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The Equation of Power in Pakistan

By K. Ashraf


Pakistan is a complex study case as far as democracy is concerned. However, it can be simplified through this ‘Equation of power in Pakistan’ developed by your this scribe. Please go over it and feel free to provide your feedback.


When Pakistan came into existence the equation of power was somewhat like:


Political Leadership = the people


Then very soon this equation changed into:


Leadership + Bureaucracy = the people


This equation remained in action from 1950 to 1956. The leadership tried to constitutionalise the state, but during this period the equation started to change:


Bureaucracy + Military = the people


In this phase leadership gradually phased out. Bureaucracy and military strengthened its hold on power. In 1958 with the imposition of martial law this equation totally changed. It turned into this equation:


Military + Bureaucracy = the people


This scenario continued until Pakistan collapsed in 1971. After the collapse of Pakistan in 1971 the equation changed to:


Political Leadership + Bureaucracy = the people


This equation again tried to constitutionalise the state, but the real actors immediately changed the equation to:


Military + Military + Bureaucracy = the people


After this, off and on, this equation has been changing from:


Military + Military + Bureaucracy = the people




Military + Military + Bureaucracy + political leadership = the people


And again to:


Military + Military + Bureaucracy = the people


During this whole process we find one interesting element: the politicians tried to constitutionalise the state whereas, khakis always destroyed or over ride the process of constitutionalisation of state.


If we really want to pull Pakistan out of the sink it has been in for all times, we need to bring the real equation back under which Pakistan was created.


Political Leadership = the people


We can do it through constitutionalising the state.  Since, we know who is the culprit who is destroying or over-riding the process of constitutionalisation, the people of Pakistan, because they have the biggest stake in the state of Pakistan, have to move in and stop that culprit. If they are hoping any general (Musharraf or anyone else) or corrupt judiciary or United States or anyone else will do it for them, they are hoping against hope. The people of Pakistan have to move in and take charge of the situation and constitutionlise the country and impose the writ of constitution.




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