Islamic pakistan: Illusions & reality

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by ajtr, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Jinnah's Vision of Pakistan



    "In any case Pakistan is not going to be a theocratic state to be ruled by priests with a divine mission. We have many non-Muslims-Hindus, Christians and Parsis -- but they are all Pakistanis. They will enjoy the same rights and privileges as any other citizens and will play their rightful part in the affairs of Pakistan." Quaid-i-Azam, Feb. 1948 [1]

    The founder of the nation, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah envisioned Pakistan as a modern democratic state to be run strictly on the basis of merit and where all citizens will be equal before the law. Jinnah's ideas about what the new state should be like were very clear as can be seen from his speeches and statements. He meant Pakistan to be a progressive state in which there would be scope neither for intolerance nor for obscurantism and whose highest aims would be expressed in the social, cultural and economic uplift of the masses.

    Before the establishment of Pakistan, the first public picture of Pakistan that Jinnah gave to the world was in the course of an interview in New Delhi (1946) with the correspondent of Reuter's news agency: the new state would be a modern democratic state, with sovereignty resting in the people and the members of the new nation having equal rights of citizenship, regardless of their religion, caste or creed.

    Only three days before Pakistan formally appeared on the world map, Jinnah, in his memorable speech to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan stated the principle on which the new state was to be founded said :

    " You may belong to any religion or caste or creed -- that has nothing to do with the business of the state ...... We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and citizens of one state....... in the course of time Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the state."

    This speech as President of the Constituent Assembly on 11th August 1947 is one of the clearest expositions of a secular state. Jinnah was the founder of Pakistan and the occasion on which he thus spoke was the first landmark in the history of Pakistan. The speech was intended both for his own people including non-Muslims, and for the world, and its object was to define as clearly as possible the ideal to the attainment of which the new state was to devote all its energies.[2]

    It is not without significance that the first Constituent Assembly inaugurated by the Quaid-i-Azam had as its temporary chairman a scheduled caste Hindu, Joginder Nath Mandal, before the Quaid himself was formally elected as its first chairman. The Quaid also appointed Mandal a member of his cabinet, which, as Chief Justice Mohammad Munir points out, was consistent, "with his conception of a secular state.[3]

    Even after his unambiguous proclamation of August 11, 1947, Jinnah did not leave anything to interpretation and took every opportunity to drive home his commitment to a secular Pakistan. One could go on quoting ad infinitum from his speeches and observations. On each occasion he insisted that Pakistan would be a modern democracy, with the hierarchy of mullahs and priests playing no role in the molding of its destiny. [4]

    Jinnah was basically a secular liberal who had studied British political history and practiced common law. For such a man the Muslim cause, which inescapably bound up with Islam, embraced nationalism and patriotism as well as the strict meaning of religion. He wanted to see Pakistan as an embodiment of dynamic and forward-looking Islam. Jinnah believed that Islam fosters, upholds and extols values such as freedom, equality, solidarity and social justice which may also be termed secular or humanistic; these, he repeatedly emphasized, constitute the bases of Pakistan's polity. In emphasizing the dynamic pursuit of these transient values of religion rather than its outward, static elements, Jinnah had placed himself in the mainstream of modernist approach that began with Shah Waliullah 1705-62), the first reformer in the sub-continent who broke away from the orthodoxy. [5]

    And his Pakistan becomes explicable only as an integral part of the deepening and hardening of the late 19th century reawakening of a political, social and religious nature into what might generally be termed as "Islamic sentiment" which can be recognized as being religious in so far as it draws its driving force inter alia from religion but which is directed mainly towards social and political ends.[6]

    We should not forget that the struggle for Pakistan was a secular campaign led by men of politics rather than religion. It was not the Ulema who began to organize for an independent Muslim state, but rather the most secularized classes. The background of the men who organized the campaign for Pakistan was not theology and Islamic law but politics and common law; not Deoband (the prominent seat of Islamic religious learning in India), but Cambridge and the Inns of Court. Jinnah and his lieutenants such as Liaqat Ali Khan won Pakistan in spite of the opposition by the so-called nationalist Ulema.

    A study of the Pakistan movement clearly indicates that "Islamic state" did not figure prominently during the period of struggle. An advocacy of Pakistan as an "Islamic state" sometimes brought Jinnah into confrontation with his colleagues. Raja Saheb of Mahmoudabad, in his memoirs recalls: "During 1941-5,.......we advocated that Pakistan should be an Islamic state. I must confess that I was very enthusiastic about it and in my speeches I constantly propagated my ideas. My advocacy of an Islamic state brought me into conflict with Jinnah. He thoroughly disapproved of my ideas and dissuaded me from expressing them publicly from the League platform lest the people might be led to believe that Jinnah share my view and that he was asking me to convey such ideas to public. As I was convinced that I was right and did not want to compromise Jinnah's position, I decided to cut myself away and for nearly two years kept my distance from him, apart from seeing him during the working committee meetings and other formal occasions.[7]

    The propelling slogan during the struggle for Pakistan was to establish a distinct identity of Muslims as a nation. Islam was used as a motivating force to rally the Muslims to the cause of Pakistan politically. But the state they aimed to create was to be secular, not a theocracy. And the method to achieve the goal was not a religious movement but political agitation.

    However, Islam's inherent drive towards a religio-political community was not the only factor at work in the hectic, complex days of the 1940's. The coming into existence of Pakistan was conditioned by the multitude of mundane matters, concrete and human, obtaining at that particular juncture of time and place. Political, economic, sociological, psychological and other factors in the independence movement and its environment were operative and important.[8]

    According to Jinnah, the demand and struggle for Pakistan had been ensured mainly because there was a danger of denial of basic rights to Moslems in the Indian sub-continent. "The story of Pakistan, its struggle and its achievement is the story of great human ideals struggling to survive in the face of odds and difficulties ...... I reiterate most emphatically that Pakistan was made possible because of the danger of complete annihilation of human soul in a society based on caste."[9]

    While scanning through records of British India's history, one finds numerous instances, where a galaxy of Muslim political thinkers and intellectuals have professed that partition of the sub-continent into Hindu and Muslim majority regions was the only viable solution to safeguard the legitimate interests of the Muslims after the departure of the British rule. It was as early as in 1862 when Sir Syed Ahmad Khan for the first time realized that Hindus and Muslims of India could not live together peacefully as one nation. [10] This realization came to him when Hindus of Banares started an agitation demanding to replace Urdu by Hindi in Devnagri " script in all government offices and courts. Hindu priests further demanded that Muslims should be banned by the government from sacrificing cows and performing their religious rites near or inside the areas dominated by Hindus.

    Sir Syed Ahmad Khan saw the coming bitter split between the communities and immediately launched opposition to the idea of the creation of the Indian national Congress as the representative body of the whole country. He emphasized that the Indians did not form one nationality which was the basic requirement for making democracy successful in any country. He took the stand that the Hindus and Muslims being unequal in numerical strength and permanently divided on the basis of religion, the democratic form of government was unworkable in India because the larger party was bound to permanently hold the smaller one in its servility.[11]

    The call for a separate Muslim homeland in South Asia should have been a predictable outcome of the history of the region. The fact that the British appeared interested in leaving behind a unified political state, and the Indian National Congress was determined to maintain the geographic unity of the subcontinent in the face of the political and social realities of centuries of division and separatism, doesn't seem most surprising. [12]

    According to H.M. Seervai, Advocate General of Maharashtra, the partition became inevitable because Hindu leaders, including a leader as eminent as Jawaharlal Nehru failed to realize that by 1946 "the Muslim League dominated the Muslims as the Congress dominated the Hindus and that the Congress and the League would have to live and work together if India was to remain united. [13] In considering whether Jinnah and the League were responsible for the partition of India by raising the cry of Pakistan, it is necessary to ask, and answer, two questions: First, were the fears of the Muslim community that it would be permanently dominated by a "Hindu Raj" genuine? If so, was the community entitled to effective and not mere paper safeguards against such permanent domination? That the fears of the Muslim community were genuine is beyond dispute.[14]

    After the Congress committed the grave error of refusing to form Coalition Ministries in 1937, the first opportunity of avoiding partition was after the 1937 elections when Jinnah showed that he was not thinking of a separate state of Pakistan and made a public appeal to Gandhi to tackle the question of Hindu-Muslim unity. The second opportunity of avoiding partition was the 1945 Desai-Liaquat Ali Pact -- to form a temporary League-Congress coalition government -- which, had it been implemented with goodwill, might have broken the deadlock. The repudiation of Bhulabhbhai Desai by the Congress put an end to the hope of repairing the damage which had been done in 1937. One more opportunity remained. It was seized by Azad when he put his ideas before the Cabinet Mission, and succeeded in persuading the congress working committee to adopt his plan. The Cabinet Mission Plan remained substantially the same as Azad's. This opportunity of keeping India united was lost, firstly, because the Congress accepted the plan with a qualification which destroyed its value for the Muslim League; secondly, because of the failure of the mission and, later, of the British government to make their intention clear before damage had been done by allowing the Congress reservations about the Cabinet Mission Plan to remain outstanding for over five months.[15]

    The movement that ultimately resulted in the creation of Pakistan was comprised of diverse groups, both regionally and socially. Jinnah and the All-India Muslim League gave the various regionally based groups a convenient voice at the center of the Indian politics. [16] The landed magnates, who ruled over the Muslim majority provinces, backed Jinnah and Muslim League that was transformed into a mass-based movement in the early 1940s. The idea of a Muslim nation gained ground, and Jinnah became the embodiment of that conception. The Pakistan movement became a national movement, on the basis of the two-nation theory that Jinnah propounded, affirming that Muslims of India were a separate nation from Hindus. Insofar as their politics entailed the establishment of their own state, their objective was the creation of a nation state and not a theocratic state. [17] Much can be written about the various factors which culminated in the formation of a separate homeland for Muslims in the sub- continent. However, the important issue here is to understand the ideas held by Jinnah and others when they called for a separate state for Muslims of India.

    It is important to note that Jinnah and his closest lieutenants were determined to build Pakistan into a constitutional democracy. To them there was no contradiction between the Islamic state and a polity governed according to modern democratic principles. Moslems tend to reason that what passes for democracy and hence constitutionalism is at the very heart of Islamic teachings. According to this body of opinion, fairness, justice, compassion and honesty are all tenets of Islam: therefore, Islam made it simpler not more difficult to build democratic structures. With this in mind Pakistan's Muslim League leaders sought to fit Islam into their contemporary constitutional design, not the reverse.[18]

    Jinnah's speeches are abound with references to the Islamic principles of social justice and fairplay, but he made it clear, on more than one occasion, that he was against theocracy. He had consistently opposed theocratic ideas and influences and never minced his words about his commitment to a secular state. "Make no mistake: Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it. Islam demands from us the tolerance of other creeds and we welcome in closest association with us all those who of whatever creed are themselves willing to play their part as true and loyal citizen of Pakistan"[19]

    On another occasion Jinnah said : "The great majority of us are Muslims. We follow the teachings of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). We are members of the brotherhood of Islam in which all are equal in right, dignity and self-respect. Consequently, we have a special and a very deep sense of unity. But make no mistake : Pakistan is not a theocracy or anything like it."
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Ulema and Pakistan Movement


    Muslim religious organisations of the sub-continent -- Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, Majlis-i- Ahrar- i-Islam and Jamat-i-Islami [1]-- were politically very active during the struggle for Pakistan but all of them opposed tooth and nail the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims. The opposition of Jamiat and Ahrar was on the plea that Pakistan was essentially a territorial concept and thus alien to the philosophy of Islamic brotherhood, which was universal in character. Nationalism was an un-Islamic concept for them but at the same time they supported the CongressParty's idea of Indian nationalism which the Muslim political leadership considered as accepting perpetual domination of Hindu majority. Jamat-i-Islami reacted to the idea of Pakistan in a complex manner. It rejected both the nationalist Ulema's concept of nationalism as well as the Muslim League's demand for a separate homeland for the Muslims.

    The most noteworthy feature of the struggle for Pakistan is that its leadership came almost entirely from the Western-educated Muslim professionals. The Ulema remained, by and large, hostile to the idea of a Muslim national state. But during the mass contact campaign, which began around 1943, the Muslim League abandoned its quaint constitutionalist and legalist image in favor of Muslim populism which drew heavily on Islamic values. Wild promises were made of restoring the glory of Islam in the future Muslim state. As a consequence, many religious divines and some respected Ulema were won over.[2]

    The Muslim political leadership believed that the Ulema were not capable of giving a correct lead in politics to the Muslims because of their exclusively traditional education and complete ignorance of the complexities of modern life. It, therefore, pleaded that the Ulema should confine their sphere of activity to religion since they did not understand the nature of politics of the twentieth century.

    It was really unfortunate that the Ulema, in general and the Darul Ulum Deoband in particular, understood Islam primarily in a legal form. Their medieval conception of the Shariah remained unchanged, orthodox and traditional in toto and they accepted it as finished goods manufactured centuries ago by men like (Imam) Abu Hanifa and Abu Yusuf. Their scholasticism, couched in the old categories of thought, barred them from creative thinking and properly understanding the problems, social or philosophical, confronting the Muslim society in a post-feudal era. They were intellectually ill-equipped to comprehend the crisis Islam had to face in the twentieth century. [3]

    The struggle for Pakistan -- to establish a distinct identity of Muslims -- was virtually a secular campaign led by men of politics rather than religion and Mohammad Ali Jinnah and his lieutenants such as Liaquat Ali Khan who won Pakistan despite opposition by most of the Ulema.

    Jinnah was continuously harassed by the Ulema, particularly by those with Congress orientation. They stood for status quo as far as Islam and Muslims were concerned, and regarded new ideas such as the two nation theory, the concept of Muslim nationhood and the territorial specification of Islam through the establishment of Pakistan as innovations which they were not prepared to accept under any circumstance. It was in this background that Jinnah pointed out to the students of the Muslim University Union: "What the League has done is to set you free from the reactionary elements of Muslims and to create the opinion that those who play their selfish game are traitors. It has certainly freed you from that undesirable element of Molvis and Maulanas. I am not speaking of Molvis as a whole class. There are some of them who are as patriotic and sincere as any other, but there is a section of them which is undesirable. Having freed ourselves from the clutches of the British Government, the Congress, the reactionaries and so-called Molvis, may I appeal to the youth to emancipate our women. This is essential. I do not mean that we are to ape the evils of the West. What I mean is that they must share our life not only social but also political." [4]

    The history of the Ulema in the sub-continent has been one of their perpetual conflict with intelligentsia. The Ulema opposed Sir Syed Ahmad Khan when he tried to rally the Muslims in 1857. Nearly a hundred of them, including Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, the leading light of Deoband, ruled that it was unlawful to join the Patriotic Association founded by him. However, the Muslim community proved wiser than the religious elite and decided to follow the political lead given by Sir Syed Ahmad.

    The conflict between conservative Ulema and political Muslim leadership came to a head during the struggle for Pakistan when a number of Ulema openly opposed the Quaid-i-Azam and denounced the concept of Pakistan. It is an irony of history that Jinnah in his own days, like Sir Syed Ahmad before him, faced the opposition of the Ulema.

    The Ahrar Ulema -- Ataullah Shah Bukhari, Habibur Rahman Ludhianawi and Mazhar Ali Azhar -- seldom mentioned the Quaid-i-Azam by his correct name which was always distorted. Mazhar Ali Azhar used the insulting sobriquet Kafir-i-Azam (the great unbeliever) for Quaid-i-Azam. One of the resolutions passed by the Working Committee of the Majlis-i-Ahrar which met in Delhi on 3rd March 1940, disapproved of Pakistan plan, and in some subsequent speeches of the Ahrar leaders Pakistan was dubbed as "palidistan". The authorship of the following couplet is attributed to Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar, a leading personality of the Ahrar:

    Ik Kafira Ke Waste Islam ko Chhora
    Yeh Quaid-i-Azam hai Ke hai Kafir-i-Azam.[6]

    (He abandoned Islam for the sake of a non-believer woman [7], he is a great leader or a great non-believer)

    During the struggle for Pakistan, the Ahrar were flinging foul abuse on all the leading personalities of the Muslim League and accusing them of leading un-Islamic lives. Islam was with them a weapon which they could drop and pick up at pleasure to discomfit a political adversary. Religion was a private affair in their dealings with the Congress and nationalism their ideology. But when they were pitted against the Muslim League, their sole consideration was Islam. They said that the Muslim League was not only indifferent to Islam but an enemy of it.

    After independence, the Ahrar leaders came to Pakistan. But before coming, the All India Majlis-i-Ahrar passed a resolution dissolving their organization and advising the Muslims to accept Maulana Azad as their leader and join the Congress Party.[8]

    The Jamat-i-Islami was also opposed to the idea of Pakistan which it described as Na Pakistan (not pure). In none of the writings of the Jama'at is to be found the remotest reference in support of the demand for Pakistan. The pre-independence views of Maulana Abul Ala Maududi, the founder of the Jamat-i-Islami were quite definite:

    "Among Indian Muslims today we find two kinds of nationalists: the Nationalists Muslims, namely those who in spite of their being Muslims believe in Indian Nationalism and worship it; and the Muslims Nationalist: namely those who are little concerned with Islam and its principles and aims, but are concerned with the individuality and the political and economic interests of that nation which has come to exist by the name of Muslim, and they are so concerned only because of their accidence of birth in that nation. From the Islamic viewpoint both these types of nationalists were equally misled, for Islam enjoins faith in truth only; it does not permit any kind of nation-worshipping at all.[9]

    Maulana Maududi was of the view that the form of government in the new Muslim state, if it ever came into existence, could only be secular. In a speech shortly before partition he said: "Why should we foolishly waste our time in expediting the so-called Muslim-nation state and fritter away our energies in setting it up, when we know that it will not only be useless for our purposes, but will rather prove an obstacle in our path." [10]

    Paradoxically, Maulana Maududi's writings played an important role in convincing the Muslim intelligentsia that the concept of united nationalism was suicidal for the Muslims but his reaction to the Pakistan movement was complex and contradictory. When asked to cooperate with the Muslim League he replied: "Please do not think that I do not want to participate in this work because of any differences, my difficulty is that I do not see how I can participate because partial remedies do not appeal to my mind and I have never been interested in patch work."[11]

    He had opposed the idea of united nationhood because he was convinced that the Muslims would be drawn away from Islam if they agreed to merge themselves in the Indian milieu. He was interested more in Islam than in Muslims: because Muslims were Muslims not because they belonged to a communal or a national entity but because they believed in Islam. The first priority, therefore, in his mind was that Muslim loyalty to Islam should be strengthened. This could be done only by a body of Muslims who did sincerely believe in Islam and did not pay only lip service to it. Hence he founded the Jamat-i-Islami (in August 1941).[12] However, Maulana Maududi's stand failed to take cognizance of the circumstances in which the Muslims were placed [13] at that critical moment.

    The Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Hind, the most prestigious organization of the Ulema, saw nothing Islamic in the idea of Pakistan. Its president, Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, who was also Mohtamim or principal of Darul Ulum Deoband opposed the idea of two-nation theory, pleading that all Indians, Muslims or Hindus were one nation. He argued that faith was universal and could not be contained within national boundaries but that nationality was a matter of geography, and Muslims were obliged to be loyal to the nation of their birth along with their non-Muslim fellow citizens. Maulana Madani said: "all should endeavor jointly for such a democratic government in which Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Parsis are included. Such a freedom is in accordance with Islam." [14] He was of the view that in the present times, nations are formed on the basis of homeland and not on ethnicity and religion.[15] He issued a fatwa forbidding Muslims from joining the Muslim League.

    Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani accepted the doctrine of Indian nationalism with all enthusiasm and started preaching it in mosques. This brought a sharp rebuke from Dr. Mohammad Iqbal. His poem on Hussain Ahmad [16] in 1938 started a heated controversy between the so-called nationalist Ulema and the adherents of pan-Islamism (Umma).

    Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a member of Indian National Congress regrets that he did not accept Congress president ship in 1946, which led Nehru to assume that office and give the statements that could be exploited by the Muslim League for creation of Pakistan and withdrawal of its acceptance of the Cabinet Plan that envisaged an Indian Union of all the provinces and states of the sub-continent with safeguards for minorities. [17] He had persuaded the pro-Congress Ulema that their interests would be better safeguarded under a united India, and that they should repose full confidence in Indian nationalism. However, they should make efforts to secure for themselves the control of Muslim personal law, by getting a guarantee from the Indian National Congress, that the Muslim personal law would be administered by qadis (judges) who were appointed from amongst the Ulema.[18]

    In a bid to weaken the Muslim League's claim to represent all Muslims of the subcontinent, the Congress strengthened its links with the Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Hind, the Ahrars and such minor and insignificant non-League Muslim groups as the Momins and the Shia Conference.[19]

    Along with its refusal to share power with the Muslim League, the Congress pursued an anti-Muslim League policy in another direction with the help of Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Hind . It was not enough to keep the Muslim League out of power. Its power among the people should be weakened and finally broken. Therefore, it decided to bypass Muslim political leadership and launch a clever movement of contacting the Muslim masses directly to wean them away from the leadership that sought to protect them from the fate of becoming totally dependent on the sweet will of the Hindu majority for their rights, even for their continued existence. This strategy -- called Muslim Mass Contact Movement -- was organized in 1937 with great finesse by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. [20]

    Congress leaders .... employed Molvis to convert the Muslim masses to the Congress creed. The Molvis, having no voice in the molding of the Congress policy and program, naturally could not promise to solve the real difficulties of the masses, a promise which would have drawn the masses towards the Congress. The Molvis and others employed for the work tried to create a division among the Muslim masses by carrying on a most unworthy propaganda against the leaders of the Muslim League. [21] However, this Muslim mass contact movement failed.

    It is pertinent to note here that a small section of the Deoband School was against joining the Congress. Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (1863-1943) was the chief spokesman of this group. Later Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Othmani (1887-1949), a well-known disciple of Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani and a scholar of good repute, who had been for years in the forefront of the Jamiat leadership quit it with a few other Deoband Ulema, and became the first president of the Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islam established in 1946 to counteract the activities of the Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Hind. However, the bulk of the Deoband Ulema kept on following the lead of Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani and the Jamiat in opposing the demand for Pakistan.

    Contrary to the plea of the nationalist Ulema, the Muslim intelligentsia was worried that the end of British domination should not become for the Muslims the beginning of Hindu domination. They perceived through the past experience that the Hindus could not be expected to live with them on equal terms within the same political framework. Therefore they did not seek to change masters. A homeland is an identity and surely the Muslims of the sub-continent could not have served the cause of universal brotherhood by losing their identity, which is what would have inevitably happened if they had been compelled to accept the political domination of the Hindus. The Ulema thought in terms of a glorious past and linked it unrealistically to a nebulous future of Muslim brotherhood. This more than anything else damaged the growth of Muslim nationalism and retarded the progress of Muslims in the sub-continent.[22]

    The nationalist Ulema failed to realize this simple truth and eventually found themselves completely isolated from the mainstream of the Muslim struggle for emancipation. Their opposition to Pakistan on grounds of territorial nationalism was the result of their failure to grasp contemporary realities. [23] They did not realize that majorities can be much more devastating, specifically when it is an ethnic, linguistic or religious majority which cannot be converted into a minority through any election.[24]

    The Ulema, as a class, concentrated on jurisprudence and traditional sciences. They developed a penchant for argument and hair splitting. This resulted in their progressive alienation from the people, who while paying them the respect due to religious scholars, rejected their lead in national affairs. While their influence on the religious minded masses remained considerable, their impact on public affairs shrank simply because the Ulema concentrated on the traditional studies and lost touch with the realities of contemporary life
     
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The First Islamic Republic


    The role of Islam in politics was not at the center of Muslim politics during the struggle for Pakistan but was brought into the political debate after the nation was created. The issue proved to be the beginning of a decades long quest and debate over just what Pakistan's Islamic character should be. The Ulema identified their own political recognition with the Islamic constitution.

    Ulema did not wait long to demand their share of power in running the new state. Soon after independence, Jamat-i-Islami made the achievement of an Islamic constitution its central goal. Maulana Maududi, after the creation of Pakistan, revised the conception of his mission and that of the rationale of the Pakistan movement, [1] arguing that its sole object had been the establishment of an Islamic state and that his party alone possessed the understanding and commitment needed to bring that about. [2] Jamat-i-Islami soon evolved into a political party, demanding the establishment of an Islamic state in Pakistan.

    It declared that Pakistan was a Muslim state and not an Islamic state since a Muslim State is any state which is ruled by Muslims while an Islamic State is one which opts to conduct its affairs in accordance with the revealed guidance of Islam and accepts the sovereignty of Allah and the supremacy of His Law, and which devotes its resources to achieve this end. [3] According to this definition, Pakistan was a Muslim state ruled by secular minded Muslims. Hence the Jamat-i-Islami and other religious leaders channeled their efforts to make Pakistan an "Islamic State."

    Maulana Maududi argued that from the beginning of the struggle for Pakistan, Moslems had an understanding that the center of their aspirations, Pakistan, would be an Islamic state, in which Islamic law would be enforced and Islamic culture would be revived. Muslim League leaders, in their speeches, were giving this impression. Above all, Quaid-i-Azam himself assured the Muslims that the constitution of Pakistan would be based on the Quran. [4]

    This contrasts to his views about the Muslim League leaders before independence: Not a single leader of the Muslim League, from Quad-i-Azam, downwards, has Islamic mentality and Islamic thinking or they see the things from Islamic point of view. [5] To declare such people legible for Muslim leadership, because they are expert in western politics or western organization system and have concern for the nation, is definitely ignorance from Islam and amounts to an un-Islamic mentality. [6]

    On another occasion, Maulana Maududi said it was not clear either from any resolution of the Muslim League or from the speeches of any responsible League leaders, that the ultimate aim of Pakistan is the establishment of an Islamic government.....Those people are wrong who think that if the Muslim majority regions are emancipated from the Hindu domination and a democratic system is established, it would be a government of God. As a matter of fact, in this way, whatever would be achieved, it would be only a non-believers government of the Muslims or may be more deplorable than that. [7]

    When the question of constitution-making came to the forefront, the Ulema, inside and outside the Constitutional Assembly and outside demanded that the Islamic Shariah shall form the only source for all legislature in Pakistan.

    In February 1948, Maulana Maududi, while addressing the Law College, Lahore, [8] demanded that the Constitutional Assembly should unequivocally declare:

    1. That the sovereignty of the state of Pakistan vests in God Almighty and that the government of Pakistan shall be only an agent to execute the Sovereign's Will.
    2. That the Islamic Shariah shall form the inviolable basic code for all legislation in Pakistan.
    3. That all existing or future legislation which may contravene, whether in letter or in spirit, the Islamic Shariah shall be null and void and be considered ultra vires of the constitution; and
    4. That the powers of the government of Pakistan shall be derived from, circumscribed by and exercised within the limits of the Islamic Shariah alone.
    On January 13, 1948, Jamiat-al-Ulema-i-Islam, led by Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, passed a resolution in Karachi demanding that the government appoint a leading Alim to the office of Shaikh al Islam, with appropriate ministerial and executive powers over the qadis throughout the country. [9] The Jamiat submitted a complete table of a ministry of religious affairs with names suggested for each post. It was proposed that this ministry be immune to ordinary changes of government. It is well known that Quaid-i-Azam was the head of state at this time and that no action was taken on Ulema's demand. [10] On February 9, 1948, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, addressing the Ulema-i-Islam conference in Dacca, demanded that the Constituent Assembly "should set up a committee consisting of eminent ulema and thinkers... to prepare a draft ... and present it to the Assembly.[11]

    It was in this background that Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, on March 7, 1949, moved the Objectives Resolution in the Constituent Assembly, according to which the future constitution of Pakistan was to be based on " the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam."

    While moving the Resolution, he said: "Sir, I consider this to be a most important occasion in the life of this country, next in importance only to the achievement of independence, because by achieving independence we only won an opportunity of building up a country and its polity in accordance with our ideals. I would like to remind the house that the Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam, gave expression of his feelings on this matter on many an occasion, and his views were endorsed by the nation in unmistakable terms, Pakistan was founded because the Muslims of this sub-continent wanted to build up their lives in accordance with the teachings and traditions of Islam, because they wanted to demonstrate to the world that Islam provides a panacea to the many diseases which have crept into the life of humanity today."[12]

    The resolution was debated for five days. The leading members of the government and a large number of non-Muslim members, especially from East Bengal, took a prominent part. Non-Muslim members expressed grave apprehensions about their position and role in the new policy.

    Hindu members of the Constitutional Assembly argued that the Objectives Resolution differed with Jinnah's view in all the basic points. Sris Chandra Chattopadhyaya said: "What I hear in this (Objectives) Resolution is not the voice of the great creator of Pakistan - the Quaid-i-Azam, nor even that of the Prime Minister of Pakistan the Honorable Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, but of the Ulema of the land." [13] Birat Chandra Mandal declared that Jinnah had "unequivocally said that Pakistan will be a secular state." [14] Bhupendra Kumar Datta went a step further: ...were this resolution to come before this house within the life-time of the Great Creator of Pakistan, the Quaid-i-Azam, it would not have come in its present shape...." [15]

    The leading members of the government in their speeches not only reassured the non-Muslims that their position was quite safe and their rights were not being impaired but also gave clarifications with regard to the import of the Resolution. Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, the Deputy Leader of the House, while defending the Resolution said: "It was remarked by some honorable members that the interpretation which the mover of this Resolution has given is satisfactory and quite good, but Mr. B.C. Mandal says: "Well tomorrow you may die, I may die, and the posterity may misinterpret it." First of all, I may tell him and those who have got some wrong notions about the interpretation of this resolution that this resolution itself is not a constitution. It is a direction to the committee that will have to prepare the draft keeping in view these main features. The matter will again come to the House in a concrete form, and all of us will get an opportunity to discuss it." [16]

    In his elucidation of the implications of the Objectives Resolution in terms of the distribution of power between God and the people, Omar Hayat Malik argued: "The principles of Islam and the laws of Islam as laid down in the Quran are binding on the State. The people or the state cannot change these principles or these laws...but there is a vast field besides these principles and laws in which people will have free play...it might be called by the name of 'theo-cracy', that is democracy limited by word of God, but as the word 'theo' is not in vogue so we call it by the name of Islamic democracy. [17]

    Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi further elaborated the concept of Islamic democracy: Since Islam admits of no priest craft, and since the dictionary meaning of the term "secular" is non-monastic -- that is, "anything which is not dependent upon the sweet will of the priests," Islamic democracy, far from being theocracy, could in a sense be characterized as being "secular." [18] However, he believed that if the word "secular" means that the ideals of Islam, that the fundamental principles of religion, that the ethical outlook which religion inculcates in our people should not be observed, then, I am afraid,...that kind of secular democracy can never be acceptable to us in Pakistan.[19]

    During the heated debate, Liaquat Ali Khan stressed: the Muslim League has only fulfilled half of its mission (and that) the other half of its mission is to convert Pakistan into a laboratory where we could experiment upon the principles of Islam to enable us to make a contribution to the peace and progress of mankind.[20] He was hopeful that even if the body of the constitution had to be mounted in the chassis of Islam, the vehicle would go in the direction he had already chosen. Thus he seemed quite sure that Islam was on the side of democracy. "As a matter of fact it has been recognized by non-Muslims throughout the world that Islam is the only society where there is real democracy." [21] In this approach he was supported by Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani: " The Islamic state is the first political institution in the world which stood against imperialism, enunciated the principle of referendum and installed a Caliph (head of State) elected by the people in place of the king." [22]

    The opposite conclusion, however, was reached by the authors of the Munir Report (1954) [23] who said that the form of government in Pakistan cannot be described as democratic, if that clause of the Objectives Resolution reads as follows: " Whereas sovereignty over the entire Universe belongs to Allah Almighty alone, and the authority which He has delegated to the state of Pakistan through its people for being exercised within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust." Popular sovereignty, in the sense that the majority of the people has the right to shape the nation's institutions and policy in accordance with their personal views without regard to any higher law, cannot exist in an Islamic state, they added.

    The learned authors of the Munir Report felt that the Objectives Resolution was against the concept of a sovereign nation state. Corroboration of this viewpoint came from the Ulema themselves, (whom the Munir Committee interviewed) "including the Ahrar" and erstwhile Congressites with whom before the partition this conception of a modern national state as against an Islamic state was almost a part of their faith. [24] The Ulema claimed that the Quaid-i-Azam's conception of a modern national state....became obsolete with the passing of the Objectives Resolution on 12th March 1949. [25]

    Justice Mohammad Munir, who chaired the committee, says that "if during Quaid-i-Azam's life, Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister had even attempted to introduce the Objectives resolution of the kind that he got through the Assembly, the Quaid-i-Azam would never have given his assent to it.[26]

    In an obvious attempt to correct the erroneous notion that the Objectives Resolution envisaged a theocratic state in Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan repeatedly returned to the subject during his tour of the United States (May-June 1950). In a series of persuasive and eloquent speeches, he argued that "We have pledged that the State shall exercise its power and authority through the chosen representatives of the people. In this we have kept steadily before us the principles of democracy, freedom equality, tolerance and social justice as enunciated by Islam. There is no room here for theocracy, for Islam stands for freedom of conscience, condemns coercion, has no priesthood and abhors the caste system. It believes in equality of all men and in the right of each individual to enjoy the fruit of his or her efforts, enterprise, capacity and skill -- provided these be honestly employed." [27]

    The Objectives Resolution was approved on March 12, 1949. Its only Muslim critic was Mian Iftikhar-ud-din, leader of the Azad Pakistan Party, although he believed that "the Islamic conception of a state is, perhaps as progressive, as revolutionary, as democratic and as dynamic as that of any other state or ideology." [28]

    According to Munir, the terms of the Objectives Resolution differ in all the basic points of the Quaid-i-Azam's views e.g: [29]

    1. The Quaid-i-Azam has said that in the new state sovereignty would rest with the people. The Resolution starts with the statement that sovereignty rests with Allah. This concept negates the basic idea of modern democracy that there are no limits on the legislative power of a representative assembly.
    2. There is a reference to the protection of the minorities of their right to worship and practice their religion, whereas the Quaid-i-Azam had stated that there would be no minorities on the basis of religion.
    3. The distinction between religious majorities and minorities takes away from the minority, the right of equality, which again is a basic idea of modern democracy.
    4. The provision relating to Muslims being enabled to lead their life according to Islam is opposed to the conception of a secular state.
    It was natural that with the terms of the Resolution, the Ulema should acquire considerable influence in the state. On the strength of the Objectives Resolution they made the Ahmadis as their first target and demanded them to be declared a minority.[30]

    After the adoption of Objectives Resolution, Liaquat Ali Khan moved a motion for the appointment of a Basic Principles Committee consisting of 24 members, including himself and two non-Muslim members, to report the house on the main principles on which the constitution of Pakistan is to be framed. A Board of Islamic Teaching was set up to advise the Committee on the Islamic aspects of the constitution.

    In the course of constitutional debates, a number of very crucial issues were raised that caused much controversy, both inside and outside the Constituent Assembly over specific questions such as the following:

    1) The nature of the Islamic state: the manner in which the basic principles of Islam concerning state, economy, and society were to be incorporated into the constitution.

    2) The nature of federalism: questions of provincial autonomy vis-a-vis federal authority with emphasis on the problems of representation on the basis of population and the equality of the federating units; the structure of the federal legislature -- unicameral or bicameral.
    3) The form of government: whether it was to be modeled on the British or the U.S. pattern -- parliamentary or presidential.
    4) The problem of the electorate: serious questions of joint (all confessional groups vote in one election) versus separate (each confessional group votes separately for its own candidates) electorate.
    5) The question of languageboth national and regional. These very fundamental issues divided the political elites of Pakistan into warring factions that impeded the process of constitution-making.
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The First Martial Law



    On October, 7, 1958, President Iskandar Mirza staged a coup d'état. He abrogated the 1956 constitution, imposed martial law and appointed General Mohammad Ayub Khan as the Chief Martial Law Administrator and Aziz Ahmad as Secretary General and Deputy Chief Martial Law Administrator. Aziz was the first civilian to hold such an office that made the civil servants partners in the coup d'état. However, only three weeks later General Ayub -- who was openly questioning the authority of the government prior to the imposition of martial law [1] -- deposed Iskandar Mirza on Oct. 27, 1958 and assumed the presidency that practically formalized the militarization of the political system in Pakistan. After three and half years of martial law rule, President Ayub Khan introduced his constitution in May 1962 to reinforce his authority in the absence of martial law.

    The new constitution, in its much watered down formulations, recognized Islamic principles, a presidential form of government which lacked the necessary checks and balances and a federal structure which formally provided for a maximum degree of provincial autonomy in the legislative sphere. The federal structure was offset by the unitary character of organization of the executive authority insofar as the President was to appoint provincial governors who would, in turn, form the provincial cabinets without being responsible to the provincial legislatures. The provincial governments, consequently, would be directly responsible to the president of Pakistan. There were no fundamental rights but were added later through a constitutional amendment.

    The Ayub's system was neither presidential nor federal, nor representative either in form or in substance. In fact, what it did was to provide for an authoritarian political system which could be geared to the process of economic development and militarization of the political system in the wake of Pakistan's military alliances with the West within the framework of the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) and the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO).

    The word "Islamic" was omitted from the name of the state in the new constitution. [A martial law ordinance had earlier declared that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan will be known as Pakistan.] There was reference in the directive principles to Quran and Sunnah and the Islamic way of life but the responsibility of giving effect to laws made in pursuance of such principles was that of the organ of the state and nobody could question the organ's discretion. There was to be an Advisory Council of Islamic Ideology but it consisted of lawyers and administrators and the Ulemaof liberal views, one of them being the blind Hashim from East Pakistan who was quite modern in his views. He also set up Islamic Research Institute of which Fazal-ur-Rehman, a modernist, was the President. [2] However, the conservative element in the indirectly-elected National Assembly began to clamor for restoration of the Islamic features of the 1956 constitution. Ayub could not resist the demand and they had to be restored in 1963 through constitutional amendments.

    The provision in the new constitution that no law should be repugnant to Islam was not enforceable in a court of law, while article 198 of the 1956 constitution dealing with the same subject was enforceable in a law court. There was no provision in the new constitution to bring the legal code of the country in conformity with the laws of Islam. It was, however, ensured through the first amendment that "all existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the Holy Quran and Sunnah." Further, while in the original constitution of 1962 it was simply provided that "no law shall be repugnant to Islam," it was elaborated with the additional words: "No law shall be repugnant to the teachings and requirements of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah." The amendment restored the footnote of Article 198 of the 1956 constitution stating that the expression Quran and Sunnah shall mean the Quran and Sunnah as interpreted by the sect concerned. Like 1956 constitution Ayub Khan's constitution did not make Islam the State religion of Pakistan.

    Ayub Khan was against using Islam as a cliché in politics but at the same time he was well aware of the dangers of abandoning Islam as a state policy. In his autobiography Friends Not Masters, while discussing the role of religion in Pakistan's politics, he said: "Any attempt at interpreting the tenets of Islam and adapting the laws to conform to the requirements of the time is a signal for the Ulema to raise the slogan of heresy."[3]

    However, like the former Law Minister, A.K.Brohi [4] Ayub believed that the Quran does not present a constitution for an Islamic state. He said: "The Holy Quran contained the principles of guidance but did not prescribe a detailed constitution for running a country. The example of the Holy Prophet in organizing an Islamic State was, of course, available. After the Holy Prophet, the four caliphs organized and administered the State according to their understanding of Islamic principles. Each one of them had applied the principles of Islam and the teachings of the Holy Prophet in accordance with their circumstances. No specific pattern of government or even of the election of the Head of Government had been established. The conclusion was inescapable that Islam had not prescribed any particular pattern of government but had left it to the community to evolve its own pattern to suit its circumstances, provided that the principles of the Quran and the Sunnah were observed."[5]

    Arguing that the burden of thinking about the interpretation of the Islamic principles must rest on the community, Ayub Khan says: " In all this, I was guided by my understanding of the institution of ijma (consensus) provided in Islam. According to one school of thought ijma represents the agreement, in a matter requiring opinion or decision, of the mujthahids, people who, by virtue of their knowledge of Islam, have a right to form their own judgment. Another school of thought interprets ijma to form as the opinion of the majority of all Muslims. There is yet another view that the right to formulate independent judgment on matters affecting the life of the people rests in the Legislative and not in any body of scholars."[6]

    In this view Ayub Khan was probably influenced by Dr Mohammad Iqbal who argues: "The growth of republican spirit, and the gradual formation of legislative assemblies in Muslim lands constitutes a great step in advance. The transfer of the power of ijtehad from individual representatives of school to a Muslim legislative assembly which, in view of growth of opposing sects, is the only possible form ijma can take in modern times."[7] Iqbal also holds that on a question of legal interpretation, even the unanimous decision of the Companions of the Prophet would not inescapably bind later generations.[8]

    Continuing his argument on ijma, Ayub Khan writes: " I did not want to prejudge the issue and therefore in the constitutional arrangement I left it to the representatives of the people to decide how they would like to form their judgment in matters relating to the Quran and the Sunnah. I thought it necessary to provide an Advisory Council of Islamic Ideology backed by an Islamic Research Institute to assist the Legislature in framing laws based on the concepts of Islam. The Council was to have as members not only those persons who possessed a knowledge of Islam but also those who understood the economic, political, legal and administrative problems of the country so that the requirements of Islam and the requirements of the time and circumstances could be harmonized."[9]

    Realizing that Ulema would not be satisfied with this arrangement, he said: "They claimed the exclusive right to interpret and decide matters pertaining to Islam. While they maintained this claim they refrained from producing any detailed constitutional document, knowing that such an attempt would only expose their internal differences. Their demand was that the government should agree to adopt an Islamic Constitution, leaving it to the Ulema to decide whether any law or measure was Islamic or not."[10]

    Elaborating on Ulema's demand for an Islamic Constitution, Ayub Khan went on to say: Since no one had defined the fundamental elements of an Islamic Constitution, no constitution could be called Islamic unless it received the blessings of all Ulema. The only way of having an Islamic Constitution was to hand over the country to the Ulema and beseech them, 'lead kindly light.' This is precisely what the Ulema wanted. A constitution could be regarded as Islamic only if it were drafted by the Ulema and conceded them the authority to judge and govern the people. This was a position which neither the people nor I was prepared to accept."[11]

    Ayub Khan's liberal interpretation of Islam reflected in his constitution. The Constitution Commission appointed by him in 1960 recommended that "we should set up an International Muslim Commission to advise us as to how our laws could be made to conform to the injunctions of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. I doubted whether a Commission of this kind would serve any useful purpose. I sounded some Heads of State at the time but they showed no enthusiasm for the idea. It was obvious that we would have to address ourselves to our problems and work out our own solutions." [12] The Constitution Commission also pointed out that "the bringing of the laws into conformity with the Quran and Sunnah does not by itself make a good Muslim."[13]

    Ayub Khan's skepticism about the role of Ulema in politics culminated in outlawing the most organized and vocal religious group in the country, Jamat-i-Islami, in 1963. His government saw the activities of this religious party incompatible with the security of the state. All the government servants and military personnel were asked to file an affidavit declaring that they do not belong to Jamat-i-Islami.

    Before the promulgation of the constitution, Ayub Khan introduced the Muslim Family Laws through an Ordinance on March 2, 1961 under which unmitigated polygamy was abolished, consent of the current wife was made mandatory for a second marriage, brakes were placed on the practice of instant divorce where men pronounced it irrevocably by pronouncing talaq thrice in one go. The Arbitration Councils set up under the law in the urban and rural areas were to deal with cases of (a) grant of sanction to a person to contract a second marriage during the subsistence of a marriage; (b) reconciliation of a dispute between a husband and a wife; (c) grant maintenance to the wife and children.

    All Muslim marriages were to be compulsorily registered with registrars to be appointed by union councils, one in each ward. The registrars were also empowered to perform marriages. For such services they were to be paid substantial fees. The offices of registrars were filled by Imams and Khatibs. A sum of Rs. 5 crore annually went into the pockets of these religious leaders as a result of the fees prescribed by the ordinance. When Jamat-i-Islami launched an agitation against this "un-Islamic" Law, religious leaders either supported the President or kept aloof from the movement.[14]

    President Ayub promulgated the West Pakistan Waqf Properties Ordinance, 1961 on October 23, 1961 under which the government took over huge and valuable properties of Muslim trusts. Enormous funds recovered from the Waqf properties, which previously went into private pockets, were now at the disposal of the government. Some of these funds were spent on the salaries of the Imams and Khatibs of important mosques. The President was able thus to get further support from these religious leaders who were already indebted to him for being provided with jobs under the Family Laws Ordinance, 1961.[15]

    Ayub Khan's liberal interpretation of the Islamic principles antagonized Ulema who opposed his Family Law Ordinance to regulate Islamic personal law in a modern Islamic society. His attempts to popularize the family planning program was declared un-Islamic by orthodox mullahs who quoted verses from the Holy Quran to plead that the use of contraceptives was prohibited in Islam. Although the 1968-69 political agitation against Ayub's regime was mainly directed against the system of indirect elections, but during the demonstrations, the conservative section of population was easily aroused to turn against Ayub Khan to protest his "anti-Islamic" policies. During Ayub Khan's talks with the political leaders on 10th March, 1969, in Rawalpindi, leader of Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Pakistan, Mufti Mahmood, objected to the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance and demanded that the 22 points agreed by Ulema in 1951 should be implemented in order to make Pakistan a true Islamic state.

    Despite Ulema's vehement opposition to the Family Laws Ordinance, the role of Islam in politics remained eclipsed during the Ayub era. However, in 1967, he faced the wrath of Ulema on two other religious issues. The first was a controversy over the sighting of the crescent of Shawwal when the religious leaders gave public-heeded fatwas against celebrating Eid-al-Fitr according to the decision of the government-sponsored central moon-sighting committee. The religious leaders claimed that the people of Pakistan follow them on religious issues and do not have any confidence in the government in this sphere.

    Another issue was the book "Islam" written by Dr. Fazal-ur-Rehman, the Chairman of the Islamic Research Institute.There was a mass protest by the Ulema against the book. The author was forced to resign his job as Ayub's government decided to avoid confrontation with the religious lobby. The campaign against the liberal interpretation of Islam by Dr. Fazal [16] was seen as the second mass agitation the country had witnessed after the 1953 anti-Qadiani movement.
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The Second Martial Law


    The second martial law was imposed on March 25, 1969, when President Ayub Khan abrogated his own constitution and handed over power to the Army Commander-in-Chief, General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan. [1] On assuming the presidency, General Yahya Khan acceded to popular demands by abolishing the one-unit system in West Pakistan [2] and ordered general elections on the principle of one man one vote.

    General Yahya's regime made no attempt to frame a constitution. The expectations were that a new constituent assembly would be set up by holding a free and fair election. In order to hold the proposed elections, President Yahya Khan promulgated a Legal Framework Order on March 30, 1970 that also spelled out the fundamental principles of the proposed constitution and the structure and composition of the national and provincial assemblies.

    In December, 1970 elections were held simultaneously for both the national and five provincial assemblies. By any criteria, elections were free and fair. There was no interference from the government; it maintained strict neutrality showing no favor or discrimination for or against any political parties. The members of the ruling council of ministers were debarred from participation in the elections. There were no allegations of rigging of the elections as is often alleged in elections held in the countries of the third world.

    But the results of the first and the last general elections in united Pakistan were simply disastrous from the standpoint of national unity and demonstrated the failure of national integration. There was not a single national party in the country which enjoyed the confidence of the people of Pakistan, both East and West Pakistan. Two regional parties -- the Awami League under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)-- won 160 out of 162 seats allotted for East Pakistan. But in West Pakistan it could not secure a single seat and the percentage of votes secured by the Awami League in the four provinces of West Pakistan were: 0.07 (Punjab), 0.07 (Sindh) 0.2 (NWFP) and 1.0 (Baluchistan).

    The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) under the leadership of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto won 81 out of 138 seats for West Pakistan. But the PPP did not even dare to set up a candidate in East Pakistan. The remaining 57 seats of West Pakistan were shared by seven parties and there were fifteen independent candidates. The PPP emerged as the single largest party in West Pakistan with majorities in Sindh and the Punjab; and the National Awami Party together with their political ally, Jamiat-ul Ulema-i-Islam, JUI, (of Maulana Mufti Mahmood got clear majorities in Baluchistan and the North West Frontier Province. None of the West Pakistani political parties, like the PPP, could win a single seat in East Pakistan. The religious question played little or no part in the elections. There can be no doubt that in East Pakistan the principles which won the consensus of opinion was the single basic notion of autonomy.

    The Awami League (AL) had fought the elections on the basis of their six points formula, which committed them to restructure the existing federal system in order to ensure maximum political autonomy for East Pakistan. Under this formula, only two portfolios -- Foreign Affairs and Defence -- would be retained by the central government. The PPP, on the other hand, was not willing to dilute the authority of the central government in-spite of assuring full provincial autonomy for all the provinces of Pakistan. The NAP and JUI coalition sided with the Awami League so that they might obtain maximum autonomy for their own provinces, i.e., Baluchistan and the NWFP.

    The election results truly reflected the ugly political reality: the division of the Pakistani electorate along regional lines and political polarization of the country between the two wings, East and West Pakistan. In political terms, therefore, Pakistan as a nation stood divided as a result of the very first general elections in twenty-three years of its existence.

    Thus the general elections of 1970 produced a new political configuration with three distinct centers of power:(i) the AL in East Pakistan: (ii) the PPP in Sindh and the Punjab; and (iii) the NAP-JUI in Baluchistan and the NWFP. At the top of all this was the fourth center of power, the armed forces with their spokesman, Yahya Khan.

    There were two major claimants of power: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Both were inordinately ambitious and unscrupulous politicians. "Both flourished on negative appeals to the illiterate voters of Pakistan, one by whipping up regional feeling against Punjabi domination and the other by whipping up militant national feelings against India. Neither had any constructive or positive approach." [3] Mujib was apparently more interested in creating a separate state for Bengalis, Bangladesh since he had no trust in the ruling elite of West Pakistan. He also seemed to have entered into a secret deal with India for the secession of East Pakistan. India, thanks to its consistently and persistently hostile attitude towards Pakistan, was gladly ready to help Mujib in his secession plan.[4]

    On the other hand, Bhutto was more interested in getting power, no matter whether in a united or divided Pakistan. In fact he realized that in a united Pakistan, he had little chance of becoming either prime minister or president. According to GW Choudhury, "he realized from his discussions with Bhutto before and after the 1970 elections that if he had to make a choice between the two 'Ps (power or Pakistan), he would choose the former. He was more interested in getting a 21-gun salute as the head of the state than in the maintenance of the unity of Pakistan." [5]

    Negotiations were held between January and March 1971 between the two major regional leaders - Mujib and Bhutto - and the ruling military government under President Yahya Khan. But the tripartite negotiations for an agreed federal or even a confederal constitution was a dismal and total failure. It is now a well-known fact that the negotiations in Dacca with Mujib were a smoke screen for gaining time for Yahya Khan to airlift supplies and military personnel to Dacca for subsequent military operations. [6] Under the Legal Framework Order, the President was to decide when the Assembly was to meet. Once assembled it was to frame a new constitution within 120 days or stand dissolved. On 13th February, 1971, the president announced that the National assembly was to meet at Dacca on 3rd march. By this time the differences between the main parties to the conflict had already crystallized.

    On December 22, 1970 the Secretary of the Awami League, Tajuddin Ahmed, claimed that his party having won an absolute majority had a clear mandate and was quiet competent to frame a constitution and to form a central government on its own. Sheikh Mujibur Rehman declared on January 3, 1971 that his party would not frame a constitution on its own, even though it had a majority. He refused, however, to negotiate on the Six Points, saying that they were now public property and no longer negotiable.

    The crux of the conflict was that the majority party in the west, led by Bhutto, was convinced that a Federation based on the Six Points would lead to a feeble confederation in name only. At best it would lead to a feeble confederation and at worst it would result in the division of the country into two states. These fears were evidently shared by the military leaders in the west, including President Yahya Khan who had publicly described Sheikh Mujibur Rehman as the 'future Prime Minister of Pakistan' on January 14, 1971.

    Bhutto announced on February 15 that his party would not attend the National Assembly unless there was 'some amount of reciprocity' from the Awami League. Sheikh Mujib replied at a press conference on February 21, asserting that 'Our stand is absolutely clear. The constitution will be framed on the basis of the Six Points'. He also denied that the Six Points would leave the central government at the mercy of the provinces and contended that they were designed only to safeguard provincial autonomy.

    On February 28, Bhutto demanded that either the 120-day limit for the national Assembly be removed or the opening session be postponed, declaring that if it was held on March 3 as planned, there would be a general strike throughout West Pakistan. President Yahya Khan responded next day by postponing the Assembly meeting to March 25. The postponement of the National Assembly came as a shattering disillusionment to the Awami League and their supporters throughout East Pakistan. It was seen as a betrayal and as proof of the authorities of the West Pakistan to deny them the fruits of their electoral victory. This resulted in the outbreak of violence in East Pakistan. The Awami Leaguelaunched a non-cooperation movement and virtually they controlled the entire province.

    The National Assembly, however, could not even meet on March 25 due to widespread disturbances in East Pakistan where the army moved in on march 26, 'to control the situation' or launching ruthless atrocities against the innocent people. The civil disobedience movement later developed into a war of national liberation fully backed by the Indian army. As a result, Pakistani forces had to surrender to the Indian Army, and almost over 93,000 military personnel were taken as prisoners of war on December 16, 1971. Thus ended an important era of the largest Muslim state, Pakistan. A new and smaller Pakistan emerged on 16 December 1971.

    Demoralized and finding himself unable to control the situation, Yahya Khan surrendered power to Bhutto who was sworn-in on December 20, 1971 as President and the Chief Martial Law Administrator. Among the generals, once again, there seemed to be a deep cleavage about the future course of action. The generals close to Yahya Khan wanted him to stop transferring power to the then Commander-in-Chief, General Abdul Hamid Khan.The hawkish generals, such as Gul Hassan and Air Marshal Rahim Khan, however are rumored to have practically forced Yahya Khan at gun point to transfer power to Bhutto, who thus became the first civilian to take as Chief Martial Law Administrator and President of Pakistan. [7] Such was the background of events against which the Bhutto era of Pakistan's political history began on December 20, 1971.

    On Bhutto's role in the cessation of East Pakistan it is argued that as the National assembly was to sit at Dacca, Bhutto prevented members of the National Assembly from West Pakistan from going to Dacca, by threatening them that he would break the legs of those who went to Dacca. He also tore to pieces the Polish Resolution in the United Nations which had proposed that the two belligerent states should revert to their original positions before the war had begun. "You on that side and I on this side," is another expression which Bhutto is alleged to have addressed to Mujib.
     
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The Second Martial Law


    The second martial law was imposed on March 25, 1969, when President Ayub Khan abrogated his own constitution and handed over power to the Army Commander-in-Chief, General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan. [1] On assuming the presidency, General Yahya Khan acceded to popular demands by abolishing the one-unit system in West Pakistan [2] and ordered general elections on the principle of one man one vote.

    General Yahya's regime made no attempt to frame a constitution. The expectations were that a new constituent assembly would be set up by holding a free and fair election. In order to hold the proposed elections, President Yahya Khan promulgated a Legal Framework Order on March 30, 1970 that also spelled out the fundamental principles of the proposed constitution and the structure and composition of the national and provincial assemblies.

    In December, 1970 elections were held simultaneously for both the national and five provincial assemblies. By any criteria, elections were free and fair. There was no interference from the government; it maintained strict neutrality showing no favor or discrimination for or against any political parties. The members of the ruling council of ministers were debarred from participation in the elections. There were no allegations of rigging of the elections as is often alleged in elections held in the countries of the third world.

    But the results of the first and the last general elections in united Pakistan were simply disastrous from the standpoint of national unity and demonstrated the failure of national integration. There was not a single national party in the country which enjoyed the confidence of the people of Pakistan, both East and West Pakistan. Two regional parties -- the Awami League under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)-- won 160 out of 162 seats allotted for East Pakistan. But in West Pakistan it could not secure a single seat and the percentage of votes secured by the Awami League in the four provinces of West Pakistan were: 0.07 (Punjab), 0.07 (Sindh) 0.2 (NWFP) and 1.0 (Baluchistan).

    The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) under the leadership of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto won 81 out of 138 seats for West Pakistan. But the PPP did not even dare to set up a candidate in East Pakistan. The remaining 57 seats of West Pakistan were shared by seven parties and there were fifteen independent candidates. The PPP emerged as the single largest party in West Pakistan with majorities in Sindh and the Punjab; and the National Awami Party together with their political ally, Jamiat-ul Ulema-i-Islam, JUI, (of Maulana Mufti Mahmood got clear majorities in Baluchistan and the North West Frontier Province. None of the West Pakistani political parties, like the PPP, could win a single seat in East Pakistan. The religious question played little or no part in the elections. There can be no doubt that in East Pakistan the principles which won the consensus of opinion was the single basic notion of autonomy.

    The Awami League (AL) had fought the elections on the basis of their six points formula, which committed them to restructure the existing federal system in order to ensure maximum political autonomy for East Pakistan. Under this formula, only two portfolios -- Foreign Affairs and Defence -- would be retained by the central government. The PPP, on the other hand, was not willing to dilute the authority of the central government in-spite of assuring full provincial autonomy for all the provinces of Pakistan. The NAP and JUI coalition sided with the Awami League so that they might obtain maximum autonomy for their own provinces, i.e., Baluchistan and the NWFP.

    The election results truly reflected the ugly political reality: the division of the Pakistani electorate along regional lines and political polarization of the country between the two wings, East and West Pakistan. In political terms, therefore, Pakistan as a nation stood divided as a result of the very first general elections in twenty-three years of its existence.

    Thus the general elections of 1970 produced a new political configuration with three distinct centers of power:(i) the AL in East Pakistan: (ii) the PPP in Sindh and the Punjab; and (iii) the NAP-JUI in Baluchistan and the NWFP. At the top of all this was the fourth center of power, the armed forces with their spokesman, Yahya Khan.

    There were two major claimants of power: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Both were inordinately ambitious and unscrupulous politicians. "Both flourished on negative appeals to the illiterate voters of Pakistan, one by whipping up regional feeling against Punjabi domination and the other by whipping up militant national feelings against India. Neither had any constructive or positive approach." [3] Mujib was apparently more interested in creating a separate state for Bengalis, Bangladesh since he had no trust in the ruling elite of West Pakistan. He also seemed to have entered into a secret deal with India for the secession of East Pakistan. India, thanks to its consistently and persistently hostile attitude towards Pakistan, was gladly ready to help Mujib in his secession plan.[4]

    On the other hand, Bhutto was more interested in getting power, no matter whether in a united or divided Pakistan. In fact he realized that in a united Pakistan, he had little chance of becoming either prime minister or president. According to GW Choudhury, "he realized from his discussions with Bhutto before and after the 1970 elections that if he had to make a choice between the two 'Ps (power or Pakistan), he would choose the former. He was more interested in getting a 21-gun salute as the head of the state than in the maintenance of the unity of Pakistan." [5]

    Negotiations were held between January and March 1971 between the two major regional leaders - Mujib and Bhutto - and the ruling military government under President Yahya Khan. But the tripartite negotiations for an agreed federal or even a confederal constitution was a dismal and total failure. It is now a well-known fact that the negotiations in Dacca with Mujib were a smoke screen for gaining time for Yahya Khan to airlift supplies and military personnel to Dacca for subsequent military operations. [6] Under the Legal Framework Order, the President was to decide when the Assembly was to meet. Once assembled it was to frame a new constitution within 120 days or stand dissolved. On 13th February, 1971, the president announced that the National assembly was to meet at Dacca on 3rd march. By this time the differences between the main parties to the conflict had already crystallized.

    On December 22, 1970 the Secretary of the Awami League, Tajuddin Ahmed, claimed that his party having won an absolute majority had a clear mandate and was quiet competent to frame a constitution and to form a central government on its own. Sheikh Mujibur Rehman declared on January 3, 1971 that his party would not frame a constitution on its own, even though it had a majority. He refused, however, to negotiate on the Six Points, saying that they were now public property and no longer negotiable.

    The crux of the conflict was that the majority party in the west, led by Bhutto, was convinced that a Federation based on the Six Points would lead to a feeble confederation in name only. At best it would lead to a feeble confederation and at worst it would result in the division of the country into two states. These fears were evidently shared by the military leaders in the west, including President Yahya Khan who had publicly described Sheikh Mujibur Rehman as the 'future Prime Minister of Pakistan' on January 14, 1971.

    Bhutto announced on February 15 that his party would not attend the National Assembly unless there was 'some amount of reciprocity' from the Awami League. Sheikh Mujib replied at a press conference on February 21, asserting that 'Our stand is absolutely clear. The constitution will be framed on the basis of the Six Points'. He also denied that the Six Points would leave the central government at the mercy of the provinces and contended that they were designed only to safeguard provincial autonomy.

    On February 28, Bhutto demanded that either the 120-day limit for the national Assembly be removed or the opening session be postponed, declaring that if it was held on March 3 as planned, there would be a general strike throughout West Pakistan. President Yahya Khan responded next day by postponing the Assembly meeting to March 25. The postponement of the National Assembly came as a shattering disillusionment to the Awami League and their supporters throughout East Pakistan. It was seen as a betrayal and as proof of the authorities of the West Pakistan to deny them the fruits of their electoral victory. This resulted in the outbreak of violence in East Pakistan. The Awami Leaguelaunched a non-cooperation movement and virtually they controlled the entire province.

    The National Assembly, however, could not even meet on March 25 due to widespread disturbances in East Pakistan where the army moved in on march 26, 'to control the situation' or launching ruthless atrocities against the innocent people. The civil disobedience movement later developed into a war of national liberation fully backed by the Indian army. As a result, Pakistani forces had to surrender to the Indian Army, and almost over 93,000 military personnel were taken as prisoners of war on December 16, 1971. Thus ended an important era of the largest Muslim state, Pakistan. A new and smaller Pakistan emerged on 16 December 1971.

    Demoralized and finding himself unable to control the situation, Yahya Khan surrendered power to Bhutto who was sworn-in on December 20, 1971 as President and the Chief Martial Law Administrator. Among the generals, once again, there seemed to be a deep cleavage about the future course of action. The generals close to Yahya Khan wanted him to stop transferring power to the then Commander-in-Chief, General Abdul Hamid Khan.The hawkish generals, such as Gul Hassan and Air Marshal Rahim Khan, however are rumored to have practically forced Yahya Khan at gun point to transfer power to Bhutto, who thus became the first civilian to take as Chief Martial Law Administrator and President of Pakistan. [7] Such was the background of events against which the Bhutto era of Pakistan's political history began on December 20, 1971.

    On Bhutto's role in the cessation of East Pakistan it is argued that as the National assembly was to sit at Dacca, Bhutto prevented members of the National Assembly from West Pakistan from going to Dacca, by threatening them that he would break the legs of those who went to Dacca. He also tore to pieces the Polish Resolution in the United Nations which had proposed that the two belligerent states should revert to their original positions before the war had begun. "You on that side and I on this side," is another expression which Bhutto is alleged to have addressed to Mujib.
     
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    What led to the break-up of Pakistan?


    Why Pakistan could not survive as a united country? There was a long history of political, economic and cultural causes that eventually developed the demands of provincial autonomy in East Pakistan into a secessionist movement. It might have been saved in March 1971, but the power elites of West Pakistan were not prepared to let the system be transformed into one more acceptable to the East.

    Political system in Pakistan broke down in 1971 largely because of the inordinate delay in framing a constitution giving birth to a stable political order, the eclipse of democracy and a deep rooted internal dissension and conflict between East and West Pakistan. The task of constitution-making was hampered due to the divergent perceptions in East and West Pakistan in almost every aspect. While India had agreed on and adopted its constitution by January 26, 1949, it was not until March 7, 1949, that the Pakistan Constituent Assembly drew up what came to be known as the Objectives Resolution and began to concentrate on the task of evolving a constitution. The Constituent Assembly's Basic Principles Committee (BPC) produced its first set of interim proposals in 1950. These were not received with much favor in the eastern wing where the Awami Muslim League (the word Muslim was later dropped) had already been formed as an indigenous political party and a potential rival to the Muslim League. Its leadership was in the hands of Maulana Abdul Hamid Bhashani and Sheikh Mujibur Rehman. The party had drawn up a 42-point manifesto and its foremost demand was complete regional autonomy for East Pakistan "in the spirit of the Lahore resolution," leaving only defense, foreign affairs, currency and coinage with the federal government. The party also called for Bengali to be declared with Urdu as one of the two state languages.[1]

    The BPC then produced a second set of proposals which was placed before the Constituent Assembly on December 22, 1952. These provided for parity between the two wings of the country, something that was now strongly resented in West Pakistan which regarded East Pakistan as only one of the five federating units of Pakistan. In the heat of the controversy, the second BPC report virtually fizzled out. It was becoming clear that East Pakistan would be satisfied with nothing short of almost complete autonomy.[2]

    In the meantime, General Ayub Khan, who had become the first Pakistani commander-in-chief of the army in 1951 and was to later himself confess to his own political ambitions, teamed up with the Defense Secretary Major General Iskandar Mirza, to consolidate his grip over the levers of power. The civil-military oligarchy at will dismissed and installed governments in the center as well as the provinces, demonstrating an utter contempt for democratic norms. In 1953, Governor General Ghulam Mohammad dismissed Prime Minister Khawaja Nazimuddin using a viceregal prerogative inherited from the days of the British Raj. A year later he also dismantled the Constituent Assembly. His action was, however, condoned by the federal judiciary.[3]

    On March 23, 1956, a second Constituent Assembly, with Chaudhry Mohammad Ali (also a former civil servant) as Prime Minister, at last promulgated the first constitution of Pakistan which reflected a consensus. East Pakistan, nevertheless remained alienated from the center because the constitution did not concede to it the expected measure of autonomy.

    One can say that it was the agitation for the Bengali language which turned out to be the first schism in the Center-East Pakistan relationship. [4] The agitation in question was afoot within months of inception of Pakistan and, in fact, immediately after the Quaid-i-Azam had declared in a speech in Dhaka on March 24, 1948, that Urdu and Urdu alone would be the official language of Pakistan: " Let me tell you in the clearest language that there is no truth that your normal life is going to be touched or disturbed so far as your Bengali language is concerned. But let me make it very clear to you that the state language of Pakistan is going to be Urdu and no other language ...... But as I have said, it will come in time. "

    A crucial point, however, came four years later, on February 21, 1952, when police opened fire on a demonstration in favor of the Bengali language and three students of Dhaka University were killed. Later a monument called Shaheed Minar was built to commemorate their martyrdom and February 21 was regularly observed as Bengali Language Day in East Pakistan with great fervor. However, little was known in West Pakistan about the episode and the bitterness it had created because the media led the people to believe that after the Quaid-i-Azam's declaration there was no question of East Pakistan not falling in line with West Pakistan in accepting Urdu as the only official language of Pakistan. The people of East Pakistan remained dissatisfied over the language question and after the dominating personality of Mr. Jinnah was removed by his death, discontent became both audible and visible.

    Efforts at assimilation were made by developing and encouraging the increased use or at least increased knowledge of Urdu in East Pakistan. In the early days, the provincial government issued an order that in schools where Urdu was the medium of instruction, Bengali must be taught as a compulsory subject and, similarly, where Bengali was the medium of instruction, Urdu must be taught as a compulsory subject. When Molvi Fazlul Haq_XE "Fazlul Haq"_'s party, after defeating the Muslim League took office in 1955, the language order in question was withdrawn. It was a clear indication of the mistrust, as well as strong feeling, which existed with reference to the problem of the national language.

    Another crucial point in the history of Center-East Pakistan relationship came in 1954 when the party in power at the Center, the Muslim League was completely routed in the East Pakistan provincial election and the United Front of the opposition parties won more than an overwhelming majority. The United Front fought the election on a 21-point program. The main planks in the manifesto were recognition of Bengali as an official language and complete autonomy for East Bengal in all matters except defense, foreign policy and currency. The manifesto also demanded that the headquarters of the navy be located in East Pakistan and that an armament factory be established in the province. Other demands relating to financial autonomy and East Pakistan's complete freedom from the center with regard to export of jute were bound to create apprehension both among the western elites and business interests.

    The election results showed deep revulsions of feeling in the province. The result of this election was that the Muslim League in the East Pakistan Legislative Assembly was swept from power, from office and almost out of sight, for it retained only nine out of 309 seats. In the Constituent Assembly the signals had been read aright and on April 20, 1954, the Muslim League parliamentary party agreed, in terms of a 'Language Formula' that both Urdu and Bengali should be official languages of Pakistan. The language formula was accepted by the assembly on May 7, 1954.

    The veteran leader of East Pakistan, Molvi Fazlul Haq, who moved the Pakistan Resolution at the Lahore session of the Muslim League in 1940, became the chief minister and formed the first non-Muslim League government of Pakistan. Within two months he was dismissed being charged with treason and complicity with India and secessionism. [5] Governor's rule was imposed in the province and Major General Iskandar Mirza was appointed Governor.

    The fact of the matter is that the West Pakistan power elite, particularly the army did not trust East Pakistan leaders, even people like Fazlul Haq and Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy who, inspite of what happened in the preceding years, cooperated with the West Pakistani leaders and the Constituent Assembly and produced the 1956 constitution.Two years later, in October 1958 Ayub Khan abrogated it and imposed martial law, which in retrospect can be seen as a watershed in the history of Pakistan, particularly in the context of the relationship between the two wings of the country.

    The great merit of the 1956 constitution was that it represented a consensus between the political leaders of East and West Pakistan. In this East Pakistan surrendered its numerical advantage as a majority province by agreeing to the principle of parity with West Pakistan at the national level. Ayub Khan's martial law upset the entire scheme of things and set the country on a new and uncharted course altogether. It confirmed the worst fears of East Pakistani opinion-makers which they had started entertaining earlier, noticing some straws blowing at the center. Three of the prime ministers hailing from East Pakistan -- Khawaja Nazimuddin, Mohammad Ali (Bogra), and H.S.Suhrawardy -- had either been dismissed or maneuvered out of office by the West Pakistani elite. Ayub Khan's martial law proved to be the proverbial last straw.[6]

    The feeling of alienation in East Pakistan continued to aggravate during the Ayub regime. Ayub's election as president in 1965 was considered a hoax. He was elected, inspite of a hostile popular sentiment, under a system of his own making, called Basic Democracy, by an electoral college which could easily be manipulated. Having spent seven years under the yoke of Ayub's military and civil dictatorship, another five-year term for him as president was not seen as a happy prospect. It only added to the feeling of frustration in East Pakistan.[7]

    Then came the Indo-Pak war in 1965, another watershed in the history of relationship between East and West Pakistan. Ayub Khan had developed the fatal theory that the defense of East Pakistan lay in the West. During the war which took place on the borders of West Pakistan, East Pakistan was totally cut off. The Pakistanis in that wing of the country were left undefended and completely abandoned to their fate. The theory that the battle of East Pakistan be fought in West Pakistan only added to the feeling of isolation and alienation in East Pakistan. [8] The 1965 war instead of acting as a great unifying force, as national wars often do, dealt a grievous blow to the incipient process of national integration. The 1965 war thus became the "unfinished agenda" of the 1971 war.[9] Shortly after the 1965 war, signs of political unrest had indeed begun to surface in both wings of the country.
     
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The Third Islamic Republic​


    The loss of East Pakistan forced General Yahya Khan and his military junta to quit power. On December 20, 1971, General Yahya Khan handed over power to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, whose Pakistan People's Party had won a land-slide victory in the 1970 elections in the western and only remaining wing of the country.

    Generally, Bhutto has been blamed for having forced the secession of Bangladesh. The advocates of this view argue that Bhutto commanded only 80 seats out of more than 300 seats in the National Assembly representing only the Punjab and Sindh, whereas Sheikh Mujib received an absolute majority of 169 seats. Therefore, in accordance with the theory and practice of parliamentary government, the Sheikh and his Awami League had the legitimate right of forming a government and framing a constitution. Neither the junta nor Bhutto could dispute Mujib's claim, but they were not prepared to accept Bengali rule. An agreement with Mujib could not help Bhutto's cause, even if it might have served Pakistan's larger interests. ....... Bhutto apparently did not mind sacrificing the country's tenuous unity on the alter of his own ambition.[1]

    According to General Yahya's statement published in the daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Lahore, on December 28, 1978, the responsibility for the separation of East Pakistan rested solely with Bhutto. He was responsible for not allowing the National Assembly to meet at Dacca, as he publicly said he would break the legs of anyone from West Pakistan if he dared to go to Dacca, to attend a meeting of the National assembly. [2] However, the Hamoudur Rehman Commission, which probed the debacle of East Pakistan, apparently absolved Bhutto from any responsibility because "if the report had held him responsible for the breakup of Pakistan then General Zia, would have tried and executed him for treason rather than for alleged murder."[3] Nevertheless, while Yahya cannot escape responsibility for the tragic events in East Pakistan, it is also on the record that he did not act alone. [4] Similarly though Bhutto would appear to be the primary beneficiary of the debacle of East Pakistan, not even he can be singled out for blame.[5]

    With the secession of Bangladesh, the situation in West Pakistan was simplified for Bhutto since his Pakistan People's Party (PPP) had emerged as the single largest party. Therefore, as the majority party leader, Bhutto was in a position to form his own government at the center. However, Bhutto's PPP majorities were confined to only two provinces -- the Punjab and Sindh while in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) and in Baluchistan, the National Awami Party (NAP) leader, Abdul Wali Khanand the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) leader, Maulana Mufti Mahmood, had clear majorities.

    Upon assuming power, as the President and the Chief Martial Law Administrator, Bhutto did not restore democracy. Pakistan, for the first time, had a civilian as the martial law chief. The country continued to be governed under martial law till August 1972. Under the provisional constitutional order, the 1962 constitution became the interim constitution of Pakistan till a new constitution was adopted in 1973.

    The 1973 constitution provided for a parliamentary system with all powers concentrated in the prime minister. He was also elected as the president of the national assembly. So there was total concentration of both executive and legislative powers in the office of the prime minister. Under article 48 of the original 1973 constitution the president of the country was bound by the advice of the prime minister, and it was mandatory that every order issued by the president must be countersigned by the prime minister and unless the prime minister had signed it, no order or decision of the president would have any legal sanction. What he wanted was absolute power and the 1973 constitution does not obscure Bhutto's efforts in forming a totalitarian system, something his predecessors considered but rejected as unsound.[6]

    Equipped with all the executive and legislative powers, Bhutto became a civilian dictator under the facade of a democratic government. His rule as the all-powerful prime minister from 1973 to 1977 was more undemocratic, more oppressive and more intolerable than the two martial law regimes, which preceded his government.

    The leaders of the opposition parties were persecuted and prosecuted to an extent unknown even during the previous regimes in Pakistan. A prominent Muslim League leader, Khawaja Khairuddin told G.W. Chawdhry, the author of Pakistan: Transition from Military to Civilian Rule, in 1979 that one evening he was picked up by Bhutto's para-military force; he was forcibly taken by a boat to the sea and thrown out on an island along the Indo-Pakistan sea border. He was almost drowned by the tide of water but fortunately he was rescued by some fishermen who saw his helpless situation.[7]

    Bhutto and his associates from Sindh in the central government gradually initiated policies which ultimately led to creating fissures between his home province and the Punjab. The government of Sindh adopted the Sindhi as the official language of the province. This occasioned language disturbances and ethnic tensions between Sindhis and non Sindhis, including Indian migrants, and the Punjabi settlers in the province. As might have been expected, the language bill was introduced in the province with the active backing of the Bhutto government. However, the PPP Chief Minister of the Punjab, Mustafa Khar, took serious note of the language disturbances and sent a provincial delegation to Sindh to assess the extent of losses to the Punjabi settlers.[8]

    The provinces complained that they were not permitted to exercise their rights which had been given to them by the constitution. The proclamation of emergency was made when Bhutto acquired power and continued throughout his regime. Thus the center acquired power over the provinces and the center meant Bhutto.[9]

    Bhutto sought to consolidate his power by reducing the influence of the military and by again purging and drastically modifying the bureaucracy. He retired a number of top military officers and promoted individuals who he believed would show absolute loyalty to him and the civilian government. As a result, many senior officers of the Army, Navy and the Air Force were retired and replaced by hand-picked junior offices. Lt. General Ziaul Haq was promoted to become C-in-C after superseding several senior Generals. He accused a number of members of the defunct junta of "Bonapartism" and sent some of them abroad in ambassadorial posts. He endeavored to develop a PPP para-military force as well as a special police agency which became known as the Federal Security Force (FSF). These latter bodies were to police political matters for the PPP leadership and hence avoid the use of the regular armed forces. The central idea in these undertakings was to maintain the neutrality of the armed forces and to prevent it from interfering again in, or taking advantage of, the political in-fighting. The military was none too pleased with these developments but in the immediate circumstances following the loss of East Pakistan it was unable to prevent them from going forward.[10]

    The Federal Security Force was the most visible instrument of Bhutto's terror and oppression. Its victims were both individuals and political parties. Bhutto organized the Federal Security Force not only to suppress the rightists and Islamic forces which attacked the government through language and religious movements, but also reduce his reliance on the army.[11] During a national assembly session in November 1975, when a constitutional amendment limiting dissent, was being pushed through, the FSF was brought in. Several protesting opposition members of the House were beaten up and physically thrown out of the assembly.

    he expenditure on the FSF went up from Rs. 36.4 million in 1973-74 to Rs. 107.7 million in 1976-77. This expenditure did not include the Intelligence Bureau, which was under the Prime Minister's cabinet division and for which Rs. 25.8 million was spent in 1976-77. [12] It should be noted that the total expenditures on police and security by the central government amounted to Rs. 521.8 million for 1976-77. This expenditure did not include expenditures on police and security incurred by the various provinces. As compared to the central government expenditure of Rs 521.8 million on police and security for 1976-77, the entire allocation on education (which included both federal and provincial allocations) in the annual plan for 1976-77 was only Rs 617.7 million. The allocation for both federal and provincial health program in the annual plan for 1976-77 was Rs. 771.9 million.[13]

    A popularly elected government committed to the rapid improvement of public well-being was spending only Rs. 95.9 million more on education than on police and only Rs 250.1 million more on health than on police.[14] This gives credence to the argument that Bhutto was more an opportunist than a committed ideologue. His doctrine of Islamic socialism[15] was a means toward gaining, holding and wielding power; it was not holy writ, unchangeable and super eminent.[16]

    With the military removed from the decision-making process, Bhutto attacked Central Service of Pakistan (CSP) and ordered the privileged service dissolved. Personnel were either to be retired or integrated into a new All Pakistan Civil Service which was graded as two levels of work and seniority, but whose members owed allegiance to only one organization, namely the Pakistan People's Party.[17] Through greater control over the civil services, the expansion of the police forces, and the political management of the army, Bhutto had mobilized more effective and coercive power.

    Bhutto sensed the need to build a mystique around himself and this meant no one could question his actions, particularly in public and among his devoted subordinates.[18] He was not only the key decision-maker, he insisted on being the only decision-maker in the country. His imperial style replicated his Sindhi landlord experience, and Pakistan was to be governed much like his ancestral estate in Larkana. Fear, intimidation, repression, constraint surveillance permeated Pakistani society as Bhutto's special forces inflicted their brand of punishment on the population.[19]

    Bhutto did not tolerate any dissenting voices even within his own party. Within the PPP, Bhutto consistently discouraged the democratic process and stifled dissent in order to consolidate his personal, autocratic leadership. He did not pay attention to the problems of reorganization within the PPP, and during the past years no party elections were ever held. Many sincere and devoted workers left the party in utter disgust and frustration. New, opportunistic elements were allowed to join the party ranks and were given key positions. Thus, the party organization remained in disarray. At all levels, factionalism became rampant. The core of party leadership at all levels -- provincial, district and local -- were engaged in a tussle for power. As party leader, Bhutto failed to mediate intra-party feuds. He also failed to hold together ideologically disparate segments of his party, particularly the left and the right wings. Initially, perhaps, he was able to preserve the balance between the left and the right, but gradually he came to lean towards the right wing for support. As a result, he alienated the left wing.

    Confidently, from his place in the saddle of power, Bhutto did not hesitate to humiliate somewhat critical left wing leaders from the party ranks and consistently pursued a ruthless policy of persecuting them. The party's Secretary General, J.A. Rahim, one of the founding fathers of the PPP was subjected to humiliating treatment; Mairaj Mohammed Khan, a young labor leader from Karachi, whom Bhutto had acclaimed as his right-hand man, was imprisoned and tortured. Mukhtar Rana, a labor and peasant leader from Faisalabad [Lyallpur] remained in prison during most of Bhutto's tenure. At a later stage, Khurshid Hasan Mir, Hanif Ramay, Dr. Mubashir Hasan,, and Mustafa Khar of the Punjab PPP were forced out of the party. In his own province of Sindh, he mistreated, humiliated and threw out his Sindhi colleagues asul Bukhsh Talpur and Ahmed Ali Talpur.
     
  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The Third Martial Law


    The army staged third coup d'état in Pakistan's history when General Ziaul Haq overthrew the government of Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and took over as Chief Martial Law Administrator (CMLA) on July 5, 1977. The federal and provincial governments were dismissed; political parties were banned; national and provincial assemblies and the Senate were dissolved; the constitution was put in abeyance; civil courts continued to function as usual but fundamental rights were suspended.

    In his speech while declaring martial law, General Zia termed the take-over as a "90-day operation" and declared that he had no political ambitions. He said "his sole aim" in staging the coup was "to organize free and fair elections" that would be held that October. A week later, addressing the newspaper editors, on July 11, 1977, General Zia reiterated his resolve to hold elections saying that "the primary aim before the interim regime was the restoration of democracy in the country."

    On July 15, 1977, Justice Mushtaq Husseinof Lahore High court was appointed chairman of a committee to formulate election procedures and laws. Two days later, Justice Mushtaq Hussein also took over as the Chief Election Commissioner and announced that elections would be held in the first fortnight of October 1977 under the supervision of the armed forces and the judiciary. October 18 was fixed for the general elections and nomination papers were invited between 7 and 18 August, 1977. On Sept. 21, 1977, General Zia issued a 15-point code of ethics to regulate the election campaign which started from Sept. 18. The code laid emphasis on the national integrity, Islamic ideology and Islam as a religion. It prohibited all actions and deeds, including words, symbolic representations, which were likely to prejudice the solidarity of Pakistan and its Islamic foundations.

    However, on October 1, the elections were postponed indefinitely on the pretext that all the major political groups, except the Pakistan Peoples' Party had demanded to complete the process of accountability first and then to hold the elections. In a speech General Ziaul Haq claimed that postponement has been made to "save the country from a dangerous crisis and to place full facts before the public through the process of accountability." He also banned the political activity "to rid the country of all physical and mental strains and to allow passions to cool down."

    On November 10, 1977 the Supreme Court unanimously validated the imposition of martial law, under the doctrine of necessity. The law of necessity recognized and upheld by Pakistan's highest judicial body has proved an honorable protection for military adventure in civil government. In its judgment dismissing Begum Nusrat Bhutto's petition challenging detention under Martial Law of former Prime Minister Z.A. Bhutto and 10 others, the nine-member court headed by Chief Justice Anwarul Haq observed that after massive rigging of elections followed by complete breakdown of law and order situation bringing the country on the brink of disaster, the imposition of martial law had become inevitable. The judgment also said the court would like to state in clear terms that it had found it possible to validate the extra constitutional action of the Chief Martial Law Administrator (CMLA) not only for the reason that he stepped in to save the country at a time of grave national crisis and constitutional breakdown, but also because of the solemn pledge given by him that the period of constitutional deviation shall be of as short a duration as possible. By the period of constitutional deviation, the court meant, of course, the period between the martial law takeover and the holding of elections.

    The Supreme Court judgment said: It will be seen that the declared objectives of the imposition of Martial Law are to create conditions suitable for the holding of free and fair elections in terms of the 1973 constitution, which was not being abrogated, and only certain parts of which were being held in abeyance, namely, the parts dealing with the federal and provincial executives and legislatures. The President of Pakistan was to continue to discharge his duties as heretofore under the same constitution. Soon after the polls, the power is to be transferred to the elected representatives of the people. It is true that owing to the necessity of completing the process of accountability of holders of public offices, the holding of elections had to be postponed for the time being but the declared intention of the Chief Martial Law Administrator still remains the same namely, that he has stepped in for a temporary period and for the limited purpose of arranging free and fair elections so as to enable the country to return to a democratic way of life.

    "In the presence of these unambiguous declarations, it would be highly unfair and uncharitable to attribute any other intention to the Chief Martial Law Administrator, and to insinuate that he has not assumed power for the purposes stated by him, or that he does not intend to restore democratic situations in terms of the 1973 constitution."

    However, less than four months after the Supreme Court judgment, General Ziaul Haq made it clear that elections would be held only when he and his colleagues were fully convinced about what he called the "positive results." He said that Allah had granted him and his colleagues an opportunity to clean the body-politic of the country, and unless this task was accomplished it would be futile to embark on the election exercise.[1] A Martial Law Order was issued on February 28, 1978 debarring all politicians, whose cases had been referred to Disqualification Tribunals, from political activities until proved not guilty of misconduct.

    In the mean-time, General Ziaul Haq started maneuvering to seek support of political leaders for his martial law regime. On July 5, 1978, on the occasion of the first anniversary of the imposition of martial law, General Zia announced a 22-member federal cabinet, comprising of politicians, technocrats and army men. The following four points were declared the objective of the new cabinet: (a) to work for the implementation of Islamic system; (b) to prepare ground for general elections at the earliest possible date; (c) to plan improvement of the country's economic conditions; and (d) to work for stability at home and Pakistan's prestige abroad.

    As the nation was wondering about the next move by the army regime, he made a dramatic announcement on December 2, 1978, on the occasion of the first day of the Hijra calendar to enforce the Islamic system in the country. In a nationwide address, General Zia accused politicians of exploiting the name of Islam saying: "many a ruler did what they pleased in the name of Islam. After assuming power the task that the present government set to was its public commitment to enforce Nizam-e-Islam. As a preliminary measure to establish an Islamic society in Pakistan, General Zia announced the establishment of Shariah Benches. Speaking about the jurisdiction of the Shariah Benches he said: "Every citizen will have the right to present any law enforced by the government before the "Shariah Bench" and obtain its verdict whether the law is wholly or partly Islamic or un-Islamic." But General Zia did not mention that the Shariah Benches jurisdiction was curtailed by the following overriding clause: " (Any) law does not include the constitution, Muslim personal law, any law relating to the procedure of any court or tribunal or, until the expiration of three years, any fiscal law, or any law relating to the collection of taxes and fees or insurance practice and procedure." It meant that all important laws which affect each and every individual directly remained outside the purview of the Shariah Benches. However, he did not have a smooth sailing even with the clipped Shariah Benches. The Federal Shariah Bench declared rajm, lapidation, to be un-Islamic, Ziaul Haq reconstituted that court which declared rajm as Islamic.[2]

    In his drive of Islamization General Ziaul Haq announced further measures on Feb. 10, 1979. In a speech on the occasion of the birthday anniversary of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) he said: All major political parties despite their other differences are agreed that the Islamic system should be introduced in this country ...... I am formally announcing the introduction of the Islamic system in the country." The Islamic measures were enforced through presidential orders and ordinances under which the existing laws relating to the offenses of theft, robbery and dacoity, adultery, false charge of adultery and wine-drinking were replaced by the fixed punishments prescribed by the Holy Quran and Sunnah. One of the ordinances was related to the execution of the punishment of whipping.

    Under Offenses Against Property (Enforcement of Hudood] Ordinance 1979, the punishment of imprisonment or fine, or both, as provided in the existing Pakistan Penal Code for theft, was substituted by the amputation of the right hand of the offender from the joint of the wrist by a surgeon. For robbery, the right hand of the offender from the wrist and his left foot from the ankle should be amputated by a surgeon.

    Drinking of wine (i.e. all alcoholic drinks) was not a crime at all under the Pakistan Penal Code. In 1977, however, the drinking and selling of wine by Muslims was banned in Pakistan and the sentence of imprisonment of six months or a fine of Rs. 5000/-, or both, was provided in that law. Under Prohibition Order these provisions of law were replaced by punishment of eighty (80) stripes for which an ijma of the companions of the Holy Prophet ever since the period of the Second Caliph Umar, was cited.

    Under the Zina Ordinance the provisions relating to adultery were replaced as that the women and the man guilty will be flogged, each of them, with hundred stripes, if unmarried. And if they are married they shall be stoned to death. It was argued that the section 497 of the Pakistan Penal Code dealing with the offence of adultery provided certain safeguards to the offender in as much as if the adultery is with the consent or connivance of the husband, no offence of adultery was deemed to have been committed in the eye of law. The wife, under the prevailing law, was also not to be punished as abettor. Islamic law knows no such exception.

    The Pakistan Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, were amended [through ordinances in 1980, 1982 and 1986] to declare anything implying disrespect to the Holy Prophet, Ahle Bait (family of the prophet), Sahaba (companion of the prophet) and Sha'ar-i-Islam (Islamic symbols), a cognizable offence, punishable with imprisonment or fine, or with both. Instructions were issued for regular observance of prayers and made arrangements for performing noon prayer (Salat Al Zuhur) in the government and semi-government offices and educational institutions, during office hours, and official functions, and at the airports, railway stations and bus stops. An "Ehtram-i-Ramazan" (reverence for fasting) Ordinance was issued providing that complete sanctity be observed during the Islamic month of Ramazan, including the closure of cinema houses three hours after the Maghreb (sunset) prayers.

    By amending the constitution, General Zia also provided the following definition of a Muslim and a non-Muslim: (a) "Muslim" means a person who believes in the unity and oneness of Almighty Allah, in the absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophet hood of Mohammed (peace be upon him), the last of the prophets, and does not believe in, or recognize as a prophet or religious reformer, any person who claimed to be a prophet in any sense of the word or of any description, whatsoever, after Mohammed. (b) "Non-Muslim" means a person who is not a Muslim and includes a person belonging to the Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Bhuddist, or Parsi community, a person of the Qadiani Group or the Lahori Group (who call themselves Ahmadis), or a Bahai, or a person belonging to any of the scheduled castes.

    Within the framework of Islamization of economy, the National Investment Trust and the Investment Corporation of Pakistan were asked to operate on equity basis instead of interest as of July 1, 1979. Interest-free counters were opened at all the 7,000 branches of the nationalized commercial banks on January 1, 1980. But interes-bearing National Savings Schemes were allowed to operate in parallel. The Zakat and Ushr Ordinance was promulgated on June 20, 1980 to empower the government to deduct 2.5 per cent Zakat annually from mainly interest-bearing savings and shares held in the National Investment Trust, the Investment Corporation of Pakistan and other companies of which the majority of shares are owned by the Muslims. Foreign Exchange Bearer Certificate scheme that offered fixed interest was exempted from the compulsory Zakat deduction. This ordinance drew sharp criticism from the Shia sect which was later exempted from the compulsory deduction of Zakat. Even Sunnis were critical of the compulsory deduction and the way Zakat was distributed.[3]

    On December 13, 1980, to the surprise of General Zia, the Federal Shariah Court declared the land reforms of 1972 and 1977 as eminently in consonance with Islamic injunctions.[4] Then the so-called Ulema were brought in who traditionally supported the landlord class. Three Ulema were inducted into the Federal Shariah Court and two into the Shariah Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court which reversed the FSC judgment in 1990. After the imposition of martial law, many landlords were reported to have told their tenants to seek the protection of their benefactor, namely, Bhutto. Thousands of tenants were forcibly evicted from the land in various districts. The martial law regime made it clear that it was not committed to redistributive agrarian policies and described the land reforms as ordinary politics to reward supporters and punish enemies.

    General Zia's advice to the deprived and the dispossessed was that "It is not for the employers to provide roti, kapra aur makan (obviously a jibe at Bhutto). It was for God Almighty who is the provider of livelihood to his people. Any increase or decrease in your sustenance comes from Him. Trust in God and He will bestow upon you an abundance of good things in life."[5] Demands for higher wages, better working conditions, social security, old age benefits and compensation for accidents, were no justification for protests and strikes. Industrialists were assured that any kind of industrial unrest resulting from strikes or any other trade union activity would be suppressed. Maximum punishment to the offenders was three years' rigorous imprisonment and/or whipping. On January 2, 1978 police mercilessly killed 19 workers as the management of the Colony Textile Mill in Multan sought assistance from the police in its dispute with the striking workers.

    MURDER TRIAL OF BHUTTO [6]

    On September 3, 1977, Bhutto was arrested in connection with the 1974 murder of the father of Ahmad Raza Qasuri, a bitter critic of Bhutto. The Lahore High Court began the trial on Oct. 10 and gave its judgment on March 8, 1978. During the court proceedings, Bhutto pleaded several times that the Chief Justice Molvi Mushtaq Ahmad was biased and he would not get a fair trial but General Zia's government ignored all his pleas. In a 134 page unanimous judgment the Lahore High Court concluded: "All the offenses with which the accused are charged are thus proved to the hilt." Therefore, the Chief Justice pronounced conviction of the principal accused, Bhutto and the others under relevant sections of the Pakistan Penal Code and passed death sentence on all the five accused in the trial. On February 6, 1979, in a majority decision, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of Bhutto and the others and upheld the unanimous judgment of the Lahore High Court. The main judgment written by the Chief Justice was concurred by three other judges. The dissenting judgments were given separately by two other judges and the third judge agreed with them. Anwarul Haq, the Chief Justice, observed on the question of sentence that: "the facts which had been proved beyond any doubt established that Bhutto used the apparatus of the Government namely, the agency of the Federal Security Force for a political vendetta. This was a diabolical misuse of the instruments of state power as the head of the administration. Instead of safeguarding the life and liberty of the citizens of Pakistan, he set about to destroy a political opponent by using the power of the Federal Security Force, whose Director General occupied a special position under him. Ahmad Raza Kasuri was pursued relentlessly in Islamabad and Lahore until finally his father became the victim of the conspiracy, and Ahmad Raza Kasuri miraculously escaped. The power of the Prime Minister was then used to stifle proper investigation, and after to pressurize Ahmad Raza Kasuri in rejoining the Pakistan People's Party.

    In upholding the Lahore High Court Judgment, the majority judgment of the Supreme Court further concluded: "In these circumstances there is absolutely no support for the contention that the present case was politically motivated, or was the result of international conspiracy. The case having been registered almost three years before the ouster of the appellant from power, and a clear indication being available as to the possible identity of assailants not only in the kind of ammunition used in both incidents, but also in the Report of the Shafi-ur Rahman Tribunal, the investigation was deliberately allowed to be stultified. It is, therefore, futile to urge that the prosecution of the appellant is politically motivated, or a result of international conspiracy."

    In his dissenting judgment, spread over 441 pages, Justice G. Safdar Shah expressed the view that certain statements of Masood Mahmood (head of the FSF) were in the nature of hearsay and were not admissible as evidence. Secondly, this approver (state witness) was not reliable. Therefore, he concluded that he was convinced that the case had not been proved to the hilt by the prosecution. Accordingly, in his view, the prosecution had failed to prove the existence of a criminal conspiracy between Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Masood Mahmood. Therefore, he concluded that the prosecution had failed to prove the case against Bhutto and Mian Abbas. and the conviction against them should be set aside. In an independent judgment, disagreeing with the majority opinion, Justice Dorab Patel maintained that neither the existence of a conspiracy between Bhutto and Masood Mahmood could be established, nor could the evidence of Masood Mahmood be accepted, as he was not a reliable witness.

    On April 1, 1979, General Zia rejected the mercy petition and the countdown for the execution began. According to General Khalid Mahmud Arif, a close confident of General Zia: "I accompanied General Zia to Karachi to attend a meeting held in Governor's office. Besides the Governor General S.M. Abbasi, it was attended by Major Generals Jahandad Khan and Abdullah Malik and Mahmood Aslam Hayat, all serving in Sindh. They explained the burial arrangements and the security measures proposed for the occasion. It was decided with Governor Abbasi separately that, subject to other considerations, the execution be carried out on April 3, 1979. However, the meteorological forecast for the morning of April 3 indicated that flying conditions would be unfavorable for transporting body by air from Rawalpindi to the place of burial. The execution was, therefore, postponed by twenty-four hours."[7]

    Until the trial and hanging of Bhutto, General Zia humored the leaders of the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA). Once that threshold had been crossed he dropped their representatives from his cabinet. The disillusionment of the PNA was complete when Zia canceled the elections which had been set for November 1979. The other PNA parties went into the opposition, eventually joining hands with the PPP in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy which was formed in February 1981.

    19 JUDGES FIRED

    The higher judiciary, some of whose key members had collaborated with General Zia over the question of Bhutto's hanging, got a taste of Zia's bitter medicine in March 1981 when the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) was promulgated. This was actually an instrument of martial law. The judges were required to swear a new oath under the PCO which in effect abrogated Pakistan's 1973 constitution and replaced it with a rigid code restricting the power of the civil courts. The order declared as void, all court judgments dealing with the legality of the martial law regime. According to the then Chief Justice Anwarul Haq, General Zia's new Provisional Constitutional Order removed the power of the judiciary to decide whether a legislation was valid. Any judge who took the oath bound himself in advance not to question anything contained in the order.
     
  11. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    BENAZIR'S FIRST STINT IN OFFICE



    The military regime of General Ziaul Haq came to an abrupt end when he was killed in a mysterious aircrash on August 17, 1988.[1] Major crisis in Pakistan in the past had brought chaos but the sudden removal of Zia from power did not create any confusion and the country witnessed its first ever peaceful transition of power. General Aslam Beg became the Army Chief of Staff since General Akhtar Abdul Rehman perished along with 27 top military officers on board the C-130 plane that came down in flames near Bhawalphur. US Ambassador to Pakistan Arnold Raphel and the US Military Attache Brig. General Herbert Wassom were also killed in the crash.

    Senate Chairman, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, took over as the acting President, in accordance with the constitution. He announced that the general elections would be held as scheduled in November. The election results were not surprising. No political party won an outright victory but the Pakistan People's Party emerged as the largest party with 92 seats while Islamic Jamhouri Alliance -- a conglomerate of nine mainly rightist parties hastily arranged by the Inter-Services Intelligence [2] - bagged 56 seats in the 207 seat National Assembly. Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM) secured 13 seats and emerged as the third large party. In the provincial assembly elections the IJI secured majority in Punjab with 108 seats in the 240-seat assembly while the PPP won 94 seats. The PPP secured clear victory in the Sindh province with 67 out of the total 100 seats. In the North West Frontier Province, the IJI won 28, the PPP 20 and the National Awami Party 12 out of the total 77 seats. In Baluchistan's 34-seat assembly, the PPP won only 3 seats, while IJI and Jamiat-ul-Ulama-e-Islam (Fazal Group) each won 8 seats and other seats went to a number of parties and independent candidates.

    Benazir Bhutto, Co-Chairperson of the PPP, took oath on Dec. 2, 1988 as the Prime Minister while the PPP governments were formed in Sindh and the NWFP provinces. However, Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif formed the IJI government in Pakistan's most populous province, Punjab. Similarly, the IJI was able to form a coalition government in Baluchistan. This was not the first time in the history of Pakistan that opposition parties have formed governments in provinces. Governments of opposition parties were formed in the NWFP and Baluchistan provinces in 1973 but were soon dissolved by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. However, Benazir's government soon came into clash with the antagonistic Nawaz government in the Punjab and the differences could not be resolved as long as she remained in power. In Baluchistan, Governor Retired General Mohammad Musa dissolved the assembly in December 1988. However, the Baluchistan High Court restored the assembly amid public condemnation of Governor's move that was believed to be taken with the consent of the President and Prime Minister.

    In her first press conference after taking oath as the Prime Minister, Benazir pledged to abrogate the 8th amendment which meant curtailment of powers of the president. Naturally, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan did not like to become another Chaudhry Fazle-Ilahi [3] and became suspicious about the government's intentions. With time the gulf between the President and the Prime Minister widened. Her government was unable to pass any significant piece of legislation while the battle against Nawaz Sharif raged on. The President refused to sign ordinances, saying that a democratic government should instead pass laws through parliament.

    The first major clash with the President came in the summer of 1989, when Benazir made an attempt to remove Admiral Sirohey from his position as chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Defense Secretary, the senior bureaucrat in the Defense Ministry, informed the President of her intentions before she could summon Sirohey. The president insisted that according to the Constitution, dismissing as well as appointing Generals was his prerogative. Benazir argued that she could dismiss them, and for weeks the battle raged on in the press, the President and the government both using journalists in their pay to push their line. The army feared that if Benazir got away with this act, a precedent would be set by which she would move out all those officers, whom she was suspicious of.

    The following year, she tried to secure an extension of office for Lt. General Alam Jan Mahsud, the Lahore corps commander, to push him up to be a full General and Deputy Chief of the army. Clearly the PPP were hoping that their own appointee would replace General Beg when he retires in August 1991, rather than Beg's choice, who could be one of their enemies such as Generals Hamid Gul or Asif Nawaz. General Beg, simply ignored Benazir's machinations and posted a new corps commander in Lahore, leaving Mahsud with no option but to retire on July 18, and worsened relations between the army and the PPP.

    President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Prime Minister Benazir also clashed in 1989, over the appointment of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Chief Election Commissioner. President's plea was that under article 177 of the constitution, the president was empowered to appoint the chief justice and other judges with the consultation of the chief justice. However, the Prime Minister argued that under article 48 of the constitution, the president was bound to accept the recommendations of the cabinet and Prime Minister. In order to end the dispute, the President decided to file a reference on the matter in the Supreme Court. However, the dispute was resolved on December 9, when Benazir agreed to the appointment of Mohammad Afzal Zullah as Chief Justice. Similarly, the President insisted that Justice Naeemuddin Ahmed would continue as the Chief Election Commissioner.

    Law and order situation deteriorated in the country as battle raged between the central and provincial governments in the Punjab which witnessed bomb blasts from January 1989 to July 1990, claiming heavy tolls. By the end of 1989 the security situation was so bad in Karachi that provides nearly three-quarters of government revenues, that business was down to 50 per cent. Chamber of Commerce officials said Karachi was losing $48 million per day because violence in the most populated areas prevented workers reaching factories. Leading business organizations brought in kidnap experts from the United States and Italy after more than eighty businessmen had to pay ransoms in six months in 1990.

    It was over control of the worsening law and order situation in Sindh more than any other issue that uneasy relations between Benazir and the military finally came to a head. The army maintained that the PPP's inaction reflected a lack of will to come down on members of its own party who were believed to be providing protection to dacoits as well as its student wing, which had long been involved in bloody clashes with the MQM. Under pressure to take action before the army finally took things into their own hands, a 'clean-up operation' was planned, with joint lists of suspected terrorists prepared by both military and police. The army list of suspected terrorists supposedly included the names of five provincial ministers.

    On February 11, 1990, the army oversaw the messy business of exchange of 27 political workers captured by both the MQM and the PPP sides in tit-for-tat abductions. The exchange followed talks at the military headquarters at the instructions of Karachi Corps Commander Lt. General Asif Nawaz Janjua.

    When Benazir called on the military to restore peace to the riot-torn cities of Karachi and Hyderabad in May 1990, they asked as quid pro quo that they be allowed into interior Sindh to carry out operations, as well as power to set up military courts under Article 245 [4] of the constitution. She was aware that if Article 245 was granted, the army would start arresting their own people. She refused, at the cost of final destruction of civil-military relations, knowing that Sindh was her support base and main card and that the Sindhis would never forgive her if she let the army in.

    On 27 May 1990, the Sindh government launched a crackdown in Hyderabad, the bastion of the MQM power. Shoot-on-sight curfew was imposed, and a police house-to-house search began. There were conflicting reports over what happened next but, in what became known as the Pucca Qila massacre, crowds of Mohajirs emerged from Hyerdabad fort, fronted by women and children holding the Holy Quran over their heads. The PPP claimed that behind them were snipers who began shooting at the police, while the MQM claimed that the police, unprovoked, brutally began firing at the women. Thirty-one women and children were killed, sparking off as usual a chain reaction in Karachi. According to some reports, the final death toll was 70 in Hyderabad and more than 250 elsewhere.

    Finally the army intervened, quickly restoring peace and welcomed by banners calling for martial law. Iqbal Haider, an adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister, said that the army's intervention caused confusion because neither the federal nor the provincial government had called on their support. President Ghulam Ishaq Khan denounced the Pucca Qila operation and pointed out that the terrorists were present in all the parties, and should be eliminated without discrimination.

    Corruption in any government is not uncommon in Pakistan, but under the Benazir government it was undoubtedly more blatant. According to the Newsline, Karachi August 1990 report, 'since the Benazir government came into power twenty months ago, the DFIs and NCBs have approved loans totaling billions of rupees for projects whose chief merit seems to be the political connections of their sponsors. 294 million rupees for a textile mill to a federal minister who probably wouldn't recognize a bobbin if he tripped over it, 900 million for a paper making plant based on twelve-year-old second hand machinery from Britain, 2,300 million for a cement plant to a federal minister's son barely out of his teens...so wholesale has become the plunder that in the words of a former DFI chief executive, "the whole financial sector appears to be in danger of collapsing".

    The Public Accounts Committee, under the chairmanship of Hakim Ali Zardari, Benazir's father-in-law and one of her MPs, a job traditionally held by an opposition member for scrutinizing government accounts, instead concentrated on those of the opposition, producing lists of unpaid bank loans. Journalists walked out of his press conference in disgust when he asked them to print lists of names of allegedly corrupt IJI members but was unable to produce evidence. Benazir's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, became known as Mr. Ten Percent, for his alleged rake-offs in deals.

    The government tried to force the Ittefaq Foundry -- owned by Sharif Group -- out of business by instructing Pakistan Railways to refuse to cart scrap, imported from the US, from Karachi to Lahore. Unfortunately, it is often the common man who suffers in these wranglings. Sharif group's Ittefaq Foundry laid off 3,500 workers in summer 1989.

    The US ship MB Jonathan, which arrived in Karachi on 14 June 1989, was carrying 28,000 tons of steel scrap to be molten in Lahore. Ittefaq claimed to have had a contract since 1980 with Pakistan Railways, to be provided 1,200 wagons every forty days and was their biggest private customer. This time, the railways said the carriages were needed for 'items of national priority.' Shehbaz Sharif, however, argued that more than 1,200 carriages were lying idle in Karachi, and some of his workers blocked passengers lines in protest, causing chaos.

    Despite a Supreme Court ruling that the carriages must be provided, eleven months later the ship still had not docked, amassing demurrage charges of more than $2.5 million. Not only did it cost Ittefaq in lost production but, Sharif pointed out, also meant a considerable loss in revenue to the country and was not looked on kindly by the US. The US ambassador in Islamabad wrote to the President and Prime Minister expressing his concern at the behest of the US supplier concerned, who was ultimately responsible for the charges.

    Benazir's 20-month stint witnessed worst kind of horse trading when the federal government as well as provincial governments used money and perks to keep them in power. The horse trading started in the NWFP, where the PPP had won less seats than the IJI but formed a coalition government with the support of the National Awami Party and independent members. Later, 10 members of the IJI were lured to join the government side. The opposition claimed that the federal government bought the loyalty of the MPAs, by paying Rs five million and four land plots to each of them.

    On August 6, 1990, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismissed Benazir's government, dissolved the national and provincial assemblies, and announced new elections to be held in October. This was the second time that the elected assemblies were dissolved, under the Eighth Amendment to the 1973 constitution, introduced by General Zia. Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, an opposition leader, was appointed as caretaker Prime Minister.

    The long list of the President's charges of corruption and official misconduct against the Benazir government included:

    a. Rampant corruption and nepotism through the misuse of authority.
    b. Misuse of resources and government agencies and banks for political ends and for personal gains.
    c. Failure of the National Assembly to legislate.
    d. Massive civil disturbances in the province of Sindh.
    e. Ridiculing the Senate and higher judiciary.
    f. Usurping the authority of the provinces resulting in discord and confrontation between the federal government and the provinces.
    Two days after her dismissal, addressing a press conference in Karachi on August 8, Benazir blamed the Military Intelligence and the Military General Headquarters for the dismissal of her government. She said that both of them pressurized the President to dissolve the assemblies otherwise the army would take over. She also accused the army of backing a no-confidence move in the parliament in November 1989. Later in an interview with the BBC, Benazir demanded that the role of army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) should be outlined clearly and the interference of army in politics should be ended. [5]

    NAWAZ SHARIF'S FIRST STINT IN OFFICE

    The October 1990 elections brought the Islamic Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) into power.[6] In addition to a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, the alliance acquired control of all the four provincial assemblies and enjoyed the support of the military and the President. Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, as leader of the Pakistan Muslim League, the most prominent party in the IJI, was elected Prime Minister by the national assembly. He emerged as the most secure and powerful Pakistani Prime Minister since the mid-1970s.

    The relations between the newly-elected Prime Minister and President Ghulam Ishaq Khan were, to begin with, very cordial. The background of this cordiality was disclosed in 1993 by General Aslam Beg, who was Chief of Army Staff from 1988 to 1991. He said that during the election campaign for the 1990 elections, he had received a sum of Rs. 14 crores from the head of one of the nationalized banks, and he had divided this money between Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the President's Election Cell. The payment for Rs. 14 crores to the General was later confirmed by Younis Habib, Chief of the failed Mehran Bank.

    However, despite his majority in the parliament and complete confidence of the civil and military establishment, Nawaz Sharif could not survive more than two and a half year. When he became the first Punjabi prime minister of Pakistan, he was naive enough to believe that the two-thirds majority would automatically ensure him a full five years in power. He ignored to compromise with the reality that the Prime Minister was expected to play, happily and voluntarily, a subordinate if not servile role allowing President Ghulam Ishaq Khan to administer the affairs of the Federation without advice or assistance from the Federal Cabinet and any control by the parliament.[7]

    His political strategy centered around his economic policy of privatization, which he thought would not only reflate the stagnant economy of Pakistan but also create in this process a considerable sector of political support. The main weakness of his overall political strategy was, that he expected that the growing middle class, consisting of some of the upper level civil servants, lawyers and above all, traders, merchants, and growing number of industrialists, would be adequate by itself to provide him the main nucleus of a political movement.[8] With his strong desire to be an effective Chief Executive, Nawaz Sharif began to take an aggressive position and a confrontationist course with the President, the architect of his government. Consequently he had to face the wrath of his antagonized benefactor.[9]

    He did not enjoy a smooth sailing with the army. The Chief of Army Staff, General Asif Nawaz had begun to feel upset at many of Sharif's moves, most significant of them being his attempts to create rifts within the Army. Chaudhry Nisar Ahmad and Brig. Imtiaz, the former ISI chief, were even accused by the late General of threatening to turn him into another Gul Hasan, the army chief who was sacked by Z.A. Bhutto and bundled into a car by Ghulam Mustafa Khar and taken to Lahore by road. It is said that just when General Mirza Aslam Beg was about to topple Nawaz Sharif at the fag end of his tenure in 1991, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan agreed to name General Asif Nawaz as the new COAS, three months before he was to take over. Just when General Asif Nawaz was getting seriously worried about the Nawaz Sharif government, he died quite suddenly in January, 1993.[10]

    The first clash between the President and Prime Minister came into public on the appointment of the Chief of Army staff after the sudden death of General Asif Nawaz Janjua in January 1993. Nawaz Sharif wanted to place his own candidate in the vacant position, against the wishes of both the army and the president. Considering Sharif's intentions a direct threat to his political authority, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan used his constitutional privilege effectively to place his candidate, General Abdul Waheed Kakar, as commander-in-chief. Nawaz Sharif reportedly threatened "not to let the new COAS work". Within 24 hours of a statement by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that the appointment of the new COAS would take some time, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan had named General Abdul Waheed as the COAS on Jan. 11. What is more, Nawaz Sharif was told about the new appointment just a few minutes before the ceremony. It was the first public setback to the Prime Minister, but he would not give up easily.

    Despite this set back, Nawaz Sharif intensified his political confrontation with the President. He appealed for the abrogation of the 8th constitutional amendment, which conferred upon the President the power to dismiss the government and dissolve elected assemblies. The President, hopeful for a second five-year term, argued that the Eighth Amendment was an important barrier to the ambitions of the prime minister. If Nawaz Sharif had succeeded in doing away with the Eighth Amendment or managed to do away with Article 58(2) introduced by it, which gave the president powers to dissolve the National Assembly without the advice of the Prime Minister, a stronger Federal Government and Prime Minister would have emerged.
     
  12. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Nawaz Shrif's second stint in Office

    The general election of February 3, 1977 gave a landslide victory to the Pakistan Muslim League of Nawaz Sharif, which has a few parallels in the country's history with perhaps the solitary exception of Mujibur Rehman's in 1970. It won 135 seats out of total 207 seats in the National Assembly. In the provincial assembly polls, which were held simultaneously with the NA polls, PML (N) emerged as the largest party in the Punjab Assembly by securing an absolute majority of 211 seats in a house of 240 with the PPP and the PML (J-Chathha group) could bag only two seats each. However, the massive vote for the PML has not made any significant qualitative change because the same faces, or families, have re-entered the legislature.

    The PPP has been reduced to the status of a regional party, largely confined to the province of Sindh. From 118 the strength of the PPP in the National Assembly has dropped to a bare 19, in the Punjab from 92 to a minimal 2 and in the NWFP from 25 to a meager 4. And in its own home province, an absolute majority of 67 has declined to 36, although it remained the largest single party. The Mohajir Qaumi Movement, which secured 12 seats in the NA, was able to win 28 seats in the Sindh Assembly while PML(N) secured 15 seats.

    The 1997 elections, boycotted by the Jamat-e-Islami and Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Pakistan, had two distinctive features. First, the principle of adult franchise was extended to the Tribal Areas for the first time in their history. Secondly, the national and the provincial elections were held simultaneously. In the past the National Assembly elections used to be held two or three days earlier and their outcome psychologically influenced the provincial vote. The turnout ranged from 41.27 per cent in Punjab to 30.85 per cent in the Sindh, 29.33 per cent in the NWFP and 22.38 per cent in the Baluchistan.

    PML[N] formed governments in the NWFP, Punjab and Sindh. In Punjab it has an absolute majority while the Awami National Party backed it in the NWFP and in Sindh it formed a coalition with the MQM.

    On Feb. 17, Nawaz Sharif was sworn-in as the Prime Minister for the second time. Two days later he won a vote of confidence in the National Assembly by a margin of 177-16.



    Nawaz Sharif's first year in office

    Nawaz Sharif completed the first year in office, on February 17, 1998, by concentrating all civilian livers of powers in his hands and no significant political opposition. His confrontation with the judiciary ended in damaging all established institutions of the country. He knocked out the president as a significant political actor and brought the parliament virtually under his thumb through a constitutional amendment that, in the name of fighting 'lotaism' and defection tendency, has reduced MPs virtually to the status of serfs and minions of party leaders; they dare not indulge in criticism of their own party leaders, much less vote against the party whip, which they can do on pain of losing the membership of the house.

    He has more than two thirds majority in the Federal National Assembly, no hostile provincial governments to contend with, a friendly superior judiciary, and his own hand-picked nominee elected as president. Above all, the armed forces have demonstrated in no uncertain manner that they are not willing to topple him. No Pakistani Prime Minister has ever been blessed with circumstances so propitious for unhindered exercise of the enormous power of this post.



    NEW LAW TO CURB PRESS FREEDOM

    Less than one month after taking power, the government of Nawaz Sharif, on March 10, issued "the Registration of Printing Press and Publication Ordinance, 1997" to curb the press and freedom of expression. Article 29 authorizes magistrates and low-ranking police sub-inspectors to interfere in the working of the Press and to initiate executive actions including the forfeiture of newspaper copies without the process of judicial review and restraint.

    The ordinance says that the copies of newspapers or books can be forfeited if they publish any material which tend to incite willful obstruction to public servants or servants of local authorities in the discharges of their public duties. Any police officer or any other person empowered to seize and destroy the newspaper or magazine or book can do so after showing warrants issued by any first call or sub-divisional magistrate or any authorized police officer.

    The ordinance also bars the newspapers from publishing any account of the proceedings of the National Assembly or the Senate or a provincial assembly if such account contains any matter which is not part of the proceedings of such an assembly and which is prejudicial to the maintenance of public order or is opposed to morality, or amounts to contempt of court, defamation or incitement for the commission of an offence.

    The government has also been authorized to forfeit the copies of a newspaper if it contains any material which can incite to the commission of an offence or violence or amounts to false rumors, is critical of the creation of Pakistan, brings into hatred or contempt the government established under the law with the intent of causing defiance of the authority of such government.



    The 13th Constitutional Amendment

    At midnight on April 2, 1997, all rules and procedures of the parliament were suspended and in the middle of the night, the 13th amendment Bill was rushed through both houses, signed by the president the next day, and notified on April 4. By this amendment, the president was disempowered and the Prime Minister further empowered. The President cannot dissolve the National Assembly, he cannot appoint governors at his discretion but on the advice of the prime minister, the provincial governors cannot dissolve their assemblies, the president, though he remains supreme commander of the Armed Forces, no longer has the power to appoint or sack the services chiefs.

    Rules dictate that a constitutional amendment is an extraordinary measure involving a great deal of deliberation on the part of the ruling party, consultation with the opposition, and an objective study of public opinion on the subject. Thereafter, according to the rules of procedure governing parliamentary proceedings under the 1973 constitution, a bill (other than a finance bill) upon its introduction in the House stands referred to the relevant standing committee, unless the requirements of Rules 91 and 92 are dispensed with by the House on a motion by the member-in charge. The standing committee is required to present its report within 30 days and, on receipt of this report, copies of the bill as introduced, together with any modifications recommended by the standing committee, must be supplied to each member within seven days. Two clear days then must elapse before the bill can be sent down for a motion under Rule 93.

    Ever since Nawaz Sharif assumed power on Feb. 17, he had been apparently not feeling very comfortable with several developments. President Leghari forced him to give PML ticket for the Senate elections to his cousin, Mansour Leghari, who had contested the National Assembly on a PPP ticket and was defeated. The President appointed Hamid Shahid as the Governor of Punjab against the wishes of his brother Shahbaz Sharif, who happened to be the Chief Minister of the province. Gen. Moinuddin Haider was appointed the Governor of Sindh against the wishes of PML and MQM. The president was also reluctant to replace the Governor of Baluchistan, General Imaraullah Khan. At a parliamentary meeting PML MNAs demanded repeal of the 8th amendment in order to get rid of the presidential interference in day-to-day affairs of the government.

    The 8th amendment had made more than 40 changes in the constitution. However, Nawaz Sharif opted to remove only those parts of the 8th amendment which were a potential threat to his government but has failed to touch those parts which pose a threat to society, particularly the weaker and disadvantaged sections like women and minorities. There are several constitutional and legal distortions created by the 8th amendment and several black laws, such as the Hudood Ordinances, under its protection which need to be removed. Thousands of innocent women are languishing in jails under the notorious Hudood laws. Some other article which deserve immediate attention and action by the parliament are:

    1. Article 51(1) that was amended to establish separate electorate for minorities.

    2. Article 51 (2)b that was amended to increase the age-limit for votes from 18 to 21 years.

    3. Article 51(4) that abolished the reserved seats for women in the National Assembly.



    The 14th Constitutional Amendment

    Less than three months after this transgression, on June 30, in the Senate, the rules of procedure were again suspended, the 14th Amendment Bill went through like a shot, passed in less than a day, without one single protest or dissent being recorded. On July 1, the bill was presented to the National Assembly, again rules of procedure were suspended, and the bill was passed immediately, again without a single protest or dissent. It went up to the president, on July 3 he put his signature to the bill, and on July 4 the 14th Amendment Act of 1997 came into force.

    This amendment admittedly has the aim of putting an end to lucrative defections. But 'lotaism' only existed because all our political parties were in the business of buying and selling bodies. However, that was not deemed to be sufficient. The Prime Minister had to be further empowered, and so he was. A member of a parliamentary party will also be deemed to have defected if he breaches any declared or undeclared party discipline, code of conduct or policies, or if he votes contrary to any direction issued by his parliamentary party, or if he abstains from voting as instructed by his party on any bill. The prosecutor, defense counsel, judge and jury who will decide the member's fate is the head of the party, whose decision is not justifiable in any court of law.



    Ehtesab (Accountability) Law

    The National Assembly, on May 29, 1997, amended the Ehtesab Ordinance to introduce major changes in the accountability process. The most significant amendment was the shifting of the starting date for accountability from the original 31st December 1985 (when General Zia lifted the martial law) to 6th August 1990 (when the first government of Benazir Bhutto was dismissed). The amendment also transferred the power of investigating charges of corruption from the Chief Ehtesab Commissioner to the Ehtesab Cell set up by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. "The Ehtesab Bill steam-rolled through the National Assembly makes a mockery of accountability. The amendments incorporated in the bill before it was presented in parliament for adoption render it an extremely flawed piece of legislation." (1)

    Although the amendment excluded the first Benazir government from the purview of accountability but the exemption for the 1985-90 period is significant since it was during this period that Mr. Nawaz Sharif, in his capacity as the Chief Minister of the Punjab, was strengthening and consolidating his industrial and political base. At the time of passage of the Ehtesab Law, there were reports that there were 167 cases of major loan default which include 107 cases involving top leaders of the PML(N) who got the benefit of huge write-offs and rescheduling during 1985-1990.

    The transfer of the power of appointment of the Chief Ehtesab Commissioner from the president to the federal government reduced the office of the CEC to a mere post office. The real power was transferred to the accountability cell in the Prime Minister's secretariat. The head of the Cell, Senator Saifur Rehman Khan, was accountable only to the PM. The amendment also extends ex post facto legal sanction to the PM's accountability cell, which was under attack in a number of writ petitions in the Lahore High Court.

    The original ordinance had empowered the CEC to initiate a case on a reference received from the appropriate government, on receipt of a complaint or on his own accord. Under the new amended law, if the CEC deems a reference necessary, he must refer it to the accountability cell for investigation. With all the accountability functions and powers concentrated in a cell functioning in his secretariat, the prime minister will be able to keep a strict check not only on the opposition and the bureaucracy but on his own party-men also.



    Ehtesab officials get SHO's power

    The federal government, on Feb. 4 1998, amended the Ehtesab Act, replacing the name, "Ehtesab Cell", with "Ehtesab Bureau", and provided powers of an SHO to the chief of Ehtesab Bureau or any other official designated by him for the purpose of investigation. The amendments were introduced into the Ehtesab Act through a presidential ordinance, the first by President Rafiq Tarar, under clause 1 of Article 87 of the constitution.

    The chief of Ehtesab Bureau or any officer designated by him will enjoy all the powers of an officer-in-charge of a police station. The chairman or designated officer will be empowered to require the assistance of any agency or police officer. The amended law provides indemnity to officials of the Ehtesab Bureau on acts deemed to have been done on "good faith".

    By amending Section 3 of the Ehtesab Act, the government has again brought in the original definition of "corruption and corrupt practice". In the original Ehtesab Ordinance, corruption by a government official was defined as "favors or disfavors to any person." Through a subsequent amendment in the original Ehtesab Ordinance of 1996, the words "any other person" were replaced with the words "his spouse or dependents." The government has again restored the original meaning that any favor by a government official to other person other than his/her spouse or dependents would also fall in the definition of corruption, and he would be held responsible for that.

    A reference made to the Ehtesab Bureau will now be treated as a report under section 154 of the code. After the reference of any case to the Ehtesab Bureau by the Ehtesab Commissioner, it would be an exclusive responsibility of the bureau to examine all the material, evidence and proof. No other agency will have a power to look into the matter. For the purpose of inquiry into any matter referred to the Ehtesab Bureau, the chairman and the bureau will have the powers of an officer in charge of a police station, including the power to ask any citizen to appear before it. Every government agency, police official or any other government official would be bound to assist the Ehestab Bureau in investigation.

    After the amendment, the Ehtesab Bureau is also empowered to ask the Chief Ehtesab Commissioner to make a request to any court for the withdrawal of any case pending in a court. If the court grants the application, the case will be transferred to the Ehtesab Bureau.

    The Chief Ehtesab Commissioner will have the powers at any stage of proceedings against an accused under the Ehtesab Act, to order the arrest of the accused. A reference to the court by the Chief Ehtesab Commissioner shall contain the substance of the act of corruption and corrupt practice alleged to have been committed by the accused. The amendment has provided a right of appeal to the Chief Ehtesab Commissioner if the Ehtesab bench acquitted any accused. Earlier this right was only with the accused. After the amendment, the Ehtesab Act provides that on the grant of pardon from the CEC, a magistrate appointed by the CEC himself will examine an accused.

    What the Bureau now becomes is an independent investigating agency with teeth of its own and therefore not dependent, as it formerly was, upon the powers of the FIA. This may be a sequel to the turf war between Senator Saifur Rehman's Ehtesab machine and Ch. Shujaat Hussain's interior ministry, both of whom were vying for control over the FIA. The first and most striking change of course was to strip the original law of its neutrality and place the powers of investigation and prosecution firmly in the Prime Minister's Secretariat.

    In Pakistan, the word 'accountability' has only one meaning: to malign and persecute political opponents. Glimpses of the full story can be culled from the report of the Mehran Bank commission along with the evidence provided by General Asad Durrani and Hameed Asghar Qidwai, as well as the jailed chief executive of the failed bank, Yunus Habib. (2)

    Several references have been filed against the former Prime Minister and her husband but they are still far from having run their full course. The rest of the Ehtesab Bureau's record is even more patchy. The 87 senior bureaucrats suspended hastily amidst a blaze of publicity have still to see any firm action taken against them. Indeed, some of the more notorious faces in this crowd have either been let off completely or have been allowed to go abroad. Meanwhile, the list of bank defaulters is as long and potent as ever with hardly anything having been returned to the public purse. (3)

    The annual 1997 Human Rights Report of US State Department said the Accountability Commission, established by the caretaker government and headed by a retired judge, had been overshadowed by an "accountability cell," headed by a close associate of the Prime Minister. This cell had been accused of conducting politically motivated investigations of politicians, senior civil servants, and business figures, designed to extract evidence and, in some cases, televised confessions of alleged wrongdoers. The report gave the examples of televised confessions extracted from Salman Farooqi, secretary of commerce under Benazir Bhutto; Ahmed Sadiq, Benazir Bhutto's principal secretary; and Zafar Iqbal, chairman of the Capital Development Authority. It said most politicians and bureaucrats, who had been charged with corruption or other crimes, were out on bail (in addition to murder, Benazir Bhutto's husband, Asif Zardari, had also been charged with corruption).



    Anti-terrorism Act or a license to kill?

    On August 13, one day before the nation celebrated 50th anniversary of its independence, the Anti-Terrorism Act was bulldozed through parliament without so much as a debate. The Act has justifiably been criticized by almost across the board, even from within the ranks of the ruling party and its coalition allies. Yet on the day that it was introduced in parliament, the ATA was endorsed within three hours. Its numerous critics maintained that the ATA turns the country into a police state and it violates the constitution. The ATA, in effect, gives the law enforcing agencies and army a license to kill as it empowers the police to kill a person on mere suspicion. It also empowers the police to search a house and arrest a person without warrant.

    The ATA provides an appeal against the special court judgement to a government-notified tribunal consisting of two High Court judges. The High Court has now power of appeal against the special court decision. A person accused under the ATA cannot be freed on bail even by the High Court.

    The judiciary also opposed the ATA and many feared that the law would be grossly abused. Punjab Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif, failed to convince Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, on August 20, of the need to establish special courts under the ATA. The bar associations also condemned the law.

    Adding to the credibility problem of the anti-terrorism law was the attitude of law minister Khalid Anwer who first surprised his colleagues by allowing the government to push through this piece of dubious legislation. Khalid Anwer then proceeded to distance himself from the ATA a few days after it was enacted. He even went so far as to declare that he would have opposed the law, had he been in the opposition. This was then followed by the claim that the law would be phased out once the situation was under control.

    Six special courts started work in the Punjab province on August 25 while the special courts were established in the Sindh province on August 25. The critics fears came true when the police started sending cases to special speedy trial courts set up under the ATA. The Punjab Forensic Science Laboratory was reported under pressure from the government to issue 'positive results' about weapons used in cases being tried by the special courts set up under the ATA.

    According to a press report (4) weapons used in more than 1,000 cases were sent to the Punjab Forensic Science Laboratory to ascertain whether or not they were used by the accused during the terrorist or sectarian act for which he was being tried. Interestingly, all the weapons tested positive with the experts, providing sufficient evidence for the prosecution to obtain maximum punishment for the accused.

    These reports formed part of the evidence against the accused and on its basis as many as 55 people have been sentenced to death, including three sectarian accused. Some 32 people have been sentenced to life imprisonment or for seven years rigorous imprisonment.

    Following the establishment of anti-terrorist courts police started sending cases of sectarian and terrorist incidents to these courts for speedy adjudication. However, in a majority of cases sufficient evidence was not available to establish the guilt of the accused and the government feared that the courts might acquit them.

    The officials of the Forensic Science Laboratory were reportedly directed by the government to issue 'positive results' in all cases involving sectarian incidents. After every incident police collected shells of the weapons from the scene of crime. Whenever an accused was arrested, police claimed having recovered automatic weapons from his custody. In some cases the bullet shells collected from a crime scene years ago matched with the weapons recovered from the accused on arrest. It was ironic that some officials insist on matching the shells recovered from a scene of crime in 1990 with that of a weapon recovered from the custody of the accused in 1997. (5)
     
  13. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Nawaz Shrif's second stint in Office

    The general election of February 3, 1977 gave a landslide victory to the Pakistan Muslim League of Nawaz Sharif, which has a few parallels in the country's history with perhaps the solitary exception of Mujibur Rehman's in 1970. It won 135 seats out of total 207 seats in the National Assembly. In the provincial assembly polls, which were held simultaneously with the NA polls, PML (N) emerged as the largest party in the Punjab Assembly by securing an absolute majority of 211 seats in a house of 240 with the PPP and the PML (J-Chathha group) could bag only two seats each. However, the massive vote for the PML has not made any significant qualitative change because the same faces, or families, have re-entered the legislature.

    The PPP has been reduced to the status of a regional party, largely confined to the province of Sindh. From 118 the strength of the PPP in the National Assembly has dropped to a bare 19, in the Punjab from 92 to a minimal 2 and in the NWFP from 25 to a meager 4. And in its own home province, an absolute majority of 67 has declined to 36, although it remained the largest single party. The Mohajir Qaumi Movement, which secured 12 seats in the NA, was able to win 28 seats in the Sindh Assembly while PML(N) secured 15 seats.

    The 1997 elections, boycotted by the Jamat-e-Islami and Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Pakistan, had two distinctive features. First, the principle of adult franchise was extended to the Tribal Areas for the first time in their history. Secondly, the national and the provincial elections were held simultaneously. In the past the National Assembly elections used to be held two or three days earlier and their outcome psychologically influenced the provincial vote. The turnout ranged from 41.27 per cent in Punjab to 30.85 per cent in the Sindh, 29.33 per cent in the NWFP and 22.38 per cent in the Baluchistan.

    PML[N] formed governments in the NWFP, Punjab and Sindh. In Punjab it has an absolute majority while the Awami National Party backed it in the NWFP and in Sindh it formed a coalition with the MQM.

    On Feb. 17, Nawaz Sharif was sworn-in as the Prime Minister for the second time. Two days later he won a vote of confidence in the National Assembly by a margin of 177-16.



    Nawaz Sharif's first year in office

    Nawaz Sharif completed the first year in office, on February 17, 1998, by concentrating all civilian livers of powers in his hands and no significant political opposition. His confrontation with the judiciary ended in damaging all established institutions of the country. He knocked out the president as a significant political actor and brought the parliament virtually under his thumb through a constitutional amendment that, in the name of fighting 'lotaism' and defection tendency, has reduced MPs virtually to the status of serfs and minions of party leaders; they dare not indulge in criticism of their own party leaders, much less vote against the party whip, which they can do on pain of losing the membership of the house.

    He has more than two thirds majority in the Federal National Assembly, no hostile provincial governments to contend with, a friendly superior judiciary, and his own hand-picked nominee elected as president. Above all, the armed forces have demonstrated in no uncertain manner that they are not willing to topple him. No Pakistani Prime Minister has ever been blessed with circumstances so propitious for unhindered exercise of the enormous power of this post.



    NEW LAW TO CURB PRESS FREEDOM

    Less than one month after taking power, the government of Nawaz Sharif, on March 10, issued "the Registration of Printing Press and Publication Ordinance, 1997" to curb the press and freedom of expression. Article 29 authorizes magistrates and low-ranking police sub-inspectors to interfere in the working of the Press and to initiate executive actions including the forfeiture of newspaper copies without the process of judicial review and restraint.

    The ordinance says that the copies of newspapers or books can be forfeited if they publish any material which tend to incite willful obstruction to public servants or servants of local authorities in the discharges of their public duties. Any police officer or any other person empowered to seize and destroy the newspaper or magazine or book can do so after showing warrants issued by any first call or sub-divisional magistrate or any authorized police officer.

    The ordinance also bars the newspapers from publishing any account of the proceedings of the National Assembly or the Senate or a provincial assembly if such account contains any matter which is not part of the proceedings of such an assembly and which is prejudicial to the maintenance of public order or is opposed to morality, or amounts to contempt of court, defamation or incitement for the commission of an offence.

    The government has also been authorized to forfeit the copies of a newspaper if it contains any material which can incite to the commission of an offence or violence or amounts to false rumors, is critical of the creation of Pakistan, brings into hatred or contempt the government established under the law with the intent of causing defiance of the authority of such government.



    The 13th Constitutional Amendment

    At midnight on April 2, 1997, all rules and procedures of the parliament were suspended and in the middle of the night, the 13th amendment Bill was rushed through both houses, signed by the president the next day, and notified on April 4. By this amendment, the president was disempowered and the Prime Minister further empowered. The President cannot dissolve the National Assembly, he cannot appoint governors at his discretion but on the advice of the prime minister, the provincial governors cannot dissolve their assemblies, the president, though he remains supreme commander of the Armed Forces, no longer has the power to appoint or sack the services chiefs.

    Rules dictate that a constitutional amendment is an extraordinary measure involving a great deal of deliberation on the part of the ruling party, consultation with the opposition, and an objective study of public opinion on the subject. Thereafter, according to the rules of procedure governing parliamentary proceedings under the 1973 constitution, a bill (other than a finance bill) upon its introduction in the House stands referred to the relevant standing committee, unless the requirements of Rules 91 and 92 are dispensed with by the House on a motion by the member-in charge. The standing committee is required to present its report within 30 days and, on receipt of this report, copies of the bill as introduced, together with any modifications recommended by the standing committee, must be supplied to each member within seven days. Two clear days then must elapse before the bill can be sent down for a motion under Rule 93.

    Ever since Nawaz Sharif assumed power on Feb. 17, he had been apparently not feeling very comfortable with several developments. President Leghari forced him to give PML ticket for the Senate elections to his cousin, Mansour Leghari, who had contested the National Assembly on a PPP ticket and was defeated. The President appointed Hamid Shahid as the Governor of Punjab against the wishes of his brother Shahbaz Sharif, who happened to be the Chief Minister of the province. Gen. Moinuddin Haider was appointed the Governor of Sindh against the wishes of PML and MQM. The president was also reluctant to replace the Governor of Baluchistan, General Imaraullah Khan. At a parliamentary meeting PML MNAs demanded repeal of the 8th amendment in order to get rid of the presidential interference in day-to-day affairs of the government.

    The 8th amendment had made more than 40 changes in the constitution. However, Nawaz Sharif opted to remove only those parts of the 8th amendment which were a potential threat to his government but has failed to touch those parts which pose a threat to society, particularly the weaker and disadvantaged sections like women and minorities. There are several constitutional and legal distortions created by the 8th amendment and several black laws, such as the Hudood Ordinances, under its protection which need to be removed. Thousands of innocent women are languishing in jails under the notorious Hudood laws. Some other article which deserve immediate attention and action by the parliament are:

    1. Article 51(1) that was amended to establish separate electorate for minorities.

    2. Article 51 (2)b that was amended to increase the age-limit for votes from 18 to 21 years.

    3. Article 51(4) that abolished the reserved seats for women in the National Assembly.



    The 14th Constitutional Amendment

    Less than three months after this transgression, on June 30, in the Senate, the rules of procedure were again suspended, the 14th Amendment Bill went through like a shot, passed in less than a day, without one single protest or dissent being recorded. On July 1, the bill was presented to the National Assembly, again rules of procedure were suspended, and the bill was passed immediately, again without a single protest or dissent. It went up to the president, on July 3 he put his signature to the bill, and on July 4 the 14th Amendment Act of 1997 came into force.

    This amendment admittedly has the aim of putting an end to lucrative defections. But 'lotaism' only existed because all our political parties were in the business of buying and selling bodies. However, that was not deemed to be sufficient. The Prime Minister had to be further empowered, and so he was. A member of a parliamentary party will also be deemed to have defected if he breaches any declared or undeclared party discipline, code of conduct or policies, or if he votes contrary to any direction issued by his parliamentary party, or if he abstains from voting as instructed by his party on any bill. The prosecutor, defense counsel, judge and jury who will decide the member's fate is the head of the party, whose decision is not justifiable in any court of law.



    Ehtesab (Accountability) Law

    The National Assembly, on May 29, 1997, amended the Ehtesab Ordinance to introduce major changes in the accountability process. The most significant amendment was the shifting of the starting date for accountability from the original 31st December 1985 (when General Zia lifted the martial law) to 6th August 1990 (when the first government of Benazir Bhutto was dismissed). The amendment also transferred the power of investigating charges of corruption from the Chief Ehtesab Commissioner to the Ehtesab Cell set up by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. "The Ehtesab Bill steam-rolled through the National Assembly makes a mockery of accountability. The amendments incorporated in the bill before it was presented in parliament for adoption render it an extremely flawed piece of legislation." (1)

    Although the amendment excluded the first Benazir government from the purview of accountability but the exemption for the 1985-90 period is significant since it was during this period that Mr. Nawaz Sharif, in his capacity as the Chief Minister of the Punjab, was strengthening and consolidating his industrial and political base. At the time of passage of the Ehtesab Law, there were reports that there were 167 cases of major loan default which include 107 cases involving top leaders of the PML(N) who got the benefit of huge write-offs and rescheduling during 1985-1990.

    The transfer of the power of appointment of the Chief Ehtesab Commissioner from the president to the federal government reduced the office of the CEC to a mere post office. The real power was transferred to the accountability cell in the Prime Minister's secretariat. The head of the Cell, Senator Saifur Rehman Khan, was accountable only to the PM. The amendment also extends ex post facto legal sanction to the PM's accountability cell, which was under attack in a number of writ petitions in the Lahore High Court.

    The original ordinance had empowered the CEC to initiate a case on a reference received from the appropriate government, on receipt of a complaint or on his own accord. Under the new amended law, if the CEC deems a reference necessary, he must refer it to the accountability cell for investigation. With all the accountability functions and powers concentrated in a cell functioning in his secretariat, the prime minister will be able to keep a strict check not only on the opposition and the bureaucracy but on his own party-men also.



    Ehtesab officials get SHO's power

    The federal government, on Feb. 4 1998, amended the Ehtesab Act, replacing the name, "Ehtesab Cell", with "Ehtesab Bureau", and provided powers of an SHO to the chief of Ehtesab Bureau or any other official designated by him for the purpose of investigation. The amendments were introduced into the Ehtesab Act through a presidential ordinance, the first by President Rafiq Tarar, under clause 1 of Article 87 of the constitution.

    The chief of Ehtesab Bureau or any officer designated by him will enjoy all the powers of an officer-in-charge of a police station. The chairman or designated officer will be empowered to require the assistance of any agency or police officer. The amended law provides indemnity to officials of the Ehtesab Bureau on acts deemed to have been done on "good faith".

    By amending Section 3 of the Ehtesab Act, the government has again brought in the original definition of "corruption and corrupt practice". In the original Ehtesab Ordinance, corruption by a government official was defined as "favors or disfavors to any person." Through a subsequent amendment in the original Ehtesab Ordinance of 1996, the words "any other person" were replaced with the words "his spouse or dependents." The government has again restored the original meaning that any favor by a government official to other person other than his/her spouse or dependents would also fall in the definition of corruption, and he would be held responsible for that.

    A reference made to the Ehtesab Bureau will now be treated as a report under section 154 of the code. After the reference of any case to the Ehtesab Bureau by the Ehtesab Commissioner, it would be an exclusive responsibility of the bureau to examine all the material, evidence and proof. No other agency will have a power to look into the matter. For the purpose of inquiry into any matter referred to the Ehtesab Bureau, the chairman and the bureau will have the powers of an officer in charge of a police station, including the power to ask any citizen to appear before it. Every government agency, police official or any other government official would be bound to assist the Ehestab Bureau in investigation.

    After the amendment, the Ehtesab Bureau is also empowered to ask the Chief Ehtesab Commissioner to make a request to any court for the withdrawal of any case pending in a court. If the court grants the application, the case will be transferred to the Ehtesab Bureau.

    The Chief Ehtesab Commissioner will have the powers at any stage of proceedings against an accused under the Ehtesab Act, to order the arrest of the accused. A reference to the court by the Chief Ehtesab Commissioner shall contain the substance of the act of corruption and corrupt practice alleged to have been committed by the accused. The amendment has provided a right of appeal to the Chief Ehtesab Commissioner if the Ehtesab bench acquitted any accused. Earlier this right was only with the accused. After the amendment, the Ehtesab Act provides that on the grant of pardon from the CEC, a magistrate appointed by the CEC himself will examine an accused.

    What the Bureau now becomes is an independent investigating agency with teeth of its own and therefore not dependent, as it formerly was, upon the powers of the FIA. This may be a sequel to the turf war between Senator Saifur Rehman's Ehtesab machine and Ch. Shujaat Hussain's interior ministry, both of whom were vying for control over the FIA. The first and most striking change of course was to strip the original law of its neutrality and place the powers of investigation and prosecution firmly in the Prime Minister's Secretariat.

    In Pakistan, the word 'accountability' has only one meaning: to malign and persecute political opponents. Glimpses of the full story can be culled from the report of the Mehran Bank commission along with the evidence provided by General Asad Durrani and Hameed Asghar Qidwai, as well as the jailed chief executive of the failed bank, Yunus Habib. (2)

    Several references have been filed against the former Prime Minister and her husband but they are still far from having run their full course. The rest of the Ehtesab Bureau's record is even more patchy. The 87 senior bureaucrats suspended hastily amidst a blaze of publicity have still to see any firm action taken against them. Indeed, some of the more notorious faces in this crowd have either been let off completely or have been allowed to go abroad. Meanwhile, the list of bank defaulters is as long and potent as ever with hardly anything having been returned to the public purse. (3)

    The annual 1997 Human Rights Report of US State Department said the Accountability Commission, established by the caretaker government and headed by a retired judge, had been overshadowed by an "accountability cell," headed by a close associate of the Prime Minister. This cell had been accused of conducting politically motivated investigations of politicians, senior civil servants, and business figures, designed to extract evidence and, in some cases, televised confessions of alleged wrongdoers. The report gave the examples of televised confessions extracted from Salman Farooqi, secretary of commerce under Benazir Bhutto; Ahmed Sadiq, Benazir Bhutto's principal secretary; and Zafar Iqbal, chairman of the Capital Development Authority. It said most politicians and bureaucrats, who had been charged with corruption or other crimes, were out on bail (in addition to murder, Benazir Bhutto's husband, Asif Zardari, had also been charged with corruption).



    Anti-terrorism Act or a license to kill?

    On August 13, one day before the nation celebrated 50th anniversary of its independence, the Anti-Terrorism Act was bulldozed through parliament without so much as a debate. The Act has justifiably been criticized by almost across the board, even from within the ranks of the ruling party and its coalition allies. Yet on the day that it was introduced in parliament, the ATA was endorsed within three hours. Its numerous critics maintained that the ATA turns the country into a police state and it violates the constitution. The ATA, in effect, gives the law enforcing agencies and army a license to kill as it empowers the police to kill a person on mere suspicion. It also empowers the police to search a house and arrest a person without warrant.

    The ATA provides an appeal against the special court judgement to a government-notified tribunal consisting of two High Court judges. The High Court has now power of appeal against the special court decision. A person accused under the ATA cannot be freed on bail even by the High Court.

    The judiciary also opposed the ATA and many feared that the law would be grossly abused. Punjab Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif, failed to convince Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, on August 20, of the need to establish special courts under the ATA. The bar associations also condemned the law.

    Adding to the credibility problem of the anti-terrorism law was the attitude of law minister Khalid Anwer who first surprised his colleagues by allowing the government to push through this piece of dubious legislation. Khalid Anwer then proceeded to distance himself from the ATA a few days after it was enacted. He even went so far as to declare that he would have opposed the law, had he been in the opposition. This was then followed by the claim that the law would be phased out once the situation was under control.

    Six special courts started work in the Punjab province on August 25 while the special courts were established in the Sindh province on August 25. The critics fears came true when the police started sending cases to special speedy trial courts set up under the ATA. The Punjab Forensic Science Laboratory was reported under pressure from the government to issue 'positive results' about weapons used in cases being tried by the special courts set up under the ATA.

    According to a press report (4) weapons used in more than 1,000 cases were sent to the Punjab Forensic Science Laboratory to ascertain whether or not they were used by the accused during the terrorist or sectarian act for which he was being tried. Interestingly, all the weapons tested positive with the experts, providing sufficient evidence for the prosecution to obtain maximum punishment for the accused.

    These reports formed part of the evidence against the accused and on its basis as many as 55 people have been sentenced to death, including three sectarian accused. Some 32 people have been sentenced to life imprisonment or for seven years rigorous imprisonment.

    Following the establishment of anti-terrorist courts police started sending cases of sectarian and terrorist incidents to these courts for speedy adjudication. However, in a majority of cases sufficient evidence was not available to establish the guilt of the accused and the government feared that the courts might acquit them.

    The officials of the Forensic Science Laboratory were reportedly directed by the government to issue 'positive results' in all cases involving sectarian incidents. After every incident police collected shells of the weapons from the scene of crime. Whenever an accused was arrested, police claimed having recovered automatic weapons from his custody. In some cases the bullet shells collected from a crime scene years ago matched with the weapons recovered from the accused on arrest. It was ironic that some officials insist on matching the shells recovered from a scene of crime in 1990 with that of a weapon recovered from the custody of the accused in 1997. (5)
     
  14. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    What is the true state of affairs?


    The demand for Pakistan, as a separate state for Muslims was based on the "two-nation theory" that the Muslims of the South Asian sub-continent constituted a nation and that on the principles of national self-determination they were entitled to a homeland of their own. The two-nation theory was put forward by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah as a counter argument against the viewpoint of the All India National Congress which argued that all Indians, irrespective of their religion, race, language and caste constituted a single political nationality. The Hindus being in an overwhelming majority could identify or camouflage their interests, rights and authority under the cover of Indian nationalism. Muslims feared the domination of the Hindu majority and destruction of their distinct identity. Pakistan was projected as the political expression of the Muslim nation. However, the emphasis was laid not so much on Islam as on the Muslim nationalism. Religion was not in controver sy. What was in controversy was the demand for the status and a separate homeland for the Muslims. According to Quaid-i-Azam: "United India means a Hindu social and cultural majority dominating the Muslims whose civilization, culture and social structure of life is totally different."[1]

    Pakistan came into existence as an independent state on August 14, 1947. The Government of India Act of 1935, with necessary modifications, together with the Independence Act of India was adopted as the Interim Constitution of the Pakistani state. The Quaid-i-Azam, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was sworn in as the first Governor-General and his lieutenant, Liaquat Ali Khan, was nominated as the first Prime Minister. The members of the Muslim League, who were elected members of the Constituent Assembly during the general elections held in 1946, were organized into the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. That assembly functioned in a dual capacity: first, as a federal legislature; and second, as a constitution-making body. At the same time Muslim League governments were set up in the provinces of East Bengal, Sindh, Punjab and the North West Frontier Province. In the initial stages, the Pakistan Muslim League remained the politically dominant party, both at the national level as well as in the provinces. The powe r of this party rapidly eroded as a dominant political force in the country after the death of its founder, the Quaid-e-Azam in September 1948, and after the assassination of its first Prime Minister in October, 1951.

    Political power and authority was snatched away by the bureaucrats and generals after the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan. This happened not because there was a political vacuum since many stalwarts of the freedom movement were there who could shoulder the responsibility. This was because the powerful bureaucrats both in Mufti and in Khaki, joined hands to seize political power.[2] With the appointment of General (later Field Marshal) Mohammad Ayub Khan as Pakistan's first Pakistani commander-in-chief in early 1951, the civil and military bureaucracy, operating in tandem, began to tighten their grip on the institutions of governance. General Ayub Khan , who later confessed to his own political ambitions, teamed up with the Defense Secretary, Major General Iskandar Mirza, to consolidate his grip over the levers of power. In bargain, they also secured the United States' support for modernizing and expanding the armed forces and virtually made Pakistan part of the US strategic objective of containing commun ist expansion in the region. In this they enjoyed the support of another former civil servant, Ghulam Mohammad, who had served as Finance Minister under the Quaid-i-Azam and had, in 1948, succeeded him as Governor General.[3] The bureaucracy ultimately became the rulers. Governor-General, Ghulam Mohammad, dismissed the Nazimuddin ministry with General Ayub's backing in April 1953 although his government had won the confidence of the House only a fortnight earlier. General Ayub himself admitted at a news conference at the Governor's House in Karachi in October 1964, that "when there was a conflict between him (Khawaja Nazimuddin) and Governor-General, I decided to side with the Governor-General."[4]

    Only 19 months later, Ghulam Mohammad dismissed Mohammad Ali Bogra's government, a creation of his own and took the arbitrary and unconstitutional step of dissolving the Constituent Assembly itself at a time when it had almost finalized the draft of the constitution only because the members of the Assembly's sub-committee had decided to curtail his powers. And this he did with the active support of General Ayub Khan. His action was condoned by the federal judiciary. Bogra who was touring the United States as Pakistan's Prime Minister, was sacked and literally captured on his return to Karachi by General Ayub and Defense Secretary, Iskandar Mirza, only to be presented in the court of G.G. Ghulam Mohammad. He forced Bogra to form another cabinet in which General Ayub Khan was taken as a full-fledged minister in full uniform. Mirza and Ayub were the two dominant leaders of the civil-military oligarchy that had decided that Pakistan could be governed best by tightening the grip of these two institutions on its government and people.

    Major General Iskandar Mirza who acted as a bridge between bureaucracy and the Army, entered the Governor-General's house through political manipulation and Ayub Khan's backing. To perpetuate himself into power General Mirza divided the Muslim League to form a party of his own - the Republican Party - which had neither any organizational structure nor roots in the masses. It died its own death and could not be resurrected when parties were restored years later. As many as four governments fell during the 30-month period (March 1956 to October 1958) of his presidency since he could manipulate politics in the National Assembly through his Republican Party. General Ayub Khan succeeded in seizing power because he had the support of the military and could control the actions of Iskandar Mirza, who abrogated the 1956 constitution and imposed martial law. Later when Iskandar Mirza was still president, General Ayub disclosed that it was at his initiative that the president imposed martial law. "I said to the President: Are you going to act or are you not going to act? It is your responsibility to bring about change and if you do not, which heaven forbid, we shall force a change."[5]

    President Ayub Khan, in 1962, "gifted" the nation a constitution rooted in the concept of controlled democracy (Basic Democracy). It provided for a central, rather than federal, structure. Nothing contributed more to alienation between the two wings of Pakistan, than the ten years of Ayub Khan's regime. Effective power was concentrated in the hands of Generals and civil bureaucrats, a class in which East Pakistan was poorly represented. President Ayub's "Decade of Development" (1958-1968) proved a masterly piece of deception. It made the rich richer, and the poor received plenty of promises. With the breakaway of East Pakistan, Yahya Khan and his coterie of Generals were swept from power.

    After the rule of two military dictators viz, Ayub and Yahya, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto became a civil dictator. A champion of the poor and downtrodden, he had no patience for the dilatory dictates of democratic debate. Bhutto introduced his own constitution, duly providing for a democratic and parliamentary form of government. In trying to sweep away all obstacles in his way he assumed presidential powers and then came round to devise a constitution in which the Prime Minister became the chief executive and the President was assigned a ceremonial role. The popular concept of personal power is so strongly entrenched in our mind that the name of the constitutional president - Choudhry Fazal Ilahi - became a common joke in our society.[6] However, once the constitution had been passed by the National Assembly by acclamation, Bhutto decided not lift the emergency which had been imposed during the Bangladesh war and in fact suspended the fundamental rights, on the pretext of considerations of security. Bhutto himsel f did not live up to the standards of his own constitution and allowed his feudal and autocratic nature to violate its spirit as and when he found it expedient to do so.

    The political process was once again disrupted when, following the general elections called by Bhutto in March 1977, nine opposition parties teamed up to create the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) determined to dislodge Bhutto by whatever means they could. The PNA launched a mass campaign against the Bhutto government for rigging the elections. Curiously, it is widely believed that Bhutto could have easily secured a comfortable majority even if some of his colleagues had not resorted to selective rigging and manipulation. A segment of the army is believed to have also encouraged the PNA movement because of the proclivities of the army chief, General Ziaul Haq whom, ironically, Bhutto had himself chosen in the belief that he would be more pliable than some of the other Generals senior to him.[7] According to Prof. Ziring, even before the 1977 election campaign began, Army officers were plotting to overthrow Bhutto. These men no longer believed that he was the savior sent to restore Pakistan to a place in t he constellation of states.[8]

    On July 5, 1977, the Chief of Army Staff, General Ziaul Haq, ousted Bhutto while the talks between the PPP and the PNA for possible fresh elections were well in progress. General Zia's eleven years at the helm of Pakistan's affairs were unprecedented because of his total lack of concern for democracy or even civilized government. He had Bhutto tried and executed on a murder charge which to this day is not universally regarded as quite credible. The General ruled by martial law edits for the initial eight years (1977-85) and later with the help of a face of an elected party-less assembly (Majlis-e-Shoora).[9] To fortify his position, Ziaul Haq, much more so than any of his predecessors, gave a new emphasis to Islam in national polity. Before he was killed in an air crash, he had almost completely devastated Pakistan of its image as a modern, democratic state, conforming to the ideals spelt out by Quaid-i-Azam.[10]

    The above review of the political development of Pakistan has brought out that the in-egalitarian power structure which the country inherited from the colonial era remained intact with power concentrated in the two state institutions -- the military and bureaucracy -- with the backing of the feudal class. These power groups were not committed to establishment of democracy as it eroded their power and privileges. The urban middle class, independent professionals and intelligentsia, who have interest in promoting democracy, have become somewhat politically marginalized.

    In Pakistan's constitutional history, neither the politicians nor the military leaders respected the Basic Law. General Zia had once proudly proclaimed that he could tear up the constitution and throw it into the dustbin whenever he liked. This he nearly did with his wanton disfigurement of the constitution through the Eighth amendment.

    In short, the incompetence of the political leadership which came to the top after Quaid-i-Azam, combined with the arbitrary and autocratic nature of the governments headed by Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Bhutto and Ziaul Haq, succeeded in subverting, even destroying, the main institutions of a democratic state -- executive, legislature and judiciary. Each institution functioned largely at the whim of the man at the top. Parliamentary democracy, in the true sense of the word, was virtually not given the chance to strike roots in the milieu of Pakistan. It is mere polemics, therefore, to argue that parliamentary politics has not worked.[11]

    Democracy can be defined as a functional balance between the three pillars -- legislative, executive, and judiciary -- to the ultimate satisfaction of the people, as reflected in the Press, the fourth estate. Without this balance, and without the exercise of people's will, there is no democracy. But these conditions do not exist now or ever existed in the past in Pakistan.[12] In parliamentary democracy the government is responsible (i.e. answerable) to parliament, and parliament to people, in general elections. Political parties provide the channel of this relationship. The sovereignty of people rules through the supremacy of parliament and freedom of expression is the vehicle of people's control.[13]

    Our parliament -- the first pillar -- has never been supreme. The immediate post-independence period followed a vicergal pattern, in which the governor-general nominated the prime minister in 1947 and dissolved the parliament in 1954 with judiciary upholding it on technical grounds. Elections under the 1956 constitution were repeatedly postponed by the sitting rulers so that power may not go to a new team. Under the 1962 constitution the parliament was merely a talking forum for financial legislation and was over shadowed by the veto and power of dissolution held by the president. Martial law covered the skies of Pakistan between 1969 to 1973 and 1977 to 1985 leaving behind the crippling legacy of the Eighth amendment for the assemblies elected in 1988, 1990 and 1993.[14]

    DEMOCRACY - PAKISTANI STYLE

    The existing structure of parliamentary democracy in Pakistan completed twelve and a half years in May, 1997. This was the first time in the 49 year history of the country that democratic institutions based on adult franchise had continued to function without interruption for the whole 12 years. However, by whatever name we choose to describe our present system, neither the conservative Locke nor revolutionary Rousseau would have called it a democracy. Perhaps we are following Bagehot who says: "Democracy is the way to give people the greatest illusion of power, while allowing them the smallest amount in reality."

    Any electoral process which throws up Mazaris, Jatois, Mirs, Legharis, Tiwanas, Bhuttos, Nawabs, Sardars and the like as the elected representatives of the poor haris, laborers, petty shopkeepers, office workers and other segments of the working class in this country is not fair, transparent and well meaning. It makes a mockery of the most fundamental principle underlying the concept of a democratic form of government, viz. that those who run the government must be the representatives of the people. There is no connection whatsoever between the voters and their elected representatives in any sphere of life, social, economic or political. Elections which ensure a similar pattern with such painful regularity, cannot be really elections as understood in the political context. It is historically undeniable that in this country not more than 200 families have been sharing political power for the entire period of five decades of its independence, which is a very sad reflection on any society living in the closin g years of the 20th century.[15] As the things are today it does not matter in the least for the majority of Pakistanis whether there is democracy in the country or dictatorship. For the masses life was the same during General Zia's dictatorship as in Nawaz Sharif's democracy.

    POLITICAL PERSECUTION

    Our elected governments have generally felt no need to accommodate the opposition nor acknowledge its role as the conscience of the society. Indeed, both the government and the opposition have operated in a system which denies autonomy to the domain of party politics. We have a tradition that those who do not agree with us are our enemies and should be treated as traitors. This is exactly what we did to Sheikh Mujib who emerged as the majority leader. He was imprisoned and the army moved in to punish the people who had elected as their leader a person who did not satisfy the whims of the military ruler. With all this background which is dark, dready and dismal, our rulers continue to relish untrammeled authority and consider dissent as sedition and an act of disloyalty.

    In the name of democracy we continue to subvert it by framing cases against our opponents. The worst excesses in this period were committed in the tenure of the Jam Sadiq Ali-MQM government in Sindh between August 1990 and February 1992, when a large number of false cases were registered or existing vaguely-worded FIRs used to intimidate and harass PPP leaders. This victimization had the full sanction of the then-President Ghulam Ishaq Khan, and the then-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, as the coercion could not have been carried on if they had opposed it. Benazir, her spouse, and party workers were tied in legal knots as long as Messrs Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Nawaz Sharif's power relations survived. The spate of cases, arrests and sentences against PML (N) leaders and MQM leaders and workers appeared in some, if not all instances, to be dubiously motivated, continued during the second stint of Benazir.

    Eighteen people were charged on June 12, 1995, with "high treason." The accused included a former governor of Punjab, two former federal ministers and above all, Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan and currently the leader of the parliamentary opposition. The case was withdrawn after it acquired an international dimension as a US State Department spokesman expressed concern over the adverse effects these charges may have on the future of democracy in Pakistan. Our Foreign office issued a strong statement protesting against Washington's undue interference in Pakistan's internal affairs. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto took a more benign view of the matter, dismissing it as a minor disagreement in the broader context of improving Pakistan-US relations. As for the charges against the opposition leader, her suave affirmation was ironically similar to that of dictator Ziaul Haq, who had her father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, tried and hanged: the law must take its course. The protest ove r the American statement has been no less ingenuous and ironic. Throughout the eleven years of Ziaul Haq's rule, leaders of the Pakistan People's Party, especially Begum Nusrat Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, did their utmost to bring about foreign pressure on the government of Pakistan.[16]

    FLOOR CROSSING

    The successive governments are keeping doors open for floor-crossing, that is the root cause of not only our political instability which is hindering our economic development but also of top-level corruption, which filtering down, pollutes the entire body-politic. Whether it is used in the NWFP (Feb. 1994) to move a provincial government or applied in Islamabad to pre-empt a threat by the PML (N) to move a no-confidence motion against the PPP government, floor-crossing undermines political values.

    Weaning of partymen was checked by the Article 96 (5) of the constitution which was to lapse after ten years by which votes of the dissidents of any party that is, votes of breakaway members of any component of governing coalition were to be disregarded in a no-confidence motion. The eighth amendment did away with the 1973 provisions meant to institutionalize the unwritten conventions and mores of parliamentary systems. Caretaker Prime Minister, Dr. Moeen Qureshi, issued an ordinance, in 1993, forbidding floor-crossing. The ordinance was allowed to lapse after four months by the Benazir government. This shows the intentions of the ruling elite which encourages horse-trading for political maneuvering.

    The absence of the anti-defection law has invested MNAs and MPAs with the power to black mail their party leaders into extending them unreasonable concessions, triggering large-scale corruption.[17] The establishment brokered and manipulated a more than two thirds majority for the IJI in 1990, and the IJI resorted to blatant seduction of MPAs to prevent the PPP forming the government even in the lone province of Sindh during its 1990-1993 tenure. Benazir government toppled NWFP Chief Minister Pir Sabir Shah's government in February 1994 as many MPAs were lured to join hands with the central government. In September, 1995, through the same method, the central government unsuccessfully attempted to install a PPP government in Punjab.

    LEGISLATION THROUGH ORDINANCE

    The former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Mohammad Munir, said of the first Constituent Assembly that it lived in a fool's paradise if it was ever seized with the notion that it was the sovereign body in the state.[18] This equally applies to the present democratically elected National Assembly and provincial assemblies of the country.

    Our constitutions have been based on a trichotomy of powers between the three organs of the state -- the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The basic function of the parliament is to make laws, the executive implements the laws (and also proposes laws for public interest) and the judiciary serves as a check on any excesses of the executive. However, in practice the successive governments in the country have always tilted the balance of power in their favor through relegating the parliament to a position of talking show while making legislations through ordinances and curtailed the independence of judiciary [19] by using various methods.

    Parliament is supposed to be the supreme legislative organ of the state. The government has, however, effectively marginalized parliament, usurped its powers and reduced it to a mere rubber stamp. Its proceedings have been trivialized to little more than slanging matches between the ruling party and the opposition. Legislation, which is initiated in parliament itself, is limited largely to the Finance Act (i.e. the budget) and some other minor and inconsequential laws.

    The democratic governments, since the end of martial law in March 1985, issued 408 presidential ordinances upto October, 1995. Only 152 Acts were approved by the National Assembly during this period. Junejo government issued 10 ordinances from March 1985 to May 1988. During Benazir's first stint of office - December 1988 to August 1990 - not a single legislation was presented to the parliament, while 18 ordinances were issued. Nawaz Sharif government legislated through 78 ordinances from Nov. 1990 to April, 1993. During 1995, more than 100 ordinances were issued, while the total number of ordinances issued by the Benzir's two government reached 220 in October, 1995.

    An emergency power to promulgate an ordinance in a situation requiring immediate action when the National Assembly is not in session, is being routinely exercised by the President, to usurp the legislative function of the state. Following the same practice, the provincial governments have also rendered redundant the provincial assemblies by advising the governors to promulgate ordinances. The ordinances are promulgated by the President and the governors on the binding advice of the Prime Minister and the chief minister or their cabinets.

    A piece of emergency executive legislation, as envisaged by the constitution, is not to last more than four months unless earlier rejected or adopted by the legislature. This provision is being circumvented by the executive to make permanent laws. Ordinances are generally re-promulgated on the day of their demise, instead of being placed before the legislature. This practice subverts the basic structure of the basic law, which has been raised on the principle of the division of legislative, executive and judicial functions of the state among its three organs. It also makes a mockery of the concept of the supremacy of parliament, which has been reduced to a little more than a debating society for all practical purposes except that of passing budget, which has also become a ritual and in which the Senate has no say. Incidentally, Article 89 of the constitution,[20] which confers and regulates the president's power to promulgate ordinances, also leaves the Senate out of reckoning. An ordinance can be issued e ven if the Senate is in session.

    An ordinance is a temporary measure designed to enable the state to deal immediately with unexpected and extraordinary situations, and is not meant to replace the normal legislation. Unfortunately, however, like most other powers conferred by law, successive governments have blatantly abused the power to legislate given by Article 89, to the extent that today, the executive has effectively usurped the legislative powers and functions of the parliament. The result is that the country is inundated with a flood of ordinances, while parliament's legislative activity has been reduced to the absolute minimum.

    The abuse of the ordinance-making power can be appreciated if one examines the sort of provisions which are the subject-matter of various ordinances.[21] For example, consider Ordinance 86 of 1994 promulgated on November 13. By this ordinance, which comprises only one operative section, the definition of "gallantry" in the Decorations Act of 1975 has been altered. Or consider Ordinance 57 of 1994, promulgated on August 4. By this ordinance, sub-section (1) of section 10 of the Lighthouse Act of 1927 has been amended. Can it legitimately be argued that these alterations were such that immediate action was warranted?

    The real abuse of Article 89 however lies in the manner in which the same ordinance is repeatedly re-promulgated by the government. As pointed out, an ordinance has a life of only four months. To circumvent this "inconvenience", the government every four months (or thereabouts) promulgates a fresh ordinance that is identical or substantially similar to the one about to expire. This process is repeated indefinitely and the same legal provisions are thus kept alive through one ordinance after another. In this manner, parliament has been effectively eliminated from the legislative process.

    This conclusion has now been upheld by and received judicial imprimatur of the Supreme Court. In a judgment reported in PLD 1994 SC 363, the Court concluded, in the words of Justice Saleem Akhtar, that "on repeal of an Ordinance after expiry of four months, the President has no power to re-enact and repeat the same". In the same case, Justice Ajmal Mian observed: "The legislative power vests in an assembly, which power cannot be usurped by a head of the state or a province while the Assembly exists... I am inclined to hold that if the National Assembly does not stand dissolved, the President cannot usurp the legislative power of the National Assembly by repeating the same Ordinance without submitting it in terms of Article 89 of the Constitution to the national Assembly."
     
  15. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Aj, purpose of this thread mate. History of Pakistan is known. Jinnahs vision etc.
     
  16. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    ^^If you feel it is un-necessary then feel free to delete this thread ...no probs..
     
  17. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Ah, you have misunderstood. I asked whats the point in putting articles in this thread. Could it not have been incorporated in the existing ones?
    Since you have put in only articles and not specified what you would like to discuss i asked the question.
     
  18. BunBunCake

    BunBunCake Regular Member

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    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    Is this some kind of joke?!???!
    So what about Jinnah's vision? If his vision was truly for a "secular" state then these people who call Jinnah the founder and father are going against what Jinnah wanted.'

    Pakistan right NOW IS based on theology and Islamic Law!! There's no common law here. Head for Head, Neck for Neck, Ear for Ear, etc.

    @We know it's not the Ulema's who began this Pakistan movement. They are too smart to make such a mistake. It was the power hungry idiots who DID.

    I wonder if any Pakistani ever read this. I'd like to ask, is Pakistan now ANYTHING like "Jinnah's so called Vision"?
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2010

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