chapter  10
22 Pages

Political Parties and Political Leaders

WithRobert C. Oberst, Yogendra K. Malik, Charles H. Kennedy, Ashok Kapur, Mahendra Lawoti, Syedur Rahman, Ahrar Ahmad

Pakistan's political parties have served as the vehicles of their respective founders and then disintegrated on the founder's death. Political parties, then, become loose confederations of kinship groups, and political leaders are typically prominent members of important families. The Pakistan People's Party was largely the creation of one man, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Originally the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad consisted of nine parties, but two parties predominated: the Pakistan Muslim League and the Jamaat-i-Islami. The Muslim League was the only major political party in existence in Pakistan at independence, and it possessed all of the advantages a party could wish for. The Pakistan Muslim League began as a faction of the PML(N) when several prominent members of the National Assembly, including Mian Muhammad Azhar, Syeda Abida Hussain, and Syed Fakr Imam, broke from the leadership of Mian Nawaz Sharif following the 1997 election.