Pakistan. In the February election, Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif's branch of the Pakistan Muslim League, Pakistan
Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), received 134 of the 204 seats
in the National Assembly. The vast majority gave Sharif the
opportunity to abolish a constitutional amendment that gave
the president the right to dismiss the government and
dissolve parliament. Sharif also passed a constitutional
amendment on mandatory party loyalty in Parliament. The law
was intended to put an end to voting but was criticized for
stifling independent thinking.
Countryaah, Pakistan People's Party, Pakistan People's Party (PPP),
led by former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, got just 18
seats in the National Assembly. The setbacks continued when
Swiss bank accounts belonging to the Bhutto family were
blocked at the request of the new government. The accounts
were believed to contain about SEK 100 million. Bhutto's
husband Asif Ali Zardari and 18 others were brought to
justice, charged with the murder of Bhutto's brother Murtaza
in 1996; the brother was a political opponent of Benazir
Riots between Sunni and Shiite groups in Punjab demanded
more than 150 lives. The government's response to the
violence became an anti-terrorist law that gives the police
Government debt rose to more than SEK 200 billion and in
October corresponded to 89.5% of GDP. At the same time, the
growth rate slowed. The rupee lost value by about 13% during
In the fall, a political crisis came in the autumn,
triggered by the Supreme Court's (HD) decision to annul the
government's constitutional changes and prosecution against
Sharif for derogatory statements about the court. For two
months there was a power struggle between the Prime
Minister, the President and the HD Chairman, which ended
with the resignation of President Farooq Ahmed Leghari in
December and the HD chairman being dismissed by his own
judges. The struggle was considered to have caused great
damage to the democratic institutions and reduced the
world's confidence in the country. Senator Muhammad Rafiq
Tarar of PML-N was elected as the new president on the last
day of the year.
1977 The Zia ul-Haq dictatorship
In light of the rising unrest, the military with Zia
ul-Haq at the head of July 1977 took over for the third time
power and introduced a state of emergency. Bhutto was thrown
in jail and later on trial charged with murder of one of the
opposition leaders and sentenced to death. The verdict was
upheld by the Supreme Court in 78 and in 79 he was killed.
General Zia ul-Haq had thus removed the greatest political
threat to his dictatorship.
Zia accelerated Islamization in all parts of political
and social life. Many members of the opposition were
persecuted and detained. In February 85 elections were held.
The state of emergency was still in force and no political
parties were allowed to participate. A government was formed
to support the Zia dictatorship. This one died even in an
unresolved plane crash in August 88. Three months later,
elections won by the PPP under the leadership of Benazir
Bhutto - the daughter of the deceased president - were held.
After 11 years of dictatorship, Pakistan returned to
1988 Return to democracy
Bhutto was the first woman to lead a predominantly Muslim
country. One of her first actions was to provide amnesty to
all female prisoners - except those convicted of murder.
Many of these were condemned by the reactionary laws that
were passed under the dictatorship. held that a man's
testimony should be given more weight than a woman's. Zia
has implemented numerous laws as additions to the
Constitution. To have them removed, it required a two-thirds
majority, which was really not possible.
In Pakistan, the army has traditionally had great power.
The country was incorporated in 1954 in SEATO (South East
Asia Treaty Organization) and in 55 in CENTO (Central Treaty
Organization). Both strong military alliances formed and led
by the United States. Although the country later withdrew
from the alliances, close military and political ties with
the United States were maintained.
The difficult relationship with the neighbors
Relations with India have traditionally been tense. Both
countries claim the state of Kashmir. India views it as an
integral part of the country, while Pakistan has repeatedly
called for a referendum on its future among the state's
inhabitants. The two countries have been at war with each
other in 1948, 1965 and 1971. Following the recent war, the
two countries agreed to create a demilitarized zone on both
sides of borders dividing Kashmir. However, the division
also involved a division of the population. Since then,
nationalist groups from Kashmir have demanded the
establishment of an independent state in the area.
Pakistan strongly condemned the Soviet invasion of
Afghanistan, launched in December 79. In the mid-90s, around
3 million Afghan refugees lived in Pakistan, who, with the
assistance of the CIA, supported the Mujahidins -
Afghan oppositionists - in their fight against the
prosperous regime in Kabul. During the 11 years of Soviet
occupation of Afghanistan, the United States from Pakistani
territory provided the resistance movement in Afghanistan.
The US loss of Iran as a strategic ally in 79 and Pakistan's
strategic position against Afghanistan and the Soviet caused
Pakistan to assume a strategic role as US allies in the
region, and in addition to military assistance, it also
provided extensive financial assistance to the country.
On August 6, 90, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan deposed
Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on charges of nepotism and
corruption. He dissolved the National Assembly and appointed
opposition leader Ghulam Mustafá Jatoi to head a temporary
government. On October 24, new elections were held, and as a
result, Nawaz Sharif was elected new Prime Minister with
support from the Muslim League - the most important party in
the coalition facing Bhutto. The PPP and Benazir Bhutto
characterized the election as characterized by widespread
scams and launched an intense opposition campaign.
When the Gulf conflict erupted after Iraq's invasion of
Kuwait in August 90, Pakistan allied with the United States
and sent troops to Saudi Arabia. But polls in Pakistan
revealed widespread sympathy for Iraq in the population, and
the government was therefore forced to declare that the
troops would not be sent to fight Iraq but only in defense
of the Islamic shrines.