Saving democracy from the Democrats in Pakistan
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After sixty years of independence, Pakistan is still far from becoming a stable and representative democratic state. For half of its existence it has endured a succession of military dictatorships, interrupted by periods of rule by weak civilian regimes. Between 1947 and 1958, Pakistan was governed by a strong oligarchy between the bureaucracy and the military which was never interested in establishing a democratic order. In the years 1971-77, 1988-89 and 2002-2007 democratically elected governments did come to power but on close scrutiny they were never truly democratic in decision- and policy making and in terms of legitimacy. Pakistan has witnessed several variants of democracy mooted from time to time by military and civilian leaders to suit their particular interests. In this context it is useful to examine how and why different forms of democracy have been envisaged from time to time, in order to understand what hinders the development of democracy in Pakistan.
AIIA Policy Commentary
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