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Showing posts with label Indo Pak History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indo Pak History. Show all posts

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Indo Pak History-9


Legal Framework Order 2002

On August 24, 2002, Chief Executive General Musharraf issued the Legal Framework Order 2002, announcing general elections for the National and Provincial Assemblies to be held in October 2002. Constitutional Provisions were amended for smooth and orderly transition of power from the Chief Executive to the newly elected Prime Minister after the elections.
The main text of the L. F. O. 2002 stated as follows:
It has been specified that it will come into force henceforth and in the first meetings of National Assembly, Senate and Provincial Assemblies and that if any necessity arises for any further amendment of the Constitution or there is any difficulty in giving effect to any of the provisions of this Order, the Chief Executive will have the discretionary power to make provisions and pass orders for amending the Constitution or for removing any difficulty. It has been further asserted that the validity of any provision made, or orders passed, under clauses (1) and (2) shall not be called in question in any court on any ground whatsoever. The main points of L. F. O. 2002 may be summed up as below:
i) Every political party shall, subject to law, hold intra-party elections to elect its office-bearers and party leaders.
ii) Having received the democratic mandate to serve the nation as President of Pakistan for a period of five years, the Chief Executive on relinquishing the office of the C. E., shall assume the office of President of Pakistan forthwith and hold office for a term of five years under the Constitution, and Article 44 and other provisions of the Constitution shall apply accordingly.
iii) There shall be 342 seats of the members in the National Assembly, including seats reserved for women and non-Muslims.
iv) The seats in the National Assembly are allocated to each Province, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the Federal Capital as under:
- Balochistan: General 14, Women 3, Total 17
- N. W. F. P.: General 35, Women 8, Total 43
- Punjab: General 148, Women 35, Total 183
- Sindh: General 61, Women 14, Total 75
- F. A. T. A.: General 12, Women 0, Total 12
- Federal Capital: General 2, Women 0, Total 2
- Total: General 272, Women 60, Total 332
v) In addition to the number of seats referred to in clause (iv), there shall be, in the National Assembly, ten seats reserved for non-Muslims.
vi) Members to the seats reserved for non-Muslims shall be elected in accordance with law through proportional representation system of political parties’ lists of candidates on the basis of total number of general seats won by each political party in the National Assembly. A political party securing less than five per centum of the total number of seats in the National Assembly shall not be entitled to any seat reserved for women or non-Muslims.
vii) If any question arises whether a member of the Parliament is disqualified from being a member, the Speaker or, as the case may be, the Chairman shall, within 30 days, refer the question to the Chief Election Commissioner who shall give his decision thereon not later than three months from its receipt by the Chief Election Commissioner.
viii) If a member of a Parliamentary Party resigns from membership of his political party or joins another; or votes or abstains from voting in the House contrary to any direction issued by the Parliamentary Party to which he belongs concerning election of the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister; a vote of confidence or no-confidence; or a Money Bill, he may be declared in writing by the Head of the Parliamentary Party to have defected from the political party. The Head of the Parliamentary Party shall forward a copy of the declaration to the Presiding Officer, and a copy thereof to the member concerned.
ix) A member of a House shall be deemed to be a member of a Parliamentary Party if he having been elected as a candidate or nominee of a political party constituting the Parliamentary Party in the House or, having been elected otherwise than as a candidate or nominee of a political party, has become a member of such Parliamentary Party after such election by means of a declaration in writing.
x) With an addition of “a situation has arisen in which the Government of the Federation cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and an appeal to the electorate is necessary”, the clause 58 is revived.
xi) Where a Bill is referred to the Mediation Committee, it shall, within 90 days, formulate an agreed Bill likely to be passed by both Houses of the Parliament and place the agreed Bill separately before each House. If both the Houses pass the Bill, it shall be presented to the President for assent.
xii) All decisions of the Mediation Committee shall be made by a majority of the total number of members of each House in the Committee.
xiii) The President may, in consultation with the Speaker of the National Assembly and Chairman of the Senate, make rules for conduct of business of the Mediation Committee.
xiv) With an insertion of a new article 152A, there shall be a National Security Council whose chairman shall be the President in order to serve as a forum for consultation on strategic matters pertaining to the sovereignty, integrity and security of the State, and the matters relating to democracy, governance and inter-provincial harmony. Other members of N. S. C. shall be the Prime Minister, the Chairman of the Senate, the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, the Chief Ministers of the Provinces, the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, and the Chiefs of Staff of the Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Air Force. Meetings of the National Security Council may be convened by the President either in his discretion, or on the advice of the Prime Minister, or when requested by any other of its members, within the time frame indicated by him.
xv) On dissolution of an Assembly under article 58-2 (b) or, on completion of its term, the President, in his discretion, or, as the case may be, the Governor, in his discretion but with the previous approval of the President, shall appoint a caretaker Cabinet. When a caretaker Cabinet is appointed, on dissolution of the National Assembly under Article 58 or a Provincial Assembly under Article 112, or on dissolution of any such Assembly on completion of its term, the Prime Minister or, as the case may be, the Chief Minister of the caretaker Cabinet shall not be eligible to contest the immediately following election of such Assembly.
xvi) The Proclamation of Emergency of the 14th October, 1999, all President’s Orders, Ordinances, Chief Executive’s Orders, including the P. C. O. No. 1 of 1999, the Oath of Office (Judges) Order 2000, the Referendum Order 2002 (Chief Executive’s Order No. 12 of 2002), and all other laws made between the October 12, 1999 and the date on which this Article comes into force, are hereby affirmed, adopted and declared notwithstanding any judgment of any court, to have been validly made by competent authority and notwithstanding anything contained in the Constitution shall not be called in question in any court on any ground whatsoever.
xvii) All Proclamations, President’s Orders, Ordinances, Chief Executive’s Orders, laws, regulations, enactments, notifications, rules, orders or bye-laws in force immediately before the date on which this Article comes into force shall continue in force until altered, repealed or amended by competent authority.
Through L. F. O. 2000, the President and Chief Executive revived the Constitution of Pakistan, except a few articles pertaining to the Provincial Governments and the Senate of Pakistan, etc., with effect from 16th November, 2002, which are to be restored later. Those parts of the Constitution which are restored include “Preamble, Article 1 to 58 (both inclusive), Article 64 to 100 (both inclusive), Annex, insertion of Article 152A and the schedule to the Constitution”.
Some of the immediate implications of the L. F. O. 2000 are:
a) L. F. O. 2000 has been sanctified by postulating that no body can challenge it in any court of law “on any ground whatsoever.”
b) It is now assumed to be an integral part of the Constitution and there is no imperative left for the newly and duly elected National Assembly but to accept it willingly or unwillingly. The present Parliament is quite unable to reverse or do away with any of the Amendments, especially the one relating to the National Security Council. The Prime Minister and the whole Parliament are at the will of the President for their survival.
c) Many believe that the L. F. O. 2000 has been enforced without any regard for the Constitutional and democratic norms and proprieties. By terminating the Thirteenth Amendment that was not passed by two-third majority but a unanimous vote of the Parliament, the President has again been authorized to enjoy the power of dismissing the Prime Minister along with his Cabinet and the Parliament.
d) With the adoption of the Legal Framework Order 2002, Pakistan has virtually advanced from the parliamentary form of government to the presidential system. The Article 58-2 (b) clause has been revived and the insertion of the new clause 152A has created the National Security Council.
e) Though the function of National Security Council and the clause 58-2 (b) is to provide a system of checks-and-balances, there are some issues to consider. In case of a confrontation between the President and the Prime Minister, the majority of votes in the National Security Council will automatically go in favor of the President who can thus easily remove the Prime Minister, putting the Parliamentary form of government once again in jeopardy.
f) With a radically altered Constitutional Framework, in whose making the people of Pakistan have had no say, the sovereignty of the Parliament has been severely crippled.
g) Although the Article 58-2 (b) does not specifically mention the President as having the power to sack the Prime Minister, the dissolution of the Assembly automatically makes the Prime Minister go. As the recent past shows, this clause was misused by three Presidents to remove Prime Ministers for purely political reasons, even though the Constitution authorized the President to take such a drastic step only after it had become clear that “a situation had arisen in which the government of the federation cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.” There is no doubt that every future Prime Minister will have to work under the constraints of 58-2 (b) at all times.
The only way to constitutionally amend the Constitution is through the Article 239, which lays down the following procedure:
“A bill to amend the Constitution may originate in either House (National Assembly or the Senate) and, when the bill is passed by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the total membership of the House, it shall be transmitted to the other House.” As such, it is still considered by the Constitutional experts that General Musharraf requires two-thirds majority to have his Constitutional Amendments or L. F. O. 2000 validated. In addition, the legal position of General Musharraf is also not in accordance with the Constitution of Pakistan for it does not recognize a uniformed Army Chief as the Head of State. Under the Constitution of 1973, only a majority vote in National Assembly, Senate, and four Provincial Assemblies can elect a President.

General Elections 2002
After three years of military rule, Pakistan again headed towards democracy on October 10, 2002. More than 70 parties, big and small, contested the eighth national parliamentary election. The major parties contesting the elections were Peoples Party Parliamentarians, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Group, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-i-Azam also called the “King’s Party” for its unconditional support to the government, and the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), alliance of six religious political parties. Other known parties contesting at the national level included the six-party National Alliance led by former caretaker Prime Minister Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf and Tahir-ul-Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehrik. Several regional parties, with strongholds in their own provinces included the Sindh-based Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Awami National Party, Jamhuri Watan Party, factions of Baluchistan National Movement and Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party.
The National and Provincial elections were held on the same day. More than 72 million registered voters aged 18 and above from a population of 140 million, elected members for the 342 National Assembly seats and 728 seats of the four Provincial Assemblies. A total of 2,098 candidates contested for 272 general seats of the National Assembly. The remaining 60 seats were reserved for women and 10 for non-Muslim minorities. These seats were to be allocated on the basis of proportional representation to parties bagging at least five per cent of the total general seats. In the Provincial Assemblies out of the full 371 seat Punjab Assembly, 66 were reserved for women and eight for minorities, in the 168 seat Sindh Assembly, 29 for women and nine for minorities, in the 124 seat N. W. F. P. Assembly, 22 for women and three for minorities, and the 65 seat Baluchistan Assembly, 11 for women and three for minorities.
Voting was carried out from 8 in the morning till 5 in the evening on some 65,000 polling stations having 164,718 polling booths across the country, with segregated voting booths for women. The elections were observed and monitored by hundreds of local and 300 international observers, including observers from European Union and the Commonwealth, as well as local rights group.
These elections were different from the previous ones due to the number of legislation passed by the Government. Convicted people were barred from taking part in elections under the Representation of the People’s Act. Several other politicians were unable to contest the elections, as they did not have a Bachelor’s Degree, which was a mandatory qualification in the elections. Pakistan’s leading political personalities Benazir Bhutto of the P. P. P. and Nawaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Group were barred from standing in the elections under the new electoral laws. And for the first time since 1977, the minority communities that included Christians, Hindus and Parsees contested and voted for all general seats in the National and Provincial Assemblies. The age limit of voting in these elections was also lowered from 21 to 18 years.

The election results issued after inexplicable delay not only led to no major party having an overall majority in the new National Assembly, but also were surprising with an unexpectedly large number of seats won by the Islamic parties. The religious alliance known as Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) secured 51 seats, emerging as the third largest party in the National Assembly elections after P. M. L. (Q) with 76 seats and PPPP with 62 seats. A total of 121 seats were won by three major anti-Government parties, including 62 seats by PPPP, 51 by MMA and the PML (N) won 14 seats. The Islamic parties, which previously had actually won fewer seats, came in strong this time by capitalizing on opposition to Pakistan’s partnership with the United States in the bombing of Afghanistan and in the war against terrorism. The MMA got a clear-cut majority in NWFP and Baluchistan provinces where it easily formed a government on its own. In the rest of the Provincial Assemblies coalition governments were formed as no party had come in with a complete majority.

The elections had a low turnout of 20 to 25 percent as compared to 35.42 percent in 1997 general election. Despite government assurances that the elections would be fair, free and transparent, different political parties alleged that the elections were engineered and the government was involved in massive rigging. It was alleged that ballot engineering was behind the sluggish pace of announcements of the election results.
With no party emerging with a simple majority Pakistan faced menace of a hung parliament. A coalition government was, however, set up with Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, the candidate of PML (Q) as the Prime Minister of Pakistan with the help of MQM, a number of independent candidates and 10 members of the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians who defected from the party to form their own Forward Block.

Zafarullah Khan Jamali Becomes Prime Minister [2002]
Zafarullah Khan Jamali was elected the 21st Prime Minister of Pakistan by the newly elected Parliament on November 21, 2002. President General Pervez Musharraf administered the oath to the new Prime Minster at the Aiwan-i-Sadr on November 23. He now heads Pakistan’s first civilian government after three years of military rule of General Pervez Musharraf.
The October elections resulted in a political deadlock as no party won with an overall majority. This led to the delay in the appointment of the Prime Minister. The President did not call the National Assembly session until the creation of PPP’s forward bloc and the floor-crossing law was held in abeyance. Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, Shah Mahmud Qureshi of the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians and Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali of Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-i-Azam) were the main contender for the seat of Prime Minister. Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali won by securing 172 votes out of 329 votes, against 89 bagged by Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahman and 70 by Shah Mahmud Qureshi. Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali was however, able to get the desired number of votes after 10 members of the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians defected from the party to form their own Forward Block in order to support Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali.
Zafarullah Khan Jamali has promised to continue President Musharraf’s economic and foreign policies, particularly in supporting the ongoing international war against terrorism. He reiterated Pakistan’s support for the United States led war on terrorism and said “Pakistan has become a frontline state, and will remain one”. Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali in one of his first acts announced a 25-member Cabinet. The Cabinet includes four unelected advisers and several legislators who had defected from Pakistan Peoples Party. The PPPP dissidents for their critical support to Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali’s pro-Musharraf Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-i-Azam) got the top slot ministries in the Government. Rao Sikandar and Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat have been given the two most powerful Ministries of Defense and Interior. Out of the ten PPPP dissidents, six have been accommodated either as full or junior Ministers.
Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali’s Government faces tough challenges ahead. He not only faces a strong opposition in the National Assembly, but also has to keep his multi-party coalition together while sharing power with President Pervez Musharraf. The President still retains the ultimate power, with the authority to dissolve Parliament and sack the Prime Minister. On December 29, 2002, Mir Zaffarullah Khan Jamali won the vote of confidence of 188 members out of the 342-seat House.
Jamali, who had plunged into politics against a dictator when he campaigned for Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah in her presidential race against Pakistan’s first dictator, Ayub Khan, is now working readily and steadily to run the Parliament as well as uphold the order of the President and the army in various areas. Jamali’s clash with either president or Army will certainly cost his saddle like the late ex-Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo. It is a tribute to his pleasing personality that even the main Opposition, i.e., MMA while sticking to its own political agenda, has pledged publicly not to destabilize his Government so that the democratic dispensation takes firm roots. His pledge not to take any major step without consulting the opposition and that his opponents would not be dragged in false cases has at length led to the strengthening and functioning of “sustainable of democracy”. Though Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali who did bear confidence of the majority in the Parliament and tried to maintain amicable terms with the most powerful President as well as the Opposition with his traits of humility and decency, could not complete his five-year term and suddenly had to resign on June 26, 2004.

Seventeenth Amendment [2003]
Seventeenth Amendment is basically the Legal Framework Order 2002 that has been accepted as part of the Constitution with minor modifications and may be, therefore, termed as an LFO-amended Constitution. After a surprise deal between PML(Q) and MMA (Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal), the 17th Amendment has now become part of the 1973 Constitution after the formal approval of President General Pervez Musharraf. A year-old constitutional deadlock was broken only because of “flexibility” shown by President General Pervez Musharraf and top MMA leadership. The amendment allows General Pervez Musharraf to serve out his term as President, which ends in 2007, and formalize special powers he had decreed himself giving him the right to sack the prime minister and disband parliament by decree. In return, Musharraf agrees to step down as army chief, supposed to be the main source of his power, by December 31, 2004.
The seventeenth amendment now allows the provision for “vote of confidence for further affirmation of the president in office by majority of the members present and voting, by division or any other method as prescribed in the rules made by the federal government under clause (9), of the electoral college consisting of members of both Houses of Parliament and the provincial assemblies”. Accordingly a vote of confidence was passed in favor of the President on January 1, 2004 by members of both National Assembly and the Senate. Despite the fact the MMA abstained from giving the vote of confidence to the President, it has indirectly accepted him as elected president by allowing vote of confidence from both houses of parliament and provincial assemblies.
Under the Article 58(2)(b), “the President in case of dissolution of the National Assembly shall, within fifteen days of the dissolution, refer the matter to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court shall decide the reference within thirty days whose decision shall be final”.
Likewise, under the Article 112, the governor in case of dissolution of the provisional assembly shall also refer the matter to the Supreme Court with the previous approval of the president and the Supreme Court shall decide the reference within thirty days whose decision shall be final.
Another amendment is the addition of the words “in consultation with the Prime Minister” in place of “in his discretion” in Article 243 of the Constitution giving the Prime Minister a constitutional say in the appointment of services chiefs. Article 152(A) of the Constitution has been omitted that related to the establishment of a National Security Council. The National Security Council may be, however, created with the passage of a bill with simple majority.
17th Amendment has amended Article 41(1)(7)(b) of the Constitution whereby Article 63(1)(d) of the Constitution has been made inoperative till December 31, 2004. Article 63(1)(d) deals with the disqualification for membership of Parliament and under Article 41(2) only a person qualified to be elected as member of the National Assembly, can be elected as President. This means that for the duration that that Article 63(1)(d) is inoperative, the President is not barred from being elected as the President while he holds the office of COAS. But it is interesting to note that the Article 43(1) of the Constitution still remains intact that says: “The President shall not hold office of profit in the service of Pakistan carrying the right to remuneration for the rendering of services,” Since no amendment has been made in this clause, the Article 43(1) disallows a person simultaneously to be the President and the COAS of the country.
The bill granted indemnity to all actions of President General Pervez Musharraf since military action of October 12, 1999 as according to the 270AA, the Parliament has “affirmed, adopted and declared to have been duly made by the competent authority … all laws made between October 12,1999 and the date on which the Article comes into force”.
In the Article 179, retirement age of the Supreme Court judges has now been fixed at 65 year. This was a huge concern for the lawyers of the country who have at least welcomed this move.

Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain Becomes Prime Minister [2004]
Ch. Shujaat Hussain, who heads the ruling faction of the Pakistan Muslim League, PML (QA) took the post in a caretaker position on June 30, 2004 four days after Zafarullah Jamali resigned all of a sudden. Chaudhry Shujaat was elected leader of the house after securing 190 whereas his opponent ARD’s Makhdoom Amin Fahim got 76 votes. With a 27-member Cabinet, Ch. Shujaat Hussain announced after taking oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan: “We will continue to pursue the policies of the President with regard to good governance and economic development”.
Prime Minister Ch. Shujaat Hussain announced formation of a special parliamentary committee to resolve Balochistan crisis by initiating political dialogue and giving representation all parliamentary parties of the upper House in the committee and offered to act as a member of the committee to resolve the problem through talks. Taking into consideration that “the success of the next government will be evaluated on its economic performance,” he said this very thinking led the Pakistan Muslim League and its allied parties to select Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz as the next executive head of the country. In an interview, he said: “My nomination by Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali and nomination of Shaukat Aziz after consulting the President were in line with the set traditions. There should be no hue and cry over such technicalities”. Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain expressed gratitude to Almighty Allah for being the first elected Prime Minister in the country’s history to leave the office, after discharging his obligations (only for 45 days), with dignity and honor.

Indo Pak History-7


Death of General Zia-ul-Haq [1988]

General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was killed in an air crash on August 17, 1988. He had gone to Bhawalpur to see a demonstration of tanks where he was accompanied by a number of Generals, including the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, Chief of General Staff, high-ranking Military Attaches, as well as the U. S. Ambassador to Pakistan. On his return journey, his military transport aircraft, a C-130, exploded in mid-air a few minutes after takeoff from Bhawalpur airport, killing all passengers aboard including the President.

This tragic air disaster was the worst in Pakistan’s history and was unprecedented in the history of military aircraft. The cause of the crash was not known and the enquiry report was never made public.

General Zia’s remains were buried on the grounds of Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. With the death of General Zia, the 11-year military rule came to an end. The country now was set forth on the road to democracy. This transition from dictatorship to democracy took place constitutionally.

After the crash, a high level meeting was held in Islamabad to decide the question of succession. Some of the participants in the meeting were in favor of imposition of Martial Law. However the military Chief present did not support the idea. Under the Constitution, whenever the office of President becomes vacant by reason of death or resignation, or removal of the President, the Chairman of Senate acts as the President until a new President is elected. As a result Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Chairman of the Senate, became the next acting President of Pakistan.

Benazir Bhutto Becomes Prime Minister [1988]

In the 1988 elections, Pakistan Peoples Party won 94 seats in the National Assembly without forming any alliance. With the cooperation of 8 M. Q. M. members and 13 members of the Federally Administered tribal Area, the P. P. P. showed a clear majority. Benazir Bhutto, daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, was sworn in as the Prime Minister, the first woman to govern an Islamic State.

Soon after taking oath, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto announced that the ban on Student Unions and Trade Unions would be lifted. The P. P. P. Government hosted the fourth S. A. A. R. C. Summit Conference in December 1988. As a result of the Conference, Pakistan and India finalized three peace agreements.
But soon, Benazir’s Government started facing problems on the political front. A. N. P. deserted the Pakistan People Party and on November 1, 1989, a no-confidence motion was moved against the Prime Minister by the opposition. Benazir was barely able to pull through with 12 votes to her advantage. M. Q. M., which had formed an alliance with the P. P. P. also broke away and started creating trouble in Sindh.
Serious conceptual differences arose between the P. P. P. Government and the Establishment. Less than two years later, on August 6, 1990, her Government was accused of corruption and dismissed by the President, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, who exercised his power through the controversial Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.

Ghulam Ishaq Khan becomes President [1988-93]

In 1988, President Zia-ul-Haq dissolved the Junejo Government and announced that fresh elections would be held in November 1988. But on August 17, 1988, he was killed in a C-130 plane crash in Bhawalpur, along with five senior Generals and the American Ambassador. The cause of the crash has never been ascertained and still remains a riddle.
After the death of General Zia, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Chairman of the Senate, took over as acting President. Elections for the National and Provincial Assemblies were held on November 16 and 19, 1988, respectively. The Revival of the Constitutional Order had amended the Constitution, which empowered the President to appoint, at his discretion, any member of the National Assembly as Prime Minister. Ghulam Ishaq Khan appointed Benazir Bhutto as Prime Minister of Pakistan on the condition that she would offer full support to him in the forthcoming presidential elections.
According to the deal between Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan Peoples Party voted for Ghulam Ishaq Khan. Ghulam Ishaq Khan was also the consensus candidate of Islami Jamuhri Ittehad. Four candidates took part in the elections, with Ghulam Ishaq Khan winning and securing the highest 608 votes. Constitutional Amendments made by the R. C. O. and the Eighth Amendment, that had given the President a great deal of power, inevitably led the President and the Prime Minister into conflict. The conflict between the President and the Prime Minister arose in two areas; the appointment of the Military Chiefs and the Superior Court Judges.
The conflict between the President and the Prime Minister had its drop scene on August 6, 1990, when the President dissolved the National Assembly and Benazir Bhutto was dismissed from power. The dissolution of the National Assembly was soon followed by the dissolution of the Provincial Assemblies. Fresh elections were scheduled on October 24, 1990. President Ghulam Ishaq Khan appointed Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi as the caretaker Prime Minister.
Elections for the National and Provincial Assemblies were held on October 24 and 27, 1990, respectively. Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was elected as Prime Minister on November 1, 1990. Nawaz Sharif’s Government remained in power till April 19, 1993. President Ghulam Ishaq Khan again dissolved the National Assembly, exercising his power once again through the Eighth Amendment, and appointed Mir Balakh Sher Khan Mazari as the caretaker Prime Minister. General Elections were scheduled to be held on July 14, 1993, but were canceled when the Supreme Court quashed the Presidential Order and reinstated Nawaz Sharif as the Prime Minister.
Differences between Nawaz Sharif and Ghulam Ishaq Khan arose once again. This time they deepened to such an extent that they led to the resignation of both President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on July 18, 1993. The National and Provincial Assemblies were also dissolved. Moin Qureshi was appointed as the caretaker Prime Minister, and Ghulam Ishaq Khan was appointed the caretaker President. Fresh elections for the National and Provincial Assemblies were held. Benazir Bhutto returned to power for the second time and Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari was elected as the new President of Pakistan.
This brought to an end the presidency of Ghulam Ishaq Khan, which brought about the dismissal of two elected governments. It followed the unhealthy tradition of removing elected governments through the use of the controversial Eighth Amendment. The next President followed the same tradition and created continuous instability in the country.

Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi becomes caretaker Prime Minister [1990]

As a result of the changes made in the Constitution by the R. C. O. and the Eighth Amendment, the President had the power to appoint a caretaker Prime Minister and a caretaker Cabinet at the Federal as well at Provincial level. Using these powers, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dissolved the National and Provincial Assemblies on August 6, 1990, and declared a state of emergency in the country. Elections were scheduled to be held on October 24, 1990.
Ghulam Ishaq Khan did not appoint a neutral or non-partisan caretaker Cabinet or Prime Minister. He chose the leader of the opposition in the former National Assembly, Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi, as the new caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Nawaz Sharif Becomes Prime Minister [1990]

After the ouster of Benazir’s Government, elections for the National and Provincial Assemblies were held on October 24 and 27, 1990. Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, the ex-Chief Minister of Punjab, was elected as the Prime Minister on November 1, 1990.

During his tenure as the Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif made efforts to strengthen the industrial sector with the help of the private sector. Projects like Ghazi Brotha and the Gawadar miniport were initiated. Land was distributed among landless peasants in Sindh. A massive uplift of Murree and Kahuta was done during his term as Chief Minister of Punjab. Relations with the Central Asian Muslim republics were strengthened and E. C. O. was given a boost.

In an attempt to end the Afghan crisis, the “Islamabad Accord” was reached between various Afghan factions. His most important contribution was economic progress despite U. S. sanctions on Pakistan through the Pressler Amendment on sanctions. The stupendous Motorway project was initiated that was completed during his second tenure.
Nawaz Sharif’s Government remained in power till April 18 1993, when President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dissolved the National Assembly, once again exercising his power through the Eighth Amendment.

Balakh Sher Mazari Becomes Caretaker Prime Minister [1993]

President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dissolved the National and Provincial Assemblies on April 19, 1993, and appointed Mir Balakh Sher Khan Mazari as the Caretaker Prime Minister. General Elections were scheduled to be held on July 14, 1993.
Balakh Sher Mazari’s tenure as Caretaker Prime Minister ended on May 26, 1993, when the Supreme Court revoked the Presidential Order and reinstated Nawaz Sharif as the Prime Minister.

Moin Qureshi Becomes Caretaker Prime Minister [1993]

On May 26, 1993, the Supreme Court of Pakistan declared the Presidential Order of the Assemblies’ dissolution as unconstitutional and ruled for restoring the Nawaz Government and the National Assembly. However, because of the serious differences between the President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and the Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, both resigned from their offices on July 18, 1993, along with the dissolution of the Central and Provincial Assemblies.
Moin Qureshi, a top World Bank official, was appointed as the Caretaker Prime Minister and Ghulam Ishaq Khan was appointed as the caretaker President. At the time of his appointment, Moin Qureshi was totally unknown in Pakistan; it was, however, felt that as he was a political outsider, he would remain neutral.
Despite the fact the Moin Qureshi was new to the economic and political environment of Pakistan, he made his presence felt during his short tenure of 90 days. During this time he undertook numerous steps, which were appreciated by the general public. One of the steps included his effort to expose the misdeeds of the previous governments by publishing the lists of defaulters of bank loans and taxpayers. These lists exposed a number of affluent persons who were involved in abusing the banking system and dodging the tax collectors. Moin Qureshi made the State Bank of Pakistan an autonomous body with an effort to keep out political interference in the working of the bank. He took numerous other steps including the imposition of a nominal tax on agriculture, making Pakistan Television and Radio Pakistan autonomous, downsizing of the administrative machinery and abolishing the discretionary power of the Prime Minster and the Chief Ministers of allotting residential plots to their favorites. It goes to his credit that he undertook various endeavors in a short period of time and made a serious effort to recover Government dues.
The only blot on Moin Qureshi’s tenure as Prime Minister was that, in his last days, he made a large number of promotions and other administrative decisions in favor of his relatives.

Benazir Bhutto becomes Prime Minister [1993]

Benazir Bhutto returned to power for the second time in 1993 after the resignation of both President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on July 18, 1993. The resignation led to the announcement of fresh elections for the National and Provincial Assemblies. The elections were held on October 6 and 9, 1993, respectively.
The elections were boycotted by the M. Q. M. No party emerged with an absolute majority in the elections. As a result the P. P. P. formed the new government with the help of alliances. Benazir Bhutto took oath as Prime Minister on October 19, 1993. The Presidential election was held on November 13. Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari, the P. P. P. candidate, won by 274 to 168 votes against the then acting President Wasim Sajjad.
During her second tenure, Benazir again faced trouble from the opposition. In the autumn of 1994, Nawaz Sharif led a “train march” from Karachi to Peshawar. This was followed by general strike on September 20. Two weeks later Nawaz Sharif called a “wheel jam” strike on October 11.
The second tenure of Benazir Bhutto was, however, highlighted by the visit of the U. S. first Lady Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea in 1995. Hillary’s visit considerably changed the world’s perceptions about Pakistan and highlighted Pakistan as a liberal, modern and forward-looking country. In April 1994, Benazir visited the U. S., and projected Pakistan’s stance on the F-16 fighter planes withheld by the U. S. despite payments. Her visit resulted in the passing of the Brown Amendment by the U. S. Senate on September 21, 1995, easing restrictions on Pakistan. It also helped in attracting foreign investors. On the domestic front she continued facing problems with M. Q. M. In spite of all her political endeavors, a smooth relationship could not be established between the Government and M. Q. M.
Benazir Bhutto’s brother, Mir Murtaza Bhutto, was assassinated under mysterious circumstances in a police ambush on September 20, 1996. The high-profile killing of her brother in her tenure damaged her political career.
Things were not going well between the President and Benazir’s Government. Differences soon appeared and the Government felt that there was interference in the political matters of the Government by the President. President Farooq Leghari dismissed Benazir Bhutto’s Government on charges of corruption and mismanagement on November 5, 1996, under the Article 58(2) b of the Eighth Amendment.

Sardar Farooq Legahri Becomes President [1993]

As a result of the general elections in 1993, P. P. P. came to power by forming an alliance with P. M. L. (J), some independent members and some small parties. After the formation of the Governments at the Center and in the provinces, the next step was the election of the President. Initially, a number of candidates filed their nomination papers. However, as election day approached, there were only two candidates left in the field. These were the acting President Wasim Sajjad, a nominee of the P. M. L. (N), and Sardar Farooq Leghari, a nominee of the P. P. P. As a result of voting, Leghari got 274 votes in his favor against 168 votes for Wasim Sajjad. On November 13, 1993, Sardar Farooq Leghari was appointed as the President of Pakistan for a term of five years.
Leghari began his term with a clean reputation, but this was soon to change with the Mehran Bank scandal and inappropriate appointments in the judiciary. In his first speech, Leghari had said that the Eighth Amendment would be removed but during the term of Benazir, no bill was ever presented to do away with this Article of the Constitution.
Differences emerged between Benazir and Leghari, which eventually resulted in the President using the Eighth Amendment for the dissolution of the National Assembly, and the dismissal of Benazir. When Mian Nawaz Sharif was re-elected as the Prime Minister, differences arose between them. He supported the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Sajjad Ali Shah, who had also developed serious differences with the Nawaz Sharif Government. But Leghari could not overcome the heavy mandate that was bestowed upon Mian Nawaz Sharif by the public, with the result that he had to resign on December 2, 1997. Farooq Leghari’s resignation brought to an end the tragic drama of conflict and conspiracy between the Judiciary, the Executive, and the Legislature. His resignation cut short his term as the President for five years by nearly one year.

Malik Meraj Khalid Becomes Caretaker Prime Minister [1996]

President Sardar Farooq Leghari, exercising his powers through the Eighth Amendment, dismissed Benazir Bhutto’s Government in November 1996, on charges of corruption and extra-judicial killings. After Benazir, Malik Meraj Khalid, Rector of the International Islamic University, was appointed as caretaker Prime Minister. The next elections were scheduled to be held on February 3, 1997.
Malik Meraj Khalid held the office of Prime Minister from November 5, 1996, to February 17, 1997.

Nawaz Sharif becomes Prime Minister [1997]

As scheduled, elections were held on February 3, 1997. Pakistan Muslim League won with an overwhelming majority with absolutely light and slight opposition. The Muslim League was able to obtain a two-third majority in the National Assembly and Mian Nawaz Sharif was re-elected as Prime Minister. He obtained a vote of confidence from the National Assembly on February 18, 1997.
A number of very important Constitutional Amendments were introduced during Nawaz Sharif’s second term. These include the termination of the Eighth Amendment, passing of the Thirteenth Amendment and the Ehtesab Act, 1997. Nawaz Sharif faced a serious confrontation with the Judiciary and the Executive, which eventually led to the resignation of President Leghari on December 2, 1997.
It was during this term that Pakistan carried out its nuclear tests on May 28, 1998, in response to the Indian detonation of its five nuclear devices. The Nawaz Government had found it imperative for Pakistan to carry out these nuclear tests, in order to provide an effective defense, and to deter Indian adventurism.
The Nawaz Government proclaimed an emergency on May 28, 1998; the day these nuclear tests were conducted. All fundamental rights were suspended and all the foreign currency accounts in Pakistani banks were frozen. On August 28, 1998, Nawaz regime introduced the Fifteenth Amendment. The Bill generated heated debate throughout the country but was passed on October 9, 1998, by the members of the National Assembly. The Bill, however, was not put before the Senate within 90 days as was required by the Constitution. The Bill was held back, as Nawaz Sharif did not had the required two-third majority in the Senate.
The Fifteenth Amendment was presumed to be an effort by Nawaz Sharif to acquire additional powers for himself. Soon a serious conflict and confrontation emerged on the scene between him and the Military Generals. This confrontation led to the resignation of General Jehangir Karamat on October 7, 1998. General Karamat was replaced by General Pervez Musharraf.
The Kargil Operation in its aftermath again led to tense relations between Nawaz Sharif and the armed forces. This tension culminated into the removal of Nawaz Government by General Pervez Musharraf on October 12, 1999, thus bringing to an end the second term of Nawaz Sharif’s Government.
Thirteenth Amendment is Passed [1997]

The National Assembly unanimously adopted the Constitution Bill, the Thirteenth Amendment, in April 1997 by a two-third majority. The Thirteenth Amendment was put before the National Assembly on April 1, empowering the Prime Minister to repeal 58(2) b, and advise the President on the appointments of three forces’ chiefs, the J. C. S. C. Chairman and the Governors. Thus the discretionary power to appoint the chiefs of the armed forces was taken away from the President. In the proposed Amendment Bill, clauses to restore the women parliamentarian seats and to convert the Ordinance into an act of the Parliament were also incorporated. The power of the Governor to dissolve the Provincial Assemblies under Article 112(2) b was also done away with.
Through the Thirteenth Amendment the controversial Eighth Amendment was repealed and thereby the President was divested of many discretionary power in order to restore the supremacy of the Parliament.
The infamous Eight Amendment had been inserted in the Constitution in 1985, by the non-party based Parliament, when General Zia-ul-Haq was the Chief Martial Law Administrator and President of Pakistan. Its most notorious and troublesome provision, 58(2) b, had empowered the President to sack the Prime Minister and his Cabinet and dissolve the National Assembly. The provision had since been used by three successive Presidents since 1985, and four Prime Ministers, along with their Cabinets and the National Assemblies, had been dismissed.
Having announced the Thirteenth Amendment, Nawaz Sharif said that it had been introduced to revive the democratic concept, as envisaged by the Quaid-i-Azam and Allama Iqbal.
Although it seemed that a complicated and sensitive constitutional issue was solved in an amicable way through consensus, and it was anticipated that through the Thirteenth Amendment a new era of democratic freedom and political stability would start, all the hopes dashed to the ground when once again the democratic process was demolished all of a sudden. A military coup not only sacked Nawaz Sharif and his Cabinet, but also dissolved the National Assembly and the Provincial Assemblies.

Fourteenth Amendment is passed [1997]

Throughout Pakistan’s political history, horse-trading and defection within various parties had created problems for various governments. On coming to power, Nawaz Sharif’s Government took steps to do away with this ever-flourishing problem. It was under the Nawaz Government that the National Assembly unanimously adopted the Constitution Bill, the Fourteenth Amendment, on July 1, 1997.
The Anti-Defection Bill, earlier passed by the Senate and later by the National Assembly with a large majority, was a structural reform to end the practice of switching party loyalties and blackmailing party leadership for ministerial slots, bank loans and other concessions.

Muhammad Rafiq Tarar elected as President [1998]

Muhammad Rafiq Tarar, a former Judge of the Supreme Court and a Senator, was elected as the ninth President of Pakistan. He took oath to his office on January 1, 1998.
The office of the President had become vacant after the resignation of President Leghari on December 2, 1997. The Pakistan Muslim League had a two-third majority in the Parliament and some Provincial Assemblies and therefore was in a position to have its candidate elected as the head of State. The Nawaz Government nominated Muhammad Rafiq Tarar, a 68-year old former Judge of the Supreme Court and a Senator, as their presidential candidate.
The nomination of Muhammad Rafiq Tarar was, however, criticized by the opposition parties and newspapers because the nominated President was from Lahore, which was also the hometown of the Prime Minister. Many that felt that, since the Prime Minister was from Punjab, the President should be from a smaller province to prevent the possibility of a sense of deprivation among the smaller federating units, and to avoid the concentration of the main Government offices in one province.
The election of the President was held on December 31, 1997. The President was to be indirectly elected by the two houses of Parliament, the National Assembly and the Senate, and the four Provincial Assemblies. As the ruling party, Pakistan Muslim League dominated most of the six voting groups; Muhammad Rafiq Tarar was comfortably elected President by securing 374 out of 457 votes of the Electoral College. His rivals, Pakistan Peoples Party’s Aftab Shahban Mirani and Jamiyat-i-Ulema-i-Islam’s Maulana Muhammad Khan Shirani, ended up only with 31 and 22 votes, respectively. Never before had a President received such overwhelming support from the elected representatives of the people of Pakistan.
Rafiq Tarar seemed to be an unassuming and ceremonial President with a low profile, who kept away from the press. Immediately after taking over, he declared that from then onwards, the Presidency would not work in conspiring against the elected Government. He said that he would confine himself to powers available to him under the Constitution and would not aspire for anything more. He honored his word, and unlike the precedent set by his predecessors, he didn’t criticize any Government policy.
After overthrowing the Nawaz Government, the military authorities did not retain Rafiq Tarar as the President till his full term of five years. He was removed by the Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf on June 20, 2001, who himself took over the office of the President of Pakistan.
Being associated with the Judiciary, Muhammad Rafiq Tarar was not a politician of any standing but he was, however, noted for his honesty, loyalty, devotion to justice and a firm, religious faith in Islam.

Pakistan: A Nuclear Power [May 28, 1998]

On May 28, 1998, Pakistan became a nuclear power when it successfully carried out five nuclear tests at Chaghi, in the province of Baluchistan. This was in direct response to five nuclear explosions by India, just two weeks earlier.
Widely criticized by the international community, Pakistan maintains that its nuclear program is for self-defense, as deterrence against nuclear India. A former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, offered justification for Pakistan’s nuclear program when he said that if India were to produce a bomb, Pakistan would do anything it could to get one of its own. It has always been maintained by Pakistan that a nuclear threat posed to its security can neither be met with conventional means of defense, nor by external security guarantees.
India had already posed a nuclear threat against Pakistan ever since it tested a nuclear device in May 1974. At that time Pakistan had no nuclear weapons. India maintained that its nuclear program was based on their requirement to have a minimum nuclear deterrence, and that it was not against any specific country.
After the tit-for-tat nuclear explosions, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution urging India and Pakistan to halt their nuclear weapons programs. The United States and other Western states imposed economic sanctions against both the countries. The U. N. Secretary General, Kofi Annan, urged both the countries to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which Pakistan agreed to sign if India did the same.
After the tests, both sides declared that they had completed their series of nuclear testing and both announced a moratorium on future testing. Pakistan announced the moratorium on June 11, 1998, and offered to join in new peace talks with India. Even long before these tests, Pakistan has time and again proposed for a nuclear weapon-free zone in South East Asia.

The Lahore Declaration [1999]

In order to normalize relations between India and Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif undertook a major initiative in February 1999. This initiative culminated in a visit by the Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to Lahore via bus, across the Wagah border, in 1999. Nawaz Sharif met him at the Wagah border and a joint communique, known as the “Lahore Declaration”, was signed between the two leaders.

This declaration spelled out various steps to be taken by the two countries towards normalization of relations between them. Except for the Jamaat-i-Islami, the visit was not opposed by any political or social element in Pakistan. The Pakistani people welcomed this move by the Nawaz Government to normalize relations with India.

The Kargil Offensive [1999]

One dispute that remains unresolved in United Nations forum is the over 50-year-old Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan. This disputed State of Jammu and Kashmir has been a continuous flash point and the cause of two wars (1948 and 1965) between the two countries. In the last few years, and particularly during the 1990s, the issue of Kashmir has been brought to the forefront of the world agenda by the struggle of the Kashmiri freedom fighters fighting in Indian occupied Kashmir. This freedom struggle against the brute Indian force, now in excess of 700,000 troops, demands the fulfillment of U. N. Resolutions and of Indian commitments to give them the opportunity to decide their political future through a fair and free plebiscite. This plebiscite to be held under U. N. auspices was mandated by the U. N. Security Council Resolutions of August 13, 1948, and January 05, 1949.
The freedom struggle gained further momentum in 1999 when the freedom fighters, in probably the most brilliant and courageous maneuver in modern military history, made high-altitude conquests in their territory. They captured high ground of a 140 kilometers long stretch of 4,500 meters high mountain ridges, near the strategic Indian-held garrison towns of Kargil and Drass. These towns lie on the only usable road between Srinagar, capital of Indian-occupied Kashmir, and the East. This threatened India’s main supply route to its forces on the Chinese border.
The occupation by the Kashmiri freedom fighters came as a “Spring Surprise” to the Indian patrols. During the winter freeze, the area is abandoned by Indian patrols and isolated from the rest of Indian occupied Kashmir. In the beginning of May 1999, when the Indian forces returned to the mountains, they were surprised to find around 600 Kashmiri freedom fighters, occupying a territory 5 kilometers inside Indian occupied Kashmir. India alleged that these “militants” were sponsored by Pakistan, and that these militants crossed the provisional borderline, the “Line of Control”, in an attempt to alter the de facto border by force.
The Government of Pakistan stated that it was not involved in any way and clarified that it is only the moral, diplomatic and political support that the Government of Pakistan continues to extend to Kashmiri freedom fighters for their cause of self-determination. It further clarified that the heights near Kargil were occupied by indigenous Kashmiri freedom fighters.
On May 26, 1999, India resorted to air strikes to drive out the freedom fighters. During this episode, two Indian aircraft entered the territory of Pakistan, one of which was shot down. The situation across the Line of Control became tense and several innocent civilians became the targets of indiscriminate Indian shelling. The conflict posed a threat to the region of South Asia.
The international community was concerned about the escalation of the conflict between the two newly declared nuclear powers, India and Pakistan. Talks, however, resumed between India and Pakistan in the summer of 1999 and efforts were made to resolve the crises. International intervention, most notably from the President of United States, Bill Clinton, persuaded Pakistan to use its influence on the freedom fighters to avert a full-scale war with India.
The freedom fighters vacated the captured territory by August, 1999.

Indo Pak History-6


The Simla Agreement [1972]

After the 1971 war, India held prisoner around 93,000 Pakistani troops and civilians. In Pakistan there was a growing demand to get these prisoners released with the result that a Summit Conference between Pakistani President, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and the Indian leader, Mrs. Gandhi, was held at Simla from June 28 to July 2, 1972. The two countries reached an agreement on July 2. The agreement contained the elements of an earlier Indian draft, but the wording was considerably modified. In particular the clause referring to the ceasefire line in Kashmir was rephrased as to make it acceptable to Pakistan.

The broad features of this pact included that the principle and purpose of the charter of United Nations would govern the relations between the two countries. The two countries resolved to settle their differences by peaceful means through bilateral negotiations. The foremost conditions for understanding, good neighborly relations, and stable and lasting peace were laid that no country would interfere with the other country’s internal matters on the basis of mutual respect for peace, security, territorial sovereignty, mutual friendship and equality.

It was reiterated again in the agreement that efforts would be made to put an end, as far as possible, to all such disputes and differences that have been the cause of dissension between the two countries for the last 25 years. Both governments also agreed to take all steps within their power to prevent hostile propaganda directed against each other.

In order to progressively restore and normalize relations between the two countries, it was agreed that steps would be taken to resume communications, postal service, and promote and facilitate travel by sea, land and air. Trade and cooperation in economic and other agreed fields would also be resumed.

In order to initiate the process of durable peace, both the governments agreed that Indian and Pakistani forces would be withdrawn to their sides of the international border. The control line between Jammu and Kashmir would be the same as was on December 17, 1971. Both the countries would respect the international border and the withdrawal of the armies would be completed within 30 days of the implementation of the agreement.

Leaders of both the countries agreed at Simla to meet again at a mutually agreed time so that representatives of both the countries could discuss more arrangements for durable peace, including matters relating to prisoners of war, local prisoners, final settlement of Jammu and Kashmir dispute and diplomatic relations. As a consequence of the clauses pertaining to the withdrawal of forces, Indian troops withdrew from the 5,139 sq. miles of Pakistani territory in Punjab and Sindh it had occupied during the war. Similarly, Pakistani troops withdrew from 69 sq. miles of territory in Punjab and Rajasthan. In Kashmir, India retained 480 sq. miles and Pakistan 52 sq. miles.

Pakistan ratified the Simla Agreement on July 15 and India on August 3, after which the agreement came into effect on August 4, 1972.

The Constitution of 1973

The Bhutto Government’s first achievement was the preparation of a Constitution for the country. The most prominent characteristic of this Constitution was that it accommodated proposals from the opposition parties and hence almost all the major political parties of the country accepted it. The National Assembly approved the 1973 Constitution on April 10, 1973, and it came into effect on August 14. Bhutto took over as the Prime Minister of Pakistan from this date and Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry was appointed as the President of Pakistan.
The Constitution of 1973 opens with a Preamble. This is the preliminary part of the Constitution in which broad features of the Constitution have been explained. The first Article of the Constitution declares Pakistan as a Federal Republic to be known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Islam was declared as the State religion of Pakistan. Pakistan was to be a Federation of four federating Units, Punjab, Sindh, N. W. F. P. and Baluchistan.
The Constitution was parliamentary in nature. Article 41 of the Constitution lay down that the President was to be the Head of the State. The President was to be a Muslim above 45 years of age and was to be elected by a joint sitting of members of the Parliament for 5 years. He could be re-elected but could not hold office for more than two terms. The President was to act on the advice of the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The President could be removed on the grounds of physical or mental incapacity or impeached on charges of violating the Constitution or gross misconduct. The President was authorized to appoint the Attorney General, Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts, and the Chief Election Commissioners. In the Provincial Government, each province was to have a Governor appointed by the President. The appointment of Federal Ministers and Ministers of the State from amongst the members of the Parliament was at the Prime Minister’s disposal.
The 1973 Constitution set up a bicameral legislature at the Center consisting of two Houses, the National Assembly and the Senate. The National Assembly consisted of 200 seats elected directly for duration of five years. The President on the advice of the Prime Minister could dissolve the National Assembly. The Senate was to consist of 63 members; each province was to elect 14 members. In the Provincial Government, each province will have a Governor appointed by the President. The Provincial Assembly for each province consisted of 240 seats for the Punjab, 100 seats for Sindh, 80 seats for N. W. F. P., and 40 seats for Baluchistan.
The 1973 Constitution provided a free and independent Judiciary. The Constitution guaranteed a right to the citizens; to be protected by law, and imposed two duties on them, loyalty to the Republic and obedience to the law. Any person who was found to abrogate or attempt or conspire to abrogate or subvert the Constitution was to be treated guilty of high treason. The Constitution conferred several kinds of fundamental rights to the people such as the right to life, liberty, equality and freedom of speech, trade and association. The Constitution also declared the laws inconsistent with or in derogatory to fundamental rights as null and void.
In light of the previous experience, the Constitution of 1973 was more Islamic in character than the previous ones. Emphasis was made to establish a real Islamic system in all aspects of social life. Keeping this objective in mind, more Islamic provisions were laid down in the Constitution of 1973. The Constitution recognized Islam as the religion of the country and enjoined upon the State to serve the cause of Islam and to bring all existing laws in conformity with Islam. The Islamic Advisory Council was set up to recommend ways and means to bring existing laws of the country in conformity with the Islamic principles.
The Constitution of 1973 remained in force for nearly four years. It was, however, suspended by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who imposed Martial Law in the country on July 5, 1979. However, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq who ran the country with Martial Law passed the Eighth Amendment in the Constitution in 1985. This Amendment empowered the President to dissolve the National Assembly under Article 58(2) b. This Article was later repealed by the Parliament during Nawaz Sharif’s era through Thirteenth Amendment introduced on April 1, 1997. The Thirteenth Amendment was in turn repealed by the Legal Framework Order of 2002, which effectively restored the discretionary powers of the President enacted by the Eighth Amendment.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto becomes Prime Minister [1973]

After the promulgation of the 1973 Constitution, the elections for the President, Prime Minister, Chairman of Senate, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly were to be undertaken. The 1973 Constitution had adopted a federal parliamentary system for the country in which the President was only a figurehead and the real power lay with the Prime Minister.
Z. A. Bhutto was sworn in as the Prime Minister of the country on August 14, 1973, after he had secured 108 votes in a house of 146 members. Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry was elected as the President under the new Constitution.
During his period, six amendments were carried out in the 1973 Constitution. The First Amendment led to Pakistan’s recognition of Bangladesh. The Second Amendment in the constitution declared the Ahmadis as non-Muslims. The rights of the detained were limited under the Third Amendment while the powers and jurisdiction of the courts for providing relief to political opponents were curtailed under the Fourth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment passed on September 15, 1976, focused on curtailing the power and jurisdiction of the Judiciary. This amendment was highly criticized by lawyers and political leaders. The main provision of the Sixth Amendment extended the term of the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court and the High Courts beyond the age of retirement. This Amendment was made in the Constitution to favor the then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who was supposed to be a friend of Bhutto.

The Bhutto Government carried out a number of reforms in the industrial sector. His reforms were twofold; nationalization, and the improvement of workers’ rights. In the first phase, basic industries like steel, chemical and cement were nationalized. This was done in 1972. The next major step in nationalization took place on January 1, 1974, when Bhutto nationalized all banks. The last step in the series was the most shocking; it was the nationalization of all flour, rice and cotton mills throughout the country.
This nationalization process was not as successful as Bhutto expected. Most of the nationalized units were small businesses that could not be described as industrial units, hence making no sense for the step that was taken. Consequently, a considerable number of small businessmen and traders were ruined, displaced or rendered unemployed.
In the concluding analysis, nationalization caused colossal loss not only to the national treasury but also to the people of Pakistan. During his period as the Prime Minister, a number of land reforms were also introduced. The important land reforms included the reduction of land ceilings and introducing the security of tenancy to tenant farmers. The land ceiling was fixed to 150 acres of irrigated land and 300 acres of non-irrigated land. Another step that Bhutto took was to democratize Pakistan’s Civil Service.

Fazal Ilahi becomes President [1973]

After the promulgation of the 1973 Constitution, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was sworn in as the Prime Minister of the country, and Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry became the President of Pakistan, on August 14, 1973, for a term of five years. Fazal Ilahi was a mere figurehead since all power and authority rested with the Prime Minister. He was allowed to continue as the President of Pakistan till 1978, although the army took over the reigns of power in July, 1977. He was relinquished from the office at his own request on September 16, 1978.
General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was sworn in as the next President of Pakistan, in addition to being the Chief Martial Law Administrator and the Chief of Army Staff.

General Elections 1977

According to the original schedule, the second general elections in the history of Pakistan, and the first after the dismemberment of the country, were to be held in the second half of 1977. However, on January 7, 1977, Bhutto announced that the elections would be held earlier. On January 10, Justice Sajjad Ahmad Jan, Chief Election Commissioner, announced the election schedule and declared January 19 and 22 as the last date for receipt of nominations for National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies, respectively. To many, the idea was not to give sufficient time to the opposition in order to make decisions and arrangements for the forthcoming elections. Election symbols were allocated to all the political parties. The total registered voters in the country were 30,899,052. Two hundred and fifty five Returning Officers were appointed for the National Assembly elections by the Election Commission.
Immediately after the announcement, Bhutto started his election campaign. The first step he took was the allocation of tickets to his party men. Unlike the 1970 elections, when Pakistan Peoples Party mainly banked on socialistic slogans, this time Bhutto also relied on political heavyweights. A number of feudal lords and other influential persons were allocated party tickets. Bhutto himself held public meetings all over the country, and to get further support from the common man, he announced labor reforms on January 4, and a second set of land reforms on January 5. The attendance in the public meetings was amazing in all parts of the country, especially in interior Sindh and Punjab. The opposition blamed Bhutto for using Government machinery in running his election campaign.
The biggest problem for Bhutto and his Pakistan Peoples Party was that nine important parties of the opposition had joined hands and formed an alliance, named as Pakistan National Alliance. P. N. A. decided to contest the elections under one election symbol “plough” and a green flag with nine stars as its ensign. Throughout their election campaign, instead of giving their own agenda, P. N. A. leadership mainly concentrated on echoing the alleged misdeeds of Bhutto’s Government, corruption, mismanagement of national wealth, heavy expenditures on administration and disastrous economic policies evidenced by inflation. The P. N. A. leaders also exploited the deteriorating law and order situation and misuse of law enforcing agencies against the political opponents. They claimed that the fundamental rights had been curtailed during Bhutto’s era.
P. N. A. managed to exploit anti-Bhutto sentiments among a huge section of masses and thus their election campaign received an unexpectedly positive response. Their claim, that their manifesto was Quran, also helped them in winning over a sizable number of voters from all over Pakistan. The attendance in P. N. A. public meetings and rallies was at times unexpected, even for the Alliance leadership itself.
Finally the elections were held on March 7 in which Pakistan Peoples Party managed to win 155 out of 200 seats in the National Assembly. The results of the elections astonished political pundits both inside and outside Pakistan. Pakistan National Alliance was only able to win 36 National Assembly seats. To add insult to injury, the Alliance could only win 8 out of 116 seats of the National Assembly from Punjab, and failed to win even a single seat from Lahore and Rawalpindi, cities in which they had organized big public gatherings and processions.
Pakistan National Alliance leaders protested that there had been a systematic rigging of election results to defeat them. At many places, particularly where the P. N. A. candidates were strong, the polling was alleged to have been blocked for hours. There were also reports that P. P. P. armed personnel in police uniform removed ballot boxes. Marked ballot papers were also found on the streets in Karachi and Lahore. Rumors quickly circulated that the results in key constituencies were issued directly from the Prime Minister’s office. P. N. A. boycotted the provincial elections. P. P. P. resorted to bogus voting merely to prove that voters had come to cast their ballot. Overall P. P. P. gained 99 percent seats. The voting figures showing the success of the P. P. P. candidates often surpassed the actual number that turned up for voting.
At last Martial Law was imposed by Zia-ul-Haq who appointed a committee to inquire into the alleged rigging of the National Assembly polls. This committee was reported to have found a blueprint of the plan of rigging from the Prime Minister House. The inquiry committee alleged that Bhutto had prepared this plan as early as April 1976, under the title of “A Model Election Plan”, later known as the “Larkana Plan”. In an interview to Associated Press of Pakistan, Sajjad Ahmad Jan, the Chief Election Commissioner admitted that the failure of the electoral process was by and large due to the candidates of the ruling party, who exploited their position and party machinery and thus destroyed the sanctity of the ballot box.

Ouster of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

Ever since Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto took over the responsibilities of governance, there was a strong group in the country that was not ready to accept him. They considered him as one of the players who were involved in the dismemberment of Pakistan. This hatred was further enhanced by the authoritarian style of his governance. His policy of suppressing the opposition and interference in the affairs of the Provinces proved to be the major factor for the unity of the rightist and the leftist political parties against him. As early as March 1973, opposition parties in the National Assembly set a common platform, called United Democratic Front, to counter the anti-opposition steps of Bhutto’s Government. However, the opposition emerged as a significant force against Bhutto at the macro level for the first time when elections were announced in January 1977. The opposition decided to join hands against Bhutto and contest the election from a common platform, the Pakistan National Alliance.
Formation of P. N. A. proved to be the beginning of the decline of Bhutto. During the elections, the Establishment showed its biased attitude towards P. N. A. which made the Alliance even more popular among the masses. Most of the public meetings of P. N. A., especially in the big cities like Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi, were immensely successful. Yet the result of March 7 elections astonished everyone as P. P. P. swept the polls and P. N. A. was only able to win 36 seats in the National Assembly. P. N. A. leadership did not accept the results and accused the Government of systematic rigging. P. N. A. Executive Council decided to boycott the Provincial Assemblies’ polls and demanded for immediate resignation of Bhutto, replacement of the Chief Election Commissioner, and fresh election of National Assembly seats under the supervision of Judiciary and the Army.
When Bhutto refused to accept the demands of P. N. A., leadership of the Alliance decided to bring the people onto the streets, to break law deliberately, and to confront the police and the security forces. P. N. A. leaders called upon the people to stage countrywide strikes and organize protest marches. The followers fully responded to the call and a full-fledged political movement started. The business community wholeheartedly joined Alliance. P. N. A. used mosques to stimulate the masses and tried to create an impression that they were only working for the enforcement of Nizam-i-Mustafa. They criticized the socialistic attitude of Bhutto and alleged that he had lost his faith in Islam. The ulema whipped up emotions for a Jihad to save Islam, which they thought was in danger from an evil regime. The bar associations across the country also began to register their strong protest against the electoral fraud and denounced the post-election policy of repression.
Initially Bhutto put a deaf ear to the demands of P. N. A. and debunked opposition’s charges that his landslide victory was a result of rigging. He used police and F. S. F. against Alliance’s activities and its top leadership was arrested and put behind the bars. Martial Law was enforced in three main cities of Karachi, Lahore and Hyderabad. Curfew was imposed in the rest of the big cities of the country and Army was called to maintain law and order.
However, the intensity of the situation made Bhutto realize that it was not possible to suppress the movement by force. In the beginning of May, Bhutto changed his policy and started to explore the option of a dialog. Some P. N. A. leaders were released and brought to Sihala for negotiations in the first week of June. Bhutto showed his willingness to hold elections in November 1977, and offered five ministries to the P. N. A. candidates during the interim period. But P. N. A. team insisted on 50 percent representation in the Cabinet and demanded elections before August 14. Bhutto eventually accepted almost all the demands of P. N. A. and the stage was set for a compromise. Signing of the agreement was held in abeyance as he went abroad for a tour of Saudi Arabia, Libya, U. A. E., Kuwait and Iran. His tour was termed as dilatory tactics and again there seemed to be a deadlock.
It was in these conditions that Chief of the Army Staff, General Zia-ul-Haq, imposed Martial Law in the country on July 5, 1977, and sent Bhutto behind the bars. General Zia said, “Had an agreement reached between the opposition and the Government, I would certainly never have done what I did”.

Martial Law under General Zia-ul-Haq [1977-1985]

Elections were held on March 7, 1977. The Pakistan Peoples Party won these elections, but was accused by their opponents, Pakistan National Alliance, of rigging the elections. On March 14, 1977, the Alliance started a series of nationwide protests. Talks between the Alliance and Bhutto government were held in June 1977 and an agreement was reached, but it could not be implemented.
Fresh elections were announced for October 15, 1977. But on July 5, 1977, the Chief of Army Staff, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, imposed Martial Law and the elections were postponed. General Zia-ul-Haq announced holding of elections within 90 days.
A conference of political leaders was held in February 1978, but a year later, in 1979, General Zia-ul-Haq declared political parties to be defunct and certain political leaders were disqualified.
Under General Zia’s Martial Law, there was steady economic growth favoring the private sector, and efforts were made to Islamize the political, legal and economic structures. Pakistan gained the status of Most Favored Nation from the United States following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979. Vast amounts of military equipment and aid were donated to Pakistan to help the four million Afghan refugees who crossed into Baluchistan and North West Frontier Province.
On February 6, 1981, Movement for Restoration of Democracy was established to return democracy to Pakistan. A provisional Constitution was enforced on March 23, 1981, as the Constitution of 1973 had been suspended with the imposition of Martial Law.
Finally, after the nomination of Muhammad Khan Junejo as Prime Minister of Pakistan on March 20, 1985, Junejo fulfilled his promise of lifting the Martial Law and the restoration of the fundamental rights, but at the price of enforcement of the Eighth Amendment and the validation of the Revival of the Constitutional Order.

Referendum 1984

General Zia wanted to establish a pseudo-democracy in Pakistan, with a continuation of him as President under a civilian setup. Zia took a number of steps in this direction; the first was the establishment of the Majlis-i-Shoora. The Majlis-i-Shoora was to take the place of the National Assembly, but was to be without any legislative powers. General Zia’s second step was to ask the public to endorse his rule. This appeal was in the form of a referendum, which was so worded that a “Yes” meant that Zia himself would be further endorsed, even though the referendum did not refer to this directly. The Referendum Order 1984 put forward a complex question to the citizens, but in essence, seeking endorsement of the process of Islamization initiated by General Zia.

The question read as follows:
“Whether the people of Pakistan endorse the process initiated by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, the President of Pakistan, for bringing the laws of Pakistan in conformity with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and for the preservation of the Islamic ideology of Pakistan, for the continuation and consolidation of that process, and for the smooth and orderly transfer of power to the elected representatives of the people.”
The question was, by all standards, a very complicated and complex one, particularly for the uneducated rural class. It was a loaded question that simply asked, “Do you wish Pakistan to be an Islamic state?” An affirmative vote in the referendum was to result in a five-year term for Zia as President of Pakistan.

The referendum was held on December 19, 1984. The Movement for the Restoration of Democracy boycotted the elections. The results of this referendum showed the people voted in favor of Zia, though the M. R. D. claimed that a very small percentage of people actually showed up to vote. Zia rejected this claim and declared that he had been given public support to continue as President of Pakistan for the next five years

As a result of the referendum, the Chief Martial Law Administrator General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq became the President of Pakistan. After the referendum, General Zia announced that the elections for the National and Provincial Assemblies would be held in February 1985, on a non-party basis.

General Elections, February 1985

After the 1984 referendum, General Zia announced elections of the National and Provincial Assemblies in February 1985. The elections were to be held on a non-party basis, which was legalized through an amendment to the 1973 Constitution. Each candidate had to be supported by at least 50 people to be able to contest in the elections. In a nationwide speech on January 12, 1985, General Zia also announced various other conditions for the elections. Amendments were made in the Political Parties Act of 1962. These amendments affected all political parties. The opposition parties, M. R. D., boycotted the elections, as their demands for party-based elections and restoration of the 1973 Constitution were not met.
The elections for the National and Provincial Assemblies were held in 1985 on February 25 and 28, respectively. The successful boycott of the 1984 referendum caused the M. R. D. to miscalculate their next step. Being confident of public opinion, they boycotted these elections as well. Contrary to expectations, the voters turned to the polls in large numbers. Surprisingly, many political leaders, including former Members of National and Provincial Assemblies, and Advisors, who had seemed popular in their appeals, could not win from their constituencies. The people elected many new faces. The M. R. D. soon realized that it had miscalculated badly, that it should have fought the elections on Zia’s terms. An alternative leadership was in place with many of the old political leaders routed out.
The general elections to the National and Provincial Assemblies were held peacefully and with a large participation of the people. Total voter turnout for the National Assembly was 53.69 percent. In the Provincial Assemblies elections, where the constituencies were smaller and the contest harder, the turnout of the voters was even better. It was 57.37 percent nationwide. The newly elected National Assembly was to replace the Majlis-i-Shoora and was to have legislative powers as well. Muhammad Khan Junejo was appointed as the Prime Minister and he formed the government. It was this newly elected Assembly that set the tone for later years by incorporating the controversial Eighth Amendment in the Constitution of Pakistan.

Islamization Under General Zia-ul-Haq

When General Zia-ul-Haq took over as the Chief Martial Law Administrator on July 5, 1977, Islamization was given a new boost. General Zia-ul-Haq was a practicing Muslim who raised the slogan of Islam. The Islamic sentiment has always been fully alive in Pakistan. Various governments have used this to their benefit. There are people who doubt Zia’s reasons for raising the Islamic slogan; whether it was for political purposes to counter balance Bhutto’s appeal or was it to enforce Islam in its true sense.
In his first address to the nation, he declared that Islamic laws would be enforced and that earnest attention would be devoted towards establishing the Islamic society for which Pakistan had been created. General Zia wanted to bring the legal, social, economic and political institutions of the country in conformity with the Islamic principles, values and traditions in the light of Quran and Sunnah, to enable the people of Pakistan to lead their lives in accordance to Islam.
The Government of Zia-ul-Haq took a number of steps to eradicate non-Islamic practices from the country. He introduced the Zakat, Ushr, Islamic Hadood and Penal Code in the country. The Government invited eminent scholars to compile laws about Islamic financing. The Zakat and Ushr Ordinance to Islamize the economic system was promulgated on June 20, 1980. It covered only Islamic organizations, associations and institutions. Zakat was to be deducted from bank accounts of Muslims at the rate of 2.5 percent annually above the balance of Rupees 3,000. Ushr was levied on the yield of agricultural land in cash or kind at the rate of 10 percent of the agricultural yield, annually.
The Government appointed Central, Provincial, District and Tehsil Zakat Committees to distribute Zakat funds to the needy, poor, orphans and widows. Shias were exempted from Zakat deduction from their accounts due to their own religious beliefs. The Zakat was to be deducted by banks on the first day of Ramazan.
A Federal Shariah Court was established to decide cases according to the teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah. Appeals against the Lower and High Courts were to be presented before the Shariah Court for hearing. Blasphemy of the Holy Prophet (S. A. W.) would now be punishable by death instead of life imprisonment.
Zia-ul-Haq selected his Majlis-i-Shoora in 1980. It was to be the Islamic Parliament and act as the Parliament of Pakistan in place of the National Assembly. Most of the members of the Shoora were intellectuals, scholars, ulema, journalists, economists and professionals belonging to different fields of life. The Shoora was to act as a board of advisors for the President.
A number of other Islamization programs were carried out including the teaching of Islamic Studies and Arabic, which were made compulsory. Pakistan Studies and Islamic Studies were made compulsorily for B. A., B. Sc., Engineering, M. B. B. S., Commerce, Law and Nursing students. For professional studies, extra marks were given to people who were Hafiz-e-Quran. The first Ombudsman was appointed to rectify the misadministration of the Federal Government, officials and agencies.
A Shariah Council consisting of ulema was established to look into the constitutional and legal matters of the State in order to bring them in line with Islamic thought. Since Islam does not allow interest, On January 1, 1980, Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq introduced a “Profit and Loss Sharing System” according to which an account holder was to share the loss and profit of the bank. The media was also targeted. Television especially was brought under the Islamization campaign, news in Arabic were to be read on both television and radio, female anchor persons were required to cover their heads, the Azan was relayed regularly on radio and television to announce time for prayers.
In the armed forces, the status of the religious teachers was raised to that of a Commissioned Officer. This was done to attract highly qualified individuals from the universities and religious institution to serve on such assignments.
As the government grew further in its Islamic leanings, the numbers of mosques were increased. Ordinance for the sanctity of Ramazan was introduced to pay reverence to the holy month of Ramazan. The Ordinance forbade public drinking and eating during the holy month of Ramazan. A three months imprisonment and a fine of Rupees 500 were imposed for violating the Ordinance. A program to ensure the regularity of prayers called the Nizam-i-Salaat was launched by General Zia himself.
Zia’s Government introduced the Hadood Ordinance for the first time in Pakistan, which meant the punishments ordained by the Holy Quran or Sunnah on the use of liquor, theft, adultery and qazf. Under this Ordinance, a culprit could be sentenced to lashing, life imprisonment and in some cases, death by stoning.
The Islamic laws of Zia also included laws for women. Zia put forward the theory of “Chadar Aur Chaar Devari” and this was to be applied to women. Thus, for the first time, a woman could be flogged for adultery. If a rape was reported, four witnesses were to be provided otherwise, legally, the rape could be termed adultery. Another law, The Law of Evidence, under the Shariah laws proposed that the testimony of a woman was not equal to that of a man. In legal matters, two women would have to stand witness against the testimony of one man. The status of women was thus arbitrarily cut in half by Zia. There was little consensus amongst Muslim authorities over this law. The lack of consensus among the re1igious authorities combined with countrywide protests forced Zia to hold back on making the Shariah law the law of the country.
General Zia-ul-Haq wanted to make Pakistan the citadel of Islam so that it could play an honorable and prominent role for the Islamic world. The steps taken by General Zia were in this direction and had a long-term impact; the Zakat tax introduced by General Zia still holds and so does many of his the other laws.
The Afghan War Settlement

In 1979, Russian forces invaded Afghanistan. Communism came to the threshold of Pakistan when forces led by Babrak Karmel overthrew the Government of Afghanistan. Some 120,000 Russian troops entered Afghanistan .The Afghan people organized a resistance force against this blatant aggression. The Soviet forces suffered greatly in terms of manpower and material, and the Afghan War proved expensive even for a world power like the Soviet Union.
It has always been said about Afghanistan that it can be invaded and occupied easily but it is very difficult to hold and control it. Afghans have a history of resisting foreign invaders. The British imperial power failed in all three attempts to occupy and control Afghanistan. The Soviets were to learn the same lesson. In the beginning, the Soviet army was successful in occupying and controlling Afghanistan.
General Zia stood against the spread of communism. He reiterated his solution to the Afghanistan crisis in 1983 in New Delhi. He said that Pakistan has given political asylum to millions of Afghans. He demanded the expulsion of Russian forces from Afghanistan. America responded to the call of Pakistan and flooded Pakistan with monetary help to finance the anti-communist regime in Afghanistan and to equip the freedom fighters. The freedom fighters, the mujahideen, put forward a strong resistance to the Russian invasion. Although the Afghans suffered enormous causalities in the beginning of the war but the turning point in the war came when the U. S. supplied them with surface-to-air Stinger missiles.
General Zia’s gamble in resisting the Russian invasion in Afghanistan paid him huge dividends. On the domestic front his policy of Islamization became more relevant as it was seen that in the neighboring Afghanistan, Islam was in danger. As Pakistan was a frontline state, huge amounts of money, military equipment and aid arrived in Pakistan. The huge amounts of aid that poured in propped up Zia’s government. With the Afghan problem, a new phase of modernization of the military began. The arms provided to Afghanistan freedom fighters were also provided to the Pakistan Army. As a result the Pakistan Army became better equipped.
Other than the problems faced due to the Afghan War efforts, the Soviet Empire was breaking apart at the seams. This led the Soviets to seek peace in Afghanistan. Negotiations on Afghanistan were carried out under Zia’s Government, and the Geneva Accord was signed on April 14, 1988, under which the Soviet Union agreed to withdraw its forces in two installments .The Soviet Government lived up to its commitment of withdrawal of forces according to the agreed timetable.
The victory in Afghanistan was achieved at a great cost to Pakistan. It had to look after and feed more than three million Afghan refugees that had crossed over to Pakistan. The refugees were a great economic burden on Pakistan. Not only this but, they also caused the problem of drugs and gunrunning in the country.
Long after the Soviet forces had left Afghanistan, fighting continued between the various factions of the mujahideen. With the emergence of the Taliban, Pakistan found itself an ally in Afghanistan that enforced peace and virtually eliminated the drug cultivation. After the September 11 tragedy of 2001, world attention again focused on Afghanistan as they considered it as training grounds of terrorists responsible for the tragedy. The Talibans were removed by power and a U. S. led coalition installed an interim government in Afghanistan, which till today keeps a fragile peace in the country. Meanwhile Pakistan continues to suffer numerous problems from the legacy of the Afghan War such as refugees, drugs, guns, crime, and terrorism.

Muhammad Khan Junejo Becomes Prime Minister [1985-88]

After the Presidential referendum of December 1984, elections for the National and Provincial Assemblies were held in February 1985 on a non-party basis. President Zia-ul-Haq nominated Muhammad Khan Junejo as the Prime Minister of Pakistan on March 20, 1985.
On being nominated, Muhammad Khan Junejo promised the nation that he would lift the Martial Law and restore a civilian government as soon as possible. Junejo’s position was weak and vulnerable under the constitutional amendments made by Zia, which made the position of the President paramount and that of the Prime Minister subordinate. Despite his weak position, Junejo, after being sworn in as the Prime Minister, carried out his promise of lifting the Martial Law and the restoration of fundamental rights, but at the price of the Eight Amendment and validating the Revival of the Constitutional Order.
Muhammad Khan Junejo introduced a five-point program in December 1985. The program was multidimensional in nature. The main objectives were to induct a new and progressive civilian order, establish institutions of social justice, introduce an egalitarian economy, increase employment opportunities, strike hard at corruption and other social evils, liberate at least 50 percent of the people from illiteracy, and to start socio-economic development of the country.
After the lifting of Martial Law, Junejo tried to take a course independent of Zia. He annoyed military generals by withdrawing big staff cars from them and replacing them with small cars. He tried to conduct an independent foreign policy, particularly on Afghanistan, by taking into confidence and consulting leaders of political parties, including Benazir Bhutto, the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party. His government even tried to probe into the military fiasco at the Ojheri Camp near Islamabad on April 10, 1988, which resulted in the death and serious injuries to a large number of civilians. This probe perhaps became the immediate cause for the dismissal of his government.
Junejo’s regime met its sudden and unexpected end while he was returning from a visit to South Korea on May 29, 1988. General Zia dismissed Junejo’s Government using the controversial rule under Article 58(2) b of the Constitution. According to General Zia, Junejo’s Government had been dismissed because the law and order situation had broken down to an alarming extent and the government could not be run in accordance with the Constitution. Not only were the Junejo Government dismissed, but also were the Federal and Provincial Assemblies and the Provincial Cabinets and their Chief Ministers. General Zia installed a new caretaker government in the Center and Provinces. Fresh elections were promised after 90 days but were eventually held on November 16, 1988, three months after Zia’s death in a plane crash.
Although Junejo had no claim to power on his own, as Zia had appointed him Prime Minister, but his performance was commendable. With limited options, he did what was possible for him. He restored the fundamental rights of citizens under the Constitution that had been denied to them for a very long time. He tried to put the country on the course of development and some progress was made, particularly in the area of construction of roads in rural areas and the electrification of villages. He was honest, polite and had a low-key political personality, traits which are not easy to find in political leaders of today.

Historic 8th Amendment is passed [1985]

The 1973 Constitution of Pakistan envisaged a Parliamentary System of government, with the balance of power tilted towards the Prime Minister. The President could not exercise his powers without the concurrence of the Prime Minister. The Eight Constitutional Amendment, however, altered the form of the Constitution drastically. Passed by the Senate on November 14, 1985, the Eight Amendment affected almost 19 clauses of the Constitution and brought the office of the President of Pakistan almost at par with that of the Prime Minister.
The President was given the right to nominate the Prime Minister, Governors of the provinces, and Judges of the High Court and Supreme Court, including the Chief Justice. Democratically elected Prime Minister thus became subservient to the President.
Though the President was to act on the advice of the Prime Minister, he had the power to be informed about the decisions relating to the administrative affairs of the federation and proposals of legislation. The President could ask the Prime Minister to get a vote of confidence from the Assembly, issue ordinances, set dates for the elections for the National Assembly and appoint caretaker government. The President had the power of appointing service chiefs and other important federal officers. He could also call a referendum on an issue of great national importance.
However, the most controversial power awarded to the office of the President was under the Article 58(2) b, which was the power of dissolution of the National Assembly at his own discretion.
According to the proponents of this clause, post-constitutional deadlocks in the country had shown the necessity to vest authority in the President so that in case of a political crisis, the Assembly could be dissolved and new elections could be held and Martial Law could be avoided. The Article 58(2) b changed the entire complexion of the Constitution. The Constitution was transformed from a Parliamentary System into a Presidential one. This Amendment was like the proverbial Sword of Damocles for the successive governments. After the passing of Article 58(2) b, the National Assemblies were dissolved on four occasions using its powers. The dissolution of the Assembly by President Zia-ul-Haq in 1988, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in 1990 and in 1993, and President Farooq Leghari in 1996 are subject to a lot of speculation.
Other clauses amended by the Eight Amendment dealt with the office of the Prime Minister, Senate, and Governors. Article 51 increased the number of the National Assembly seats from 200 to 207. The number of the Senate seats was increased from 63 to 87 under Article 59. The Eight Amendment also indemnified the entire President’s Orders, Ordinances, Martial Law Regulations and Martial Law Orders, including the Referendum Orders made between July 5, 1977, and September 13, 1985.
The Eighth Amendment is considered as a landmark in the constitutional history of Pakistan. It not only altered the very form of the Constitution from purely Parliamentary to semi-Presidential, but also changed the constitutional and political history of the country.

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