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POLITICAL CONFLICT IN PAKISTAN
This book is a major reinterpretation of politics in Pakistan. Its focus is conflict among groups, communities, classes, ideologies and institutions, which has shaped the country’s political dynamics. Mohammad Waseem critically examines the theory surrounding the millennium-long conflict between Hindus and Muslims as separate nations who practiced mingled faiths, and the Hindu, Muslim and Sikh renaissances that created a twentieth-century clash of communities and led to partition.
Political Conflict in Pakistan addresses multiple clashes: between the high culture as a mission to transform society, and the low culture of the land and the people; between those committed to the establishment’s institutional constitutional framework and those seeking to dismantle the ‘colonial’ state; between the corrupt and those seeking to hold them to account; between the political class and the middle class; and between civil and military power. The author exposes how the ruling elite centralised power through the militarisation and judicialisation of politics, rendering the federalist arrangement an empty shell and thus grossly alienating the provinces. He sets all this within the contexts of education and media as breeders of conflict, the difficulties of establishing an anti-terrorist regime, and the state’s pragmatic attempts at conflict resolution by seeking to keep the outsiders inside. This is a wide-ranging account of a country of contestations.
THE 1993 ELECTIONS IN PAKISTAN
Studies of elections in Pakistan are few in number. This is not surprising in view of the fact that not many elections at the local, provincial and national levels have been held in the country. Accordingly, few scholars have devoted serious or bipartisan attention to this subject. That vacuum has now been partly filled by Dr Waseem’s pioneering research into the 1993 elections, universally acknowledged as the fairest in Pakistani history.
This book discusses in detail the Moeen Qureshi govern-ment’s electoral mandate, all the major and minor political actors involved in the election campaign and its dynamics from start to finish. This is followed by a rigourous analysis of the provincial and national assembly election results, with particular attention devoted to factors which impinged on the final outcome, such as biradari, rural/urban divide, ethnicity, party organisations, candidate selection, slogans, electioneering style, etc. The dynamics of the formation of the Benazir Bhutto government and the bye-elections are analysed with great objectivity. The book also examines the necessity and possibility of electoral reforms in the post-election period.
The addition of a detailed section of appendices — the controversial 8th amendment to the constitution, manifestos of both the PPP and Muslim League (Nawaz) and statistics about the election results — has made this meticulous and painstaking effort an absolutely indispensable handbook for researchers, political analysts and laymen alike.
Publisher: VANGUARD BOOKS