The Political Process In Pakistan

By: Hadley Hart

Having gained their independence in 1947, Pakistan is now an independent, islamic nation. The role of Islam in Pakastini politics has consistently been challenged by the argument that having a theocracy risks the destruction of unity within the country, as not all citizens abide by the same religion. Although it is controversial, Islam remains at the center of Pakistani culture and politics.

Due to the controversial nature of a theocratic government, a number of political parties have since been formed to voice their opinions and gain supporters. In 1906, the Muslim League, a political group that advocated for Pakistan’s independence from British India under Mohammed Ali Jinnah, was founded; the goal of this league was to create a muslim majority nation. Only 38 years later, the league proved itself successful and Pakistan became independent. In 1962, after the military took complete control of the government, The Muslim League split into two parties, the Conventionist Pakistan Muslim League and the Council Muslim League, both of which supported the military’s reign. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), was later formed by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1968 and works with leftists who believe Pakistan needs to be modernized as a secular state, where religion is ultimately separated from politics. In the 1970 election, this party won over the majority of West Pakistan voters, leaving Bhutto to form a government. However, the military frequently seized the PPP’s power between 1977 and 2008, causing the The Pakistan People’s Party to join a civilian coalition government in order to obtain power over their sphere of influence. Furthermore, yet another prominent political party that arose during the mid 1900s was the The Islamic Assembly, formed in 1941 by Abū al-Aʿlā Mawdūdī, with the goal of reforming society with religion; the Islamic Assembly gained much support particularly from the lower-middle class, and almost directly contradicted the PPP’s beliefs.

Present day Pakistan remains an Islamic state, governed by a parliamentary republic with Arif Alvi as president. Since the early 1900s Pakistini civilians have expressed support towards numerous political parties, all with different religious hopes and views of what Pakistan should be.


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