Author: Veena Kukreja
Publisher: Sage Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0761996834
Ever since it came into being in 1947, Pakistan has undergone a tumultuous process of nation-building. This volume provides a rare reasoned analysis of the political processes at work in contemporary Pakistan and an objective understanding of the problems and crises confronting the country.
Pakistan has struggled to create a sufficient consensus in its polity, while endeavoring to establish the political institutions necessary for stability. The unfinished agenda of nation-building in Pakistan is today standing at an unenviabale and critical cross-roads. The author provides insights into the evolution of state structures taking into account the complex interplay of domestic, regional and international forces which have influenced and even molded political developments in Pakistan since 1947.
The author points out that for 25 out of the 53 years of its existence, the military has been the arbiter of Pakistan’s destiny. Further, that a grassroots-based party system of parliamentary democracy is yet to take root. The military, she maintains, regards its dominance of Pakistani politics not only as aright but as duty. As a result, state security has taken precedence over the need to create participatory political processes and institutions or even over making nominal investments in economic development and in the social sectors.
The book concludes by pointing out that the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and the resulting US offensive in Afghanistan, has put the military regime in Islamabad in a tight spot. Caught between unyielding ulemas, a faltering economy, and American pressure to demolish militant networks in Pakistan, these recent developments – combined with the dangerous cleavage within Pakistani society – could well push that country into another bout of instability and even anarchy. The situation is made more complex by the nexus between terrorism and drugs.
This is a topical, cogently argued and insightful commentary on contemporary Pakistan’s polity and political process. It will draw the attention of students, scholars, journalists, diplomats and the general reader interested in Pakistan and in South Asian politics.
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
Struggle for Democracy: 1947-1958 and 1971-1977
Military and Governance
Political Economy: Near the Brink of Collapse
Ethnic Divide: Aspirations and Political Power
The Rising Tide of Islamic Fundamentalism in Pakistan
The Menace of Narco Power: Parallel Government
Restoration of Democracy and Crisis of Governability: 1988-1999
Persistent Praetorianism: Pakistan’s Fourth Military Regime
Authoritarianism, Democracy and Development
About the Author