ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: Pakistani Politics.

Editorial from Volume IX, No 39, September 28, 1957. 

Personalities count in the politics of every country. But in Pakistan, politics seem to centre mainly around personalities. This explains the frequent changes in party tactics and the policies of parties. In such circumstances, as is only to be expected, political stability eludes the country. It is tempting to draw a parallel between Pakistan and France. There are some similarities in the underlying conditions in Pakistan and Indonesia. But there are limits beyond which such comparisons are misleading. Even as President Soekarno experiments with “guided democracy”, President Iskander Mirza talks about “controlled democracy”. But the Indonesian President’s policy is based on an ideal, whereas the Pakistani President’s interference with the affairs of the State is solely justified on considerations of that country’s integrity. That is also is the main, if not the only, binding force among parties and politicians in Pakistan.

Yet, experience and developing events make it increasingly evident that Pakistan’s march to progress cannot be ensured on such negative foundations as the country’s integrity, annexation of Kashmir and the ever-present problem of maintaining a precarious balance between the country’s two wings. Instability will haunt that country as long as political parties and personalities waste their time and energy in jockeying for office and position to the neglect of the interests of the people. These reflections are prompted by President Mirza’s rejection of the proposal, passed by the West Pakistan Legislature, for the break-up of West Pakistan into four or more autonomous provinces on a linguistic basis.

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