Political instability has become a rather threatening and serious problem among the developing and third world countries. It is the root of most of the issues and is causing massive problems by hindering the development of the countries.
For any country to prosper, political stability is required. It plays a key role in the integration of the society and maintains legitimacy within the state. It is the basic element needed for economic development, supremacy of the law in the country and social integration.
“The essence of democracy is its assurance that every human being should so respect himself and should be so respected in his own personality that he should have opportunity equal to that of every other human being to show what he was meant to become.”
Anna Garlin Spencer.
Pakistan is a nation which has faced a lot of crisis. The dense territorial conflicts with India, the epic struggle for power between the provinces, the socio-economic differences among the people of this country and the early death of the father of this nation Mohammad Ali Jinnah are some of the many political problems Pakistan had to face. Such events not only gave power to the elite to make policies but also encouraged non-democratic elements to come into power such as the army.
The Muslim Rulers and the Hind Maharajas encouraged art, music and literature but were weak when it came to democracy. Controlled democracy was introduced by the British and that strengthened some chosen people belonging to the elite class. Hamza Amir stated in his book that “Pakistan-an overdeveloped state”. This refers to the fact that after independence, the class in control was highly educated on the pattern of the British mind set while the masses were miserably illiterate. This huge difference between the citizens gave rise to management crisis.
If the history of Pakistan is overseen it can be witnessed that many non-democratic individuals began exploiting their positions and tried to intervene in the governing power of the country. Many army Generals maneuvered the political instability crisis of the country in their own favour and implemented such policies that made their illegal hold stronger. The dictators got many cooperative judges and friendly politicians to prolong their rule.
The army has the highest power and remains in charge for all practical purposes. The army has slowly but steadily strengthened its footing since the military coup in 1958. They have veto over the most critical decisions which affect the security and foreign policies and during Zia’s regime the army extended its reach into some of the domestic issues as well.
The absence of a rigid and complete constitutional system has allowed people with power to exploit the situation and manipulate the constitutional and political institution as they please.
The political parties in Pakistan have no just system in their ways. The intra-party election is absent. The leaders are autocrats. The political parties are not famous for their own name rather they stand behind the name of an influencial leader.
Judiciary, the third pillar of the state is no different. The role of the judiciary is very vulnerable in Pakistan. The judiciary has always found one way or another to provide power legally to dictators. Apart from the judiciary and the army, intelligence agencies have become major influences on the governing body.
The whole political instability situation has adverse effects on the economy of Pakistan. Before the global recession occurred, there was a lot of investment in the country as it had a liberal investment policy. Now due to the rapid change in government policies and the unpredictable situation of the market, many investors have stopped investing in Pakistan.
The political situation in Pakistan can be improved by taking steps such as reformation of judiciary, division of provinces and continuity of fair elections etc.