Agitational Politics to Engineered Politics-Twin Era of Pakistan

Agitational Politics to Engineered Politics-Twin Era of Pakistan

Agitational Politics

Political agitation (1947–1971)
and political engineering (1972–present) are the two separate eras that makeup
Pakistan’s political history. Both eras have the characteristics of putting
diverse tactics to use to stifle political movements rather than coming up with
a remedy. Since the military in Pakistan has significant power and the capacity
to affect the political process, everyone turns to the military establishment
during times of political unrest for guidance or action. To govern the
socio-economic and political conflicts in society, the military is more prone
to use forceful, disciplinary methods because it is thought that they are
unable to understand the complexities and nuances of complicated political
circumstances. This might be especially true in societies that are still
emerging, where political confrontations are frequent and fresh political
forces are pushing for a bigger say in the political system after being freed
up by socioeconomic transformation processes. For the military, which is not
trained in the art of compromise, negotiating, verbal skills, mass appeal, and
give-and-take, the dilemma of tolerating dissidents and integrating, or at
least containing different socio-political forces become more difficult.
These presumptions are the foundation for the idea that military regimes are
“inherently unstable.” The ultimate remedy for political gridlock has
always been military action, as we will see in the paragraphs that follow.
There are two distinct and ostensibly distinct eras to these interventions by
the Pakistani military establishment: political agitation prior to intervention
and intervention through political engineering.

Language riots in 1948

On March 11, 1948, students at
the University of Dhaka and other local colleges organized a national strike to
protest the Bengali language’s exclusion from official usage, which included
use on coinage, stamps, and naval recruiting exams. The organization reiterated
its call for the Dominion of Pakistan to designate Bengali as an official
language. During the rallies, political figures like Shamsul Huq, Shawkat Ali,
M Sirajul Islam, Kazi Golam Mahboob, Oli Ahad, Abdul Wahed, and others were
detained. After attempting to steal a firearm from a police officer, rally
leader Mohammad Toaha was taken to the hospital. Abdul Matin and Abdul Malek
Ukil, two prominent student leaders, marched in the parade.

On March 11, there was a
gathering to voice opposition to arrests and police abuse. In front of the
Dhaka High Court, a group of students marching toward the residence of
the chief minister Khawaja Nazimuddin was halted. The gathering shifted its
course to head toward the Secretariat building. A. K. Fazlul Huq was among the
students and leaders hurt as police broke up the parade. The following four
days saw continued strikes. Under these conditions, the chief minister Nazimuddin
signed an agreement with the student leaders, accepting some terms and conditions
but refusing to give in to the demand that Bengali be declared the official
language of the state.

The Anti-Ahmadiyya Movement of 1953

The Lahore Disturbances of 1953
were a series of violent riots against the Ahmadiyya Movement, a marginalized
faith in Pakistan, primarily in the city of Lahore and the rest of Punjab. The
Pakistan Army eventually put an end to the riots by imposing martial law for
three months. The protests started in February 1953 and quickly spread to the
entire city, resulting in looting, arson, the murder of 200–2000 persons, and
the displacement of thousands more. The Punjab Government’s official
investigation found that about 20 persons were actually killed in these
disturbances. According to page one of the inquiry, “Prior to the
declaration of Martial Law, the police had to resort to firing in several
places, and at least two people were killed on the night of March 4 and ten on
March 5. Additionally, sixty-six other people must have been injured in the
firing because many wounded people admitted to the Lahore hospitals had
gunshot wounds. Eleven people were killed and 49 people were injured, according
to the military, in their effort to put an end to the unrest in Lahore.

Lahore returned to normal after
the 70-day military deployment, which was the military’s first venture into
civilian politics. Maulana Abdul Sattar Khan Niazi, the Secretary-General of
the Awami Muslim League, was detained and given a death sentence, but it was
later commuted. The riots also had unprecedented political repercussions. On 24
March, Ghulam Muhammad first fired Mian Mumtaz Daultana as Punjab’s chief
minister, accusing him of using the religious component of the anti-Ahmadi
violence for political gain. The whole federal cabinet as well as Prime
Minister Khwaja Nazimuddin were then fired by Ghulam Muhammad on April 17 using
his unique powers granted by the Government of India Act 1935. He was replaced
by Muhammad Ali Bogra, Pakistan’s ambassador to the US. Within hours following
Nazimuddin’s ouster, Bogra, who had no idea why he had been brought back, took
the oath as the new Prime Minister.

The Punjab Disturbances Court Of
Inquiry was constituted on June 19, 1953, to investigate disturbances. The
investigation kicked off on July 1 and held 117 hearings. Arguments in the case
continued until 28 February 1954 after the conclusion of the evidence on 23
January 1954. The report was released on 10 April 1954 after conclusions had
been drawn.

Pakistan appointed seven prime
ministers and one commander in chief between 1950 and 1958, a record that may
be attributed to the political immaturity of the country’s leadership hopefuls.
There was ongoing conflict and instability inside the parliamentary system’s
political leadership and government, in addition to the ongoing changes in

At the
same time, in 1958, Pakistan was experiencing a severe economic crisis as a
result of “a lack of consumers, rising costs, a lack of food, financial
irresponsibility, and extensive deficit financing by the government.”
Additionally, the government’s foreign exchange reserves were declining, and
the Treasury was empty.

The demonstrations against Ayyub
Khan’s autocratic government

The 1968 Movement in Pakistan was
a component of the uprising against Ayub Khan’s autocratic rule. People from
all walks of life joined in what appeared to be a major student and worker
uprising. Around 10 to 15 million people participated in the rebellion, which
lasted from early November 1968 to the end of March 1969. Ayub Khan’s
government was overthrown as a result of the movement.

As Ayyub Khan celebrated the
“Decade of Development” in the early months of 1968, disgruntled
people launched agitations. Early in October 1968, the National Students
Federation (affiliated with the Maoists branch of the Communist Party of West
Pakistan) launched a protest movement to attract attention to the “Decade
of Development” and made demands. On October 7, 1968, Demands Week began,
and the first protest was held in front of the Board of Secondary Education in
Karachi. Later in November, when a group of Rawalpindi students were returning
from Landi Kotal and stopped at customs inspections near Attock, the movement
spread throughout the nation. Customs agents forcefully greeted them. They
protested against the police’s mistreatment upon their return to Rawalpindi as
a result of their ordeal. When protests reached a significant magnitude, the
police attempted to break them up and shots were fired. A student at Rawalpindi
Polytechnic College, was shot and killed. The death of the student galvanized
the entire society and the workforce to join the unhappy individuals who were
already protesting a hike in the price of sugar.

Peasant committees and
organisations from the countryside of the nation joined the campaign in early
1969. Senior military officers encouraged Ayub to resign in March 1969 out of
concern about the outbreak of a full-fledged civil war in East Pakistan as well
as the political and social disorder in the country’s western region. Even Ayub
Khan acknowledged how the movement had rendered the government and society
ineffective. Ayub Khan, the president of Pakistan, announced his resignation on
March 25 and that he would hand over power to Gen. Yahya Khan, the head of the

Rise of Awami League

Over time, any sense of religious
unity between the two wings was gradually overshadowed by disparities in
culture and language. The West Pakistani elite, who felt that Bengali had
absorbed a significant amount of Hindu cultural elements, found the Bengalis’
language and culture to be repugnant and disdained their Bengali script and
terminology. West Pakistanis wanted the Bengalis to embrace Urdu in an effort
to “Islamize” the East. Bengalis who supported rejecting Pakistan’s
communalism in favour of secular politics were encouraged to do so by the
language movement’s actions. Through its journal, the Awami League started
spreading its concept of secularism to Bengali readers.

The Awami League distinguished
themselves from the Muslim League by emphasising secularism. Secularists
celebrated the Bangladeshi win as the triumph of secular Bengali nationalism
over religion-centered Pakistani nationalism in 1971, when secular leaders led
Bangladesh’s freedom battle against Pakistan. Bangladesh was founded as a secular
state, but Pakistan’s government aspires to create Islamic state. The Awami
League tried to establish a secular order after the liberation war, and the
pro-Pakistan Islamist groups were forbidden from running for office. The
bulk of East Pakistani ulama had remained neutral or backed the Pakistani
state, believing that Pakistan’s disintegration would be damaging to Islam.

Despite the fact that East
Pakistan had a tiny majority of the country’s population, West Pakistanis
retained political control. Because a simple population-based system of
representation would have concentrated political power in East Pakistan, the
West Pakistani elite devised the “One Unit” model, in which all of
West Pakistan was designated one province. This was done simply to counterbalance
the votes of the East Wing.

The East Pakistanis observed that
any East Pakistani elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, such as Khawaja
Nazimuddin, Mohammad Ali Bogra, or Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, would be deposed
quickly by the West Pakistani establishment. Their misgivings were heightened
by the military dictatorships of West Pakistanis Ayub Khan (27 October 1958 –
25 March 1969) and Yahya Khan (25 March 1969 – 20 December 1971). The situation
reached a climax in 1970, when Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Bangladesh Awami League,
the main East Pakistani political party, won a landslide victory in national
elections. The party won 167 of the 169 East Pakistan seats, giving them a
majority of the 313 seats in the National Assembly. The Awami League now has
the constitutional authority to form a government. However, the Pakistan
People’s Party leader, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (a former Foreign Minister), refused
to allow Rahman to become Prime Minister of Pakistan.

The Troika Power Play -Yahya, Bhutto, and Rahman

To decide the future of the
nation, the two leaders of the two wings convened in Dacca with President
General Yahya Khan. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman demanded a general strike when their
negotiations failed to produce any positive outcomes. Mubashir Hassan, a
reliable confidant, was sent by Bhutto because he feared a civil war. Rahman
made the decision to meet Bhutto after receiving a message. When Rahman first
arrived, he met with Bhutto, and the two of them decided to establish a
coalition government with Bhutto as president and Rahman as premier. Sheikh
Mujib eventually ruled out the prospect of such a partnership. Bhutto put the
pressure on Rahman to make a choice while the military remained unaware of
these events.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Freedom

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who would
soon become prime minister, spoke at the Racecourse Ground on March 7, 1971.
(Now called the Suhrawardy Udyan). In addition to his well-known six
principles, he included a further four points in this speech during the
National Assembly meeting on March 25:

The immediate lifting of martial law.

Immediate withdrawal of all military personnel to their

An inquiry into the loss of life.

Immediate transfer of power to the elected representative of the
people before the assembly meeting on 25 March.

Every home should be turned into
a fort of resistance, he exhorted his people. He concluded by adding, “For
our freedom, we fight. For independence, we are fighting.” The key event
that motivated the country to fight for independence is regarded as this
speech. To assume the position of Governor of East Bengal, General Tikka Khan
was flown into Dacca. He was not sworn in by justices from East Pakistan,
including Justice Siddique.

Pakistan International Airlines
cancelled all of their international routes between March 10 and March 13 in
order to quickly transport “official people” to Dacca. Nearly
majority of these “government passengers” were Pakistani soldiers
dressed casually. The Pakistan Navy ship MV Swat was docked in Chittagong Port
with soldiers and ammunition on board, but the port’s Bengali crew members
refused to unload the ship. A mutiny among Bengali soldiers was started when a
unit of East Pakistan Rifles disobeyed orders to fire on Bengali demonstrators.

Although the violence was
concentrated in Dacca, the provincial capital, it spread to every region of
East Pakistan. Particularly targeted were the University of Dacca’s student
rooms. The Pakistani military burned Jagannath Hall, the lone residential hall
for Hindus, and executed 600 to 700 of its occupants. Although the Hamoodur
Rahman Commission in Pakistan found that excessive force was used at the
university, the Pakistani army denied any cold-blooded executions had taken
place there.

The arrest of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

The Pakistani Army detained
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Brigadier (later General) Rahim Uddin Khan was chosen by
Yahya Khan to preside over a special tribunal that would try Rahman on a number
of counts. The tribunal’s ruling was never made public, but Yahya nevertheless
managed to have the decision suspended. Several Awami League leaders fled Dacca
to avoid capture, while other Awami League leaders were also detained. General
Yahya Khan outlawed the Awami League.

The radio broadcast of the declaration
of independence on March 26, 1971

Some students in Chittagong
received a telegram that contained the text of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s
proclamation. Dr. Manjula Anwar translated the message from English into
Bengali. The students were unable to obtain approval from higher officials to
broadcast the message from the neighboring Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation
Agrabad Station. The independent Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendro Radio, which was
started by some dissident Bangali Radio employees in Kalurghat, read the
message multiple times. Major Ziaur Rahman was instructed to provide protection
of the station and he also read the Declaration on 27 March 1971. Sheikh
Mujibur Rahman’s representative, Major Ziaur Rahman, televised the declaration
of independence.

Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra is
this. At Bangobondhu Mujibur Rahman’s request, I, Major Ziaur Rahman, hereby
proclaim the establishment of the Independent People’s Republic of Bangladesh.
I have assumed responsibility as the Republic’s interim leader at his order. I
urge all Bengalis to rise up in opposition to the West Pakistani Army onslaught
in the name of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. To the very end, we will struggle to set
our nation free. By Allah’s Grace, victory is ours. Happy Bangla. Despite the
Kalurghat Radio Station’s limited ability to transmit, a Japanese ship in the
Bay of Bengal managed to receive the message. Later, Radio Australia and the
BBC both broadcast it again.

On March
26, 1971, M. A. Hannan, a Chittagong-based Awami League official, is credited
with making the first radio announcement of the declaration of independence. As
a result, March 26, 1971 is recognized as Bangladesh’s formal Independence Day,
and from that point forward, the country was known as Bangladesh. Erstwhile
East Pakistan was openly referred to be Bangladesh by Indian Prime Minister
Indira Gandhi in July 1971. Up to December 16th, 1971, certain Pakistani and
Indian authorities used the term “East Pakistan.”

Political engineering’s the Second

Z.A. Bhutto led the new Pakistan
that developed after the separation of East Pakistan. After Pakistan’s defeat
in the war with India, which was allied with Bangladesh, in December 1971,
Bhutto assumed the presidency, and the emergency rule was put in place. Bhutto said
his goal in starting to develop New Pakistan was to “renew confidence and
rebuild hope for the future.”
Bhutto’s government took office, Pakistan was still recovering from the war
with India that had resulted in Bangladesh’s independence and formation. As the
military became unable to resolve problems, the Pakistani populace was ready to
take part in elections that guaranteed an elected political representative
would take office. Some analysts think that the starting stages of the
transition to democracy are vital because they allow the country’s leader to
successfully alter and establish institutions that will permit the transfer of
power from the military to civilian authorities. Although Bhutto succeeded in
removing the military from positions of authority, his dependence on the
military in dealing with opposition parties did not succeed in keeping the
military out of politics. Bhutto was shown to be an inadequate political leader
due to her constant reliance on the military.

the Arab Embargo and the Lahore Summit, which included all Muslim nations,
alarmed nations like the United States and Israel since their interests were at
stake. The United States has historically been able to exert influence and
presence in the region through providing financial support to the Pakistani
military. It might be said that the cooperation between the United States and
the Pakistani military, as well as the Pakistani military’s support of
opposition parties, played a role in Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s removal from
government. As a result of this collaboration, the Supreme Court heard murder
cases involving Bhutto. In other words, when Bhutto was in charge, both
Pakistan’s military and the interests of strong foreign nations like the United
States were at risk.

In order
to wage a concerted political campaign against the PPP, which supported the
left, in the national elections that year, the biggest right-wing organizations
in the nation banded together to form PNA. Because of the fragmented
opposition, it was widely expected that Bhutto would win the 1977 elections.
However, the opposition parties established the Pakistan National Alliance as a
political coalition (PNA). The PNA emphasized the government’s incapacity to
enact successful domestic and international policies and to protect civil and
political liberties. The PNA received considerable public support after the
restrictions on public meetings were lifted. The PPP won the elections, despite
the PNA’s best efforts, which led PNA to launch a massive anti-Bhutto movement
on the grounds of election rigging. The PNA led a massive effort to ensure the
conduct of new elections, remove the Chief Election Commission, and call for
Prime Minister Bhutto’s resignation. As it swept through rural areas and
metropolitan hubs, the mass movement of 1977 was widespread. The mass movement
was supported by the PPP-affected business and trading community, and the
government also suffered from the closure of stores and other establishments. In
reaction, Bhutto utilised the army, FSF, and police to crush the mass movement
while also detaining the PNA’s leading officials. A Saudi envoy set up a
meeting between the two groups in an effort to facilitate negotiations, but the
political parties were unable to resolve their differences.

In order
to restore law and order and hold trials, Bhutto declared martial law in
Karachi, Hyderabad, and Lahore on April 22, 1977. Meetings between the PNA and
the army were organised to provide briefings on internal and external matters,
and Bhutto used to participate in these meetings. The PNA made an effort to
sever the military’s ties to the administration. The PNA urged the Service
Chiefs to oppose Bhutto’s administration and asked that martial law be lifted. The
administration was also put in a terrible position as a result of the
military’s continued use to suppress the mass movement and intimidate the
opposition parties. Additionally, Bhutto’s declining popularity offered the
military an opportunity to once again seize control of political matters.
Therefore, on July 5, 1977, the military took over by ousting Bhutto from power
because there were no negotiations between Bhutto and the PNA. Zia ul Haq’s new
martial law dictatorship also put Bhutto on trial for the murder of Muhammad
Ali Kasuri; in an extraordinary 4- 3 ruling, the high court found Bhutto guilty
and sentenced him to death. Bhutto was put to death on April 4, 1979.

A society
without an adequate political culture will leave the military structures or
institutions as the sole entity to govern, according to some experts who claim
that political culture establishes the conditions for military interventions.
Political culture can be described as the underlying principles that determine
whether a political system will succeed or fail. They contend that the six
modalities of intervention can be divided into four levels of military involvement.
1) the regular constitutional channels; 2) collusion and rivalry with civil
authority; 3) intimidation of civil authority; 4) threats of non-cooperation
with civil authority; 5) disregard for civil authority during the violence, and 6)
violence against civil authority. The sequence of political culture, amount of
involvement, and form of intervention are all interconnected and society-based and can result in a civilian, indirect limited, indirect complete, dual, direct
military, or direct, quasi-civilianized regime type. They conclude that
military interventions are an issue in countries that lack political
institutions and culture by researching various countries depending on the
characteristics of political culture. In other words, because they lack political
institutions and culture, new governments will face difficulties in
constructing a full-fledged democracy. Researchers believe that the lack of a
supportive political culture will make newly emerging democracies vulnerable to
military intervention. According to one scholar, when a country moves to
democracy, the civilian authorities must “construct” institutions
that shift power from the military to civilian institutions by limiting the
military’s access to areas of state policy where it plays a dominant role. To
limit military access, it is necessary to distinguish between civilian and
military activities, as well as take into account the agency that “orders
and controls the activity.” The military will intervene in political
issues if political institutions are fragile and weak, ensuring civilian
supremacy. Civilian leaders can use these political institutions to monitor,
“divide and rule,” and sanction the military in order to assure
civilian oversight and limit the military’s involvement in interfering in
political concerns. In addition to a lack of democratic institutions, the
military enters politics when elected politicians slash military spending and
attempt to shift authority away from the military and toward themselves. When
the military takes over, there is a rise in military expenditures. The military
receives new buildings, new hardware is ordered, and pay are raised. Furthermore,
if a civilian leader attempts to limit the military’s power, such as in
national security and foreign policy, the military tends to produce indirect
internal instability. Another study shows a changing pattern in military
interference in politics, referring to this pattern as “power without
responsibility and accountability,” and they argue that the military does
not directly come to power anymore; however, the military secretly controls the
Establishment and destabilizes elected leaders. They claim that this tendency
occurs when political politicians seek to seize control of institutions that
were previously dominated by the military.

58(2)(b): A Political Engineering Instrument

Zia-ul-Haq opened the path for civilian rule and the restoration of
constitutional governance in the country. The resurrection of Constitution
Order (P.O.14 of 1985) was issued on March 2, 1985, with a considerable number
of amendments to the Constitution. The National Assembly had its inaugural
session on March 20, 1985. The President of Pakistan (General Zia-ul-Haq) nominated
Mr. Muhammad Khan Junejo to be Prime Minister of Pakistan. On March 24, 1985,
he obtained a vote of confidence. The Parliament then passed the 8th
Constitutional Amendment in November 1985. Among other revisions to the
Constitution, the critical Article 58(2)(b) was introduced, giving the President
discretionary powers to dissolve the National Assembly. The President dissolved
the Assembly on May 29, 1988, utilizing the authority granted by Article 58(2).

the death of Zia ul Haq in an aircraft crash in 1988, political parties came
forward to participate in elections once again. During 1988, the PPP, now led
by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s daughter, Benazir Bhutto, became Pakistan’s first
female Prime Minister. Nonetheless, Benazir Bhutto’s success was brief. The
late 1980s and early 1990s in Pakistan are remembered as a period of power
transfers between elected leaders and the military, and vice versa.

When the
Pucca Qila Incident occurred in Hyderabad in 1990, ties between the PPP and MQM
turned antagonistic since the latter party’s leader, Altaf Hussain, was out of
the country receiving treatment for renal ailments. During the event, Sindhi police raided Pucca Qila, a muhajir neighborhood in Hyderabad, to recover illicit
weapons. During this operation, Sindhi police opened fire, killing forty
persons and injuring fifty more. The MQM accused the Sindhi police of
discriminating and claimed that women holding Qurans in their hands and
appealing with the police to stop the massacre were rejected by the police. The
Sindhi police, however, stated that their actions were committed in
self-defense after MQM supporters opened fire. “Whatever the truth of the
case was, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan claimed the episode and the wave of
violence that followed in Karachi, notably the Qayyum bus massacre on 31 May,
as part of his argument for dismissing the Bhutto government.”

As a
result, in addition to the instability in Sindh and the constant blows from the
opposition party IJI, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan removed Benazir Bhutto from
office on August 6, 1990, by using the powers granted to him by the Eighth
Amendment under Article 58(2)(b) and dissolved the National Assembly as well as
the Provincial Assemblies.

in Article 58(2)(b)

Sharif became Prime Minister on November 7, 1990, although he faced the same
issues as his predecessors. Nawaz Sharif, who was known to have close ties with
the Zia dictatorship, was blamed of corruption, a lack of effort toward
Islamization, and a failure to deal with the Sindh situation. However, in comparison
to Benazir Bhutto’s administration, Nawaz Sharif implemented numerous economic
changes. According to I.A Rehman, Nawaz Sharif’s priorities differed from those
of past governments. Sharif had a clear goal in mind: “free enterprise,
realising his nuclear aspirations, and asserting his own power.” The Prime
Minister had developed a dislike for the President and the Chief of Army Staff
despite the fact that his economic reforms were going extremely well. Following
the passing of General Asif Nawaz Janjua and General Baig’s retirement, Sharif
disagreed with the President’s choice of a new army commander. In order to
avoid the President’s oversight, Nawaz Sharif proposed the 12th Amendment in
1991. With this Amendment, the Prime Minister was allegedly given the go-ahead
to seize control of a province’s administration. The IJI refused to back Sharif
because it feared President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, and tensions between the two
leaders arose when the Prime Minister declined to say if he backed the
reelection of the President. Nawaz Sharif, like Benazir Bhutto, did not handle
the mohajir problems in Karachi, allowing the president and the military to
seize control of civilian government. After the MQM party split into the MQM
(Haqiqi) and MQM factions in 1992, the government ordered a military operation
in Karachi known as “Operation Clean Up” (Altaf). This operation’s
goal was to eradicate terrorists and criminals from Sindh. The military
discovered “arms depots and torture cells for which they held the MQM responsible”
during this clean-up. The army found 17 MQM-operated torture cells that were
“used to punish MQM dissidents and opponents… and that 60 persons had
been detained since the outbreak of the intragroup conflict. The Supreme Court
heard an appeal from Nawaz Sharif against the President’s decision to remove
his government this time, and the court ruled in his favour, ruling the
dismissal to be unconstitutional. In addition to this, Nawaz Sharif also
petitioned the High Court of Lahore for the reinstatement of the Punjabi
administration, and this case was also decided in his favour. The army corps
commanders immediately gathered on July 1 to address the problem, therefore
this restoration of authority was only temporary. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
and President Ghulam Ishaq Khan were both asked to step down in 1993.

validity in support of political engineering

On October
6, 1993, the tenth National Assembly was chosen. On October 15, 1993, the first
meeting took place. On October 17, 1993, Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani took the oath
of office as Speaker of the National Assembly. On October 19, 1993, Mohtarma
Benizar Bhutto took the oath of office as Pakistan’s prime minister. She
suffered a defeat in the election because she only garnered 86 of the 202 seats
available, forcing her to form an alliance with Junejo and the MQM-led Muslim
League once more. When her PPP party was successful in having one of its senior
members, Farooq Lehar, elected as President in 1993, her position as Prime
Minister became solid and effective.

Three of
the eleven High Court judges Benazir Bhutto planned to install in 1994 were
women, and their selection was not justified by qualifications. These
appointments were deemed to be unlawful by the Supreme Court, but Benazir
defied the ruling and went on. Lawyers in Karachi and Lahore boycotted these
“political judges” as a result of Benazir’s conduct, and President
Leghari agreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling. The acquisition of a lavish
villa in Surrey, the assassination of her brother Murtaza Bhutto, and attempts
to bribe votes from lawmakers in Punjab in order to install the government of
her choice are said to have caused bad relations between the President and
Prime Minister, in addition to this incident. The National Assembly was
subsequently dissolved, and Prime Minister Bhutto was fired by President
Leghari in 1996. This time, the “Supreme Court approved her

took overpower

In 1997,
Nawaz Sharif was elected prime minister for a second time and won the
military’s backing once more. In order for Sharif to win the 1997 elections
with a three-fourths majority, the military assisted him. After taking power,
Sharif focused all of his efforts on settling disputes with India, particularly
the conflict over Jammu & Kashmir. For instance, Sharif declared in 1998
that he would only sign the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) if
India agreed to do so. Pakistan chose to establish an agreement rather than
test its own nuclear weapons after India conducted the Pokhran II operation,
which involved the testing of five nuclear weapons.

As Sharif
attempted to oust General Musharraf, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Chief of
Army Staff, ties between Sharif and the military deteriorated in October 1999.
The Army removed Sharif from power on Musharraf’s orders and safely landed his
plane in Karachi despite the fact that Sharif also disputed General Musharraf’s
plane landing because he suspected a military takeover. The military put Sharif
under house arrest while he was tried in an antiterrorism court for offences
like kidnapping, hijacking, attempted murder, terrorist, and corruption. Sharif
was given a life sentence by the court, but thanks to a deal with Saudi Arabia,
the military exiled him from the nation for the following ten years. The
military, which ruled Pakistan for ten years, regained political control.

politics by means of political engineers

May 12, 2000, the Supreme Court upheld the October 1999 coup and granted
General Pervez Musharraf executive and legislative authority for three years.
Nawaz Sharif was convicted to life in jail in 2000 on allegations of hijacking
and terrorism. Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on December 27, 2007, in a
blast/bullet attack in Rawalpindi, which plunged Pakistan into instability and
political unrest. The Election Commission announces elections later on January
2, 2008. Elections are held that year under high security. PPP, PML-N, PML-Q,
MQM and ANP win 124, 91, 54, 25 and 13 seats respectively. In March 24, Yusuf
Raza Gilani is elected as the new prime minister and later on in Aug 18,
Pervaiz Musharraf steps down as President of Pakistan. First time in the
history of Pakistan, PPP government completed its five-year tenure and in May
11 2013, general elections were held which were won by PML-N and Nawaz Sharif was
elected Prime Minister of Pakistan for the 3rd time.

on July 28, 2017, A unanimous verdict by the Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualifies
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office, over the controversy of him
and some of his family members names being in the Panama Papers, thus
leading to his disqualification for lifetime. On August 1, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is
sworn in as Prime Minister, succeeding Nawaz Sharif.

25 July, 2018, general elections were held and PTI formed government in
coalition with five other parties for the first time with Khan as prime
minister. In April 2022, Khan’s government was removed due to a
successful no confidence vote against him.

Political engineering in layers

Pakistan Today, published a beautiful article to understand different dimensions of political engineering. In a
nutshell, political engineering is present on many levels. The first step is
the establishment of a political body that uses a set procedure. They find a
charismatic someone who is an oligarch (
An oligarch is one of the select few people who rule or
influence leaders in an oligarchy—a government in
which power is held by a select few individuals or a small class of powerful
) who is prepared to finance it, give it media attention, and
gather electables who can join it to give it political relevance. This approach
has been used in all circumstances, including IJI (PML-N), where Nawaz Sharif
functioned as the organization’s charismatic leader and Mehran Bank as its
financier. Vote-rigging was used to ensure MQM’s victory, and its charismatic
leader Altaf Hussain received funding from Karachi billionaires initially.
Imran Khan is the charismatic head of PTI-L (
lotas), Jahangir Tareen is the oligarch who finances it, and Shah
Mehmood Qureshi and other electables individuals joined it to give it political
relevance. In PSP, Malik Riaz is the financier,
Mustafa Kamal is the charismatic leader, and MQM-P electables are joining him
to add political importance. The media has always given them exposure from the
outside to develop their widespread popularity. Numerous hours of MQM-P news
conferences and PAT/PTI-L dharna coverage in the media were carried without any
commercials. Was it requested by the establishment or for a social service?

Even the heads
of PPP and PML-N are significantly wealthier than any oligarch, with multiple
oligarchs funding both parties. These parties have no shortage of electable
candidates, and they have charismatic leaders who last for generations and cousins,
Nawaz Sharif to Marriam Sharif, Benazir Bhutto to Bilawal Bhutto, and Z.A.

The next step is
the creation of alliances to guarantee a workable allocation of parliamentary
seats. It seems to me that the goal of the 2018 general elections is to
establish party governments in the provinces and a hung parliament at the
national level. To accomplish this goal in Punjab, the PML-N did not
disintegrate following the Panama verdict as many had predicted; rather,
electables told journalists they had not received any calls asking them to
change sides. However, in the middle, alliances are now forming, like as the
union of PSP and MQM-P, which will eventually take place despite early
difficulties. It is also possible that MMA will reincarnate in order to unite
the political clout of the religious right. Additionally, SNF-style tiny
parties that are electable in specific particular areas have joined PTI-L. As a
result, PPP will continue to only dominate rural parts of Sind, while MQM will
rule the city. In KP and South Punjab, PTI-L will win a few seats, while PML-N
will win in Hazara division and North Punjab. On election day, political
engineering is also carried out to get this result. All political parties are
going above and beyond to win seats in the upcoming parliament. After the
initial outcry over
mujhe kyun nikala, Nawaz Sharif has now announced his
resignation to work with them amicably. Asif Ali Zardari is doing all in his
power to portray himself as a puppet, and Bilawal has been given the job of
defending democracy while pushing an anti-establishment agenda, much like Shabazz
Sharif/Nawaz Sharif did in the PML-N. Since the PTI was established at the
command of Gen. Hamid Gul, Imran Khan has been a puppet and has voluntarily
backed all establishment-led agendas.

political engineering continues to have an impact on legislation and executive
branch restraint in addition to influencing election outcomes. To use a recent,
NAB law as an illustration, a consensus was formed to hold generals and judges
accountable, but it was broken within 24 hours, and they are now exempt. For
this exclusion, lame justifications are offered. Military courts are another
illustration. On the one hand, the military says it does not want it, but no
such statement was issued when legislation was passed. Dharnas and lockdowns
were also employed to obstruct civilian authority. Despite this, some elements
of the elite want more and are creating a narrative in which technocrats should
be placed. When some others and I wrote about former corps commander Lt Gen
Tariq Khan’s social media posts in support of technocrats, he responded,
arguing that he has the right to speak on politics as a citizen. I agree that
he has that right, but I am concerned about whether he had such undemocratic
sentiments while serving as corps commander, and whether he also acted to
realise such beliefs.

and political groups amassing too much power go against the establishment’s
interests. As a result, throughout history, they have undermined popular
presidents and political parties. They do not want Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir
Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif, or, in the future, Imran Khan to retain popular support. It
is sad that PTI was turned into PTI-L with strong establishment support.
Keeping the baradari system in place also aids in political control by keeping
ideological politics out. Thick files on politicians’ abuse of power and
unscrupulous practises also aid the establishment in exerting control over

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