The failure of Pakistan to develop a political system,
The failure of Pakistan to develop a political system, which best suited its policy can be safely rationalized as its most brilliant failure since its creation, nearly fifty-seven years ago. At its creation, Pakistan inherited the British legacy of a parliamentary system, even though it was ill equipped for it. Parliamentary democracy pre-supposes a population that is politically aware of the issues concerning it. The fact that Pakistan was born out of the crisis of the partition and it has lurched from one crisis to another, all of its own making, it never had the opportunity to develop a political system. In many ways, Pakistan had the wrong dream to cling to the notions of parliamentary democracy. It was, and is, this stubbornness to admit to the reality, that often determined the notions of Pakistan as an inchoate state. Pakistan is not suited for a parliamentary democracy, because its political experience suggests an administrative rule of law. Pakistan is, by all accounts, more of an administrative state and its historic experience suggests that it cannot be anything else.
Parliamentary democracy in Pakistan died a quiet death, unnoticed in the mayhem of partition, when Mohammad Ali Jinnah decided to assume the office of the Governor-General in Pakistan. By being the head of the new state and the head of its government, Jinnah concentrated all the powers under him and in doing so, effectively embarked Pakistan towards the ideal of a presidential system. Jinnah assumed the mantle of the viceregal powers in his own person and such, ushered in the cult of personalized rule in Pakistan, which would emerge as the greatest obstacle to parliamentary democracy in Pakistan. Liaquat Ali Khan, Jinnah’s prime minister, was over shadowed by the personality of Jinnah and thus, his office was rendered virtually ineffective and without any real political influence. By...