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Illusive Potential- History, Problems and Solutions within the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

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Illusive Potential- History, Problems and Solutions within the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Umair J. Malik 250328917 Dr. Salim Mansur Advanced Political Science March 23rd, 2010 Malik 2 It is quite unfortunate that an area such as the Subcontinent has become more renowned for aspects such as the continuous rivalry between Pakistan and India, particularly concerning the province of Kashmir and the fear of terrorist acquiring nuclear weapons vis a vis Pakistan, than for its immense history and
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    Illusive Potential- History, Problems and Solutions within theIslamic Republic of Pakistan Umair J. Malik 250328917Dr. Salim Mansur Advanced Political ScienceMarch 23 rd , 2010  Malik 2 It is quite unfortunate that an area such as the Subcontinent has become morerenowned for aspects such as the continuous rivalry between Pakistan and India, particularly concerning the province of Kashmir and the fear of terrorist acquiring nuclear weapons vis a vis Pakistan, than for its immense history and beauty. South Asia served asa vital area during the reign of the British Empire and once again one can notice theimmense impact the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has on the international communityconcerning Afghanistan.Though both India and Pakistan no doubt show promise of a bright future (India much more than Pakistan), there are a few issues that must be dealtwith by these nations if they are to ensure themselves a bright future. For one, it isabsolutely necessary that democratic institutions in Pakistan be given more power andfreedom to grow, and ensure that a judicial system oversees it to keep leadersaccountable. The issue of Kashmir must be put on the back burner as it is detrimental toPakistan and also there are greater national security threats such as the Taliban. Creatinga stable economy in Pakistan built on trade agreements will force leaders to understandthat peace initiatives are greatly beneficial to the long term growth of Pakistan. As anarea that is home to over160 million people that neighbours both Afghanistan and China,it is obvious that Pakistan is important to the region. Therefore, it is necessary that theinternational community supports a peace initiative between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of India.In order for this to be accomplished, Pakistan must fixits weak government, empower its judiciary that can ensure the continuity of a healthyform of government and keep powerful leaders accountable to the law.The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has unfortunately been through manytribulationsthrough its short history. A nation built for Indian Muslims in 1947, it has not  Malik 3 lived up to its reputation as a democratic and free nation. The argument that is beingmade is every simple; the Judicial system must be solidified to ensure that democraticleaders are accountable to the people. The unaccountability has been a major excuse thathas been repeatedly been used by military leaders in acquiring power and declaringMarshall law 1 .Political parties and their leaders will be more inclined to set up civilianinstitutions if they are being held accountable for their actions. The Judicial system itself is both a hindrance and an asset to the country, as most leaders have used the SupremeCourt to justify their decisions of imposing undemocratic laws and procedures. Since thesubstitution of Mohammad Khan Junejo in 1985 with Zia- ul-Haq for the position of Prime Minister in congruence with the Supreme Court, the military and the judicialsystem subsequently formed a very close bond 2 .This bond was again quite evident when former Chief of Staff,PervezMusharraf,coordinated a coup d¶etat against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and used the SupremeCourt to justify his actions 3 . The Supreme Court judges and the majority of lawyers havealso been very conservative in Pakistan and have usually agreed to military rule withinthe nation. The military had become a µnecessity¶; most judges have also had no problemremaining silent on the issue 4 .Such a situation changes drastically over night with the sacking of Chief JusticeIftikharChudhrywho according to Tariq Ali continuously annoyed the ISI (IntelligenceAgency in Pakistan). He began to discredit the actions of the American Administration,specifically ordering the release of many Pakistani¶s detained as terrorist without proper  1   Stern, Jessica; Pakistan's Jihad Culture, Foreign Affairs 79, no.6 (2000): 123 2 Bray,John; Pakistan at 50: A State in Decline?, International Affairs 73, no.2 (1997): 316 3 Ibid; 317 4 Tariq Ali, The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power  (New York: Scriber, 2008):13  Malik 4  judicial proceedings 5 .Though the Chief Justice may have attempted to bring sincerechange to the nation, his sacking no doubt brought about more change than even he hadimagined at the time. By assisting the lives of many average citizens and µfulfilling¶ hisrole as a judge, he took on many controversial issues, cases that on severaloccasionsmade the political and military elite look very negative in the public eye. What thisindirectly created was a situation in which the military were forced to act. The military backed Chief Justice and was now partaking in issues that would only further thesolidification of legal statutes.However, these were coming at a cost, a cost that thehigher echelons were unwilling to pay 6 .The government eventually had to reinstate the Chief Justice due to an immense public outcry lead by lawyers. It is interesting to note (ironically) that this is the sameChief Justice that claimed that Musharraf¶s coup d¶état was constitutional and intendedthe safety of the nation. However, once such a government went against the constitution,he no longer could support it. The Judicial system is strong for now in Pakistan, but thismust always remain the case if accountability is to be maintained. The residing issue thatthreatens democracy in Pakistan is the eighth amendment that gives the Presidentextraordinary powers within the parliament. Pakistan¶s 1973 Constitution gave thePresident a ceremonial role very similar to the Indian counterpart, however this changedin 1985, when then dictator Zia-ul-Haq sponsored the Eighth Amendment 7 .Theamendment allows for the sacking of the Prime Minister by the President and also the power to dissolve both national and provincial assemblies. Only by removing such a preposterous amendment, will Pakistanbe able to hold a fully functioning government. 5 Ibid; 16 6 Ibid. 7 Bray, John; Pakistan at 50: A State in Decline?, International Affairs 73, no. No.2 (1997): 317
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