A political alliance is a temporary combination of groups or individuals formed to pursue specific objectives through joint action. Pluralist democracies are characterized by alliances and coalitions by diverse political parties. Political parties, desiring to exercise powers in democracies having parliamentary setups, naturally have to come in coalition with the major political party in parliament. Political parties sometimes make pre-election alliances while some make coalitions in the post-election era with the ruling party. Alliance political culture has deep-rooted impacts on Pakistani politics. These alliances gave tough times to military dictators throughout the history of Pakistan and contributed towards strengthening democracy in Pakistan. For instance, Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) was formed on 30th April 1967against Ayub Khan and the Movement for Restoration of Democracy on 8th February 1981. This paper enunciates and explores the politics of coalition in Pakistan before the dismemberment of Bangladesh and its impacts on the consequent events.
Coalition, Dictatorship, Pluralism, Parliamentary democracy, Alliance, Politics.
The history of Pakistan as a nation-state has remained very chaotic because of, inters alia, two major reasons. Firstly, conflicting interests among the federating units and secondly an indo-centric hatred based mindset led to a nuclear standoff with India. Since its inception as an independent state in 1947, these two reasons hugely contributed in hindering the process of politico-economic stability in Pakistan. Looking at the political canvass of Pakistan, it becomes clear that the state and polity in Pakistan have oscillated between the martial Laws and the civilian governments come through an electoral process, between commonality of the masses with a societal belief system and a self-proclaimed religious clergy backed by state apparatus, between strategic chip for international players and a pocket of influence for regional players. The trend remained the same untill recent times of being a ‘frontline state’ against the war on terror and a ‘part-of-the-problem’ dilemma (Aasim, 2011). This resulted in such horrendous tragedy in the form of assassination of twice-elected premier Benazir Bhutto and a colossal national loss of 142 kids of Army Public School, Peshawar. By and large, democracy has not been promoted as a workable framework in the heterogeneous society of Pakistan, which has led to political and economic instability in the country. Thus, these issues coupled with many other diverging interests presented by various groups or political parties paved the way for coalition’s formations under some democratic and undemocratic practices like the backing of military apparatus or some jihadi nexus (Asif, 2000).
These were the circumstances resulting into weak democratic values and processes, which led to politico-economic instability in formative phase of Pakistan, and early political alliances and coalitions, were carved out to run the democratic governance in the country. Unfortunately, these coalitions were regressive in nature, specifically devised for toppling the government in power or joining hands against the strong opponents (Christine, 2014). Either way, the coalitions were based on a personal vendetta and more focused on parochial interests of political parties or institutions rather than national progress.
The instrument of declaration of India’s freedom and establishment of a separate state on August 14 1947, resulted in one of the largest flux of refugees on a communal basis within the sub-continent wherein the same people lived jointly for several hundred years. Millions of people migrated in search of a better life and state patronage and protection. Approximately Sixty million of the ninety-five million Muslims on the Indian subcontinent became citizens of Pakistan at the time of its creation. Whereas, thirty-five million Muslims remained there in India, making it the largest Muslim minority in a non-Muslim state.
It is argued that the creation of Pakistan was itself democratic in nature i.e. mass participation and movement took place, as a result, Pakistan came into being. According to Yusuf (1999), “For the first time the common man became a participant by playing a part in a struggle in which he felt his own future was involved”. The structure of Muslim League could not get transformed from a freedom movement to a political party having roots in the masses and at the same time, there was no centralized stable administrative machinery, which could respond to the compelling need of the time. Like Muslim League, Bhutto’s PPP was also trusted with the same sacred cause to deliver more for the popular democracy but unable to get enough time of rule to establish itself properly (Charles, 1977).
The newly established state was in search of finding out a national identity by accommodating the most diverse and heterogeneous society in terms of language, culture and population size. This diversity is also taken as one of the major causes behind the strong regional distrust, which also led to failures in framing of constitution in the first decade of its inception. Similarly, from the start, Pakistan has faced enormous difficulty for allocation of resources amongst its federating units. This had given rise to the great disparity between the two wings of Pakistan, which resulted in debacle of Dhaka i.e. the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. (Christian, 2009). Suffered by the dilemma of being a security state, Pakistan has always struggled for realizing the most cherished goal of a better social life for its citizens and the outer hostile environment of security issues.
The beauty of federation always lies in its diversity of federating units’ rather singular uniformity. This serves as a cementing bond rather a disintegrating force in discourse of national interests. The diverse provincial arenas remained the core centers of political activities and thus the diversity and heterogeneity of cultures, languages and history of various nationalities living in Pakistan become a demerit over the night. No one could work to integrate these factors, the politicians were having no support at the grass-root level. The political forces having found no tenable solution looked toward civil services who also could not respond as per expectation and wishes of the downtrodden as the bureaucracy was also trained only for a specific function of maintaining law and order in line with the colonial administrative style. The problem of millions of refugees, inadequate resources and capacities, settling the commercial groups and trying to collect some share of revenue from agricultural sector, this had spurred into serious dissent within ranks of Muslim League as the landed gentry of Muslim League was holding political power. (Dhorab,2000). With the creation of Pakistan, several political parties died at once which had maintained power in coalition with the Congress like the Unionist Party in Punjab and the Khudai Khidmatgar in the then North West Frontier Province can be quoted as an instance. In contrast, marginal groups like Mohajirs (Indian immigrants) gained much political influence in various key areas of the newly established country like Karachi and the urban centers of Punjab.
The creation of Bangladesh in 1971 has pushed the manifestation of Pakistan’s dilemma of national identity into a broken and fragmented nation. Thus, the political developments in Pakistan continued with provincial jealousies (between the two wings of which eastern majority always remained at the receiving end) and there were growing hatred and anger against Punjab’s domination in smaller provinces e.g. NWFP, Sindh and Baluchistan. Soon after its creation, Pakistan was exposed to a fierce ideological debate on the nature and type of model of government to be introduced, whether it should be a secular model or an Islamic state as envisaged by the religious leaders of the time. So, such an ideological debate and the vacuum of political leadership enjoying mass support threw Pakistan into the hands of non-elected state actors in the form of civil and military establishment/ apparatus and thus they were able to get a blank cheque of using unbridled power with no mechanism of check and balance (Dr.Safdar,1990).
The era between 1947 to 1973 carries extreme confusion and a prevalent indecisiveness in its nature and politics, the history of coalitions can, therefore, better be discussed in the following three phases;
At the onset of its creation, Pakistan had to face several issues of gigantic magnitude like settlement of refugees, unfair division of financial and military assets, boundary disputes with India and the soaring issue of constitution making for newly established state. Unfortunately, the early demise of Jinnah resulted in a vacuum in leadership and the political leaders of the day could not respond to the call of the day. The leaders were of no caliber par excellence, having a myopic vision and more focused on their personal gains in the politics. Thus, such type of representative government cannot be a panacea for the problems confronting Pakistan in its formative phase.” Soon after independence, the Muslim league had nothing inspiring to deliver for the welfare of the state. Rather the Muslim League favored the absence of elections because they thought it dysfunctional for the political system of Pakistan. It was just because of their weak political base and fulfillment of their personal political desires to gain strong positions in government without holding elections. On the other hand, the role of opposition parties was strongly discouraged by the Muslim League. They had zero tolerance for the emerging political parties to criticize the policies of the Muslim League. Such criticism was deliberately marked as opposition to the survival of Pakistan. The first Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan was of the view that those people who are forming new political parties against the Muslim League are disloyal to the state and doing injustice to the best interests of the people. It is imperative to get this party strengthened and other parties resulting into massive mushroom growth must be checked otherwise, I fear that Pakistan may not survive”. The process of framing of constitution for the newly established state was getting delayed due to several factors like what should be the role of Islam in Pakistan, what should be the national language, what should be the formula for distribution of state functions between Centre and provinces (Khalid, 1988). This meant that the evolution of strong political parties to run the state’s affairs was stopped. As a consequence, various types of coalitions were made to ensure the political survival of the stakeholders not the state at all.
In order to be able to perform routine day-to-day administrative affairs of the state, there was a serious shortage of human resources especially the situation was worst in East Pakistan, resultantly most of the high portfolios were assigned to the officers hailing from West Pakistan.
The cementing force for integration and national unity was the persona of Mr. Jinnah the most revered Quaid e Azam of the Pakistani nation. The other person who could get them together was Mr Liaqat Ali khan commonly regarded as Qauid e Millat. With the death of Jinnah in September 1948, The Prime Minister was holding all the powers exercised by Jinnah, the first Governor General of Pakistan. With both Jinnah and Liaqat passed away, Pakistan was pushed to an era of instability deteriorated further by the fire of provincialism in both wings. This was the reason, which gave a free chance to the civil and military bureaucracy to shape the future forecast of social and political culture of newly established state. The organizational weaknesses of Muslim League paved the way for civil and military elite to dominate and flourish in the state machinery. As Ayesha Jalal argues “some seven years before the first military takeover, the political power had slipped off the rails”.
The mutual suspicions of the politicians resulted in their inability to provide a stable government. The first constituent Assembly was not productive rather it was a weak political forum to stand for national unity as most often voices for active Provincialism were raised in daily deliberations (Hamid,2001). The leaders of smaller provinces frequently argued fear of Punjab domination and its monopoly over the smaller provinces. The first Constituent Assembly was ineffective to the extent that it took almost nine years to produce a draft constitution. Despite passing the Objective Resolution in 1949, its intended aim to draft a consensual constitution was not achieved. The process of constitution-making lost its worth to the complicated political games of various parties/stakeholders. This has given birth to baseless and destructive coalitions witnessed in first as well as second constituent assembly formation.
Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in broad daylight in October 1951 and Khwaja Nazimuddin stepped in as new Prime Minister of Pakistan whereas Mr. Ghulam Mohammad, a retired civil servant becomes new Governor General of Pakistan. The new Governor was soon uncomfortable with Prime Minister as he could not handle Bengali’s agitation with a strong fist and thus elites of West Pakistan were doubting him unable to ensure national integration and may cause a serious threat to Pakistan. Stricken by the same dissatisfaction and a lure for more powers, the Governor General resorted to unbridled vice-regal powers by dismissing him and martial law, first ever martial law was declared in Punjab in 1953 in order to settle down anti-Ahmadiyyah riots in Lahore. A.K Fazlul Haque’s government was dismissed on the charges for being pro-communist and pro-Indian leanings just after a month being in the office. The level of distrust was to such an extent that Governor’s rule was lifted on the same day when general elections were held. A.K Fazlul Haque’s Krishak Sramik Party (KSP) came in support of Bogra (to be at the center) just because of their antagonism with Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy (Hassan, 2009). Eventually, the League-Krishak Sramik coalition at the center enabled the United Front (minus Awami League) to run the government at center in Dhaka under Abu Husain Sarkar.
Although Fazlul Haque became the Governor of East Pakistan, he remained unsuccessful to sustain Abu Hussain Sarkar in office. At the end of August 1956, he was forced to leave the office of Prime Minister. This paved the way for Ata Ur Rahman (of Awami League) to form a government. This harmed the official business of the Constituent Assembly i.e. Mohammad Ali’s Muslim League-United Front coalition government was replaced by Awami League-Republican Party coalition led by Suhrawardy. Later on, due to ideological differences between Suhrawardy and Maulana Bhashani, the later succeeded to form a new opposition party with the name “National Awami party” with the wholehearted support of Mian Iftikhar Ud din, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Bacha Khan), G.M Syed and Abdul Majid Sindhi from West Pakistan. The National Awami Party (NAP) campaigned on a five-point agenda comprising the abolition of One Unit, a neutral foreign policy, early joint electorates, regional autonomy and the implementation of 14 unfulfilled items of the 21-point Manifesto (James, 2009).
This was not the end of the deteriorating political situation; during September-October 1954, there has remained a continuous tug of war between the office of Governor General and the Prime Minister. Bogra tried to curtail the powers of the Governor through Constituent Assembly but the reverse happened. The Governor pre-emptively stroked and Constituent Assembly was dissolved and orders were passed for formation of a new government, the Governor enjoyed the tacit support of the civil service and the invisible hand of the Armed forces. While Bogra, a man with no support base among the masses, remained Prime Minister but without any real politico-administrative powers.
The creation of NAP proved to be a strong blow to the Awami League leaders including Atta Ur Rahman, Abu Hussain Sarkar and H.S. Suhrawardy. The NAP first unseated Atta Ur Rahman by remaining neutral in a vote and then succeeded in bringing down the Sarkar government (Lawrence,2004). With the support of NAP, the Awami League ministry returned to the office in August 1958 but NAP was not willing to go into a coalition with Awami League for government formation.
The 2nd Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was different in composition in comparison to the 1st Constituent Assembly. The strength of Muslim league was reduced to only 26 members followed by United Front and Awami League having 16 and 13 members respectively. Mr. Abdul Wahab khan from United Front was unanimously elected as Speaker of the Assembly. In East Pakistan, the United Front won the Provincial Assembly elections with an overwhelming victory. Thus this defeat of Muslim League at the hands of United Front was the evidence of the tempo in which Bengalis conveyed their message not to accept Punjab’s dominance anymore and voted for provincial autonomy in real terms. This victory surfaced the Bengali politics of provincialism on one hand and the Bengali factionalism on other. Soon the Bengali factionalism surfaced the Bengali Provincialism as a result the United Front fell apart. From 1954 onwards till the eve of Gen. Ayub khan’s imposition of martial law in 1958, there was a deep-rooted cleavage between Krishak Sramik and the Awami League over control of power in Dhaka (Martin, 2006).
Hussain Shaheed Suharwardy from Awami League was elected as Prime Minister in September 1956 and he constituted a coalition government. Soon after he arrived in the office, he began to lose support from West Pakistan’s power brokers. His efforts to negotiate a greater share of funds allocation on development and urge for provincial autonomy made him less desirable in the power corridors of West Pakistan. On the issue of abrogation of One Unit in West Pakistan for the favor of establishing separate governments in smaller units of Sindh, NWFP and Baluchistan. He also used to openly say that taking vote of confidence from constituent Assembly is the fairway of formulation of the government. President Sikandar Mirza sacked him in 1957, just after thirteen months in the office.
So the first phase of political developments (1947-1958) proved to be a fiasco in terms of the formations and dissolutions of various political coalitions. These coalitions were based on political survival and power bargaining. They were either amongst different political parties or between civil-military bureaucracy and politicians. This era witnessed frequent changes in the office of Prime Minister with a climax in last two years i.e. 1956-1958 thus in three years time four persons including Choudhry Mohammad Ali, Suhrawardy, I.I Chandrigar and Feroz Khan Noon took the oath of the office as Prime Minister. Thus they could not demonstrate their ability to work for the greater cause of the country as their loyalties were easily transformed in various coalitions whether with political parties or the bureaucracy.
Prime Ministers like Suhrawardy and Feroz Khan Noon were inclined towards limiting the power of president and empowering the constituent assembly to make or to dissolve a government rather effected by personal vendetta of the president, it was blatantly opposed by President Iskander Mirza. For all the practical purposes of being on the top in chess of political power, the constitution was abrogated and martial law was imposed on October 07 1958. According to Asghar Khan, it was Commander-in-Chief General Mohammad Ayub Khan who encouraged Mirza for imposition of martial law (Muhammad, 2005). It was his authority that signified the role of military in politics of newly born Pakistan. So the president and the C-in-C in coalition for power-sharing imposed martial law by antagonizing the politicians severely for their inability to control the political affairs of the country effectively.
President Ayub Khan by reversing the whole scheme went for centralization of powers at federal level. He was expressive in his opinion that these unstable coalitions and a lesser understanding of democratic norms of parliamentary system do not suit Pakistan. He introduced the system of Basic Democracies (BDs) by replacing the parliamentary system and for this purpose he relied upon civil and military establishment which was predominantly from Punjab. This connivance was having full support of influential industrial and landed classes of the society. To him, this BD code will end up with all quarrelling politicians and will produce highly specialized and trained people for better governance. He went to the limits unknown before and disqualified all the seasoned politicians under the Elective Bodies Disqualification Order, (EBDO) in 1959 (Muhammad, 2002).
In the first phase of its political development i.e. from 1947-58, the political parties did not really establish their roots in the masses. It was in the mid 1960’s that the political oppositions to Ayub Khan resulted into mass awareness and the opposition parties came to the surface. During the same period Mullahs (religious clergy) and under their own religious parties/groups tried to get maximum representation of their views. Similarly, as a result of decade long political struggle and as a recipe to counter the oppressive dictatorial rule of Ayub khan, two mainstream political parties i.e. Pakistan People’s Party under the chairmanship of Z.A. Bhutto and Awami Muslim League under Sheikh Mujib Ur-Rahman emerged on political scene. These two mainstream political parties were determined to bring about changes to the social, economic, political and historical fabric of Pakistan.
With the help of EBDO (1959), Ayub maneuvered to get rid of the politicians by debarring them from the politics while in 1962 constitution, he also introduced presidential form of government because of being scared of political parties and party-based elections. After the promulgation of 1962 constitution, he allowed some of the political parties to take part in politics but within a restricted domain. To serve better his new political order, he needed to rely on both the civil and military bureaucracy. Despite being the architect of a party-less system, he soon realized the importance of political parties but again to his vested interest i.e. for legitimacy to his rule and running of government affairs. The dictator thus resorted to form his own brand of Muslim League known as “Convention Muslim League” (Paula, 1995).
The political engineering was underway; the process was reviewed and revamped by the able minds of Ayyub regime. Conventional Muslim League came as a recipe to give legitimacy to his rule. First ever Presidential Elections under Ayub’s constitution i.e. 1962 constitution were announced. This led all the opposition parties to unite and form an alliance i.e. Combined Opposition Parties (COP). They nominated Miss Fatima Jinnah as the only leader to attract maximum popular attraction against the archaic antagonist of political parties and politicians. Ayub Khan was well aware of the danger of Fatima Jinnah’s popularity and the intentions of the opposition alliance. His views about Fatima Jinnah were that “she was the sister of Quaid-e-Azam and she was bound to attract considerable attention for sentimental reasons, if for nothing else. The opposition also knew that after she had served their purpose they could easily get rid of her”. The military regime had not left any resource immobilized to get Ayub khan elected and thus Miss Jinnah was defeated by securing 36 percent of votes against 63 percent of Ayub khan votes and thus Ayub khan was declared as winning candidate in 1965 presidential elections. It is often argued that Ayub was able to win this election because of his strong base provided by his favored and loyal Basic Democrats. This was the first ever coalition made against an autocrat to resume the democratic process. But unfortunately, this truly spirited and well-directed coalition failed to deliver unlike the other coalitions formed either to dismantle a democratic government or defend an undemocratic government.
Ayub khan’s reliance on civil and military bureaucracy helped him grab more and more power but his policies worsened the existing disparities between east and west wing of the country. This cleavage was further deepened within smaller provinces of West Pakistan and an element of hatred was clearly more visible against Punjab’s hegemony (Safdar, 2000). After 1965 war, where distrust and despondency in the minds of eastern Pakistanis were further flourished as they were passing through a serious fear of being “Left alone during the war”. The regional disparity and accumulation of wealth in the hands of few families commonly known as 22 families and economic disparity with less representation i.e. (due to economic disparity having 25 percent representation for having 56 percent of the population), further aggravated the situation. Similarly, controlled politics and urban unrest in West Pakistan helped the formation of “Pakistan Democratic Movement/Alliance”. This alliance was formed by Awami League Jamaat i Islami Council Muslim League and Nizam-i-Islami in 1967. They demanded the restoration of Parliamentary democracy, holding general elections based on federal structure where central government shall exercise powers only in defense, foreign affairs, trade, communication and currency while the rest will be devolved to the provinces. This alliance forged popular agitation against Ayub and he was left with no choice but to transfer power in 1969.
From 1954 onwards, the military showed their keenness for political power in the country. In 1958, the military actively played a political role to shape the country’s political arena. From 1958 onward, Pakistan’s military remained the main stakeholder in making, supporting or scraping the political governments. Thus, the military gained its strong roots of power and influence during Ayub Khan’s regime. Ayesha Siddiqa has conceptualized the term ‘MilBus’ to explain Pakistan’s army increasing political, industrial and commercial power in the country. According to her, the rise of MilBus has led the army to act as a pressure group with its own agenda and motives for intervention in the political process (Vali, 2004). Thus, the formation or dismissal of coalitions/governments is influenced by the army’s increasing role in the political process of the country.
The stepping down of Ayub Khan paved the way for ascent of General Yahya Khan as Chief Martial Law Administrator (CMLA) having a turbulent tenure of 1969-1971. Out of its twenty-five years of existence, Pakistan has had faced dictatorial rule for thirteen years by that time. Thus, the second military regime emphasized the process of centralization, which had fragmented Pakistani society and politics under the bureaucratic and military tutelage. Like the provincial elections of 1954, the results of 1970s elections also proved that regional aspiration, provincial autonomy and other social and economic conflicts had dominated the political arenas despite the efforts at controlled development as these initiatives did not reflect social acceptability.
In the mid of 1960’s, Bhutto and Mujib were the two main political actors; others revolved around these two personalities for political representation and survival. Z. A. Bhutto, Mujib Ur Rahman, Asghar Khan, Maulana Maududi and others have demanded the resignation of Ayub khan. He, therefore, arranged round table conferences to control the instability. But the round table conferences of 1968-69 failed to deliver a mutual agreement on peaceful transfer of power to civilian government duly elected through an electoral process. After the failure of reconciliations and round table conferences, Ayub Khan sought help from the Army but remained unsuccessful as Yahya Khan refused to play second fiddle to the dictator and tried to call shots by himself. Thus, Ayub was forced to step down and Yahya khan took over the charge. He made a solemn promise of holding elections within two years and transferring power to civilians. At this critical juncture of time, political mobilization has been started in both the wings in order to attract their voters. Besides, Yahiya also lifted the restrictions from the political parties imposed by Ayub Khan. He allowed political activities with respect to the upcoming general elections under the Legal Framework Order (LFO).
The Awami League campaigned on its six-point formula propounded by Mujib Ur Rahman. They captured 162 seats out of a total 163 and thus made a clean sweep in its respective area of influence i.e. East Pakistan. In West Pakistan, the Pakistan People’s Party led by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had a populist platform that defeated the Muslim League and other Islamic parties and emerged as the largest political power. The PPP bagged 81 seats against a total of 138 seats. The prospect of an Awami League’s government with two-third majority was a potential threat to politicians in West Pakistan especially Punjabi elite who in conspiracy with the military leadership tried to prevent Mujib Ur Rahman from coming into power.
Election results put Yahya khan in a quandary as all predictions and pre-poll assessments made by Intelligence Bureau and ISI went wrong as he was told that election results would transform into a coalition government, which could easily be handled from the top. Yahya Khan resorted to delay tactics in the transfer of power to elected representatives. He never came clean handed to transfer power to Bhutto or Mujib Ur Rahman. Bhutto had suggested several options including the transfer of power at provincial level in both wings initially. According to him, this was utmost necessary prior to come up with a draft constitution based on mutual consensus. Bhutto proposed in a speech at Karachi “if powers were to be transferred before the framing of the constitution in accordance with the fourth of Mujib’s condition, it should be transferred simultaneously to the two majority parties in each wing.” This could have provided an opportunity for settlement because all the five provinces would be brought under two major parties working together in a federation. The settlement was persuaded by friendly states to carry out peaceful transfer of power but Yahya khan continued to muck up with the fate and fortune of people of Pakistan. The resolutions of the United Nations mostly emphasized on the release of Sheikh Mujib and peaceful transfer of power. On the eve of 17th December 1971, Yahya passed another presidential order to lengthen his rule but the military high command revolted against Yahya this time by inviting Bhutto to assume power.
Like many other political leaders of West Pakistan, Bhutto also had severe reservations regarding Mujib’s six-point campaign. Bhutto was conscious to the extent that he advised General Yahya Khan not to allow Mujib to contest election on the basis of six points (Veena, 2005). According to Bhutto, the victory of Mujib would be the failure of Pakistan’s unity and nobody would prevent Pakistan from breaking apart. Yahya went with a deaf ear to this advice and the mourning fate of Pakistan was witnessed by the world on 16 December 1971. While taking a holistic view, it can be argued that after 1970 elections, PPP got majority of seats in four out of five federating units of Pakistan while Awami League took majority of seats in one though comprising an overwhelming majority of the total population i.e. East Pakistan out of five federating units. Here the role of coalition was most welcomed but unfortunately, no coalition government was made to end the power struggle and save the integrity of Pakistan as a strong federation.
The fall of Dhaka and disintegration of Pakistan was the worst kind of humiliation and shock; the greatest defeat discredited the super imposed political system launched with no real basis of people choice. The military establishment under awe had left with nothing to offer rather tried to hoodwink and misguide the nation by keeping them ignorant of surrender for a few days after the actual surrender (Victoria, 1997). Yahiya stepped down and handed over the half-broken country to a civilian representative i.e. Z. A Bhutto but that was a very huge price to pay. However, Bhutto’s electoral strength was confined to the Punjab and Sind but he lacked it in NWFP and Baluchistan. This weakness was the Achilles heals for Bhutto regime, which was later, exploited by fact distortion and disinformation. In the first two years of his rule, Bhutto came very hard against the military brass and the landlords by offering a lot of compensation to labor class, peasants, urban and rural middle class and educated professionals. His land reforms of 1972 were devised to break up the hold of large landowners in theory but the ground realities were totally different. As Bhutto needed the military high command and the landlords (political base of PPP), therefore going against the military and enactment of 1972 reforms was a political tactic to gain more and more political support. It was evident in the dismissal of Atta Ullah Mangle’s government in Baluchistan (1973) by Bhutto, which gave rise to Baloch insurgency for the independence of Balochistan. In order to crush the agitation, Bhutto relied totally on the military by disproving his anti-military stance or agenda. Despite this, he also proved to be ruthless against any political activity of the opposition parties. One of such examples was the banning of the National Awami Party (now Awami National Party) in 1975 with the allegations of anti-state activities. Thus, such political policies and attitude paved a way for the opposition parties to form a strong coalition against the PPP in the coming years (Walter, 2009).
The 1973 constitution provided a larger space for the smaller units of federation. The document could offer the best blueprint for establishing a system based on mutual consent and cohesiveness. Bhutto after presenting a wonderful intellectual work could not implement it fairly. Being the son of his time, Bhutto remained fearful throughout his tenure, fearful of internal conspiracies and external threats and this led him to depend on civil military establishment. He adopted an approach of political oppression instead of resorting to dialogue with the political forces. Thus, despite a temporary loss of face in 1971, the civil-military bureaucracy remained the most important pillars of the state structure instead of the people who actually brought Bhutto for a populist rule.
Opposition party leaders approached the army to intervene against their arch political rivals. This provided an avenue to the army to support or form one coalition against the other depending upon suitability of their vested interests (Younas,1995). In 1972, during the Sindhi language disturbances and again in 1973, army was approached by the right wing and Islamist group to intervene and remove Bhutto from the power. It was a clearer call by the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) to the army for intervention against the PPP government and the enactment of Nizam-e-Mustafa. Gen. K.M Arif justifies army’s intervention because of “the absence of reconciliation, accommodation and tolerance among the quarrelling politicians.” The military has been accusing the politicians of corruption and incompetency from the start. This is how they justify their rule but according to Abdul Maali; the politicians were trying to draft a constitution for the country based on a mutual consensus of both the wings. The main architect for dismissal of Prime Minister Khwaja Nazimuddin was the top brass military leadership. According to Mr. Z. A Bhutto; “A sensible compromise on the constitution could have been reached in 1954 between East and West wings but a sick and avaricious Governor General, illegally dissolved the Constituent Assembly, before the draft could be finally approved.”
It is very unfortunate to observe that the unending tug of war for political power has put the country to such disillusionment, the country whose creation was foreseen as a model state based on the Islamic principle of equality, brotherhood and social justice. Nearly everyone in power corridors was busy to secure his own share of power.
Pakistan was unfortunate in its first decade because of its being deprived of a strong constitution as well as holding of general elections (Yousaf, 1995). The provincial elections of 1954 resulted in somewhat coalitions within each wing separately. The lack of strong political parties resulted in coalition governments not much sustainable, misused for other purposes rather than good governance and political development. “Combined Opposition Parties” alliance in 1965 presidential election was one of such coalition to resist the military rule but failed to deliver just for the reason that it was organized and directed by political forces against military dictatorship. This argument strengthens the hypothesis on the ground that this coalition was not in line with the interests of the military junta commonly known as the Third Force in power corridors. Ayub Khan despite having such a strong alliance in opposition won the 1965 presidential election; massive state apparatus was used but no issue of rigging was brought into considerations (Zulfiqar, 1971) On the other hand, when Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) failed to defeat the single party in power i.e. PPP; Bhutto was held responsible for winning the election through rigging. The former coalition was against the interests of the Third Force whereas the later one was organized and facilitated by the same group aiming at political power.