The widely held view that Pakistani politics is monopolised by wealthy landlords is thus inaccurate. Another organisational issue is whether a party is mass-based or skeletal. The other parties lack structural depth or the ability to significantly mobilise their constituencies.
When it comes to agendas, parties can be particularistic or universalistic.
Particularistic parties focus on a limited number of issues, a defined geography or particular identity groups. But even universalistic parties have become largely restricted to one ethnicity or province. In , four of these parties obtained at least 90 per cent of their NA seats from one ethnicity. But its leadership, like the other four parties, displays severe ethnic homogeneity.
How the Pakistani Military Threatens Democracy
Most Pakistani parties except for the PTI are generally viewed as patronage-focused, rather than reliant on certain signature policies. Because of this, it is important for people to develop patronage relationships with local party leaders to resolve daily issues. Right-wing parties won nearly 70 per cent of NA seats in and there is little chance of centrist parties led by the PPP returning to power in the near future. Sunday, October 08, Search this Thread Advanced Search.
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The hashtag ThankYouRaheelSharif became ubiquitous on social media last year. He does not wield a compelling narrative.
The public perceives him as weak and ineffectual, while Raheel Sharif exudes competence and efficiency. As the Panama Papers scandal unfolded, Raheel Sharif weighed in. He dismissed six military officers, including two generals, for corruption—making his army look better than the politicians through a relatively superficial move. The media issues harsh criticism of the government while largely sparing the army the army makes clear that it does not tolerate criticism. According to a Gallup analysis of eight prominent television talk shows in May , governance was the main topic discussed, and the majority of the guests were politicians.
This has led to the disproportionate strength of the institution that defends the country and enables it to exercise dominance in politics, and ironically undermine the very democracy for which Pakistan was created. During crises in democratically elected governments, the army is viewed as the ready alternative, a savior for the beleaguered country. Accompanying each army takeover was a heady feeling that things would be fixed; in reality, army rule left the country worse off every time.
The pendulum of public opinion would swing toward democracy again, only to be followed by disappointment; the democracy-army cycle would repeat itself. A popular observation during bad times for elected governments is that Pakistan is not suited for democracy—an argument related to the notion that Islam is incompatible with democracy.
Pakistan’s Democratic Opportunity
This is linked to a Pakistani insularity. Not surprisingly, they have not looked to the West either.
Pakistanis prefer non-democratic success stories—the so-called Asian Tigers, for example—for their models. The military savior in the shadows confuses people. If Pakistanis had no military alternative to civilian rule, they might think differently about their politics.
In the June Gallup poll, 84 percent of respondents said they preferred democracy to dictatorship. In the PILDAT poll the prior year, 64 percent of respondents said that democratically elected governments constitute the best system for Pakistan, and 66 percent of respondents looked favorably on the quality of democracy in the country. Only 20 percent of the respondents said that another military takeover would be beneficial for Pakistan—while not an insignificant figure, a clear minority.
In the post-Musharraf period, the major political parties are united in opposition to another army takeover.
While Khan generates significant support he had a 49 percent favorability rating in the PILDAT poll in and has loyal followers, the majority of Pakistanis do not seem to agree with his tactics. Pakistanis seem to have reconciled themselves to a corrupt democracy, because that seems to be the only kind they can get. The army knows that popular and political opinion does not look favorably on a military takeover.
But the army still promotes its image as a savior, actively and through surrogates. The army denied any involvement in the stunt. Most elections in Pakistan have been marred by allegations of some kind of rigging. A sizable minority continues to think that the election was rigged. The army also needs to cede its control of security and foreign policy. To be fair, it is also unclear that the civilians are competent enough to assume this control.
It underscores how difficult a shift of power in the military-civilian equation on security is going to be. Serving the Citizens? Elected governments through the s were consumed with paranoia. For them, the best outcome never achieved was survival through the completion of a full term.