Thursday May 23, 2024

Pak faulty system vs bad governance

By Senator Rehman Malik
April 17, 2021

Our system is being run by a faulty system which actually looks like ad-hoc arrangements to manage day to day affairs and there is no inbuilt system to have security for the govt or it’s public. There is no check on the role of law and the most violated legislation is rule of law which is not followed by almost all the segments of the society. The sense of insecurity is one of the major reasons that we are left behind many nations. It is unfortunate that Pak politics could not grow better because of the lack of understanding of real way of democracy. We have been amending it and tailoring it to suit ourselves ignoring the national interest.

The politics is more like a business than politics itself in our country. We play politics for the sake of our own interests and not for the sake of a common man’s interests or for the benefit of general public. The political govts came into power but fell down because of internal political rifts within political parties and when many times the politicians have been inviting the military intervention to wind up parliamentary govts.

The political system always has faced their removals in the dark nights. It is sad to note that in Pakistan, not a single prime minister has been able to complete his tenure since the country’s inception 70 years ago. History has been repeating itself time and again.

Here are the details of PM who were forced out of the office:

Pakistan’s first prime minister Liaquat Ali Khan was murdered in Rawalpindi on October 16, 1951 while the second PM Khawaja Nazimuddin was sent home by Governor General Ghulam Muhammad on April 17, 1953. Nazimuddin sought justice from Supreme Court when justice Munir came up with the doctrine of necessity to validate Ghulam Muhammad’s illegal act.

Muhammad Ali Bogra too was dismissed by Ghulam Muhammad in 1954 but later was again appointed as PM. Governor General Iskender Mirza dismissed his government in 1955 as he did not enjoy majority in the Constituent Assembly.

Chaudhary Muhammad Ali succeeded Muhammad Ali Bogra and the PM in 1955. Later he had conflict with Iskender Mirza, hence, Muhammad Ali resigned on September 12, 1956.

Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy from Awami League was the first person from another party than Muslim League to be appointed as a prime minister in 1956. His govt was toppled in 1957 due to differences with Iskander Mirza.

Iskander Mirza then appointed Ibrahim Ismail Chandrigar who remained the PM for almost two months only as he resigned from the post in December 1957. Feroz Khan Noon replaced him as the seventh prime minister of Pakistan. Feroz Khan’s govt was overthrown by Ayub Khan as he declared martial law in 1958.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto rose to power as president after 13 years of martial law under special arrangement till 1973 Constitution was passed. He resigned as president after the constitution was passed, to become the prime minister of Pakistan. He went in to elections in 1977and became the first democratically elected PM but he was too deposed the same year through a military coup by General Muhammad Ziaul Haq in July 1977. He was hanged to death by all powerful military-judicial nexus in 1979.

During the non-party elections of 1985, Muhammad Khan Junejo was elected as PM of Pakistan under Ziaul Haq’s dictatorship. As he seemed to be posing threat to the dictator for being a political breed, his government was dismissed on May 29, 1988.

Benazir Bhutto came into power as PM as a result of 1988 general elections. President Ghulam Ishaq Khan used his presidential powers under Article 58 2(b) and overthrew Bibi’s government on August 6, 1990.

Then Mian Nawaz Sharif became PM for the first time in 1990, soon his government too was dismissed by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in 1993. But it was restored later upon his appeal to the Supreme Court. However, this brought in an open political confrontation between the president and the PM, however, the famous Kakar formula came into play when the then Army Chief Waheed Kakar appointed a caretaker govt by intervening out of “doctrine of necessity” for the sake of national security. He forced both, Mian Nawaz Sharif and Ghulam Ishaq Khan to resign on July 18, 1993.

After winning 1993 general elections overseen by caretaker govt, Ms Benazir Bhutto again became PM of Pakistan in 1993 but her second government also could not survive more than last three years. Her own handpicked loyal president Farooq Leghari conspired against her and dismissed her government in November 1996.

As a result of February 1997 election, Mian Nawaz Sharif again became the PM of Pakistan but on October 12, 1999, General Pervez Musharraf led a military coup and imposed emergency in the country and toppled Nawaz Sharif’s govt.

Under the dictatorship of General Pervez Musharraf, three PMs served the office, of which Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali was sent home by Musharraf after 19 months. Chaudhary Shujaat acted as a stopgap arrangement for two months as Pervez Musharraf appointed Shaukat Aziz as PM in August 2004.

After the unfortunate death and murder of Benazir Bhutto, PPP succeeded to secure majority in the National Assembly during 2008 general elections and Yusuf Raza Gilani was elected as the PM. Everything was going well until he was convicted in a contempt of court case in Supreme Court for not writing a letter against the sitting president Asif Ali Zardari to the Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases.

Mian Nawaz Sharif became the PM for the third time in 2013 but as he entered the last year of his tenure, he got engulfed in Panama corruption scandal, hence SC dismissed his govt.

The series of fall of above leaders show how fragile democracy is in this country and it looks that there is some major default in our system which we have not been able to rectify. We left the system floating without fixing it properly which should manage the country fault free where rule of law has respect and power to sustain the internal and external pressures.

Why it is so, is the system bad or the governance is bad? Well, I think the system which has failed to regulate the governance while the system is the mother of governance. We need to look into the present system critically with the view to give the country by giving it a system which can Pakistan a prosperous and a modern country better than even Turkey & China. The successive interruption and individual based constitutional amendments have made our system fragile and weak therefore, we need to make it stronger to cater our growing constitutional, administrative and economic needs. The nation needs to get out of ad-hocism, ethnicity and religious extremism.

The views expressed are solely mine and do not necessarily represent the views of my party.

The writer is former interior minister of Pakistan, ex- chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Chairman of Think Tank "Global Eye" & Institute Research & Reforms (IRR) Islamabad.

He can be reached at:, Twitter @Senrehmanmalik