chapter  9
22 Pages

Another Try at Democracy

WithRobert LaPorte

This chapter describes Pakistan's several attempts to develop democratic institutions and governance, focusing upon the most current attempt. About eight months after Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was installed as President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan following the end of the civil war in December 1971. Bhutto would have preferred a presidential form of government, one not too different from that of Ayub Khan, but he was persuaded to accept a modified parliamentary system. Bhutto appointed Mohammed Zia ul-Haq as chief of the army staff in March 1976. What Zia learned from the Ayub period was to never give up control of the most important base of support — the army. General Zia occupied the position of chief of the army staff throughout his tenure as president. Although most of the attention on Pakistan's present democratization attempt has focused on the November 1988 elections, the process really began in 1979.