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Democracy, Development and Security Issues

Edited by

Veena Kukreja

M.P. Singh


Democracy Development - and Security Issues

Edited by

Veena Kukreja

M.P. Singh
Sage Publications «• New Delhi • Thousand Oaks • London

/Copyright ©Veena Kukreja and M.P. Singh, 2005

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilised in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. v

First published in 2005 by Second Printing 2006

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Published by Tejeshwar Singh for Sage Publications India Pvt Ltd, phototypeset in 10/12 pt. Book Antiqua by Prism Graphix, and printed at Chaman Enterprises, New Delhi.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Pakistan: democracy, development and security issues/edited by Veena Kukreja, M.P. Singh.

p. cm.

Includes index.

1. Pakistan—Politics and government—1988- 2. Pakistan—Foreign relations. 3. Democracy—Pakistan. 4. National security—Pakistan. I. Kukreja, Veena. II. Singh, Mahendra Prasad, 1943-





ISBN: 0-7619-3416-2 (Hb) 0-7619-3417-0 (Pb)

81-7829-557-1 (India-Hb) 81-7829-558-X (India-Pb)

Sage Production Team: Deepika Andlay, Rrishi Raote and Santosh Rawat

List of Tables 7

Acknowledgements 8

Introduction 9
Chapter I M.P. Singh and Veena Kukreja 39

Causes of Democratic Downslide in Pakistan

Mohammad Waseem

Chapter II Pakistan since the 1999 Coup: Prospects 59

of Democracy

Veena Kukreja
Chapter III Pakistan: Islamic Ideology and the Failed 87

State? Saleem MM. Qureshi

Chapter IV Language, Power and Ideology in Pakistan 108

Tariq Rahman
Chapter V Pakistan: Political Economy of National 123


Ayesha Siddiqa
Chapter VI Pakistan's Political Economy: Misplaced 137

Priorities and Economic Uncertainties

Veena Kukreja
Chapter VII Pakistan: Terrorism in Historical Perspective 168

Lawrence Ziring
Chapter VIII Prospects of South Asian 207

Cooperation in the Transformed World: Post-11

September J.N. Dixit

Chapter IX Reassessing Pakistan as a 223

Long-term Security Threat

Satish Kumar

Chapter X Cross-Border Terrorism: 246

Roadblock to Peace Initiative

Rajen Harshi

Chapter XI Peace Process between India 258

and Pakistan

M.P. Singh and Veena Kukreja

About the Editors and Contributors 289

Index 293
List of Tables

Table 4.1 Number of Language-Medium 112

Schools in Pakistan

Table 5.1 Pakistan: Defence versus Development 12b 125

Table 5.2 Pakistan's Official Defence Budget-Fiscal Year 126

1980-81 to 2001-02

Table 5.3 Military Component of Debt Burden 128

Table 5.4 Pakistan's Actual Defence spending,1992-95 130

Table 5.5 Pakistan: Human Development Indicators 130

Table 6.1 Pakistan's Defence Expenditure,1961-99 141

This work is an attempt to provide Indian, Pakistani and American scholarly perspectives on democracy, development and security issues in Pakistan. It comprises pieces specially commissioned and those selected for inclusion from journals. The chapters by Lawrence Ziring, Saleem Qureshi, and Veena Kukreja, the introduction and the concluding chapter by M.P. Singh and Veena Kukreja are being published here for the first time. The rest are reprinted with the permission of the authors and the concerned journals—the Economic and Political Weekly, the South Asian Survey and the Strategic Digest. Thanks for this scholarly favour are duly offered here.

Professors Ziring and Qureshi were kind enough to accommodate our request for papers promptly and on time without the need for any reminders. The Pakistani scholars, namely, Professors Waseem and Rahman and Dr Ayesha Siddiqa were very warm and cooperative in their responses.

We would like to offer our thanks to the staff of the libraries of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis, the Indian Council of World Affairs, Jawaharlal Nehru University, the Indian Institute of Public Administration, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, the United Service Institution of India and the American Center Library, all in New Delhi. We are especially obliged to Ms. Aneeta Narang, Senior Library Assistant at IDSA, for her unfailing kindness and courtesy. Thanks are also due to Kshitij Kukreja whose computer expertise made him a trouble-shooter on occasions when we found ourselves at our wit's end. He helped us despite his good humoured murmurs about the exploitation of child labour.

Mr Nand Lai conscientiously and efficiently typed out the manu­script, for which he deserves our special thanks.

Mr Tejeshwar Singh and Ms Mimi Choudhury of Sage Publications took a special interest in this project and have been very cooperative and encouraging. For this we owe them our gratitude.


M.P. Singh and Veena Kukreja


HALF A CENTURY after its creation, Pakistan remains 'a nation still in the making'.1 It continues to be politically unstable, and is struggling to establish viable institutions and a viable political system. Since 1947 the country has tried about half a dozen different political systems and formal constitutions, promulgated in 1946, 1956,1962 and 1973 respectively. Democracy and its institutions have yet to take root. The Pakistani polity has been battered by long spells of military rule and even longer periods of religious, ethnic and economic turmoil. Unfortunately, democracy has never been allowed to flourish in Pakistan. Time and again since 1958, democ­racy has been strangled by the periodic imposition of martial law. The rights to freedom and political activity have been denied and the constitution trampled under military boots. Pakistan's level of institutionalisation is low and underdeveloped. It faces massive problems of human development: poverty, housing, nutrition, literacy, and so on. Civil society remains fragile in relation to the state's coercive capacity. Finally, 'the role of Islam in the state and the relationship between Pakistani and more "primordial" identities still await their "resolution"' (Talbot 2000:222).

Democracy, development and security issues in Pakistan, as else­where, are closely interlinked. The relationship between democracy and development is a complex issue in comparative political theory. Whether democracy follows from development or whether democ­racy and development can be pursued simultaneously is a question which cannot be convincingly answered in the abstract, in a paired two-country study, or in a comparative study that does not include a sufficiently large number of countries. In some cases democratic development materialised after a certain threshold of economic development was achieved, either with domestic resources or with resources drawn from colonies. In other countries, democracy was initially sacrificed for rapid economic development. There are at least a few cases where, despite economic underdevelopment, illiteracy and social backwardness, both democracy and development have been simultaneously attempted — such as India.

Our argument here is that the experience of sustained political and economic development shows that neither democracy nor capi­talist development can survive without the other. They are in a way strange bedfellows, but the experiences of First and Second World countries attest that these two categories (democracy and develop­ment) have survived only in a mutual relationship of symbiosis. The socialist bloc (the Soviet Union and eastern Europe), which claimed to be not only politically but also economically 'democratic', ended up stamping out not only freedoms but also equality; they ultimately also became unsustainable and collapsed as economic systems. The next step in our argument is to argue that peace and security are essential prerequisites for promoting democracy and economic development. Unbridled aggressive nationalism and militarisation are destructive for both these objectives.

Struggle for Democracy

Politics in Pakistan are dominated by the military-bureaucratic elite, with the political and landed elite playing second fiddle. Both historical and contemporary political developments account for this state of affairs. There was a gap of about 100 years between the British colonisation of Bengal and of Punjab, hence the difference in the extent of incidental modernisation (education, urbanisation, democracy, capitalist growth, etc.) which occurred in areas that formed the rest of India. The Muslim League, the political organisation that inherited power in Pakistan after partition was, ironically, stronger in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bombay province than in the Muslim-majority areas in the provinces of Punjab and Bengal that were carved up to make the new state of Pakistan. In 1958, after about 11 years of its initial democratic existence, Pakistan came under military rule. Since then the country has alter­nated between martial law and democratic government, and has existed in a state of constitutional ambivalence. The army has penetrated the state apparatus and economy (even floating its own companies) to such a degree that neither the political class nor any social class can have any meaningful share in power without its will.

Fifty-seven years of traumatic political history and the ongoing crisis of governability in Pakistan, which has experienced a pattern of long periods of military rule interspersed with shorter democratic interregna, manifest the persistent imbalances within the country's power structure. The absence of consensual politics, enduring consti­tutionalism and a properly agreed-upon mechanism for electoral transfer of power is reflected in the country's periodic phases of insta­bility. Such intermittent crises, multiplied by an uneasy ethno-regional polarisation, the rising clout of religious fundamentalism and jihadism, a collapsing economy and violent sectarianism coupled with the heroin-Kalashnikov culture, have raised questions about Pakistan's survival as a state and have often allowed analysts to view Pakistan as either a 'failed' or a 'failing' state (Malik 2002: 205).

In Pakistan, the army is the ultimate arbiter in the affairs of the state. Through most of Pakistan's history the military has remained the central focus of power. For half of its existence Pakistan has been under military rule or military-dominated governance.2 Even during the remainder of the period the army had significant influence in politics. In this context an astute scholar aptly comments, "The army and bureaucracy have been the self-appointed guardians of the Pakistani state since independence. Political parties and constitu­tions have come and gone or been transformed, but these twin unelected institutions have remained the pillars of the state' (Talbot 2000: 215).

There have, however, been three periods of civil rule in Pakistan. The first, from 1947 to 1958, began with independence and ended with Ayub Khan's coup. The second, from 1971 to 1977, belonged to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The third, from 1988 to 1999, under Benazir Bhutto and her rival Nawaz Sharif, started after Gen. Zia-ul-Haq's death and came to an end when General Musharraf took over.

The first period (1947-58) was characterised by the trappings of a parliamentary government, but the soul of democracy had long since been smothered, by the absence of general elections and a lack of continuous participation through political parties as the vehicle for mobilisation. Since 1951, effective power was firmly in the of a bureaucratic-military oligarchy, notwithstanding successive changes in the form of governments and the installation of political parties and leaders in apparent charge of the state apparatus. The early success of the military-bureaucracy establishment established its dominant political role, which was facilitated by the disarray of political parties that could not organise political support.

The institutional poverty of Pakistan is the result of the birth, development and demise of a number of political institutions, none of which took root, as they never became sufficiently broad-based and representative. Jinnah, who has been wrongly publicised as a brilliant founder of the Pakistani state, failed as an institution-builder. He used the Muslim League as a means to achieve Pakistan, but he and his successors did not seem to regard party organisation as an integral and essential part of the political system of a free people.

The colonial legacies of bureaucratic rule, centralism, govern­ment dismissal, assembly dissolution, the clash between regional identity and Muslim nationalism, and the system of ruling indirectly with the help of a collaborative network of local rural intermediaries, like landlords and tribal chiefs, lent Pakistan some very peculiar traits of elitist politics. According to an eminent scholar, 'It was during the first decade of independence that an interplay of domestic, regional and international factors saw the civil bureau­cracy and the army gradually registering their dominance over parties and politicians within the evolving structure of the state' (Jalal 1990:295). The culture of political intolerance and the recourse to religion to impose unity could not forge national integration in the real sense of the term.

The prominence of the bureaucracy and the army in the formative years have

perpetuated the viceregal tradition inherited from the Raj, privileging administration and order over the encouragement of political partici­pation. Periodic bouts of martial law, while temporarily keeping the lid on dissent, have in the long run exacerbated resistance to what has seemed to some a remote and colonial-style state. The association of the military and to a lesser extent the bureaucracy with the Punjab has especially in the post-1971 era raised charges that there has been a 'Punjabisation' of Pakistan (Talbot 2000: 215).

Ironically, the unelected pillars of the state are, thus, a central part of the problem of Pakistan's nation-building enterprise, rather than the answer to the need for unity. Regional economic disparities intensify this feeling of a state run on Punjab's behalf (Talbot 2000: 215).

Pakistan came into being in extremely difficult conditions and faced serious domestic problems coupled with a sense of insecurity vis-a-vis India. State survival became the primary concern of the rulers of Pakistan, who equated survival with a powerful central government, strong defence posture, high defence allocations and an emphasis on monolithic nationalism. The imperatives of a strong, coercive state apparatus were given priority over the need to create participatory political institutions.

Equally important to the army's influence was the state's decision to bolster the armed forces in the aftermath of partition, even though it meant diverting scarce resources from human development. The government's priority of building up the armed forces was explained by the then Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, in a broadcast to the nation on 8 October 1948. He maintained that 'The defence of the State is our foremost consideration... and has dominated all other government activities. We will not grudge any amount on the defence of our country' (Ali 1967:376). Henceforth, to borrow Ayesha Jalal's phrase, scarce resources were diverted to the establishment of 'a political economy of defence'(1990). The army considered itself the ultimate guarantor of national security. During the years 1947-50, up to 70 per cent of the national budget was devoted to defence expenditure, an amount disproportionate to that invested in the social sector.

Pakistan's identity crisis, coupled with its obsession with attaining parity with India in military terms, pushed the military into the centre of the political decision-making arena, allowing the defence establishment to play a more decisive role in internal and external politics. Pakistan's continued confrontation with India, coupled with its military and strategic connections with the United States, helped to rationalise the feudalistic capitalist state structure, besides the growing expenditure on defence.

The decision to prioritise defence spending did not by itself create a determining/pivotal role for the armed forces in Pakistan's polity. Rather, the long-term conditions for military intervention were facilitated by funds being pumped into the army at the same time as the level of political institutionalisation remained low. In this con­text, an astute scholar remarked, aptly, that

In contrast with the 'Congress System', the Pakistani political process was chaotic immediately after independence, displaying a bewildering array of shifting allegiances and alliances. By 1954 the Muslim League which had founded the state was in terminal decline. Personalities counted rather than ideologies or party institutionalization. The lack of expenditure on what would today be termed human development hampered the emergence of a civil society which might have ques­tioned the growing influence of the army (Talbot 2000: 218).

Well before the military and its bureaucratic allies formally sent the politicians packing in October 1958, power had slipped into their hands.

The developments in the Pakistani State suggest that a well-entrenched military-bureaucratic establishment, the bedrock of the Pakistani State structure, constitutes a thinly based edifice. This monopolist power elite has too often opposed measures such as democratisation, decentralisation, accountability, freedom of the media, land reforms and the independence of the judiciary (Malik 1999: 94-114).

Legitimacy has been sought by non-representative elites through a politics of co-option with intermediaries and of dependence on Islamic ideology. The Pakistani polity rests on the colonial tradition of patronage, with the landed aristocracy frequently acting as a willing partner and a co-opted elite. All the regimes have used Islam to legitimise their authority and avoid electoral politics. However, the ideological groups suffering from internal splits and an undefined quest for identity have been unable to provide any tangible alternative other than mere rhetoric. The military-bureaucratic elite has allowed the political, geographical, economic and demographic imbalances that have existed in the polity since the Raj, to continue.

In terms of socio-economic stratification or class formation, Pakistan is still a predominantly agrarian, rural and feudal society. The four provinces that comprise Pakistan have an overwhelmingly feudal political leadership, which is inherently incapable of leading a democratic country. Feudalism is anti-democratic. Feudal elements have been totally integrated with the military-bureaucratic establishment through marriage or lineage. The feudal groups have not only created a socio-economic situation in society that is to their advantage, they have also influenced politics and the political psyche of Pakistan.

The deliberate enfeebling of civil society in the formative years of Pakistan by the ruling elite has brought about the degradation of political processes and constitutional norms in the country. The disequilibrium between the state and civil society has further rein­forced the politics of coercive domination in Pakistan.

The ruling elites in Pakistan have used 'militarisation' and 'Islamisation' as strategies to paper over the simmering discontent of regional and ethnic identities that has continued to surface after the secession of Bangladesh in 1971 — the Pakhtun and Baluch na­tionalistic assertions in the 1970s, Sindhi nationalism in the 1980s and muhajir movements (Muslim migrants from India who had really fought for and won Pakistan) that have been gathering momentum since the 1990s (Malik 1999). The dialectical contradic­tions between militarism and Islamic fundamentalism have become particularly explosive in the wake of the Soviet intervention in 1979 and withdrawal in 1989 and the US-led war against terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq at the turn of the century.

An analysis of Pakistan's second democratic experiment under Z.A. Bhutto (1971-77) provides an insight into the patterns of conflict that led the military elite to react and restore a military-hegemonic system. Precipitating a politics of mass mobilisation, Bhutto brought in groups and classes that had been neglected by earlier regimes, little realising that the radicalisation of politics serves the purpose of exacerbating the difficulties of the incumbent regime.

So far as institution-building under Bhutto is concerned, apart from some symbolic moves, Bhutto failed in instituting proper struc­tures of democracy in the country. The patrimonial style of Bhutto's functioning meant that establishing control over government and institutional structures only led his Pakistan People's Party (PPP) towards its doomsday. Intolerance of any opposition by Bhutto engendered the politics of confrontation at the levels of party, ideol­ogy and region, and gave democracy a bad name and consigned it to limbo.

The socio-economic reforms the regime carried out could only produce mild gains, leaving the arduously awakened masses dis­enchanted at large (Burki 1980). The departure of the reformist left from the PPP by 1974 was a crucial turning point in the democratic history of Pakistan. While the marginalisation of the left celebrated by the private sector, its exclusion from the central government saw the ascendancy of the Islamic and feudal forces over the socialist wing of the original PPP. This equation was quite manifest in the list of the PPP candidates for the 1977 election (Bansal 2002: 280). Nevertheless, five and a half years of Bhutto's rule did provide Pakistan with its first glimpse of populist democracy.

A number of important developments since the 1980s have had a profound impact on the traditional balance of forces inside Pakistan. In the wake of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the cultivation of poppy and cannabis was encouraged by Zia-ul-Haq's regime to finance terrorist activities in India. General Zia's support for poppy cultivation gave a new dimension to international drug trafficking and terrorism in India. His target was to destabilise India. Succes­sive regimes were unable and unwilling to control the menace and power of drug barons. The second development has been the growth in power and influence of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) direc­torate, which conducted the proxy war in Afghanistan and in India. The ISI, in addition to amassing weapons and waging wars in neighbouring countries, has become a force to reckon with in do­mestic politics. The military also influences the political process through the intelligence agencies. It relies on military intelligence and the ISI to pursue its political agenda. Intelligence-gathering has become increasingly important for senior commanders pursuing behind-the-scenes political intervention; it is also important for advancing the military's professional and corporate interests.

The third development was the introduction of radical religious indoctrination of the country in general and the army in particular. The Jamaat-e-Islami with its overt Islamic political agenda penetrated the army, thus making religion an important part of the public pro­file of in-service personnel.

The Afghanistan experience reinforced Islamic zeal among army personnel. The withdrawal of the Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989 created a sense of euphoria among them and the thinking pro­cess of many army personnel (including some senior officers) has remained frozen in the Afghanistan experience. They often argue for an Afghanistan-style armed resistance to bring an end to non-Muslim domination of the Muslims, especially in Kashmir. The linkages between militant Islam, terrorism and the export of jihad are exem­plified by the Taliban phenomenon (Kukreja 2003:68-72). Contrary to conventional wisdom, however this development has not adversely affected the military's professionalism; on the other hand, it has provided a strong religious motivation in support of aggres­sive action (Singh 1999:17).

Pakistan's third period of civilian rule began after General Zia's demise in a mysterious aircrash in 1988. However, the post-military democratic experience under Benazir Bhutto (1988-90 and 1993-96) failed both to subordinate the military-bureaucratic elites to civilian-led party dominance and to build an alternative to the military rule.

It is pertinent to note that the democratic regimes of both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif lived under the shadow of the military. The 'Troika system' of power sharing between the President, the Prime Minister and the army reserved the veto power for the army. The army was playing a more subtle but still ubiquitous role. During 1988-89 the military had an important influence over foreign, security and key domestic issues and it continued to moderate confrontations among feuding politicians or state institutions.

The restoration of democracy in Pakistan was a semi-restoration of democracy or, at best, a military-backed 'democratic' regime. A state structure dominated by non-representative institutions, namely, the military and bureaucracy, was not inclined to a transformation that would result in the ascendancy of elected institutions, the parliament in particular. However, both Benazir and Sharif failed to resolve the contradictions within the state structure and political processes and to introduce a party-based system by removing a formidable wall of structural obstacles rooted in the very nature oi the Pakistani state.

The long years of direct and indirect military rule have enabled the military to spread out so widely into civilian institutions, the economy and society that its clout and influence no longer depend on control­ling the levers of power. They are derived from its organisational strength and its ability to exert significant pressure on all sectors oi government and society (Rizvi 2000:248).

The recent history of Pakistan, in the wake of General Musharraf' j coup of 1999, demonstrates just how difficult it is to reverse the phenomenon of military authoritarianism. In the post-Cold Wai era, despite halting steps towards democracy and civilian rule, the military in Pakistan remains the most formidable and autonomous political actor, capable of influencing the nature and direction o change in Pakistan's half-century-old search for a viable system. It has produced the military-hegemonic regime which promoted the interests of the military-bureaucratic elite, consolidated the financial industrial groups, co-opted a feudal class and followed laissez-faire economic growth. Its basic objective was to curb partici­patory politics and to subordinate political parties and other au­tonomous interest groups to military hegemony. At the same time, through political control and political exclusion, the regime pro­moted centralisation and authoritarianism, delegitimised political parties and leaders and depoliticised the masses. This course of action was exemplified by, the military-hegemonic regimes of Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan and Zia-ul-Haq. The present military regime of General Musharraf also works along the same lines.

So far as the democratic restoration under General Musharraf is concerned, the 2002 elections have established a 'puppet' democ­racy through cosmetic 'civilianisation'. The real transfer of power to the representatives of the people is being indefinitely postponed. General Musharraf has been concentrating all powers in his hands and those of the military and intelligence establishments.

The official aversion to democracy and constitutionalism has not allowed various regional and ethnic forces to be properly repre­sented in the mainstream politico-economic institutions. Instead of opting for logical and egalitarian politics based on consensus, the regimes have sought to carve out a hegemonic Pakistani identity at the expense of ethnic pluralism. On the other hand, autonomy-seekers have placed their faith in a confederal political structure for Pakistan, as they insist that Pakistan should be recognized as a multi-national state where the federal government acts upon the express wish of the confederating provinces and not the other way round as has happened in the past 50 years (Dixit 1996: 6).

Ethnic divide or conflicting ethnic militancy in contemporary Pakistan, ranging from autonomy to political segregation, is the manifestation of the ineluctable dilemma of the country: how to weave a national identity out of diverse regional and linguistic loyalties and their political aspirations. Today, Pakistan is facing internal turmoil, as all the non-Punjabi ethnic groups — Baluchis, Pathans, Sindhis — are highly discontented, while the muhajirs feel alienated and betrayed by the Punjabi ruling classes. Unfortunately, the powerful Pakistani ruling elite has remained reluctant to accept the plural composition of society and has reduced it to a law-and-order problem, rather than a political problem of national integration and governability.

Pakistan, even nearly six decades after its creation, remains a country in search of its identity (Jaffrelot 2002: 7) and nationhood. Although Pakistan came into being in 1947, it still has not suc­ceeded in integrating its diverse peoples into a nation — as its short yet turbulent history vividly demonstrates. Pakistan was established for religious reasons; but religion has proved to be a weak basis for defining a nation's frontiers. A perceptive scholar succinctly remarks, "The "two-nation theory" gave the country a nationalist ideology — it has even been described as a religiously motivated "ideological state" — which has been promoted against India, the "other nation". But it did not endow Pakistan with the sociological qualities of a nation' (Sayeed: 1998). The question primarily arose from the fis-siparous tendencies that the ethnic groups developed from the be­ginning. Lately, sectarian conflicts between Shias and Sunnis have further challenged the view that Islam provided Pakistan with a common platform.

The foundation of Pakistan was based on Islam. Religion was a great unifying factor for the Muslims in the pre-independence era and resulted in the 'two-nation theory' and the birth of Pakistan. The imperial partition of the Indian subcontinent was based on the theory that religion was the basis of nationhood.

After the creation of Pakistan the ethnic factor gained impor­tance. Though Islam was the foundation of the polity, ethnicity and regionalism became the driving forces in politics. Very soon after the birth of Pakistan, the identity of 'the Muslim nation' dissolved, giving way to ethnic, sectarian and other groups which started pres­surizing the government and demanding a fairer distribution of the expected rewards of independence from the British. According to an eminent scholar,

To counter such demands, the privileged groups — Punjabis and Muhajirs-decided to deploy Islamic ideology in Pakistan for the first time, in a manner in which it had never featured in the Pakistan move­ment itself. They now put forward the conception of an Islamic State and society and the concept of citizen as a Muslim. This view, therefore, repudiated the legitimacy of regional ethnic identities and the demands that were articulated in that idiom (Alavi 1983: 58).

Aijaz Ahmed believes that the 'concept of an "Islamic nation" is the main ideological weapon in the hands of the regionally-based dominant classes in their struggle to deny the rights, even the sepa­rate existence, of the oppressed nationalities' (1983:16).

The Pakistani establishment viewed ethnic heterogeneity and cul­tural pluralism as a threat to the whole country and laid emphasis on religious commonality. By ignoring and 'dismissing ethnic heterogeneity and demands for provincial autonomy, devolution of power, decentralization and equitable policies governing relations with the centre, the ruling elites have sought refuge in ad hoc mea­sures and no comprehensive plan has been undertaken to co-opt such plural forces through bargaining and appropriate political and economic measures' (Malik 1999:168).

The disintegration of Pakistan and the emergence of Bangladesh in 1971 dealt the first devastating blow to the 'two-nation theory' in the Indian subcontinent. The emergence of Bangladesh proved a milestone, as it reinforced the aspirations of many ethnic movements in Pakistan.

A classic divide between the 'centrists', who are of Punjabi origin, and the 'autonomy-seekers', who belonged to the remaining four provinces (before 1971) has existed since the time the Pakistan movement in undivided India began looking like a reality. The two groups have taken diametrically opposite stands over the issue of the political structure of Pakistan. The centrists, who have held power continuously since partition, view their opponent's demands as 'anarchic' and anti-Pakistani. They have repeatedly stressed a doctrinaire uniformity, whose basis is conformity to the principle of 'one nation (Pakistan), one language (Urdu), and one people (Muslims)' (Dixit 1996: 6). Thus, in the minds of Pakistan's ruling elite, nation-building and state-building had become virtually syn­onymous. Even after the bifurcation of the state structure in Paki­stan in 1971, the devolutionary rather than feudal character of the state prevailed in spirit.

The 'Punjabisation'4 of Pakistan and, correlatively, the integra­tion of smaller provinces, was bound to alienate the other communi­ties (Samad 1995: 30) and affect the nation-building process. The Punjabisation issue is a complex phenomenon. According to Talbot, Punjab can be seen 'both as the cornerstone of the state and as major hindrance to national integration' (Talbot 2002: 51). The Punjabisation thesis has previously been linked with the region's close ties to the army, the foremost unelected institution in the nation. Talbot maintains that 'the depiction of a monolithic and united Punjabi interest is as much myth as Punjabi economic and political dominance is a reality' (ibid.: 59). The Punjab itself is not as culturally or economically homogeneous as detractors of its role in Pakistani politics would have us believe. The province is divided into different linguistic groups and along socio-economic lines. But 'the perception in the minority provinces is... of a unified Punjabi political interest' resting largely with the army, hence their feeling of vulnerability (ibid.).

Another issue affecting the nation-building process today is raised by the sectarian conflicts, which are not confined to Punjab alone. The growth of sectarian conflicts poses an obvious threat to the nation-building process. It puts the very notion of Pakistan into question since it undermines the notion that Islam can be the only cementing ideological force behind the nation. This development is more challenging than the ethnic separatist movements because it takes place in the heartland of Pakistan—the NWFP and Punjab — and amounts to a kind of ethnicisation of Islam. Nasr describes sectarianism 'as a form of "ethnic" posturing, one that combines Islamist and ethnic discourses of power' (Nasr 2002:86).

Economic Development: Missed Opportunities and Misplaced Priorities

Political turbulence was bound to impinge on economic develop­ment. Pakistan's political history reflects a constant tussle among social groups for participation in or control of the political process. These conflicts have affected economic decision-making and, consequently, economic performance. Poor governance and corrup­tion have had an adverse impact on development. In the area of economic development, the establishment captured a significant share of the national wealth by virtue of its domination of the political system. The established groups that held sway over the formal political structure adopted a perverse set of policies that discrimi­nated against less-advantaged groups (Burki 1999:101).

This contributed to a serious slow-down in the delivery of social ser­vices such as basic education and primary health care to a large num­ber of people. Poor governance and corruption played an importani role whether it was Pakistan's failure to develop credible political insti­tutions that gave a voice to important groups operating in society oi the country's inability to sustain high rates of economic growth ovei a long period of time, or again, the country's failure to achieve a higr rate of social development (ibid.: 169-70).

An overview of Pakistan's economic performance suggests that i has been mismanaged since 1947. The little so-called development that took place in the late 1950s and 1960s was not really due to government policies. The absence of proper economic planning coupled with institutional frameworks for the governance of the state to channelise aspirations of the masses have resulted in a chaotic situation.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Pakistan received massive economic aid from the US as an alliance partner in Cold War politics, which enabled the ruling elite to present a picture of economic prosperity to the rest of the world. The rate of growth slowed down in the first seven years of the 1970s but picked up again in the 1980s. It allowed General Zia's regime to benefit from an era of artificial prosperity. This economic oasis, in due course of time, began to dry up, with burgeoning foreign debt and decreasing overseas remittances. Pakistan entered the 1990s faced with the worst economic crisis in her history.

The analysis of the nexus between the state and political economy in Pakistan provides some interesting insights into the way the state and economy influence the social dynamics underlying the political processes. An examination of the different phases of the post-independence history of Pakistan highlights the persisting prob­lems of economic inequalities and social injustice (Kukreja 2003: Chapter 3).

All Pakistani governments have failed to consolidate democracy significantly and attain socio-economic equality. A review of these regimes shows that the authoritarian ones have generally provided good economic growth but have not paved the way for socio-political equality or democratic practices. During Ayub's period, regional and class disparities increased. Zia's regime strengthened anti­democratic measures. Benazir and Sharif's civilian regimes neither weakened the foundation of an authoritarian regime nor projected a transition towards democracy.

The consistent pattern that runs through all these governments is a negative correlation between the economic growth rate, socio­political liberalisation and related democratic consolidation. No government has thus far been able to combine significant economic growth and social justice. Pakistan's economic performance under various regimes suggests that market-oriented economic policies without the establishment of social justice or corresponding liberalising social policies have resulted in class and regional disparities. These differences are especially harsh in Pakistan, where a dominant elite operates in a patron-client system. The tension between elitist social change and those seeking economic growth mirrors the country's uneven distribution of wealth and the prevailing elitist politics. A constant problem in Pakistan has been the long deal with poverty given its uneven development, rural-urban differences, feudatory land-holding patterns, narrow tax base and huge non-development expenditure. The dwindling of the social sector in some decades, despite projections to the contrary in the five-year plans, has been exacerbated by a huge increase "in population and has created an enduring problem.

A special feature of Pakistani agriculture is its feudal structure. The economic assets of the country, especially land, are unevenly distributed (Fazal 1997). The print media often carry reports of leaders possessing as much as 20,000 acres of land each, a phenomenon one cannot imagine in any other country of South Asia Today.

While other developing countries, especially in South Asia, brought in land reforms immediately after independence and reduced the role of the landed aristocracy in the overall governance of the state, the same has not happened in Pakistan for a number of reasons. First, even 57 years after independence the feudal land­lords continue to maintain a stranglehold on the nation-state of Pakistan. The landed class has never permitted any land reforms which could put them in a disadvantageous situation to any signifi­cant extent (Fazal 1997). The two half-hearted attempts to imple­ment land reforms, in 1959 and 1972, were more cosmetic than ». substantial. The entire politics of agrarian reform can be explained in terms of—to borrow Herring's phrase—'superficially paradoxical' features. Superficial, because the politics of land reform lack substance and political will. They are rhetorical and a ploy to fool the public, to take the sting out of mass protest and to diffuse oppo­sition. This is the reason why Pakistan continues to retain a privi­leged class, rooted in rural areas with unusual access to and control of the land. This society has cumulative and extreme inequalities and undue privileges for a few. Symbolic politics of illusion — and fantasy —get the upper hand, and the real issues of economic and land reforms are relegated to the background. That is the reason why economic disparities are becoming more acute (Herring 1982: 228).

The breaking down of the enormous power of landlords and tribalist feudalism is imperative for the establishment of democracy in Pakistan. To change the social structure and eliminate the f eudals the need is to organise the people governed and controlled by the feudals. For a liberal democratic system, land reforms are a pre­requisite without which it is not possible to have a proper democratic dispersion in the country.

The second factor concerns Pakistan's devoting a large part of its expenditure to defence. The armed forces themselves have been rulers for most of the country's nearly six decades of existence, and since the civilian authority, as and when it has been allowed to rule, draws its legitimacy from the armed forces, it has allowed the former a far higher profile than they deserve. This situation has automati­cally resulted in a total distortion in resource allocation for devel­opment and defence. Pakistan has always prioritised territorial security over social, economic and human security, using the argument that it is military strength and stability that can ensure the overall security of the country.

Regarding the question of education and health, which are the bases of any civil society, Pakistan's record has been poor. Rationalised in terms of specific geo-political vulnerabilities and constant security threats from India, defence spending and the resultaiit increasing expenditure have been consuming scarce resources that would otherwise have been available for development. In spite of a persis­tent increase in population, there has been a reduction in funds for education and health.

In the past years, Pakistan's defence expenditure has always in­creased, and the increases have been substantial. Even though Pakistan's fragile economy has been unable to support it, military spending in the country has been at the cost of development expen­diture. Ever since the nuclear tests of 1998, Pakistan has been on the verge of bankruptcy and the prospects for the country's education, medical services and welfare programmes have totally collapsed.

In addition, Pakistan fails to realise the folly of attempting to com­pete with India, overlooking the high risks involved in imitating the erstwhile Soviet Union, which broke down trying to compete with the defence efforts of the much stronger and richer United States. The continuing proxy war against India and international terrorism too has costs in economic and political terms, both internationally and domestically.

Pakistan's political and economic history, as mentioned above, reflects the tension between economic development and the ex­pansion of civil society. The power elite emphasises economic development while the masses seek social and political change along with economic development. Since the expansion of civil society requires some degree of political liberalisation and democratisation, it is appropriate to describe this predicament as a tension between economic and political development. Economics alone will not necessarily produce democracy. Likewise, democracy— the creation of representative popular government, wherein the will of the people is final authority — may initially hinder or at least slow down economic development in a traditional society like Pakistan.

Fifty Years of Insecurity

Pakistan came into being as an insecure state. It was supposedly separated from India on religious lines. The founders of Pakistan were afraid that if Muslims remained a part of India, they would be slaughtered and their rights would be ignored, resulting in a tyr­anny of the majority by the Hindus. This insecurity, unfortunately, did not fade away after the establishment of the Pakistani nation. After independence, the fear was not of the tyranny of Hindus over Muslims, but rather of India's dominance over Pakistan in politics, economy and military capability. Thomas Perry Thornton points out Pakistan's paranoia: 'from its very inception Pakistan was an "insecurity state" that perceived itself not only as small and disad-vantaged but as on the defensive against a real and present threat, with its survival at stake' (Thornton: 171). According to Racine, the 'India Syndrome' of Pakistan stems from an obvious asymmetry between both countries (2002:197). This imbalance of strength nur­tures a feeling of insecurity. Kashmir is the symbol of Indo-Pakistan conflict and fuels anti-Indian feelings.

Indo-Pakistan relations have been full of conflicts and tension since 1947, including the conflict over Kashmir. Pakistan's perspec­tive on Kashmir is that it is more of an ideological than a territorial dispute. It sees the Kashmir issue in the light of Jinnah's 'two-nation theory', whereas, India views Kashmir as a symbol of its secularism and composite nationhood. Pakistan has fought three full-scale wars with India, and a limited war in Kargil in the summer of 1999, over Kashmir. The intervals between the wars have also been full of alarms and tensions. With the overt nuclearisation of India and Pakistan in 1998, the situation has worsened. Since then, any conflict between the two neighbours has had the potential of escalating into a nuclear war in the subcontinent.

The Pakistani establishment is obsessed with Kashmir, which has, strategically, been made a national obsession for political gains. A shrill anti-India refrain overwhelms the national security dis­course. The myth that has been carefully built up is that the nation has to be protected, within and without, from India's danger in the form of venal elected politicians, which only the generals can do by occupying the political space. It justifies maintaining a large army. Every establishment and government in Pakistan has used the Kashmir dispute for its own advantage rather than for the Kashmiris. It comes in handy when attention must be diverted from domestic failures and is useful in stifling people's voices whenever necessary. Besides, as Ganguly points out, Islam could not be the main driving force behind Pakistani nationalism and after the emergence of Bangladesh Pakistan had to find something to substitute for Islam to hold the country together. It, therefore, sought to hold on to Kashmir 'from the imperatives of statecraft and little else' (Ganguly 2002: 182).

Pakistan has the wherewithal of a middle power, but a great incongruity exists between its external facade of a regional achiever with nuclear weapons and the borrowed attainment of 'strategic depth' in Afghanistan (prior to the fall of the Taliban in Afganistan), and fundamental internal contradictions. The armed forces in Paki­stan for five and a half decades have manifested a near-pathological determination to keep South Asia in turmoil, doing little to curb religious extremism and breeding terrorism within its borders, while obstructing any efforts towards peace. The export of terrorism provides an outlet for Pakistan's domestic frustrations (such as the lack of national ethos and identity), helps to mobilise the masses and gains the support of Islamic parties and their loyalists in the army and the ISI (Kak 2000:9).5

Political and strategic circumstances have cast Pakistan as the anti-status quo power with a relatively great temptation to alter the prevalent South Asian equilibrium. Pakistan's proxy war and its unstinted efforts are targeted at weakening India's internal cohesion and territorial unity through what has been termed as 'death by a thousand cuts'. Pakistan has been determinedly ex­porting, promoting and supporting cross-border terrorism into Kashmir (and even elsewhere in India) by proclaiming that jihadis are not terrorists (as India calls them). They are 'freedom fighters', according to Pakistan.

The relations between India and Pakistan have entered a new phase in the post-11 September 2001 world. General Musharraf joined the world coalition against terrorism reluctantly, under pres­sure and threat from Washington. Following the terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament on 13 December 2001 General Musharraf came under pressure from the US and had agreed publicly in his 12 January 2002 speech to wage war against terrorism domestically and to renounce terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. However, the actions Pakistan has taken against various terrorist outfits so far are superfi­cial. Pakistan continues to support cross-border terrorism politically, diplomatically, morally and financially. Musharraf talks of Kash­mir as being part of every Pakistani's blood. The US alliance's Op­eration Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan has had little effect in curbing cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.

However, in reality one finds that the evidence of close ties Islamabad has had with the Taliban, Bin Laden and Al-Qaida, and that these three had with terrorist militias like the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) directly and through Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), have destroyed its credibility with the US and other countries. Recent developments reveal that Pakistan is replicating its 'bleed thy neighbour' policy, used first in Afghanistan, in India. Egged on by Islamist clerics and ably aided by Pakistan, the Taliban is making inroads in the country. The 12-day military operation by the Pakistan army in South Waziristan in March 2004 ostensibly to hunt down the Al-Qaida and Taliban elements proved to be a visible failure (John 2004: 6).

However, in January 2004 a peace process was initiated between India and Pakistan due to tremendous US pressure. In the Islamabad Declaration General Musharraf committed himself to preventing territories under Pakistan's control from being used for international terrorism. However, terrorist outfits like the LeT and JeM still remain active in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK). General Musharraf, by harping on the centrality of the Kashmir issue, can cloud the fragile peace process.

Indo-Pakistan animus has destabilised regional peace and retarded regional cooperation. In today's changed world situa­tion, it is imperative for South Asia to strive for peace, harmony and regional cooperation. The time has come to let economics domi­nate politics in the relations among nations. In this context of increased economic relations, the early implementation of the South Asian Preferential Trade Area and South Asian Free Trade Area assumes significance. The success of such regional cooperative arrangements will, in turn, generate confidence in SAARC and help dispel doubts and reservations.

Once India and Pakistan get involved in profitable economic ties, only then will they be open to each other's concerns, and, hence, negotiate a long-lasting solution. Once cross-border wealth creation replaces cross-border terrorism and capitalism is talked about more than Kashmir, India and Pakistan will be on the high road to global prosperity.


The ongoing discussion manifests Pakistan's extraordinarily complicated political matrix which throws up so many questions — the definition of identity, the intersection of religious and ethnic factors, a deeply flawed institutionalisation of democracy, military control of the state and the potentially explosive cross-impacts of regional and domestic politics.

Contemporary Pakistan is involved in regional tensions and is itself undermined by a large number of ethnic conflicts. While the muhajirs built Pakistan on the basis of 'Islamic ideology', in the 1990s they developed separatist tendencies. The Baluch, Pashtun and Sindhi nationalists are not as vocal but they still endorse cen­trifugal forces due to their resentment of the 'Punjabi hegemony'. Islam, too, has failed as a cementing force because of the increas­ingly violent Shia-Sunni conflict.

National integration remains unachieved or a remote prospect, but Pakistani nationalism exists, largely as an expression against others - India, first of all. Kashmir has been for years the main bone of contention between India and Pakistan and it has helped the latter to mobilise as a united force. Pakistan's foreign policy, be it shaped by civilians or military rulers, is for the most part over-determined by this strategy. In sum, Pakistan has not been able to develop a positive national identity but finds itself trapped in anti-Indian sentiments. Pakistan, as a state, relies more on anti-Indian nationalism than on national integration.

According to Racine, 'The essence of the paradox of Pakistan lies in this very basic fact: born out of a partition chosen by itself, it appears to have found in independence neither the peace, nor the security, nor freedom of spirit that would enable it either to live in harmony with India, or to ignore it' (2002:196).

Today, a turbulent Pakistan, wounded by frequent onslaughts of military rule, the rising tide of religious fundamentalism, terrorism, violent sectarianism, jihadism and economic uncertainties, can be a source of tremendous instability for the whole South Asian region, leave alone itself. Besides, Pakistan today is face-to-face with the challenges of globalisation and regional integration and their con­comitant ideological thrusts of 'neo-liberal' capitalist reforms and democratisation. The military-bureaucratic and feudal elites of Pakistan cannot resist these forces of modernisation too long with­out accommodating the internal pressures of federalisation or sepa­ratism and the external pressures for peace and global and regional integration. Otherwise, Pakistan could become a failed state as has happened to Afghanistan.

Even after the secession of Bangladesh, Pakistan continues to be a multi-lingual and regionally diverse composite nation. The country is also afflicted by serious economic and regional disparities. Islam, which served as a wedge for partitioning colonial India on the basis of a dubious 'Two-Nation Theory', can no longer work as a unitary bond to keep the composite Pakistani nation intact in the present globalising and regionally integrating world. Neo-liberal capital­ism and the post-communist/post-Cold War democratic upsurge in South Asia and the world at large will slowly but surely undermine feudalism and militarism in Pakistan. Pakistan and Afghanistan are again all set to join the South Asian civilisational mainstream to which they have always belonged.

The dialectical contradictions between militant Islam and aggressive militarism and modernity are at the centre of Pakistani politics and economy. Both have a negative and destructive fallout for India that bleeds both Pakistan and India. Only economic spin-off effects from an internal developmental dynamic in Pakistan and global and regional integration in South Asia can break the vicious cycle of Islamic fundamentalism and aggressive militarism in Pakistan. These desirable developments can follow only if Paki­stan takes sincere steps towards democratisation, demilitarisation and defeudalisation. In any case, so long as the military-bureaucratic state of Pakistan is not sufficiently democratised and federalised, there is no hope for peace either inside Pakistan or in Indo-Pakistan relations.

What lies in Pakistan's future? The answer to this question depends on the estimation of the country's ability to survive by surmounting its several problems. Many changes have occurred since Pakistan appeared on the world's political map as an independent state which must be factored in to reflect on the country's future. In the wake of the changed internal, regional and global environments, Pakistan needs a new set of political, economic and social goals. In politics, the real challenge is to define a political framework in which to bring together a number of diverse interests and nationalities. The question of the role of the military in politics has to be decided. The issue of the distribution of political power between the federal government and the federating states will need to be resolved, as well as the issue of meaningful participation in political decision-making on the part of the half a dozen socio-cultural communities that constitute present-day Pakistan. On the economic front, Pakistan can no longer afford to postpone some of the deep structural changes needed in the economy. Among them is the need to improve social development, particularly of those segments of the society that have, for a variety of reasons, received insufficient attention from policy-makers. Without social development, the cycles of poverty and economic development cannot be broken. Before any meaningful movement can occur in any of these areas, however, a consensus will have to emerge on the role of religion in the Pakistani state.

So far as Pakistan's external environment is concerned, the in­security that was embedded in the Pakistani nation at its com­mencement is still prevalent and has only worsened over the last 50 years. Here, India and Pakistan can shelve the contentious issue — Kashmir — and move fast on the issues of agreement. This is precisely the approach that India and China have adopted. Eco­nomic motivations are important in bringing about a rapprochement between the two nations.

In sum, today's Pakistan is already different from M.A. Jinnah's vision — not only in the geographical sense but in many other ways as well. It is important for the people of Pakistan to understand that the meaning of Pakistan need not be found in the context of the movement that made the birth of the country possible in the first place. It must be sought instead in the current situation, which is marked by internal and external circumstances very different from those that prevailed in 1947. 'It is in these very changed circum­stances that people of Pakistan will need to look for direction for themselves and for their country' (Burki 1999:223).


The papers in this volume take a fresh look at the imperatives of democracy, development and security issues in Pakistan today. This study consists of 11 chapters. The opening chapter by Mohammed Waseem attempts to explain the causes of the democratic downslide in Pakistan. This paper focuses on four major factors that contrib­uted to the problems of democracy in Pakistan. First, the migration of 8 million Muslims from India shaped the political system along non-representative lines. As migrants constituted only 3 per cent of the population, the migratory elite at the apex of the state system shunned the politics of elections, which would have meant its exit from power. Second, the perceived insecurity vis-a-vis India, with the backdrop of the Kashmir dispute, led to the emergence of a national security state at the cost of a broad-based agenda of politic­al participation and constitutional rule. Third, successive non-representative governments, both civil and military, sought to draw on the religious sources of legitimacy to counter the pressures of constitutional legitimacy based on the mass mandate. Finally, the army shaped politics through constitutional engineering in the di­rection of concentration of power in the hands of the centre at the cost of the provinces, the executive at the cost of the legislature, and the state at the cost of society in general.

In Chapter II, Veena Kukreja analyses the future of democracy in Pakistan, bringing into focus the phenomenon of the October 1999 coup and the nominal civilianisation and democratisation of General Musharraf's regime, while taking into account the conduct of the referendum and the parliamentary and provincial elections of 2002. Kukreja maintains that the 'controlled' and 'manipulated' referendum and general elections were scripted by General Musharraf and have not led to democratic consolidation in Pakistan. The fact is that General Musharraf has emerged as the obvious winner, gaining further support for his authoritarian regime. All these moves have not enhanced Musharraf's credibility, rather they have exposed the hollowness of the bubble of 'good governance' and 'real democ­racy'. So far as the prospects of democracy in Pakistan are con­cerned, democracy defined in terms of a political system which permits sustained and full participation has yet to strike root in Pakistan. Given the vulnerabilities of the geo-strategic environment as well as of the domestic political scene, the military is likely occupy a preeminent position in the power structure of Pakistan for a long time.

In Chapter III, Saleem Qureshi examines the issue of Islamic ideology and the failed state in Pakistan. He maintains that, having been created in the name of the Muslims of India, Pakistan had to deal with the issue of Islam in its politics. Islamic ideology became the clarion call for Pakistan's politics. Islamic ideology is not a math­ematical formula, however, and there is no clarity as to what it actu- - \ ally amounts to. The real politics of Pakistan, however, followed in V the historical footsteps of the Muslim politics of the past, wherein power has always been accepted as self-legitimising and whoever has the might to impose his rule is accepted as the legitimate ruler so long as he can maintain order and peace. The military coups in Pakistan are not an aberration; on the contrary, they should be seen as the norm and perhaps as part of the progression towards democ­racy, as the Turkish example shows. Looking at Pakistan in this historical context, it can be argued that Pakistan is not a case of a failed state but of a failed ideology, if we give prominence to the pro­pounding of contemporary Islamic ideology over the Islamic practice that has dominated Muslim states for centuries.

Chapter IV by Tariq Rahman looks into language, power and ideology in Pakistan. According to Rahman, language is intimately related to ideology and power in Pakistan. While Urdu is conspicuous as a symbol of Pakistani identity and national integration, other ethnic groups have seen it as a sign of internal colonialism. Indig­enous languages, thus, become tools that serve to assert ethnic identity and ensure wider mobilisation.

In Chapter V, Ayesha Siddiqa highlights the high cost of military security in Pakistan over the past 20 years. With the single agenda of its policy makers being to neutralise India's military might, defence spending has always received a higher priority than devel­opmental expenditure. More importantly, the military has played a major role in the division of national resources. As the key player in power politics and decision-making the military has appropriated a major chunk of the financial pie.

Chapter VI by Veena Kukreja aims at highlighting the misman­agement of Pakistan's economy and the severe economic crisis of the 1990s, by focusing on the country's feudal structure, high defence expenditure and burgeoning debt burden. On the eve of independence, the leadership of the Muslim League was dominated by a feudalistic aristocracy and a group of independently rich pro­fessionals and merchants. The leadership followed a feudo-capitalist pattern of development and embarked upon safeguarding its narrow, personal and class interests. During Ayub Khan's 'Decade of Development', both the small indigenous burgeoisie and the land­owners prospered, and foreign capital, too, made inroads into Pakistan's economy on a much greater scale than ever before. Besides, the regime's neglect of the equity dimension of development sharpened and deepened the regional and class disparities, which led to Ayub's downfall.

The Bhutto regime came to power on a 'socialist' platform. The regime carried out several socio-economic reforms designed by the Pakistan People's Party's left faction. His reforms did not yield the desired results owing to ineffectual implementation by the uncoop­erative, corrupt and inefficient bureaucracy. Bhutto's reform mea­sures fell far too short to satisfy the disgruntled masses that he had so arduously awakened.

The Zia era (1977-88) can be described as a period of artificial prosperity. The cause of buoyancy in the economy during the Zia regime was the large amount of US assistance in the wake of the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan in 1979 and the rise in remittances due to the migration of people to West Asia in search of jobs. The short-sighted policies pursued by the Zia regime succeeded in creating, for the time being, an artificial world of pseudo-billions providing chewing gum. But this economic oasis, in due course, began to dry up because of burgeoning of the foreign debt and de­creasing overseas remittances. As a result, by the end of the 1980s, Pakistan was caught in the classical 'debt trap' scenario. The resto­ration of democracy (1988-99) can be labelled as a period of economic downturn. During this period, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif in their respective regimes failed to revive the economy. A decline in US aid, high military expenditure and the debt trap all resulted in an economic mess in Pakistan. When General Musharraf took over in 1999, the economy was on the brink of collapse. The Musharraf regime is confronted with the internal compulsion of Pakistan's political economy and the challenge of economic revival. Even though, under Musharraf, the economy has recovered through the massive foreign aid in the wake of 9/11, economic uncertainties still prevail. Pakistan has to set its house in order and initiate long-awaited structural reforms to revive its economy.

Lawrence Ziring's illuminating contribution analyses terrorism in Pakistan in a historical perspective, in Chapter VII. He argues that terrorism was latent in the Pakistani design. Events preceeding and immediately following independence signaled the necessity for organising Pakistan in accordance with the secular vision of Mohammad Ali Jinnah. Jinnah's early death, however, and the reli­gious tone given to the quest for Pakistan deflected that vision and cleared the way for disparate and otherwise marginal actors to assume roles that heavily influenced the country's political life. Pakistan failed in the formation of a civil society, it failed both to unify a polyglot nation and to establish overarching secular institu­tions. Indeed, Pakistan could not give due meaning to democratic objectives, nor could it reconcile itself to the consequences of parti­tion, in particular its relations with India. Kashmir not only came to dominate the political imagination, it opened the way for religious-cum-political personalities to shape the national discourse. Kashmir also paved the way for the army's role in the country's political life and led to the debacle of civil war and the loss of East Pakistan. Terrorism has its roots in these experiences, but it burst into poppy flower with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and Pakistan's role in support of the resistance to it. The mainstreaming of religiously driven terrorism in Pakistan connects with the creation of the Taliban as well as the latter's relationship with Al-Qaida and a congeries of organisations evoking militant Islam.

J.N. Dixit in Chapter VIII takes a close analytical and descrip­tive look at the prospects of South Asian cooperation in the post-11 September changed world. The author argues that the SAARC option has been of secondary preference: India being fearful of the ganging-up of its South Asian neighbours due to their Indo-phobia, and almost all countries of the region being either more inclined to look West or East, or to be insular, to say nothing of the irreconcil­able Indo-Pakistan hostility with the de facto nuclear denouement. Yet Dixit with compelling force of logic and pragmatic consider­ations concludes that the accumulating unresolved problems of underdevelopment will ultimately prompt the states and civil soci­eties of the region to make a choice between sinking or swimming in their own mutual self-interest. His astute diplomatic advice for the countries of the region is to keep their strategic security and socio-economic developmental concerns separate and use the SAARC as the vehicle of the latter. It will hopefully eventuate into an engine of growth that will clear the way for improvement in the security scenario as well.

In examining the future of Indo-Pakistan relations in Chapter IX, Satish Kumar maintains that Pakistan poses a long-term security threat to India which is inherent in the nature of the Pakistani state, its ideology, its power structure and imperatives, which are decisive factors in regard to the behaviour of the ruling establishment. The army, which occupies the commanding position in Pakistan's powei structure not only as an institutional interest group but also as a vast network of its own corporate business companies and hospi­tals and schools for serving and retired armymen and theii children, has the raison d'etre in propagating and perpetuating the territorial conflict with India. From the late 1970s onwards, jihad became an instrument of state policy which was first used againsl the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and then against India in Kashmir Earlier it was the army which used the Kashmir issue for its sur­vival. The Military's preeminence in Pakistan's administration and politics and jihad as a part of Pakistani politico-strategic culture are the hard realities of Pakistan. Both are insurmountable factors and represent a mutually exploitative relationship. Both share an anti-Indian mindset and act in unison and their hostility is unlikely tc change. Any talk of democratisation of politics in view of the growing tentacles of the army in the civil services, economy and society is chimerical. Pakistan's non-reconciliatory attitude towards India is sustained by its perception that nuclear blackmail works, as well as its firm belief that its survival is vital to US security interests. These factors are not likely to change in the near future. Therefore, India has to cope with Pakistan with its strategic capabilities and respond to the inflexible situation accordingly. For India's diplomacy-centred approach to Pakistan the latter uses jihad and terror as the instru­ment of state policy. In view of Satish Kumar's realistic assessment of the grim reality of the army as the state with its octopus-like hold on administration, economy and society, the recent diplomatic out­pouring of a peace offer would appear to be a fantasy and dream sequence without much chance of materialising into reality in the long run.

Chapter X by Rajen Harshe brings in focus the negative implica­tion of cross-border terrorism to the peace initiative. He maintains that the cross-border terrorism sponsored by Pakistan has to be situ­ated in the broader context of the burgeoning terrorism that has plagued contemporary Pakistan. The links between top army personnel, bureaucrats and political leaders, on the one hand, and terrorists and drug barons, on the other, have acquired a measure of legitimacy under the banner of Islam and jihad. The transnational links of terrorist outfits also necessitate international coalitions to weed out terrorism. Nevertheless, the Indo-Pakistan peace initia­tives that are currently underway represent a positive development because they can make an incremental contribution to ending cross-border terrorism.

Chapter XI by M.P. Singh and Veena Kukreja addresses the ongoing peace process between India and Pakistan. Indo-Pak relations have been so riddled with conflicts that it is difficult to be optimistic about any sustained peace process between these two lands of shared history and a divided and violent present. Kashmir is not the cause but only a symptom of the much more deeply seated conflict. The cause is the colonial 'two-nation' theory that divided the indivisible and caused the largest forced mass migration in history in the midst of bloody communal riots raging all over the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. Kashmir is looked upon by Pakistan as the unfinished agenda of the 1947 partition. It has also become a fuel to the fury of Islamic fundamentalism that the ruling elites use as a tool for the authoritarian legitimising formula that serves to stem the tide of democratisation at home. However the unitary notion of Islamic nationalism is now coming increasingly under pressure of demands for federalisation. Pakistan kept the pres­sure on its larger democratic neighbour subscribing to the concept of secular, federal and composite multicultural nationalism with a vengeance reminiscent of feudal feuding.

The Indo-Pakistan peace process mounted around the turn of the century, after facing several derailments, has now finally gathered some momentum. This development is attributable to the American shift post-9/11, conflict fatigue on both sides, three assassination attempts on Musharraf's life by jihadis and the continuous public desire and support for peace in India, Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir. After the zigzags of Vajpayee's bus diplomacy to Lahore, Pakistan's stab in India's back in Kargil, the fiasco of the Agra Summit, the Eid ceasefire, the 12th SAARC summit, Musharraf's continued doublespeak on Kashmir; and with India's consistent commitment to the peace process without being bullied into surrendering its existence as a composite secular and federal nation, the prospects of peace between the two countries appear more probable today than ever in the post-Cold War era.

The long-term prospects for peace are contingent on the democratisation of the militarist-neo-feudal Pakistani state and the common pursuit of immense economic fallouts from the thaw in Indo-Pakistan relations. The current reigning ideology of capitalist globalisation and democratisation is likely to reinforce the peace offensive that seems to be looking up for the first time after decades of frosty winter, with the threat of a nuclear winter governing over­head since 1998, when India and Pakistan both acquired nuclear weapon capabilities. However, given the fact that neither militarism nor fundamentalism is yet a spent force, we must keep our fingers crossed. In the ultimate analysis, a durable peace would remain a delusion without a stable democratic regime in Pakistan.


1. We have borrowed the term 'a nation still in the making' from LaPorte, Jr. (1999).

2. See Hasan-Askari Rizvi (2000). Also refer to Veena Kukreja (2003: Chapter II, 43-44).

3. Refer to Burki (1999) and Jaffrelot (2002).

4. This term is further elaborated in the work by Feroz Ahmed, The Rise o) Muhajir in Pakistan (1989), 35.

5. Also refer to Bodansky 1995.


Ahmed, Aijaz. 1983. 'Democracy and Dictatorship', in Hassan Gardezi and Jamil Rashid (eds), Pakistan: The Roots of Dictatorship. New Delhi: Oxford Univer­sity Press.

Ahmed, Feroz. 1989. 77ie Rise of Muhajir in Pakistan. Pakistan Progressive X (2-3).

Alavi, Hamza. 1983. 'Class and State', in Hassan Gardezi and Jamil Rashid (eds), Pakistan: The Roots of Dictatorship New Delhi: Oxford University Press

Ali, Choudhri Muhammad. 1967. Tfie Emergence of Pakistan. New York.

Bansal, Neena. 2002. Democratic Experience Under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Unpub­lished Ph.D. thesis, Department of Political Science, University of Delhi.

Bodansky, Yossef. 1995. 'Pakistan, Kashmir and Trans-Asian Axis'. Indiar Defense Review, Vol X, no. 4, October-December.

Burki, Shahid Javed. 1980. Pakistan Under Bhutto: 1971-77. London: Macmillar Press Ltd.

Burki. 1999. Pakistan: Fifty Years of Nationhood. Boulder: Westview Press.

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