Democracy in Pakistan Essay

6813 Words Feb 27th, 2011 28 Pages
GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN:
WEAKNESSES, STRENGTHS AND PROSPECTS
Abstract
Pakistan had no worthwhile civil society and hardly any middle class in 1947 due to rampant illiteracy and absence of an independent media. The masses were poor, the country was described an “economic desert” and there was an unprecedented influx of refugees. The country lacked the necessary infrastructure and institutions. The capability to develop them was lacking. The external and internal threats to the security of the country turned it into a security state. Weak political leadership created space for civil-military bureaucracy. This led to the cut-off periods in democratic governance, which was derailed thrice in 1958, 1977 and 1999. At present, the
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There is a long background of riots especially in northern India.8 It seems that Indian anger against the partition of “mother India” was also a cause of the intense feeling of hatred.9 The carnage in the Punjab was caused by “the chaos and anger” owing to the “surprise of partition” when no one was prepared organizationally to cope with the change, for the British government had advanced the date of transfer of power from June 1948 to August 1947. The Radcliffe Commission’s boundary award was announced three days after partition. It was “mostly the British fault” but local grievances and hatred created a bloodbath which has left its own “lasting scars” in both states. Till 1955, about seven million refugees from India entered West Pakistan and about 5.6 million Hindus and Sikhs left Pakistan.10 It was relatively easier for India to absorb the calamity of migrants given its size, resources and available infrastructure, as compared to Pakistan, where one out of every ten persons was a refugee. “But it was the patriotism and self-denial of the people that pulled the country through the most precarious phase of its existence

Illiteracy and Extremism
Due to the migration of literate Hindus and Sikhs to India, the literacy rate in Pakistan sharply declined. There was about 95 percent illiteracy in Pakistan in 194712, which acted as a hindrance to the growth of a civil and democratic society. Feudalism and economic constraint did

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