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Pakistan in Crisis by Ashok Kapur

By Ashok Kapur

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Hence articulation and accommodation of oligarchic interests and regulation of oligarchic competition were the driving elements of Pakistan’s political system in this period. 2 Inexperience about, fear of, and failure of mass party politics induced the search for a bureaucracy-centric ruling power coalition in Pakistan. Ayub Khan • Muslim League based party system is in eclipse • constitutionalism is sporadic exercise • non-alignment is rejected • authoritarianism is predominant • constitutionalism is sporadic exercise • secularism is rejected • non-alignment is rejected • modern Islamism is sought • India-Pakistan dialogue is sporadically pursued • military option to settle Kashmir issue is revived • the Pakistan-US government connection is entrenched stay in power, Pakistan’s civil-military oligarchy required a winning coalition.

29 The development of this foreign-linked Pakistani (bureaucratic) dominant power group produced a pro-US orientation in Pakistani domestic and external affairs. On the domestic side, it meant bureaucratic rule rather than rule by a parliamentary democracy or development of an Islamic, sectarian theocratic state. In external affairs, it meant an anti-India orientation in Pakistani policies, a rejection of non-alignment by Pakistan, an extension of the Cold War into India-Pakistan affairs, and reliance on the military option to settle the Kashmir issue.

1 They subordinated the pressure of domestic ethnic and regionalist strains by diverting national attention to external threats. Here the need to contain external threats and to maintain national unity implied a subordination of domestic problems and delayed internal reforms. 2 They established the rise of the Pakistani civil service as the pre-eminent member of the ‘national’ oligarchic power structure and the key policy-making institution in Pakistan. 3 They revealed the autonomy and political nature of the Pakistani Army since the early 1950s.

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