining power instead of concentrating on the country's development problems.

To solve the problems outlined above, a stable government over the full term of office would be desirable. However, given the distribution of seats in the national parliament, this is not certain. An approval of the opposition of the PML-N would be necessary for the abolition of the 8th constitutional amendment, but not to be expected given the current destructive opposition politics of Nawaz Sharif. Whether the establishment would also allow this is questionable, as this constitutional amendment always gives it the option of realizing the intentions of the military and the bureaucracy through the president without going public. The May 1993 Supreme Court ruling that led to the reinstatement of Nawaz Sharif as prime minister, however, has placed tighter limits on the president's ability to dismiss a government. The election of the long-standing PPP politician Farooq Leghari as the new president also increases Benazir Bhutto's chances of being the first government since the reintroduction of democratic procedures to run for a full legislative period. This leaves modest hopes that further reforms will be undertaken.

4 industrial capital versus rural aristocracy

One of Pakistan's greatest problems, the dominance of the feudal lords, is unlikely to be resolved by the PPP government. In spite of its liberal social-democratic veneer, the PPP has the most feudal lords of all parties in the ranks of its parliamentarians, and it has won with them in those areas in which the feudal system is still in full force. Nawaz Sharif, on the other hand, won in the more industrialized areas of northern Punjab and the NWFP and, historically speaking, with his industrial capital faction should be better suited to overcoming feudalism in Pakistan than the current ruling representatives of the rural aristocracy.

Nawaz Sharif's declared aim was to advance the country's industrial development, above all by promoting Pakistan's large-scale industry (which by German standards corresponds to rather larger medium-sized companies). His major development measures, such as the construction of a six-lane highway from Lahore to Islamabad or the accelerated expansion of the digital telephone system, show his priorities, which, however, missed the needs of the great mass of the population.

Nawaz Sharif's unspoken aim was not only to break the power of the bureaucracy over the country's economic affairs, but also to reduce the influence of the feudal lords on politics and thus the economy. Privatization and deregulation were aimed at the first goal, partisanship and land distribution to the Haris in Sindh, and incentives for large landowners to invest in industry at the other. This power struggle between industrial capital (represented by Nawaz Sharif), bureaucracy (represented by former President Ghulam Ishaq Khan) and rural oligarchy (represented by Benazir Bhutto, among others) came to an end with the dismissal of Nawaz Sharif and Ghulam Ishaq Khan in July 1993 . The electoral victory of Benazir Bhutto and that of her fellow party member Farooq Leghari as President of Pakistan returned the feudal lords to the dominant position they had always held. If the PPP / PML-J coalition breaks up or fails to show any success, Nawaz Sharif should be given a new chance, as the military should not be interested in a further takeover in view of the international situation.

5 The press

The last two elections in particular were accompanied by a printed press that is unparalleled in terms of diversity of opinion and criticism of the government and the ruling elites in other Islamic countries in the Middle East or Southeast Asia. The court reporting of the Zia era, in which the daily newspapers reproduced the government's press releases without comment and which still predominates in state-controlled television and radio, has given way to independent reporting and commentary. Weekly newspapers or monthly magazines such as "Friday Times", "Newsline" or "Herald", whose research does not stop at any government and even do not spare the military, a previously taboo subject, are particularly critical.

Other taboo political issues have also been cautiously taken up in recent years. This included the discussion about an independent Kashmir as well as that about "Jinnahbad", i.e. about an independent province of Karachi (possibly together with Hyderabad), in which the Mohajirs would have the say. Numerous social abuses were also taken up, with the press working closely with various non-governmental organizations. The journalists often showed great courage, as some of them had already been beaten to hospital by hired thugs.

6 non-governmental organizations

The Pakistani governments and the bureaucracy in recent years have allowed non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to act, even if they have expressed themselves critical of government activities; at least no insurmountable obstacles were placed in their way. This would have contradicted the privatization policy and would also have damaged Pakistan's reputation in western countries, which various of these NGOs support.

The best known politically was the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), which courageously brings violations of human and democratic rights by government organs, feudal lords or entrepreneurs to the public. It has published relevant studies since 1986 and has published an annual report on the "State of Human Rights in Pakistan" since 1991. In 1993, the HRCP was even officially approved as an election observation commission.

Various other NGOs operate partly together with the HRCP, partly independently of it, such as the Women Action Forum (WAF), which fights especially for women's rights. Other NGOs endeavor, partly also quite apolitically, to improve social grievances, to uncover and remedy environmental sins or to break up the encrusted union structures in order to revive their political and democratic function. The Eidhi Foundation, a kind of private Red Cross organization, headed by Mohammad Eidhi, the "Mother Theresa" of Pakistan, and the Ansgar Burni Trust, which offers prisoners legal and social support, are of particular importance.

Although all these activities have so far only been carried out by a small group of critical intellectuals, they are enjoying ever greater popularity and thus practicing democratic culture in a hitherto less democratic environment.

Summary

Even if Pakistan's formal democratic development has made progress since 1988, the prospects of deepening and consolidating this process are rather dubious

- Subtle to open conflicts make relations between the different peoples of Pakistan difficult;

- the population explosion and the low level of education prevent the development of a broad, responsible middle class and working class;

- The military, bureaucracy, aristocracy and tribal princes do not seem to be interested in a real social development, because this could reduce their determining influence on politics and society and the privileges associated with them;

- In principle, industrial capital is the compliant stooge of the establishment in order to maximize its own profits;

- the parties represent more electoral associations for politicians than a democratic basis, since they lack any internal democracy;

- Islamists suspect everything that comes from the West;

- the judiciary is theoretically, but rarely actually, independent of the executive branch; and

- Foreign countries have so far prevented democratic development in Pakistan more than it has promoted.

Nevertheless, there are modest hopes for the further development of democracy in Pakistan, based on the fact that

- three democratic elections were successfully held within five years, two of which can even be described as fairly fair and free;

- under Nawaz Sharif, industrial capital has become a serious competitor for the rural aristocracy;

- In 1993 the Supreme Court of Pakistan revised the dismissal of an elected government for the first time;

- the military refrained from taking power in 1993 due to the new international situation;

- The Moeen Qureshi interim government showed in the summer of 1993 how structural reforms can be initiated that cannot easily be circumvented by any government;

- the politically (if not economically) more liberal camp, the Pakistan Peoples Party under Benazir Bhutto, was able to consolidate its power at the end of 1993 and thus the institutional and social democratization process may be given greater leeway

- the influence of the Islamists has steadily declined since 1988, despite opposing international trends;

- the printed press has been free since 1988 and has even defied various attacks under Nawaz Sharif;

- The educated bourgeoisie takes up the social and political grievances and tries to bring more democracy into everyday life in Pakistan through human rights, women's, environmental and workers' organizations.


© Friedrich Ebert Foundation | technical support | net edition fes-library | March 1998