[K.K Aziz] Party Politics in Pakistan 1947-58

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K:. K. Aziz 1976
First Impression : May 1976
a good man who taught me the goodness cif knowledge,
who raised the thought and touched the heart,
and from whom I have received kindnesses beyond return
PRINT&> B'l :
'• i.i
By ·a coincidence the raw beginnings of this book are as old as the
failure of parliamentary democracy in Pakistan. Towards the end of
1958 I was asked, to address the Department of Government's Senior
Research Seminar al the University of Manchester on the break down
of constitutional government in Pakistan. The paper that I prepared
for the occasion was the first of the efforts from which this study has
gradually taken' shape. Two more seminars in the Political Institutions
of the Commonwealth series at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies
of the University of London given by me in 1960 added some substance
to the matter. Then several years intervened when I was engaged in
other work, but the interregnum provided an opportunity to talk to
several politicians whose activities are chronicled here and to read
further in the subject. Finally, when I sat down to write the first full
draft I found that the extended interval had brought a welcome perspective to my understanding. ~ long spell of lecturing on politics and
comparative government at an Arab-African University taught me the .
value of drawing parallels and viewing the ways of the parties in a
broader context. That is why I have frequently compared the working
of party politics in Pakistan with that in other states of corresponding
experience and imunaturlty). I hope this win help the reader to realize
that democracy and clean politics were not struggling to be born in
Pakistan alone. A'Iarge number of other countries were engaged in a
simi]ar exercise.
It is important to remind the reader that I have not written a book
on the political parties of Pakistan. Of course, I have covered the
history and aims and objectives of the parties, but only to the extent to
which it was necessary for an understanding of their conduct and
behaviour. Both in intention and design, this is a study of party politics
-the way parties reacted to certain situations, how they made and
changed their policies, how they intrigued and fought among themselves,
how they divided and split, how they came together to form coalitions
and alliances, bow we]l or badly they were led, how the nature and
quality of leadership affected the party fortunes, bow the social and
intellectual environment impinged on party activity, the spheres in which
party deeds and misdeeds obstructed the emergence of democratic values
and traditions, and so on., This is the warp and weft of the book.
I wisfi to emphasize that the final manuscript of the book was
ready in 1970 but could not be sent to the press because a certain
gentleman (who a good friend and therefore must remain unnamed)
took it away and kept it with him for four years.
The 'practitioners of the art of politics whom I interviewed during
the preparation of tbfs study indicated a desire to remain anonymous.
As a good many of them are now dead, I have respected this wis]l.
Among my colleagues and friends who read in part or in full the
drafts of the book at various stages and from whose 'comments and
suggestions I have greatly profited I must mention Professors A.H.
Birch, W.J.M. Mackenzie, Kenneth Robinson, and A.H. Syed.
2 April 19:76
1J I
\ l;
DURING the period covered by this study Pakistan was a federal state
comprising two provinces, West Pakistan and East Pakistan, separated
by more· than a thousand miles of foreign territory. West Pakistan, with
an area larger than that of East Pakistan, had a population of 33,704,000,
and East Pakistan a population of 41,932,000. Thus 55.4 per cent
,peop}e lived in the eastern wing and 44.6 per cent in the western.! Till
October 1955, West Pakistan had consisted of the provinces of the
North-West Frontier, the Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, the Princely States
of Bahawalpur, Khairpur, Baluchistan States Union and the Frontier
·States Union, and the tribal areas on the north-west frontier. The whole
country was governed under the Government of India Act, 1935 (as
adapted frofu. time to time by the Constituent Assembly to suit changing
conditions) from 1947'to 1956, and under the Constitution of the Islamic
Republic of Pakistan from March 1956 to October 1958.
For the purpose of studying party movement in and out of power,
the span of eleven years can be divided into two periods. For the first
seven years (1947-1954) the Muslim League was in complete control
"at the Centre as well as in all the provinces ; there were changes in the
.. ministerial personnel, but they were confined to one party. The second
period, extending from 1954 to 1958~ saw new partiescoming into power
and gradually driving the Muslim League out of power everywhere.
When Pakistan came into existence in August 1947, the Muslim
League, as successor to the old All India Muslim League which had led
the Muslims of India to freedom, took charge in all the provin~s and at
the Centre. The only hitch occurred in the North-West Frontier
Province, where a Congress ministry was still in power, put it has been
alleged that it facilitated its own demise by refusing to take the oath
of allegiance to the 'new State.2 It was accordingly dismissed on
1. These figures are as under the census of 1951.
2. Lord Birdwood, A Continent Decides (London, 1953), p. 35. It is also
reported that the Ministers showed disrespect to the Pakistan fiag by declining to
'attend its hoisting ceremony, Dawn, 27 August, 1947.
Party Politics' in Pakistan
22 August, 1947, and a Muslim League ministry was installed under
Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan. The real reason behind this dismissal is
not clear. It is said that Dr. Khan Sahib, the Congress Chief Minister
of the province, had declared ori 6 July, I 947, that if the people of the
province voted for inclusion in Pakistan, he would resign.> But on
17 July he stated that his earlier undertaking to resign was contingent
upon' the holding of a fair and free referendum, that the referendum was
not honestly conducted, and that a,.nyway his promise was "purely my'
personal opinion" .1 Now, he said, it was "for my party to decide whether
to resign or not" .2 As soon as the result of the referendum was known,
Dawn, the mouthpiece of the .Muslim League, began to demand the
dismissal of the Ministry.t The demand was fulfilledwithout much delay.
The dismissal was ordered under sub-section 5 of Section 51 of the adapted
Government of India Act, 1935, as amended by the Pakistan (Provisional
Constitution) Order; 1947.4
The next development took place in. Sindh where, on 26 April,
1948, the Governor General, Muhammad Ali Jinnah dismissed the Chief
Minister, Mr. M. A. Khuro, and called µpon him to face charges of
corruption and, maladministration." His suqcessor, Pir Ilahi,B~khsh, also
failed to give the province a stable administration, While. tbe Governor
of Sindh was -still examining certain allegations against his conduct
as Chief Minister, ·an Election Tribunal, appointed in the previous year,
found him guilty of corrupt practices in connection with the general
elections of 1946,~ and disqualified him from being a voter of the Sindh
·Legislative Assembly for a period of six years. ~P the meantime,
Mr. Khuro hag oeen tried, found guilty -of corrupt -practices and
disqualified from, holding public office for three years, Undaunted by
this, however, in late 1949 he presided over a meeting of the· Sindh
Provincial Muslim League Council and persuaded it to pass resolutions
charging the 'Central Government with neglecting the interests of the
1~ Dawn,9 July, 1947,
2. Ibid., 20 July, 1947.
3'. Ibid., 23 July, .1941.
4. "The sub-section read :i "In exercise of bis functions under this section with
respect to the chooslng'and summoning and the dismissal- of Ministers ,the Governor
shall be under the general control of, and comply with such particular directions,
if any, as may from time to time, be given to hjm by th~ Governor General."
5. Just before the dismissal serious differences had arisen between Khu"l and
the Governor of Sindh, Ghulam Husain Hidayatullah, because the latter had r~!
allocated the portfolios without- consulting or informing the former, The Times,
Political "and'Canstltutlonal-Background-s-L
Equally drastic measures ·were considered to lle necessary in the
Punjab, where, on 25 January, 1949,.•the provincial Government was
superseded, the provincial Legislative· Assembly was dissolved, and
administration was handed over to the Governor. The Governor
General's proclamation ordering these changes did not attempt to
minimise the grave state of affairs in the province. It referred to the
demoralisation of public life by corruption and the destruction of the
discipline of public services by intrigue. The· Government
the Khan
of Mamdot (Iftikhar Husain Khan) was characterised as having been
carried on for the benefit of the few with little or no heed to the needs or
welfare of the people.!
This dismissal,must be viewed in the background of the following
incidents. Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was not pleased with
Mamdot. Mamdot and Mian Mumtaz Muhammad Khan Daultana
were rivals for the Muslim League leadership inthe Punjab. Liaquat
went to Lahore in the third week of January 1949 for on-the-spot investigations. Daultana, the President of the Punjab Provincial Muslim
League, presented to the Prime Minister a signed list of 42 members of
the provincial legislature who had pledged their support to him.
Mamdot, the Chief Minister, also produced his signed list of 43 members
who had promised to support him. On scrutiny Liaquat discovered that
seven names.and signatures appeared on both lists. In this situation the
correct democratic procedure should have been to convene the provincial
assembly and 'to let it choose between Mamdot and Daultana. But the
Prime Minister did not do so, and on the following day he advised the
Governor General to take action under Section 92A of the Government
of India Act, 1935.2
Set with the task of cleaning up th.e mess created and left by the;
dismissed Ministry, the Governor, Sir Francis Mudie, was bound to -rnakq
1. Full text of the Proclamation in Gazette ,,of Pakistan t~xtraordin1arr),
25 January, 1949.
2. For details see 'Dawn, 25 January, 1949. Section 92A read: "If at any time
the Governor General is satisfied thas a grave emergency e~sts wherebx· the peace.or
security of Pakistan or any part thereof is threatened or that a situation bas arisen Ji;i
which the government of a province cannot be carried on in accordance with the
l)rqvisions of this Act, he may by proclamation direct the Governor of a; provjnce to
assume on behalf of the Governor General all orany of the powers vested in or
exercised by any provincial body or authority, Any such proclamation may contain
such identical and consequential prcvlslons as may appear to th~ Governor 'Q,eneral to
be necessary or desirable for giving eff~t to the objects of the proclamation including
provisions for suspending' in whole or in part the operation of any provisions of
this Act relating to any provincial body or authority.'
Political and Constitutional Background-: I
Party Politics In Pakistan
some enemies- Chief amongthese were the ex-Ministers and their supporters, including the Khan of Mamdot himself, some of whom were be~g
indicted for corruption, maladministration and embezzlement; Usmg
the Governor's nationality as a convenient handle (and forgetting that
he had been appointed by Jinnah himself in 1947), the frustrated Punjab
Muslim League began a bitter campaign of slander against him .. Arguing
that no foreigner 'could be sympathetic to the people of the province, the
party clamoured for his removal from office. At first the Prime Minister
behaved with commendable firmness and rebuked the Punjab Muslim
League for itschildish behaviour; but later he seems to have coi:ne to
the conclusion that his own position and that of his Government m the
Centre would be jeopardised unless the League was supported and
bolstered up.1 Accordingly, he reached a compromise with the provincial
Muslim League, under which the Bresident of the provincial party
organisation was to nominate, subject to the approval of the Central
Government, Advisers, who would work as a cabinet under the Governor.
All cases of differences of opinion between the Governor and his Advisers
were to be referred to the Central Government. In other words, the
Muslim League, whose administration had previously been dismissed
and whose parliamentary leaders were under inquiry or· trial for corruption and other serious charges, -was once again to rule the province, this
time through the back door. At the same time the Governor was
confronted with a situation in which a body which was demanding his
recall, and whose leaders were making abusive speeches agai?st hi?1" all
over the province, was authorised to nominate his cabinet. His resignation was inevitable. It is possible that, Liaquat Ali had deliberately
chosen this round about way of forcing him to leave office. The triumph
of political expediency over clean administration was complete. The
new Governor. Sirdar Abdur Rab Nishtar, a Pathan from the Northwest Frontie~ Province and till then the Minister of Communications
in the Central Government, lost no time in cultivating the Punjab
Muslim League. Learning a useful lesson from the fate of his
predecessor, he even overstepped his constitutional position by presiding.
over Muslim League 'party meetings and identifying himself with the
party in numerousother ways.
This Punjab affair had three interesting features. It was the first
occasion on which the Central Government dismissed ~ provincial"
1. At that time the general feeling about the Central Government was th~t,
" rsonal rivalries and opportunism in high places have so increased that there is
serious danger of the present Government being challenged and possibly replaced by
a cabal which would wield power to further its own end", The Times, 16 May, 1949.
ministry which still enjoyed the. confidence of the legislature and commanded a majority in the house. It was a Muslim League. ministry
dismissed by a Muslim League Central Cabinet. Above all, it underlined
the role of personalities in party politics. Mamdot was the leader of the
Muslim League parliamentary party, and )n that capacity he had held
the office from which he was removed. If his government was dishonest
and corrupt his party, along with himself, sfiould have been held
responsible. But the Central Cabinet acted as if the leader could be
separated from his party and punished as an individual. The partj
continued to exercise the essence of power while its leader was publicly
degraded. Did Liaquat wish to keep the Muslim League in power and
at' the same time get rid of Mamdot? Did Mamdot's rivals in 'the
Punjab conspire against the Ministry by striking ·a bargain with Liaquat ;
if so, what were the terms of the bargain made? Or, did Liaquat want
to force the Governor to resign? These questions must be answered if
the reasons for the dismissal are to be fully understood. But judgement
must be suspended till reliable evidence is available. One thing, however,
is clear. By this action, the' Central Government had, wittingly or
unwittingly, promoted· the interest of party Ieadershi p at the cost of party
principles and party discipline. The cult of the personality was born.
It was to assume gigantic proportions before the end of the: period under
In March 1951,. elections took place to the dissolved Punjab
Legislative Assembly 'and resulted in a clear victory for, the Muslim
League. It won 143 seats as against 29 of Jinnah'Awami League, 1• each
of the Jamaat-i-Islami and the Azad Pakistan Party, 5 of the minorities,
- and 5 of independents! :
Muslim League
,Jinnah Awami League
1amaat-i- Islami
Azad Pakistan Party
Percentage of
Muslim votes'
( + IO
from other parties
or independents).
(+ 3
I. K. Callaro, Pakistan: A Political Study (London, 1957), p. SS.
Party Politics in Pakistan
Political and Constttutional Background-I
Elections were also held in the -North-West Frontier Province in
November-December 1951, in which the Muslim League won 67 seats in
a house of &S, but most of the 13 independent members later joined the
Muslim League. The main opposition was provided by the Jinnah
Awami League, which, however, captured only 4 seats.
Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated in October 1951.t
Khwaja Nazimuddin, who had been Governor General since Jinnah's
death in September 1948, stepped down to head the Central Cabinet,
while Ghulam Muhammad, the Finance Minister in Liaquat's Cabinet,
became the Governor General. Another important change was the
resignation of Chaudhri Muhammad Ali, who had the reputation of
being a brilliant civil servant, from the post of the Secretary General to
the Government of Pakistan, and his appointment as Minister of Finance
and Economic Affairs.in place of Ghulam Muhammad.
The next year saw widespread rioting in Dacca, the capital of East
Pakistan.s and other parts of that province on the language issue. EastWest relations were henceforth to be plagued with the controversy about
the national language, and there has been a good deal of animated
argument over it. West Pakistanis speak different languages according
to the region they live in-Pushto, Punjabi, Sindhi and Baluchi. But the
common language.among all of them who are educated is Urdu, though
it is not the language of the people of any region. On the other .hand,
East Pakistanis spoke one language, Bengali, which is derived from
Prakrit and is written in a form of Devanagri characters of Sanskrit.
Pakistanis who speak Urdu or any other language of West Pakistan find
it difficult to follow Bengali; but many East Pakistanis understand, and
some speak, Urdu, particularly in the cities. This is attested by the fact
that there was only one Bengali weekly published in West Pakistan to
seven Urdu journals, including four dailies, published in East Pakistan.I
It must be remembered that, according to the 195,, census, in the whole
of Pakistan 54.4 per cent of the population spoke Bengali and only 3.2
Before and immediately after independence there was a clear understanding among all leaders 'that Urdu would be Pakistan's national
language. Speaking at Dacca on 24 March, 1948, Jinnah had said,
"Let me tell you in the clearest language that there is no truth that your
normal life is going to be touched or disturbed so far as your Bengali
language is concerned. But, ultimately, it is for you, the people of this
province, to decide what shall be the language of your province. Bu~
let me make it very clear to you that the State language of Pakistan is
going to be Urdu and no other language." He concluded by saying that
"anyone who tries to mislead you is really the enemy of Pakistan. Without one State language no Nation can remain tied up solidly together
and function" .2 He repeated this on the same day in his Convocation
Address to the Dacca University. The unique position of authority
enjoyed by Jinnah did not then allow any East Pakistani to suggest
openly that his language be considered as a State laaguage.s But after
his dominating personality was removed by death more and more
advocates of Bengali appeared on the scene. Soon there was a genuine
movement for ,Bengali which rapidly gained wide popularity.
Central Government showed complete indifference to this· demand, and
the resulting discontent grew so fast that when Prime Minister Nazimuddin,
who was himself a Bengali, emphasized in a public speech, on 22
February, 1952, during his tour of the province, that Urdu would have
to be recognised as the only State language, great indignation was
created, particularly among the students. The situation was skilfully
exploited by disaffected elements, led mainly by Hamid-ul-Haq Chaudhri,
a former Provincial Finance Minister, who a little earlier had been
disqualified from holding public office.4 It was reported that Communists and other agitators from India played a prominent part ·in the
I. The motive behind this outrage was never discovered. Protracted investigations were made but to no purpose. See Government of Pakistan, Tht Asfassinatirm
of Mr. Liaqua·tAli Khan, Rtport of the Commission of lnq11iry (Karachi, 1952). The
Commission consisted of Mr. Justice Muh~tnmad Munir of the Federal Court, and Mr.
Akhtar Husain; Financial 'Commissioner, Punjab. Speculation attributed the act to
religious fanaticism or a Ioreign conspiracy or political rivalry •.
2. The eastern wing of Pakistan was officiallyknown as East Be11gal till 1956 and
as East Pakistan after that. For the sake of uniformity it has'heen referred to as East
Pakistan threughout this book.
3. See figures for July 1955 given by the Government in Gentra/ Lisi of Newspapers and Periodicals published in Pakistan (Government of Pakistan Press, Karachi,
July 1955).
l. United Nations, Demographic Yeiirbook 1956, p. 287.
2. Quaid-i-Azam Speaks (Karachi, n.d.), pp. 129-133.
3. The author has been told by some persons, including a former Cabinet
Minister, that Jinnah was heckled during these speeches; but no documentary evidepc~
of this is available.
4. Another report was that the agitation was organised by the followers of
Subrawardy but it also had the support of some Muslim League leaders, like
Muhammad Ali Bogra and Taffazal Ali; K. B. Sayeed, Pakistan: The Formative Phase
(Karachi, 1960), pp. 300·301. According to still another report, the F.ast Pakistan
Muslim League supported the movement and "a resolution was passed by the, East
Bengal Muslim LeaguerMinistry in support of Bengali", G. W. Cboudhri, Constitutional Developmtnt in Pakistan (Lahore, 19~9), p, 12.7.
- --~
Party Politics in Pakistan
Political and Constitutional /Jac](ground-1
unrest and that slogans for' a united Bengal were heard. Five members.
of the provincial legislature were arrested.1
A more serious problem arose at the same time in West Pakistan.
There was in the country a sect called Ahmadis or Qadianis or Mirzais.
Founded in 1901 by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad; -it then had a following of
about two hundred thousand, and was mainly concentrated in the Punjab.
It called its members Muslims, who distinguished themselves from other
Muslims only by the allegiance they'paid to the memory of their founder
and those who have succeeded him in authority. The Ahmadis constituted
a closely-knit and highly-disciplined organisation, characterised by
mutual aid hard work and zealous proselytising. The furtdamental
doctrinal difference between the Ahmadis and the Muslims is that on the
question of khatm-i-nabuwwat. It is a cardinal point in Islam that the
Holy Prophet was tpe last Messenger of God and that there shall be none
after him. Most of the Ahmadis, on the other hand, consider jhe head
of their sect as a prophet, thus arousing argument on an issue which is a
matter of faith for the Muslims. Besides this doctrinal conflict, the
Muslims charged the sect with separatist tendencies in their personal,
political and- social-life. During.British rule, this rivalry did .not manifest
itself in violent form because of the more important Hindu-Muslim
problem. With ·the disappearance of this restraint mutual hostility
showed itself more openly. Gradually a regular campaign was started
against the Ahmadis, which was in the main inspired by the ~rar• party
' and aimed at forcing the Government to declare them a non-Muslim
minority. In 1948, an army officer, Major Mahmud, an Ahmadi, was
murdered by a mob at Quetta when he accidentally found himself near a
public meeting where speeches on the issue of khatm-i-nabuwwat were
bei~g delivered. The~eafter, the anti-Ahmadi agitation steadily became
more.intense: The Government continued to ignore the activities 'of the
agitators, who then naturally became more bold, in their defiance of law
and order. The top-ranking officers of the Police and Intelligence
departments continuously drew the attention to the growing intensity,
violence and obscenity of the movement, but both the Provincial and·
Central. Governments took no action. "These tendencies will spread and.
bring disaster in the wake", wrote the Deputy Inspector General of the
Punjab Police; "and the. whole of our machinery will go to ,.pieces",2
The Chief Minister, Miah Daultana, ignored the warning. By now the.
knowledge of the gravity of the situation was not a secret known only
to the· Police. The British Deputy High Commissioner · stationed in
Lahore informed the highest Police authority of" tlie- province that his
reports indicated a general flare-up." Such procrastination could have
only one result. The agitation took heart and· showed nothing but
contempt for a Government wliicli looked weak and undetermined.
The storm burst in its full fury on 27 February, .J.953 .. The incentive
came from tlie Majlis-i-Ahrar-i-Islam, which had always been a bitter
enemy of the 'Ahmadi sect ; but it was also whole-heartedly joined by
the Jamaat-i-Islami. The leaders of the movement made up an odd
collection. In ternis of party politics they embraced the Muslim League,
the Jamaat-i-Islami, and the' Ahrars.s In terms of profession, they
included well-known journalists, editors, ulama of considerable reputation, public men of some ability, political demagogues of fiery tempers,
penniless adventurers and professional trouble-makers.
themselves into a Convention, they formulated three demands: the
~hmadis to be declared a sep~rate non-Muslim minority; Mr. Muhammad
Zafrullah Khan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth
Relations, who 'was an Ahmadi, to be removed from the 'Cabinet ; and
~11 Ahmadis to b~ relieved of key posts in the country. The Gov~rnment
was asked to accept these demands without delay, and a Council of Action
was formed to see that they were fulfilled. Direct action was threatened
and dire consequences were forecast if the demands were rejected)>
Abusive, almost unprintable, speeches continued to be delivered throughout the province. , In Karachi _the agitation was immediately and
effectively stopped 'by swift Police action. In Lahore and other cities
of the-Punjab leaders who were preaching violence we~e arrested. J\t the
spread of the news of their arrest parties of sympathisers began demonstrating in tlie streets, forcing the shopkeepers to shut up bhsiness,
accosting stray Ahmadis, obstructing traffic and shouting obscene
slogans. By 4 March the situation had worsened beyond repair. It
was an open challenge to Iaw and' order: and at places the results' were
1. 'An inquiry was held into these disturbances by Mr. Justice Ellis, a summary
of which "!as published in the Pakistan Times, 1 June, 1952.
2. Quoted in H. Feldman, .4 Constitution for Pakistan (Karachi, n.d.), p. 38.
1. Report of the Court of Inquiryto inquire into t~e Punjab Disturbances of 1953
a,ahore, 1954), p. 144. This inquiry was conducted ~Y Justice Muhammad Munir,
tater the cpief Justice of Pakistan. The report is hereafter cited as Munir Report.
2. The Azad Pakistan Party was also involved. "We have evidence t~·· show
that the Ahrar took money from the Bahawalpur branch of the Azad Pakistan Party", .
Inspector General of Police, Punjab, in a note to the Chief Secretary of the, Provincial
Governmenton 21 February, 1953, quoted in ibid., p, 144.
3'., This "ultimatum was nothing short of a notice of clvil.revclt to, be' initiated,
q_rganiz.ed and conducted by the Majlis-i-Amal (Council of Actipn) in case it, was not
satisfied by the reply to the ultimatum", tbid., p. 240.
Party Politics in Pakistan .
Political and Constiiutlonal Baokground-s-t.
so alarming that military aid had to be requisitioned. In Lahore civil
authorities confessed their inability to" suppress the riots and martial law
had to be proclaimed.
Firmness of purpose was not shown by the Punjab Chief Minister,.
Mian Mumtaz Daultana. On 6 March, when the agitation was at its,
peak, he issued a statement appealing for the maintenance of law and
order and giving an assurance to the people that he and his Government.
were prepared to open negotiations with the leaders of the movement.
The basis of these negotiations was to be that the three demands of the
convention would be forwarded to the Central Government for accept-.
ance. This offer of surrender seemed to encourage the lawbreakers, and,
perhaps not unnaturally, it was followed by various kinds of resolutions,
passed by a number of small parties and groups calling for the acceptance
of these demands and prescribing measures to be taken to enforce
acceptance. One. proposed the creation of new criminal offences aimed
at the Ahmadi teachings; another appealed to the Muslim Leaguers to
become martyrs in the "sacred cause" of the agitation. The Chief
Minister's statement, later characterised, as "dishonest" by the court of'
inquiry,' and its consequences convinced some political observers that
the agitation was exploiting public opinion for political ends. Miao.
Daultana sensed this change in the political atmosphere and was obliged,_
four days later, to issue anotherstatement withdrawing his earlier offer.
Soon afterwards he had to resign. It was then widely believed that he
had, deliberately put the onus of dealing with the demands of the
agitation on the Central Government.s calculating that if they were.
acceptedhe would be the hero of the agitators, and if they were rejected
the. Central Govermnent would be risking its existence, in which case he
aspired to be the prime minister.
Had the demands been l)Ut before Khwaja Nazimuddin, they must·
have greatly embarrassed him. On religious grounds he was personally'
sympathetic towards them and held the' ulama in deep respect. On
rational grounds he could not reject the demands because the recommendations of the Basic Principles· Committee, which he had presented
to the Constituent Assembly in December l952, specifically provided
for the ulama to be closely associated with the work of legislation and to
exercise doctrinal control on laws. Indeed, he was-relieved when matters
reached a point where he did not have to make a decision.!
Nazimuddin's difficulties did not end ·with the disappearance of the
anti-Ahmadi agitation. Economic conditions of the country had 'been
steadily deteriorating, and measures which were taken to remedy the
situation were proved by later events to have been ill-conceived· and
inadequate, and they failed to stop the riot. Food prices rocketed skyhigh, foreign reserves fell, and economic stability was gravely threatened.
The Governor General, Ghulam Muhammad, advised the Prime Minister
to drop the Food Minister, Abdus Sattar Pirzada, and the Commerce
Minister, Fazlur Rahman. It was then rumoured that the Prime
Minister was prepared to remove the former but declined to part with the
latter. Consequently, the Government was dismissed by the Governor
General on 17 April, 1953'~ Informing the public of the dismissal the
official press communique referred to the grave food situation, the
necessityfor vigorous measures to deal with the- economic 'problem, and
the urgency of the question of law and order.2
This drastic step was generally welcomed by the people, who were
by now critical of the delay in constitution-making, dissatisfied with the
official handling of· the Punjab riots, and alarmed at the growing
economic misery.I
1. "That this statement was dishonest in the sense that it was no more than a,
political move taken in desperation to avert the imposition of rnarti~l law is ~dmitted
before us. -The same is the conclusion to be drawn from the fact that subsequently
this 'statement was withdrawn on 10 March by Mr. Daultana himself .... The bnly
answer can be that it was the desire to remain popular with the masses that dictated'
this step. Mr. Daultana did not give a moment's thought to the implicati~ns of this
statement and the extreme embarrassment that it was bound to cause and <lid cause to
the Central Government", Munir Report, pp. 279-280.
2. It is not without significance that in January 1953, when Nazimuddin arrived
in Lahore to bring about a compromise with the anti-Ahmadiyya leaders, he was met
with a protest demo~stration of black flags which was mainly organized by the Ahrars
but -they were encouraged by the Punjab Muslim League. See Leonard Binder,'
Religion and Politics in Pakist~n(1961), p, 294.
1. A similar agitation was organized in the summer of 1974. This time the
government was more receptive to public opinion and the parliament promptly declared
the Ahmadis a non-Muslim minority.
2. The communique of.17 April, 1953, said in part: ••I have been driven to the
conclusion that the Cabinet of Kbwaja Nazimuddin has proved entirely inadequate
to grapple with the difficulties facing the country. In the emergency which has arisen
I have felt it incumbent upon me to ask the Cabinet to relinquish office so that a new
cabinet better fitted to discharge its obligations to~ards Pakistan ma~ be formed" ;
full text in Gazette of Pakistan (Extraordinary), 17 April, 1953.,
3. The informed British press appreclated the Governor General's action. The
Times (20 April, 1953) congratulated him for short-circuiting the "political intrigues of
which public life has recently been far too full". The Economist (9 ¥ay,)953) hailed
the "courageous, timely and dramatic" actlon of Ghulam Muhammad who had made
"a realistic appreciation of the situation and, by acting ~th at !~st -some semblance
or constitutional legality, has prevented a possible coup d'etat",
J'.arty "Politics in Pakistan
At least five immediate results of this change can be indicated. lt
necessitated the reconsideration of the Basic Principles Commjttee
Report, thus satisfying that large section of the educated class which was
disappointed with it. It meant the departure from the Government
of a man known for his orthodox views on Islam and _determined to
incorporate them in the' fundamental law. It also indicated a change
in the constitution to come; Nishtar, the' inspirer and the most ardent
advocate of an Islamic State, was dropped from the Cabinet, and with
him went much of the official support _to "mullaism" .1 A welcome
addition to ministerial personnel was that of Mr. A. K. Brohi, ~
successful constitutional lawyer and intellectual of Sindh. Finally, the
Government managed to .retain Zafrullah Khan as Foreign Minister .
The anti-Ahmadi agitation had ~houted for his head on a charger.
But the dismissal of a Prime Minister by the Governor General,
the first in Pakistan's short .history, abrogated three major conventions
of cabinet government and parliamentary supremacy.
"First, the
tradition of the impartiality of the Governor General had been
demolished. Second, ·the convention of cabinet and party -solidarity
had been disregarded. 'Third, 'the role of the Legislature as themaker and
sustainer of government had been impugned. "2
choice of Khwaja Nazimuddin's -snccessor was a complete
surprise. The Governor General commissioned Muhammad A1i Bogra
to form the next Government. Bogra was then Pakistan's ambassador
in the 'United States and had come -to Karachi for consultation with
the home Government. Two considerations seem' to have weighed
with.Ghulam Muhammad in .making this decision. In the first place,
a constitutional convention had grown up that if the Governor General
was from West Pakistan, the Prime Minister should be from the
eastern wingvand vice· versa. 'As Ghulam Muhammad was a Punjabi,
the choice of a Prime Minister· was limited to a candidate from East,
Pakistan, In .the second place, he realized that; 1~ the absence. of"
elections, the same politicians had been in power since 1947 and that,
now a 'new. man was needed .to lead- the country. Bogra seemed to be,
1. Firoz Khan Noon and Ghulanr·-Mubammad had already declared against
what the ulam~ called an Islamic constitution, Dawn, l January and 13 February, 19~3.:
Kb'aliquttarnan, the Governor- of East Pakistan, now "represented the danger to
pakistan as coming from the Communists and the theologians ·~ CMJ and Militap>
Gazette, 25" June, 1953, Next week Sardar Rashid, the Chief Minister of the North•"
West Frontier Province, told a press conference that he favoured a secular rather thait
theo&atiC' state, ibid., '.3 July/1953.
2. K~ith Callard, op.~ci~:,-p~ J.31.·
Political and Constitutional Background-I
I: '
Ji ~
• .I
a good possibility. He was a stranger to national politics and therefore
expected to be above intrigues and. political bargaining. He was a
younger man, brisk and full of vigour, informal and breezy.
Or perhaps Ghulam Muhammad expected to find in Bogra a
It is well known that the Governor General believed in
concentration of power in his own hands. This could be realised by
appointing a weak man as prime minister. Bogra was not one of the
top-level leaders. He had no personal following even in his home province. In West Pakistan his name was not familiar to the public. He
would always be grateful to Ghulam Muhammad for this favour. By
one stroke the Governor General had got rid of Khwaja Nazimuddin,
made his reputation as a "strong man", and got a Prime Minister on
whose loyalty and weakness he could rely.
The change in· prime ministership, however, did not mean a change
in party position. The new administration remained a Muslim League
government, and six members of the old government were re-appointed.t
After his dismissal Nazimuddin virtually committed political suicide
when, taking advantage of Bogra's absence in London, he nominated,
in his capacity as President of the Pakistan Muslim League, a new
Working Committee of the party in which the Prime Minister himself
was not included.
In fact, he included only .one member of the
new Cabinet. Several of the members nominated declined to have
anything to do with such a Committee.s and Nazimuddin had no
option but to resign his presidency of the Muslim League. He never
returned to politics.l
The fall of Nazimuddin brings the first period to a close. So
far the scramble for power had been among persons, not among
parties. All the changes recorded above were made within the body
of the Muslim League. But henceforth power politics was played
on the field of party. The unchallenged supremacy of the Muslim
League was gone and new parties, mainly recruited from its owrr
body, were coming up, ready to contest its right to rule and soon
to overthrow it completely.
1. Ministers re-appointed: Zafrullah Khan, Sardar Bahadur, Chaudhri
Muhammad Ali, A. M. Malik, M. A. Gurmani, I. H; Qureshi. Ministers not reappointed: Nazimuddin, Nisbtar, Fazlur Rahman, Pirzada Sattar, Mahmud H'usain.
New ministers appointed: A. K. Brohi, Qayyum Khan, Shoaib Qureshi,
2. Among these were Firoz Khan Noon (Chief Minister, Punjab) and Nurul Amin
(Chief Minister, East Pakistan). Prime Minister Bogra deprecated 'Nazimuddin's
action in a statement on 15 June, see Dawn, 16 June, 1953,
3. For the whole incident see Civil and Milita,ry Gazette, 26 and- 27 May, 13, 16
and 25 June, 1953.
Political and Constitutional Ba.tkgroilnd-1'
the Centre in improving the prospects of their respective parties.
Traditions, specially undesirable traditions, die hard.
Party Politics in Pakistan'
In reviewing the 'role of. the Muslim League in the party politics
of this period we should not' be unmindful of the tactics of
Liaquat Ali Khan. After Jinnah's death the centre of real power
had moved to the Prime Minister's office. Liaquat was by no means
a brilliant man, and so far he had lived and worked under Jinnah's
shadow. Now he was all-powerful and wanted to retain this power.
Because he did not enjoy the popularity of the Quaid, he used
his ascendancy to ensure that the Muslim League alone ruled all
the provinces, and further that only those League leaders were made
Chief Ministers who were loyal to his person and owed their advancement to him. With this in view he took certain steps. In the
Punjab he dismissed Marndot and later brought Daultana into power.
In East Pakistan he made the Governor General direct the Governor
to make Nurul Aniin ~e Chief Minister on Nazimuddin'selevation
to Karachi.I Mr: Qayyum Khan, Chief Minister of the North~West
Frontier Province, was loyal to Liaquat. In Sindh the goings and,
comings of Chief Ministers gave him the opportunity of playing
the part of the arbitrator, and thus augmenting his own power. He
also got himself 'elected the ·President of Pakistan Muslim League.
Thus in all provinces his own men were in authority. In the Central
Government the two able Ministers from West Pakistan, · Zafrullah
Khan and Ghulam Muhammad, were not ~ublic ftgures with any
popular following. The two prominent East Pakistanis, Khwaja
Shahabuddin and Fazlur Rahman, had no mass support in their;
home province. There was no opposition party in the .country. Nor
~it's there any leading public figure who could appeal to the imagination
of 'the people and lead a movement against this "dictatorship":
Suhrawardy could have done this but he was still in the wilderness
and had lost his seat in the Constituent Assembly under the rules
framed by. Liaquat's Government. Liaquat Ali's "over~a11 strategy
was to hold elections in West Punjab; the North- West Frontier
Province, and Sindh and then Bengal. and have those Muslim Leaguers
elected in these Provinces who would be personally attached anq
grateful to him. After this, Central elections were to be held in
which his' men would be returned because .the . various pro-Liaquat'
Provincial ClJ,ief Ministers plus Liaquat's own influence would be 1
there to bring this about" ,2
These plans ·were upset by his assassination. But his successors
substantially followed this strategy, and utilized their hegemony' at1
l. K. B. Sayccd, op. cit.1 p. 411.
~~ Ibid., p. 414.
" I
~·,... 1
A foreign correspondent wrote in January 1954: "Today Pakistan
is perhaps not unlike nineteenth-century Engl.an~ before the age of
Liberalism;. and if, as in the nineteenth-century England, religious
morality is not always reflected in public life, the personal belief in
families who say daily prayers and at least try' to justify their lives
with religious precepts i~ nonetheless sincere and politically potent ....
Religion is inescapable in Pakistan. As in the Middle East i~ dominates
conversation and limits thinking; if it is occasionally irksome, it also
reveals old humilities." He also added that there was no oth~r alternative
to jhe Muslim League "except military government't.t Within three
months the Muslim League government in East Pakistan was swept out
The term of the East Pakistan Legislative Assembly ended ib
March 1954. It had already been extended in 1953 for one year,
and the prevailing temper in the province did not allow further
arbitrary extension. The Muslim League Government of the province
with an enormous majority in the "house, had made too many enemies
during its seven-year tenure to view the electoral trial with equanimity.
It was certainly unpopular, but not so much as was shown to be
by the election rcsults.z The people of East Pakistan were unhappy
with the Muslim League and the Central Government chiefly on three
scores: they were being ruled by civil servants belonging to West
Pakistan whom t~ey considered, unsympathetic to the province; the
Central Government, 'had- not given proper attention to their needs
and problems; and Karachi was turning a deaf ear to their demand
for making Bengali a State language, The Muslim League Governments
in the province and in the Centre 'were so thoroughly afraid of the
election that the Muslim League hi'gb command was forced to denounce
some of the out-going Ministers of East Pakistan, and to announce .that,
. in the event
a Muslim League victory, they had no intention of foisting
the 'discredited members bf Nurul Amln's Government on the -province.
Almost the entire Central Cabinet took a hand in the pre-election
r, "West Pakistan Revisjted"1 The Times, 11 and 12 January, 19S4.
2. In October 1953, another foreign observer had written that "it may well be
found, when the provincial elections take place in the spring of '1954, that it has
'forfeited the loyalty of the masses", F. M. Innes, •'The Political Outlook in Pakistan",
Pacific AffQ{rs, December 1953, p. 307.
" 1
Party Politics in Pakistan
Political and Constitutional Background-I
campaign. The Constituent Assembly suspended its sittings so that
members could take part in the canvassing. Miss Fatima Jinnah, the
formidable lay figure and the sister of Jinnah, was persuadedto visit East
Pakistan and to speak on behalf of the Muslim League'.
But such desperate measures proved of no avail. The Muslim
League was well and truly beaten. It was opposed at the polls by
the United Front, which at that time consisted of A. K. Fazlul Haq's
Krishka Sramik Party, Suhrawardy's Jinnah Awami League, the
Gantantari Dal, the Nizam-i-Islam,and a few Communists. The result
was a rout for the Muslim League and a resounding victory for the
United Front.1 Details of the result were-:
Muslim Parties
United Front
-Muslim League
Non-Muslim Parties
Schedule Caste Federation
United Front
Gantantari Dal
Thus in a house of 309 the Muslim League was reduced to a
puny group of 10. If. public opinion was genuinely reflected in this
change, it is not surprising that the former Government was unpopular
in the province.
What did the result signify? First, it was a vote "against the
. outgoing Ministry, which had made itself thoroughly unpopular in
the eyes of the electorate. Secondly, it was a vote against the
Central Government, which was a Muslim League Government and
had supported the provincial Government and the provincial party
organisation.1 The United Front was helped by bureaucrats, especially
West Pakistani District Magistrates. The civil servants opposed "not
the Muslim League but the Bengal Muslim League. Their grievances
were based upon the pressures they had been subjected to by the
individual members of the provincial Legislative Assembly for favours
of various sorts, and the abuse they had suffered at the hands of
the Provincial League Working Committee".2 Thirdly, it was a vote
for a new constitutional arrangement in which East Pakistan would
enjoy the maximum financial and administrative autonomy.3 The result
also showed two important things: In the first place, it conclusively
proved that whether the party in power does or does not rig the election,
it has no guarantee of success at the polls. Nowhere could duress employed by a ruling party fail so ignominously to provide the desired
result. Inthe second place, it refuted the usual charge made against all
Asian parties that personalities counted for morethan programmes+ No
party could have wished for more distinguishedelectioneeringcampaigners
than the whole Central Government, the entire Muslim League high command, the outgoing Provincial Ministers and, above all, Miss Jinnah.
However, the election' result failed to remedy one serious defect.
Just as the previous Muslim League Government had exercised power
unrestrained by any effective opposition, so the -new Government ruled
without having to contend with a vigorous and numerous opposition.
As tlie leader of the victorious United Front party, Fazlul Haq
formed the new Government of East Pakistan on 2 April, 1954. Then
he went to Karachi to discuss provincial problems with the Central
Government, and on his return to Dacca on 28 April, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of his talks and with the promise of substantial
financial aid which the Central Government had-made. A little earlier
there had been serious outrages at the Karnafuli Paper Mills, near
Chittagong, in which the workers had attacked the managerial staff and
1. In 1948 a Muslim League member of the Constituent Assembly from East
Pakistan had warned : "A feeling is growing among the East Pakistanis that Easterb
Pakistan is being neglected and treated merely as a 'colony' of Western Pakistan",
Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, 24 February, 1948, Vo]. II, No. I, pp. 6-7;
2. L. Binder, &ligion and Politics in Pakistan (1961), p. 347,
3. Point 9 of the United Front manifesto read : "Secure all subjects, jnc!uding
residuary powers, except Defence, Foreign Affairs and Currency, for East Bengal,
which shall be fully autonomous and sovereign as envisaged in the historic Lahore
Resolution, ansl establish Naval Headquarters and ordnance factory in East Bengal
so as to make it militarily self-sufficient", Dawn, 20 December, 1953.
4. Unfortunately this was the only occasion when principles triumphed ovtir
1. It is said that the United Front owed its victory to the role the students had
played in the election; Stanley :M:aron, "The Problem of East Pakistan", Pacific Afjair(J,
June 1955, p. 137. Firoz Khan Noon described the United Front victory as "the
victory of the Calcutta Communists", Dawn, 5 April, 1954.
2. K. Callard, op. cit., P.· 57. Gantantari Dal had aligned itself with the United
Front and some ot:its members had secured United Front ~ckets. Some Communist
Party members were also nominated by the United Front, though this was not publicly
announced ; ibid., p, 58. On 7 April, Mahmud Ali, Secretary of the Gantantari Dal
Parliamentary Board, said that there were 12 Dal M.L.As in the United Front party;
Dawn, 8 April, 1954.
F ·•
Party Politics in Pakistan
Political and Constitutional Background=L
killed thirteen persons, including the Operative Manager and the Labour
Officer. Shortly afterwards a riotous mob attacked: the Dacca jail.
When the man leading the mob was.arrested, the Police chief was forces!
,by the Provincial Government to release him. A few days later th~
mob-leader was appointed a Minister in the expanded United Front
Ministry.' The storming of the jail had coincided with the return of
Fazlul Haq from Karachi, but instead of taking a serious notice of the
occurrence, he began to express some remarkable views.
On 4' May, he made a plea for co-operation wiµi jhe West Bengal.s
which is a part of India, At the same .time news appeared in the Indian
Press that a meeting between Haq and the Indian Prime Minister was
People were still trying to dlvine the import, of these
• developments" when violent rioting again broke- out in the province, this
-time in the Adamjee Jute ·Mills, situated at a distance of about four
miles from Dacca. A,Miuister of Haq's Cabinet obstructed the work of
the Police, the situation got out of control and the Army had to be
called in. Hundreds of'.people were killed before order was· restored.
The Provincial Government suggested that the trouble, had been
deliberately fomented to bring a bad-name to the new administration ;
it was said by East Pakistanis that vested interests in Karachi and the
management of the Mill had promoted bad blood between Bengali
workers and those who had migrated from Bihar.s But Prime Minister
Bogra was sure that the' riots were a "foul conspiracy" hatched by the
Communists and certain "foreign elements" .s
There was a Section,.1f6 (v), in the Government of India Act;' 1935
(as applicable to Pakistan), which empowered the Central Government to issue to a Provincial Authority directions as .to the manner in
·whfch the Provincial executive -authority was' to ·he exercised for the
purpose of preventing any grave menace to the peace, tranquillity or
economic life of the Erovince. Using this provision, the Central Government sent a directiveto the East. Pakistan Government on 17 May,
calling upon it to transfer temporarily to, the Anny the operational,
, control of all units of the East Pakistan Rifles to arrest all Communists-
and mischief-mongers, to keep a strict watch on the Indian border to
prevent infiltration of undesirable elements, to seek the co-operation of
the local Press and to prevent it from exploiting the existing tension, to
take steps to protect important industrial installations and vital points
like docks and railways, and to wire daily reports to the Central Government. The Provincial Government was not pleased, and Haq decided to
pay, another visit to Kgrachi to discuss the matter with the Prime Minister.
The conversation revealed that the East Pakistan Government was not
prepared ·to give any assurance that it would implement the dlrective.!
After his return to .Dacca, Haq visited Calcutta, the capital of Indian
Bengal, and there indulged in some alarming utterances. At one reception hf? said that he hoped, with the help ,of the people of India, to remove
the artificial barriers between the 'two Bengals; on another occasion he
' declared that he did' not believe in the political division of a country and
was not familiar with the "two new words.Pakistan and Hindustan.">
On his return to Dacca, the Governor of East Pakistan, Chaudhri
Khaliquzzaman, showed the Chief Minister the reports •of his Calcutta
speeches, asked him if he had been misrepresented and, if it was so,
advised him to issue a clear contradiction. This statement came ont on
1,0 May, in which Haq said that the division of India was an established
fact, that Pakistan had come to stay, and that he and all Pakistanis would
defend the-sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan. The whole country, which
had been shocked by his earlier views, accepted the statement, and everyone
believed that the ,affair had ended. But more was to come. On 23 May
the New York Ti11Jes published an interview with Haq by its Karachi
correspondent, in which he was reported to have- said independence of
East Pakistan would be the first thing that his Ministry would take- up.
Haq claimed that his 'statement· had been misreported and misunder>
stood. When the Prime Minister confronted him with the correspondent'
'who had interviewed him and th~ Reuters' representative who tiave
accompanied the correspondent, both the journalists stuck to their story,
and were quite sure, with reference to their notebooks, that they, had,
reported the interview correctly. It was on the basis of Haq's Calcuttai
speeches and his interview with the American paper that the Prime'
1. H. Feldman, op. cit., p. 53.
2. Morning News, 5 Ma'y, 1954.
3. See Times of Karachi, 16 May, 1954.
4. Iuefaq, 16 May, 1954.
5. See Prime Minister's speech before the-Constituent Assembfy, 28 June, 1954.
At this time the Karachi Muslim League passed a resolution demanding the imposition
of Governor's rule on the province; a sentiment probably inspired by the· smift of
1. See Prime Minister's broadcast to the nation, 30 May;'l954:
2. Speeches delivered before the Shanti Sena Committee and the Sarai Bose
quoted by the Prime Minister in his speech to the Constituent Assembly;
According to another source, "he spoke Of undoing partition ~ltogether
and of a return to union with India. It was reported that he also went to the extent
~f establishing a foreign affaits ministry", Stanley Maron, '"The Problem' of East
Pakistan", Pacific Affairs, June 1955, p. 134.
Political and Constitutional Background-I
Party Politics in Pakistan
Minister described him as a traitor to his country and to his province.t
The situation was finally resolved on 30 May by the dismissal of the
East Pakistan Ministry, the Governor General's proclamation announcing the imposition of Governor's rule on the province under Section
92A of the Government of India Act, ·1935, and the appointment of
Major General Iskandar Mirza as Governor of the province. On bis
arrival the new Governor found that the administration had been underruined, partly by incompetence at the top and partly by serious political
interference with the day to day work. He enforced the directive
previously issued by the Central Government, arrested the subversive
elements and made a serious effort to restore confidence among civilian
officials. Despite considerable resistance from local politicians, he was
so successful in cleaning the administration and creating a sober and
confident atmosphere in the province, that a foreign observer could say :
"The record of the Governor's rule in the province is impressive. Law
and order has been restored, the morale of the services revived and
reinforced, and the administration shaken out of its accustomed
lethargy. On the labour front all is quieter than it has been for some
In July Haq expressed repentance for his utterances which had
reflected on his loyalty to the country. Simultaneously he announced his
retirement from public life,3 and thus wrote the finale to his short but
highly dramatic incursion into Pakistan's party politics.s
When Khwaja Nazimuddin was dismissed as Prime Minister in
April 1953 the question had been asked if the Governor General could
l. See Prime Minister's speeches in the Constituent Assembly, 28 June and 17
July, 1954. and his broadcast, 30 May, 1954. To some people.accepting the word of
two journalists in preference to a Chief Minister's solemn denial looked rather odd.
Rumour said that the Central Government disliked the East Pakistan administration
because the latter had supplanted a Muslim Leag~e Government and because it was a
Leftist administration. Haq's indiscretions provided too good an opportunity to be
missed by the Muslim League command. Rumour also explained the part played by
the New York Times reporter by saying that the U.S.A. had taken a band in hastening
the demise of the pro-Leftist East Pakistan Government. Of course there is no direct
evidence to prove aay of these rumours. But it is on record that Khaliquzzaman, who
was then the Governor of East Pakistan, was using his powers in trying t~ play the
United Front .leaders against one another so that the Ministry may fall, Binder,
op, cit., p. 3 51.
2. Economis«, 18 December, 19S4, p. 1008.
3. Dawn, 24 July, 1954.
4, He appears again in this narrative, but only as Governor of East Pakistan and,
for a very short period, as a Central Minister; but he was a spent force as a
I '
remove the Prime Minister under the powers conferred upon him by
Section 10 without the .advice of the Council of Ministers. Legal
inquiries were made in London, and a spokesman of the Commonwealth Relations Office had declared that the Governor General's order
of April 1953 was constitutionally correct.! This legal support extended
to Ghulam Muhammad's action was not welcome to the members of the
Constituent Assembly, who by this time had come to look upon him as
the enemy of .their sovereign rights. Failing in their effort to prove his
action illegal or unconstitutional, they now looked to other directions
to clip his powers. A Governor General with the power to dismiss a
Cabinet was a danger to their security and a serious obstacle in the way
of their ambitions. Why not amend the constitution so as to make it
impossible for him again to act in the same manner ?
With this aim in view, the politicians made three radical moves in
the latter half of 1954. On .6 July, the Constituent Assembly passed a
Bill amending the Government of India Act, 1935, by inserting a new
Section (223A), which gave power to every High Court to issue prerogative writs. It is true that provision of !l similar nature had been made in
the Basic Principles Committee Report, and therefore this Bill was only
anticipating what was to come in the new constitution. It is also
true that, as the Law Minister explained, these writs constituted one of
the bulwarks of the freedom of the citizen. But there was some feeling
that the making of this law was rather premature and was not completely
free from interested motives.
A more questionable step was taken in September, when the Assembly
repealed the Public and Representative Officers (Disqualification) Act.
Enacted in 1949, this measure was meant to make it possible to examine
the record of, and if necessary to punish, persons holding public office
on charges of maladministration and corruption. It enabled the Government to deal adequately with persons who had abused public office but
who, on technical legal grounds, could not be proceeded against in the
courts of law. Under the Act, any person could make a complaint to the
l. Dawn, 19 April. 1953. Feldman also cites this newspaper report.(op. cit., p. 60),
but it is not clear who made the inquiries. Was it Ghulam Muhammad? Did he
consult the Federal Court? Was the reference to London made on the advice of the
Federal Court? Or, was the inquiry made by some members of the Constituent
Assembly in the hope that the dismissal would be held unconstitutional 7 For it must
be remembered that the Assembly was not permitted to meet to express 'its views until
September, by which time the new Government had consolidated its power. Rumour
.sai~ that Nazimuddin, on hearing. of his dismissal, tried t<;i telep~one the Queen, but
that his telephone bad been disconnected; Callard, op. cit., p.137 fn,
Party Politics in Pakistan
Governor General or Governor who, if satisfied with the substance of the
complaint, could order an inquiry to be conducted by High-Court
Judges. If the judicial inquiry reported that there had been 'acts of
maladministration or abuse of office, the Governor General or Governor
ordered the suspension of the 'politician from the right of holding public
office for a specified number of years. 'This law had been invoked on
a number of occasions and some highly placed public servants had been
punished. Among those disqualified in this way were M. A. Khuro,
Kazi Fazlullah, Ghulam Nabi Pathan and Hamidul Haq Chaudhri, In
the case of Ghuiam Ali Talpur, there was an adverse. finding but no
penalty was awarded. In one' case, that of Khan of Mamdot, the members of the tribunal did not agree among themselves. And, in one case,
that of Mian Daultana, the proceedings did not conclude. At the time
the Assembly repealed it, complaints against a number of persons were
pending.1 The Bill of repeal which was introduced and passed on the
same day, 20 Septemb.er, contained a provision by which the repeal was
not to affect the references "pending before any court or tribunal on or
before 1 September, 1954."2 The indecent haste with which the repealing
law was passed and the enthusiasm and relief with which it was received
by politicians gave an·indication of their true intention.!
With two swift strokes the politicians had made their careers considerably safe. If arbitrarily dismissed, they could now file a writ petition ;
if suspected of abuse of powers, they were now secure against any
unpleasant inquiry. But yet there were dangers which disturbed their
· peace of-mind, 'on 2l September, a member introduced a bill amending
Section 10 of the Government of India Act, 1935, by virtue or which the
Governor General could dismiss the Prime Minister. The mover asserted
that the amend'ment would "revitalize our political life and re-establish
our reputation of being a democratic country". The bill was passed in
the course of a few minutes. It had been printed the day before it was
1~ Another reason for this anxiety to repeal the PRODA may have been the
rumour that the Governor of East Pakistan, General Iskandar Mirza, was "preparing a
substantial number of charges against former office holders" ofthatprovince. This
was mentioned by some members in the repeat' debate. See Constituent Assembly of
Pakistan, Debates, 20 September, 1954; and Stanley Maron, "The Problem of Ea~t
Pakistan", Pacific Affairs, Jun~ 1955, p, 135 fn,
' .
,2: Public and Represen'1ative Ojjiees (Disqualification) (Repeal) Act, 1954,
Section 4: This was significant, for it permitted proceedings to continue against
Mian Daultana.
3. It is interesting to find that an amendment to the repeal Bill, moved by a Hindu
member, seeking to abrogate all previous penalties awarded unde~ PRODA, was
defeated by 26 votes to 9. Callard, op, cil., pp, 104-105.
Political and Constitutional Background-!
introduced; no indication of making so important a change was given to
the public; and the Governor General, who was then in Abbotabad, was
not informed. Moreover, the amending Act was published in the
Gazette on the day it was passed; thus making sure that it became law
at once, as under the Assembly's rules an enactment became law from
the time of its publication in the official Gazette.t
The significance of these changes was not lost upon the country.
People were gradually becoming disillusioned with the work and efficiency
of the Constituent Assembly. They did not accept as valid the excuses
pleaded by politicians for this delay in constitution-making.
At the same
time, administration was neither efficient nor popular. Khwaja Nazimuddin's dismissal had been received with the expectation that matters
would improve. But democracy was hardly well served with these
amendments. Politicians· could no longer be controlled and questioned
if they abused their authority. Nor could the cabinet be dismissed if it
failed in its duties. Politicians had erected all kinds of safeguards around
them to perpetuate their rule.
Another factor also demanded attention. Since the defeat of the
Muslim League in the East Pakistan election, the Bengali members of
the Constituent Assembly had no title to act as representatives of that
province. When the United Front demanded their reslgnation.s the
sitting members turned a deaf ear and argued on legalities which events
had outdated, The Assembly was indirectly elected by the various provincial legislatures, and the Bengali members maintained that once elected
they would continue to sit in the Assembly until it had completed its task
of framing a constitution. Legally, they might have been right but
morally or politically they could not claim the right to make a
constitution in the name of and for the people who had passed a clear
vote of no-confidence against them. But they went on participating in
the.deliberations of.the Constituent Assembly, and in this they received
I. One Karachi nc.wspaper allege~ that these developments were the work or one
man, Faztur Rahman, who "has indeed succeeded in compassing the entire sovereignty
of the Constituent Assembly into the few votes of tlie coterie that he controls", The
Times of Karachi, 21 September, J 954.
2. Io 1951 the newly-elected Punjab Legislative Assembly had passed a resolution
demanding that the sitting·members of the Constituent Assembly 'from the Punjab
should be replaced by members to be chosen by the new house. A similar resoluticn
was also passed by the legislature of the North-West Frontier Province in November
1951; Muneer Ahmad, Legislalure.s in Pakistan 1947-1958(Lahore, {960), p. 14. Thus
the United Front' demand was eotnovel.
Party Politics in Pakistan
support from the West Pakistan Muslim League.1 If the United Front
detnand was met and the East "Pakistan legislature was asked to send
fresh respresentatives to the Assembly, they might vote the Assembly's
dissolution. This would entail' elections iµ. West Pakistan, and the
-Muslim League knew very well that such elections would most probably
prove as deadly to them as had those-in the eastern wing. In the face of
this unpalatable prospect the Muslim League united with the defeated
Bengali members in arguing in favour of the latter's right to continue as
members of the Assembly.
Thus in October 1954, the Governor General was facedwith only a
partially representative Constituent Assembly which, confident of its new
powers, behaved, arrogantly ; a constitutionatamendrrient
to the effect
that- he could not question corrupt politicians ;2 and the inability to dismiss
the Cabinet. At the same time· he was convinced that the Assembly
was less interested in its work of constitution-making than in perpetuating
-its useless existence. In this conviction he seemed to have the support
of a large section of public opinion whose indignation was mounting
at the delay in .constitution-framing and at the selfish intrigues among
politicians. Some newspapers, particularly the Pakistan Times and a
few in East Pakistan, had been for months demanding a new and fully
representative Constituent Assembly. Heartened by this public support
t.qe Governor General acted on 24 October, 1954.
A state of emergency was declared r throughout Pakistan.
Constituent Assembly was dissolved. The Cabinet was dismissed. In
the. proclamation heralding these changes the Governor General, Ghulam
Muhammad, said that he had come to the. conclusion that the cou'stitu, tional machinery had broken down and that the Assembly had lost the
confidence of the people. It was intended to hold, fresh elections
as soon as possible, and until that time the Prime Minister, Muhammad
Ali Bogra, was asked to re-form his Cabinet in order to give a stable
and vigorous ·administration to the country.J For the first time a
!, That explains why the Awtimi League later welcomed the dissolution of the
Constituent Assembly; see G. W. Choudhri, Constitutional Development in Pakistan
(Lahore, 1959), p~ 145.
2. PRODA's "hasty repeal by the first Constituent Assembly was unfortunate and
considerably -Iowered the prestige of the Assembly in the estimation of the 'people.
There was suggestion in some quarters that the hasty repeal of this Act was effected in
order to favour some members of the Constituent Assembly", ibtd., p, 142.
3. The, Proclamation said : "The Governor General having considered the
political crisis with which the country is faced has, with deep regret, come to the
conclusion that the constitutional machinery .has broken down. He,, therefore; has
[ c_ontd. on p. 25 J
Political and Constitutional Background-I
"national Government" came into office; Three important changes in
the personnel of the Cabinet deserve notice. General Iskandar Mirza,
who had been sent to East Pakistan in May as Governor, was recalled
to become Minister of the Interior; Dr. Khan Sahib, an old Congressman and a former Chief Minister of the North-West Frontier Province,
was included; and the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, General
Muhammad Ayub Khan, was made Defence Minister.1
The Governor General was criticised in certain quarters for having
taken this drastic action," But it is possible tp argue for the appropriateness of his intervention if the circumstances then prevailing are
kept in view. The Constituent Assembly itself had closed all constitutional doors against the Governor General's acting in an emergency.
It was claimed that the Assembly could not be dissolved for it was a
sovereign body. We will see that the constitutional problem involved
was eventually determined by the Federal Court.3 But "when a people
[Contd.fromp, 24]
decided to declare a State of Emergency throughout Pakistan. The Constituent
Assembly as at present constituted has lost the confidence of the people and can no
longer function. ''The ultimate authority vests in the people who will decide all
issues including constitutional issues through their representatives to be elected
afresh. Election will be held· as early as possible." Until such time" as elections are
held, the administration of the country will be carried on by a reconstituted cabinet.
He has called upon the Prime Minister to reform the cabinet with a view to giving a
vigorous and stable administration. The invitation has been accepted. "The security
and stability of the country are of paramount importance, All personal, sectional and
provincial interests must be subordinated to the supreme national interest." Gazette
of Pakistan(Extraordinary),24 October, 1954.
1. M.A. Gurmani claims that he was also offered a seat in this cabinet but he
declined; see his statement before the West Pakistan Elective Bodies Disqualification
Tribunal, Pakistan Times, 21 February, 1961.
2. He claimed, however, that he had not coerced the Prime Minister into agreeing
with his decision; Ghulam Muhammad's speech at the Karachi MunicipalCorporation
on 12 November, PakistanTimes, 13 November; 1954. This is corroborated by Bogra's
statement : "The destiny of the country could no longer be left to the caprice of an
Assembly ... which was becoming increasingly subject to internal bickerings, Constitution making is important. But more important is the security and stability of our
country", quoted in G. W. Choudhri, op. cit., p, 144,
3. An attempt at a compromise is said to have been made. The Government
negotiating team, consisting of Chaudhri Muhammad Ali, Iskandar Mi17.a and
Suhrawardy, met I. I. Chundrigar, counsel for Maulvi Tamizuddin, the Speaker of the
dissolved chamber. They agreed that the "Constitu'ent Assembly would re-convene for
the purpose of delineating new electoral constituencies and would then dissolve itself".
The Government team wanted a written guarantee embodying the terms of the agreement, which Cbundrigar was unable to give. The matter ended there, and the Federal
[ Contd. on p. 26]
Political and Constitutional Background=A
Party Politics in Pakistan
are confronted with a choice between anarchy and misery on the one
hand and authority and well-being on the other, it is unpardonable ·to
take shelter behind constitutional maxims and create confusion by
legalistic interpretations".!
Perhaps Pakistan was moving away from
democracy, but "no democrat who knows the facts would at the moment
have it otherwise'V There is no doubt that by and large the country
supported the Governor General in his action; only some of the dismissed
parliamentarians and ministers showed resentment. "No public protest
was raised, no procession was taken out against the Governor General's
action, and no further agitation went on in the mosques. The man in the
street was unconcemed---complete1y indifferent't.s
Iskandar Mirza declared in an interview with the Daily Telegraph
that the Army did.not wish to be involved in the country's politics. A~
a matter of fact, the Cojnmander-in-Chief did not seek election to the
new Constituent Assembly .and left the Cabinet when a party Government
was formed.!
The National
I 1i
Government- began its task with the intention of
[ Conrd.fromp. 25]
Court had to decide thecase, Chief Ju~tice Munir had promised to "try to co-operate
in any compromise-reached"; Stanley Maron, "The Problem of East Pakistan", Paeific
.·Affairs, June 1955, pp. 138-139. This is an important development deserving of a
, longer notice. But the present author has been unable to find any reference to it in
contemporary press or subsequent literature. Mr. Maron docs not mention the date of
these negotiations, saying only that they took place "while (judicial) proceedings were
under way". N;o confirmation of this is available. os the other band, Chaudhri
Muhammad Ali, in an interview with the p~sent author on 20 August, 1961, denied
that any such negotiations took place.
I. ••Crisisin Pakistan", Round Table, December 1954, p, 44.
2. Economist, 30 October, 1954, p. 368.
3. Binder, op: eu., p. 361.
4. See Feldman,·op. '<;it., pp, 65-67.
S. Described by the Prime Minister as ••a Cabinet of talent" rather than a coalition
of parties, Dawn, 31 October, 1954. It contained four members of the previous team :
Murtaza Raza Cbaudhri, Amir. Azam Khan, A. M. Malik and Cbaudhri Muhammad
Ali; and four newcomers: General Ayub, General Mirza, A. H. Ispahani, and
Ghulam Ali Talpur. Another six ministers were appointed later: Khan Sahib, H. I.
Rahimtoola, Abid Husain, Suhrawardy, Mumtaz Ali Khan, and A. H. Sarkar. It is
obvious that the dismissed cabin~t did not Protest against the Governor General's
action, because four of them agreed to serve in the- new Government, and four of tho
seven omitted accepted other official posts: Zafrullah had already been elected to the
~nternational Court of Justice, Gurmani was sent to the Punjab as Governor, Shoaib
Qureshi reverted to his diplomatic post and Sardar Babadur was made Chief Commissloner of Baluchistan.
being firm, The new Minister of the Interior, Iskandar Mirza> who was
later to be the Governor General and' the first President, stated that the
country was not yet .ripe for democracy and that for some time it would
have to be governed by what he termed "controlJed democracy" .l His
remarks evoked considerable adverse comment, and he was dubbed by his
critics as the old-type civil servant and Sandhurst-trained soldier who
.knew little of politics.s There also -appeared a new development in the
vexed question of the proper relationship between Church and State.
The theocratic zeal of a handful of orthodox legislators had been
successfully tackled by the dismissal of Khwaja Nazimuddin and the
exclusion of Sirdar Abdur Rab Nishtar, Now the orthodox party was
further weakened by Mirza's statements that religion and politics should
be kept apart ·"otherwise there will be chaos".3 Turning to the ulama
· he said that "if the learned niaulanas try to dabble in politics, there
will be trouble". Asked to comment on the Jamaat-i-Islami and other
religious organizations, he replied., "We have nothing to worry if they
confine themselves to religious affairs."4 These revolutionary pronouncements brought forth angry reactions from the religious groups, who
issued a long rejoinder on the following day.5 But many among the
intelligentsia welcomed them; they loved religion, but distrusted religious
. J
The y~ar 1955 saw many ministerial r~shuffi~e~ and a _change in
governor generalship. On 21 May, the Punjab mm1S~ry of Firoz Khan
Noon which had succeeded Mian Daultana's administration after the
religious riots of 1953, was dismissed. The reasons for this are not
clear. It seems 'that Noon's differences with the Central Government
were based less on principles than on personalities.
He had fully
supported the scheme for the integration of ~n. areas of the ~estem wing
into one province, but later he became suspicious of the motives of some
1. Dawn, 31 October, 1954. Such sentiments must have been music to the ears
of the civil servants. At a press conference on 5 December, 1954, the Secretary ~o t~e
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (a senior civiJ servant) ••sought to justify
the expression -eoatrolled democracy' by describing the systems of government th~t
prevail in the United States and in the United Kingdom, as examples of controlled
democracy": Feldman, op. cit.; p. 66,
2. With all his faults Mina knew his people well. His prophecy came true m 1958
and ironically enough involved him in a double role.
·3. Dawn, 31 October, 1954.
4. Ibid.
S. Published in ibid., 1 November, 1954.
Political and Constitutional Background-1
Party Politics in Pakistan
Central Ministers, who, in his opinion, were anxious to see it implemented with a speed and for reasons.which were unacceptable.
Noon tried to find out who had dismissed him and why. First he
rang up Prime Minister Bogra, What happened then is given in Noon's
own words: "Is it your order?" He said, 'No, it is not my order and
the Cabinet has never given -this decision. I will ask Mr. Gurmani
(Governor of the Punjab) just now why he is dismissing the Ministry'.
So, he rang up Gurmani. I also rang up Chaudhri Muhammad Ali and
he, like a wise man, said, 'Please consult the Prime Minister'. I also
rang up Iskandar Mirza, but he also like a wise man said that you better
consult Chaudhri Muhammad Ali and the Prime Minister. So I went
back to the.Prime Minister again. In the meantime the Prime Minister
had rang up the Governor in Lahore as to wpy he was ~rdering dismissal
of the Noon Ministry and that how could he.dismiss the Ministry. He
said that His Excellency the Governor General (Ghulam Muhammad};
before he went to Zurich on the 11th May, gave him a written order to
dismiss the Ministry. So Mr. Muhammad Ali's mouth was shut up and
his Cabinet did not know what to do. "1 According to another report,
Noon clashed with the Central Government and the provincial Governor
on the issue of the election of members from the Punjab to the second
Constituent Assembly.s' However, his dismissal did not affect the
fortunes of the Muslim League in the province; the party only changed
its leader, and Abdul Hamid Khan Dasti now became the Chief
One of the earliest important decisions of the National Government·
had been the order of dismissal of Abdus Sattar Pirzada's Ministry in
Sindh, This! was done in November 1954 by the Governor General
on the ground of maladministration, but Pirzada asserted that the action
was taken against him because he was opposed to tlie integration of West
Pakistan.s His place as Chief Minister was taken by M.A. Khuro.
The next change was the restoration of parliamentary government
in East Pakistan. Since Fazlul Haq's dismissal in 1954 the province
1,. Quoted in K. B. Sayeed, op. cit., pp. 423-424.
Callard, op. cit., p, 29 ; and Feldman, op. cit., p. 91. This is supported by a
contemporary news item. Towards the end of April 1955 Chaudhri Muhammad Ali
we~t to Lahore and asked the provincial Muslim Leag~e and its parliamentary party to
elect seven Central Ministers to the Constituent Assembly. In protest against this
. Central dictation three Parliamentary Secretaries 'resigned, and it was reported that
three Ministers (Dasti, M. K. Leghari, and Masood Sadiq) bad threatened to resign ;
Daw11, 1 May, 1955.
3. Dawn, 9 November, 1954.
bad been under the Governor's rule. The exigencies of party politics
now necessitated a change towards democracy. Prime Minister Bogra
tound himself in a precarious position. His party, the Muslim League,
had been beaten in East Pakistan, and it was difficult for him to be
elected to the new Constituent Assembly· from his home province.
Meanwhile, the United Front was no longer as united as it had been,
and the Awami League, its major component, had separated from it.
The strength of the component elements of the Front had considerably
changed since 1954. Originally the Awami League had 142 members
in it, now it had 98; an Awami League splinter group of 20 members
was still in the Front; the Krisbka Sramik, the second largest group in
the Front and Haq's own .party, had 48 members in 1954, now .it had
69; the Nizam-i-Islam stood firm at 19; and the Gantantari Dal liad
lost only one member by slipping to 12 from 13.1 If now Haq was
asked to form a Ministry, it would be dependent upon the support of
the Hindu members of the provincial legislature; a prospect that could
hardly be contemplated in view of the general belief that the Hindu
minority of that province looked to India for inspiration. But his
support was needed by any party which wished to have a majority in the
Constituent Assembly-to-be. Several members of the Central Government were hobnobbing with him to strengthen their position.. This
showed 'a glaring anomaly in the country's party politics. Haq had been
called a traitor by the Prime Minister. Either he was a traitor, or he
was not. If he was not, his name should have been cleared of the
charge and amends made to him. If he was, then all politicians who
angled for his support were giving aid and comfort to a traitor. But
such niceties had no place in the political intrigues that followed.
. Finding his prospect for election from his own province poor, Bogra
visited East Pakistan on 2 June, and on the following day he made the
announcement that Governor's rule over the province was being .lifted
and popular administration was being restored. Haq had. decided not
to become the Chief Minister; the official explanation was that he "had
decided to delegate his privilege to a nominee keeping himself free to
devote his energies to questions of momentous consequences to the
country". This was probably done to appease public opi?ion in W~st
Abu Husain Sarkar was accordingly sworn in as Chief
Minister of East Pakistan.s When this announcement was made both
1. Callard, op. cu., p. 59 fn.
2. This was done on 6 June, 1955. But it was not a United Fro!1t Mintstry. for
the old United Front had by now disintegrated. It would be more correct to call
it a Krishka Sramik Ministry. ·The Awami League bad left the Front in February
[ Contd. on p. 30 ]
Political and Constitutional Background-A.
Party Politics in Pakistan
the Governor General. andthe Awami League leader, Suhrawardy, were
away in Europe; and it was alleged by Bogra's critics that he had taken
advantage of their absence to negotiate with Haq in order to secure his
own position,
It is open to serious· doubt if this was done in deference to either
the wishes of the people or any other democratic principle. Two months
earlier the Prime Minister had been convinced that a rapprochement
between the United Front and the Awami League was a prerequisite
to the restoration of parliamentary life in East Pakistan. No such
rapprochement had been brought about, but the' Governor's rule was
lifted. And in'. doing this Bogra neither consulted Suhrawardy nor
informed his colleagues. The Governor of East Pakistan objected to the
taking of such a step, and when IVs advice was ignored he resigned.in
protest. But nothing could deter the Prime Minister from putting power
back into the hands of the "traitor" for whose overthrow .he had
fervently solicited thenation's support about a year back, The' explanation of this volte-face was· that he thought that by doing so he would
not only secure his election to the Constituent Assembly but would also
be inflicting a crushing defeat on Suhrawardy, whose ambitions to
become prime minister'were known to all.
The North-West Frontier Province was the venue of the next change.
Khan Abdul Qayyum Khan, who had been the provincial Chief Minister
since 1947, had joined theCentral Government in April 195~, and his
place had been taken by Abdur Rashid Khan, a senior police officer of
tb'.e province who had tp resign -from service to take up the chief
ministership. On 18 July, 1955,1 Rashid's Ministry was dismissed
because of its opposition' to the "One Unit" scheme.2 The background
to this dismissal is that Rashid had previously expressed his warm
support for the integration plan and had secured his own and his
colleagues' election to the second Constituent Assembly on the apparent,
understanding that they supported the scheme. None of them, however,
[ Contd.from p. 29 ]
when its vlce-president, Ataur Rahman Khan, and Fazlul Haq had fallen apart. For
.det~ils of this rift see Stanley Maron, "The Problem of East Pakistan", Pacific Affairs,
June 1955, p, 141, and G. W. Choudhri, "The East Pakistan Political S~ne··~· ibid'.~
December 1957,'p, 312.
1. There is some confusion about the exact date. Feldman, op. cu., p. 82, has
18 July, and Muneer, op. cit., p, 153, 7 July.
2. "One Unit" was the popular phrase used to describe the proposed integration
of all areas in the western wing into one province of West Pakistan.' This was done
against th~ wishes of some of the leaders of the si;nallerprovinces, viz., Si~db, and the.
North-West Frontiyr 'Provi'nce. For details see infra.
t '
resigned his seat after making public his 'change of mind. He explained
later in Parliament that he had withdrawn his support because the
assurances he had received safeguarding provincial rights were not being
The political situation prevailing at this time may be described in the
following words: "The old Constituent Assembly, a twentieth century
'Long Parliament', strayed further and further away from reality and
from public feelIng, and had to be disbanded when it sought to per·
petuate its right' to maintain unrepresentative anarchy. The Muslim
League, the nation's founder party, lost its sense of purpose, its coherence
and its good name. In West Pakistan, the network of provincial and
state politics become a forcing-bed for jobbery; in the eastern half of the
country, Bengali separatism throve on Karachi's apparent indifference
and inaction. The sordid squabbles of highly personalized politics
alternated with bouts of doctrinaire disputation about the religious
character of the State, while the State itself decayed. "2
Meanwhile elections to the second Constituent Assembly were complete, and the result showed that, in contrast to the old Assembly which
had contained a crushing Muslim League majority, the new chamber
consisted of three sizeable grottps. The three major parties were: Muslim
League, with 26 seats; United Front, with 16; and Awami League, Vt'.~tll
13. The Congress had won 4 seats, the Scheduled Caste Federation 3,
and the United Progressive Party 2. Sixteen members were elected on
independent' tickets. The Muslim League was still the strongest party
but'with no overall majority as against the other parties. · The not-sosmall independent group contained such important politicians as Firoz
Khan Noon, Abdur Rashid, Fazlur' Rahman (indepeQdent Muslim
League), Mian .Iftikharuddin, (Azad Pakistan Party), Dr. Khan Sahib,
and c. E. Gibbon (Muslim :f:.eague Assoclatel.! With this composition
some political manoeuvering was inevitable.
On the publication of .the result the Muslim League parliamentary
party elected as its leader Chaudhri Muhammad Ali, the former Finance
Minister and an ex-civil servant, whereupon 'Prime Minister Bogra tendered his resignation. A coalition government wasthe only pos~ibility, and
political speculation was rife about possible allia.n~es. The Unit~d Front
offered to join the Muslim League on three conditions: the Awami League
was not to be brought into the Government; the United Front: would
1. Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, 5 and 6 September, 1955, Vol. I,
p. 490ff.
2. Economist, 13 August, 1955, P• 521.
3. Dawn, 22 and 23 June, 1955.
Political and Constitutional BackgrDund-1
Party Politics·in Pakistan
support the "One Unit" scheme for West Pakistan provided that the
. League would agree to regional autonomy for East Pakistan. The
Mus I 1m
Awami League's terms of coalition with t e Mus~1m _League were: Suhrawardy would be the Prime Minister; the new Constitution would provide for
a joint electorate; and Bengali would be a State language.! Suhrawardy's
weakness lay in the fact that his party was the smallest of the three major
groups. Anyhow, the Muslim League preferred the terms of the United
Front to those of the Awami League. But later Suhrawardy claimed
that the prime ministership had been promised to him and that the
Muslim League had withdrawn its support and its promise when he had
made it plain that he would not tolerate corruption, bribery or nepotism.2
The coalition Government, formed on 10 August, .1955, was thus
made up of two parties, the Muslim League and the United Front, with
one Cabinet seat going to a Caste Hindu.s It was led by Chaudhri
Muhammad Ali, the leader of the Muslim League patty. The Cabinet
as a whole was no better than its predecessors either in ability or in
experience, and the Press openly commented on this aspect.
The first task of the new Government was to push on with the "One
Unit" scheme; and on 14 October, 1955, the province of West Pakistan
officially came into existence. In January 1956 elections were held to
choose members of the new West Pakistan Legislative Assembly. As
direct election would have required much preparation and might have
delayed matters, the Government decided that the legislature should be
indirectly elected '!:>Y the then existing provincial assemblies. Originally
the suggestion was that each existing assembly should elect its full quota
by majority vote; thus, for example, the 197 members of the Punjab
Assembly would elect the 124 members of the new house, this being
the quota of the Punjab in the new legislature. A later modification
provided that the members of the Assembly from each district (an administrative area and not an electoral district) would elect a group of
members; with the result that any faction that controlled a majority in a
district would ensure the capture of all seats by its own supporters. The
Muslim League won a clear majority in these elections, but it lacked
unified leadership and was split into factions and groups led by former
chief ministers;
When the province of West Pakistan was inaugurated, the Government of the province was formed by drawing on the existing provincial
governments, and included such figures as Daultana, Khuro, .Dasti
and Sardar Bahadur, As the Governor of the new Province, Mushtaq
Ahmad Gurmani, was a Punjabi, it was thought advisable to appoint a
non-Punjabi as chief minister. Factionalism, rife in the Muslim League,
precluded the possibility of the emergence of any one leader who would
be acceptable to all the groups. So, almost bya process of elimination
the lot fell to Khan Sahib, who was a non-party Pathan. 'Once the
election was over, friction arose between the new Government and the
Muslim League party. The Muslim League Council passed a resolution
criticising the leaders for having failed to allot electoral tickets according
to the normal party procedure. The President of the Pakistan Muslim
League, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, ordered the Muslim League members
of-the Iegislature to form a Muslim League parliamentary party.I In
'March 1956, members from the old North-West Frontier Province and
the tribal areas.met and elected Khan Sahib as their leader.s Ten days
later' Prime Minister Chaudhri confirmed his support to Khan Sahib as
Chief Minister, saying that his non-party character made him invaluable
to the solidarity of West Pakistan+ On 4 April, the Muslim League
parliamentary party in West Pakistan passed a resolution, protesting that
Khan Sahib was not acceptable to :it as Chief· Minister. Simultaneously
it elected Sardar'Bahadur Khan as its leader. Bahadur Khan, who was
then a member of· the provincial Government, wrote to the Governor
asserting that, being the elected leader of thelargest party' in the house;
he should be called upon to form a new administration.s Khan Sahib
immediately reshuffled his Ministry, dropping Bahadur Khan, Daultana
and Khuro, and adding the Khan of Mamdot, Kazi Fazlullah and Sardar
Rashid. On 23 April, the Muslim League expelled a number of itS
members who had gone over to the· side of the Chief Minister .s Simultaneously Khan Sahib proclaimed the formation of his own party, the
Republican Party,
Technically the Muslim League was correct in the stand it took>
1. Dawn, 31 January, 1956.
2. Ibid., 19 March, 1956.
· 3. "Dr. Khan Sahib was and remains a non-party man whose services arc;
considered Invaluable for the solidarity of West Pakistan", Dawn, 30 March, 1956.
•• 4.. For fuJI text of.letters exchanged among the Governor (M. A. Gur~ni). the;
Chief Minister (Khan Sahib) and Sardar Bahadur, See Dawn, 9 April, 1?56. .
•. 5~ .Th~Y.. were: Mam~t, Abid ~?S!ihl,· Jamil Husain .~zwi. Fazlullah, Pasti,
Arbab Nur Muhammad, and Hasan Malunµd. ibid., 24 April. 195.6. .
Dawn, 8 August, 1955.
2. The Times of Ktirachi, 3 September, 1955.
3. During August.December 1955, when votes were taken on various m~tters in
the house, the Awami League was supported "from time to time" by Noon, Fazlur
Rahman, Fazlul Karim, lftikharuddin, Mahmud Ali, Rashid and Jaffai Shah· Callard
op. eit., p. 65 fn.
Pat:.ty Politics in Pakistan '
Khan Sahib's appointment was made by the Prime Minister'; he was never
elected or named by the Muslim League or by the Muslim League parliamentary party.! But the Prime Minister was a Muslim Leaguer, and
his appointment of Khan' Sahib. was originally accepted by the Muslim
League.s Morally the West Pakistan Muslim League parliamentary party
could make a strong case for itself: .Khan Sahib was an old Congressman
who had opposed the creation of Pakistan .and in 1947 had, according to
one report, refused to take the oath of allegianceto the State and had
therefore been dismissed. It was a little too much to expect the Muslim
League parliamentary party to accept such a 111-~n as their leader. The
Muslim League might have won popular 'support-if ~t had stuck to this
point, remained consistent in its attitude.and offered"something s,0li$1 and
attractive to the public, Where,it faltered was in minimizing the -role
Khan Sahib could p1ay. He 'Ya.s in office and could therefore .offer all,
the attractions of being on the side of. authority, The Muslim 'League,
lost the game by sheer in~isc!pli1,1~ and disunity within itself. -Had it been
a united orgaajzatioi;i and had nope of its followers deserted it to join the
new Chief Ministe~·s.group,·Khfl!l Sahib would have been forced to resign
and most probably the Republican Party would not have, coiµe into
existence. Mor~pver, and this wasa significant consideration, the entire
Central Government was ~t this time working against the Muslim League,
Though the, Prirpe Minister belonged to the Muslim League, he was
politically ~ ~eiJk man and. real power lay· with Iskandar Mirza, the
President, Mirza and Khan Sahib were old friends, and it was an ·open
~f<=ret·that the birth of the Republican Party owed a~ much to Presidential inspiration.as to the circumstances.
The,Central Government could noj remain unaffected by this change
~f party position in th.~ western ~ing, and the strange situation, in which
the Muslim League shared pow~r in the Centreas a majorcomponent of
the coalition without being in office in any of the provinces, could not
continue for long. ¥any members of the .National Assembly- from
1. He was appointed under Governor General's Order No. 6 of 1955, issued. on
4 ·April, 1955.
2. Daultana had drafted the statement of Cbaudhri Muhammad Ali, issued
27 March, 1956, supporting Khan Sahib and his appointment. It is reported that in
the West Pakistan Muslim League parliamentary party.meeting, which decided not to
accept Khan Sahib as Chief Minister and to call upon his' Ministers to join the Muslim
leagU~ within a week or face exl>utsion from tlie I?arty, "Daultana spoke in f~vour of
accepting 'Khan Sahib as Chief Minister of West Pakistan but bis principal lieutenants"
harangued the party members against accepting an ex-Congressire" K. B.' Sa~ced
op. eu.; pp. 428, 442-443.
1 '•
J. The new name for the old Constituent Assembly under the new 'Constitution.
which bad come into force'on 23. March, 1956. .
Political nnd' Constitutional JJackground-1
·West Pakistan joined the Republican Party, and in June 1956 Kazi
Fazlullah could claim that the Republicans were the largest single party
.. in' the house with 22 members. But -at this stage they did not make any
attempt to break the Ceritraf Government. Khan Sahib continued to
declare his full support to the Prime Minister; similarly'the Prime Minister persevered in fas endorsement' of the West Pakistan Ministry, and
when called upon to intervene by the Muslim League Working Committee
reminded his own party', the Muslim League, that his actions as Prime
Minist~E were governed l;>Y the good of the country and not by ' the
'resolutions of any political party and that he was responsible to the
C~bipet and the'Parliament alone.1 The Muslim League took this as
'betrayal of the party and accused him of doing nothing ~o stop its dis;
integration in the National Assembly. Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, the
'riew President of the Pakistan Muslim League and one whom Chaudhri
!Muhammad Ali had greatly helped in reachingthis ~ffice,, was 'in the
forefront of this ~ttack. . Two ministers resigned from the Cabine5 and
two others from the Muslim League Party. When the Prime Minister
~alled a meeting of the Coalition parliamentary party on 27 Aujust: th~
;Muslim, League members refused to attend, . insisting that the Musti~
Leaguers who had joined the Republican PartY at the Centre sh~~d not
be allowed into the meeting. Disgusted with this snip-snap the Prime
Minister' resigned on 8 September, resigni,ng .his.' membership , of th~
M uslim League as· well.
This change calls for some comment. Chaudhri Mu.liam~ad Ali's
resignation w~s a unique example of political propriety, for it came at a
time when he, enjoyed the confidence of the house and' collini.a~ded
a clear majority in 'it. He had considered himself the leader of the
~oalition· party as a Whole rather than the leader of the Muslim Leagu~
party alone, and therefore he had;-refused to side with' one or the other
group within the coalition party. Unless the Republicans withdrew from'
the coalition 'party he could not ask them to keep out of the cOalition
party meeting. It may Be said that the accession of the Awami Lc;agu~
~o ~~wer in East Pakistan, Which ~ill be considered later, had made his
position untenable. But it must be remembered that he still enjoyed
the support of the United Front and the Republican Party, ahd 6oth
would 'have clung to him almost' desperately if lie had chosen to stand his
1. "Let
make ii clear that in any action that I have to take as prfuie Ministe~ ~
capnot be bound by a resolution of any political party. I have to do what I consider
to be right under the Constitution, and for that I am responsible to'ilie Cabiliet and to
the Parliament", Pakistan Observer, 15 May, 1956. Contrast this, with' Liaq'uat.f'Ali's
attitude, infra, p. 9.5.
Party Politics in Pakistan·
Political and Constitutional Background-t
ground. His decision to resign of his own accord while WU commanding
a majority- in the-Assembly was the first and the last instance of good
political manners in this period of Pakistan's party politics. Nevertheless, he cannot escape criticism on the ground that he proved a poor
politician. His inability to control his party was his weakness ; his
appointment of Khan Sahib was his initial blunder; out of which fl.owed
all subsequent misfortunes; His fat~ proves the general rule that man
who has spent all , his life in the ordered world of civil service rules and
traditions makes a weak politician.
resignation was also a milestone in the history of. party
marke? ,the total eclipse of the Muslim League in the country. The
party had disappeared from East "Pakistan in April 1954; it went into
opposition in West Pakistan in early 1956; and now it was turned out of
the Central Government. Perhaps it is difficult to find a parallel from.
any other country 'where a· party was ousted from p.0wer before it was
given a verdict by the people in a general election,
In the meantime, the United Front (or rather Krishka Sramik)
coalition government of. East Pakistan was finding· itself in troubled
waters. The composition of the coalition could not make for a common
p~licy, but the Ministsy hadlingered on while all attention was focussed
on Karachi and the framing of the constitution, By then major disagreements Oft .both national and focal issues had appeared, and six of the
original components in the coalition had withdrawn their support:
In April 195~, the United Front parliamentary party suspended three
front-bench members of the Awami League, thus alienating the latter's
support.! In J~nuary 195(?, Gantantari Dal withdrew from the Front
because the Front had given "vague replies" to the 7-point ultimatum of
the Dal: unconditional release of. all political prisoners, immediate 'by~
elections to vacant seats, setting up of a steering committee to co-ordinate.
policy, summoning the Assembly by 15 January, and categorical declara-.
tion by the Front leaders in favour of a democratic constitution embodying a joint electorate, full regional autonomy, and recognition of Bengali,
as a Stat~ language.s A few days later the Pakistan National Congresa
severed all ties with the Front.3
In September the Nizam-i-Islam ceasedr
to function as a component, of the Fropt because, according to it.
the Front [eaders had failed to specify within the stipulated
"whether or not the United Front supported the principle of separate
. _,_'
1. Dawn, zs' April, 1955,
2. · !{ltd., 4 January, 1956.
3. tu«, 10 January, 1956.
. ~·. J
electorates to which Nizam-i-Islam was wedded."! In July, the Awami
League splinter group, led by Abdus Salam Khan.. which had so far
supported the government, also parted company.' The coalition administration tendered its resignation in August, coinciding, with the fall of the
Muslim League-United Front coalition in the Centre. The Awami
League formed the new provincial government . under Ataur Rahman
This change in East Pakistan naturally led to the Awami League's
entry into the Central 'Government. After Chaudhri Muhammad Ali's
resignation and the failure of the ~nited Front, the obvious -choice was
an Awami League-Republican Party coalition at the- .Centre, headed by
the Awami League leader, .Suhrawardy. For the first time in four years
there was a Central-Government that corresponded to the actual balance
bf. party forces in the· country. It tended to bring stability to national
administration, and for little over a year no significant upheaval occurred;
except the imposition of Governor's rule in West Pakistan in March
1957, ostensiblyto save the Republican Ministry from being supplanted
by· a Muslim League one,2 and its revocation in July of the same year,
when Khan Sahib stepped down in favour of Sardar Abdur Rashid.
On 25 July, 1957, Maulana Abdul Hamid Kha~ Bhashani, th~
Awami League leader of East Pakistan, broke away from the Awami
League and, in co-operation with the- Gantantari Dal and the Pakistan
National Party of West Pakistan, formed a new party, the National
Awami Party. His mairr charge against the Awami League was. the
latter's deviation from the party.programme, and among the "retreats" he
stressed the non-implementation of the Awami League 21-point manifesto which hacfenvisaged full regional autonomy for East-Pakistan. He'.
was equally uncompromising in his opposition to the national foreign
policy, and castigated the Centra~Governri:J.ent for its continued membership of foreign pacts and alliances entered into by previous governments.
Towards the end of lf57 a chain of dramatic political developments
1. Dawn, 18 September, 1956. But it was not till August 1951 that· the party
announced its decision to sit as an independent group ~n the National Assembly, and
explained that this was being done because the Krishka Sramik Party had backed out
of the. "10. agreed
principles which constituted· the basis of our participation in the
United Front"; ibid., 26 August, 1957.
2. This was resented by the Muslim League, and on 20 May the Central Working
Committ~ passed a stinging resolution in criticism of what it described as Centra
"favouritism'', text in· Morning News,.21 May, 19S7.
Party Politics in Paklstatt
occurred at the Centre as well as in the provinces.
. The Republican Party had been formed primarily to safeguard the
"One Unit", but within eighteen months of its birth it entered into an
agreement with the National Awami Party for the disintegration of West
Pakistan and its replacement with a Zonal Federation of autonomous
units based on linguistic considerations. The sole object of this tergiversation was to incapacitate the Muslim League from dislodging the
provincial ministry. The Republican-National
Party agreement stipulated that in return for Republican support for
undoing the "One Unit" in the provincial and central legislatures, the
National Awami Party would support them in the West Pakistan Legislative Assembly. A few days later the provincial legislature passed a
resolution against the retention of "One Unit", recommending to the
National Assembly to take appropriate steps to implement it. The
Muslim League abstained from voting.
Within a month there was a bigger crisis in the Central Government.
Having successfully repaired their position in West Pakistan, the Republicans now gave their full attention to the Centre. Their alliance with
the Awami League, seriously weakened by internal intrigues, was 'crumbling, and there was little hope of cementing it effectively. What was the
alternative? "The party tdok another somersault and entered into a
coalition with'the Muslim League, The reason behind this rift between
the Republicans and. the- A.wami League was the formers' belief. that
Suhrawardy did not favour the restoration of their ministry in West
Pakistan. When the Ministry was finally restored during Suhrawardy's
absence from the country.fheRepublicans
thought that now they had
him on the pip. A bitter campaign was started against Suhrawardy and
he' was asked to resign. The Republicans .were emboldened in their
efforts to oust him when he failed to win the support of the Krishka
Sramik Party for the. Awami League in East Pakistan and in the Centre.
They enhanced their terms for continuing the coalition, and demanded the
removal of the Governor of West'Pakistan (M. A. Gunnani) who, they
said, had been isiding with the Muslim League. This put Suhrawardy in
a dilemma. If he agreed to the Republican demand, he was not sure
that they' would not demand something else next. If he refused, he would
not only lose his prime ministership but also endanger his party's coalition, Ministry in East Pakistan. The latter consideration is explained by
the fact that if the Awami League wished to retain power at the Centre
i.t had to seek coalition with the Muslim League, and if this happened.the
Hindu members would walk out of the Awanii League coalition in
East Pakistan. So he gave in, and the Governor of West Pakistan was
Political and Constitutional Backgrormd-1
l, ).
recalled on 28 Augustji which confirmed the precedent (created in 194~
by. Sir Francis Muclie's removal) that if a party in power disliked a
Governor or felt that he stood in the \vay of its ambitions, it could
successfully demand his removal.
Suhrawardy was thus already sick of his coalition friends. On top of
that came the news of the Republican-National Awami Party.agreement to
undo the "One Unit". The spectacle of the Republicans making common cause with the National Awami Party, which had been formed out of
the Awami League dissidents; proved the last straw. In the first week of
October 1957, lie toured the Punjab area and spoke of the new deal to
dismember West Pakistan with the bitterness of a man betrayed. . On his
return 'to the capital, on 10 October, a final but unsuccessful effort was
made to patch up the differences between the coalition partners. On the
same day he asked the President to convene 'the National Assembly on
24 October, for he believed that he still commanded a majority in the
house. This request was, however, denied, and instead his resignation was
demanded, which he tendered on 11 October. The President's action
could be criticised on the. ground that he had denied the outgoing Prime!
Minister the right to face the Parliament and to find out if -be enjoyed its
confldence.s Constitutionally and technicallythe President was right,
because the major element in the coalition had withdrawn itssupport from
the Government. All the same this procedure-differed from the British
convention by which the Sovereign has not asked for the resignation of
1. Gurmani's ve~ion is this: In August 1957 President lskahdar Mirza caJled
him to Karachi and "told me that the leader of the Republican Party had expressed
some doubts in regard to their ability to maintain their majority in the Provincial
Assembly in View of tho, new alliances which were being forged on the question of .the
breaking up of the Province of West Pakistan and that they wanted an assurance that
if they lost their majority in the Assembly qn that account I would support thci~
request for action under AriiCJe 193 and not allow tho Opposition to form the
Ooverrlment". The Piesident emphasized that "if . the Republican Party is not
assured of such support they may withdraw their support from the Coalition in the
Centre and a change in the Central Government may become inevitable". They
again met on 27 August in Karachi, when. Mirza told Gurmani that the Republican
Ministers in the Central Cabinet had demanded that "unless I could give the'assuranee
asked for they would demand my resignation". That evening Gurmani received a letter'
from the President saying that "the Cabinet had passed a resolution that I may be called
upon to tender my resignation. On the reeefpt of this lerter I sent my resignation to
the President on the 27th'', Gurmani's statement before the West Pakistan Elective
Bodies Disqualification Tribunal, Pakistan Times, 18 February, 1961.
2. In a meeting in Lahore on 27 October, Suhrawardy demanded the impeachment
of President Mirza for violating the Constituticn, Dawn,~8 October, 1~57.
Party Politics 'in Pakistan
Political-and Constitutional. Background-1
a Government
since 1834 and would probably never do so infuture.l
With the fall of the Republican-Awarni League coalition, the Republicans chose to ally themselves with the Muslim League and on 18 October the new Muslim League-Republican Government was sworn in, headed
'by the Muslim League parliamentary leader, I. I. Chundrigar. The terms
on which the Republicans joined the Muslim League were diametrically
opposed to what they had promised to the National Awami Party a
month earlier and were completely contradictory 'of their past commitments. We have seen that the West Pakistan Legislative Assembly had
passed a resolution favouring disintegration of "One Unit". As a retort
the Muslim League passed a resolution at its Dacca session favouring the
.retention of "One Unit", at least until after the first general election.
Thus while the Republicans had pledged themselves to dismember the
"One Unit" as early as .possible and certainly before the election, the
Muslim League had' resolved to keep the "One Unit" going for the time
being and to leave the final decision to the new .representatives of the
people. The Republican somersault was equally dramatic on another
point. They had committed themselves to a joint electorate when they
voted in the National Assembly in earJy 1957 for amending the Electoral
Act of -1956. The Muslim League, on the other hand, had been consistently opposed- to a joint electorate and bad all along stood for separate
electorates.a But now, in the race for place, power and precedence, the
'Republicans forgot all their past promises to the people and their manifestoes, and coalesced with the Muslim League on the latter's terms ...
shelving· the "One Unit" issue and -supporting separate electorates.
·"Even a chameleon cannot change its colours so easily and frequently as
the Republicans have done."l
Within two months of the formation of the new Government, the
Republicans re~lized their foolish haste in agreeing to the Muslim League
view of the electorate issue. They discovered that if general elections were
held on the basis of separate electorates the Muslim League would win
such a large number of seats as to endanger the position of ether parties.
t. In view of the peculiar parliamentary tradition which was by then firmly
established in Pakistan, it is a little harsh to judge Mirza 's conduct by British political
standards. However, he was constitutionally right only according to the Ietter.. not
the spirit, of the law.
, ' 2. See, for example, the resolution passed by the East Pakistan .Muslim League
Council on 17 October, Morning News, 18 October, 1955. The Pakistan Muslim.League
Manifesto (issued py Manzar-i·Alam, Honorary Joint Secretary, from Karacbl;: 25
December, 195~) of 1956 devoted 31 pages out of a total of 36 to the electorate issue
and strongly argued for separate electorates.
3. Round Table, December 19'57, p. 77.
At the same time the Muslim League's stock had risen high in the Punjab
by its firm stand on the retention of "One Unit'.' and by its consistent
.. policy on the electorate question. Simultaneously the Republicans had
.Iost support in Sindh, Baluchistan- and the North-West Frontier Province
areas (where integration was unpopular) on account of their failure to
.keep their promise of dismembering the province of West Pakistan.
early December the Republicans sent a fact-finding commission 'to· East
Pakistan, which reported, within a week, that East Pakistanis were overwhelmingly in favour of a joint electorate. At the receipt of this information the Republicans refused to support the new Bill which would .have
provided for separate electorates. On this the Muslim League quitted
the Government, thus exhibiting a happy and surprisingly welcome
consistency in its policy.
On Chundrigar's resignation the President·cornmissioned him again
to form a new government. This provoked· strong protests from other
parties, and Suhrawardy was quick to point out that when he had resigned under duress the President had insisted on inviting the Leader of the
Opposition; and to ask why this convention was now being disregarded;
However, Chundrigar failed to form a government, and the commission
was then given to Firoz Khan Noon, who sprang a rare surprise by
winning the support of the Awami League and a few minor groups. He
was sworn oh·l6 December as heading a coalition of the Republican
Party, the Pakistan National Congress, the National Awami Party;
the Scheduled Caste Federation, and the Hamidul Haq group of the
Krishka Sramik Party: the smaller parties representing 4, 4, 2 and 2
members respectively in the National Assembly. The Awami League,
with its strength of.13, promised to support t~e Government, but refused
to join it.
Suhrawardy's promise to support the Government without participating in it created'a unique precedent. It is difficult to find a comparable example, except that
the Irish Nationalist Party which was said
to behave in a similar way between 1910 and 1914. The reason of the
Awami League's standing out was that Suhrawardy was not acceptable
to the Republicans as prime minister or even as a cabinet colleague.
Then why did the Awami League' ofter to support the Republicans, with
whom it -had a' bitter quarrel barely two months ago? The two parties had
some' funda~ent'al differences of policy and programme. They had taken
opposing stands on such vital issues as "One Unit" and the electorate.
They had conflicting views on the· question of the abolition of landlordism. Th~ key to this mysterious alliance lay.in the factthat East Pakistan
Party Politics in Pakistan'
Political and'Constltutianal' Background-is;
bad an A'.wamiLeague 'ministry and West Pakistan a Republican mintstry. To maintain the two provincial .governments it was necessary for
.t~e two parties to join hands at the Centre. During the former- Repub. l1can-Muslim League coalition there, were persistent rumours .that the
-East Pakistan Awami League ministry might not continue and that in
West Pakistan the Muslim League might share power with the Republicans. The only way to make sure that the two provinces were governed
in, stability was for the two parties to. reach-some sort of agreement at the
The Republican-Awami League concern for capturing' the Central
Government is understandable from another angle, too. It, -was an
established tradition in Pakistan that the Centr~l Government' would
arbitrarily dismiss any provincial government which did not fall in line
with the Centre'spolicy, With a strong President like Iskandar Mirza
in office this danger was real. If the Republicans were out of the Central
government, their Ministry in West Pakistan might be removed by Central intervention. And if the, Awami League was not represented in the
Central Cabinet, it~ ministry iµ. East Pakistan mjght meet the same fate,
The striving f9r. self-preservation was thus the· most important factor in
-bringing the two parties together to form a coalition in Kar~chi. There
was still another factor. General elections were drawing near, and no
~arty wanted its rivals to be in office when they were held. •If the Republicans and the Awami League formed a coalition all their difficulties
would be solved. -They; would share power in the Central, Government
and. thus safeguard the interests and lives of their respective provincial
~inistries. They would. be,in th(; seat of authority when election were
held, and therefore iµ a position to influence them in their favour. In
these circumstances they might even be able to act as a brake on the
ambitions of.President, Mirza. I
Hardly had the new Central Government. settled to its work when
things .began to happen in East Pakistan. The Krishka Sramik Party had
\)eell':str~ngthening its position since long by such means as re-uniting the
Hamidul Haq and Sarkar factions within its o\Vn ranks and winning the
support <?f tfle Muslim League and the Nizam-i-Islam by advocating,
separate electorates. Further help.came from Scheduled Caste members.
who ~efected from the r~li!J.g, Awa'mi League coalition., Another
Awami League members, who were dissatisfied with the Government, left
it to join the Krishka Sramik Party. Thus by the time the provincial
Assembly met in March 1958 for its budget session the Krishka Sramik,
Party was in a position to thtow a· serious challenge to the Govemmeut.:
1. \Jncoiifirmed ~umours said that Noon told Suhrawardy that if he (Noon) failed
t~ form a ~ovemm~pt; Mirza would dissolve the National Ass'embly and proclaini
himself a dictator. If that is true great credit should go to SuhraWardy for agrking to
s':!P.P.ort .~~n's ~!)iQ.et.iJ,gai~t_hispersonal p~iiection.
I \.
I •
The heavy taxation proposed .. in the Finance Bill offered the desired
opportunity. The opposition was so critical of the taxation proposals
that the Ministry had to agree toits demand that the Bill be circulated
for eliciting public opinion. The Governor, Fazlul Haq, interpreting it
as a rejection of the Bill, took it to be a vote of no-confidence against the
Ministry. On 31 March he dismissed the Awami League'· coalition
Ministry, headed by Ataur Rahman Khan, swore in A. H" 'Sarkar, the
Krishka Sramik Party leader, as the new Chief Minister, and prorogued
the provincial legislature. It will be recalled here that the Krislika
Sraniik was Haq's own party. On the receipt of the news the Central
Cabinet held an immediate emergency meeting and authorised the President to dismiss the Governor, which the President did. The Chief Secretary to the Government of East Pakistan, a civil servant, was sworn in as
the acting Governor. His first official act was the dismissal of the Sarkar
Ministry installed by Haq and the re-installation of the Awami League
• I
Ministry. The provincial legislature was again summoned, and it passed
a vote of confidence in the new Ministry.
The Krishka Sramik Party strongly protested against f!aq's dismissal
and characterized
it as .ean uncalled for and unconstitutional interference in
J ~
provincial affairs. A delegation of the party visited Karachi to voice its
dissatisfaction, but foti~d the Central Government too dependent on the
support of the Awa'roi League to give them any comfort.! It is fair to
remark here that the Awami League Ministry in East Pakistan had not
lost the confidence of the house at any time. This it owed to the National Awami Party which never wavered in its support to the provincial
bovernment despite vital doctrinal ·differences, because it feared. that any
change at this point would postpone general elections. Now when the
Awami League and the Krishka Sramik Party came. to be almost balanced,
the bargaining value of the National Awami Party was enhan~ed. All the
parties 'were biddi~g for its , support and none could make a stable
ministry without its co-operation.
Maulana Bhashani, the National
Awami Party leader, laid dowri five conditions on which th9·partJ, was
prepared to co-operate with any group: withdrawal of Pakistan from all
I "I
~ l
1. Obviously Prime Minister Noon feared that ifhe did not help the East Pakistan
fi..wamj League Ministry,.Suhrawardy, the Awami League chief; ~ocld' ~thdraw his
to the Cen'tral Government and that would result in its d'ownf;uI:' See Pakistan
Observer, 1and2 April, 1958.
· Party Politics in Pakistan
Political and-Constitutional 1Ja,ckground-1
military pacts arid pursuit of an independent foreign· policy; a· joint
electorate; full regional autonomy for the provinces; dismemberment of
"One Unit"; and implementation of the 14 unfulfilled demands of the
21--po~ntmanifesto of the former United Front, on the basis of which the
1~54 election had been fought and won.
The budget session of the East Pakistan legislature was resumed on
12 June, 1958, and immediately ten members of the 29-man Congress
party .defected from the ruling coalition. The Government, ~hich was
already dependent on the National Awami Party for its existence, now
found itself.in an acute position- The National Awami Party found its
opportunity-tc.dlctate to the Awami League. Though its parliamentary
group )Va~ in favour of continuing its support to the Awami League, the
central party organization overruled .it ~nd decided that as the Awami
League had not accepted the National Awami Party's 5-point programme
jt wo.uld remain neutral in the ensuin~ trial of stre~gth in the house.
The result was that on 18 June the Awami League coalition ministry was
defeated by 126 votes to 138, the National Awami Party (with its total of
28 members) remaining neutral. The following elements constituted the
opposition: Krishka Sramik Party. (53), Pakistan Nizam-i-Islam (21},
Muslim League (14), Scheduled Caste Federation (14), dissident Congress
(10), dissident Awami League (23), United Progressive Party (7), and a
few independents.
The National Awami Party then entered into negotiations with the
·Krisbka Sramik Party to forge a political alliance. It was evident that even
if the latter accepted all the conditions laid down by 'the former, the two
.Pll:rti~ together could not form a stable ministry. Moreover, the Krishka
·sramik Party was not prepared to lose the support of the Muslim League
. and ~he Nizam-i-Islam by agreeing to the National Awami Party's policy
of a joint electorate, for these two religion-oriented bodies were wedded to
'separate electorates. Further, the National Awami Party knew that even
: if the Awami League accepted its S~point programme, there was no
· chance o( its implementation before the general elections. Still the Awami
· League now fully endorsed the National Awami Party programme.
; the meantime, on 20 June, the Krishka Sramik coalition had been sworn
in with Sarkar as Chief Minister. Three days later, the Awami League. National Awami Party combinati~n defeated the new Sarkar Ministry
by 156 votes to 142, all the 28 National Awami Party members voting
' with the opposition. But if the Awairti League or the National Awami
.P~_!-t)". OJ' b~~h, had tho~ght that by dislodging the Sarkar Ministry they
would be able to form a government of their. own, they were ~istaken.
The-voting hadshown that the two sides were nicely balanced, and party
loyalty_being a matter of shifting convenience, there was no guarantee
that the next ministry would not be similarly overthrown. Therefore;
the Central Government, acting on the report of the East Pakistan
Governor, advised the President to suspend parliamentary government
In the province for a period of two months. Governor's rule was imposed
on 25 June. Immediately the Awam.i League repudiated its agreement
with the National Awami Party. Suhrawardy explained that tlie Awami
League had not entered into an agreement with the National Awanti
Party, but that the two parties had arrived at an "understanding". However, this quibbling could not conceal the fact that the Awami League had
surrendered to the terms of the National Awami Part}' merely became it
~a~ted to come into power, and the moment this prospect disappeared it
had -disowned the agreement.
This drama showed the National Awami Party in a damaging light,
too. Hitherto, it had supported the Awan1i League despite significant
differences of opinion for the simple and laudable reason that it did -not
want any ministerial change before the general elections. For thissteadfastness and consistency it had· earned some esteem in thd province.
People- were beginning to look at it as the only party which did rlot sacri;
flee its professed principles to political expediency or party' strategy: But
its attempt to exploit the Awami League's sorry plight byforcing it to
agree to its programme was too glaring a discrepancy to be explained
away. It smacked of blatant opportunism, and public opinion did not
fail to show ii;s disapproval of such conduct.
In September 195& conditions worsened. Noon's coalition Government at the Centre found itself in difficulties, He was not happy with his
:partners in the alliance. Nor was he popular among the parties outside
the coalition. He had promised that elections would be held in November 1958, and when they were postponed to February 1959 people began·
doubt if the Government was serious aboutholding them at all. On
the other hand, as elections drew nearer. political leaders tried to make
sure of their electoral prospects by negotiating with their opponents as
well as. engaging in heated campaigns of vilification and. vituperation
against one another. In September there was a serious clash in the East
Pakistan Legislative Assembly, in whidt the house carried ~ motion.
declaring the Speaker insane. The Deputy Speaker was bludgeoned to
death at the same time.! Tension mounted in West Pakistan, too, Muslim
League leaders were making inflammatory speeches against the Government.·
. The Time$ editorially
commented on this &Xcident
on 2S September, 1958.
Political and Constitutional Background-1
-P..a'rty Politics in Pakistan ·
Threats of a bloody revolution were openly flaunted. The National
Awami Party leaders, like Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, G.
Sardar Abdus Samad Khan and Maulana Bhashani, aroused provincial
feelings to near explosion point.
Political chaos in the country had gone so far that the Khan of Kalai,
a princeling whose State had'been merged into West Pakistan with his
will and· who was receiving a 'nibntbly subsidy of Rs. 50,000 from the
Central Government, demanded the restoration of his -State, He pulled
down the Pakistan flag from the Miri Fort and hoisted his own ancestral
flag, refused an invitation from the President of Pakistan to visit Karachi
for talks, and instead asked the President-to come to him ~o discuss the
necessary matters. 'When at last the Government sent a civilian officer
and a posse of armed policemen to arrest him, his henchmen opened fire.
His arrest was effected only after a four-hour encounter between Pakistan
troops and the Khan's supporters. This' defiance of official authority
a petty feudal lord should have been enough to shock the politiclans
into some sort' of realization of what' course things were taking. But
they-remained totally unconcerned. No -holds- were barred. Assemblies
were.torn between numerous factions. Almost half the members of th~
National A.Ssembly.were ministers or deputy ministers either in the Central
or in the provincial' governments. Bbt the disgraceful distribution
loaves and flshes-went'on unabated.l Political stability was still elusive;
and crises were the order of the 'day.
There 'were differences among the Republicans, chiefl.y between the
Prime Minister and his Finance Minister, Sayyid Arojad Ali. The Awami
League/which was keeping the Government in oip.ce ~Y its· support, was.
dea~~Y opposed' to the. Krishka Sramik Party of East Pakistan; and whe~
a Krishka Sramik Party member, 'Hanildul Haq Chaudhri, was included
in the Government, the' Awami League, too, wanted' to sit in the Cabinet.
On·2 October, 1958, seven Awami Leaguersa entered
but left after four days because of quarrels over the distribution of poft.:
folios. Their departure gave the President the chance to act.
Late on the night of 7 October President Iskandar Mirza issued a
proclamation abrogating the Constitution, declaring martial law throughout Pakistan, dismissing the Centraland Provincial Governments, dissolving the National and Provincial Assemblies, and abolishing all political
parties. Two weeks later Mirza was 'forced 'to retlre and his· place was
taken by General Muham~ad Ayub Khan, the Cliief'>Martial Law
Administrator and Supreme Commander of the Armed.Forces.
·1. " ..•••. now from top to bottom, there was hardly a personwho was not cof;.
rupt", M\ ,A.• Qizilbash (Republir;an Cbief Minister of West Pakistan),quoted in
Pakistan Times, 26 August, 1958. •"During the- time the Aw~mi League-RepublicanParty Coalition
po~er, a habit developed of selling import and export licences
to the highe8t bidder on condition that a certain SU'ql be, giyen to assist the party i,n
Power"'I(. J. Newman, ,;Paldstan's Preventive Autocracy and' its Causes", PacifiJ
A.ffa[fJ, March .1959; p. 22.,
2. They were three Cabinet Ministcrs-Zahiruddin, Dildar, Ahmad and Nurur
of State;
,~ . 5
• ~ ~.
,Wll!!: in
. .
Political and Constitutional Background-2
requirements of Islam, as set ou\ in the-Holy Quran and Sunnah ;
Wherein adequate provision shall be made for the minorities freeI31
to profess and practise their religion and develop their· culture; Wherein
the territories now included in or in accession with Pakistan and such
other territories as may hereafter be included in or accede to Pakistan
shall form a Federation; wherein the .Pr9vinces will be ~utonomous
with such limitations on their powers and authority as may be prescribed;
Wherein shall be guaranteed fundamental rights including rights such
as ~quality of status and of opportunity, equality.befcre law, freedom of
thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, and social,
economic. and political justice, subject to Jaw and public morality;
Wherein adequate provision shall be made to safeguard tbe legitimate
interests of minorities and backward and depressed classes; .
Wherein the independence of the judiciary shall be fully secured;
Wherein the integrity of the territories of the Federation, its independence and all its rights, including its sovereign rights over land, sea and
air shall be safeguarded;
So that the people of Pakistan may prosper and attain their rightful
and honoured place among the nations of the w9r19 and make _their
full contribution towards international peace and the progress and
happiness of humanity".!
Af~r thus laying down the fundamental principles of the future
constitution, the Constituent A'.ssembly. proceeded to deal with- the basic
principles. A committee representing all parties was appointed to report
on the main principles on which the constitution was to be founded.
It worked through sub-committees, dealing with fundamental rights,
franchise, judiciary, and, federal and provincial constitutions. On 6
October, 1950, the Assembly adopted the Interim Report- of the
Committee on Fundamental Rights, the first part of the Constitution
to' be created. The other sub-committees submitted their reports later,
and these were consolidatedInto what came to be known as the Basic
Principles Committee Report, which was .published on 22 December,
The recommendations of this Report may be summarized .here,
The Head of the 'state was to .be elected for period of five y~ars by
a joint session of_the two ~ederal houses; he was to be a ¥~lim at
least forty years of age; he could not be a member of any legislature;
he·· could not hold office for more than two consecutive terms; and he
The-Making of tbe Constitution
When Pakistan came into existence as an independent state on 14
August, 1947, it had no constitution ready to be put into . operation._1
The All India Muslim League had kept away from ~e Indian ?>nstttuent Assembly in I 946~47, and therefore when India was partitioned
constitution-making had not even started in respect of Pakistan. The
Pakistan Constituent Assembly, which had been authorised by the
Indian Independence Act, 1947, to frame a new Constitution for the
country, decided to retain the Government of India Act, 1935, as the
temporary working constitution. This Act was amendeds from time to
time to suit chanigng conditions, and this adapted enactment was
enforced as the fundamental law.
The first step in making a constitution was taken in March 1949,
when the Constituent Assembly adopted the Objectives Resolution.
Aimed at embodying the fundamentals of the future scheme, it read as
"Whereas sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to Allah
Almighty alone, and the authority to be exercised by the people of
Pakistan within the limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust; This
Constituent Assembly, representing the people of .Pakistan, resolves
to frame for the sovereign independent State of Pakistan a Constitution;
Wherein the State shall exercise its powers and authority through the
chosen representatives of the people;
Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance
and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be fully observed;
Wherein the Muslims of Pakistan shall be enabled individually and
collectively to order their lives, in accordance with the teaching and
J. This chapter is neither intended to be an analysis of the constitutional
position nor meant to be a study of the 1956 Constitution; both these tasks lie beyond
the scope of this book. Here the reader is supplied only with such facts about the
making of the constitution as arc essential to a study of party politics.
2. Under the authority of tho Indian Independence Act, 1947, Section 8. It
could also be amended in the initial stages by the Governor General alone, who was
authorised to do so by the Pakistan (Provisional Constitution) Order, 1947, Governor
Ge~ral's Ordinance No. 22 of 1947. issued by Lord Mountbatten shortly before
I ,{
1. Corutituent Assembly of Pakistan Debales, Vol. V, No, S, PP. 100· 104. The
Resolution was incorporated·in the 1956 Constitution as the Preamble!
Party Politics in Pakistan·
Political and Constitutional Background-2
was not
be subject to impeachment. The federal legislature was to
consist of two houses, the House of Units containing 120 members and
the House of People containing 400 members; in both seats were
distributed equally between East and West Pakistan. The life of each'
house was : five years; and both were given equal powers, a joint session
deciding all cases of conflict. The Ministry, however, was to be
responsible· to the lower house alone though Ministers could address the
house of. which they were not members. The electorate was constituted
'on the basis of universal adult franchise. Three lists were drawn up
with. a view to dividing powers between the Centre and the Provinces,
with. a 'tendency towards strengthening the Centre. The Head of the
Province was to be appointed by the Head of the State and was to hold
office during the latter's pleasure; his powers were roughly the same as
those given to the provincial governors by the Government of India
Act; 1935. Provincial legislatures were to be unicameral and were to
be elected through universal adult franchise for a period of five years:
The Head of the State was to constitute a board of not more than
five -persons well-versed in Islamic Law to review the legislation on
Islamic grounds. Similar Boards of ulama were to be set up in the
provinces. Money bills, however, were excluded from the scrutiny of
these Boards. A Supreme Court was to be ·created with Judges to
be 'appointed by the Head of the State on the advice and report of a
bench-of Judges. Judges of Provincial High Courts were to be removed
by the Head of the Province after a reference to the Supreme Court.
The amending procedure was a little complicated. One-third of.members
of either house were to give notice of circulating the proposed amendment
among the provinces; passed in the introducing chamber it went to
the other house, and if approved there too, it was sent . to. the provinces.
Decisions in the federal and provincial legislatures were to be taken
by simple majority. If a majority of the provinces agreed to the
proposal, it returned to the house o.f its origin where it h~d to recei.ve .
a two-thirds affirmative vote before getnag. a similar favourable verdict
in the other chamber.!
The Report was not kindly received and some of its recommendations e~oked considerable odium. It was pointed out that it envisaged
an irresponsible and irremovable Head of the State. The Governm~nt
wEl.s made responsible only to the lower house, thus controvertm_g'
normal parliamentary practice. Parity of representation given to the two
I. Repo~t pf the.. BasJ~ hinciples Committee (Govemmen~of Pakistan Press~
Karachi, 1952).
wings of the country in both houses was another controversial provision.
The dismissal of the Supreme Court Judges on. the report of their .OWQ.
colleagues distracted alike. from the dignity and security of their office,
Finally, the creation of the boards of. ulama was an insult to the
legislature and an undesirable attempt at dictating religion to the
lawmakers. Na canonical council could have the right to a monopoly of
interpreting the creed.!
Debates in the Constituent Assembly on the Report clearly showed
that two problems were proving particularly difficult to- tackle and were
eluding compromise: the issue of parity and the question of division
of powers. Negotiations resulted in a stalemate and the work of
constitution-making bad to be suspended.
This deadlock was resolved by Prime Minister Muhammad Ali
-Bogra on 7 October, 1953, when he announced that all the parties had
reached an agreement on the problem of the composition of the federal
legislature. According to his formula, the upper chamber was to consist
of 52 members, out of which 2 seats we~e to be reserved for women
and the rest divided equally among th!:' five regions into which Pakistan
was divided for this purpose, viz., (1) East Pakistan, (2) the Punjab,
(3) the North-West Frontier Province, Frontier States and the
Tribal Areas, (4) Sindh and Khairpur, and .(5) Baluchistan States.
Union, Bahawalpur and Karachi. The lower chamber was to have
314 members; 14 to be special women seats and ·300 to be distributed
among the above-mentioned five regions on population basis. Government was now made responsible to both houses; in case of conflict a
Joint session was to be held in which the controversial measure _had to
be passed by a majority vote provided that the affirmative majority
included at least 30 per cent of the members present and voting from.
each zone. If this majority· was not available and the measure was
considered to be· exceptionally important, the Head of the State could
dissolve the legislature. The Head of the State was to be elected from
a zone different from tltat to.which the Prime Minister belonged; this'
was meant as a substitute for parity iti legislative representation, The.
proposal to have boards of ulama was dropped.s
The main problem appeared to have been solved by this
. I. See editorials and "letters to the editor" in Pakistani newspapers for the
peri~d 22 December, 1952-5January,1953.
2. Sec Report of the Basic Principles Committee. cu adopted by t~ Cons"titue11t
Assembly of Pakistan on the 21st September, 1954 (GoveI11JJ1ent of Pakistan Press.
Karachi; 1954) ; and Prime Minister'll·speecb in the Assembly, Constituent Assembly of
Pakistan Debates, 7 October, 1953, Vol: XV, p.•14 ff.
Political and Constitutional Background-2
Party Politic's. in P(lklslan
agreement, r and constitution-making was resumed.
Drafting Committees
were appointed to reduce the approved provisions to writing and Sir Ivor
Jennings, ah eminent British constitutional expert, was asked to supervise
the final draft. However, as good a pace could not be maintained as was
expected and only a fraction of the task was completed when serious
crises intervened. Election in East Pakistan swept away the Muslim
League, the Central Government had to cope with' disturbances in that
province; and public opinion came to look at' the Constituent Assembly
as an unrepresentative body deliberately trying to delay the execution of
its "duty.
·we have already seen how the Constituent Assembly was dissolved
by the Governor General on 24 October, 1954. The order of dissolution
was contended by Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan, the Speaker of the dissolved
body, and the suit developed into a constitutional cause celebre. Tamizuddin made the plea that the assent of the Governor General wa's not
needed for. legislation under sub-section (I)· of Section 8 of the Indian
Independence Act, 1947. A full bench of' the Sindh Chief Court unanimously decided· in favour of Tamizuddin and declared. the dissolution
invalid. On appeal to the Federal court, -however, this decision was set
aside; the Act conferring on the Sindh Chief Court jurisdiction to hear
such case w'as one Of the Acts 'which had not received' the asserit of
Governor General. In Tamizuddin Khan v. the Federation of Pakistan the
Federal Court decided'the assent to be necessary to every ~ct. This jud'ge:.
ment ga\.e rise to a peculiar situation. All other Acts· passed by the
Constituent Assembly but not given assent to by the Governor General
were rendered invalid. Further, the authority of the Constituent Assembly
as a Jegi~Jative organ' was impugned because the composition of the
A>S.Sembly rested in part upon its own invalid legislation. The Governor
General tried to get' out of this awkward situation b)' giving retrospective.
.effect and assent to-some such laws by an Emergency: Powers Ordinance
under the authority
the Government of India. Act, .1935. But the
Ordinance was ruled-invalid (Usuf Patel v. the Crown); and the only way
of. escape seemed to be the convening of a new Assembly; which the Gover'nor General proceeded to:d'o by a Proclamation on 15 AprH, 1955~ At the
same time he' referred the.issue.of the validity of the original dissolution
and of his own powers to the
Federal Court for opinion.
The Court decided on 10 May in a celebrated judgement that the
dissolution was'valid and that the G~vemor General could revalidate, the
I )
invalid Acts as an interim measure until the new Constituent Assembly,
with the same composition and powers as the. old one, approved these
Acts. The Court agreed on four propositions about the Assembly:
(I) It had not been able to make a constitution'in more than seven years.
(2) It had become an unrepresentative body. (3) It had practically assumed
the form of a perpetual legislature. (4) It had asserted, contrary to the
law, that the constitutional provisions made by it did not need the assent
of the Governor General.!
The Indian Independence Act had intended to give a representative
Assembly to Pakistan, and if the Assembly lost that character it could not
continue to function under that Act. 'However, it had failed to perform
its function and the Governor General was right in exercising the prerogative of dissolution. The Governor General could also validate the invalid
Acts ad interim under the common law of civil or state necessity.2 The·
application of the maxim of salus populi suprema lex to the conditions of
emergency created by the decision in Tamizuddin Khan's case is said to
be unique in the legal history of the commonwealth. All the same the
fact that the Governor General approached the Court instead of suspending the Constitution showed that the tradition of the Rule of Law was not
absent from Pakistan.I
The moral and constitutional questions involved in this controversy
were underlined by Justice Munir in these words: "The history of the
litigation starting with the presentation ofthe petition for writs is a sad
chapter in the history of Pakistan. In a country where the Constitution
is working in a normal manner, the work of a Judge is mere routine ...
interspersed here and, there with some case of more than ordinary importance. But in the aforesaid litigation the Federal Court was confronted
more than once with situations unparalleled and unprecedented in the
J. G. Marshall, Parliamentary Sovereignty and the Commonwealth (Oxford, ~957),
p.135 .
2. Ivor Jennings, Constitutional Problems in Pakistan (Cambrjdge, 1957), pp. viii,
St. This work is indispensable for a study of the constitutional and political issues
·1 •.. But Sir.Ivor Jcnnip-gs seriously doubted if 'this formula would
sec his Problems of the New CommoJZwealth (Duke, t9H), P• 29.
have 'Yorked.
volved. Sir Ivor adds a long analytical introduction to a reproduction of the Federal
Court's decisions in the cases of Tamlzuddin Khan, Usuf Patel and Ali Ahmad Husain
Shah, and of the Special Reference made by the Governor General to tbe Federal
3. For a bitter attack on Chief Justice Munir for giving this decision see- Hyder
Bakhsh- Jatoi (President, Sindh Harl Committee), D,emocracy and Justice of the Chief
Justice (Hyderabad, December 1956), in which the Chief Justice is called a ':I{ing~
maker", a "bureaucrat", "a brown bureaucrat who is more loyaf to the Cro,wn than the
King himself", "possessed of such perversities", and which concludes'with 'the 'passage,
"Justice Munir has failed in his duties; he has violated his oath of office; he has betrayed Pakistan.
Such a man should not remain on our judiciary any longer,"
-------. --~·""--S4
Party Politics in Pakistan
history of.the world. The mental anguish caused to the Judges by these
cases is beyond description and I repeat that no judiciary anywhere in the
world has to pass through what may be described as a judicial torture ..•.
The basic point that rs not to be overlooked for a moment in these cases
was that a forcibly ejected Ministry had come . to a court of law for
recognition of its right to remain in office and for obtaining from the
Court process for its restoration and the court (Chief Court of Sindh) had
issued forcible writs against a 'de facto' Governfnent., , With all your experience and knowledge derived from text-books and law reports, can you
recall to your mind anything even reminiscent of such situation? ... The
Court found that for the action. taken by the Governor General a legal
power in that behalf was to be found in the constitutional instrument itself. If the court had upheld the enforceable writs, I am sure that' there
would have been chaos in the country and a revolution would have been
formally enacted possibly by bloodshed, a far more serious situation
than that created by the invalidation of a whole legal system which the
new Assembly promised by the Governor General in his Proclamation
could have easily validated. Situations such as these are not for the
courts to deal with unless the courts know for certain that the writs would
be respected and enforced. But who could say that on 9 February, the
coercive power of the State was with the Court and not with the Governor
General? And if even a doubt arises as to where such power resides, a
doubt must arise as to the very efficacy of the law, and the situation
would lie beyond the pale of judicial process. The writs being enforceable,
who was to enforce them and was the court itself in a position to punish
the contempt committed by their disobedience. The Chief Court (of'
Sindh) had merely looked into the constitutional instrument and gathering
the meaning thereof with the aid of some law reports had issued process,
completely shutting its eyes to the events that had happened which made
it impossible for the writs to be enforced. At moments like these Jaw ,is
not to be found in the books; it lies elsewhere, viz., in the events that
have happened. Where the enforcement of the law is opposed by the
sovereign power the issue becomes political or military which has to be
fought out by other means and the courts by espousing the cause of one
party against the other merely prepare the ground for bloodshed. At a
time like this the very origin of the laws becomes uncertain, the law-giving
agency being in a process of metamorphosis and the existing law struggl-ing with some inchoate law neither of which the courts, so long as the·
state of uncertainty lasts, can recognise or define."!
l. Chief Justice,Munir's address to the West Pakistan High Court Bar Association on bis retirement, Pakistan Times, 23 ~ril, J 960:
Political and Constitutional Background-2
Thus itis clear that the judges themselves were not certain if their
decision would be executed by the State. Was the judgement then
influenced by extraneous factors? Did the law of necessity rule the
situation? The passage quoted above supports an affirmative answer to
these. question.
On the other hand, the Government faced a dilemma, too. If the
Federal Court ruled against it two courses were open. Either the
Governor General could flout the court's judgement, assume dictatorial
powers and cut at the roots of the tradition of the Rule of Law; or he
could hand over the power back to the old Constituent Assembly. The
latter alternative was unthinkable, partly because the Assembly was
unrepresentative and partly because public opinion would have protested
against it.
In light of the Court's advice,1 the Governor. General revised his
decision of convoking a Constituent Convention and, instead, made an
Order on 28 May, .]955, laying down the procedure for the 'setting up
"of a new Constituent Assembly. Elected indirectly by the provincial
legislatures, this Assembly had its first meeting at Murree on 7 July
As was said above, the major obstacle in the way of an agreed
constitutional draft was the issue of parity, and this issue had been
exaggerated into an insoluble problem by the geography of the country.
East Pakistan constituted one province containing the majority of the
· country's entire population, while the western wing was split up into four
provinces and a large number of princely States. The Government now
evolved a plan for integrating the different units of the western zone into
one province, so that the two zones might be balanced. So important
was this question that constitution-making was deferred and the "One
Unit" scheme, as it came to be called, was taken in hand.
The idea of merging the provinces of the western wing into one
administrative unit was not a new one. In the nineteenth century the
British Indian Government had many times mooted proposals for a
Sindh-Punjab merger, and from 1849 to 1901 the North-West Frontier
Province had been a part of the Punjab. Apart from these precedents,
the major consideration that impressed the urgency of the matter on
1. "The Court thus held the Governor General's action to be •ultra vil'es' but
.at that time the possibility oC the Court's order not belng obeyed was present to the
mind of us all and each one of us was clear in his own mind that on any such contingency happening it would be for him to decide whether be would continue or resign.
Better counsels, however, prevailed. The Governor General did not rely on the coercive
power of the State .... The Governor General thus saved the country from a revolution
by seeking to discover from the Federal
the legal b~si~ for his action," ibid.
Party Politics in Pakistan
Political and Constitutional Background-2
politicians and administrators alike was that of provincialism. People
could not weld themselves into a united nation so long as they were
Punjabis, Sindhis, Baluchis and Pathans. Efficient administration was
faced with provincial barriers and conflicting local laws. The growth of
countrywide political parties was retarded by provincial prejudices. The
Governor General, Ghulam Muhammad, and others who inspired the
idea, realized that a constitution acceptable to all could not be prepared
unless the spirit of provincial demon had been exorcized.
It is said that a project on the lines of consolidating West Pakistan
was suggested to Jinnah by-Sir Archibald Rowlands in 1947, when he was
advising the Quaid-e-Azam on economic affairs. Jinnah approved the
scheme in principle, but believed that more 'pressing problems deserved
priority.! In December 1947, the Baluchistan Muslim League had made a
similar suggestion.s 'and later Fifoz Khan -Noon claimed that he-had
conceived an analogous plan.3 The idea was given a more concrete shape
by two Awami Leaguers, Ataur Rahman Khanand Mujibur Rahmah,
in December 1952. They observed; that in view of the great distance and
intervention.of foreign territory between the two wings, as also on account
of the differences of language, customs, culture and geography; there
should be created'two tautonomous regions. The United Front election
manifesto of 19'54 contained one item relating to the attainment of full
and complete -regional autonomy with the possible implication that the
western zone should in some way be integrated. Some M~Ps mentioned
the practicability of a merger in a debate in the Constituent Assembly
.on 15 September, 1954.4 A few days later Gurmani, then the Minister
of.Interior and later to be appointed the first Governor of the integrated
prpvince, also. pressed for an amalgamation.t There is no doubt that the
idea of merging the areas of the western wing was present in the minds of
most of the politicians.
The first official announcement on the subject came on 22 November, ·1954, when Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Bogra, in his policy
statement broadcast, made public his Government's proposal to integrate
the diverse administrative areas of West Pakistan into one composite
province,s In November and December the Legislative Assemblies of
the North-West Frontier Province, the Punjab and Sindh passed
l. H. Feldman, op. cit., pp. 77·78.
'2. As asserted by Qazi Muhammed Isa, President of the Baluchisteu Muslim
Leagi:te,in Dawn, 26 July,'1955.
3. The Times of Karachi, 26 November, 195!1.
4. Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Vol. XVI, No. 27, p. 357 ff.
5. See Dawn, 21September,1954.
6. - .Text of statement in P~kistan Times, 2'3 November, 1954.
'resolutions in support of the plan. Subsequently similar sentiments were
expressed by the Khairpur Legislative Council, the Quetta Municipal
Committee, the. Karachi .Municipal Corporation, the Baluchistan Shahi
Jirga, the Bahawalpur Legislative Assembly, and the Council of Rulers of
the Baluchistan States Union. The North-West, Frontier Province and
the Punjab Ministries were dismissed when they changed their minds,
about the desirability of the scheme. The Central Government was
determined to dispose of the matter with dispatch.
f:,.. conference to discuss the scheme in detail was called. at Karachi by
the Governor General .on 14-17 December, 1954. It accepted the unification proposal and recommended that a Council for the Administration
of. West Pakistan should be immediately set up under Section 135 of the
Government of India Act, 1935. The Council was to investigate and
make recommendations on all matters relating to the constitution of West
Pakistan as a single administrative unit, and in particular with regard to
the formation of a common Secretariat,· the organization of various
departments functioning under that Secretariat, the integration of the
existing provincial and State cadres of services, and ail ~ther matters
incidental to the merger, and to co-ordinate administrative policies and
actions to that end. This Council was set up on 18 December by the
' Governor General. It consisted of the Governors and Chief Ministers of
the Punjab, Sindh, and -the North-West ,Frontier Province, the Chief
Commissioner and Agent to the Governor .General in Baluchistan, the
Adviser to the Ruler of Bahawalpur, and the Wazir-i-Azam (Chief
Minister) of -the Baluchistan States Union. On 27 March, 1955, the
West Pakistan (Establishment) Order! was issued, which invested the
Council with power·to take whatever step it considered necessary to set
up the administration of the new province. The council was also
authorised to issue such directions as it deemed necessary or expedient
to any provincial Government or federated State or to any officer or
authority thereof; such Government, officer or authority was ordered to
give, immediate effect to such directions received from the Council.
Another Order, the West Pakistan (Appointment) Order, provided for
the appointment of the Governor and' Chief Minister of the proposed
province. This Order made it clear that the-province of West Pakistan
would be formed under Section 46 of the Government of India Act, 1935,
as amended by the Emergency Powers Ordinance, 1955. It also gave
the Governor and Chief Minister of West Pakistan overriding powers
over the existing provincial and StateGovernments.s
1. Governor General's Order No. 4of1955.
2. Governor General's Order No. 6 of 1955, issued·on 4·April, 1§55.
Political and Constitutional Background-2
Patty Politics in 'Pakistan
Meanwhile, the· West Pakistan Establishment Bill was drafted and
introduced in the new Constituent Assembly. Debated in the months
of July. August and September, it was enacted into law in October, and
enforced on 14 October, 1955.l
which the new province was created may be
up a "time-table" of the plan from its inception to
Khairpur Assembly supports the proposal.
Prime Minister's broadcast on the proposal.
Frontier Legislative Assembly supports the
Baluchistan's Shahi Jirga approves the scheme.
29 November, 1954
Punjab Assembly passes resolution in support. }
30 November, 1954
Chitral State Advisory Council welcomes it.
6 December, 1954
Sindh Legislative Assembly approves of it.
12 December, 1954
Governor General issues Order for the appoint17 December, 1954
ment of West Pakistan Advisory Council.
Baluchistan States Union signs agreement for
3 January, 1955
merger. Agreements of Bahawalpur and Khairpur notified.
Governor General issues West Pakistan (Estab•
27 March, 1955
lishment) Order.
Gurmani appointed Governor and Khan Sahib
S April, 1955
Chief Minister of the proposed province.
Amir Azam Khan gives notice of introducing the
10 August, 1955
bill for the establishment of West Pakistan.
23 August, 1955
Bill introduced in the Constituent Assembly.
24 August, 1955
Discussion on the Bill begins.
17 September, 1955
Discussion on the Bill ends.
29 September, 1955
Second Reading completed.
30 September, 1955
Bill passed.
1 October, 1955
Governor General gives his assent to the Bill.
. 14 October, 1955
The new province officially comes into existence.
"A good many eggs were broken in the making of the 'One-Unit'
omelette, but they were mostly addled ones."2 The "One-Unit .. was the
first serious . effort made to -devise an administrative structure which
The speed with
indicated by drawing
final execution:
2Z November, 1954
· 25:November, 1954
1. The making of West Pakistan has been treated in some detai1 not only
because of its inherent significance but also because it illustrates the speed with which
the Government and the Constituent Assembly could function if they wanted to. The
su~sequent .framing of the Constitution· within two months is another example of
quick work 1f the will was present.
2. Ec<Jnomist, 8 Octobcr,-19SS, p. 138.
corresponded with the facts of geography. It was a rationalization of
administration expected to facilitate long-term planning and qilicken
administrative action. There was nothing inherently wrong with the
scheme, but it was soon made a party football to be kicked round the
field by ambitious and selfish politicians. Regional loyalties continued
to plague politics and, instead of becoming a device of overcoming
rivalries, it came to encourage party intrigue and gradually turned out
to be an administrative encumbrance
After the establishment of West Pakistan, the work of preparing
the Constitution began in righ't earnest. Matters were expedited and
the Law Minister was able to introduce the draft Bill in the Constituent
Assembly on 9 January, 1956.t The draft was discussed clause by clause
and section by section during the months of January and February, and
finally adopted on the last day of February. The Cons~tution2·came
into operation on 23 March, 1955, exactly sixteen years after the day
when the Lahore Resolution was considered by the All India Muslim
League. It had taken the Constituent Assembly nearly nine years to
make it. It was destined to have a life-span of two and a half years.
The Constitutional Debate :
In his speech presenting the Objectives Resolution to the Constituent
Assembly, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan said that by becoming free
the people had won an opportunity of building up a country and itS
policy in accordance with their ideals. The Islamic ideals which had
inspired the Muslims of India to demand a State of their own should
now form the corner-stone of that State. He denied that they were
aiming at the creation of a theocracy. When power was invested in the
people, the establishment of a theocracy was ruled out. Islam does not
recognize priesthood' or anyother sacerdotal authority. "If there are
any who still used the word 'theocracy' in the same breath as the policy
of Pakistan", he said, "they are either labouring under
; misapprehension or indulging in miscblevous propaganda. When we
use the word 'democracy' in the Islamic sense, it pervades all aspects of
our life. It relates to our system of government and to our society-with
equal validity, because one of the greatest contributions of Islam has
1 •. A Bill to provide a Constitution for the Jslamlc Republic of Pakistan: full
text [n The qazette of Pakistan, 8 January, 1956. Reproduced in full in K.J. Newman,
Essays on the Constitution of Pakistan (Dacca, 1956), pp. 1"114.
:' . f. · .Tile , Const~tllliqn . of' t}¥! l$lamic Republic of Pakistan, Gpvcrnm~t of
Pakistan, Ministry of Law (Government of Pakist,a.t\P.re~.Karachi, 1956) •..
Party Politics in Pakistan
been .the idea of the equality of all.men"," He promised a truly liberals
government under which the minorities would in no way be hinderedfrom. professing or practising their religion or developing their culture.s
Replying .to the objection that the Resolution was unnecessary, he said
that before the House started framing the future constitution, the
members should have some idea of the sort and type of constitution they
wanted to write.
It must be, noticed in passing that Liaquat Ali Khan's emphasis
on the Islamic character of the constitution was not in accordance with
what Jinnah had said. o~. this matter.s '.fhough the Prime Minister
claimed that his views were the same as those of the founder of the
nation, he nowhere directly quoted Jinnah and did not recall his (Jinnah's)
speech to the Constituent Assembly of 11 August, 1947, in which he
had declared that in-, Pakistan Muslims would cease to be Muslims and
Hindus would cease to be Hindus. 4
Maulana Shabbir Ahmad Usmani went further than the Prime Minis ..
ter and clearly. stated that an Islamic State "can be run only by those
who believe in those principles. .People who do not subscribe to these
ideas may have a place in the administrative machinery of the State, but
they cannot be entrusted with matters vital to its safety and integrity".
,But the Ministers who .spoke for the Government repudiated the
Maulana's remarks that the'status and privileges of non-Muslims would
be less than those 'of ihe- Muslims. Liaquat said that a non-Muslim
could head the administration of an Islamic State and that non-Muslims
would be welcomed into ·Government services. Zafrullah Khan asserted
that Islam had inculc~ted the widest tolerance, and Sardar Abdur Rab
Nishtar affirmed that minorities would be safe-because the majority would
be answerable to God.
Opposition to the Resolution came c;hie~y from the Hindu members
1. All quotations in t~i.s section are from the official report of the proceedings of
the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.
2. To Liaquat 's assertion that "Islam is the only society where there is re~l
democracy", the Munir Report replied, "That the form of government in Pakistan,
if that form to comply with the principles of Islam, will not be democratic is
conceded by the ulama", Munir Report, p. 210.
3. There is no evidence in support of ~ecent remarks of an American political
scientist: "Islamic government, Islamic State, and Islamic constitution were the
the last years of empire and the first of independence", Leonard Hinder,
Religion'andPolitics in Pakistan (1961), p. 4. No responsible Muslim 'League leader
is on record as having raised these slogans in the "last years of empire".
4. Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, 11 August, 1947, vol. I, p, 20;.
quoted in extenso in,Munir Report, pp, 201-203.
.froth ·East Pakistan who were alarmed at its religious content. They
thought that the Resolution would divide the· people into two classes,
Muslims and non-Muslims, whi~h one speaker described as "Patricians"
and "Plebeians". They were not satisfied by Professor I. H. Qureshi's
reply that the safeguarding of the rights of the minorities' was an explicit
duty-imposed by Islam and that the fears expressed by the Hindu speakers
were not inherent1in the proposals of the Resolution.
B. K. Dutta did
not agree to the-proposition that religion and politics were inseparable
and argued that the Resolution created a ruling class which would deprive
the minorities of democracy, freedom, equality and social justite-gifts
promised by the Resolution itself. C. Chattopadyaya was firmly of the
opinion that the Resolution would create a "Herren volk", that it was
reactionary in spirit and that "a thick curtain is drawn against all rays
ofhope, all prospects of an honourable life".
! I
Besides the debate on the Islamic nature of the proposals, one member. objected to their economic and social aspect. Mian Iftikliaruddin
deplored the failure of the Resolution to guarantee economic, social and
political justice and he depicted a Marxist pjcture of a battle raging
between the have; and the have-nots. He was answered by some Muslim
League leaders who s~d that Islamic democracy was a middle ,way bet~eeh Capitalism and Communism. Nishtar declared, "We.the Muslims
believe that a society based upon Islamic principles of freedom, ,equality.
and socialjustice, to the Mu.slims and non-Muslims, believers and 'nonbelievers, meh and women, poor 'and- rich, everybody, our own . citizens
and foreigners.lean l;ie. the best alternative." Maulana Usmani asserted,
"The Islamic syst'en'l of· economy is the only system that ca~ me~t
Communism'on its (?WU grouhds -. Islam has no truck with Capitalism.
The Islamic State'orihgs about an equitable distribution of wealth by employing methods p~eculiar to it 1ahd distinct from Communistic practices."
The Resolution' was a dopteo ·on 12 Match, 1949 by 21 vote~·
' ,I
to 10 .
Political arid Constittltional Background-2
I. Some orthodox ulama were not satisfied with the Resolution. For example,
Maulana Muhammad Ibrahim Ali Chishti complained, ''Why this fuss aboutid~moc-;
racy and minorities; why this emphasis upon Western conceptions?" M.l.A., Chishti,
"Eight F9r171al Fallacies in the Constituent Assembly's Objectives Resolution", Proce~din'gs of the First Ali-Pakistan PoliticalScience Conference (.Lahore, 1~50), pp. +.\t!t has
been freely admitted that this Resolution, though grartdiloquent in words, phlaSes and
clauses, is nothing out a hoax and that not only does i11<rlot contain even semblance
of the embryo of an Islamic State but its prp.visions, particularly th~ relating to fundamental rights, are directly opposed to the principles of an Islamic State", Munir
l' -~~~
Political and Constitutional Background-s-l:
Party Politics in Pakistan
The next main constitutional debate took place i;m the Basic Princi-
ih6 constitution, the parity proposal, provision of separate electorates,
and centralization-of power. Asserting that the constitution could 'either'
be Islamic or Parliamentary, Dutta described the proposed board of
ulama as the "Mullah House, which is, to boot, a nominated Ho~se".
He denounced the proposal of bringing the existing laws into conformity
with Islamic principles. Emphasizing the need for fresh thinking in the
economic field, he called for the nationalization of basic industries,introduction of co-operativevillage farming, and a~option of the principles of
over-all planning.
Among the Muslim ·critics of the proposals were Sardar Sha~at
Hayat Khan, Mian Iftikharuddin and Fazlul Haq. Shaukat Hayat
took exception to the contemplated board of ulama, the separate electorates and the provision that the head of the State ~ust be a Muslim. He
called f~r full provincial autonomy with all residuary powers vested in.
the units. Commenting on the board of ulama Mian Iftikharuddin said,
"The only tribunal before which we can go... however fallacious,however backward... is the tribunal of the people". He pointed out that the
new formula would only produce provincial antagonism, and called·
Pakistan a rickshaw drawn by East and West Pakistan with their legs tied
together. He was emphatic that the Constituent Assembly was not
representativeof the' people and reiterated his demand for .its diss~Iution.
and replacement by a new house elected on a full franchise. Fazlul
Haq preferred greater provincial autonomy to what the Formula
ples Committee Report. The Report was said to have been signedby
-OJ?.e of the members of the Committee, Mian Iftikharuddin, subject .to
a note of dissent; but the note was not appended to the Report because,
as· the Report put it, it was not found to conform to the requirements
of a minute of dissent. Another.member, Mian Mumtaz Daultana, was
shown as having signed, the Report without qualification, but he later
asserted that he had signed it subject to a note of dissent and he was
emphatic in his disagreementwith the parity proposal contained in tht';
Report.t According to the Report, the number of members from East
Pakistan in the central legislature was to be equal to the combined
strength of members from all the units within the west zone. A large
number of Punjabis, led by Daultana, refused to agree to it. On the
other hand, East Pakistanis. were dissatisfied. with their quota, which
they considered insufficient
and 'not in proportion
to their numerical
The Report was presented to the Constituent Assembly by Prime
Minister Nazimuddin on 22 December, 1952,in a speech which described
itas "the first golden ray of the sun which illumines the sky". H~ saiJ
that the recommendations implemented the ideals of the Objectives
Resoluti~n by interpreting Islam in the light of modern constitutionalism:
He.justifiedthe'provislon for a-Muslim head of the State by reference
to the ;British Monarchy where the Sovereign ts also the Head of the
Church of England. He defended the parity proposal on the ground
that it would bring about a happy interdependencebetween the two wings
and would encourage toleration and foster upity. The representation of
various provinces in the.federal legislature, which was so arranged as to
giveweightage to smallerprovinces,. was justjped on the plea that it would
create confidenceand trust. This last argument was particularly contested
by the Punjabis who were of the.view that both the weightageand the
parity were provided at their expense. This 'iss~e later developed into
an almost personal controversy between Miao Daultana and Khwaja
Nazimuddin and' explains the stand taken by the former during. rthe
anti-Ahmadi riots of 1953 in the Punjab.
. The. ,deadlock on the, patjty issue postponed constitution-making by 1L
more ~fl.an nine months, The debate was resumed on 7October,1953, \
when Prime, Minister Bogra presented his own formula to break the ;
stalemate., Once again the chief criticism came from. the Hindu, opposi- ,
tion. It attacked the draft on four grounds: the Islamic character of ..
,. 'lo
1. Munir Report, p. 285.
envlsaged.! .
. ·,.. '
=~-<i -~-------~--
\ f
' .
The Government replied to this criticism through the Law Minister,·
A. K: Brohi, who began by saying that the Directive Principles were more
than pious wishesand would serve as the manifesto of the Goyernment.
He said that if non-Muslims did not believe that the sovereignty of the
State lies with God, they need only consider the law as the prod~ct of the'
Constituent Assembly. Muslims would recognize that the powers of the
Parliament were circumscribed by· the limitations specified in the Quran
and Sunnah. He agreed that the proposal for a board of ulama was
preposterous and promised 'that an amendment would be mo~ed vestingthe ultimate adjudication in the Supreme Court. On the lSSUe of the
electorate, he said tliat if the minorities wanted a joint _electorate t~ey
should have it; but suggestedthat this might-be made an important point
in. the coming election.
Towards the end of the debate Fazlul Haq read out a resolution
l. Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Vol. XV, No:2,'p, 19 and Vol.XV, no. 13, p. 397 tr.
passed a. fortnight earlier by a mass meeting in Dacca, which qem<Jnqed
complete zonal autonomy, recognition -of -Bengali as a State language,
abrogation of tlfe Constituent Assembly and the election of a new house
on the basis of universal adult franchise.
On 2 November, the twelve, Hindu members walked out of the;
Assembly, saying' that as .tHei,r amendments were not being accepted by
the house their presence was useless, A few days).~e~. the Law Minister
moved adjournment 9f,the session, which invoked a tl,lreat of resignation
from Begum Shaista lkramullah Suhrawardy, who insisted, on proceeding
with the work regardless .of the cqming election in Bast P~kis~!ln· Her
intervention was ignored and the house adjourned to give. an opportunity
~ 'the Central Ministers and'the .Musli~" Leagu~ high ~m1P.and-tp help
m -the election campaign.
The significance of the East Pakistan
election emerges here. 'The M~~Iim League was be~ten because i~ cons:
titutional proposals were' not accept~b!e
an overwhelm~ng. majorit~
of tbe' people, of that provipce, At the same time, ~he defeat of the.
Muslim League made the ~~R()rt of ihe Basic Pri'nciples Committee entirely,jmpracticable and untenable.
· With "the P,ribtic~tion of the ~lection result came the realization tha~
the Co~tituent ASsewbiy could not ignore the wishes of East Pakistan.
Accor4il}gly,,on 20April, 1954; the Muslim League parliamentary party
in the ,Co,nsti\uen! ~ssembly agreed that both.Urdu and Bengali should be
official languages. Tqis lahguage formula was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 21 September.! But the decision did not go unchallenged in Wes~ Pakistan, ,(Qemonstratio,ns took place in Karachi, where
business circles. were closed and Urdu newspapers appeared with black
borders. A large procession, led by_ Dr .. Abdul Haq, President of the
1 Ai;ijuman-i-T~raqqi-i1Urd1.\ (Society for the Promotion of Urdu), marched
to .. -the Constituent Asseµibly· building and was met by the Prime
We have already covered the developments regarding the dissolution
of t~e Cqnstitue~t Assembly. The fi:\"!it piece of work taken in hand '·by_
the second Constituent Assembly-was the "One Unit" Bill, and its passage,
in ,the house was marked QY some astonishing inconsistencies and sµifts'in,
the views of'.certain pohticians. Sardar Abdur Rashid, the Cp.i~f M\nis~i;,
of the ·~o~th-West );'"rontier Province, had moved a resolution in ''the
t. Text formula in Rtport of Basic Principles Committee as adopted by the
Constituep~Aslemblyon 21st September, 1954· ~Karachi, 1954), .Part XYII, para "276,
P· 72; repro,du~~inG. W. Choudhri, ConstitutionalDevelopment i11 Pakistan (Lahore,
1959), pp. 128-129.
2. FeJdmati, op.,Ci/v ~. 54.
~ ...·~ .
L ~-----
Political dnd Constitutional Background-2
.., ,, Party folit~cs in Pakistan
provincial legislature on 26 November, 1954, welcoming the "One Unit"
scheme and heartily commending it to the house. One of his Minister,
M'ian Jaffar Shah, had agreed with him and had declared that if it had
come a' couple of years earlier the country could have been saved many
political crises.
Later Rashid changed his mind and his Ministry had
to be dismissed to make way for another more· amenable to Central
dictation. Mian Jaffar Shah now opposed the Bill in the Constituent
Assembly saying that its exponents had "hatched a- dangerous conspiracy" ,I Rashid bad warmly supportedthe idea of merger in November
1954 in the Frontier Legislative Assembly when the house was discussing
the resolution in favour of it,2 and 'again in March 1955 in his speech winding up the provincial budget debate.' But in the Constituent Assembly,
in September, he strongly condemned the scheme and its makers, warning
the later that "by imposing One Unit, they were playing with fire" .4
Likewise, Firoz Khan Noon, who was first so enamoured of the proposal
as to claim its fatherhood,' changed his mind and his Ministry in the
Punjab went the way of Rashid's. Qazi Fazlullah opposed'the scheme in
November 1954 and supported it in December of the same year.6 Pir
Ali Muhammad Rashdi approved of the proposal in February 1955,7 and
condemned it in May 1957.S
Among the major parties, the Muslim League alone was in favour
of "One Unit". The Awami League was opposed to it, and so was tl¢,
United Front? Among the minor parties, the Congress had =no.objection to it",10. but Gantantari Dal demanded a referendum to ascertain the
will of the people of the western zone.l! Most of the Independents, like
Rashid and Noon, were critical of the scheme.· Many small groups in
West Pakistan, which were later to .merge into the Pakistan National
Awami Party, adversely reacted to the plan, and in fact formed an Anti1. Both the statements of Miarl Jaffar Shah are set out in The Times ·of Karachi,
25 August, 1955.
2. Dawn, 26 November, 1954.
3. Ibid., 26 March, 1955.
4. Pakistan Times, 7 September, 1955.
5. His speech in the Punjab Legislative Assembly oh 30 November, 1954, The
Times of Karachi, 1 December, 1954. .
6. · See his statement in Dawn, 11 November and 12 December, 1954.
7. His broadcast on 3 February as Sind Minister of Information and Revenue,
text in PakistanStandard, 4 February, 1955.
8. His article, "One Unit and its Survival Situation Analysed", Dawn, 8· May,
9. Mahmud Ali's statement of 14 September, Dawn, 15 September, 1955:
10. Statement of B. K. Das, Dawn, 19 July, 1955.
11. Central Working Committee's resolution of 6 August, Dawn; 7 August, 1955.
.. - - ----66
Patty Politics in Pakistan
One Unif Convention, which was organized· and supported by Khan
Abdul 'Ghaffar Khan, Pir of Manki, Sardar Samad Khan Achakzai,
Sheikh Abdul Majid and G. M. Syed.!
But the most glaring example of a volte face on this issue was that
of Suhrawardy, the Awami League chief. He was .a Minister in the
National Government formed by Muhammad Ali Bogra after the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in October 1954, and he was presumably in favour of the Government's policy on "One Unit". He held the
portfolio of Law, and all the Orders and Ordinances purporting to arm
the Governor General with power to set up the new province must have
been drafted and issued by his Ministry. Further, the scheme of merging
the western areas into one unit had originally been suggested by two of
his colleagues in December 1952. In February 1955 he had strongly
welcomed the proposal.t
Nevertheless, when the Constituent Assembly.
met in August 1955 to debate the "One Unit" Bill, the Awami League
bitterly attacked it and made every attempt to obstruct its passage.I
From an ardent supporter and advocate of the plan, Suhrawardy now
turn~d out to be its most uncompromising opponent+
His party
members made long drawn out and mostly irrelevant speeches punctuated
with ungainly invective. Though they maintained that their opposition
to the measure was in detail rather than in principle, and though
Suhrawardy had left the Central Cabinet a little earlier, yet this exhibition
of political fickleness was far from edifying.
After the passage of the West Pakistan Establishment Act- in October
1955,5 the Constituent Assembly finally turned to the task of constitutionmaking. During November 'and December the house was repeatedly
adjourned because the coalition was unable to resolve its differences.
The different groups resorted to various tactics to exert pressure in respect
of their eonstttutional demands. -The Pakistan National Congress and
the United Progressive Party threatened to leave the coalition if a joint
1. This Convention had its first meeting in Karachi on 9 October, 1955. For text
o.f resolutions passed in this Session see Dawn, 10 Octobe~, 1955.
2. His address at Pad Idan on 6 February, text in The Times of Karaclti, 7
February, 1955.
3. However, the All Pakistan Jinnah Awami League supported the scheme. See
the statement'issued on 16 September, 1955, by.two members of the party's Working
Committee, Khwaja Abdul Rahim and Raja Hasan Akhtar, The Times of Ka;achi
17 September, 1955.
4. See hi~ speeches of 10 and 21 September in the Constituent Assembly full
texts in the ConMituenl.'1ssembly of Pakistan Debates and in Dawn of 11 and n' Sep·
tember, 1955, respectively.
S. Final voting was 43 to 13, Dawn, I October, 19SS.
Political and· Constitutional' Ba~kground-2
electorate was not' -conceded ; the Nizam-i-Islam was ready to walk out
if it was conceded. Djfferences of opinion on fundamental issues became
so wide and serious that the Prime Minister, Chaudhri Muhammad Ali,
had to warn all parties that if no agreementwas forthcoming he would
report to the nation the failure of· his mission of constitution-maklng.
This firm stand, taken in the third week of December 1955, worked
miracles; and the Government was able .to present to the Constituent
Assembly with a draft Bill on 9 January, 1956.1
The Awami League assailed the draft with gusto. It condemned the
proposals outright and demanded that the entire scheme be scrapped:
Its chief objection was that the document did not conform to the party's
21-point manifesto, which conferred only three powers on the Centre,
viz., defence, currency and foreign affairs, not including foreign trade.
It refused to see the absurdity of this contention : if the Centre was to
have only these three subjects how was it to be financed? Perhaps, the
party might have given the ridiculous answer: the provinces will finance
the Centre annually! Moreover, separation of foreign trade from foreign
affairs was a naive proposal, betraying ignorance of elementary economic
and political knowledge.s Undaunted by such anomalies in the programme, the Awami League persisted in its opposition, and on 15 January,
1956, Maulana Bhashani told a meeting in Dacca that if the Centre did
not comply with their demands "East Pakistan would have to think
in terms of secession"-a sentiment as reprehensible as Fazlul Haq's
statements of April and May 1954. Another Awami League leader, Abu
Mansur Ahmad, found nothing in common between East and West
Pakistan except religion and the fact that both had attained independence
at the same time. He even spoke of the two wings as "two countries"
and "two peoples", and was not prepared to coinpromise on the 21-i:oint
programme even if he were convinced that "Pakistan with a Centre with
r. " 'Resistance Day' demonstrations, a strike, hartaf, even talks of secession
marked the reception of the draft of the second Constituent Assembly in East Pakistan", G. w. Cboudhri, op. cit., p. 145.
2. In the words of an East Pakistani this demand was "fantastic" (G. W.
Choudhri, "'.fhe Constitution of Pakistan", Pacific Affairs, September 1956, P:i 246)1
and "the new agitation for more autonomy was nothing but the disguised attempt (?!
irresponsible elements to bring chaos and disintegration to the country, It may be of
some interest to point out that th~ Communists and the Hindu communalists who
.opposed the creation of Paktst~~ we~ i:iost vocal ~n champ'.o.nitig the cause of provi~;
cial autonomy", (G. W. Choudhri, "The East Pakistan Political Scene, 1955-1957 ,
Pacific .Affairs, December 1957, p. 319),
- ~- -~- - - - -.- - - - - . . . .----!!!!!!11!!!!!1!------68
Party Politics in Pakistan
only three subjects would not become a stable State''.1
The final debate, took place on 29 February, 1956. Suhrawardy
appealed to the Government to call a round table conference to discuss
the contentious issues. When this suggestion was turned down his party
left the chamber.s This example' was followed by members of the
Congress, Mian Iftikharuddin (Azad Pakistan Party), Mahmud Ali
(Gantantari Dal), S. K. Sen (United Progressive Party), and B. R. Mandal
and G. C. Bala (Scheduled Caste Federation).
The passing of the
Constitution had, unfortunately, brought no unity to the country.
"The new fundamental law .seemed just as likely, to widen the split
between the two .wings as to heal it. The walkout of the.parties was
ominous, for this time-honoured political manoeuvre acquires greater
significance when such vital matters.as the constitution of the country are
under consideration; The Awami League, along with the smaller groups
who followed its suit, cannot.escape some measure of responsibility for
what happened afterwards.
1. But after becoming Prime Minister in September 1956 Suhrawardy described the COnstitution as "guaranteeing ninety-eight per cent Provincial autonomy",
G. W. Choudhri; Constttutional'Development in Pakist'rin (Lahore, 1959), p. 165. ·~otwitb.standing this in June 1957 t!l6 'Bast -Pakistan Awa.mi League Council passed a
reso!ution demanding "regional autonomy as envisaged in the 21-point Manifesto",
Pakistan Times, 15 June, 1951.
2, See Roim,d Table, March, 1956.
The initial difficulty in studying Pakistani political parties is that of
classification, Should we accept the time-honoured categorisation and
divide them-into the.parties of the Left and the parties of the Right, or
should we try to find some other method of distinguishing them? It has
been suggested that parties can be based either on a doctrine or on no
doctrine. The doctrine-based party is characterised by the fact that "its
leaders .and its basis of appeal function largely in the realm of principles
and moral argumentation".
Socialist parties not based on trade union
membership are the classical example. In Pakistan only the Islamic groups
and the Communists would have qualified as doctrine-based parties. The
non-doctrine party, on the other hand, has as its appeal and organising
basis a "shared interest or identity"-it may be socio-economic classes
charismatic leadership, church, trade union, shared nationality, public
'office or spoils.! But this classification breaks down when it is applied to
'a concrete situation such as existed in Pakistan. Religious groups, like
the Jamaat-i-Islami and the Nizam-i-Islam, were certainly doctrine-based
parties; but so was the M uslim League in so far as' it firmly stood on the
issue of separate electorates. And, is it not the aim of every party,
doctrine-based or otherwise, to capture public office? Every party claims.
an element' of doctrine, even dogma, in its appeal and another element
which tries to attract people on general grounds. If we accept this classification we shall either characterise all the parties as doctrine-based, for all
professed some principles andentered into some measure of moral argumentation, or describe all of them as non-doctrinal, for each of them was
based on some sort of shared interest in the realms, of socio-economic
classes, charismatic leadership, sharednationaliiy or spoils.
We again end UP. in a blind aliey if we try to discover some line of
distinction between the Left and the Right in Pakistanipolitics, In fac,t, the
notions ,of Left and Right are hazy and even distorted in Asia. The g,ovem;ments of most of the Asian continent in this period professed democratic
socialism. Even those governments which were not Left-wing=as. the
successive governments of Pakistan were-s-accepted a great deal of what
in the West would.be called Leftist policy. .For example, the Aw~mi
League professed to be a Left-wing body, so did the Repvhli~,
and to
1. Neil A. McDonald, The Swdy of Political Parties (New York, 1955), pp, 31-32.
The Major· Parties ·
Party Politics in Pakistan
some extent so did the Muslim League. Programmes of all of them repeated commonplace socialist sentiments and promised radical changes in the
scctc-economtc structure of the country. The only genuine Leftist parties
were the Communist Party of Pakistan and the Pakistan Socialist Party,
but they were of no consequence either electorally or politically. In a way
.the National Awami Party could be called a party of the Left, but it must
be remembered that many of its aims were shared by other groups. In
this respect Asia has Inclined more to the Left than does the West. "The
Asian political spectrum contains much more red and much less blue,
with the result that various shades of pink, which iq the West would be
placed on the left, tend in Asia to find themselves located in the Centre or
even to the right of centre:" And, in truth, "the word 'sodalisf i~ Asia
is rather like the word 'liberal' (with a small 'l ') in Britain; most I?eoPie
would claim to be one, and fC1V, would object tobeing called one ." 1 .Thus
the convenient method of studying political parties under the head of Left
and Right will not do.
' ·
A third method of classification is possible. We.may take the four
main parties-the Muslim League, th~ AwamiLeague, the United Front
and the ~epublican Party=together as the ruling parties, and lump all
.others, except the religious, opes, in a separate category. This may not
appeal to some.as the P,erf~tly methodical way of treating the subject,
but it is, the m?st, practicable.Jor it distinguishes between the parties which
had a share.in successive.governments and those which worked more as
pressure gr9u_psandactive lobbies than as proper political.parties.
separate chapter, will deal with the, orthodox Islamic parties-and with, the
larger question of "religion in politics".
The Mµslim'League :
The Mtislirri League was the only major political party in existence in
'August 1947, and "it started its career in the new State with all the advantages that a'. party coufd concelvably'wish for. It had been the sole instru.ment.offreedom in 'creating+the country;' it. enjoyed immense prestige
amopg.all classes of,pe9ple;' 'and leaders bf all shades of opinion bowed
tHeir knee to it. Tlie country looked to it not only with respect and gra\itude,' but al~o with a passion ~d affection hot usually associated with ti.
political group. Nettrly every Muslim Pakistarii was a Muslim
in 1947 a114 1948. Not unnaturally, therefore, people identified' th~
Muslim Lpagu~ w'ith the country and 'the State,
number of factors
~elped' to sustain tp.is · illusion. Absence of other parties protected "it
therough and tumble of rival claims and concentrated public gaze on its
t ..s. Rose, ''Left and Right in Asia'f, Lf.r,tener, 10 April~ 19.58•
actions and decisions. As in the pre-1947 period the Muslim People had
been the Muslim League, so now the Muslim League came to be the
State. Jinnah, who had been elected its President year after year since
1937t was now not only the Governor General of Pakistan and President
of the Constituent Assembly but also the'supreme figure of the Pakistan
Muslim League. Thus while all publicopinion was reflected in one party,
all political action was concentrated in one person.
With such an encouraging start Muslim League could confidently look
forward to a long untroubled spell of rule. This hope was not belied, and
for seven years it was, continuously in power in all provinces as well as in
the Centre. It enjoyed the monopoly of power in every sense and shape,
not only in the legislative and ministerial spheres, but also in provincial
gubernatorial and high diplomatic fields. It had an overpowering majority
in the first Constituent Assembly and in all the Provincial Assemblies.
When its Chief Ministers were dismissed for maladministration, as
Mamdot was in the Punjab and Khuro in Sindh, their successors had to
be found from within the party, for there was no otherresponsible group
in sight. It comfortably won all the provincial elections, in the Punjab, the
North-West Frontier Province and Slndht=-flrst elections to be held on
the basis of universal adult franchise. It.had the unchallenged , right of
appointment to all ambassadorial posts, which it exercised without inhibition. Eor seven years it ruled the countrywithout any opposition to question its policies and without any general election, t9 test its popularity.
The fi~t shock came in 1954 when it was routed in the East Pakistan
1. The Electoral Reforms Commission, appbinted on 19 October, 1955, cast
doubts -on .tbe fairness of these elections: "Electoral rolls were prepared in a slipshod
manner suffering both from inclusion of bogus voters and exclusion of eligible voters on
a fairly large scale: N9qtination papers of dndidates opposed to the ruling par~
were not uncommonly rejected on flimsy and technical grounds. Election petitions
dragged on indefinitely with little chance of coming to an end before the expiry of the
term of the Assembly. By-elections, in a fair number of cases, were either not h~ld
all or held after the ruling party bad 'hammered the ground' and suitably paved the
way for them ..• It is a fact beyond dispute that the existing macbinery for superintendence, direction and control of the preparation, publication and revision of the electoral
rolls and the conduct of elections co the legislature& 'is absolutely unsatisfactory, and
that it has totally failed to achieve true representation of the people", Report of the
Electoral Reforms Commission, Gazette of Pakista~ Extraordinary, 24 April; 1956. cf.
West Africa where "the advantage of being the party in power during the election,
when people would fpar being victimised if they did not support th~ Governmenl, '~as
so great that it was worthwhile considering whether the Government should rcsi~ be·
fore eJection began", _otrori-Atta
Ghana) in What pre the ProblefT!S. o~ Parliamentary
Government in West Af rica? (London, 1958), p. 142.
Party Politics in Pakistan
1. The procrastination employed in the holding of this election was an index to
the Muslim League's undemocratic approach to politics. The Bengal Assembly had been
elected in 1946 for a period of 5 years. Its tenure ended in 1951 and there were demands
for new election. T-0 this the Government replied that they calculated the term of the
Assembly not ftom the Iast election (I 946) but from the first meeting of the house after
Independence (1948). So the 5-year term was allowed to run until 1953. In 1953 the
Constituent Assembly prolonged the life of the East Bengal Assembly by one year (The
East Bengal LegislaJive A.ssembly (Continuance) Act, 1953). During this period there
was one by-election which resulted in a major defeat for the Muslim League (Government) candidate.
Other vacancies were left unfilled until 34 out of l 71 seats were unoccupied. Equally undesirable tactics were also employed by the Muslim League in
election to the Constituent Assembly.
Casual vacancies were filled by indirect election
by provincial assemblies through proportional representation.
Fearing that simultaneous filling of a group of vacancies might result in favour of opposition candidates,
three vacancies arising in the samesession of the East Pakistan legislature were filled'
by elections on three separate days. The working of proportional 'repreaentation was
thus effectively· countered.
Suhrawardy complained against this.in Dawn, 4 September,· 1949.
- -
The Major Parties
provincial electlon.! This defeat was alarming in more ways than one.
It was the first time the party was voted out of power, and the result was
as complete a debacle as it could be. More than half of the country's
entire population had given the verdict in no unmistakable terms. Election had taken place when the Muslim League was in power everywhere,
and still the voter had shown his mind unafraid of the sarkar. It brought
home to the Muslim League the danger of complacency from which every
party, which has for long occupied the seat of power without the periodic
lease of consent from the people, can well be expected to suffer.
At the end of the election a· long and undigmfied autopsy was held
on the political corpse of the party. To start with the Leaguers doubted
the purity of conditions under which election had taken place; but when
it was pointed out that their own party was in power during the polling,
they turned to their opponents and accused them of having deceived
the voter by making false" charges against the League, by inaccurate
statistics and by empty slogans. This was, however, no more than
political abuse. The United Front had fought on the definite basis of a
21-point manifesto. Next, the Muslim Leaguers proceeded to blame
the Central Government for having alienated the east 'wing by their
short-sighted and muddle-headed policies. But the Central Government
was itself a Muslim League government, and the charge amounted no
more than self-criticism. Finally, the vanquished leaders and party
managers ended by accusing one another of sluggishness, incompetence;
dishonesty and various other vices; but this public washing of dirty
linen only added to the indignity of the electoral verdict.
Many of the reasons for this landslide in public opinion were obvious.
East Pakistan was unhappy with the policy of the Central 'Government;
and had passed a vote of no-confidence against the party in power.
People also objected to ·the· presence of a large number of West
Pakistani civil servants who were posted in East Pakistan. Then there
was a strong feeling that the ruling party tended to ignore the claim of
Bengali as a national language. 'There was increasing impatience at the
delay in constitution-making, and it was generally believed that the
Muslim League leadership was engineering this delay for personal ends,
Finally, there was the sorry record of the provincial .Muslim League
ministry wliich had hardly any achievements to show. During the election campaign it had either recounted such vague items of national
progress as could not lend themselves to electoral appeal or pointed to
such deeds as were due more to the national spirit of sacrifice and enthusiasm than to good leadership.
Apart from mutual recrimination and general invective the Muslim
League did little to improve itself and to make itself more acceptable to
the public. For some time there was a great deal of flurry in the scattered camp. Some welcomed the defeat as a blessing in 'disguise and
called upon their leaders to re-think. Practically every leader; from
the Prime Minister down to the ward manager, voiced the need of doing
something effective without delay .1 The party had not metin an annual
session for many years and it was hurriedly decided to summon a convention towards the end of 1954 to consider future action. Another
step towards consolidation was the decision to associate legislators with
provincial administration. The Muslim League assembly· parties in the
Punjab and the North-West Frontier Province set up a number of stand'!
ing committees. of members of the Legislative Assembly under the
chairmanship of each Minister ''to attain democratic methods in the
working of provincial administration, reduction of expenditure and
elimination of corruption and inefficiency". In addition, all M.L.A"s2
were associated with welfare committees already functioning in each
district, and to further. strengthen these bodies it was decided to nominate
on them some municipal councillors and' members of district boards.
Representatives of other parties were invitedto work on these committees.
A little later it was decided to build a permanent headquarters.of the,
party at Karachi before the convention met. It was an ambitious scheme
of putting up a stadium-like structure to accommodate 5,000 persons for
·.the convention and ultimately to welcome large crowds for public
See, for example, Muhammad
Aslam, ''The Task before the Muslim League",
Dawn: 20 and 21 October, 1954.
Member •Legislative Assembly (Provincial).
Party Politics in'Paklstan
'The Major Parties.
meetings;' a large secretariat to house the party'offlce, and a rostrum in
which the party council would have its annual session. It was announced
tha't·the Aga Khan -had promised a substantial donation to share the
cost of this plan. -For a few months such grandiose schemes continued
to enjoy wide circulation. Many, who had-known the party in the .days
of its glory and gratefully remembered its role in the fight for national
freedom, sincerely hoped that some good might come out of this new
zeal. But no amount of statements and blueprints could revitalize a
party in decline. All plans were soon shelved;the convention was indefinitely postponed, and party bosses· relapsed into waywardness. The
party headquarters were never built. In. the meantime, the Governor
General dissolved the Constituent Assembly and dismissed the Cabinet,
and the sigh of relief heard all' around sensitively mirrored the popular
discontent with the existing state of affairs for which the Muslim League.
was primarily- held responsible, After a short-lived, caretaker national
Government a coalition was formed in the Centre between the Muslim
League and the United Front.
Thus within eiglit months of its fitst defeat the party had ·to relin-·
quish its m6nopoly of Central rule and -had to share' it with the party
which had humbled it a little while· ago, This, however, 'was not the"
end of its mlsfortbbes. In 1955,· when the areas of the west wing were
merged into one province of. West Pakistan, the Governor G~era.J ap ..
pointed Khan Sahib 'as the Chief Minister of the new province. Partly
because or' his past anti-Pakistan record and partly because of other.
factors, Khan Sahib was not acceptable to the Muslim league. Moreover, he was appointed by the 'central Government, not elected by the
West Pakistan Muslim League parliamentary party. The Muslim League,
however, weakened its case
two respects. First, the Chief Minister's·
appointment was made by
Muslim League Prime Minister- (Chaudhri
Muhammad Ali);" and, secondly, the Muslim' League of West Pakistan
publicly undertook to support Khan. Sahib.I Later the party changed
its mind and withdrew its support to Khan Sahib. It speaks volumes
for the' lack of unity in the party that a large number of its leaders and.
their personal followers moved info the new party formed by Khan Sahib.
In- fact, the Republican Party was overwhelmingly made up ofdissident,
Leaguers. This happened in April 1956. Next year the 'eclipse
of the Muslim League was complete when it was turned out of the
Central Government. It made an unsuccessful 'attempt to rule the
country in October 1957, but the Awami League-Republican combination
·frustrated its efforts. The Muslim League was everywhere in the opposition when party government came to an abrupt end . in October
In March 1958, Khan Abdul ~ay.yum Khan, a former Chief Minister
·of the North-West Frontier Province, was elected president of the party,
and at once an aggressive note crept into the party's attitude. There is
no doubt that a new spirit was infused into by this outspoken Pathan.
In his first speech, which set the pattern for subsequent party pronounce.ments,' he warned those in power that the country would be seized in a
grip of "bloody revolution" if they. obstructed a peaceful revolution.
The Muslim League would not hesitate to resort to ''.extreme measures"
.and would launch a campaign which would "sweep off those in power
.'1ike a blade, of grass", He emphasized the. need for organizing the
.Muslim League National Guards (a, semi-military, uniformed, wing of
the party) on a big scale. "Let us put Muslim 'League machinery on a
war footing. . Let us battle against those ~hp do not believe in the
ideology ofPakistan .. ~t us march -forwatd, with our national flag,
united in thought and united 1~ deed," Making a. thinly-veiled ~ttack
·on President Iskandar Mirza, he said that the Assemblies and Ministers
.had been made responsible to one, individual.only,' A revolution was
needed tg solv,e problems like the rehabilitation of refugees. He conclgpe,c} P.Y dec\a,,ring>!. "~et us-go to battle with those who are destroying
Pakistan and, who are opposing the very ideology ,o~, whi~h Pakistan was
based, };very one of µs,will la~ down our [sic.] Hf~ for,those principles,"!
About a month later, Yfhile, addressing a public meet.ing i~ Lahore, he ·
reverted to his attackon t~e;President, ~qis, time openly.and more bi~t<:rl~.
upresident Mirze al9:q.g ~itP, I,.is fellow-!r~~lers js responsible for Sf!bota~~
, ing the Musli~ League and 'gjving 9~rtJ:i: ip, the Repu~lica~ Pa~1
.which thrives on political ftaud." The, League p~d decided to launch- a
.c~paign to drive ~~- Pre~\qent out
for he had exploited hi's
'.'high !!1\d sacred office" forpolitjcal intrigues and had acted , unconsti·tutionally. If the Constitution was to.f~~ct1pJ,l- ~n. l~tte~ ~n~ in spirit,
-and if.democracy .was to operate freely, it was 1.m~r~tiv? to rer,10,ve
the President from office. "We shall see that he is. thrown out ~ he
1. Sardar BaJ;adur Khan (soon to be the leader of t,he Muslim League assembly
party in West Pakistan) said that he had joined the Khan Sahib ministry "in the belief
that by strengthening bis hand it would bC possible to checkmate the movement Kbaii
Abdul -Ghaffar Khan had launched in the former Frontier province", his testimony
before the West Pakistan Elective Bodies' Disqualification Tribunal, Pakis1t111.:Times,,
- ---
r Muslim
1. Pakistan Times, 31 March, 1958.
2. Ibid., 28 April, 1958.
Party Politics in Pakistan
Such fighting speeches' were bound to result' in some sort of' open
clash. The opportunity for this was provided by the promulgation of an
ordinance banning the formation or maintenance, by private persons or
associations, of organization of a military of semi-military character for
the furtherance of political purposes.! This ordinance 'was issued by the
President on 20 September, 1958. The Muslim League reaction to it
was~ mixture of surprise, truculence and threats. It adopted a peculiarly
muddle-headed policy of defiance. 'On 21 September; Qayyum -Khan
declared that "the Muslim League would not take lying down· the
challenge thrown by the' Central Government by banning the Muslim
League National Guards". He proceeded· to state, "We are'trying to
step up our efforts to recruit at least one millionfully disciplined National
Guards to meet the forthcoming onslaught of the Government."2 De. fiance could hardly be phrased more frankly, At the same time, a conference of Muslim League workers met iii Karachi and demanded that tlte
Muslim League Working Committee, whose meeting was scheduled for 24
September, should decide toresort to directaction 'against the Ordinance;
and threatened that if the high command did' not do so, the workers themselves would, form a forward blo~k td start a civil disobedience movement
and continue it till the 'Ordinance was withdrawn. On 27 September, the
·working Committee ordered theSalar-l-Ala (Chief'Cemmander) to issue a
clear direction to t~e N~tional Guards not to march or parade in military
order 'or to wear their uniforms bll the party's Council gave its decision in
the matter. The Committee also asked alJ its branches to observe IO Octoberas "Protest Day", o.n which public meetings should be held and
resolutions pass_ed denounct,ng. tlie Ordinance. In its two-column long
resolution on the _issue, the Working Committee said that' it was convinced
that-the Ordinance was "promulgated mala fide with a view fo deprive
[sic.] the Pakistan' Muslim League of the' services of its National Guards
'and in order to create Iawlessness which might result in bloodshed".
After giving a longhistory ofthe National Guards and of Jinnah's associatidn with them, the resolutfon concluded by saying, ••If the change bf
powe~ ·J1thin a democratic "State is notallowed to be brought·about by
constitutional means the pe?ple and their political organizations will hav~
no option. but to resort to other methods of throwing the despotic Gover~inent out 9f power. "3 The matter was finally referred to the Council
for decision; but the Council never met owing .to the intervention of
Ayub Khan's coup.
J. Public Order (Political Uniforms) Ordinance, 1958.
Pakistan Times, 22 September, 1958,
3. Full text of resolution in Pakistan Times, 29 September, 1958.
The Major Parties
The fodecisivenes1>1.of the party came- out remarkably-in this affair-of
the Ordinance. The President's-first reaction was a call of defiance pr~~
mising the enlistment of a million ·uniformed militia. Then the Working
Committee met and, instead of giving a decision or simply referring the
matter to the Council, issued a bitter and fighting resolution, but at the
same time refrained from taking a decision. Moreover, it is difficult to
agree with the Muslim League allegation that the Ordinance was aimed
solely at destroying the Muslim League National -Guards, The Order
named no political parties and applied to all. - It rs true that the uniform ..
ed wing of the Muslim League was the best organized among those of
political parties.! but this -could hardly imply that the Government was
deliberately trying to break its power. Elections were drawing near and
the .Government might well have thought that the existence of para~
military political bodies was a danger to peace and order. In any case
-the Government could claim the benefit of the doubt.and could make
a plausible case for its action; the Muslim League, particularly in view of
its earlier speeches about battles and extreme· measures and extraconstitutional methods, could hardly be as innocent as it pretended to be:
Like all nationalist parties fighting for independence, the pre-1947
Muslim League was made up of all sorts of people and all shades . of
opinion. Among its.leaders had been men who had devoted their lives to
the national cause, like Jinnah, men who had resigned . from the highest
government offices to join. the independence movement, 'lik,e Firoz Khan
Noon, andmen who had left other parties, to serve the Muslim cause, like
Mian Iftikharuddin and Qayyum Khan. When independence had been
achieved it was but natural for such a party-rather an organization-to
split into different groups corresponding to the various shades of opinion
expressed by them, But it was not expected to disintegrate in the way in
which it did. One interesting feature of the party was that a very large,
number of highly-placed leaders left it at different times and. for different
reasons. Among the more important defections may be mentioned those,
ofIftikharuddin, who. formed the Azad Pakistan Party, .Firoz Khan
Noon, who lined up with th~ Republicans, Suhrawardy, who founded the
Awami League, Fazlul Haq, who led the Krishka Sramik Party and later,
the United Front, the Khan of Mamdot, who for some time led the
Jinnah Muslim League, and Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan, who joinep' th,e
I. The Muslim League National Guards in East Pakistan had been dissolve? in
April 194~, because, in the words of the Salar-i-Subah (Chief Provincial Commander),
I. A. Mohajer, "since Pakistan had been achieved the necessity for keeping the
Muslim League National Guards of a semi-military character was now over", Dawn,
3 April, 1948.
Party Politics in Pakistan
'Azad Pakistan Party before retiring from politics. It is difficult to find
an obvious explanation of such
heavy inter-party traffic which became a
perennial feature of Pakistan's party system. Of this more later.
There was, moreover, a sad lack of discipline within the Muslim
League. It was not uncommon to see leaders criticising each other in
public, issuing contradictory statements and condemning the policies of
their own Governments. The following incidents illustrate this. In
January 1952, there was a danger of a split between the Pakistan Muslim
League, and the North-West Frontier Provincial Muslim League Council.!
·1n 1953, the Pakistan Muslim League Council passed the following resolution when its own Government was in power: "This meeting of the Pakistan Muslim League Council notes with regret that in spite of six years of
our independent existence and with Muslim League Governments at the
helm of affairs, no concrete steps have been taken to give practical shape
to those promises made from time to time by Quaid-i-Azam and other
responsible League leaders from various League platforms for the introduction of complete reforms for Baluchistan. "2 An amusing example of
an entire provincial party walking out of the Muslim League was provided in Sindh' in April 1958. M. A. Khuro, who had a little earlier resigned
from the Muslim League and joined Firoz Khan Noon's Awami LeagueRepublican d>alition as Defence Minister, presided over a meeting of the
League Council, which decided to sever all
, Provincial 'Muslim
connections with the Pakistan Muslim League. Three days later he announced that the Sindh Provincial Muslim League was to be called Sindh
League, that it would be organized on an all-Pakistan basis, and that it
wouldfight the elections on the basis of undoing "One Unit": The Smdh
League retained the office, funds and record of the Sindh Provincial Muslim
League. Four days later the Pakistan Muslim League Working Committee
expelled Khuro from the party for a period of seven years and League dissolved the Sindh Provincial Muslim League. In 1952-53 the Muslim League
central organization was forced to dissolve no less than four constituent
Leagues, viz., those of Karachi.I Baluchistan, the Punjab and Sindh.4
For many years the offices of the president of the Pakistan Muslim
League and of the leader of the central parliamentary party were combined in Qn.e person, with the result 'that when the party was in power
the Prime Minister was also the president or' the national party organj1.
See>"RoWld Table, March 1952, p. 171.
Pakistan Muslim League Council Resolution No. 20, 20 October, 1953.
Muslim League Working Committee's decision of 3 April, 1952.
For these three dlssclutlons sec Dawn, 22 December, 1953.
The M'ajor Parties
zation. Similarly in the provinces the Chief Minister was also president
of the provincial party organization. It is difficult to say why .this form
of party organization was adopted, for it exposed. the ~any to greater
censure .because one person was held responsible for all its activities and
decisions. One criticism that can certainly be levelled against the Muslim
League is that it alone was responsible-for the delay in the framing of the
Constitution. And for this Liaquat Ali Khan must bear all blame. He
was in power for full four years, and during this period he neither expedited constitution-making, nor held any general election, nor made any
attempt to make his party more democratic. "Most of the· evidence goes
to show that Liaquat Ali was at first in effective control of the government, the Muslim League and the Constituent Assembly. But in ~e
three years following Mr. Jinnah's death he did not succeed in solving
any of the five main problems of Kashmir, canal waters, evacuee property, thestate of the economy and refugees. Neither was he able to
procure agreement on the constitution."! There is no doubt that he was
aiming at the "establishment of a sort of personal allegiance".2 His
successors followed in his footsteps. It is true that there were acute
differences of opinion on some vital issues and that some other parties
did not readily co-operate with the Muslim League. But the party was
in complete control till 1954, without having to contend with an opposition worth the name; yet it never realized the importance of the task
· before it and did not give priority to the drafting of a constitution. This
assessment derives strength from the feeling that if it had a will it could
accomplish this task in a considerably shorter period, as was later proved
when Prime Minister Chaudhri Muhammad Ali covered all the stages of
constitution making-within four months.
What was more serious was that the Muslim League had lost touch
with the masses. As time passed it confined its sphere of action to wooing
prominent figures, rich businessmen and influential landlords; thus
"exposing itself to the gibe that "it need not go to the people so long as
they can be made to vote for it by other means".
In final analysis
perhaps the worst thing encouraged by the Muslim League unwarranted
political interference in daily administration.J Responsible officials wer~
1. K. Callard, op. cit., p. 21.
2. L. Binder, op. cit., p. 243.
3, C/. "The Muslim League therefore gives assurance that it will never permit
the servicesto become a plaything of politics and will put them in a position to perform their duties honestly, without fear or favour." The Election, Manifesto of the
Punjab Muslim League, December 1950 (Lahore, 1950), p.,24. The Report of the Sindb
[co,ntd. on P· SO]
'The Major.Part~es ·
Party Politics inPakistan
transferred on the behest of M.L.As and petty appointments were made
to please a party manager or a, Minister.1 Other parties faithfully maintained this tradition.
To summarise the reason for the decline of the Muslim League, we
may say that it had become too complacent to live a successful competitive political Jife. It persistently pursued the policy of postponing
elections until they became absolutely inescapable; and when they had to
be faced "willy-nilly, the party went forward half-heartedly with more confidence in its past history than in its policies. It treated its opponents with
scant respect.s and therfore got none When they replaced· it. Being the
first party to man all Governments it had the duty and opportunity of
establishing impeccable democratic traditions.t so that later when less
experienced parties mounted to power the traditions established by it
'were respected. Instead, it misused its. power and control in exploiting
the confidence of the people and handing out expensive posts to.its-henchmen. One tradition established by the Muslim .League, which resulted in
(contd. fro"! p. 79]
Speeial f:ourt of Inquiry (consisting of Justice Abdul Rashid and Justice Shahabuddfn
of the Federal Court)', which 'investigated the charges of misconduct against M. A.
Khuro, wrote: ·"It 'does not appear to us out of place to suggest in the light of
experience we have gained from this inquiry that in the framing of the Constitution of
Pakistan it is essential to provide adequate safeguards- against undue interference by
the Ministers in the day to day administration of the P,rovince", quoted in K. B.
cit.; pp. 3SJ-354. '
1. In Burma the' local leaders of the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League
were petty kings, "jealous of the-rise to power of better men', miny find compensation
in acting the tyrant in their own neighbourhood: in ordering the D. C., in harassing
their personal enemies, or in levying a quiet blackmail on ~U local. ~conomic and
sqcial activities"; Hugh Tinker, The Union of Burma (London, 1957), p. 67.
2. See testimony of 'Bostan Khan (Inspector, Anti-Corruption Department)
before the Wesi Pakistan Elective Bodies Disqualification Tribunal, Pakis tan Times,
. l March, 1961.
3. Cf. "The Punjab Muslim League is wedded ~o the general principle that
for the proper (unciioni,ng of a democratic system, development of democratic institutions and growth of democratic traditions and way of life in the country it is essential
that all forms of responsible and patriotic public activity should be provided free
~utlet";The Elec1ion Manifesto. ~Ithe Punjab Muslim League, December, 1950, p. 28.
By 1955, however, the League had probably come to realize that itS treatment of- the
opposition had been far from ideal. Noon told a joint session oftJ:e Working' Committees of West Pakistan Provincial Muslim Leagues that "it w!ls wrong to construe
"that the' Muslim League did not believe in the existence and surviva1 of other political
'parties in-the country. The existence of opposition parties in' th'e country is needed
'for the working and evolution of democracy. But these parties m'ust be loyal to the
State and must not criticise the Government in power for the sake of. criticising or
gaining cheap popularity", Dawn, 13 Januax-Y, 1955.
·the abrogation of provincial autonomy and in frequent suspension of
·pro~incial government, was the reality. of power given to the Governors,
Constitutional provisions were usually stretched, sometimes over-stepped,
to make the Governors far more than mere constitutional heads of
Leading politicians were appointed to .this post who were
reluctant to stand above or outside party politics. Strong men, like
Gurmani a~d Mirza, were sent to the provinces by the Central Government, and they exerted pressure and influenced events in favour of the
Centre. Some governors like Noon and Gnrmani, were concurrently
participating in .the deliberations of Constituent -, Assembly. It is also
significant that when important political matters were discussed in
Karachi. it was usual to summon provincial governors as well as their
chief ministers. With the exception of Sir Francis Mudie, the Central
Government seemed to have had more faith in, and attached greater
importance to, governors than chief ministers. This h~d two results. It
weakened the prestige and authority of the provincial government. In
case of a conflict between the province and the Federation it gave an
unfair advantage to the latter. The only tradition the League handed
d~wn to its successor was one of selfish ambition and ceaseless intrigue.I
This will always remain a reproach against the Muslim League that,
given such a rare opportunity, it lost it without any effort and, what i~
worse, without any apparent regret.
Perhaps the most inglorious episode in the history of the Muslim
League was the part it played in the Punjab riots of 1953. Mian Mumtaz Daultana, the Muslim League Chief Minister of the province, played
a double game, for which he was later castigated by the judicial court of
inquiry. The Education Department of the provincial government was
spending more than two hundred thousand rupees a year· in subsidies to
certain newspapers, which were all actually engaged in the anti-Ahmadi
controversy and "went on flaming the agitation even during the days
that they were receiving the payment," The Provincial Government had
established a Department. of Islamiat for the purpose of educating the
people in religion, and four of the six ulama on its board played a prominent part in the agitation, two of whom were Iater arrested. Out of the
18 lecturers employed by the Department 11 took an active part in the
disturbances and seven were later arrestedA About the 3,777 Muslim
1. "The Muslim League membership did in (act constitute an oligarchy which,
probably because the incorruptible and skilful hand of Mr. Jinnah was prematurely
removed, underwent the deterioration which is the inevitable consequence of power
too long enjoyed and liable to no challenge", Feldman, op. cit., pp. Hrll.
2. Munir Report, pp. 83-88.
Pariy Politics-in Pa1'istan
Leaguers who were involved in. the riots, the inquiry Report wrote -:
f'These gentlemen took part in the processions, leading violent mobs, violating orders promulgated under Section 144 arid collecting funds with a
view to financing the movement. Among the persons in this list are presidents, senior vice-presidents, secretaries, treasurers and other office-holders
of the various Muslim League organizations in the Province. Four- of
them were Councillors ofthe Provincial Muslim League, five were members of the Muslim National Guards, two were advocates and one the
editor of an Urdu daily .... How persons subject lo the discipltne of-the
Muslim League could take part in such a movement or 'in the direct action
campaign that was subsequently launched, is beyond our sense of propriety
and decency to comprehend and no attempt has been made to- explain this
apparent act of indiscipline and disloyalty to that organization.."1
There was a general tendency [n the' Muslim League to identify th~
party with the State. This proclivity was. not confined to the lower ranks
but was encouraged by the highest leadership. In a public speech a't
Dacca on 21 March, 1948, Jinnah declared, ''If you are going to serve
Pakistan, if you are going to build up Pakistan, if you are going to reeon!truct Pakistan, then I say that the honest course open to every Muslim is
to-join the MuslimLeague and serve Pakistan to the best of his ability.
Any other mushroom patties that" are started at present will be looked
upon with suspicion because of their past, not that we have any feeling of
malice, ill-will; or revenge. Every Musalman should come under the banner of the Muslim League; which is the true custodian of Pakistan, and
build it up and make it a great State'before we think of parties amongst
ourselves".2 The cue was well taken·by the leaders who followed the
Quaid-i-Azam. Addressing the Pakistan Muslim League Council in
October 1950, Liaquat Ali declared, ~·1 have always said, rather it has
always been my firm belief that the existence of the League, not only the
existence of the League, but its strength, rs equal to the existence and
strength-of Pakistan. So far as I am concerned, I had decided in ~e
vei;y beginning, and re-affirm it today, that I have always considered myself as, the Prime Minister of the· League. I never regarded myself as the
Prime Minister chosen by the members of the Constituent Assembly."3 '
I. Ibid.1'pp. 266·267. Italics not in the original.
2. Extracts from this speech were prominently printed in large tyt:e on the !~sid~
cover of The Election Manifesto of the Punjab Muslim League, December 1950 (issued
by Chaudhri Mubammadlqbal Cheema, Advocate, General Secretary, Punjab Muslim
League, Labore, 1950). Also, ••to the outside world. Pakistan· is an unshakable- unity
symbolized b~ the Muslim League", ihfd., p. 4.
3. Quoted in Callard, op. cit., p, 38.
T,he Major Parties
, l
A little earlier, Begum Shah Nawaz, who was a member of the
party's Working Committee and of its Parliamentary Board, had this to
say on the relationship between the Government and the Muslim League,
''Sir, I think that my honourable friends (?n the right are not aware that
the Muslim League Government, whether in the Centre or ~Q. the
Provinces, is under the direct control 'of the Central and Provincial
Parliamentary Boards ..... it is the Central Parliamentary Board which
can at any time censure government anywhere in Pakistan if i~ does .not
protect the civil liberties of the citizens". In August 1954, Miss Fatima
Jinnah, echoing the above-quoted words of her illustrious brother, wrote,
"I say to you, support the Muslim League, because the League alone won
Pakistan and can serve and consolidate Pakistan. The League may not be
perfect but it is the only organized party of Muslims, while other parties
are of recent origin .•. If you. destroy the League you destroy Pakistan.''1
At times even the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly were suspended because the League was considering a particular matter and· did not
want the Assembly to proceed with its work until the party's deliberations were complete. The Law Minister, A. K. Brohl, once made precisely
this demand on the floor of tlie house and the motion was carried and the
adjournment granted.s
This mav sound absurd, but it gives an insight into the minds of the
Muslim Leaguers who hardly distinguished between the party, tlie
Government and the State. The party traded heavily on its successful
pre-Independence past. Whenever short of argument, it proudly pointed
to the fact that Pakistan owed its creation and her people their freedom to
it. It was.surprising to see a respectable political group making such a
plea, but it was astonishing to find a large number of people accepting it
without demur. Another such weapon which the Muslim League never
hesitated in using was the association of Jinnah's name with the party. To
it he was more than a mere president and to the country much more than
the head of the State. He occupieda unique position in the hearts of the
people and in the politicalstructure of the country. So remarkably was
his ascendancy that, after his death, there grew up a practice of "citing
hls alleged oral sayings as· authority for a political proposition'l.t Many
Muslim Leaguers were heard appealing to the people to support them because theirs was "the pq.rty of the Quaid-i-Azam", "for if Jinnah,.were
1. Both quoted in ibid., pp. 38-39.
2. Constituent Assembly of PQ/.istan Debates, Vol. VI, p. 75, quoted .in M. Itrat
Husain .. The Organ,izatfon and Working of a Political Porty in Pakistan; The Muslim
League, (al! UQP\lblish_ed M.A. thesls of the University of the Punjab, 1957), p, 34.
3. Tamisuddin Khan v. the Federation (19~5). Pakistqn Law Digest, 1956, p. 30Q.
- .....
The Major Parties
· Party Politics in Pakistan
'alive today he would have asked you to vote for me". To the sophisticated and politically awake townsman such an appeal was probably plain
charlatanism or pure deceit, but to countless simple folk it still sounded
reasonable and simple to grasp. And it brought rich dividends to the
It is not far from the truth to say that Pakistan was a one-party State
from 1947 to 1954, and in some ways up to 1956. The Muslim League
did not disguise its intention of prolonging this '.'happy" state of affairs.
-In July 1954---the date is significant in view of the East Pakistan electoral
-defeat=-the Muslim League Assembly Party in the Constituent Assembly
discussed a motion, proposed by a member from East Pakistan, aiming at
banning for the next 21 years all political parties, except the Muslim
League, from contesting elections to the Muslim seats in the Federal,
.Provincial and State legislative assemblies. The proposal went on to
stipulate that if at any time after the election any member left the party
-bf his own accord or was· expelled from it as a measure of disciplinary
-action, he would automatically cease to be a member of the legislature
and his seat would be declared vacant. After a long discussion the
meeting decided to postpone the consideration of this proposal to 'some
-later date. It was never discussed again, at least' not in public, for
the fortunes of the party were in constant ebb. But this bid at open
dictatorship was ominous of what 'the party might have done had it
returned to power.t
The general pattern of the organization of the party was like this.
Every tahsil (an administrative section of the district between a village
and a sub-division) had its own organization working under the guidance
and supervision of the district organization. Tliese small bodies chose
tlieir delegates who represented them in the Provincial Council, which
was a large body serving as a sort of parliament for the provincial party
organization. On this level, the functions of an executive were performed
by a provincial Working Committee, which was partly elected by the
Council and partly-nominated by the president.of the provincial Muslim
League. The president himself was elected by the provincial Council by
majority vote. Each provincial Council sent its representatives to the
national body, the Pakistan Muslim League Council, in which were
theoretically vested sovereign powers of the party. The national Council
. I. Qayyum Khan, the stem Chief Minister of the North-West Frontier Province
had much earlier suggested his own more drastic remedy. He proposed to the Governor
••to remove the legislature altogether and have a referendum every three years in which'
;i. leader would be chosen who would be allowed to select three or four colleagues to
run the whole administration", K.B. Sayeed, op._cit., p. 2961
consisted of 360 members, divided equally between the two provinces,
elected for a term of three years.! It was supposed to meet twice each
year, but in fact did not.1 The large Council functioned through the
Pakistan Working Committee, whose entire persoanel of 22 was nominated by the president. The Committee was empowered to .. control, direct
and regulate all the activities of the. various Provincial Leagues in consonance with the aims, objects, rules and declared policy of the Pakistan
Muslim League". The president was chosen by the Council by majority·
vote. The third main organ was the Central Parliamentary Board, consisting of 12 members, again equally divided between the two provinces, elected by the Council for a period of three years. Presided over by the president of the Pakistan Muslim League, it selected candidates for the central
legislature in consultation with Provincial Parliamentary Boards. Its duties
were "to exercise general control over the Muslim League Party in the
Central Legislature", "to supervise and control the activities of the Pro~
vincial Parliamentary Boards", and "to decide all disputes arising
between a Provincial Parliamentary Board and a Muslim League Party ip
a Provincial Legislature".
Party officials always asserted that the relations between the Working
Committee and the Parliamentary Party were the same as those between
the Conservative Party organization and the Conservative Parliamentary
Party in Britain; in other words, that the Parliamentary Party did not
work under the guidance of, and was not in any way subservient to the
Working Committee. This is, however, an academic proposition. The
practical configuration depended on the strength of personalities. It was
a matter of personal equation. If the Prime Minister was a strong man
with loyal following, he could make his independence of the Committee
a reality; if, on the other hand, the Committee contained a powerful
element opposed to the Prime Minister or disposed to assert its independence, it could dictate its will or at least could cause considerable trouble
for the Parliamentary Party. The superiority of the Committee was
conclusively proved in September 1956, when it forced Chaudhri Muha~mad Ali to resign from the Prime Ministership on the issue of Khan
1. The 1948 Constitution provided a Council of 440: 260 from West Pakistan and
180 from East Pakistan. In 1952 the total strength W-11S raised to 654, equally divided
·between the two wings. In t 956 this strength was reduced to 360., For details of the'
1956 Constitution and the texts of resolutions passed in the Council meeting, see
-Dawn, 31 January, 1960. See also Constitution and Ru/es of the Pakistan Muslimuague
(Published by Salahuddin Chaudhri, Labore, n.d.); also reprinted in Pakistcn Srandard.
14 January, 1955.
' -,
2. In all the Council held seven meetings between 1948 andJ~56.
·The Majoi-Partfes ··.
Sahib's appointment as Chief Minister· of West Pakistan ~nd subsequent
The devotion with which the Muslim League discharged its public
-duties may be judged by a study of the working hours of the first Constituent Assembly between 1941and1954,.a period during which it was in
-complete command of the house and it alone- determined the length add
frequency of its sessions.! The following table.shows the average number
of days ~e old Constituent Assembly met and the average attendance of
·members during the sessions :2
. Constituent Assembly
The. total membership of the Constituent Assembly was 69 in 1947,
but PY 1954 the number had grown to 79, on account
given tothe refugees, tfie States and. the Tribal Areas. The maximum
record of members attending was 53.
This analysis shows that the Assembly met, on the average,for 16 days
ma1• year for making the constitution and 33 days in ayearform.akitiglaws
1. "In certain cases it can h~rcijy be doubted that the apparently indefinite pro)ongation of the life of-the Constituent Assembly was a welcome matter by reason of
. the influence membership con;ferred and the' ad~antagepus prospects offered. The
behaviour of some of the members was no better than that of the money-changers in
the temple ••• ", Feldman, op. cit., p. 11.
2. Based on facts and figures by Callard, op. cit., p. 80. The second Constituent
, Assembly (1955-1956)met as a legislature for only 7 days, .and the interim' National
Assembly (1956-1958} for 94 days'. Comparative figures for provincial legislatures: first
·Punjab Assembly (1947-1949) 30 days; second Punjab Assembly (1951-1955) 112 days·
first Sindh ~ssembly (1947-1951)65 days; second Sindh Assembly {1953-1955) 25 days;
first Frontier Assembly(1947- 1951) 55 days; second-Frontier Assembly (l9S2-19SS)65
days; first East Pakistan Assembly (1947-1953)215·days; second East' Pakistan Assembly ( 1954-1958) 79 days; West Pakistan Assembly (1955-1958)8{}<Jays. Muneer Ahmad.
op. eu., pp. 123-126.
' I
for the country. Thus it met for a totai·of 49 days in a year in all.1 No
wonder it took it nine years to frame a constitution. The average attendance
works out at something like 46. What were the reasons for such large
absenteeism? First, the party in power was in the habit of convening 'llery
short sessions,1 thus causing inconvenience td members .coming from
distant places. Secondly, total membership roll was swelled by the refusal
ofthe Assembly to declare vacant-the seats whose-occupants had gone
away or- resigned their seats, e.g., J. N. Mandal fled to India in 1950 but
his name was still on the list of membership in October 1953. Thirdly,
many members'were appointed ambassadors but they-retained their seats,
e.g'., Omar Hayat Malik was ambassador to Western Germany and later
f6 Japan but he retained his seat for five years. Fourthly, members of the
Assembly who were appointed Governors of provinces did not care .to
resign their seats, e.g., Firoz Khan 'Noon, Nishtar and the· Khan of
"¥amdot. Fifthly, the operation of the Public Representative Offices
(Disqualification) Act took away some members, like Khuro and Hamidu1
Haq Chaudhri, but their seats were not filled. Sixthly, a largo: number
of members were at the same time provincial Chief Ministers, provincial
Ministers, central Cabinet Ministers and Cliief" Ministers· of States,
and it was .difficult'fOr them to attend all meetings regularly- Seventhly,
there was no bar against doilbfo legislative membership, and many members were concurrently mem hers of provincialIegislatures ·also.3 Finally,
sheer lethargy and the lack of the sense of public responsibility combined
to keep away many members. The tone of the'house was further changed
by certain anomalies in the policy of the Government. Frequent changes
1. There was certainly some truth in the complaint of one member: "l feel, Si~,
our Cabinet is not only not taking the advice of this House, but hold just a session
in a year to have their Budge~~passed and get their grants through. Except fo~ th.e
passing of the Budget this Ho.use is not consult~ in all matters of policy and running
oftheir departments", Shaukat Hayat Khan, Constituent Assembly (Legislature) df
Pakistan Debates, 13 M~h, 1950, vol. I, no. 13, p. SSO. ·
2. The interim National Assembly had 2 sessions of S days each and 2 of 3 days
each. Second·Punjab Assemblyhad a session of one.day on 7 May, 1951. The first
Sindh Assembly bad two sessions of2 days each, while the second bad one session
one day on 11 December, 1954. The first Frontier Assembly bad 3 sessions of 4 da.Ys
each, one of 3 days, and one of one day on 8 May, J9:SO; the s~nd bad one session of
5 days and one of 4 days. The first East Pitk•stanAssembly had one session 0£ S days
and one of 3; the second bad one session of S days and·2 of one day each on 5 August,
1955: and 22 May, 1956. The West Pakistan Assembly bad one session, of S days and
one of 4 days. Compiled from Munee.r Ahmad, op. cit.
3. · ~ifty~nine of the total memSership were also mem bcrs of their resp-ective provincial llSSeinblic:s, ibid., p, 94.
Party Politics in Pakistan
The Major Parties
in the Assembly's membership during these seven years weakened its
capacity for efficient work. Six new seats were created in 1949 for the
refugees who had been driven out ..oflndia and for certain other sections
of the population, but none of them was filled through election; members
were co-opted by the house itself. Further, the original intention of
keeping provincial representation untouched was forgotten in party politics. When, for example, Qayyum Khan joined the Central Government
in 1953, he was elected from East Pakistan though, he belonged to the
North-West Frontier Province.
As its name implies, the Muslim League was open to Muslims only.
This was inevitable in the British period when the party ..y~s fightipg for
the claim of all Indian Muslims constituting one nation. After Independence, however, it was suggested in some quarters that the timq had come
to throw its doors open to all denominations in order to turn it into a
national political group. This was not acceptable to ·party leaders, and
therefore the League continued to the end to be an exclusive body. At
times theparty must have regretted this maintenance of the status quo,
for on many occasions it needed the support of non-Muslim minor
groups or unattached individuals. Expediency, however, led to the adoption of a convenient formula by which the non-Muslim members of the
Legislative Assemblies could join the Muslim League Parliamentary Parties without becoming full party members. Two instances of this may be
quoted here. In March 1954, the Sindh Muslim League Assembly Party
admitted all the five Hindu members of the Sindh Legislative Assembly
as ··associate members" of the Parliamentary Party, and it was decided to
allow them to participate in the deliberations of the Party by invitation.
Again, in July 1955, directly after the election to the second Constituent
Assembly, a Christian member of the Constituent Assembly, C. E. Gibbon,
was made an "associate member" of the Muslim League Central Parliamentary Party. There was nothing in the Muslim League constitution warranting such a step, though it is true that there was nothing directly forbidding
it either. Nevertheless, it showed how principles. could be compromised
and rules circumvented to meet temporary needs and dangers.
Manifestoes of the Muslim League were rare because of the long
. absence of general elections. Still, piecing together information from a
few programmes issued during this period and from speeches of party
leaders, it is possible to have a fair idea of what the party stood for.!
In the field of rural uplift, the Muslim League promised consolidation
of holdings, encouragement of co-operative farming, mechanization of
agriculture, development of cottage industries, provision of cheap credit
and insurance, and fighting the menace of water-logging and soil erosion.
It repeated platitudes about education, health, refugee rehabilitation, industrial development, labour, unemployment, efficiency in administration,
civil liberties, the Kashmir problem and the rights of minorities. In 1958,
for the first time, it called for provincial autonomy in East Pakistan and
urged that the provisions of the Constitution be fulfilled in their letter
and spirit with a view to fulfilling the legitimate demands and rights of
both provinces. Here the emphasis on East Pakistan was obviously a
move to regain popularity in that province: the resolution was passed in
a session held in Dacca. The most interesting resolution passed in this
session related to the country's economic conditions. The party viewed
with grave concern and alarm "the fast deteriorating and appalling economic crisis in the country which has. been caused by large scale smuggling
across Pakistan borders, bungling of food shortage [sic.] and distribution,
and widespread and wanton corruption of the Awami·league and Republican Governments". It took notice bf the "harrowing tales of grinding
poverty, starvation and death of the people in the ·country due to high
prices, non-availability of foodstuffs and lack of purchasing power of the
people". It bemoaned the ''indiscriminate and lavish distribution of
permits and licences for import of foodstuffs. medicine, salt and other
necessities of life to Awami League, and Republican workers and control
of commercial life of' the country by a coterie of political workers
Inexperienced in business" .1 All these charges levelled against the
ruling parties were broadly true, but the Muslim League's own past
record had scarcely been better, and its oppon~nts said that it did not
behove it to condemn others who only upheld the traditions created by it.
To this the Muslim League might have replied that, as an organization,
it was not responsible for the actions of its Ministers when the party was
,1. What follows is a summary or the Election Manifesto of the Punjab Muslim
[contd. 'on p. 89]
[contd.fromp. 88]
League;· December 1950 (Lahore, 1950), Manifesto of the Karachi Provincial Musli'!'
League, 1953 (Dawn, 7th July ]953), Muslim League Draft Manifesto, prep.ared in
1956 by the Joint Secretary of the Pakistan Muslim. League (Dawn 24 April, 1956).
Basic Principles of Muslim League Manifesto (Dawn, 26th September, 1?56),
The Pakistan Muslim League Manifesto (issued by Manzar·i·Alam, Hon. Joint
Secretary, Pakistan Muslim League, Karachi, 25 December, 1956), and Mii.film
League Manifesto, adopted by the Pakistan Muslim League Council at Dacca (Daw11,
14 October, 1957).
I. Full text of the resolution in Pakistan Times, 12 August, 1958.
-The Major- Parties. Party Politics in Pakistan
Thrice since 1947 the party changed its rules governing the eligibiljty
·_of its office-bearers for PU:1:>1ic posts. The pre-1947 constitution, which
. did not debar ,office-bearers from holding public office, held good as lo9g
as Jinnah was alive, and, as we have seen, be combined. the Governor
Generalship with the presidency of the League. After his death
the constitution was amended so that holders of party office could
not become cabinet members and members of parliamentary boards could
not stand for electi~n to legislatures. The idea behind this re-organization was that th~ party was a watch-dog over the central and provincial
governments, that it· represented the common people, that its leaders
. should not be tempted by power of office, and that.those who ruled the
parti should be distinct from, in a way superior to, those who gove~ed
the country in its name, so that the latter could be made accountable to the
former. Accordingly, Chaudhri Khaliquzzaman, an old Leaguer fro;ni
the United Provinces of India,.was appointed organizer and later el~cted
President of the Pakistan Muslim League.
'In practice, however, this arrangement resulted m friction within· the
party • .It was embarrassing for the Prime Minister: (Liaquat Ali K~an)
' to find that he was a member, not the leader, of the national organ],
zation; but an open rift on the national level was avoided by the fact that
Liaquat was ~ strong man and was therefore able to overcome the
· difficulties put in his way. In the provinces, on the other hand, th~ sys.
tern led to. serious results. Provincial party machines were c:Onstantly
· nagging at provincial governments, irritating them with petty criticism,
and threatening them at regular intervals; i.n. short, making ~heir working
· far from easy, smooth and efficient. Sindh had a prolonged spell of insta,
. bility, and the Punjab had its self-government suspended in 1949.
in power! 1
The party's.policy on theland problem presenteda curious blend 'of
excellent theoretic sentiments and a complete failure to carry them out
in practice. In the earlier period- it advocated abolition of jagirdar!
(private estates granted in the past by the British or the Mughals), legal·
recognition of the fact that occupancy tenants.were the virtual owners of
tlieir holdings, prohibitionand abolition of feudal servitudes and illegal
dues and exactions from the tenancy, guarantee of adequate security of
tenure to the tenants-at-will, provision for substantial share in produce
to the' actual tiller, and statutory protection'and amelioration
the conditions of landless labour and -village artisans.s In the 1958 session of
the party, Mian Muhammad Shafi moved a resolution aimed at the reconstruction of agrarian· economy ort a sound basis. Agricultural holdings were to be made economic by parcelling out State lands to the small
cultivators and fixing a ceiling on private agricultural holdings. 'Co-operative farming was to' be the next stage., Simultaneously a ceiling was to
be fixed 'on· profits earned. from industries. An amendment was moved
by Z. H. Lari, calling for the elimination of rent-receiving interests in
agricultural land, fixation of individual ceilings at 450 acres and of owner.
cultiva tion land· af 7 5 acres; the excess·in possessi on of landlords and the
State to be distributed among the landless tenants and those who· did not
possess economic holdings.'··Mi~n Muintaz Dauitana, himself a big
landtord·~ opposed the amendment on the 'plea that -any step towards the
formation of ceilings would create complications at that stage. When
put to the vote, the landlord view prevailed, the amendment was defeated
by 57 votes to 42 and the original resolution was carried.s
, All programmes are attractive on paper, and one's only comment on
the· Muslim League manifesto can be that hardly any of the promises
made were fulfilled by the party thoughit had ample opportunity to make
at least an attempt.
One or two aspects of party organization may be mentioned here.
1. It sounds incredible but this is what Qazi Isa, the party's General-Secretary,
said iri answer to the question if lhe manifesto of ·1956was •:not aiming at correcting
the wrongs for which the Muslim League was responsible in the past," The exact w~rd~
of his reply were: .. He repeated that most of the wsongs.were done by individuals in
-Government who used 'the Musi~ League label. The Muslim League as an organiu'..
tion had always stood for .the prlnciples now contained in the Manifesto' :.. Dp1fn, .26
September, 1956, Tb,eRepublican·Party also believed in the supremacy of the ma,ni:
festo, see infra, p. 125.
2. The "immediate programme" enunciated and promised in the Election A(PIJ(•
festo of the Punjab Mustim ~'acue •. De .. ember, 1~50', p, ~. . . .
. ,
3. Paki:stan Times, 12 August, 1958.
Within two. years the party realized that the 194S. amendment
had hardly proved conducive to efficient organization; and in Octobej1950 the constitution was again. amended to the status quo ante. In
accordance with this change, the Prime Minister and the provincial
Chief Ministers were .chosen presidents of their respective party organ],
. zations. But unfortunately the new system also failed to improve matters,
No genuine leadership emerged on 'the provincial level. .As tP,e Chief
Ministers themselves were removed and appointed by the Central Govem.
. ment, pressurefrom outside the party made nonsense of p.arty loya~~ of
the members of provincial legislatures. In Sindh the Pirzada munstry
lived a precarious life, but it could not. be removed so long as the Central
Government extended its support to it. In.the Punjab, when Noon .WAs
appointed Chief Minister in 1953 in place of Mian Daultanavthe majority
that had kept Daultana in office now weJcomed and· supported Noon,
Party Politics in Pakistan
The Major Parties
who was.besides, at once elected president of the Punjab Muslim League.
Similarly, at the Centre new Prime Ministers were imposed not
merely on the federal assembly but also on the national party organization, and both the bodies supported the newcomers and unhesitatingly
elected them their leaders. Both K.hwaja Nazimuddin and Muhammad Ali
Bogra were outsiders who were appointed Prime Ministers and in due
course elected presidents of the Pakistan Muslim League.
A new development occurred with Cbaudhri Muhammad Ali's Prime
He refused to assume the presidency of the party, and, in
January 1956, moved the nomination of Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar as
president. The party constitution was once again changed to separate
public office from party leadership. And once again old evils reappeared.
The friction between party leaders inside and outside the government now
reached such proportions as to force the Prime Minister to resign his
office as well as his party membership. On the provincial level, too, many'
difficulties arose which produced serious results on account of increasing
rivalry.' and intrigue. Nishtar was a strong man and infused a new spirit
into the party organization, a task even better done by his successor,
Qayyum Khan. But the autonomy and prestige of the parliamentary party
diminished as the party organization gained in strength and confidence.!
The working of the various party organs was also far from satisfactory. The Working Committee, the small executive body, was generally
packed with the president'sloyal.supporters, and therefore it failed to discharge its primary duty of supervising and controlling the policies of the
government. Its meetings were not regularly called nor were its proceedings respected by the party. It met and dispersed at the president's behest.
Liaquat Ali occasionally consulted it, Khwaja Nazimuddm did not nomina\e its personnel almost till his resignation, and Bogra left its composition incomplete for a long time. It lacked the ability and opportunity to
direct the affairs of the national organization, and the power and will to
regulate the activities of the provincial organizations. Khuro could set
up a parallel Muslim League in Sindh and treat the central organization
with contempt, Daultana and Noon could continue to quarrel in the Puniab
in 1953, the provincial parties could successfully frustrate the Committee's
will on land reforms in West Pakistan in 1949-=-allthese examples were a
measure of the Committee's impotence to impose its will or enforce discipline.
In contrast to the nominated Working Committee the Council was
better fitted to serve as the democratic watch-dog of the party. But it
suffered from three handicaps. Its democratic character was qualified by
an East-West parity in its composition; in 1949 · the two wings sent 327
delegates each to the Council, though in that year the League membership was estimated to be half a million in East Pakistan as c~mpared to
more than two million in West Pakistan.1 Further, the elections to the
council were rarely free from grave irregularities. And finally, the sessions
of the Council were not only infrequent but also ineffective. Successive
Prime Ministers were not eager to consult it. Nor did the Council it~elf
~how much interest in national problems. It did not insist on examinmg
the record of the party admimstrations and readily .gave its imprimatur
to official proposals. The Prime Minister or the President had a :ree han~
in the preparation of agenda and the Councillors seldom questioned bis
initiative or asserted their rights. They meekly accepted the man imposed
upon them by the Governor General (at the Centre) or the Central Cabinet' (in the Province). The annual session which was regularly held bef?re
Independence completely disappeared after 1947. Nor was a .-convention
of central and provincial legislators ever called. It se~me_d as~ ~e Council, in theory the seat of all power in the party, ha~ abd1ca~ed t~ favour
of the President and the Working Committee and revelled in this act of
} • See also infra, p. 242.
These organizational defects had devastating results not only on the
party itself but also, on the working of parliamentary government in the
country. The. party was weakened beyond repair. All.initiative and all
power were vested in the hands of a few persons, _and some of them were
pot even leaders thrown up by the party but public men brought from outside by th~ Governor General or the Central Government. When a Pri~e
Minister. who was sometimes also the president of the pa.rty~ or a Chr~f
Minister, who was generally·also the president of the provincial League,
had been given the office by the Governor General or the Centr~l Gove~n~
meat it was but natural for him to be more loyal to the authority. which
had ~ppointed him than to the party which had quietl! accepted ~1m and
y.rould equally quietly accept his successor when he· himself forfeited the
support of .the powers that were. The values of party politics _were_ thus
inverted .. The party did not produce the leader; the leader arrived 10 ~e•
shape of a Prime Minister and found· the ?arty ready to'_ support
without asking for his credentials. When this happened again and· again
the party lost all confidence in itself and became but a rubber-stamp' for
governmental dectsions. Loyalty to the party had alre~d!. been grievously
injured by intrigue and personal politics; now responsibility to the, people
l · Musbt~q Ahmad, Government and Politics in Pakistan (Karachi: 1958), P· 148.
The Major Patties
forty Politics inPakistan
also went by the board, By 1954, qr at the latest 1955, the Muslim'League
had neither power nor responsibility.
The Awami League:
When iri June 1947 the Viceroy of India announced the scheme under
which the province of Bengal was to be divided between Pakistan ,and
Jndia, H. S. Subrawardy started a campaign for an "undivided sovereign
Bengal". Coining from a11 oldMuslim Leaguer and a.former Chief Minister of Bengal, this idea
an' independent Bengal was not palatable to the
All-India Muslim League which had fought for and . achieved a partition
of the country. From thi( incidentmay be traced''the ~usli~ leagueSuhrawardy difference' of opinion. The Muslim League 'took tp~ first step
in replacing him with Khwaja Nazimuddin as leader of the Bengal Mus~
lim League. Onhis part Suhrawardy madethe rift irrevocable bystaying
on inlndia, professedly to look after and comfort, tjie Muslims left in
India; later it wasalleged by his political 'opponents that he had done s'?
because he had no confidence in Pakistan's survival as a\l independent
country. He came to.Karachi.in December 1947 to attend the Muslim
League annual session, and protested 'against the rule that residence iri
Pakistan ~houldbe a requirement for membership of the Constituent
Assembly. But his seat in the Assembly was declared vacant on the
ground that he had 'never attended any session and was residing in a·
foreign country .1. When, afte» some time.the returned to Pakistan, he discov~red that his seat in the national legislature had gone, that. the party
in power looked down upon him as little less than a renegade, and that
there was no opposition group with which he could ally himself. He sett ..
'led down in Lahore and for a time contended himself with practising at
the bar. His survey of the prevailing political situation conveyed to him
thd idea that there was no opening for him in politics save by establishing
a new political party. This conviction was reinforced by what he was told
by niany leaders who were dissatisfied with the performance of the Muslim
League. Moreover, there was no outstanding figure in national politics.
Jinnah had died in 1948. Liaquat had identified himself with the MusIim League. Noon was serving as Governor in East Pakistan. Some of
the' old guard, like Raja Ghazanfar Ali Khan and Haji Ishaq Seth, had
surrendered their political ambitions, if they had any, for the ease and
security of diplomatic life. Suhrawardy saw his opportunity and advanced'
in ful) confidence in his own ability, which none denied, and his fang
political experience, which all acknowledged.
• · In this "mlssion" of founding an all-Pakistan opposition party,
Suhrawardy was helped by a number of prominent ex-Muslim Leaguers.
During the re-organization period of the Muslim League immediately
'after Independence, Qayyun\ Khan had tried to capture the Frontier
Muslim League organization and had therefore been brought into direct
conflict with the Pir of Manki Sharif. The Pir clashed with the Khan on
the issue of the enrolment of new members, and charged him with
maldistribution of membership forms and rigging of elections to the primary organizations of the party. He demanded fresh elections under
Central supervision.rand when this demand was ignored he w~thdrew
from the party and, with the help of his followers and supportersformed
his' own party, the Awami League.! Similarly, in the Punjab the Khan
of Mamdot came into conflict with Mian Daultana who had earlier
'resigned from the Mamdot ministry, had captured the provincial Muslim
League organization and had got himself elected its president. The Mamdot-Daultana rivalry finally came to a head in January 1949 with the dismissal of the Mamdot ministry. Gradually the Khan of Mamdot Jost his
interest in the Muslim League and, in September 1950, 'formed his own
party, the Jinnah Awami Muslim League. Again, in East Pakistan,
Chaudhri Khaliquzzaman's move to keep the control of the Muslim
League in the hands of the old leadership was resentedby many Muslim
Leaguers, especially by 'the younger element. When Khaliquzzaman
appointed Maulana Akram Khan to the office of the-provincial organizer,
the •'resisters" organized their own party, the Awami Muslim League.
This was done at Dacca, on 17 June, 1949, in a public meeting presided
over by Allama Raghib Ahsan.2
These three provincial anti-Muslim League forces joined hands in
December 1952 at a colourful convention called by Suhrawardy in Lahore.
Mere gathered a motley crowd of ex-Muslim Leaguers and disgruntled
Muslim Leaguers, minor opposition leaders, young lawyers who aspired
to be politicians, tradesmen who were ambitious to play the patron to
incipient political groups, landlords who wanted to be "grey eminences",
Suhrawardy's personal admirers, democrats who realized the need of an
efficient .opposition party in ttie country, and even a handful of adventurers. And a new all-Pakistan party, the Jinnah Awami Muslim League,
was born. It was neither exactly a new party nor precisely a coherent
group: it was a curious confederation of various provincial forces. J-,ick-
1. For this controversy see the Pir's and Khaliquzzaman's statemeii\~ in Dawn,
23 December, 1948.
. 2 .. M. Aslam Noori, The Awami League (an unpublished M. A. thesis of the University of the Punjab, 1958), 3.
i. ·
He p~oiested a~ainst this ruling, see ConstituentAssembly of fakistan Debates,
18 ~ay, ~~48,!Vo,.IJ], p. 31. ~
Party Politics i~ Pakistan
jog both the unity of programme.and the unity· of personality, it was but
a loose league of groups and sections with merely one thing in common-c
opposition t~·tbeMuslim League. The Pir of Manki from the Frontier,
Khan of Mamdot from the. Punjab and a few leaders from East Pakistan
had come together, or rather were brought together by Suhrawardy, to
oppose the Muslim League. The origin of this alliance partly lay in the
Mamdot~Suhrawardy and Manki-Suhrawardy electoral pacts of 1951 in
~e Punjab and Frontier elections, respectively. Mamdot's Jinnah Mus-.
lim League and Suhrawardy's followers had joined together in a "Jinnah
Awa~i Muslim League" in the Punjab election of 1951, put up a joint
manifesto and captured 32 seats in a house of 197, though .most of the
successful candidates owed allegiance to Mamdot, In·the North-West
Frontier Province, in the same year, the Pir of Manki's "Awami League"
had won -only 4 seats in a house of 85, all of them from the Peshawar
district. . Suhrawardy was then in no position to give any material aid
to the Pir, but he had blessed his candidates and extended· them his moral
.The ~fficial title. of the new party was, as we have seen, the All:
, Pakistan Jinnah Awami Muslim League, The word "Jinnah" was incorporated for- three reasons: first, to attract the masses with the name of the
found.er of the nation; secondly, to counter blast the Muslim League claim
that it alone enjoyed the association of his name with it; and, finally to
~ccommodate within the' party Mamdot and' his Jinnah Muslim League,
The :word "Awami"-which means "of the people" or "forthe people"~as intended as much to underline the popular character of the organization as to welcome the Pir of Manki's "Awami League" and East p ki _
a s
ta n 's "Awarm. M us 1·im League".
The convention issued a lengtby'declaration, in which it discussed the
contemporary political and social situation and enumerated the "m·s~
deeds" and "malp~ac~ices" of the party in power. The Muslim League w~s
condemned for bringing "untold miseries" to the people. "All
oppost on
JS er~~ e
• s~d th~ c~arge sheet, "and parties outside the Government
~re Vilifiedas ~1srupt10~1stsand traitors; the necessity for an opposition
~n a democratic state is not recognised. Restrictive legislation has been
imposed and is utilized' fot political and personal ends· civil lib~ ti' •
I di
r es, me u m~. iberty of the pres~, are being trampled upon; members of th~
oppo~ttlon. are being implicated in false cases .... Bribery, corruption and
nepoti_smare rampant, and maladministration• is general ; services are de_?1o~ahzed as w.eu as _me~bers of the public." It was a bitterly-penned
indictment of the Mushm-League and, whethe~ true_or not; gave a fore-,
The Major Parties
taste of the things to come.!
The programme adopted by the party contained the following points.
The party would strive for the creation of a "welfare republican State
based on the principles of Islamic democracy". Civil liberties of all kinds
'were to be zealously protected. Repressive measures should be enacted
only in time of actual war; prisoners in detention or under arrest under
any such laws must be brought to trial or freed. All "constitutional decencies" must be observed. For national defence, the party recommended
.the introduction of a two-year course of compulsory military training, and
such development of industrial potential as to allow for internal production of all implements of war. "The real ownership of land belongs to
Allah, the Supreme Sovereign, and the so-called present owners are only
trustees· who hold the land subject to the needs and requirements of the
State as the symbol and expression of Allah's sovereignty." Jagirdari
and landlordism must be abolished; no person could hold or own more
than 250 acres of canal-irrigated. ~r 500 acres of un-irrigated land. The
party's aim was an "independent foreign policy"-whatever that meant
All refugees would be rehabilitated speedily and satisfactorily. The
people of the two wings of the country were to be brought closer to each
other. On constitution-making the party emphasized the need. for quick
action, announced that it wanted an Islamic foundation for the constitution and desired a weak centre and powerful provinces.s
Portions of this manifesto mustbe read along with some subsequent
pronouncements. of party leaders. Addressing a press· conference at
Multan on 25 April. 1958,.Suhrawl.}rdy',the Awami League leader, defended
landlordism and .stated that i~ abrupt abolition would create chaotic
conditions and wouldshake the. whole economic structure of the country,
Landlords, he said, were the most healthy part of the nation's economic
life and its development: with their vast monetary resources they were
giving the. country .highly educated intelligentsia and technical experts.
"How can w~ afford to deprive ourselves of their services . by pushing
them in the. realm of poverty along with the rest of the population ?"a
No comment is necessary I
In May 1958, the West Pakistan Awami League held its convention
J. For a competent analysis of the origin and the growing power of the Awam)
Leaguesee"Awami League Develops a New Look", Pakistan Times, 14 November,
2. See Charter of People's Demand (published by Qurban·Ali, ·M.L.A., at Paramount
Press, Dacca). This original 42-point programme was adopted by the party Council
in September 1953. On this was based the United Front 21-point manifesto of 1954.
3. See Pakistan Times, 26 April, 1958.
-- ~. ------·
........ ·- . "' ... . .
Party Politic8Jn Pakistan
·The Major·Parties
in Lahore, and decided to aim at providing for a family of each peasant
25 acres of land and limit the maximum holding to 20,000 units (250
heres) for big estates. Among other decisions taken were: distribution
of waste land among tenants, landless farmers, agricultural labourers and
petty landholders, with the right of ownership; re-organization of
agriculture on the basis of co-operative farming and modernization of
agriculture for increased' production; limitation of dividend at 6 per
cent on paid-up capital and 4 per cent on bonus shares; preservation
of the integrity of West Pakistan as one unit and rationalization ~f its
administration; liquidation of princely States; and abrogation of all
undemocratic and repressive laws.1 After the United Front victory In
East Pakistan the party demanded the dissolution of the Constituent
Assembly.2 Further, it was in favour of a joint electorate,3 and of
abrogation of the Pakistan-Ufi.A, military pact and the Baghdad Pact
and of withdrawal from the Commonwealth.4
In fact, all the time the Awami League was in power no -repressive
laws were abrogated, no refugees were rehabilitated, the foreign policy
was not made "independent", no measures were passed at ameliorating
the plight of the peasant, and compulsory military service was not even
The party was put to its first ·electoral test in Sindh in 1953. Ip;
stock was so low in that province that it had to combine with three
other groups to form a front against the Muslim League. This alliance
was known as the Sindh Awami Mahaz (mahaz=front), and was a combination of the Sindh Hari Committee, Sindh Awami Jamaat (no relation
to the Awami League), Sindh Dastoor Party and the Sindh Jinnah
Awami Muslim League .. Forty seats were contested by the Mahaz, but
:only seven won, and none of them strictly belonged to the Awami
However, the party came into prominence for the first time in 1954,
when it emerged as a dominant element in the newly-elected East
Pakistan legislature.
The party's election manifesto of 16 November;
1953, was a clearly leftist document, and though the party never
declared its ideology and never claimed to be a class organization, the
programme contained such items as abolition of Iandlordism without
'compehsation and nationalization of jute and tea industries. But it was
.never made clear whether this election had. been fought by the East
Pakistan Awami League or the All-Pakistan .Awami League. Whatever:
the' technical position, might have been, the unexpected electoral success
sent the party's credit soaring in the public eye. A vigorous membership
campaign was launched, and strenuous efforts .were made to publicise
the party's platform.
Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan. Bhash~, the
President of the.East Pakistan .Awami League, was given the title of
"Quaid-i-Mazloom" (the leader of the oppressed) by the people.'
There wer~ negotiations in the western wing to form a "united front"
with other parties to oppose the Muslim League.s This glory, however,
was short-lived, for before long the provincial legislature was suspended,
the Ministcy dismissed and the province put under Governor's rule.
.. On Bhashani's proposal, the Jinnah Awami Muslim League of
East P~kistan was re~christened· Awami League
May 1954; and the_
national Working Committee endorsed this decision in October.1955.3
The word "Muslim" was. dropped, it was said, to ~nab.le ~ersons of
other religions to join the party. It is, however, doubtful if this change
helped to bring more than a handful of non-Muslims. into the organization. On the other hand, it alienated many Mushm ,members who
regarded it _ as a departure from the original D:}anifest?. A .serious spl~t
occurred in West Pakistan, where fourteen members, including the PJI
of Zakori Sharif formed a new Awami Muslim League and claimed to
uphold the, orlginal creed of the ·pflrtY. The seceders asserted that t~eir
party, the All-Pakistan Awami Muslim League, would work '.'according
to the manifesto as adopted in the Awami League convention held at
Lahore in 1952". They alleged that the East Pakistan Awami League
wanted a joint electorate "under the inspiration of and guidance from
Bharati [Indian] agents and others who are wire-pulling from foreign
capitals''. Admission of non-Muslims, they said, "is repugnant to the
manifesto and Constitution of the Party" and was ''tantamount" to
permitting Bharati [Indian] and other anti-Pakistan infiue~ces to permea~e
the body-politic [sic.] of the Party'•. Bhashani's declaration that he did
1. Dawn, 21 May, 1958.
Times'ofIndia, 3 April, 1954.
3. Dawrl, 24 July, 1955.
4. Ibid., 12 October, 1955.
1. Bhashani refer~ed to this victory as a "bloodless rpvolution", Morning News,
27 March, 1954.
' 2. The Jamaat-i-Islami did not like this idea, \Vhich it found to be negat1v.e
and "based on mere opposition ~ot on positive effort", Mian Tufail Muhammad s
statement, Morning News, 17 April, 1954.
3~. Voting on the amendment was 600 to 5. , Bhashani explained that the
word "Muslim" had been incorporated in tbe original name of the party because ~t
that time "non-communal opposition was not possible in view o(the doverrunent s
attitude towards them", Dawn, 23 October, 1955.
Party Politics.in Pakistan
The Mdjor Parties
not believe in ''the two nations theory [sic.] was a betrayal of the fundamental principle on which 'Pakistan-was founded and which must for e'ver
continue to sustain it as an ideological State".! A splinter group, led by
Abdus Salam Khan, later defected' from the party on the same ground:
Strictly, therefore, the West Pakistan party should have been called the
Jinnah Awami Muslim League and that of East Pakistan the Awami
League or the Jinnah Awami League. The exact and proper appellations
of the groups were never clarified.
after the formation of the National Government under the Governor
General's direction. Within less than a year, however, he left the
Cabinet because the Awami League-Muslim League negotiations for a
coalition failed to materialise. The Awami League, thus, was in opposi ..
tion when the Constitution Bill was debated- and adopted in 1955-56,
and on the last day of the discussion the party walked out of the
Constituent Assembly. in protest against the failure of the Coalition
Government to accept its views. It was in September 1956 that the Awami
.League formed the Central> Government in alliance with the newlyestablished Republican Party. After the fall of this Coalition in· October
1957, the Awami League did not enter the Government, but supported
the. Republican Coalition headed by Firoz Khan Noon. In East
Pakistan the party had been in office off and on since August 1956. It
never held office in West Pakistan.
We have already noticed the dissension between the Pakistan Awami
League and the East Pakistan Awami League. Lack of unity seemed
to bedevil the .Party everywhere, particularly at the higher levels. In
1953,. the Khan of Mamdot, President of the Punjab Jinnah Awami
League, clashed with Suhrawardy, and consequently the Punjab provincial branch decided to break off connection with the national organization
and to function independently under the old name of Jinnah Muslim
League.> This time the word "Awami" was deleted-the omnibus
name of the original party appears to have come in handy for seceders
and rebels. Later this faction joined the Muslim League en bloc.2 This
break was the culmination of a nine month-old rift over the party's
stand on the Basic-Principles Committee Report, which was later accentuated by Mamdot's refusal to serve on the Working.Committee nominated
by Suhrawardy .. Marndot challenged the validity of-the composition 'of
the Committee, contending that. the inclusion of members from East
Pakistan and Sindh was irregular because the East Pakistan Awami League
This terminological inexactitude was not the 'only difficulty in the
relations between the All-Pakistan organization and the East Pakistan
body. They had never been cordial in their dealings and their constitutional connection was not clear. In July 1953, addressing the East Pakistan
Awami League, Bhashani had declared: "It is true that when I was in
jait the East _Pakistan Awami Muslim Legaue had been affiliated to the
kll~Pakistan Awami League. This has been done because our programme
and manifesto have been accepted by the Central Body. I, however,
wish to declare here and now in the'clearest possible terms, that whatever may be our personal relationship with Mr. Suhrawardy, if anybody
wants to interfere with our programme, then we shall be compelled to
re-consider the question of our affiliation with the Central body" .2 ·This
was not the language of a subordinate or affiliated or evena provincial'
Branch. It appears that the East.'Pakistan Awami League was an·
independent body which, by a -coincidence, came to have a common'
programme with the All-Pakistan Awami League.3 The-almost identical
labels only created confusion.s
Husain Shaheed Suhrawardy, the only national leader of the Awami
:yeagile,' was taken into the Central Cabinet in December 1954, soon
1. Full text of the statement in Dawn, 2 December, ,1955.
2. Ibid., 10 July, 1953.
3. Io April 1953, a Lahore newspaper carried the news that the East Pakistan
Awami League "will henceforth be called East Bengal Jinnah Awami League, and will
be an integral part of the Ail-Pakistan Jinnah Awami League, subject to the latter's
discipline~rules and ideology", Civil and Military Gazette, 26 April, 1953.
4. There is at least one European parallel to this. In 1936, the Belgian·
Catholic Bl~c was re-organized on a federal basis. . It was to be composed of two
sections, the Catholic Social Party for Brussels and the Walloon and'the Katholioke ·
Valaamsche Volkspartig, represented as parties in a common directorate, The War
prevented the operation of this organization b~t the party is still .1,m1.d~ up of two
wings, one Flemish: the other Walloori, and each wing is equally representedin the
National Committee 'and in the General Council. Each holds separate meetings
during the National Congress except for ceremonial occasions.
1. Th i: was decided on 9 August
a joint meeting of the Punjab Jinnah
Awami League Working Comrhittee, Jinnah Awami League provincial parliamentary
party, District and City Conveners and workers, The staternent accused Suhrawardy
of "disruption, provincialism and dictatorial tendencies". It made no mention of the
future programme of the new organization. The '11e~ting was attended by 1) out Qf
19 members of the Punjab Jinnah Awami League Assembly Party. Pakistan Times,
10 August, 1953.
2. On S November the Jinnah Muslim League was wound up and Mamdot,
along with his followers, ent~red the Muslim League, Pakisran Times, '6 November,
1953. On 21 November the Jinnah Muslim League directed. all its members and
workers to re-join and work for the Muslim League; Morning News, 2f November,
Party Poliiics'in Paliisian
The Major Patties
had not been.affiliated to the Central body and-the Sindh, Awahli' Mahaz
was a separate independent group. Moreover, he directed the Punjab
members not to serve on.the Working Committee.
As if to create more
confusion, two months back the -Ceuiral ·Working Committee, under
Suhrawardy's chairmanship, had decided to expel Mamdot from the
party for three years for his alleged anti-party activities and to dissolve
the Punjab Working Committee appointed by him.
Another breach occurred in 1955, this time between the Central
organization and the
North-West -Frontier' ii'rovincial branch,
Suhrawardy and the 'Pir of Manki Sharif, the President of the. North-West
Frontier provincial Awami League, fell out and the Central Working
Committee expelled the rebel provincial leader. As iri-the Punjab, a large
number of Awaini Leaguers went out with Manki, leaving the Khan of
Lundkhawar as the only well-known leader inside the organization.
Things drifted along for more than a year till, in the. middle of 1956, the
Central Working Committee decided to re-admit the Frontier faction, but
this.decision was taken against the will of Lundkhawar, who now cont
'siderably cooled in his loyalty to the party. From then onwards relations
between the Central Organization and the Frontier branch were always
.uneasy and at times portended trouble. We have seen how a part of
.tHe West.Pakistan party bad split away in December 1955 on the issue
.of the admission of non-Muslims, and how, a little later, Abdus Salam
Khan's faction had defected froni the party in East Pakistan. Trouble
·re-appeared in the Frontier where 'the Awami League wanted a plebiscite
.on the issue of "One Unit" and pressed this: point so much that, in
·January ·1956, Suhrawardy, as convener of the All-Pakistan Awami
League, disaffiliated the Frontier provincial branch and appointed the
'Khan, Of Lundkhawar to re-organize the provincial party.
More aftliction came in early 1957. On 8 January Suhrawardy
expelled·M. H. Usmani, the General Secretary of the party, and cancelled
the ~onventio,n which was to be held shortly to discuss the setting up of
.the Awami- League in W~t Pakistan on the pattern tried in East
Pakistan. On the same day the All-Pakistan Awami League Working,
Committee appointed a Re-organization Committee for West Pakistan.1
On 1'l January this Committee formed a 6-man sub-committee to draft
a' Constitution and prepare a manifesto. On 2 February Stlhra\vardy1
~ssolved the Re-organization Committee and disbanded all elected and l
'nominated bodies of the party in West Pakistan.s
The most serious split came in September 1957, when a: considerable
portion of the East Pakistan Awami League and some members of the
West Pakistan Awami League deserted· the party to form the National'
Awami Party under Maulana Bhashani. Finally, in July, 1958, the
President of the West Pakistan Awami League suspended the convener of
the Lahore City Awami League and re-instated the 'General Secretary of
the Lahore Awami · League.
In West Pakistan Awami League's membership was over a hundred·
thousand,' but it had no elected office-bearers, and the party's Council,
which was scheduled to meet in 1954 to approve and pass the Constitution,
was never convened. Suhrawardy looked after the party's affairs in his
capacity .as the Convener of the All-Pakistan organization, while the
general organizational problems were dealt with by the General
In East Pakistan the party had a more elaborate organization and ·a
much greater following. Its membership is said tohave risen'to over a
million in 1958. According to its Constitution, which did not mention
its affiliation to central organization, it had a Council of , 856 members
:which held two sessions a year and laid down policies and approved the
~orking Committee's decisions. A fair-sized secretariat not only kept
the party informed on matters like cultural, pursuits; refugees, land
problem, but also worked for the party's publicity. More than 600 fulltime workers were employed by the party, and their effort was augmented
by the- work, of a. much larger body of voluntary sympathisers. The
party's finances had three main· sources: the annua1 membership .fee of
one anna, a monthly· contribution of Rs. 4{- paid in by the party representatives in the provincial legislature, and unspecified monetary support
given by the business class of the province.s
I, For ~xt of Suhrawardy's directive see Gallard, op. cu; p. 72.
2. Morning News, 9January,195"1'.
1. M. Aslam Noori, op. dt.; pp. 12-13.
2. There seems to be some confusion about these facts. M. A. Noori gives differ•
eat information. According to him the Council consisted of 897 (not 856) members.
It elected members of provincial Working Committees,and Parliamentary Boards, l\Jld
laid down rules for the conduct of parliamentary parties. The Working Committee'
~nsisted of 37 members (of whom 12 were ~ffice bearers: President, Secretary, ~Treasurer and 9 Departmental Secretaries). In East' Pakistan the Parliamentary Bo~ bad
l members, and it drafted election programme and nomirlated candidates. The primary units in the party organization were Municipal Wards in tbe City Districts (all
cjties with a population of more than 100,000~d District status) and Halqa Patwaris
in rural areas. They worked under the Di¥rict Organizations which hi1;d their own
Executive Committees. Annual membership fee was 2 annas. The party had a
"Female Branch", and one Woman Secretary sat on the Working Committee. The
budget of the, Eilst Pakistan, Awami t.easuc '!"as Rs. ~0,000,but it made no contri-,
~ution tot\).~ ~1!tral Party Fund. See M.A. Noori, op. cit., PP• 14-18.
The MajorParties
Party Politics in Pakistan
The United Front
Towards the end of 1953 the Government of Pakistan>announced
that an election to the East Pakistan Legislative Assembly would be held
early the following year. Hectic political activity followed at once in that
province, and all the opposition "politica\ parties thought of combining to
throw off the yoke of the Muslim League. The initiative was taken by
Maulana Bhashani of the Awami League and Fazlul Haq of the Krishka
Sramik Party. The two-leaders announced in December 1953 that, they
had joined hands to form a United Front to fight the party in power,
and they extended an invitation to other groups to 'enter the alliance.
A few weeks' intensive political diligence produced a formidable looking
alliance of the Awami League, the Krishka Sramik Party, Gantantari
Dal, Nizam-i-Islam, Khilafat-i-Rabbani, and a few Communists.
This combination, formed on the purely negative factor of opposition to the Muslim League, issued its 21-point manifesto in December
1953, and proceeded to canvass popular support on .its basis. This i1l
did not find difficult in view of the prevailing widespread resentment
against the -policies of the Muslim League provincial Government. and
the allegedly anti-Bengali attitude of the Central Government. The last
provincial election had been held in early 1946, before Independence, and
shift was expected .in public opinion. The-unpopularity of the Muslim
League turned this ·shift into a-landslide,
Later events were to add considerable significance to this manifesto;
therefore it deserves a longer notice. Among its demands were: making
Bengali one of the State 'languages; abolishing, without compensation, of
all rent-receiving interests in land; distributing surplus land among land·
less cultivators; bringing down rent of land to a fair level; nationalizing
jute trade and giving the jute owners a fair price for their produce;
introducing co-operative farming; jmproving the condition of cottage
industries; industrializing East Pakistan rapidly; guaranteeing economic
and social rights of the industrial labour according to the International,
Labour Organization Conventions; making education free and compulsory; making Bengali the only medium of instruction; releasing all security. prisoners; making East Pakistan fully and completely autonomous,'
leaving only.defence, foreign affairs and currency with the Centre; making
EastiPakistan the permanent' headquarters .of the Pakistan Navy; abolishing the visa system between East Pakistan and Indian Bengal; exporting
jute freely; anddevaluing the rupee.l
The battle was joined in March and the result was' beyond the wildest dreams
of the United Front. Fazlul Haq, who had led the alliance
to glory, was now more than 80 years old. Easily the oldest politician
in the country, he had been a Minister of Education in. united Bengal as
far back as 1924, and had represented Indian Muslims at the London
Round Table Conference in 1930-32. Some unkind people remarked that
advancing years had affected his mind and made him unfit to hold responsible office. Such was the man who was called upon to form the first
United Front cabinet -in East Pakistan. We have already seen what
happened after that.!
'Ihe Republican Party
We have already described how Khan Sahib was appointed Chief
Minister of We.st Pakistan by Prime Minister Chaudhri Muhammad Ali,
how the Muslim League later refused to support him, and how Khan
Sahib had found' a way out
the impasse by founding a party of his.
own-the Republican Party. The origin and rise of this P.arty is an,
interesting study.s It came into office before coming into 'existence,. and
1.- Full text in Dawn, 20 December, 1953. In Marchi just before the electron, the.
Front added another 10 points-to its programme; immediate framing oPthe Constitu[contd} on'p. 105}
[contd.from p. 104]
tion, full autonomy for East Pakistan, irrunediate withdrawal of all repressive measures,
abolition of visa system between Ip'dia and Pakistan, abolition of unequal- taxation,
and industrialization "on the' basis of regional self-sufficiency", Pakistan Times,
7 March, 1954.
1. See 'ct:hapter1; supra.
2. "It has been contended by the Muslim League M.L.As whom I met and the
intelligentsia of the country and even by the ex-General Secretary of the Republican
Party, that thi~party was not formed o~ the sole initiative of Dr. Khan. The idea of
introducing such a party at the political stage (at an odd moment) was borrowed from
the Head of the State· who wanted to see the continuation of Dr. Khan Sahib's Chief
Minietership and more so the integration of his favourites into one whole", Muhammad
Akbar Khan Sumbal, The Republican Party (an unpublished M. A. thesis of the Uni·
versity of the Punjab, '1958), p. 18 fn. In the course of the inquiry against Gurmani
under the Elective Bodies (Disqua1ification)Order a number of M.L.As alleged that
"they were coerced by Mr. Gurmapi (then Governor of West Pakist~) to join the
R.epublicanParty and that the party was formed at the instance of President Iskandar
Mirza and Mr. Gurmani" (testimonies of Jamil' A:usain Razwi, Gul Nawaz Khan,
Ghaudhri Muhammad Ahsan, Shaikh Muhammad Saeed, Rai Nausher Khan~~HaICim
:t(_hurs,hid Ahmad and Qazi Murid Ahmad; .full text .. in Pakistan Times, 29 and •30
November, 13 and 14 DeceII)~r,. 1960). This ,wa~ denied by Gurmani (ibid.; 2 and
~8 February, 1961). However, President Mirza's interest in the party is conclusively,
proved by 'his endorsement to Gurmani, made on a letter written by the·Prime Minister.
(5uhrawardy) to the Pres'ident, ~ated 22 J~ne, 1957, w,hich. r~d~ ''All I atn _interes~d!n
i,s, a telegram from you that the Repubhcans have a majority, I am not,1n~re~t_ed,m.
how you satisfy yourself nor will I be a party to belittle the Republicans" (Gurmani's
statement, ibid., 18 February, 1961). 'This lends support to th(statement of Abdul.
Qayyum, ex-Secretary General of the Republic~n Patty, that, the party' Wits formed
j.contd. on p, 106]
Party Politics in Pakistan
its leader was appointed Chief Minister of a province which was yet
created. It was the youngest party, barring the National A.wami Partj,'
and yet ruled West Pakistan and the Centre longer than any other party{
except the Muslim League.
• '
In the first year their rule in West Pakistan the Republicans did'
not .have a safe margin· 'of majority in the provincial-legislature. The
opposition, which consisted of the Muslim League, the Azad· Pakistan
Party and a. few .minor groups and independent members, was quite
strong and felt that it bad been cheated of office by the 'intervention of
the Central Government. Instability was encouraged by "constant floor
crossing and l>y the knowledge that a vote on this side or on that could
make all the difference. In August 1956, the Azad PakistauParty, the Red
Shirts: the Sindli 'Awami Mahaz and thre~ ~ther minor groups, combined
td' form the'1Pakistan National Party. Favouring'ajoint elector~te and,
opposing the continuance of "One Unit", it generaIJy sided with the
Government and thus saved it from possible defeat. In Ma~ch 1957;'
however, it withdrew its support, thus causing a dangerous situation in
which tlie Government was not sure of remaining in office and the opposition. incapable of forming a stable Ministry. The Governor, Mushtaq·
Ahmad Gurmani, who 1 was viewing the situation with some concern,
found tli.e party position tbo fluid for stability, and finally advised the"
President tp impose ''Gover~or's i:ufo· on the province. This advice was
accepted and the Republican Ministry was dismissed in March.1 Jn. July
parliamentary 'government was restored, and the Republicans returned to
power, this time under the leadership. of Sardar Abdur 'Rashid Khan, a
former Chief Mi~~ter .of the Nptlh~West Frontier Province, who had been
a member of the dismissed.Khan Sahib Ministry.
l•The Republicans joine4 with the Awami League to'form a coalition
at tlie. Centre in September 1956,, headed by Suhrawardy, in which the
leader of the Republican Party was Firoz Khan Noon. This alliance
l,asted till October 1957, when the Republicans withdrew ·'their support
'from the coalition,
The Republican Party then tried to rule the:
[contd.from p.105].
"in the Government House, Karachi, and the Government House, Labore", ancf thaf
it wasvbaptlzed" by Gurmani, who wrote its manifesto and ccnstltuuon.and "blessed••,
by M~ (Dawn, 16 March. 1957); though it must be remembered that Qayywb Iiad
left tb~ party after a bitter quarrel before giving this' statement,
1. In Mat Khan Sahib, SPeaking in Peshawar, claimed that bis was "th~. most'
popular pa~~ in Pakistan", see Pakistan Times, i June, 1957~ Cf. "lt was a ~'rty
which wasi never elected b~ the people nor even cared to have any real roots among
~e :~pl~It .~\U".iv,~1
.P~~~~shcdo~ µie .J?alace fnt!i~es ~~ pplitic~, ~~oeuvr~
~g , .~1\l : ~oywm, Cons_11tutional Development ill Pakistan (Lahore, 1959), p. 262.
The Miljoi
Pariie !"
country in combination with the Muslim League.ibut the Govemm.erit
Iasted only two months, and in December the Republican Party came
back to power with Noon as Prime Minister. A few minor groups
from East Pakistan supported the Government; the Awami League did
not enter the Government but continued to support it. This arrangement
lasted till October 1958 when the coup swept it away.
The' Republican Party issued its manifesto at-its first Convention
which was held in Lahore in September 1956. It 'declared that the party
aimed at securing for 'all citizens "safe, settled and dignified living".
Refugees were to be rehabilitated, civil liberties to be protected, free and
fair elections to be guaranteed, local bodies to be strengthened, and
administration 'of justice to be made fair, prompt and inexpensive. The
party pledged itself to the creation of a welfare state. All sources of
national wealth were to be devoted to the common good. All effortS
would be made to regulate the system of ownership, management and·
exploitation of all natural resources. Idle assets, in the form of undeveloped land, plants, capital and other sources of production, would be
mobilized for national use. Relationship between landlord and ~nant,
employer and-employee, industrialist and worker, and State and private
owner, would be justly regulated in accordance with ihe "tWin demands
of national welfare and social justice", Unjust exploitation and glaring
inequality would disappear. Through education, literature and other
media, the party would try to foster the "attitude of mhl9'' which 'reflect
true'Islamic virtues and to propagate Islamic values. To "disburse happiness" tlie 'party would revive, promote, protect and patronise all
indigenous arts and crafts, foster cultural activities, look after the interests
of artists and 'Cultural workers and pay due attention to the progress of
physical sports and games. in the ~nternational field tlie party was pledged
to peace. It sought to promote friendship and understanding between
Pakistan ~nd alf either countries. All "colonial peoples" fighting 'for
freedom were to be supported. The party pleaded for the settlement of
all international disputes through tlle peaceful methods of negotiation,
mediation or arbitration, and opposed all attempts to :resort to force)
The 17-point manifesto prepared by the ~epublicans in September
195S was a polemic document. On the issue 9f "One Unit" it lS\ft' ,..the
Republicans free to vote for or against the l?leasure. The fundamrntal
creed of the party was laid down as "Nationality, rationality, lib~Fty,
democracy and patriotism". 'l'he document proceeded: .to state that
politics, like economics, physics and other applied sciences, was.la· subject'
1. Text in Pakistan Times, 1 October, 1956.
The Majo'I Parties _
Party Politics in Pakistan
more suited to a "coo], analytical and practical application" rather than
·~s~~ulative flights of fancy or legalistic quibblings." The party
claimed to have no ideology but , patriotism which was "the supreme
On economic and agrarian issues the party refused to lay down
positive targets, but promised In general terms to effect improvement in
the living standard, increase in agricultural production, and greater
security of tenure to the tenants. No ceiling on.land holdings was fixed;
though a large number of Republicans pad been saying that the manifesto
would contain something definite on the matter.!
Khan Sahib was always saying that hewas anxious to hold general
elections.s But thi~ was never done. One "important, member of the
party" is said, to have explained the party's attitude to elections .in these
words: "M!1-~S contact is advisable only when a party has-a definite
programme-and plans, and has some achievements with her [sic.] to present
before the masses ... , Do you think t}lat the fair elections are going to
change thepicture of political conditions in the country? Do you think
some intellectuals who could be benefactors for our land would get elected
instead of these landlords who form the majority of our legislators in our
Provincial and. National ,Assemblies,, if fair elections are held ?"3
The Republican manifesto contained the following passage on civil
liberties: "A country where only. the Government i~ free and the people
.are no better than the political serfs can in n0; way. be called a free
country. In a free country, it is not theGovernment but the people who
should be free and the Government should be bound by and subordinate
to their wishes .... It [the party] will endeavour to ensure for all classes
of citizens the freedom of opinion, speech and association .... Emergency
Jaws repugnant to normal exercise- of civil liberties are restricted to actual
and grave emergencies like war or r~bellion duly defined in, law'~.4 In
practice.jiowever, the Republican Governments in the Province as well
as in the Centre not only refused
to abrogate the Security Act and other i
such. laws but defended their continuance. 6
The inconsistency in principles practised by the Republican Party1
l. Both the manifestoesare 9Xtensively quoted i,n Sumbal, op. dt.
2. See, for example, his statement in Pakistan Times, 13 August, 1957.
3. 'Quot~ in Sumbal, op. cit., pp. 27·28:
4. Quoted in ibid.
· l
'5. In Khan Sahib's vfew there was nothing wrong in having safety laws. "In
bis opinion the use of the" Safety Act against the supporters of separate electorates
would be ~uite jusii1ied if they did not mend their behaviour:.: his statement re~orted in
Dawn, 31 October, 1956. See also infia, pi 246 fn. l.
is also illustrated by its attitude to the problem of the electorate. In the
manifesto issued in September 1956 it stood for a joint electorate and, in
the words of Khan Sahib, "speaking of separate electorate [sic.] is quite
peculiar to slavish mentality"J· But in the Dacca session of the National
Assembly the Republicans accepted a compromise to the· effect that there
should be separate electorates for West Pakistan and a joint electorate
for East Pakistan. Still later, in the Karachi session, they formed an
alliance with the Awainl League on the basis of a joint electorate. In
October 1957, however, when Suhrawardy's Cabinet fell, they entered into
coalition with the Muslim League on the basis of separate .electorates.
In July 1958, the Executive Committee of the party approved the
design for the party flag: three-fourths green and one-fourth white ground
and a white crescent and star in the centre of the flag.
The 1956 Convention had given the party a constitution which
envisaged an elaborate proliferation of committees, councils, conventions
and legislative parties on various levels. Among the rungs of this
hierarchical structure were ward and village committees, constituency
committees, district · councils, provincial conventions, the National
Convention, the National Assembly Parliamentary Party, Provincial
Assembly Parties, and municipal and district board parties. The National
Convention was vested with supreme control and with power to prepare
the national programme, to lay down the policy and to guide the provincial party organization. The National Council (the counterpart of the
Working Committee of other parties), which worked as the executive of
the national organization, was elected by the National Convention.
Membership, which was open to all citizens subscribing to the party's
aims and objects, carried an obligation of an annual payment of 4 annas.
Members could be expelled if they defaulted in paying their fee, or
absented themselves from three consecutive meetings of the relevant
party organ, or were successfully convicted of indiscipline. Various task
committees assigned work to members, and each member was obliged to
work for the party for at least eight hours a month.s
This, however, was paper planning. The remarkably precise constitution never came into operation. The Qrganizing Committee exercised
all powers up to the end, though its life should. have expired on:;30
September, 1957. The last date of enrolment, originally .fixed for 15·
March, 1957, was repeatedly extended, although the General' 'Secretary ·
of the party claimed that two million persons haf ~l~~ady, ~s~e4 for :
quoted in Sumbal, op. cit., p. 28. .
Mushtaq Ahmad, op. cu., pp. 168·16.9.
Party Politici in Pakistan
'membership forms.!
The Republican Party was more fortunate than other organ· tr'
s ~
·1 did
iza ans
o Jar as 1
not s er any major split or revolt within itself· th
there was the incident of the resignation of its Secretary Gene'
ra 1 ,
Abd u I Qayyum.2
In all proba 1 ity, this happy state of affairs
h • . 1.
. J th
was ue
ess to t e discip me an uruty m e party than to the fact that it
· lif
I ts unity, or the capacity for it was Id
power practically
a 11 its
1 e,
h ave been ~ut to the te~t J. it ad lost office, for it is then that party
Ioy~lty begins to weak~n and the advantages of being on the winning side
begin to tempt. H~d 1~ fac:ed the adversity of opposition and yet survived fissiparous tendencies it might have created an enviable reco d ·
. ~as in luck, and the stage never arrived
r Ill
P akiistan ' s party bi~tory. B ut it
when n;tembers begin to look longingly at other parties who are tasti
the fruits of power.
The National Awatni Party
·2. Mushtaq Ahmad,op. c11:, Ji. 170.
2. Giving reasons fo~ his resignation Qayyum declared: '"I found that t
party leaders were not senous about approaching the' masses 1 f
afraid of th~. All that they wanted was to remain in power by.hoook ac~ they werefo th t
h :
or crook and.
r a purpose t ey JUSt wanted to keep up democratic appeara
' .. Q ' .
Sumbal , op. Cl'(.., p, 21'• And agam,
· "Republicans are not a, politicalnces.
party b uoted
t •
• .
1 1~
opportunists w o want power at any cost. Principles and I'·
cies do not count with them", ibid., p. 29. These statements, though the diatribe-p~~
deserter, were not wholly untrue.
On 25 July, 1957, there was, as we have seen, a serious rift in the
East Pakistan Awami League, and Maulana Bhashani walked out to form
his own party, the National A\vami Party. In West Pakistan it was soon
joined' by the Pakistan National Party, which itself was a combination of
the Azad Pakistan Party, the Red Shirts, the Sindh Awami Mahaz and
a few other minor groups. The real reason for Bhashani's break with
the Awami League was his disagreement with Suhrawardy on foreign
policy and his belief that the Awami League had betrayed itself by refusing to implement the 21-point manifesto of the late United Front. One
bf the, basic demands of the National Awami Party was to make East
Pakistan completely autonomous. Further, it desired a drastic change in
~he country's foreign policy in the direction of abrogating all defence and
military pacts and withdrawing from the western bloc. In the economic·
and social sphere the party stood squarely on the Left and wanted, among
9ther things, nationalization of basic industries, liquidation of all foreign
firms, creation of strong trade unions, confiscation of all estates, immediate abolition of landlordism, and a closer connection between the Government and the worker. It was resolutely opposed to "One Unit'; and
favoured its break-up. In February 1958 Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan,
the chairman of the 'west Pakistan National Awami Party, published a
pamphlet entitled Pathans and One Unit, in which he called the establish1;11ent of West Pakis\an, "a dangerous conspiracy against the people of
smaller units hatched by the late Mr. Ghulam Muhammad, Chaudhri
Muhammad Ali, Mian Mumtaz·Daultana, Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani,
and the Punjab leaders". He thought that "One Unit" was a move to
create a greater Punjab, to counteract the influence of East Pakistan,·to
minimize the Influence of Sindh, North-West Frontier Province and
Baluchistan on national politics, to destroy the Red Shirts and hi.$ own
prestige, and to do away with the States without "fuss or commotion".
The programme of the National Awami Party can also be readin the
agreement which it made with the Muslim League, on 17 March,.1958,
for the possible formation of a coalition government in West Piikistan.
Proprietary rights in Sindh were to be conferred upon the peasant occupants of evacuee agricultural land, the price of the land to be recovered
Party Politics in Pakistan
The Minor Parties
from them within ten years in equal yearly instalments. As a matter of
principle, and as far as possible, State lands would not be auctioned, but
sold to local peasants and local small khatadars, whose holding was uneconomical. Immediate measures were to be adopted to help intensive
cultivation of food crops, to reclaim land not under plough, to prevent
water-logging, seepage and floods, to strengthen bunds, to carry out necessary repairs to barrages and canals, to increase power .production, and to
revise the proposed enhancement of land assessment. Refugees were to
he rehabilitated and all legitimate claims of compensation to be met.
Steps were to be taken to combat increase in the prices of essential comma·
dities and to check black-marketing and hoarding. Corruption would be
eradicated, lawlessness put down and future appointments .made. locally.
Ministers were to be made the final authority in the discharge of their,
duties by amending the rules of business, Finally, civic rights of the
people. were ,ta. be' safeguarded and all orders -infringing them were to be
revised' or withdrawn. Three significant clauses of the agreement were,
it was reported, not made public. The first of these said that the Muslim
League was .agreeable to holding the general election on the basis of a
joint electorate., The second stipulated that the Chief Minister would be
a Muslim Leaguer but would be nominated by the leader of the National
Awami Assembly Party, G. M. Syed. And the last laid down that 50 per
cent ministers
the coalition would be from the National Awami Party.1
In September 1958~ the chief of the West Pakistan party organization, .Gh~:ffar Khan, issued a long statement which listed his grievances
against his o~n party leaders. He was very critical bf the East Pakistan
National Awami Party for having supported the provincial Awami
League Ministry, and also of some of his .colleagues in the Punjab area
who had ple~ged their. support to the Awami League. Without clearly
~aying that he was resigning, be declared that be "will have to dissociate
himself from the All-Pakistan National Awami Party''. A few days later,
a1,1, aggressive .speech in Peshawar, he announced that his party would
~9~cott· ~he coming· electi?n if the Constitution was not. amended in accordance with, its demands. , The party was then demanding an amendment
so as tq ma}ce. it possible for future parliamentary .representatives, from
the-minor provinces of West Pakistan, by a majority vote amongst themselyes, to .~reak the; West Pakistan Province- In his o~in{on it was useless
~a..fight. elec#ops and pass resolutions "if the resolutions already pa_s.sed
and agreements solemnly reached are not worth the paper they are written
on". The only way out was to. start a struggle. for s~curing to the Pathans
their "right to self-determination". This struggle, be said, would be a
"war of liberation like the one waged against the British". Appealing
to the Pa than students to come forward "for the liberation of their
country", he characterised "One Unit" as the ''slavery .of t~e Pathans",
He concluded his speech with a prayer for the unity, solidarity and prosperity-not of the Pakistanis-but of the Pathans.!
The Party's reaction to the Government's order banning all military
and uniformed wings of political parties was a mixture of cynicism and
fancy. Maulana Bhashani alleged that it was on the initiative. of. t~e·
United States Government that civil liberties and the rights of citizenship
were being curtailed. He thought that the purpose of the Ordinance was
to render all opposition ineffective and to continue the ban on the Red
. The Convention of Democratic Workers held in Dacca in July 1957,
at which the National A wami Party was officially born, also laid down the
constitutional structure of the-party, The National Council, the, supreme .
body, consisted of 214 members, 210 of whom were elected on a basis of
parity between East and West Pakistan. The four ex-officio' members
were the leader of the parliamentary party in -the National Assembly, the
Salar-i-Ala (Commander) of the volunteer. corps, and the two presidents
of the Regional Councils. The National Council was a more powerful
body than its namesake in the Republican Party. It elected the President,
formulated policy, and named the personnel of the Working Committee
and the Parliamentary Board. It will be recalled here that in most other
parties the Working Committee was nominated by the President and the
Parliamentary Board was appointed by the Working Committee. The
National Council was elected by-the Regional Councils. An interesting
feature of the Council for· West Pakistan was its organization on a
linguistic basis. It comprised six provincial councils; namely, those ?f
(a) the Punjab and Bahawalpur, (b) Sindh and Khairpur, (c) North~.
West Frontier Province, (cl) Frontier States and Tribal Areas, (e) Federal
Capital, and (f) Kalat and Quetta divisions.
Membership figures for the party are not available, but it has been
recorded that there were four hundred thousand members in the Frontier.
Province, and Hyder Bukhsh Jatoi, the leader of the Sindh Hari
'· ~
. ;
. 1. Reported in Pakistan Times, 28 September, 1958. Italics not in. the orig'in~l.
Those who remember the bloody disturbances of the 'thirties in the. No~th-W~st ~ront1er
Province will realise the true significance of this reference to "war of liberation •·
2. Pakistan Tiu.es, 22 Sel:)tember, 1958.
The Minor Parties
Party Politics in Pakistan
Committee, once claimed that his Committee bad two hundred thousand
members on its rolls.!
The National ~wami Party has been called a "unLcn of malcontents,
men who, by temperament, find themselves in opposition under any
government"2. But it is- more' important to remember that, except
Maulana Bhashani, an its- leaders were persons who had, at one time or
another, opposed the creation of Pakistan before 19.47. Ghaffar Khan,
the president of the West Pakistan National Awami Party, had conspired
against Pakistan immediately after 1947 and had consequently spent
many years in prison. Currently his demand was for the creation of a
completely autonomous province of the Pathans, This "Pukhtoonistan"
demand, combined with Maulana Bhashani's references to an "indepen·
dent" East Pakistan, exposed the party to the charge of aiming at
a disintegration of the country. The National Awami Party leader in
the West Pakistan Legislative "Assembly, G: M. Syed, also had an antiPakistan record, Similarly, Mian Iftikharuddin, a leading light of the
party, bad been a staunch Congressman and a bitter critic of the Muslim
League upto 1946. To recall the past of these leaders is not to impugn
their motives or to question their sincerity, but to call attention to the fact
that many Pakistanis· mistrusted the party which had such leaders and
accused itof anti-national sentiments. Unfortunately, it did not do much
to live down this suspicion.
.I )
~zad Pakistan Party
Founded by the redoubtable Mian Iftikharuddin, a rich; Oxfordeducated, landlord and businessman of Lahore, the Azad Pakistan Partyl
wasborn at a convention held on 13September,1952, in the Mian's home·
town. It& constitution and aims and 'objects were drawn' up by a
committee of five. Claiming to be an "instrument of the people", it
sought to establish and build up a "powerful republic in Pakistan based.
upon the spirit of Islamic justice, equality and fraternity, wherein the basic
needs of the citizens should be provided for and every citizen should have
ample scope for the development of his personality". Like other opposi-:
tion groups, it was enthusiastically vocal in .condemning the Muslim
League and attributing to it all administrative and political evils.
The party's programme was twofold. It involved the completion of
1. Mushtaq Ahmad, op. cit.; pp. 173·174, 175.
2. Keith Caltard in G. M. Kahin (ed.), Major Governments of Asia (Cornell
University Press, 1958), pp. 442443.
3. Azad=fr~.
the task of "liberation" as well as the making of a start in the sphere of
economic regeneration. Civil liberties were to be restored to the people
and steps were to be taken towards the formation of truly representative
legislative bodies. On constitution-making its proposals were: West
Pakistan to be united in a federation-; the maximum amount of autonomy
to be given to the two wings of the country; and a comprehensive bill
of rights to be incorporated in the future constitution. In the economic
field, it stood for abolition of landlordism, nationalization of all key
industries coupled with assistance to private enterprise, protection of indigenous industrial concerns, complete Government control of prices, and
State acquisition of all foreign commercial concerns. The manifesto stressed
the need for recognising the role of the working classes. The workers were
to be assured of full protection of trade union rights, a minimum living
wage and· reasonable hours of employment, social security, amenities for
civilized living, and opportunities of advancement. Balanced economic
planning was suggested, combined with rapid industrialization, agricultural development and easing of the unemployment situation. Import of all
luxury goods was to be immediately stopped. The party urged a more
"independent" foreign policy: development .of better relations with the
Communist countries; non-acceptance of military aid from the United
States, abrogation of all defence pacts, andwithdrawal from the Commonwealth.
The Marxist character of the party is borne out by the foregoing
summary of its objectives. And the par'ty saw no occasion to disguise its
political beliefs. Its programme bore a remarkable resemblance to that
of the Communist Party of Pakistan, and when the latter was outlawed in
1954 the Azad Pakistan Party absorbed most of its membership. The
president of the Azad Pakistan Party controlled a majority of shares in the
firm of Progressive Papers Ltd .• the proprietors of the Pakistan Times and
the Imroze, the two efficient dailies which were outspokenly leftist. That
explains why the party got a very good press-certainly out of all propertion to its influence or following.
The Azad Pakistan was the first party to have a clearly defined
and highly disciplined organization. 14> membership was of two classes: the,
rukan (mere member) and the karkun (worker). Every person above jhe
age of 162 was eligible for enrolment as a rukan on payment of an.annual
subscription of two annast and signing a pledge accepting its programme.
1. This was before the making or "One Unit".
2. Compare the corresponding minimum age required in most other patties;
3. Hair the sum required by a majority of other parties,
Party Politics in Pakistan
A karkun, however, was a rukan who worked for the advancement 'of' tht~·
party's objectives for at. least two hours each week, paid .a monthly·
subscription of four annas to the party chest, and undertook to abstainfrom purchasing or using foreign~made cloth.! In all elections within the
party the karkun had the right to elect and be himself elected,' a privilege
denied tothe rukan.
The authority of the party was vested in the Annual Conference and
the National Council; these two main bodies being assisted' by subordinate committees. The.constitution also provided for a: secretariat and.
an election tribunal. The Annual Conference. which was the supreme
organ possessing full plenary powers, could endorse, sanction, revise or
reject the decisions .of the National Council and of all subordinate bodies
and individuals. The Conference elected the Council and all. office~bearers
and formulated the policies ofthe party for each ensuing year. A special
session of the Conference could be convened if a question of urgent importance to national welfare arose. The National Council summoned the
Conference or the special session and determined the time and place, and
defined the agenda, of the Conference. All matters relating 'to discipline
and affiliation of provincial committees could be referred for decision to
pie Council, aridany such decision that might have been taken by a'
subordinate authority could be re-considered and reviewed by the Council. The office-bearers included a President, two vice-Presidents, three to
five Secretaries and a Treasuter,
, all of whom were ex-officio members of
the Working Committee, which could consist of up to 3! members. The
principal funttion of the Working Committee was to implement the decisions of the.Conference, the Council and the special session.s
Despite strict discipline, common to all leftist and extremist organiza-:
tions, the party. was not without its share of defections and splits. Among
its main losses in.higher personnel were those of Sardar Shaukat Hayat
Khan and Sardar Asadullah Jan. In lune 1954, a serious schism occurred
when the "Nationalist" faction within the party moved a vote of noconfidence against the party's pro-leftist office-bearers. Consequently, 31 .
out of 72 members of' the National Council resigned' on 'the ground that
the party was being controlled by ''Communistic, undemocratic and
1. In fairness, it must be stated that the President himself always wore homespun cloth, although it should also be said in record that he lived in princely state and'
some cbserversuncharltably commented on the contrast between bis dress and his
costly American automobile.
2. Constitution of the Azad Pakistan Party (published by Shaikh Muhammad
Rasl\id, Secretary, Convening Committee of the Azad Pakistan Party, 49 McLeod
Road, Lahore, 18 September, l953),
The Minor Parties
dictatorial elements". The seceders were led .by Shaikh Muhammad
Rashid, who then proceeded to form his own wing of the party, with the
result that for a considerable time the party was organized in two rival
groups. The exact nature of the relationship between the two wings was
known to the inner party circles alone.
In 1956\the Azad Pakistan Party merged with a few other minor
groups to form the Pakistan National Party;1 and in the following year
the latter joined the Bhashani group of the Awami League dissidents to
create the National Awami Party.
Like most Gommunist parties, the Azad Pakistan Party paid only
secondaryattention to electoral struggles. Its real field of action Jay in
unceasing propaganda and agitation, using indirect methods. That also
explains why, in spite of so meagre representation in legislatures, it was
able to keep itself lively and very much in the news.
Pakistan Socialist Party
The Pakistan Socialist Party was the direct descendant of the Socialist
Party of India, which had been formed in 1934 as the Congress Socialist
I_>arty and had functioned as a ~8 of the Indian National Congress. The
Socialists of Pakistan had their first conference at Rawalpindi. in November 1947, which was attended by about' fifty persons under the chairman~hip of Mubarik Sagqar. This gathering decided to accept Pakistan as
"an established fact". to sever' all connections witl'l the Indian Socialist
Party, and to start organizing an independent Socialist Party in Pakistan.
An organizing board was consequently appointed to work out plans for
the establishment of such a party, 'to call a convention in Karachi in the
near future, and to prepare a party constitution for adoption by that convention. This board consisted of Muh.ammad Yusuf Khan (Convener),
Mubarik Saghar, Siddiq Lodhi, Munshi Ahmad Din, and Amir Qalam
If.ban. At a meeting i!1,Lahore in December 1947, the board decided to
make the Socialist We;k!.r21the .official organ of the proposed party and to
appoint Saghar as its chief editor. Further.it decided to call the convention at Karachi on 29-31 January. 1948, to adopt the party's organization
and constitution both of which were to be drafted by SagharMunshi Ahmad Din presided over the convention which was attended
by about ISO delegates. The.draft constitution, which was adopted ~ith'
I, These groups were: Sindh Awami Mahaz, Khudai Khldmatgars (Red
Shirts), Wrore Pushtobn; Ustoman Gull and Sindh Had Committee. For full text of
the resolutidn, passed on 19 November, 1956, by the Azad Pakistan Party Council, see
Pakistan Times, 2,0 November, 1956.
2. This paper was, in fact, a continuation of the Sindhi Socialist Weekly, formerly
published by the Sindh Socialist Party.
The Minor Parties
Party Politics in Pakistan
some amendments, was similar to that of the old Congress Socialist Party,
and accepted the tradition of .a "selective" party with a probationary
period for every member and an obligation on all to work for at least 14
hours a week for the party. The convention also elected a National Executive, consisting of Munshi Ahmad Din (General Secretary), Muhammad
Yusuf Khan (Secretary), Mubarik Saghar (Treasurer), and - Ram Mohan'
Sinha and Siddiq Lodhi, All of them, as- fraternal delegates, attended
the Nasik Conference of the Indian Socialist Party in March 1948.
Ahmad Din was elected to the National Executive of the Indian Socialist
Party and decided to stay on in India. Sinha returned to Pakistan, but
soon afterward left for India for good. At about the same time Lodhi
resigned from the Executive. Thus in the initial period the party lost three
out of the five Executive members. Only Yusuf and Saghar remained.
The former was then promoted to be the General Secretary and the latter
worked as Secretary, Treasurer and Editor of the party organ.
The East Pakistan branch of the Party suffered considerable loss during the language riots at Dacca in February 1952. Its Dacca office was
stormed by a mob and the office secretary was killed. Nearly 300 party
members are said to have fled to India after this crisis. In the 1954 election'to the East Pakistan legislature, the party contested only 4 seats and
won all of them. But none of the candidates had stood as Socialist. The
three Hindus-Tirlok Nath Chakravarti, Deben Ghosh and Professor
Pulin De-stood for reserved minority seats as members of the Minority
United Front. The fourth, Maulana Altaf Husain, was listed as an
Awami Leaguer and stood as a United Front candidate."
In West Pakistan the party did not fight any elections but concentratedits efforts on extending its influence and control to peasants' and
~orke~s' organizations. It succeeded in gaining control of the Punjab
Pind Panchayat and the Sindh Hari Committee. Among the workers'
groups the party was able to obtain control of the Pakistan Trade Union
Federation in 1952, which had previously been a Communist-controlled
body, renamed it the Pakistan Mazdoor Federation and secured its disaffiliation from the World Federation of Trade Unions.
The next National Conference of the party was held in April f954,
and this time it was not a delegate conference but was open to all party
members, and all who attended had a vote.s The opening session was
1. Saul Rose, Soda/ism in Southern Asia (London, 1959), p. 65.
2. By now the party had abandoned its selective membership and thrown the
party open to all who signed the necessary pledge and paid a fee of four annas a year.
In practice, however, the East Pakistan branch continued to have selective membership,
See Rose, op. cit., p, 66.
'attended and addressed by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, the Red Shirts
leader from the Frontier Province.
The Pakistan Socialist Party's programme was embodied in the statement of aims and objects adopted by the 1948 Karachi convention, and
read as follows:
"The Pakistan Socialist Party aims at the establishment of a classless Socialist society on the principles of democratic Socialism through the
organization of the working class and the progressive intelligentsia of
Pakistan on a class basis for a Socialist revolution through peaceful
The picture of Socialist society as visualized by the Party is the complete economic, social, and political emancipation of the masses through
complete severance with the British Commonwealth and the establishment
of a State wherein:
(a) there shall be a classless society of the working class, maintained
through the revolutionary strength of the proletariat of Pakistan;
(b) the political, social and economic status of all citizens shall be
the same, irrespective of sex, religion etc.;
(c) the State shall undertake to look after the welfare of the young
and old, sick and infirm, and those physically or mentally unfit
to work;
(d) society shall be free from individual exploitation;
(e) all wealth shall form the national wealth of the community;
(!) unearned incomes shall not be permitted;
(g) there shall be no large difference between individual minimum
and maximum earnings;
(h) for. the cultural and material progress of man there shall be
scientific planning;
(i) man shall live for the community as a whole, without any
personal self-interest or motive;
(j) the language, culture, religion, and modes of worship shall have
complete freedom;
(k) places of worship, sacred and historical sites shall receive State
(I) intellectual and scientific knowledge shall be used for the
betterment of society;
(m) every citizen shall have equal opportunity for progress;
(n) individual and collective freedom of speech, writing, and
organization shall be permitted;
(o) all means of production and distribution shall be State or
community owned. Private enterprise shall only be ~ermitted
where it does not become a source of exploitation of individual
or society."1
The immediate programme. to which the party was pledged included
the achievement of "complete independence"; maintenance of friendly
relations with all nations; abstention from joining any power bloc;
abolition of the feudal system, landlordism and the power of the Princes;
education of public opinion in favour of a secular State Constitution
based on social democracy; nationalization of key industries; transformation of the educational system; cultural and economic advancement of
the workers; eradication of unequal taxation; and conversion of public
iinance into an rinstrument of social welfare. In the sphere of public
administration, the party advocated decentralization, separation of civiJ
and criminal courts, a ban on "State officials" holding more than one
portfolio, establishment of directly elected .councils to conduct day-to-day
administration, separation of judicial and executive functions, and
establishment of representative elected village councils (panchayats) with
powers to settle civil and criminal disputes, collect taxes and to function
as organs of local self-government.t
Sometimes the party betrayed a· tendency to pay more attention to
affairs of other countries than to important national political problems.
The resolutions passed by the National Executive in August 1958, when
the country's political system was near breaking point, illustrate this.
The new Iraqi regime was hailed, the landing of American and British
troopsin Jordan was condemned, the immediate withdrawal of all Ameri~an and British forces from the Middle East was demanded, the French
Socialist Party was castigated for its support to General de Gaulle, and
an appeal was made to the Socialist forces of the world "to put moral
p}essure for bringing the Socialists of France to its [sic.] proper sense
a.~d on Socialist path". The only resolution relating to Pakistan was
the one demanding "outright abolition" of zamindari and jagirdari in
West Pakistan.3
The party claimed to have the support of the Punjab Pind Panchayat
(membership: half a million). the Sindh Hari Committee (membership:
three million), and the Pakistan Mazdoor Federation (membership: one.
hundred thousand). As a trade union organization the party was not,
1. Julius Braunthal (ed.), Yearbook of the International Socialist Labour
Movement 1956-1957(London, 1956), pp. 414-419 ; reproduced in Saul Rose, ~P: cit.
pp. 63·64.
2. Summary of the party's 26-point manifesto is available in Dawn, 10
December, 1953.
' 3. Associated Press of Pakistan report, PakiStan Times, 26August,195~.
The Mino» Parties
Party Politics- in Pakistan
very effective. The Pakistan Trade Union Federation, which the party
captured, was neither a representative nor a recognized workers' group.
The All-Pakistan Confederation of Labour had Government recognition
and was affiliated to the International Confederation of Free Trade
Unions. In 1956, the ,Asian Socialist Conference Secretariat put the
party's membership at 3,000. It was decided at the 195,4 party Conference
that, in future, delegates would be appointed on the basis of one for
every 25 members up to 100 and on!? for every additional 100. As.
only 50 delegates were expected at the following conference, the total
membership could not have been over 1,250,1
Technically the party's constitution provided for a Conference,
Council, National Executive and subordinate ,boqies (on the Iines of the
Indian Socialist Party), but in practice the organization was much less
elaborate. In 1956, the party was nominally organized in six branches
but only four appeared to be working properly. The Council, which
the constitution had put as an intermediate body between the Conference
and the National Executive, was never constituted. The 9-man National
Executive met only twice between 1954 and 1956..
Like all Pakistani political parties, the ,Socialists could not avoid
dissension and discord among themselves. In East Pakistan, for example,
the party had been a constituent me~ber of the Unjted° Front, and later,
when the Awami League formed a coalition Government, the Socialists
gave it theii: support. But when Suhrawardy, the leader of the Awams
League, formed a similar Government in the Centre in 1956, the West
Pakistan Socfalists joined the opposition. Moreover, in East Pakistan
the Hindu and Muslim sections of the party did not look eye to eye on,
many points. II} West Pakistan there was a serious tussle between
Mubarik Saghar and Muhammad Yusuf which eventually, in February
1.957, led to .the expulsion of the latter, who had formerly been the;
General Secretary of the party.
Britisl; student of Asian Sodiadsm thinks that the "Pakistans
Socialist Party seemed to provide illustration of the inability of a,
Socialist party to flourish in a Muslim environment" .2 This is misleading
for two reasons. First, there is nothing "un-Islamic" in Socialism, though,
to most, Muslims there is in Marxis'm. or Communism. Secondly, he
appears to be making excuses for the failure of the Pakistan· Socialist,
Party. In fact, the party failed to flourish for six manifest reasons.
1. Rose, op. ell., p. 67.
2. Ibid., p, 67. Mr. Rose is, by confession, "not completely del!}.'i9ed• (see
his P'reface); he is a Socialist and therefore pardonably enthusiastic.
: .;'~' ,
Party Politics in Pakistan
In the first place, it was not a well-organized party. As we have
seen, in West Pakistan it did not contest any elections and in the East
never as a party. It preferred to work upon peasants' and workers'
groups rather than upon general public opinion. Its membership was
never considerable, and though it claimed to publish four weekliesthe Socialist, the Bari Haqdar, the Mazdoor Dunya and the Taskeen
-with a total circulation of ten thousand,1 none of them was a
"popular" or "influential" paper. In the second place, the party lacked
effective leadership. The party's "Indian" predecessor, the Congress
Socialist Party, had been a predominantly Hindu body, and the few
Muslims who belonged to it gradually left it as the Muslim League grew
in power. As we have seen, within a few months of its formation, the
Pakistan Socialist Party lost three of its leading figures, thus leaving the
difficult task of building up a new party to a few second-level leaders.
Thirdly, the party was predominantly Hindu in East Pakistan. This
prejudiced Muslim opinion against it. Fourthly, the party wedded'
itself so much to the fate of minorities as to .emphasize, in its constitutional proposals, the right of secession. This could not be calculated to
attract people at a time when all Pakistanis (except the caste Hindus
of East Pakistan) were concerned to justify the creation of Pakistan.
Fifthly, as Mr. Rose himself has demonstrated, the "anti-Pakistan"
implications in the party exposed it to the charge of "national betrayal".
The Congress Socialist Party, out of which was born the Pakistan
Socialist Party, was not only opposed to the creation of Pakistan but
maintained its opposition even when its parent body, the Indian National
Congress, reluctantly agreed to it. At the 1948 Nasik Conference in
India, attended by the entire National Executive of the Pakistan Socialist
Party, i:he General Secretary of the Indian Socialist Party said in his
teport that the Congress had made a grievous mistake in agreeing to a
division of the country and that it (the Congress) should have resigned
from the Interim Government and faced the British on the issue of "full
independence and undivided India" ,2 It was at this Conference that
Munshi Ahmad Din, the foremost Pakistani Socialist, decided to make
India his home, and later made some critical remarks about Pakistan
from there. Again, in August 1947, when the creation of Pakistan had
been finally settled, the Council of the Congress Socialist Party issued
a statement from Nagpur which envisaged that the Pakistan Socialist-
1. Julius Braunthal, op. ~it.
2. Quoted i1:1 Rose, op. eit., pp. 59-60.
T,he Minor Parties
would still have som~ connection with the Congress organizatlon.!
Fina1ly, and this might be the most important reason, the Pakistan
Socialist Party was not the only left-wing group in Pakistan. Among
its , powerful rivals were at least three organizations+Gantantari Dal
in East Pakistan, Azad Pakistan Party in West Pakistan, and the National
Awami Party in both wings-which were left-wing and professedly
non-Communist. And each of them was not only better organized than
the Socialists,' and possessed better leadership, but enjoyed greater following and influence. Generally Socialist ideas and principles were widely
accepted in the country, not only in the shape of Liaquat Ali Khan's
slogan of "Islamic Socialism", which was devoid of any content,2 but
more solidly in the form of the Directive Principles of State Policy
embodied in tlfo 1956 Constitution.! Even the Right in Pakistan's
politics did not demur from owning many Socialist principles+ The
"Basic Principles of an Islamic State", enunciated by a Convention of
31 ulama of all schools of thought in January 1951, c~early laid down
that "it shall be the responsibility of the Government to guarantee the
provision, of basic human necessities, i.e., food, clothing, housing,
medical relief and education to all citizens who might temporarily or
permanently be incapable of earning their livelihood due to unemployment,
sickness or other reasons, and to make no distinction of religion or race
in that regard" .s Similar sentiments have often been expressed by the
.Jamaat-i-Islaml, the Nizam-i-Islam and other Islamic parties.s Socialism
was, thus, no monopoly of the Pakistan Socialist Party. The party,
indeed, competed with other parties within the broad sphere of Socialism
and failed to win popular allegiance because of the above reasons.
,1- Quoted in ibid., p, 61.
2. "The resultant which Liaquat called Socialism was no more than Capitalism'
plus social security plus God'', Leonard Binder, Religion and Politics in Pakistan (1961),
p, 186. In fact, what he meant by this is not quite clear, for it was used more or less
as a slogan; see Pakistan News (London), 3 July, 1949, p. 405, 21August,1949, p. 492,
18 December, 1949, pp. 823, 832, and Richard Symonds, The Making of Pakistan
(London, 1949), p, 178.
3. The Constitution gave expression to such "Socialistic" declarations as
"preventing the concentration of wealth and means of production and distribution in
the hands of a few to the detriment of the interests of the common man", etc: See
Articles 28 and 29 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (1956).
4. Mr. Rose himself has commented upon the lack of distinct'lon between Left
and Right in Asia (Listener, 10 April, 1958), see supra, p. 80.
5. See Abul Ala Maudoodi, Islamic Law and Constitution (edited by Khursbid
Ahmad, Lahore, 1955), p. 198.
6. See infra, Chapter V.
Party Politics in· Pakistan
Communist Party of Pakistan
The Communist Party of India was the only non-Muslim political
party in undivided India to support the Pakistan movement. At its first
Congress, in May 1943, it adopted a resolution by which "every section
of the Indian people which had a contiguous territory as its homeland,
common historical tradition, common language, culture, psychological
make-up and common economic life would be an autonomous State within
the free Indian Union or federation and will have the 'righ't 'to secede from
it if it so desires' '. Among such nationalities enumerated· by the resolution
were the "Pathans, Western Punjabis, Sikhs, Hindustanis: Rajasthanis,
Gujeratis, Bengalis, Assamis, Beharis, Oriyas, Andhras, Tamils, Karnatkis,
Maharashtrians, Keralas, etc." By these terms, the resolution stated;
the Muslims, if they so wished, t would be able to form a sepa'ralet
State. In 1946, when the All-India Muslim League ob;erved the Direci
Action Day on 16 August, the Communist Party joined in the'demonstrations, But it must be noted that the Communists supported the Pakistan
movement not out of ideological sympathy with the Muslim cause but
as a political exp'edient. The Communists opposed the Indian National
Congress because it was a capitalist party and was against Indian
participation in a war which was a "peoples' war" as it was being fought
in alliance· with Soviet Russia. Thus the Communist Party of India
chose to'support the Muslims mainly because the Congress was adopting
the opposite'policy.
In January 1948; at Congress of the Communist Party of India met
in Calcutta and resolved to form a separate Communist Party in Pakistan.
Immediately thereafter a second body, comprising such representatives
to th5 Congress as came from areas in Pakistan, met, and the Communist
Party 'of Pakistan was formed in this convention. Sajjad Zaheer was
elected General Secretary, and provincial organizations, which had
existed in the Punjab, Bengal, the North-West Frontier Province and
Sindh, were unified under central control.
Ultimate authority of the party vested in a Congress or gathering
of representatives from the various branches. This body laid down the,
general policy to be pursued and initiated the actual scheme of operation,
The Congress elected, from its OW\1 membership, a Central Committee
supervise the actual work. This Committee chose a General Secretary,
who occupied' th; highest position in the pa~ty. Provincial and district
committees also existed and all decisions were taken collectively, Once
3- decision .was- taken, it was binding on all members and, regardless of
their personal opinion, they were obliged to work for its implementation.
Decisions of higher committees were binding dn the lower bodies,
The Minor Parties.
though the latter were elected and were theoretically ·accountable · to
their electoral colleges. This system "'.as apparently an application of
the Soviet doctrine of "demccratlc centralism".
T,P.e Communist Party was not a mass party, admission to which
could be secured on the mere ·presentation :of a formal application and
the.payment of a fixed subscription. On the contrary, members were
enrolled only after a careful appraisal of their true convictions and
potential value as party workers. All newcomers had to meet three
conditions. An applicant had. to give indication of a thorough understanding of the programmes and policies· of the party; he had to meet
regularly the financial requirements, a party "levy"; and, o~ enrolment,
he had to take continued part in the particular task to which he was
assigned. Discipline was strict and stern.
The party aimed at the ultimate establishment of a Communist
regime, but this end was to be achieved after the intermediate stage of
Socialism had been reached wherein all means of production were
nationally owned. The more immediate programme of action involved
the establishment of a ''people's Government", a term which necessitated
the distribution of land amongst those who tilled 'it, nationalization of
key industries and financial concerns, confiscation of all foreign assets,
and the creation of a· secular, sovereign, democratic State which would
reserve to the people their inalienable political and, in particular,
economic rights. In foreign affairs the Party desired secession from the
Commonwealth, abrogation of the military pact with the United States,
search· of a peaceful solution to the Kashmir problem, abolition of
passport and visa formalities between Pakistan and India-in a word,
a "policy of peace":L
The chief unofficial press organs of the Communist Party were the'
Pakistan Times and its Urdu counterpart, the· Imroze, both published
from Lahore. The party also sold a large number of well-printed books
at cheap prices, ran Irs own bookshops, known as People's Publishing
Houses, and· stimulated many cultural activities, like theatrical groups.
Among its national leaders were .Sajjad Zaheer, an experienced revolutionary, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, editor of the Pakistan Times and a leading
Urdu poet, F. D. Mansur, the Moscow-trained, soft-spoken veteran Kisan
leader, and Sibt-i-Hasan, an efficient journalist.
A great majority of the mefbers of the Communist Party ot: India
J. This account is broadly based on Dilshad Najmuddin, PoJitical Parties in
Pakistan (an unpublished M.A. thesis of the Uoivers~tyof the Punjab, 1955),
The .Minor Parties
Party Politics in Pakistan
had been non-Muslims, therefore the Communist Party of Pakistan was.
afforded but a meagre beginning. That is one reason for the fact that·
the Communist movement was much less active in 1>akistan than in
India. No active member of the party was ever elected a member of the
West Pakistan legislature.· InEast Pakistan, as we have seen, there were
a few Communists in the United Front, and some of them managed to get
themselves· elected to the provincial legislature and also to the second
Constituent Assembly. On the whole it may be said that the influence
of Communism, or perhaps· more correctly of the leftist political ideology,
had made itself feltwith some students, a section of the, working classes
and certain groups ·of intellectuals. The cult of Communism had little·
success with the peasant or the illiterate townsman. Another reason
for this .Jack of support might, have· been the Communist attitude to
religion; though the oft-repeated- argument that Communism cannot
spread in a Muslim country would hardly bear close scrutiny.
At the end of 1953 open Communist activity was not considerable·
in West Pakistan, where the party bad "no open membership" and·
where there were "very few confirmed Communists".
In East Pakistan·
party offices were being opened, and the party line appeared to be "to
forge close links with all the opposing groups and challenge the Muslim
League to a show-down" .1 The main reasons for the "stunted growth"
of the party were want of leadership and organization, "active unfriendliness 0£ the· Government", and the "dislike among Muslim masses of
Communist Godlessness" .2
The Communists. were involved in the Rawalpindi conspiracy· case
in March .1951, when .they were charged with conspiring to assassinate
the leading Government figures and establish military dictatorship. Faiz
Ahmad Faiz and Sajjad Zaheer were among those arrested and sentenced
to varying terms of imprisonment. The following year, in February,
. the party was said to be responsible for the language riots in East
Pakistan. In that province, they were reported to be directed from
Calcutta in India and to have permeated the labour force of many mills
long before the election of April 1954. They were held responsible for.
the serious disturbances which occurred in the Adamjee Jute ~ill.s ~oon
after the election, and their intention is said to have been to hamper
1. Qutub Azizr"Communists in Pakistan Step up Activities", Morning News,
14 December, 1953. This article was reprinted without acknowledgriicnt by the
Deccan Times (Madras, India) on 20 December, 1953, under the changed title of
.. Communist Party in Pakistan".
2. Ibid.
development and to deter foreign investors.I
The Government of East Pakistan banned' the Communist Party
<on 5 July, 1954, Karachi followed suit on 23 July2, and West Pakistan
on 24 .July.3 But communist political activity continued, as many of the
party members infiltrated the Awami League+, the Azad Pakistan Party
and the .Gantantari DaJ.5. They organized front groups for students,
peasants and women, and dominated the Pakistan Trade Union
Federation. They were also behind the formation of such cultural
bodies as the Pakistan Peace Committee, the Pakistan Progressive
Writers' Association, the Pakistan Theatre Association, the PakistanSoviet Cultural Association and the Pakistan-China Friendship Society.
The Communist Party membership in Pakistan is said to have been 3,000
in 1955 and between 1,000 and 1,500 in 1956,6'
Two examples of Pakistani Communists' obedience to the Moscow
line were the ready acceptance of the directive to "follow the Chinese
· path", given to Asian Communists in the Cominform journal of 2/
January, 1950, and the denunciation of Pakistan's alleged military pact
with the United States in December 1953.7
Trade Unions
When India was partitioned in 1947 the areas allotted to Pakistan
were industrially the least developed. In 1949 the total number of
l. See The Times, 30 December, 1954.
2. Text of official notification in Dawn, 24 July, 1954.
3. See Times of Karachi, 25 July, 1954.
4. According to one report, "almost all" Communists joined the East Pakistan
Youth League (an ally of the Awami League) and "now they are Awami Leaguers by
day and Communists at night", Morning News, 13 February, 1957.
S. E. M. Kirkpatrick (ed.), Target the World, Communist Propaganda Activities
in 1955 (New York, 1956), p. 205 •
6. Ibtd., p. 206, and his Year of Crisis: Communist Propaganda Activities in 1956
(New York, 1957), p. 196. Some comparative figures are: Turkey, 2,000; Iran,
8,000; Iraq, 2,000; Ceylon, 2,000; India, 55,000; ibid,
7. M. D. Kennedy, A Short History of Communism in Asia (London, 1957), p.
495. In April 1961 some newspapers carried a report alleging that the Communist
Party· of India bad, at a secret session held at Vijayawada, decided to work for the
. reorganization of the Communist Party in Pakistan. In this, the report continued;
the Indian party was carrying out the instructions, issued by the November 1960
Moscow Conference of 81 Communist Parties, aimed at "repairing the organizational
fence of the brother party" in Pakistan. The West Bengal Communists claimed that,
despite the ban, East Pakistan had 2,000 active party workers. The West Bengal Unit
of the Communist Party of India was "put in charge" of its counterpart in East
Pakistan. Dawn, 23 April, 1961.
The Minor Parties
Party Politics in Pakistan
industrial workers in Pakistan, in a population of 80 million, was only
526,.522.1. Even this relatively small group was not well-organized.
The pre-1947 trade unions were all Hindu-led, and with the Hindus
migrating to India they were left leaderless. Muslim workers coming
in from India arrived in too unsettled conditions to attend to the task
of union organization. Moreover, the general impression conveyed to
the workers· by the Government was that "Pakistan is going to · be an
Islamic State wherein capitalists and workers will live in peace and
harmony, social justice and equality will prevail, ~nd those who aim at
instigating the Jabour movement are against Pakistan and.are professional
This could hardly have advanced the interests of the
workers or helped the development of trade unionism. . Still some persons
went about the business of' organizing the workers with determination
and skill, and in 1949 the Pakistan Labour Movement was organized
in four-rival bodies:
(1) The Pakistan Federation of Labour (Karachi), representing 69
unions and 15,662 workers; (2) Pakistan Trade Union Federation
(Lahore), representing 38 unions and 42,398 workers; (3) The AllPakistan Trade Union Federation (Narayangunj, representing 64 unions
and 73,?00. workers; and (4) The Trade Union Federation, Pakistan
(J?acca), r~presenting 19 unions and 209,532 workers.3
In September 1950, the Pakistan Federation of Labour and the AHPakistan Trade Uiiion Federation merged into one body called the AllPakistan Confederation of Labour. The new organization was made
up of two constituent federations, viz., the West Pakistan Federation of
Labour and the East Pakistan Federation of Labour. In 1953 °the
Government of Pakistan recognized the new·body (APC:OL) as the sole
representative organization of the working classes. In 1958 it claimed
the support of 235 trade unions with a membership of 3,51,009.
Prior to 1954 APCOL believed in the "establishment of a socialist
society based on common ownership and without a .wage system". For
attaining this end it was prepared either to struggle alone or to co-operate
with like-minded political parties. Like other working class organizations
of the world, it believed· in international working-class solidarity, :But
in the amended co;stitution of 1954 the clause arguing for the est~blishment of a .socialist society and co-operation with political groups was·
1. Report o/ the J.L.0. Labour Survey Mission on Labour Problems in />pkistan
(Karachi, 1953), p. 26.
2.. Khalid M~mud, Trade Unionism in Pakistan (Lahore, 1958), p. 15.
3. Ibid., pp. 18-19.
. detet~d.1 It wiU be interesting to know· if this change was made under
official persuasion or if it was the price paid for official recognition.
The East Pakistan Federation of Labour, though legally a constituent
-of APCOL, was a semi-socialist body. Article 2 of its constitution
enumerated its fundamental objectives as follows : (I) to establish a
'democratic socialist state in Pakistan; (2) to socialize and rationalize
the means of production, distribution and exchange, as far as possible
-and practicable; and (3) to secure increasing association of the workers
-in the administration of industry and their full participation in its
-The Pakistan Mazdoor Federation (PMF) was the second largest
labour organization. It was formed in 1951 when Mubarik Saghar,
.the Secretary General of the Pakistan Socialist Party, was elected its
president. The real guiding force behind it was Fazl-i-Ilahi Qurban,
who was once in the Communist Party of Pakistan, was later expelled
-from it, but still claimed to be a Communist.s Though the Federation
-disowned alf political leanings, the weekly Mazdoor Dunya, published
by Qurban, preached Marxism and supported Soviet policies. The Pl4F
:claimed the support of70 unions with a membership of77,190.3
The East Pakistan Mazdoor Federation was formed in Dacca in
'March 1958, and it is said that this was inspired by the National Awami
Party. Its Secretary was one Toaha, a National Awami Party member
of the provincial assembly. The opening session was addressed by
Maulana Bhashani. 4
Industrial workers in Pakistan constituted a very small proportion 9f
the total population.s They were not even a sizeable portion of the electorate. That may explain the lukewarm interest taken by political parties
in trade unionism and its affairs. Some unions and their leaders ruled
out the possibility of any political action or co-operation, They wanted
the labour movement to grow independently of political influence. Many
of them argued that if politics entered the movement a healthy develop.ment of unionism would not be possible, for they feared that politicians
would exploit the unions for their own political ends. This view was
l. Ibid-, p. 37. The APCOL was affiliated to the International Confederation of
Free Trade Unions (ICFTU). ·
2. Ibid., p, 48.
3. Ibtdi, p. 48.
4: Pakistan Times, 8 March, 1958.
5. For figures for the entire period see ClassifiedList of Registered Trade Unions
· in Pakistan '(Karachi, 1956), p. 30, and The Pakistan Labour Gazette (Ministry of
Labour; Government of Pakistan, Karachi), April-July 1958, p. 273.
PartyPolitics in Pakistan
generally prevalent, and 'therefore
trade unions openly aligned themselves with any political- party. But that did not prevent a number of
politicians from working in the labour movement. Among political workers who were long active in APCOL were Abu Saeed Anwar and Chaudhri
Rahmatullah of the Muslim League, and Shirazi and Zahur Ahmad
of the Awami League. Further, somepoliticaJ parties established subsidiary
labour organizations. In 1950 the 'Muslim League organized the Punjab
Labour League. The Awami League had a Labour Secretary, Abdus
Samad, who was charged with dealing with labour affairs- and problems.
The Gantantari Dal organized a number of unions in East Pakistan.
The National Awami Party took keen interest in the labour movement
and in 1958 inspired the formation of the East Pakistan Mazdoor
Federation. The ;Jamaat-i-lslami had Labour Welfare Committees in
important cities, and was very active in the Karachi industrial area.t
The majority of trade unions were led by "outsiders" who were not
working people. There were professional trade unionists, who were not
workers in any industry and who were paid by the unions for wholetim,e
work, e.g., 'the top ranking trade union leaders, Aftab Ali; M. A. Khatib,
Mirza Muhammad Ibrahim and Umar Din. There were other professional trade unionists who did not belong to the working classes at all,
e.g. Paiz Ahmad, M. Sulaiman and B. A. Bakhtiar, Some rich philanthropists, who were also humanists, worked for or supported the labour
movement as an act of humanity. But their number was very small.
Some politicians joined the unions, either to do- party work (like the
Communists, Socialists and members of the National Awami Party),
or to establish themselves as political workers before taking up purely
political positions, or to win over the labour to their point of view.2
Pakistan National Congress
The two main political parties in old India were the All India
Muslim League, which represented the Indian Muslims, and the Indian
National Congress; which was chiefly the mouthpiece of the Hindus.
Wp.en India was partitioned, both these bodies bifurcated, and as the
Pakistan Muslim League was the successor body to the old All India
1. Khalid Mahmud, op. cit., pp. 97-99.
2. lbld.,pp. 96-97.An I.L.O. Report of 1953 listed four factors as serious obstaclfS
t.o the healthy development of trade unionism in Pakistan: (1) Fear of victimiza,
tio?; (2) t~e influence o~ outsiders who could be elected to the e?ecutive 'or the
~ton by virtue of Section 5(c) and 22 of the Trade Union Act, 1926; (3) the
d1ffic:_ul:y. of o btai~ing recognition. of a trade union from the employers; and' (4)
multlpllcity of, unlons' in the same industry Qr establishment. Report of the f.L.O.
Labour Sl.ll'Vey Misslon on Labour Problems tn Pakistan (Karachi, 1953), p. 131.
The Minor Parties
Muslim League so the Pakistan National Congress came to succeed the
'Indian National Congress in Pakistan. Its headquarters were in East
Pakistan, and rightly so because there were hardly any caste Hindus in
,West Pakistan. It was an -exclusively caste Hindu body, though it
claimed to represent Buddhist and Christian interests also. It was the
official opposition in the first Constituent Assembly.
The Congress was declaredly devoted to the "realization of peace,
prosperity, -and the freedom of individuals in the sovereign State of
Pakistan by keeping firm in the path of truth and non-violence, and by
methods of service, education and persuasion ... and securing for all
citizens, irrespective of caste, creed and sex, justice and rightssocial, economic and politica]." It aimed at the establishment of a
Democratic' .Socialist Republic in Pakistan, popularly called the KisanMazdoor Raj (rule of the peasantry and labour). Its doctrinal philosophy
was a mixture of Socialist principles and Gandhian ideology. As a
transitional measure, till the Kisan-Mazdoor Raj materialized, it advocated
a mixed economy in which both State ownership and State management
would exist side by side with private capital. Some otheritems on its
programme were: joint electorate, adequate minority safeguards, and
the making of Pakistan into a secular state. On the social side it argued
for the spreading of the khadi (homespun cloth), encouraging cottage
industries, improving condition of the untouchables, and decentralizing
the industries.
Though a sectarian body and confined to East Pakistan in its
activities, the Congress claimed to seek the preservation and protection
of the rights of all minorities in 'the country. It demanded, for the
minorities,.allocation of quota in services and provision of facilities for
business and trade. It asserted that minorities did not seek protection,
but recognition of their rights.! In this context, its leaders expressed
their fears in the Constituent, Assembly as to the legal and political
position of the minorities under; the then proposed constitutio~. Thex
1. "My friend, Mr. Nurul Amin (Chief Minister. of East Pakistan), said, 'the
minorities will get protection and they will be treated, generously'. I am at the fag.
end of my life, but I say most emphatically that I do not want your protection. It is
most defamatory to say that I will be protected. It is also a defamatory word to say '
that Mr. Nurul Amin will protect me. I bate the word 'protection'. I say 'who, protects him: Physician heal thyself. I never asked for your generous and just treatment";
The word generosity smacks charity [sic]. I do not like to be a charity-boy. I do not
want 'any safeguards. I do not want any reservation in services or anywhere else.
What I want is: Give me my rig Ir ts", S. C. Chattopadyaya (leader of the Congress and
Leader of the Opposition in the first Constituent Assembly), quoted in S. c; V.
Narasimham, The Othtr Side lKaracbi, 1955), p. 7. Italics in the ori~nal.
Party Politics "in Pakistan
opposed the passage· of the ·objectives Resolution in 1949,1 tlie IslaniiC
provisions of the Report of the Basic Principles Committee in 1953 a;d
the Islamic clauses of the Constitution Bill in 1956; on the last occasion
the party walked out of the House in protest against the Constitution
adopted' by the Constituent Assembly. It declared itself opposed to
Islam as a political, not religious, creed. It also did not agree to the
retention of separate electorates.
The organization of the party provided for a pyramidical structure.
There was .a small .nucleus in each village, union, thana (area within the
jurisdiction of one police station) and ward, with a larger body in each
sub-division and district. Each district had its own Congress Committee,
and so had the whole province. An Executive Council directed and coordinated the activities of all subordinate organizations. -Any person,
18 years of age or above, who believed in the objectives of the party,
could, on presentation of a written declaration to that effect, attested
by a witness, be placed on the membership register. Every member paid
a fee of four annas a year.
The Congress was not able to live down the suspicion that it was
~nti-national in sentiment and that it looked forward to an ultimate
union of Pakistan and India. The Hindu members of the Constituent
Assembly "behaved arrogantly" in the first session on 11 August, 1947.Z
In early 1948, the Karachi District Congress Committee decided to
maintain its affiliation with the AU India Congress Committee, thus
implying that it refused to recognize the division of india into.' two
sovereign States, and that it desired to take orders from the Congress
leaders in India.t In as late as 1954 a foreign correspondent observed
how" the unauthorized flight of Hindu capital to India was
undermining the capital structure of East Pakistan. and was partly
causing the adverse black market currency rate. It was estimated that
¥ast Pakistan lost £40 million a year through sales and illegal currency
transfers. About' seven-eighth of all capital goods and house. property in
the province was owned py Hindus, and about £300 million, or half the
total value, was officially said to have been transferred between i949
, and 1954. More than 7,000,000 bales of jute and much rice and gold
1. "l feel I have every reason to believe-that were this Resolution to come
before this House within the lifetime of the Great Creator of Pakistan, the Ouaid-iAzam, it would not have been in its present shape", ·B. K. Dutta in a speech in the
Constituent Assembly, quoted in ibid., p. 62, For details of the Congress opposition
to the Objectives Resolution see supra, Chapter II.
2. See TireTimes~12 August, 1947.
3. See.&und Tab/e,·March 19:48, pp. 593-594.
The Minor. Parties
were smuggled into India every.year.I Apparently most, of this was done
by the Hindus, for they enjoyed better facilities across the border for
smuggling. Some Congress members of the East Pakistan Legislative
Assembly permanently resided in Calcutta (capital of Indian West Bengal)
·and came to Dacca only to attend' the meetings of the Assembly .2 It was
for these reasons thdt some Pakistanis charged the Congress with extranation~l l~y~lties.
Minor Groups
The Gantantari Dal of East Pakistan was' established in January
19 53 ~nd i'n December of the same year, it joined the' United Front.
B~sides supporting the' latter's 21-point manifesto it put forward its
own is-p;)in't programme, which included such demands as secession
from the Commonwealth, abolition of zamindari without compensation,
natfonallzation of jute export trade, equal rights for women in social,
.political and economic spheres, and abolition of 'visa system ~etween
.Pakistan and India:3 The Dal was the first party to open its doors
.non-Musllms ,on an equal footing and to demand a secular constitution.
It had its qwn flag, half red and half blue: ."The red, wlth-a symbol
·of a plough on ,it, stands for progress .aJtd agrarian economy. The blue,
with three stars, indicates peace and alliance with national bourgeoisie,
'-';Otki~g classes and the peasantry, "4 As' the points of view of the Dal
and the Azad Pakistan Party of West Pakistan 'were similar, 'the two
p~rties:aecided, in July 1955, to explore the' possibility of setting up a
combined Steering Committee to 'co-ordinate their activities in national
affairs;S bu,t nothing.came OUt of th iS suggestion.
The Krishka Samity of East Pakistan claimed to represent the agricultural workers of the 'province. It professed to fight against feudal
exploitations, and demanded hbolition of iamindart without compensation
,and distribution .of land among the landless peasants. One interesting
feature of the Samity was that it openly admitted its class basis and
1. Special Correspondent's despatch fr9m, Dacca, The Times, ,30 December,
2. See Constituent Assembly of Pakistan DebdteJ, ~~March, 1950, Vol. 1, No. '3,
pp. €i0-6!.
3. Pakistan Times, 9 February, 1954. This programme was a toned down version
of its earlier JO-point programme, issued on 28 November, 1953, as the minimum
terms· oh \Vhich it was prepared to form a united front against the Muslim League;
see its text in MorningNews, 29 November, 1953.
· 4. Supreme Council's statement of 12 December, Dawn, 13 ,December, 1953.
5. See Daw11, 18 July, 1955.
The Minor' Parties
Party Politics in· Pakistan
'refused· to participate organizationally in the election to the provincial
The Krishka Sramik Party was founded by A. K. Fazlul Haq. It
was a constituent member of the United Front, and when the Front
disintegrated it alone ruled East Pakistan for some time under the Chief
Ministership of A. H. Sarkar. It has not been treated here in detail for
its programme was identical with that of the United Front.! In 1955
Sarkar opened a branch of the party in West Pakistan, where it was to
function as Kisan Mazdoor Party.2
A predominantly students' organization with a markedly ~ftist trend
was the East Pakistan Youth League. It agitated for the annulment pf
safety laws and the release of all political prisoners. Opposed to the
United States-Pakistan military pact. it started a mass signature-collecting
campaign to protest against it. It also wanted to improve education
by securing more aid for schools, opening more hostels· in the interior
of the province, training in folk music and dances, instituting an annual
youth festival, and attending to sports and athletic .pursuits. Its public
.health programme included the setting up of emergency medical units to
fight cholera, smallpox, dysentery, malaria and other ,epidemics. Believing in the impcrtance and value of a trade union system, it demanded
that the Government should acknowledge the rights of the workers and
labourers to form such unionse Working and living conditions of the
labouring.youth were to be improved, and unemployment was to be
fought by .establishing employment exchanges and. by giving relief till
employment was provided. The League also urged the lowering of the
prices of daily necessities, securing fair prices for agricultural produce,
stopping the system of realizing land revenue by certificates, and
.returning the confiscated lands to the (kisan=peasant)
The Punjab Kisan Committee
was an offshoot of
the Communist Party of Pakistan and stood for radical changes· in rural
society · · Blaming the ca pita list and feudal systems for the ills of the
rural population, its manifesto emphasized the following things: secession
from the Commonwealth, repeal of oppressive laws, release of all political
=detenus, cancellation of all taxes on the common man with imposition
, of heavier· taxation on the rich alone, encouragement of cottage industries, abolition· of zamindarl without compensation, free distribution
of land among the tenants, field workers and poor peasants, abolition of
1. For a summary of the Party's 12-point manifesto issued on 29 July, 1953, by
Fazlul Haq, see Dawn, 30 July, 1953.
2. An 11-point programme· of the -aew party was simultaneously released by
Sarkar, Dawn, 18 July, 1955.
begar (forced labour), restriction on the jagirdar to receive more than
one-third batai (a feudal exaction), declaration of all ejectments as illegal,
fixation of water tax irr strict accordance with the amount of water
supplied, official supply of good quality seed and manure, introduction
of co-operative stores and societies- in all villages, cancellation of all
agricultural debts, protection of villages against floods, free and compulsory education up to the middle standard, opening of new schools in
villages, making Urdu the medium of instruction up to the highest stage,
reduction in school and college fees and hostel charges, revision of pay
scales of postal employees, free medical aid to all villagers, increase in
the number of veterinary hospitals, combined with free service, and
establishment of a hospital in each village with more than 5,000
Yet another organization working for the uplift of the tilling masses
was the· Chhota Zamindar, Muzaria, Paishawar, Mazdoor Party. The
chief item on its charter was the expropriation of holdings of more than
50 acres; with compensation to be determined by the State in accordance
with expert advice, but in no case to be more than Rs. ~O an acre.The party quoted interesting facts and figures: "Of a total of· 13,500,000
landowners 'In the Punjab, only 40,000, that is, 3 per cent, own more
than 50 acres each; 7,600; that is, 5 per cent, own more than 500 acres
each; over 9 Jakhs (nine hundred thousand), that is, 67~1 per cent, own
less than 5 acres each; while the number of those who own less than 2
acres each is over 12 lakhs (l'.2 million), that is, about 84 per cent of
the total number. Obviously, 97 per cent of the owners fi.ave less than
50 acres each. Of the total land of about 3 crore (30 million) acres,
60 per cent is in the hands of 3 per cent owners and 34 per cent in
the hands of 97. per cent." In the light of these statistics, the party
demanded from the Government that it should purchase land from all
the owners who had. more than 50 acres each. This would cost about
Rs. 700 to Rs. 800 crore (1,000 to 8,000 million). And if this land were
given to the landless and to those who had less than 12 acres each, :it
would be possible to settle over 1.6 million families of tenants on i~.
It. was further claimed that if only Rs. 20 per acre were charged fro~
the tenants for this Iand,_it would amount to Rs. 400 million per year,
which would enable the Government to pay the price of the land to the
landlords ,within.a period.of 20 years. Two and a hair million families
could easily be. settled on 30 million acres of land with proper distribution-which was no less. than 5 to 7 hundred thousand families
more than were tilling the land at that time. This .would not only
increase the production but also solve the .unemployment problem.
Party 'Politics in Pakistan
The Minor Parties
The formula adopted· by· the party -was "no ploughrrian'will have less
''of the Pukhtoo'nista'h·iffovement, which differed from the Pushtoonistan
movement in that while the former was based on Pathan "nationality",
the 'tatter was founded on language. In other words, Ghaffar Khan
of the North-West Frontier Province wanted to· separate autonomous
province of the Pathans, while Khan Samad Khan of Baluchistan aimed
at the creation of a separate province- of· the Pushto-speaking people.!
Pukhtoonistan, according to Ghaffar Khan, would ·irlcfude' the tribal
areas on the Pakistan -side of the Durand Line, Mianwali District, the
Chhachh area ofCampbellpur District, and the whole of the North-West
Frontier Province. Among his -othen demands were tlie abolition of
zamindari and complete provincial autonomy with only four subjectsdefence, foreign affairs, communications and currency-vested in .the
Centre. In 1956 he joined the Pakistan National Party, and next year,
when the latter merged with the National Awami Party, he was appointed
the Chairman of its West Pakisfan branch.
than 12' acres of land per pair of bullocks".
The Sindh Awami Mahaz, led by G. M. Syed, emphasized the
distinct national character of Sindh and asserted that the provihce 'had
its own peculiar culture, language and interests. It stood for a redistribution of "the national'homeland of the ~ple
of Pakistan" on a
strictly linguistic basis. The number of geographically homogeneous
homelands was to be reduced to five, viz., Ease Pakistan, Sindh, Punjab,
Pukhtoonistan and Baluchistan. It regarded Pakistan as a multi-national
State which must have a federal constitution in which all federating
units shou Id have all powers except defence, foreign affairs and' currency'.
It demanded immediate restoration of Karachi to Sindh and the amalgamation of all Sindhi-speaking areas into one geographically. contiguous
province; and it wanted the merger of the Khairpur State and parts of
Bahawalpnr into this 'unit. It urged· that all the languagesspoken by
Pakistanis. namely, Bengali, Sindhi, Punjabi, Pushto, Baluchi and Urdu,
should be recognized as national languages. It wanted to release ill
political prisoners, to dissolve the .Constituent Assembly, to elect a
fresh house on the basis of adult franchise, a!1d to , amend the existing
tenancy laws "so that no hari [peasant] can be .eje9ted from his land (?ll
account of his ignorance of complexity o.f laws". ' From its inception the
Mahaz received ardent support from the Azad Pakistan Party; later the
two groups joined the -Pakistari National Party and still later merged
themselves with the' National Awami Party,
The Khudai Khidmatgars (Servants 0£ God), 'popularly known as
Red Shirts from the.colour ofi'their uniform, were a body of -Pathans
founded in 1929 by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan. It was a religious-cumnationalist organization closely allied with the Indian National Congress
and bitterly opposed to the All India Muslim', League» Soon after
Independence Ghaffar Khan co-operated with .G.·M. Syed of Sindh to
form the People's Patty. In June.1948, however, he was arrested for cons.
piring against Pakistan with the Faqir of Ippi,' and was· not released till
January 1954. BY tli~·time he was freed, the People's Party Md disappeared, and for a time he refused. to ally himself -with any group, but
frequently expressed vJ~w's 'on political topks.z He was a great supporter
1. Stude,nts of ~istory will,pe acquainted with the nanie and exploits of this lege~·
For years he kept the.British frontier guard's
?n ~heirtoes, and after t,947, conspired with Afghanistan and Pakistan j Red Shirts to
rncue the tribal population to r.evolt'against Pakistan,
It appears,Jiowever, that the Red Shirts were in'existence up to: l 956, for the
Da~n of & July, 1956, carried an oflicJatnotification issued by, the, Government of West
Pakistan on i July declaring the organization unlawful.
dary figure of the north-west' borderland.
In Baluchistan, the Anj1:1man-i-Watan agitated for the creation of a
new province on linguistic basis. Founded and Jecj by Abdus Samad
Khan, it was in favour of winding up the Muslim League, which was no
longer needed, and establishing organizations founded on an economic
basis "with an Islamic Socialist Party of Pakistan on the top". Later he
founded a new party called Wrore Pushtoon (Pushtoon Brotherhood),
which consisted of all exponents and supporters of the Pushtoonistan
movement. It advocated the breaking up of Baluchistan on linguistic
consideration and creating a distinct unit of Pushto-speaking people, to
be known as Pushtoonistan. .Bclieving rn non-violence, the party was
prepared toco-operate with any other organization "which is not opposed
to our national demand of Pushtoonistan".
With the aim of creating
political consciousness among the villagers, the Brotherhood claimed that
it was concentrating its activities on educating the backward and illiterate
rustic population of the province. It demanded the holding of a referendum on the question of accepting or refusing American military aid.
In 1953 the formation of a new party was announced in Lahore. The
People's National Party of Pakistan issued a draft manifesto, draft report,
draft programme and draft constitution. Nothing was heard of the party
later, and probably it never materialized; but the moderate tone of the
drafts made i~ an interesting departure from the usual flippant note struck
by other nascent groups. "It is' not our purpose to capture the Government and gain power", wrote the Convener, "It is not our ambition to
1. See the following paragraph for the Pushtoonistan movement,
ParJy Politics in Pakistan
gather votes and seat ourselves in the saddle of government" :1• The party
was anxious to co-operate with the Government of the day and argued
against mob violence, instigation tq disobedience and other methods of
political upheaval. The basic task was "to unite the peasants, workers,
middle classes and patriotic capitalists on the basis of the Common Pro'gramme of national reconstruction, against the feudal lords, corrupt antinationalist capitalists and corrupt anti-national official [sic.] and politicians". The prevailing "feudal and backward'; agrarian system was to. be
changed into "a progressive agrarian economy based on peasant -ownership". All other demands were moderately and sensibly phrased; the
only point which provoked harsh and stringent words was the official
pi:o-U.S.A. and "pro-Imperialists" sentiments.s
I .
1. However, the next two sentences made nonsense
of 1 his claim: "lt is our
object to serve and to awaken. To lead the people to such a vantage poi~t where, in a
position 'of responsibility, we can" implement our programme".
2. The People's National Par,ty of Pakistan, Drtift !tfan{festo : Draft Report;
Draft Programme; D,.aft Constitution, published by the Convener, People's National
of Pakistan, 10 Fane Road, Lahore, April 1953.
The best-organized of all religious parties was the Jamaat-l-Islami,
which was led by the well-known thinker and writer, Sayyid Abul Ala
Maudoodi. Its career showed the stresses and strains that may accompany Islamic thought and politics in the transitional period. On the one
hand, it demonstrated some .of the difficulties involved in a scholastic
.approach to present-day political and social· problems; on the other, it
illustrated the confusion in some minds about the attitude to be adopted
towards the.ideas and practices of the West. One foreign student of
Islam had, therefore, characterised the Jamaat as "one of the most
"·significantdevelopments in, contemporary Islam and one of the most
significant forces in contemporary Pakistan".1
To comprehend the doctrines of the Jamaat, it is necessary to have
some knowledge of the life and times of its founder and foremost leader.
Maulana Maudoodi was born in Hyderabad Deccan.on 25 September,
1903. Compelled by his father's early death to leave his school education
incomplete, he started his journalistic career at the remarkably early:age
of 15, when·he joined the staff. of the Medina, then a notable "nationalist"
and rellgious-periodical issued from Bijnore in the United Provinces. Two
years later he went ·to Jubbulpore to edit the Taj, and later to Delhi in
connection with the Al-Jamiat, the organ of the Jamiat-ul-Ulama-i-Hind.
In 1928, he returned to Hyderabad to found and edit his own journal, the
Tarjaman-ul-Quran. Next year he published his first serious work, Al~
~ Jihad-fil-Islam (Holy War in, Islam), and in 1932 issued· his well-known
.Towards Understanding [slam. In less than ten years of its establishment,
his journal had succeeded in attracting a wide reading public in northern
India, and, in January 1938, on the initiation· of Sir Muhammad Iqbal,
the ,Poet, he decided to migrate to the Punjab. In December he moved
to Lahore and served for a year as Dean of the Faculty of Theology in
. Islamia College. For his permanent abode he chose a small town, called
Dar-ul-Islam, in the district of Gurdaspur, and it was here· that he
founded the'Jamaat-i-Islami in 1941.
1. W.. C. Smith, Islam in Modern History (Princeton University Press, 1957); p. 233,
fn. 26.
Party Politics in Pakistan
In this period two factors in the development of Maulana's thought
need to be mentioned here. While working in the princely State of the
Nizam, Maudoodi ingratiated himself with the ruler's court and wrote a
biography of Asaf Jah I, the founo~r of tbe Nizam dynasty. Partly to
encourage this serious student ·of Islam and partly to reward the royal
biographer, the Nizam Government was very kind to him and regularly
bought a large number of copies of his journaht At that.time there was
considerable agitation in the State, and Hindus, who constituted the overwhelming majority of-the entire State population, were 'clamouring for
'democratic reforms which, if granted, would have given them a great
majority in the State legislature. The Nizam.iwho was reluctant to make
any concession to this.movement, found a ready spokesman in Maudoodi,
who opposed the Hindu' campaign, declared that Hyderabad was Dar-ul'Islam (House of Islam) and assertedthat the Muslim-minority had the
right to rule 'the State. This attitude 'of the'Maulana may be justified' ,in
-the contexror the Hindu-Muslim' politics of that period, fos Hindu rulers
'of most-other States with overwhelming Muslim majorities, like that of
Kashmir, were behaving even'Iess liberally than the Nizam. But his crietics · have' allegedi that' Maudoodi's contempt for democracy and love .for
feudalism canbe traced to his residehce in the Nizam's territory.
It was iri this period, •to·o; that ibis thought began 'to be influence'd
:hy the Fascist dogmas currently prevailing in Europe. Hewas impressed
:by,fue rise of the Nazis and the Fascists'and borrowed from their writings
'while commenting -on national politics.>' His'conce'pt.ofa.totalitarlan
·Am'fl: (Head 6f th(Stat~)~ his emphasis on obedience and discipline, his
1dpposition' to 'party, rule, his lack of faith irt parliamentary government,
"1,117 Department ~f 1)-eligious A~ajrs of tbe'Hyderabaq
Gov~mment used to
pu,:chas~ lluncl~~d.s pf co~1es of t~e Tarjaman-11[-Quran",Jl.;1aha,r-u1-Qadri (member,
Jamaat-1-Islam1),• Af.au/ana Makdoodi apne aur doosron ki Nair m~n, quoted, 'in
M. Sarwar, Maulana •Maudoodi -ki Tahrik-i-Islam; '(Sindh Sagar Academy, Lahore,
tylay, J}J5q), p, 23.,
/ 2;. ::You.have b~ore you t,o~ay. th~ examples of qermany and It~ly. The entire
woi'td is impressed by the glorious power achievtd by'Hitler and Mussolini, But do
you knoW' th~ cause of tbis'succ~ss? Ther~ areh10 causes': faith and 'obedien~~t~ the
ruler'(a~ar~dic'tator). The N'azi and1Fas~ist parties would never have attained' su~h
ascendancy and success had they not had so deep a faith in their principles ~nd rindered so blind, an oped~nce!to tJwir leaders ... If you de~ire.progress and wish.to-become
a ~trong and r~spected entity, then first createamong th,e 'M~salm,!IE,..S .tl!e qualities 'of
faith and obedience to the dictator. Without these neither your· Individuals will be
strong, nor your party organized, nor your collective force so mighty that you can hold
.your.head high in the'world " (IIU1 .translp.t!on), Maudoodi, TCltjaman·ul-Qurhli,December 1934.
. .• 1.,
: Religion and Politics
and his Iove of oligarchy-all these reflected the undemocratic foundations of his thought .
This anti-liberal or illiberal attitude was also instrumental in keeping
··Maulana Maudoodi away from the freedom movement which was then
sweeping over India. Not content with merely ignoring it, he went further and stoutly opposed it with: pen and tongue. It may be that his love
of authoritarianism did not allow him to distinguish between imperialism
and self-rule. He was bitterly opposed to the movement for Pakistan and
the policy of the All India Muslim League. Twice before independence,
·in 1937 and again in 1945, he was invited to work with the Muslim
League, and. twice he declined.t "As a Muslim", he said, "I am· not
in the proposition that where the Muslims are in a majority
should be given the right to form their own government. For me
the most important question iswhether in your 'Pakistan' the structure of
government will be based on the concept of the sovereignty of God or on
that of the sovereignty of the people, as understood by the protagonists
.of Western Democracy. In case jt is based· on the sovereignty of the
people, it will be as filthy (na~Pakistan) as the other part of the country.
Muslim nationalism is as accursed in the eyes of God as Indian nationalism". He accused Jinnah of ignorance of the elements of Islam and
condemned him for misguiding the Muslims of India. There was, in fact,
no room for nationalism in his concept of an Islamic State. In a speech
at the Aligarh University before 1947 he declared that the Muslim freedom movement under. Jinnah was not a step towards the creation of an
Islamic State; the basis ofthis movement was a spirit of nationalism, he
said, and nationalism was incompatible with Islam.s Islam forbids the
practice of imitation, and the adaptation of Western nationalism was
nothing but imitation.3 Modem civilization, he announced, is based on
three fundamental principles: secularism (that isvirreligiousness or worldliness"), nationalism and democracy. All of them are evil. "Not mere~y wrong, rather we believe, with full confidenceand certainty, that they
are indeed the root cause of all those calamities and troubles in which
-humanity is involved today. As a matter of fact we are opposed to these
principles and wish to fight against them with all our strength". Secularism "released people from thefear of God and the grip of stable and
enduring moral values _and made them unbridled and irresponsible slaves
of their self; then nationalism intoxicated them with the wine of national
I. L. Binder, Religion and Politics in Pakistan (1~61),pp. 94-95.
2. Maudoodi, Process of Islamic Revolution (Lahore, 1955), pp, 22-23.
3. Maudoodi, Nationalism ClllCI India (Pathankot, 1947>, p. 65. This bookfet is a
very good summary of his arguments against nationalism.
Party Politics in Pakistan
selfishness, blind prejudices, and nationa] pride; and this democracy, on
top of all, completed the picture, and conferred full powers of legislation on
these unbridled and iiitoxica ted slaves of their own self". ''We are opposed
to the 'secular; national democratic' system irrespective of whether
those who establish and run it are· Westerners or Easterners ; whether
they are so-called Muslims or non-Muslims. On whichever country or
nation this curse falls we will warn all God's creatures living therein to
beware of it and avoid it scrupulously." Warriing the Muslims that
modern secular national democracy was utterly against their faith and
religion, he'declared, "If they bow to it and accept it they will be turning
their backs on the Holy Quran. If they take part in its establishment and
maintenance it will constitute art open rebellion against the Holy Prophet.
And if they stand up to .raise its standard: they will only be raising the
standard ~f revolt against their Lord God. The spirit of Islam, which you
profess to believe and from which you derive the name Muslim, is in conflict with 'the spirit of this dirty and rotten system .... "1
A detailed-exposition of his opposition to the Pakistan idea is to 'be
-found in his three-volume Urdu treatise entitled Muslims and the Present
Political Struggle'. In the first two volumes he criticised the concept of
territorial' nationalism· and the policy of the Indian National Congress,
and emphasized that if the Muslims of India joined the Congress they
would be annihilatedand assimilated into the Hindu majority. In the
concluding volume, h6 criticised the concept of Muslim nationalism and
the policy of the Muslim League, and pleaded-the case of a purely Islamic
party, which was in fact his own Jamaat-i-Islami. The fact is that Mau·
doodi was really a religious leader, not a politician, and he was primarily
interested in the renaissance' ofIslamic religion rather than in the political
ba1tle then raging. To him political considerations were secondary, the
veritable aim was the creation of an Islamic State, and he was not interest·
ed in any thing less than that. His plea was that Muslims should regard
'~hemselves as an ideological party, like the Communists or the Socialists,
and should strive for the propagation and adoption of an Islamic ideological. concept in the whole of India, and if they did so it was very likely that
in a few years the whole of India would become Dar-ul-Islam.s Till 194'7
he maintainedthat he would not fight for Pakistan, that he did not beli,eve in Pakistan, and that it was not Islamics, It was, however, to
1 • Maudoodi, The Message of Jamaat-i-Istami.: A Contribution towards Islamic
.r;onstitulion-Muking (Lahore, 1955 ed.) pp. 16-41." •Muslim nationalist' is as contradictory term,as 'Ch.~ste prostitu.~c·", his Nationalism and India, pp. 9;1 o.
, '
2. Maudoodi, Jamaat-i-Istamt (Lahore, 3rd ed. 1952), pp. 27-28.
3. Freeland Abbot, "The Jamaat-i-Islami of Pakistan", The Middle East Journal
Winter 1957, pp, 40-41.
Religion am! Politics
Pakistanthat he fled in 1947 from his Dar-ul-Islam.
When the Jamaat-i-Islami was first established on 25 August, 1941,
it aimed at inviting Muslims to become real momins (believers). In
1952, a new constitution was drawn up for the party, according to which
it adopted as its aim the establishment of the sovereignty of God throughout the world. The phraseology was so vague as to convey the
impression. that the Jamaat wanted to establish a religio-political system
which it called Islam. For. achieving this goal, the party believed not
only in propaganda. and persuasion but also in the acquisition of
political' control by constitutional and, where feasible, violent means.
According to Maulana Islahi, orie time Amir of the party, a Government
not based on the Jamaat's conception, one based for instance on the
basis bf the concept of a nation; was a· "satanic Government", and,
in the words of Maudoodi, kufr, (heresy). All persons taking part in
·such a Government, or willingly submitting to such a system, were
'sinners, Maudoodi stated before a military court in 1953 that, short
of armed rebellion, the Jamaat believed in, and .had as its objective,
the replacement of the then existing Government by a Government of
its own conception. 1 ·
In 1948, the Government of West Punjab directed all its employees
to take an oath of allegiance to the Government-of Pakistan. In reply
to an.inquiry made by some officials who were attached with the Jamaat,
Maulana Maudoodi declared that the oath, which required allegiance
to the Government "established by law", was not permissible till such
time asthe system of government became "fully Islamic". The party's
executive committee is reported to have taken a similar decision on 10
April, 19if~; in relation to the members joining the Army, which laid
down thaf as the prevailing system of government was un-Islamic,
"we are unable' to 'advise Musalmans to get enlisted in the Army or the
National Reserve".2 In May ofthe same year, Maudoodi declared the
Kashmir war a non-Jihad.3
Here it is relevant to look at the concept of Miza] Shanas-i-Rasool,
According to Maudoodi, there is always a person who alone is competent
to decide what the Holy Prophet would have done in a 'given situation
if he were alive. Though he' did not specifically mention his own name
in this connection, he left no doubt in -the minds' of his followers that
he was the. only candidate for this supreme pontifical office. And his chief
1. See Maudoodi, The Process of Islamic Revolution and Munir Report, p. 143.
2. Jamaat-l-Islami per ek Nazar, pp. 47, SS; the Nawa-i-Waqt, 12 ~eptember.
1948; and¥· Sarwar, op. cit., pp. 331-332.
3. L. Binder, op. cit., pp. 136-137.
Parly Politics in-Pakistan
........... _..,
See Munir Report •
See. Maudoodi, The Econ,omic· Problem of Man and Its Islamic iolution
'(Lahore, 19.5.5). ·
3. Issued by the Markazi Majlis-l-Shura (Central Working Committee) on 12
June, 1954, text in Morning News, 13 June, 195'4.
be paid to the abolition of interest and to the securing of equal opportuni'ties of honest living for all citizens. The Government was asked to float
a policy of "social insurance based' on Islam" in order to provide
facilities for education and health to the people and ~ give support to
'the widows, orphans and the aged.
Tlie Jamaat issued a definitive election manifesto in June 195&,
according to' which it wanted to introduce constitutional reforms with .a
view to enforcing -separate electorates.! abrogating all unreasonable
restrictions on fundamental rights, restricting the power to declare martial
'Jaw and pass indemnity legislation, and providing for an 'appeal against
sentences passed by martial law courts in the Supreme Court.s In the
agrarian field, the document called for abolishing without compensation
'all estates comprising more than 200 acres of irrigated or 400 acres 'Of
. unirrigated land, provided: that it was proved that their owners had
acquired them in an "mi-Islamic way".3 It promised a 42-hour:week
. to the labourer, -with a day and half off at the week-end: gradually the
· workers . were to be made partners in the ownership of the industrial
units in which they worked+ Restrictions were to be placed ·on the·
.profits of. the .industrialists and foreign investments were to be allowed
only ·on the condition that no political strings were attached. . Interest
in all forms was to be abolished and all "un-Islamic" taxes were to
disappear .. In .the educational sphere co-education was to be done away
with, teaching of Arabic was. to be made compulsory, and instruction
up to the middle standard was to be made free. Administrative reforms
envisaged ~,!!eluded eradication of corruption, nepotism and bribery;
introduction of religious and moral instruction in the institutions for the
training of public services.' personnel; and.a ban on European dress in
_Government oipces and at State functions. Maximum autonomy for
provinces was favoured and so was ,the merger of the Frontier States in
. 'Religion and Politlos
lieutenant, Maulana .Islahi, declared before the· Punjab Disturbances
-Inquiry Committee that he wholeheartedly and unreservedly accepted
'Maudoodi as the Mizaj Shanas-i-Rasool.1
Maudoodi's economic ideas may be read in his pamphlet, The
'Economic Problem of Man and its Islamic Solution. His description
'of the capitalist system betrays an obvious Marxist influ~nce. H~ belie~ed
that the evils of Western capitalism arise largely from the way m which
the capitalists spend their profits. They indulge in selfish and a~ti. social expenditure and do not provide sufficient power to the working
classes so that they can buy goods coming into the. market. They are
only interested in investing their surplus income. The result is that
unemployment is created and the opportunities for the capitalists to
, invest' their profits are limited. The only alternative then is to export
"surplus goods, which the working classes are incapable of buying, and
· surplus capital, which the capitalists cannot invest anywhere at home.
. This directly leads to international tariff ~nd trade w_ar_. What ~s . t~e
. solution's Marxism he rejects as a solution, because rt ts a materialistic
· creed and suppresses man's right to own property and to make legitimate
profit. Similar defects are discovered in Fascism.; Isl.am is the. i~~~l
·solution , because it relies on education and moral teachmg and prohibits
vunnecessary expenditure. The best course for the individual is to spend
all that, he .. earns on his reasonable needs and hand over the surplus,
if there is . any, to others so that they may satisfy their reasonable
With· this academic exercise must be read the Jamaat's 5-point
programme for natio~al "economic reforms ~.nd r_eco~tructio_n'', iss~ed
in 1954.3 For the advancement of agriculture, it said, it was imperative
to, appropriate "unlawful" jagirs, uncultivated land owned by ~e ~tate
and the land- left fallow for three years without reason, and to distribute
·them among tenants .. It was also required to consolidate small holdings
on a co-operative basis in order to make them fit for up-to-date and
.scientific cultivation. The whole economic system must be re-organized
-so as to guarantee provision of basic necessities of life to_ every citizen
. arid to. reduce marked inequalities in income. To this end, the systew,
of taxation should be overhauled, scales of pay and. w~ges "mo~i:fie~
accordance with the requirements of justice", and special attention must
. ·?
. 1. The Jamaat put considerable emphasis on the electorate issue. See its "White
Paper on Electorate", M,orning News, 6, 7, and 10 February, 195.8.
2. An obvious reference to the martial law declared during the Punjab riots
of 1953 in which the Jamaat had played a significant part •
' · 3. "a: •'Islam does not know any distinction between agricultural and other
property. We cannot put a limit to the area of land to be owned by a person or
· prclCribe the tnakimum area to be possessed by an individual or family. 'For
· such restrictions there is no sanction in the Quran ·or Sunnah" (my translation),
· Maudoodi, Mas'ala-i-Milkiat-i-Zam~en (The Problem ofthe Possession of Land). In
1949 a group of ulama had issued a statement that the zamindari system was not
-Islamic,:bawn: 1 April, 19'49 •
.f. But nationalization is not permissible in the eyes of the Jamaat, "The idea of
. nationaliz!ng -the means of production is fundamentally opposed to'the Islamic point
of view", Maudoodi, ibid.
. .
• ·Religion ·and~Politiq·
Patty Politics.in-Eakistan
-the West Pakistan Province. East Pakistan was to be made self-sufficient
in matters of defence. Compensation was promised to those who had
"suffered losses of life or property during the 1953 disturbances and
-martiat law regime in the Punjab. The primary aim was to ·"chan~
the present corrupt leadership with an honest, conscientious, talented
and God-fearing leadership" .1 'In international affairs, the party believed
in friendly relations with all countries provided that friendship and
"co-operation did not involve aii "ideological clash'~.2 ,.
This statement ·of. future policy i'eads like an uneasy compromise
-between a Socialist arid a mu/la. It is an extraordinary example of -good
'sense combined with a great deal of fudge. For instance, aU landholders
who were "not rightful owners in the 'eyes of sharlat" (Quranic law)
'and whose holdings went beyond a certain size, were to be made to lose
'their land. Whht was "rightful ownership')?3 And if ethical considerations were ·to be supreme, 'why was a holder of 199 acres allowed.to
retain· his possessions?' Who 'could, and would, decide whether-the
original ownership of a piece of land was or was not -permissible in thb
eyes of sharlai'] What did the party mead by laying down tfiat inter'national friendship 'was possible only when there was no "ideologiCal
'Clash"? \Anyway, what did "ideological clash" mean? A host of such
-questions 'could be asked, not to speak of picking on such fanciful
'Suggestions as abolition of co-education;' compulsory teaching of
Arabic, and the banning-of European dress. 'The party's promise to compensate 'the sufferers o'r the martial law regime amounted to a clear declara'tion that it stood firmly on the side of those who had ·defied Iaw and
-order in 1953.
The Jamaat's.political somersaults were the despair of all students
·of politics. Its attitude to the Kashmir problem, its -directive to ifs
members in the civil and niilitary services not to pledge their loyalty to
the "un-Islamic and satanic" Government, its double-faced participation
'in the anti-Ahmad], movement, its o~en support to the feudal systemon all these points the party's shifting opinions frequently exposed it
1. .Summary of the manifesto in, Dawn, 21 and 28 June, 1958. Full text in
·Morning News,:J.8 and 29 June, 1958.
. 2, The Jamaat favoured the formation of a Muslim bloc in world- polltfos,
, M. Amin, Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan (an unpublished M.A. thesis of the Universi~ of the
Punjab, 195&), p.. 33. ,lt also favoured "One Unit" and stood for separate electorates.
ibid.; pp, 31-32.
3. According to Maudoodi, not more than ;l per cent of the landlords had
acquired their)aijds.Jegitimately, ibid., ·p. 32. In July-August 1950, Maudoodi had
preached against the agrarian reform ,programme of Liaquat and Daultana ; see Dawn,
7 June, 25, 28, 29 and 30 July, and 9 August, 1950.
- -:-------
.. =~-·-
to·,cbarges of insincerity; inconsistency· and lack of seriousvthinking;
One instance will bring out this point. The. Jamaat adopted an odd!
attitude towards the then proposed military pact between Pakistan and·
the United· States. In March 1954, the Central Executive Committee
passed a resolution stating th~V"the ruling party· should take the people'
into confidence over this crucial problem and while entering into any sort
of pact or .alliance, they should be very vigilant so that it, in no way,
affects our internal or external affairs and our· ideology ; and does not
harm the best interests. of the Muslim countries." In other words, the
party had no opinion· of its own.on this particular issue and, seeing other
parties expressing views on the p~opo~9- alliance,.ha,? procee~ed.'to pass,
a meaningless resolution. In-April Maulana Isiahi reiterated m Rawalpindi that the party was not opposed to Pakistan getting-American
military aid. if the sovereign character, and "ideological basis" of the
country were 'not adversely affected .. It was in June .that the Jam~at
seemed. to have finally made up its mind. The Central Executive
Committee passed a resolution on 9'June embodying the party's views on
the contemplated military pact. It felt that JM pact Would prove "in.!
jurious to the country's independence" .and "had the.potentlallties of
adversely affecting the people's cherished ideology and culture." Aftet
thus expressing its disapproval in unequivocal terms, the Committee
followed up with the' following sentence which made a farce of the entire
preceding resolution, "it is a 'matter of common knowledge that the
Jamaat-i-Islami has never criticised the· foreign policy of the Govern-,
ment in such a manner asvcan go to weaken. the hands of the Government iri the international fiela."1
The cardinal demand of the Jainaat was the creation of an Islamic
State in Pakistan. What is an IslamicState? Answer to this all-impor ..
taut question is given .in Maudoodi's essays and speeches collected an~
translated into English under 'the, title of Islamic Law and Co~~itution,
published- by the party and. issued· from Lahore and Karachi m 1955.
Its ideas are summarized below, with all quotations from the 1955.
A State becomes Islamic only when it 'recognizea in clear terms the
political and legal' sovereignty. of God and binds itself to His obedience
and acknowledges Him ~s the Paramount Power, whose commands must
be.'~gheld. It musi' also recognize the amh~n~ic sunnah (!radi~on) ~f" 'the
Prophet as the source of law, and must incorporate a specific
the effect that neither the executive nor the legislature nor the judiciarycan issue orders or enact laws or pronounce 'verdicts contrary t6 the~
1. Takistan Tim~s, IO'June, t954.
Party.Politics in Pakistan
Religion. and Politics
sunnah, The correct status of an· Islamic State is not that of a Sovereign,
but that of a Vice-Regent. In it tlie powers of "Vice-Regency" are not'
vested in any one individual or family or group, but in the whole Muslim
community when it is blessed with the possession of an independent
State. Islam vests all. the Muslim citizens of an Islamic State with
"popular vice-regency." This establishes democracy; in an -Islamic State,
just as "popular sovereignty" does in a secular State. The Government
of an Islamic State can therefore be formed only with the consent of the
Muslims and can function and remain in power only as long as it enjoys
their confidence. All the people of the State .should be consulted
directly or through their trusted representatives, and this consultation
should be free, impartial and genuine. Politics and administration are no.
concern of women, and it Is un-Islamic to drag women into these affairs.
Unlike a· secular State, it is 'the duty of an Islamic State.notmerely to
maintain internal-order, defend the frontiers and work for the, material
prosperity of the 'country, but· also to establish the system of salat
(prayer) and zakat (alms); to propagate things which are· considered to.
· be virtuous .by ·God and. His Prophet and to eradicate those which are
declared by them to be· evil. No State can be called Islamic if it does not
take an 'interest in establishing virtue and.eradicating vice and if "adultery, drinking, gambling, obscene literature, indecent films, vulgar songs,
immoral display of; beauty, promiscuous mingling of men and women,
cd-educatiort.etc., flourish in it without let or hindrance." In an Islamic
State the legislature has no right to make laws, the executive has no
right to issue· orders; and the law courts have no right to decide cases,
in contravention of the teachings of the'Quran.and the sunnah ; and if
they do so, Muslim citizens must disobey them. A non-Muslim can
never. become the ruler of.an Islamic State; otherwise it is "as irrational
add impracticable as a non-Communist becoming the ruler of a Communist State or a Fascist becoming the ruler of a democratic State." 1
-After thus laying down the basis of an Islamic State, Maudoodi
proceeded to enumerate the 'fundamentals of an -Islamic Constitution ..
The unwritten Islamic Constitution has four sources : the Quran, sunnah;
(the way in which the. Prophet "translated into practical life the ideological spirit of Islam.and developed it into a positive Social Order"), the
_]. Maudoodi, Islamic Law. and Constitution (Lahore, 1955 ed.), pp. 77-95. "The
position of the,µlama is outwardly strange, but it is based upon an inner, if somewhat
peculiar, logic. Before partition many of them opposed Pakistan because nationalism
was incompatible witn Islam. Pakistan was for them too narrow an aim. since it
would not include all Muslims, not even all the Muslims of India. Now that Pakistan
·is in existence they are trying to narrow the effective composition of the State t~
exclude all but the body of true believers," Callae,d,op. cf!., p•. 235.
conventions of the Khilafat-i-Rashida (decisions and practices of the first
four Khalifas), and the ruling of great jurists. The Islamic Khilafat will
be a democracy. What ... we Muslims call democracy is a system where
the people enjoy only the right of Khilaf at or yiceregency ef . God, Who
alone is the Sovereign. In Western democracy, the Government is established or changed by the exercise of the will of the common voters. Our
democracy also envisages the same ; but the difference lies in the fact that
whereas in the Western system a democratic State enjoys the right of
absolute authority, in our democracy the Khilafat is limited and bound
by the clauses of theDivine Code".1 All legislation in contravention of
"the Directives of God and His Prophet" would by that very fact be
considered ultra yires of the Constitution.2 The legislature, therefore,
will have four functions: (I) it will make rules and regulations within
the f~~mework of the "Directives of God, and His. Prophet" where they
exist ip e~plicit shape; (2) where the .Directives are capable of more
\l\aq one interpretation, it will decide as to which of these interpretations
should be placed on the statute book (therefore the legislature must
consist of a body, of learned men who have, "the ability and the capacity
to interpret Quranic injunctions"); (3) where there are no explicit
Directives, the legislature will enact laws keeping in view "the general
spirit oflslam"; (4) where even, basic guidance is not available from
the Quran and other sources the legislature can make laws without restriction. provided that such legislation is not in contravention of "the
letter and the spirit" of the shariah. If both the head of the State and
his advisers stick to their own-opinions and there is a stalemate, a referen. dum should b~ held, after which' the one whose opinion is rejected by the
people should resign. "But as long as it is hot ,possible in our country
to create a consultative body of that calibre and to foster that spirit and
that mentality, there is no other alternative but to restrict and to
subordinate the Executive to the majority decision. of the Legislature".
1. "ffis prohibited in Islam to be a member of assemblies and parliaments -.yhicb
are based on the democratic principle of the modern age. It is also prohibited to,
vote in elections to such bodies, for to cast a vote means electing a person whose task,
~oder the modern constitution, 'wil(be to make laws; and this task runs counter1
to our 'belief" (my translation), Maudoodi, Rasail-o-Masail (Lahore, l95S)L Vol.1
I, p. 45.
2. ~·All modern democratic systeqis are based on the principle that the c1tize~s
of a country. have tli.e· right to make cultural, political, social, moral and e~nom1c,
laws and to build upon them 'detailed rules and regulations, and that for this lawmaking there· is no sanction higher than that of public opinion. Th.is theory is t~e
exact opposite of th~ Islamic concept" (my translation), Maudoodi, Tarjaman-ul- Quran,
December f945:
Religion and Politics
Party Politics in Pakistan
The head of the State will be·elected by the people. He will work in
consultation with his advisers·and will be answerable for his actions.
Only those persons should be elected to this office and to the Consultative
Assemblywho possessthe qualities and qualifications "which have been
prescribed by Islam for the office-bearers". Party system must cease to
exist. ·"It pollutes the Government with a false sense of loyalties, and
it carries within it the possibility that once a group of self-seeking people
comes into power, it may manoeuvre party politics at public expense
ftself, in such a way as to continue ih the saddle ad infinitum."! The
head of the State must be a Muslim, male of sex, sane and adult, and a
citizen of the Islamic State. A "self-styled" candidate for the office of
the head of the State or for a seat in the legislature should be declared
ineligible. The citizenship of an Islamic State will be of two kinds; citizens proper and zimmls, Only Muslims will be full citizens, while zimmis
will be all those non-Muslims who "have affirmed to. remain loyal and
obedient to the Islamic State wherein they propose to 'live, regardless· oi
the country they were born in" .2 -The practice of "un-opposed elections"
should be stopped because "it is against common sense". · The right of.
vote given to women should be qualified by a certain standard of education. No woman can be elected to 'the Assembly, this is "absolutely
against the spirit and precepts of Islam, and is nothing more than a
l~ However, Maudoodi is not averse to'adopting the technique of modem polltical parties, which' involves electioneering, canvassing, publicity and all other means
of modern political warfare. But he asserts that in its appeal as well as methods and
technique th~ Jamaat i5' "the followers of the Holy Prophet", see his I«uai/-o-Masail,
yot. I, pp. 74, 500 (my translation). , Cf. "In Islam party politics are an impossibility, there being only one party, the body of Muslims, to which each 'and
evrry adult Muslim belongs as a matter of right, whose ideology is the Divine Law of
l'iature, and whose existence is governed and directed by the sober, ineluctable truth
of Reality", S. Ghaleb KhanAbbasi and A. de Zayas Abbasi, The Structure of Islam!~
Polity, Part I: The One Party System in Islam (Lahore, 1952), p. 36. Italics in the
2. For full details see Maudoodi, Rights of non-Muslims in Islamic State (Lalfore,
1951), which is a translation of his article on the subject in the Tarjaman-ul-Quran or
August 1948. Most ulama agree with Maudoodi. "According to the leading ulamd
the position of non-Muslims in' the Islamic State of Pakistan will be that of zi~mis and
they will not be full citizens of Pakistan ~use
they will not have the same1
rights as Muslims. They will have no voice in the making of the law, no right to admi'·
nister the law and no right to hold public offices", Munir Report, p. 2: 2. On this ~
Hindu leader commented, "This is what these Maulvis intend to give us. They do not
want to give the non-Muslims any rights. How can you say that at this stage one
should not be apprehensive of the Islamic principles when such things are clearly and
openly said and advocated", S. C. Chattopadyaya (Leader of the Opposition) quoted
in S. C. V. Narasimham, op. cit.; p. 6.
.blind imitation of the West". A separate assemblyof women, elected
by female vote, may be constituted to 1001' after the social affairs of the
female population. Formation of parties within the assemblyshould
not be allowed. Various parties in the country may take part in elections as parties, but once the members have been electedthey should o~e
allegiancesolely "to the STATE, its CONSTITUTIO~, and ~e .entire
NATION, and should vote and act according to the dictates of their own
co,nscience". The head of the State should in no circumstances be given
the power to suspend the constitution. The amendment of ,such parts of
the constitution as are of "fundamental importance" should be made
"as difficult as possible"; the amendment of the remaining parts should
be made easy.!
Jn such an Islamic State "no one can regard his affairs as personal
and private. Considered from this aspect the Islamic State bears a kind
of resemblanceto the Fascist and Communist regimes".2 "No doubt
the Islamic State is a totalitarian State and compriseswithin its sphere all
departments of life.">
Nationality will be common among allthe Islamic States of the world,
and a Muslim "will not require a passport to enter the frontiers of any
Islamic State":'
Maulana Maudoodi and his party continued their campaign for the
creation of an Islamic State right up to 1956/and 'when'the Constitution
of that year was finally adopted the Jamaat seemedto be satisfied. In a.
press. statement on I~ March, 1956, the party annoi:nced ~at the Ion~
struggle between the Islamic and anti-Islamic trends in Pakistan had been
"finally and unequivocally settled" in favour of the former. For the first
time since the Righteous Khalifas, "the governmental authority of an
Islamic State bas passed into the hands of the common people instead of
royal families". Though the party noticed a good many objectionable
features in the document, such as preventive detention and the complete
suspensionof fundamental rights during an emergency, yet it asserted
that these defects were not enough to warrant rejecting the Consti-
J. Maudoodi, Islamic Law ani:l Constitution (Lahore, 1955 ed.), pp. 99·167; also
see his Fjrst Principles of the Islamic State (1-!"hOre, 1960).
2. Maudoodi, Political 'IJt!oryof Islam (Lahore, n.d.),, p. 45.
3. Ibid., p. 53.
4. Maudoodi in a broadcast talk from Radio,Pakistan, Lahore, on 20 January,
1948; quoted in M. Sarwar, op. cit., p. 173.
S. See Maudoodi, Some Constitutional Proposals for the Consi(kration of the Con·
stituent Assembly of Pakistan (published by Jamaat-i-Islami, Karachi, 13 August, 1952)
and Jamaat-I-Islami, Comments and Amendments on Constitutional Bill (Jamaat-1-Islam'i
Pakistan, Lahore, 15 January, 1956) •
Party Politics in Pakistan
Religion and Politics
An Islamic: Constitution was now achieved, concluded the
statement, but the real object was 'the achievement of an "Islamic
It cannot be denied that the Jamaat was an earnest and sincere body.
But there was some truth in the criticism that it represented the views of
those Muslims who wanted to go back to the medieval period of history
to find a pattern of true living and to present it as the right model for the
modern world, They did not want to change, continued to stick to, 'what
they chose to call, original sources, and interpreted Islam in the most
conservative way. Those who did not agree with this line of thought
complained that Maulana Maudoodi and liis supporters 4ad taken the
spirit out of Islam and left nothing but the bones, How far this criticism
was true may be judged by examining some of the religious opinions and
interpretations of the Maulana.
Everyone knows that the Quran "permits" polygamy, but most
Muslims, without taking the trouble of studying the conditions under
which this sanction is granted, regard it as a licence. Maudoodi refuses
to accept that it is· possible to interpret the Quranic sanction in more than
one way, and asserts that among the ulama there has always been vcom,
plete unanimity of opinion" in regard to the meaning of the verse in
question. The 'Quran says that a Muslim may keep up to four wives at
a time provided that he does "justice" to all. Maudoodi interprets
·"justice'' as "justice in treatment of rights" and-not "equal attachment",
and regards ~II other interpretations as .. "distortions of meaning". He
proceeds to, attack all those who differ from him on the ground that
"they take their guidance not from the Quran, but from Western minds,
and then try to force the Quran to .justify the stand". Jn his opinion
sut!h .people should openly reject the Quran and declare that they are not
The Maulana also thinks that in an Islamic State "any person possessed of erudition and learning i~ entitled to interpret the Quran; but
his interpretation cannot be law for all Muslims. Only that interpreta.tlon will have the force of law which is adopted by men of erudition and
learning by unanimity or majority of opinion, or which is held as correct'
by a competent court". This raises many questions. Who, is a person of
"erudition and learning"? If a person is neither erudite nor learned
whom should he approacli for the interpretation of the, Quran? Why
should people accept the interpretations of men of learning and erudi-·
ition? The teachings of the Quran cannot be compressed into the readings
Dawn, 20 March, 1956.
and opinions of a few persons. Has every Muslim got the right to read
the Quran and to interpret it for himself, and leave the rest to his Maker?
To borrow opinions from others is not only an insult to human intelligence but also amounts to shifting the responsibility of his deeds on
to the shoulders of the erudite. Will the ulama be prepared to answer
for the deeds of those who act on their interpretations of the Quran 'l
According to Maulana Maudoodi, again, if a Muslim wants to'
become 'a non-Muslim, he must leave the country to do it. "If he tries
to do this while residing within the (Islamic) State, he will not merely be
unable to secure the rights of a zlmmt or a mustaamin, but such action on
his part will be considered an act of high treason,"!
It is this intolerance of views other than his own which made Maudoodi and his party a body of conservatives of the deepest. hue. The
Maulana was not prepared to accept any other interpretation but his own
and considered all those who differed from him as outside the pale of
Islam.s This was broadly true of all Islamic parties, and is the explanation
of their failure to appeal to the intelligentsia.
In May 1958 Maulana Maudoodi gave a new definition of Jihad
(Islam's crusade against the infidel). . Appealing to his audience in
a public meeting at Rawalpindi to give their money and votes to the
Jamaat, he said that elections were nothing short of Jihad. Jihad, he said,
implied an effort at eliminating ku{r and evil from society. In the past
Jihad was fought with the sword, but in modern democracies election
provided an opportunity of Jihad, as the "ballot boxes have replaced.
bullets". To spend money on and vote for an honest man was an act of
J. All quotations are from Maudoodi's written answers to a series of questions
posed by an American student of Islam, Freeland K; Abbot, "Maulana l\4audoodi on
Quranic Interpretations", Muslim Wor/d,.Vol. XLVIll, No. I, pp. 6--19.
2. Some illustrations of Maudoodi's unreasonably harsh attitu~e to those who
disagree with him: "This objection is raised by people who are in the habit of speaking
before thinking" (Musa/man aur Maujuda Siasi Kashmakash, Pathankot, n. d., \7ol. I,
pp. 91-92); " ... then I will only say that you are devoid of both intelligence and knowledge of the Quran" (ibid., p, 95); " ... these so-called Musalmans [Muslim Leaguej
leaders] are moraJly dead" (ibid., Vol. nr, p. 29); "If you test the entire Muslim leadership in basic and elementary tenets of Islam, hardly any one will score more than 2 per
cent marks" (ibid., Vol, III, p. 63); "You have no right to use the word 'Islamic' for·
your nationalist movement" (ibid., p. 65); "Those who talk in this strain a:e comple~y,
ignorant of the true conception of. the Islamic State" (Process of Islamic Revolution,
Pathankot, J 947, p. 27); and his strictures on his opponents in the field of constit:itionmaking (Tarjaman-ul·Quran,October and November 1952), Some observers attributed
this inability to see the other person's point of view to the Maulana 's being it· man of
independent opinions and self-confessedly "unable to work under any person no matter
in how great an esteem I hold him" (quoted in M. Sarwar, op. cit., p, 100 fn.),
Party Politics in Pakistan
Religion and Politics
piety no less creditable than waging Jihad.I If this novel interpretation of
.Jihad were accepted, every party in the country could have gone to the
polls with the slogan of.Jihad, and the result would have been the killing
of Muslims by Muslims to eliminate evil.
Such interpretations of Islam may qr may, not prove erudition or learning, but they are open to the same criticism which was directed to the
Basic Principles Committee's Report, which proposed the creation of a
board of ulama to revise legislation on Islamic grounds. No person',
however, pious and learned in Islamic knowledge, has the right of dictating to others what Islam means. The Jamaat would not only deny .to the
Muslim his right to live according to his light but also compel: him to
accept ready-made opinions on vital matters of faith. This would 'introduce priesthood which hasbeen clearly repudiated by Islam and ~itiate
the Quranic principle of personal responsibility.
Like ajl disciplined and highly doctrinal parties, the Jamaat-i-Islami
}Va~ not a party of the masses.s Discipline was very strict, thougli signs
of mternal disunity were visible on a number of occasions. It might be
called a "cader party" (in Duverger's sense of the term), because ir was
not a mass party .. It was a party of the Right, but was highly-knit;
completely centralized and strongly articulated. We may call it a "devotee" .party,.,tI?-oughnot exactly in the sense in which Duverger uses the
The orthodox character of the party tended to make it a highly
disciplined organization in which differences of opinion were scarcely
tolerated.3 Like al] small parties, or the Communist parties all over the
world, it had the advantage of undivided loyalty and fanatical obedience
from its jnernbers.
In spite of this the Jamaat was unable to avoid defections' and
revolts. On 5" January; 1957, Saeed Malik, a former Amir of the party
and ex-editor
its mouthpiece, the Tasnim, resigned from the party. He
'preferred seven charges against Maulana Maudoodi, the first two of which
merit attention. He alleged that Maudoodi, "against the unanimous
decision of the Shura (Working Committee) to support the fight for free;
dom in Kashmir and'to help the Mujahideen, took a stand on Kashmir
which landed the Jamaat into serious trouble". The party had collected
funds to help the liberation of Kashmir, which "never reached the
fighters". The second accusation was that though the Working Committee
was opposed to participating in the anti-Ahmadi movement, Maudoodi
"on his own decided to join hands" with other parties. Malik concluded
by declaring that there was "a strong feeling of discontentment and dis ..
appointment" in the party, and indicting Maudoodi of "employing Fascist methods to suppress expression of independent opinion within the:
party and of encouraging factional strife".1 On 17 January, 1958, MauJana Amin Ahsan Isiahi, another ex-Amir of the Jamaat, announced his
resignation from the party, and on 19 January he issued a long statement
incriminating Maudoodi, who, he said, had assumed "the role of a dictator''.2 - Simultaneously Maulana Muhammad Baqar, the Amir of" the
Lahore Division of the party, also resigned. The point at issue between
the Islahi-Baqar group and Maudoodi ~as that the former wanted the
Jamaat to concentrate all its efforts "on bringing about an Islamic reorientation in Pakistan Society:" and not to fight the coming election. It
was argued that once Muslim society was reformed, "beneficent political
changes are bound to follow to the good of the country". Maudoodi, on
the other hand, believed that without political power no effective reform
of political society in Pakistan was possible. Government in Pakistan
would essentially be party governments.iand if the Jamaat had no spokesmen in the legislature, its case would go by default and the whole organizational work of the party would suffer.s
Maudoodi made a three-fold classification of the Muslim population
of Pakistan. The first category was that of the ninety per cent of Muslims who were poor, uneducated, deeply devoted to Islam, but grossly
ignorant of its cardinal doctrines. Their love of Islam could be, and was,
exploited by what he called "religious merchants" and Westernised
leaders. The second category consisted of the 4 or 5 per cent of Muslimswho were as yet uncontaminated by Western influence and culture. and
were good practising Muslims. The last category was made up .of the 4
l. Pakistan Times, 19 May, 1958.
. 2. .~e Jamaat al~a~ concen~ated more on influencing people and mouldin~
their opinion than on wmmng elections. The only figures available of its electoral performance were depressing. One Jamaat candidate out of 53 was elected to the PunjaJ
As:iem~ly i~ 1950 ; 1 out of 4 were successful in Bahawalpur. Out of the 5-Z,candid~test
Jrom the Punjab and Bahawalpur who received Jamaat's approval in the 1950 election,
only 27 were members of the party (Freeland Abbot, "The Jamaat-i-Islami of Pakistan·~
The MUl_dle East Journal, Winter 1957, p. 42). In April 1958 it contested 23 seats and
won 18 in the Karachi Municipal Corporation election (M. Amin, o'p. cit., p. 21).
3. But Maudo?~i claimed in 1955 that the party was "a more democratic party
than any ot.her party '.n the world";speech at the inaugural session of the annual party
conference in Karachi on 20 November, The Time'sof Karachi, ~1 November, I95S.
l~ Full text of his statement in Pakistan Times, 6 January, 1957. See also bis long
letter to the Star; 28 September, 1957.
2. His statement and interviews with pressmen in Nawa-i-Waqt,20 January, 1958~
3. See Morni11g News, 25 January, 1958.
Party Politics in Pakistan
· · Religion and Politics
or 5 per cent Westernised Muslims who, in his view were determined to
foist a secular and Western State upon Pakistan.-~ Generally speaking,
said the Maulana, this class was morally and culturally corrupt. Among
these three categories, the party wasonly interested in the second, whom
it wanted to train as the potential leader of the vast uneducated populace, and whom it expected to spread the gospel of the party among the
ordinary folk and to save them from exploitation by Westernised leaders.
Therefore, obviously membership was a privilege. Sections 3 to 7 of
the party's constitution laid down the requirements of membership. A
member had to accept the creed of the party and to take an oath to abide
by it. He had to strive and struggle for the realization and achievement
of the party's f.undamental goal, viz., the establishment of an "Islamic
way of life" in Pakistan. After his admission, he was asked to do the
following : (a) to acquire at least as much knowledge of the Quran as to
enable him to distinguish between the teachings of Islam and those of
ignorance (anything other than Islam was regarded as synonymous with
"ign9ranc.e" by Sections 7 (1); (b) to make his point of view and way of
thinking in accordance with the Quran and Sunnah ; (c) to divest himselt
and his mind of all interests based on selfishness or on love of mundane
affairs; and (<f) to sever all connections with Godless or other morally
bankrupt people.! It was, however, admitted that all members might not
be able to fulfil all these requirements, and therefore Section 2 laid down
that onl~ those members were to be given responsible positions in the
party who met all the conditions. New members were selected on the
. basis of religious principles, and were admitted on probation which lasted
from one month to two years.
Naturally the membership of such a party could not run into hundreds of thousands or even thousands, At the time of Independence
. (J 947) there were only 625 members, and when the organization was divided into its Indian and Pakistani parts, the Pakistan body claimed ·385
members. In 1954, the Munir Report recorded that the Jamaat had 999
members.z In 1956, this had grown to 1,200. The latest figure quoted
by Maudoodi in March 1958 was 1,350.3 Persons who supported the
~· If all.members were to boycott Godless and morally bankrupt persons, how
":ere these latter to be converted to the Jamaat's point of view? Or, were they con·
sidered beyond redemption? If so, whom did the Jamaat aim at converting?
2. Munir Report, p. 243.
3. Figures given by Maudoodi on 21 March, 1958, Pakistan Times, 22 March,
1958. However, in January 1958, the number was J,300, Asad Gilani (ed:) Tahrik-iIslaml apne Literaturek« Aine main (Karachi, January 1958), p. 106. Accordi~g to
another source total membership in March 1958 was 1,360, with a waiting list of 291 ;
the total yearly admission was about 150, Muhammad Amin, op cit., p. 18,
party's point of view, butfor some reason did not wish to become members, were enrolled as Associates (Muttafiqeen). They gave a written
pledge and actively participated in the party's activities. An Associate Circle
was formed if there were more than. five members, and it functioned under
an Organizer. In March 1958 there were 30,337 Associates in the country,
comprising l,430 Associate Circles. Province-wise, 1,049 Circles were
organized in West Pakistan and 381 in East Pakistan. About 10,000 of
these 30,337 were active workers. The total yearly admission of Associates
averaged 6,000, while the total yearly formulation of new Associate
circles was 300.1
The size of tbe party was, however, no index to its work or importance;
There was no passive membership. Every member was active and worked
incessantly for the party. He turned in a weekly report of his activities
to the. local branch, and if for any reason his work was found unsatisfactory, he was reported to the Central organization through the-District and
Divisional branches. If, on inquiry, it was found that the delinquent was
not prepared to fulfil his minimum requirements, his membership was
cancelled and he was advised to work as a mere sympathiser. Thus
monthly losses were considerable, perhaps averaging one tor three; but
there 'was no lack of replacements.
At the head of the Jamaat was the Amir (head or leader oi: president
er chairman) who acted in consultation with the Markazi Majlis-i-Shura
(central executive or working committee) .. The Amir enjoyed wide.
powers.t Under the constitution (Section 15), all hi~ orde~s were to be
obeyed unless they enjoined a member to commit a smf~l act. ~l
members balloted by mail to elect the 20-man working committee, which
advised the Amir on matters of policy. Decisions in the Committee were
normally to· be unanimous. This organizational pattern-the. Amir
as~isted by an elected executive or working or advisory committee-continued down to the smallest unit. In the. Centre, however, the Amir was
assisted by a Secretary, nominated by him, and approved by the.
l I
Amin op. cit., p. 18. However; an official booklet issued by one· of the
Jamaat's presses states the total number of Associates as 15,000 only; see Asad
Gilani, op. cit., p. 107.
2. Besides overriding constitutional powers vested 10 tµe 4mir, MauJ~~
Maudoodi enjoyed =extra" -constitutional powers, too. His position was extreme~Y,
a~thoritative. "The wisdom of his statements on varying occasions has nevc:r. been
brought into question, His subordinates refer .to him in terms . of. UIUllltl~a~ed
~dulation. Moreover, when .Maudoodi is unable to lead liis organization, as ~urmg
his two terms ~prison, it is more or Jess inactive"; Leonard Binder. op. cit., P· 78_.
Party PoUti"cs in Pakisian
' .Religioil arid Politics",
!he:party commanded a vast, elaborate and efficient propaganda and
publication m'}chJne, which regularly issued an amazingly large number
of pamphlets, books, statements and research reports. In the field of
publicity and the production of serious literature the Jamaat always
enjoyed unchallenged supremacy over all other parties. Its secretariat
~ad separate departments- for education, propaganda," publication,
finance, labour, and social services. Jn 'the department of publications
tMrC-wa~ a separate Arabic section which translated party literature
for circulation-in Arab countries. Party literature was issued in sixteen:
languages. , Th~ Jamaat also had a students' wing, the fslami Jamiat-iTul~ba, which issued its own English paper, the (ortnigb'.tly Students'
Vo"lce. .:rbe party had a strong press, and among th~ organs issued by
it at variofistimes and for.varying periods have been 'r9rjam~n-u7-(luran
'(Lahore); daill'. Tasneem (Lahore). bi-weekly Kausar (Lahore), bi-weekly
Maqasad (Karachi);weekly :lahan-i-Nau (Karachi), weekly Qosid (Quetta):
~eekly Azam (Labore), weekly Asia (Lahore), daily Musheer (Karachi)\
niohthly Chiragli-i-Rah (Karachi), monthly Raheel (Karachi), and Jlfa~
• There was uofixed membership fee in the party: each member wa~
expected to contribute as much as he could, though it was generally·
understooCt'that all :tnembers~would ~ay their zakat into the party ohest.
0!~er ~~urces· o~ income were the mo~ey realized from the sale-Of goat
skins, mcome·from the sale of party. bteritture (which the party claimed
to- be in five figures every year). and monetary assistance received front
sympathisers who were not party members.
In January 1958 the party had I J 6 local branches. It claimed thift
''a majority of tht:!'cciuntry's population was acquainted with the party's
activities and was interested in "and in sympathy with its• aims and
objects" .2
, MajliS-:.i-Ahrar-i-Islam
The Majlie-l-Ahrar-i-Islam was founded,on4 May,·1931, at the time
of Gandhi's civil disobedience .movement, by a number of Muslims,
.mostly Punjabis, ·who- 'were opposed to the Muslim League and the All
IndiaMuslimCqnference. Growing among menwho <had been alienated
from the K.hifafat movement ·due to its subsequent -opposition to the
· Indian National Congress, it ~orked side hy side with the Hindus. It first
:·emerged' i!lt~ prominence during the Kashmir ragitation of 193t, when,
on 30-0ciober, Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar led a determined band of
one h~ndred volunteers from Sialkot tomarch into Jammu. The Kashmir
agitation in the Punjab was I\ spontaneous expression of sympathy
with the Kash~ir Muslims who were being subjected to ruthless oppression by ·the Hindu' .Maharaja. A campaign in the press against the
Muslim grievances Ied tq a communal riot in Srinagar, the capital-of .the
The finance department- of the organization. was controlled by a
Standing Finance Committee responsible to the Amir arid to tlie .working Committee, and generally accountable to the party members.
A~ the. party d:id ~ot contest many elections the. bulk;· of ~he !n~9me
was.spent on publications and. social work. All income from the sale
of goat'skins was d~vote.d to social services. Outstanding. among its,
social work was the'provision of free medical attendance which was .first
started in February 1952: Fifty stationary dispensaries were maintained'
r.in both wings of the country, serving over 130 centres. Elevenrnrobile
qispensaries were kept going, visiting 3 to 4 centres daily, and each centre
on alternate..days. In ·1954-SS, the party spent 260,236 rupees on medical
aid through. these dispensaries; in 19.5S-'.56. this expenditure had increased
to 303,325, and aid was dispensed to 1,837,430 persons. Each dispensary
was plastered with posters and handbills advertising the party, and-the
circulars and .letters sent by the party appealed for funds to support
«the h~alth of the nation underthe auspices" of the Jamaat. '
Among othen social services performed by the party were helping
the :flood-stricken, aiding victims of -earthquakes, draughts and fires,
.distributing clothes and food to ·people hit by aatural disasters, and
opening public reading rooms. in 1954-55, said the party.report, it spent
86,JOO.rupees on flood relief in. East Pakistan, 25,000 rupees on flood
reliqt_in the Punjab-over 7 ,100 rupees -on earthquake relief in Querta,
besides distributing clothes, food and medicine. It also maintained
, about 300 reaping rooms! and held w.eekly meetings at nearly 250 places
for the propagation of its views.2
1. ·M. Amin, op. cit., p.' 23 • gives the number at 561, and addiJ that monthly
average 'circulationofliteralure'in these places was· 11,000.
, .
'2, This .informatlon on ·the organization and finances of the J ama~t is based
·on ~eeland -Abbot, "'Tac Jamaat-i-Islami of ·Pakistan", The Middle Ea:rr Journal.
:Winter, 1~7 pp, 37-51; Khalid B. Sayeed,· ~·Tae, .Jamaat-i-Islami Movement .in
.I.'aki~l~n" P;ciftc AJ{airs, March 1957, pp. 59·68; Dastur (Constitution) Jamaat;HslQmi
P~kistan(I'.aho~, 3rd ed, 1953); Asad Gilani (ed.), Tahrik·Hslami ~pn~ ,L(ter,a~ure k~
Aine main (Karlchi','2nded. January ·1958); and Muhammad ~1p, Jamaat-1-Islam1
Paktstah (University of the"Punjab M.A. dissertation, 1958).
·1. Fuli list in :Asad Gilani, op. cit., pp. 10'1-IIO.
·2. Ibid., p, 107.: Acdotding to another source the number of local 'branches it>
M~b 19.SB \\ras l76";·'Muhammad Amin, op,·cit.; p.14.
Religion and Politics
Party Politics inPakistan
.St~te of Jammu and Kashmir, on 13 July, 1931. Two organizations
tned to take charge of the agitation resulting from the riot. One was
··~he Ahrar-party and the other the AU· India Kashmir Committee, which
.included ~ir Muhammad Iqbal; Nawab Sir Zulfiqar Ali Khan, Khwaja
·Hasan Nizami and Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad, the head of
the Ahmadi community. The subsequent conflict between the Ahrars
an~ the ~adis
was largely due to the mutual hostility arising from
their having.been iii opposite camps during this Kashmir agitation.
'!hough Jat~r the Ahrars cut themselves off from the Congress, they
~ntmued to flirt with that body right up to 1947. One of the resolu~ons p~ssed by the Working Committee of the Ahrar party, which met
10 Delhi on 3 March, 1940, disapproved of the Pakistan plan, and in
~om~.subsequent speeches the Ahrar leaders dubbed the plan as
istW:. (land of the filthy). Maulana Daud · Ghaznavi announced the
. decision of the part~ to merge its elf with the Congress. In a resolutio~
of the Punjab Pr~vincial Ahrar Conf~rence passed at Gujranwala i'n
March 1943, and 1~ .a subsequen~ resolution passed at Saharanpur in the
same year, the Majlis declared itself against the proposed artiti
I d·
h· .
p 1 ion o
. n ia, w 1c~ it de~nbed as a "vivisection of the country". In every
1m.po~nt s~ech~ its leaders ..criticised the Muslim League and its leadership, including Jmnah for whom they had little love. Taking undue
advantag e o f hiis Iib
1 era.. l views
an d lack of ostentation in religious
the. Ahrar l~aders called him
infidel. In 1945, they attempted t~
revive the Shia-Sunni controversy, and Mazhar Ali Azhar· and his son
left Lahore for Lucknow on 16 November to re-open the agitation. in
the 1:45-46 elections in India only three Ahrar candidates opposed. the
Muslim League, but all of them were overwhelmingly defeat~d. The
party held itself completely alooffrom· the civil disobedience movement
started by theMuslim League in the Punjab in early 1947.
~he ~rats were basically a religious body, appealing to religious
emotional ideals, Quoting the Quran and Muslim history, its lead~rs
~ttacked the alleged immorality of imperialism and capitalism. B~lievi~g
ma "d ~nami9
· di> vine
pro gress ", they talked of radical socialism of the
romantic type. . Theit _ton~ ~~s always aggressive. To the~ the Congress
programme, qmte-ra~1cal inrts day, was timid-and half-hearted, and they
d~cla,~d. thems.el~es·m favour of a bolder economic programme. Quite
early m its career the party dared to. interfere in the domestic policy of a
'St~~so:'11etW,ng of which even the Congress was afraid. Irr September
1_939? ~he . ':'-~~rs 'Yere_ the first political party declare itself agaitist Indi~n
participation m the W~r,,_saying that it wa~ but an imper~aljst·struggle.. .
The strong days of the Ahrars were the years between 1931 and
1936.1 After that it began to· decline, and by 1940 it had ceased to exist
as an effective political body and had been replaced by other political
groups better qualified to lead the Muslims. The main reason for its
downfall was the low quality of its leadership. The Ahrar leaders were
colourful personalities with wide popular appeal.
Ataullah Shah
Bokhari, for example, was a demagogue of exceptional efficiency. But
sheer oratory and a telling combination of apt poetry and Quranic verses
could not make it a party of the front rank. The Ahrars were particularly successful in creating restlessp.ess among the rustic masses but
failed to provide a constructive lead. No party born of hate and passion
can last long, and the Ahrars had gleefully fanned the flames of sectarian
controversies, religious feuds and doctrinal disputations.
1n 1940 the Ahrars joined the Indian National Congress, participated in tlie anti-War civil. disobedience movement and sent their leaders
to [ail. In the following year, Gandhi denied that he bad permitted any
Ahrars to offer civil disobedience and refused to accept them in the
Congress, for they were neither pacifists nor band-spinners. The Congress had shown its true hand, and the Ahrars felt cheated and frustrated. They now radically changed their policy, and from being a staunch
friend of the Congress, they became its bitterest critic. Forgetting its
opposition to the idea of a separate Muslim State in India, the party now
began to see visions of a pan-Islamic State stretching from the Near
East to Pakistan and beyond. The more radical among its followers
joined the various leftist groups in the country, others were swept into
the Muslim League. The' residue, not knowing what they wanted or
meant, cried for the "Kingdom of God". The party had died its natural
The events of 1947 came as a great shock to the Ahrars. All power
had passed either· to the Congress or to the Muslim League, and the
Ahrars could see no scope for activity in any of the two new countries. The creation of Pakistan was the clearest refutation of their
ideology. For some time they existed in a whirl of frustration, not
kl}owing what to do, unable to decide future plans, disowned by all,
ashamed of their past history, paralysed by the speed and turn of events.
Their Working Committee met in Khangarh in November 1947 to
consider the future programme, but dispersed without coming to any
1. However, there is no fouodation in Professor Smith's claim that for a time it
••was the premier Muslim party in the north-west", W. C. Smith, Modern Islam in
India : A Social Analysis (London, 1946ed.), p, 225.
Party Politics in Pakistan
decision. The next meeting in Lahore, in December of the same year,
was scarcely more fruitful. Faced with three possible courses-viz.; of
'dissolving the party, of giving up politics and concentrating on religious
"activities, and 'or keeping the party alive-the party finally decided to
: found the All Pakistan Majlis-i-Ahras. The new group had its first conference in May 1948 at Lyallpur, in which faint references were m~de to
' the Ahmadis and loyalty to Pakistan was affirmed. The next meeting at
Labor~ in June dropped a hint that the party was not prepared to join
"the Muslim League because of the'alleged un-Islamic beliefs of. men like
: Chaudhri Zafrullah Khan and Mian Iftikharuddin. The first important
Ahrar' gathering in Pakistan was in January 1949, when an Ahrar
'Defence Confetence•was convened in Lahore. It was announced that they
had decided to cease functioning as a political party and would in future
"work as a mere religious group; in all political matters they would follow
the ,Muslim League. Subsequently, they began to hold their meetings
under the label of Tabligh (Preaching) Conference, and thus began the
bitter campaign· against the Ahmadis. In this they were helped by the
·friendly attitude of the Muslim League, whose Working Committee
· excluded the Ahrars from· the list of the nineteen 'J)arties which .were
-taboo for Muslim Leaguers.I The Abrars did not make any constructive
contribution to any national problem.
They had no political pro"gramme, except to win supporters by-any available means. If any member
"of the' party wanted
do political work, he was directed to join the
· Muslim League. The party also announced that it, would support the
Muslim League in the coming election to the Punjab Legislative
Assembly-provided that the candidates nominated by the League were
not Ahmadis,
The Punjab election was held in 1951 and the Muslim League won
a comfortable majority. Against its undertaking to the Ahrars, the
· League had nominated a few candidates who were Ahmadis, though
.all of them were defeated. The Ahrar policy was also not consistent;
according to Daultana, though they helped some League candidates they
also opposed others who were not Ahmadis. This alliance, however,
worked entirely to the advantage of the Ahrars. They exploited the
weakness of. the League for allies and the lenient attitude of the Punjab
Government. The result was the anti-Ahmadi agitation, disturbances,
lawlessness, bloodshed and the imposition of martial law. The Ahrar
1. Resolution of 27 December, 1949.
party was theh banned.!
This ban was lifted by the Republican Government of West Pakistan,
in the middle of 1958. It was widely. believed that the Republicans had,
behaved exactly as the Muslim Leaguers had done in 1949 ; they wanted
help and the Ahrars promised support if the ban on them was lifted.
Though this was vehemently denied by both parties, it was significant
that no Ahrar leader criticised the Republican Party in any public pronouncement. They reserved their sharp words for the Muslim League.
which, they alleged, had attempted to strangle democracy. On the
occasion of the flag-hoisting ceremony at the party headquarters in
Shaikh Hissamuddin, General Secretary of the Majlis, and
Maulana Mazhar Ali Azhar, attacked the Muslim League for banning
the Ahrars when it was in power. It was also announced that a convention of the party would be called in the near future. This convention
met towards the end of September 1958 and immediately decided to
revoke the 1949 resolution and to function as a political organization in
future. The party had forgotten and forgiven nothing: the first resolution
passed by the convention called upon the Government to declare the
Ahmadis a minority. Another condemned the Government's Ordinance·
banning the uniformed voluntary organizations of the .politlcal parties.2
Nine days later Ayub Khan's coup intervened.
The Khilafat-i-Rabbani was an Islamic political organization of East.
Pakistan which wanted to introduce the economic, social, political and
cultural principles of Islam into national administration. It assured the
minorities of equal rights of citizenship with the Muslims as enunciated
in the Quran and Sunnah.t It intended to introduce a single system of·
education because it did not consider the existing "madrassah" education
and general education systems· sufficient for the growing intellectual
needs and aspirations of the people. Efforts to secure the recognition of·
Bengali as one of the State languages were to be pursued. It supported.
the East Pakistani demand for complete zonal autonomy, with only three'
subjects vested in the Centre. Among other points in its election pro-:
gramme were : freedom of conscience, civic rights, State control over
1. Tiie above treatment is b~ed on W. C. Smith, op. cit., Munir Report
(Lahore, 1954), and Dilshad Najmuddin, Political Parties in Pakistan (University of
the Punjab unpublished M.A. thesis, 1955).
·2. Pakistan Times, 29 September, 1958•
. 3, This was in marked contrast to the opinions of the Jamaat-i-Islami and most
of the ulama, see supra, p. 188.
Religion and Politics
Party Politics in Pakistan
big industries, abolition of all rent-receiving interests in land, guaranteed
employment, minimum wage, abolition of taxes on foodstuffs and necessities of life, and repeal of the Safety Act.
Pakistan Nizam i Islam
on 22 December, 1957, Chaudhri Muhammad Ali, a former Prime
Minister who had resigned premiership in September 1956, announced
his intention of forming a new political party to be known as the
Tahrik4i~Istehkam~i Pakistan
(movement for strengthening Pakistan).
He claimed that his group in the National Assembly had been offered a
seat in the Cabinet of Firoz Khan Noon, but he had declined the offer
because, he said, his was, an independent party which would support the
Government in its right actions and oppose it if it went astray. His
group, he added, favoured separate electorates. The aims and objects
of his proposed Tahrik were released to the press, and according to them
the party was to work for the establishment of .a welfare state based
on Islamic democracy, social justice, equality of opportunity, and a "fair
deal" for the common man. All vested interests and privileges which
adversely affected the common weal were to be abolished. Economic,
political and social exploitation of the common people was to come to·
an end. Egalitarian trends would be developed in the economic sphere
by (evening down as well as levelling up incomes, and by preventing concentration of wealth in the hands of a small privileged class. The party
aimed at reforming the zamindari system by distribution of land among the
landless peasants, remission of revenue on small holdings, imposition of
progressive taxation on larger holdings, and enactment of suitable tenancy
laws. The educational system would be improved and broug_ht in accord
with the ideology of the country, and people would be educated in their
civic responsibilities. Evils of corruption, immorality, oppression, provincialistn, racialism and tribalism, were to be eradicated. When questioned on the point, the founder stated that he was sure that the feudal
system would be no obstruction in 'the achievement of the objects set
forth by the Tahrik and refused to accept the suggestion that all evil in
the country was concentrated in landlordism.l
At a convention held in Lahore on 30 April, 1958, it was decided to
merge the Tahrik i~Istehkam i-Pakistan with the Nizam-i-Islam of East
1. Pakistan Times, 23 December, 1957. Chaudhri Muhammad Ali was generally
known for his tolerant views and his mild temperament, but. even he characterized
the leadership of his day as "a gang of self-seekers"; see the report of his speech at
Sheikhupura of25 April, 1958, by the Associated Press of Pakistan, published in aU
newspapers on the following day.
Pakistan, and to name the resultant organization the Pakistan Nizam-I,
Islam Party.
Here we must digress to look at the East Pakistan Nizaro~i~Islam.
It was the Bengali counter-part of the Jamaat-i-Islami and was formed in
May 1954, "under the patronage of the Jamiat-ul-Ulama-i-Islam" 1
after its members were elected to the East Bengal Legislative Assembly::?
It had demanded the framing of an Islamic constitution in the light of
the recommendations made by the conference of the ulama in 1953. Jt
had suggested the inclusion in the cabinet of honest and "qualified"
persons irrespective of their party label or political affiliation. It had
also agitated for the creation 'of a Ministry of Shariat in East Pakistan.
It was in favour of setting a committee to see that no Jaws repugnant to
Quranic injunctions were made, of banning obscene literature, and of
disallowing the import of "lively" journals and magazines. Finally, it
demanded the establishment of a senior madrassah in every dist~ict
headquarters and of an Arabic university controlling all the madrassahs
of the province.3
The manifesto of the new Nizam-i-Islam Party was issued by
Chaudhri Muhammad Ali on 2 May, 1958. After repeating most of
the aims and objects of the Tahrik, the 'document said that it stood for
the unity of West Pakistan, implementation of the provisions of the'
Constitution relating to provincial autonomy, and strengthening the
Islamic character of the Constitution. Chaudhri Muhammad Ali, the
new convener of the new party, declared that his group favoured
agrarian reforms in the direction of limiting the land holdings, but
declined to specify the maximum limit it would fix for a land holding,
saying that it would have to vary from area to area because the quality
and nature of soil and the means of irrigation were important factors
to be taken into consideration before determining the details.
A substantial part of the manifesto was a diatribe against the
prevailing political, economic, social and cultural values. "There is
a catastrophic decline in public and private morals", said the document,
"Lawlessness and crime are spreading. Bribery and corruption are rife:
l. Leonard Binder, op. cit., p. 348.
2. Ibid., p, 375.
3. A West Pakistan Nizam·i·Islam Party was formed in Karachi in March 1955
by Maulana Saifi Nadvi, but it was announced that it.was a "separate organization
independent of" the East Pakistan Nizam-i-Islam; Dawn, 6 March, 19SS. But on
5 March Dawn had carried the news that a meeting would be heid the following day
to decide about forming a branch of the East Pakistan Nizam-i-Islam,
. .
Religion and Politics
Party Politics in Pakistan
Honesty and integrity are scorned. There is worship of wealth and a
mad scramble for power and position to get it. ... The quality of our
education is poor and our output of scientists and technologists is
woefully inadequate .... We do not produce enough to feed our growing
population .... Unemployment is on the increase .... Administration is
virtually at a standstill. The pace of development has slowed down ....
Provincialism and racialism have raised their ugly heads .... Communism
is spreading subversion and trying to undermine the faith of the people
in insidious ways .... Political instability has become so endemic as to
cast doubt on the stability of the country." ·Pakistan needed a "Centre
strong enough to maintain the unity of the country, ·with provincial
autonomy wide enough to provide for the local needs of East and West
Pakistan". The 1956 Constitution had achieved "this desirable balance".
All efforts at undoing the integration of West Pakistan "must be
resisted". The Constitution "must be supported and upheldt'.! Foreign
policy must be "worthy of an jndependent sovereign nation". It must
"preserve our freedom and integrity, promote the values we cherish and
servethe interests we have".2
The Party stood for making Pakistan a "strong, progressive,
democratic welfare State and to establish in it a social, economic and
political order based on Islam as enunciated in the Holy Quran and
Sunnah": The unity of West Pakistan was to be maintained, constitutional provisions relating to provincial autonomy were to be implemented,
and the Islamic character of the Constitution was to be strengthened.
The system of zakat was to be established by suitable legislation. The
zamindari system was to be reformed by distributing land among landless
peasants, limiting holdings, remission of revenue on small holdings and
its reduction on middle holdings, imposing progressive taxation on
larger holdings, and suitable tenancy legislation. Madrassah education
was to be aided and improved, "religious and character-building education" was to be provided, and the teaching .of Arabic was to be made
compulsory in secondary schools. The system of separate electorates
was to be re-introduced.
Existing iaws were to be brought ."in
conformity with the injunctions of Islam". The special interests of women
l, It may be recalled that the 1956 Constitution was the handiwork of Chaudhri
Muhammad Ali (who was then the Prime Minister), the convener of the Pakistan
Nizam-i-Islam Party.
2. See Manifesto of the Pakistan Nizam-i-Islam Party (Lahore, 1958), paras 2-22.
A summary of it was also published in newspapers on 4 May, 1958. Full text in
Morning News, 5 May, 1958.
"as provided for by Islam" were to be safeguarded. The Muslim world
was to be strengthened and all help to be given to "the Muslim peoples
in their struggle for freedom",1
The Pakistan Nizarn-i-Islam Party and the Jamaat-i-Islami entered
into an alliance in August 1958 for contesting the coining general
election.s which was never held. The Agreement.t signed by Chaudhri
Muhammad Ali and Maulana Maudoodi, declared that the two organizations had'decided to co-operate during the election, and thereafter in
the legislatures, because the existing conditions called for "a united
effort by all Islam-loving elements that wish to promote Islamic order
and to strengthen Pakistan against the forces that are taking this country
to the destructive path of secularism, un-Islamic predilections, licentiousness and moral degeneracy". Among other things, the agreement
stipulated that both parties would nominate only fhose candidates whose
past record was unblemished and who "observe Islamic injunctions
and refrain from sinful ways".
Religion and Politics
Some years ago The Times, commenting upon the slow progress
in most Muslim countries, said that it was of the nature of Islam that
it "prescribes a code of conduct in secular affairs which is more precise
and evidently less open to elasticity of interpretation than that laid
down by other creeds. Thus .the task of erecting on Islamic foundations
the type of polity needed now by these new nations presents difficulties
of its own. In .all these major Islamic countries religion had played an
important part in arming the national reaction against Western domination which finally achieved independence. But when independence
was accomplished the religious leaders found themselves frequently at
odds with political leaders who wished to use their new-found power
to set up a type of polity comparable to contemporary Western
models for a welfare state. It was not easy to reconcile the characteristic political traditions 'of Islam with the national aspirations fon
economic and social progress through the agency of government.''4 I1!
was rightly pointed out that the four- major countries-Egypt, Iran,
Pakistan and Indonesia-had sought salvation through the agen~~
of either the Army, as in I;:gypt and Iran, or the Civil Service, as in
f. See the 40-item list of Aims and Objects appended to the M!Ini/esto.
2. The reason for this merger was that the Jamaat-i-Islami had "never taken
root in East Pakistan", Binder, op. cit., p. 374.
3. Full text or agreement published in Pakistan Times, 9 August, 1958.
4. The Times, 1November,1954.
Party Politics in Pakistan
Religion and Politics
Pakistan. A more forthright observation was made by a Christian
missionary who, after a glance at the history of the Muslim areas,
concluded that "it is a real question whether Islam can produce in the
political field true democracy, because Islam is not only a religion, it
is a social system and a political system't.!
One explanation of this may be that the Western way of life has
so far failed to offer the Muslim countries anything in place of Islam.
Superficially, they are democracies, but they have got rid neither of the
power of the rich nor themisery of the poor. Attributing this plight
to Western teachings, and finding democracy wanting, people turn to
their traditional creed for solace and guidance, Postponing this issue
of democracy, however, let us here see how far religion has affected
politics in Pakistan and compare the situation with that prevailing in
some Western democratic states.
In the West it has been a serious reproach against Pakistan that
she mixes religion and politics, which, in fact, should be kept rigidly
apart if democracy and liberty are to exist. To this Pakistanis usually
give three answers which may be paraphrased as follows. In the first
place, Islam is not a religion in the sense in which other creeds are:
It is a system of life and pervades all thoughts and activities of man. A
Muslim's daily life is affected by his religion at eyery step, and he cannot
keep his faith in the background as followers of some other world
religions can. In the second place, this criticism is unfair inso far as it
misrepresents the play of religion in Pakistan's politics. Many Western
observers have lightheartedly used the word "theocracy" to describe
the polity of Pakistan. This is not only untrue but betrays an iguorance
of the teachings: or' Islam .• Islam forbids priesthood and renders impossible the rule of a religious class or caste. A cursory glance at the
Constitution of 1956 shows that the only Islamic provisions in it were:2
first, the head of the State was to be a Muslim; secondly, the State
was. to help all Muslims in understanding their creed and to provide
all facilities for doing so; and thirdly; all national laws were to
be revised so that they were no longer repugnant to Islam. The first
provision is no novelty. In· Britain, for 'example, there are even
stricter rules about the monarch, who is required to be not only a
Christian'but a· Christian of a particular school and has to act as the
Head of the Church of England. The second provision cannot, by any
stretch of imagination, . be said to: be an innovation. If a country's
government undertakes 'to help its citizens in understanding their religion,
it should not . affect that country's political system.
Finally, the
injunction lthat no laws repugnant to the Quran should operate is only
an extension of the fact that no Muslim disobeys, or should disobey,
the Quran in his daily life.! The third answer is that even a! closer
relationship between religion and politics exists in a number of other
countries in the East as well as in the West. This can be substantiated
in some detail.
In 1961 Buddhism was officially declared to be the State religion of
Burma. But even before that . Buddhism was much closer to the State
in Burma than Islam was or is in Pakistan. A Ministry of Religious
Affairs had the duty 'of strengthening the ties between the State and
Buddhist doctrine, the sasana. A law of 1949 established a hierarchy
of ecclesiastical councils or courts having exclusive jurisdiction in all
ecclesiastical matters. The judges were monks learned in the law, and
tbe presiding- judge of the supreme' monastic court was the "moderator"
of the sasana for the whole of Burma.s' The importance of Buddhism
in political life. was illustrated by "the gesture of the successful Communist. BWPP candidates at the April 1956 election in presenting their
electoral deposit monies for the purchase of Buddha images" .3 In India,
where Nehru often dubbed Pakistan a "theocracy" and contrasted it
unfavourably with his own "secular" state, cowslaughter is officially
banned in two States and restricted in most+ Religion has no less an
impact in Ceylon where, in 1956, Sir John Kotalawa]a was defeated in the
1. Giera M. Wysner, in C. Grove Haines (ed.), Africa Today (Baltimore, 1955),.
p-. 116. For a hostile and partially unfounded criticism of Islam in relation to politics
see George W. Carpenter, ibid., pp. 96-99.
~· But it must be recalled that some politicians were not in favour of the
provision that the head of the State must be a .Muslim. Suhrawardy, for example,
considered it quite unnecessary as the Muslims, 86 per cent of the electorate, could
be depended upon to choose a Muslim President. He was also opposed to giving the
title of "the Islam~cRepublic" to the constitution] by doing· so, -he said, "you are
deluding the people", See his speech in the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates
31January,1956, Vol. I, p.' 2248. His party, the·Awami League, voted with the'non~
Muslim bloc against the adoption of the title "Islamic Republic", Dawn, 22 February,
1. If it is assumed-and it is an impossible assumption-that every Pakistani
Muslim acts in accordance with the .Quran, there is no need for telling him what the
Quran stipulates.
·2. H: Tinker, The Union of Burma (London, 1957), p. 167.
3. Geoffrey Fairbairn; ..Aspects of Burmese Political Scene", Pacific Affairs,
September 1956, p. 213.
4. See Manchester Guardian, 9 November, 1958. ·
Party Politics in Pakistan
general election mainly because the Buddhist priesthood opposed him.
Since then there have been many demands for making Buddhism the
national and State religion.! The Government of Indonesia maintains a
Ministry of Religious Affairs. It is worth noting that the Socialist and
Christian groups in the Indonesian parliament usually supported the
Masjumi Party, which was an orthodox Islamic organization.s In New
Guinea there was the Christian Trade Union, which had a total of about
1,800 members; and the New Guinea People's Party (Partai Orang Nicuw
Guinea), like the New Guinea National Party, was "founded on 'God's
love' and on the principles of Christian charity".J
In some countries in the West, the influence of Roman Catholicism
is apparent. The Roman Catholic impact on Australian politics was
clearly demonstrated in the federal election of 1958, when the Democratic
Labour Party charged Cardinal Gilroy, the Roman, Catholic Archbishop
of Sydney, with supporting the Australian Labour Party, while the latter·
blamed pr. Daniel Mannix, the Roman Catholic
Archbishop of
Melbourne, for trying to influence party political activity by, as Dr.
Evatt put i~, a "slander against the Labour Party".4 Moreover, the
Santa Maria political movement in Australia is a religious activity.
intimately allied with the country's party politics.
In the United States, recent years have witnessed a marked religious
revival, mainly due to the efforts of men like Dr. Norman Vincent Peale,
Bishop Fulton J. Sheen and Mr. Billy Graham. Religious themes are
vt:cy popular with Hollywood, which produces spectacular Biblical fare.
The best seller in America in 1953 and 1954 was Peale's The Power of
Positive Thinking. Religious novels are capturing the market; one out
of every ten books sold in 1954 was on a religious theme. Religious
numbers have a new rage on the juke box. Popular magazines, like Life,
Look, and Reader's Digest, feature frequent religious articles. The
C.B.S., one of the United States' two biggest networks, has a regular
nightly series of religious credos entitled "This I believe". Transplanted
to the -political field, this religious feeling manifests itself in the national
"crusade" against Communism, which is described as a struggle between
"spiritual faith" and "materialism".
The pledge of allegiance to the
Stars and Stripes was recently altered by the Congress to include, after
I. "Ceylon in Perspective", Tile World Today, October 1958, pp. 431-433.
2. T. Mende, South East Asia Between Two Worlds (London, 1955), pp. 96-97.
3. Justus M. Van der Kroef, "Nationalism and Politics in West New Guinea",
Pacific Affairs, Spring 1961, pp. 45, 48.
4. See.The 'Times, 22 and 2~ November, 1958.
Religion and Politics
the words "one nation", the words "under God". The Congress 'has
built for itself a new prayer room. More and more religious appeal
was finding its way into President Eisenhower's speeches and talks; he
joined a Church for the first time after becoming President. Cabinet
meetings open with a prayer and the President and his Cabinet attend
Bible breakfasts in Washington.1 During the presidential election
campaign of 1960 m~ny Americans showed uneasiness at the prospects
of having a. Roman Catholjc in White House.
In Europe, France and Italy present the best examples of religion
and politics being intermixed. The doctrine inspiring the French
Movement Republicaine Populaire is founded on a "spiritualistic
conception of 'man" .2 The major demagogical weapon of the ri~ht
wing parties and the chief cause of disunity among the centre parties
has been the fanatical defence of the Catholic school system against the
public-schools.I In Italy, the Christian Democratic Party has been the
strongest single party since 1946.-' Its most useful organizational tie has
been its relationship with the Roman Catholic Church, and three Chur~h
organizations have worked tirelessly in its behalf, viz., the· Catholic
Action the ecclesiastical hierarchy, and the Associazioni Cristiane dei
Laboratori Italiani.I The Catholic Action, led by Luigi Gedda, with a
membership of about four and a half million, is organized and controlled
by the church hierarchy for the achievement of those religious, moral,
social and economic purposes which are considered to be a part of the
earthly mission of the Church. Its aim is said to be the "Christian .r~conquest of Italy". Gedda is the founder-pr~ident
of ~he "~1v1c
committees", a political agency of the Action used in all elections smce
1948 to bring out the vote for the Christian Democratic Party." In t_h~
ecclesiastical hierarchy, Popes and Cardinals have urged the Cat?oltcs
to vote for the party, have denounced a vote for the Communists or
William L. Miller, "The Religious Revival and American Politics'', Confluence,
Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 48-51.
2. Albert Gortais, quoted in Einaudi and Goguel, Christian Democracy in Italy
and France, (Notre Dame, 1952), p, 126.
3. See Jean-Marie Domenache, "Religion and Politics'', Confluence, Vol. 3, No.
4, p. 396.
c _, b
4. Jn the 1958 election, it won 122 seats in the Senate and 273 m the ha m er,
The Times, 28 May, 1958.
5, Einaudi and Goguel, op. cit., p. 85.
6. See Murray Edelman, "Source of Popular Support for the. ~talian. Christian
Democratic Party in the Postwar Decade'", Midwest Journal of Pol1t1cal Science, Vol.
2, No. 2, May 1958, pp. 143-159.
Party Politics in Pakistan
Socialists as asin, and have at times denied absolution to Catholics
supporting left wing parties. ·The Associazioni Cristiane dei Laboratori
Italiani is a strong organization with over a, million members, and six
of its National Directors are also, on the Christian Democratic Party
The Christian Democratic Party stands for the application of Christian morality to political and social life. It claims to derive a political
mystique of love and justice from the Gospel. It considers- Christianity
as a binding power in the State, andhas made it clear that the Constitution is to recognize God as the fountain-head 'of all authority, that
the religion of all Italians is the Catholic religion, that the institutions of
the State have to conform to Christian. ethics and that the State has the
right to exercise only a secondary and subordinate function in the field
of education." 'the venerable theoretician of the party, Luigi Sturzo,
has called the doctrine of the party "interclassicism", i.e., maintenance
of the existing balance of keeping each social class in its place by
Christian charity.2
Besides this party programme, the Italian Constitution itself asserts
the primacy bf the Catholic Church when, in Article 7, it says, "The
State and the Catholic Church are, each in i(s own sphere, independent
and sovereign. Their relationships are regulated by the Lateran Treaties.
Modifications of the Treaties, accepted by both parties, do not· require
the procedure, of constitutional amendmentt'.t It is significant that it
is for the Catholic Church alone that the Constitution makes sucli
provision ..
In Belgium, too, the Christian Socialists were the biggest party in
the 1958 election, with. 104 seats in the Chamber.s
1 it is: however, the· State of 'Israel which provides the· example of a
religious state par excellence. The two major religious parties in Israel
are the Mizrahi Federation, which aims at the creation of a religious and
traditionalist spirit in all Jewish activities in accordance with the Torah
. ,
and the Agudat Yisrael, which is an ultra-orthodox group maintaining
~hat citizens will fulfil their purpose only by observing the Torah and,
,lS Opposed to equal rights of women.
The former participated in all
coalition Governments till 1954, and the latter was a member of the.
religious bloc which was a part of the 1949 coalition Government but
1. Murray Edelman, op; cit., p. 30.
2. Domenache, <Ip. cit., p. 399.
3. Quoted in E;inaudi and Goguel, op. cit., p. 40.
4. The Times, 3 June, 1958.
Religion and Politics
refused to join the 1952 Government.! The views of these and other
parties on the Constitution were interesting. The Mizrahi stated that
traditional Jewish law should form the basis for the civil and criminal
law of the State and that education should not be secularised. The
Agudat Yisrael regarded a written constitution as a negation of the fact
that "the Torah is Israel's constitution requiring nothing additional". If
a written constitution is necessary it should provide for the "centrality
of the Torah in the State existence". Jewish ritual must be observed
by the Government, even in such matters as granting permits for import.
One of its leaders, Dr. Yizhaq Breuer, had, in a proposed constitution in
1937, called for the ineligibility of any person to hold a public office
unless he was an observing Jew and for the banning from use of the
prayer book of liberal Jews. Even the Labour Party, the Mapai, was
"not unanimously averse to the introduction of the jurisprudence of
historic Judaism as the basis of the legal order". Both the General
Zionists and the Progressives agreed that it was inconceivable that
Judaism should not be mentioned in the Constitution and that religious
festivals should not be national holidays.s
The impact of Judaism is also apparent in the daily life in Israel.
The calendar used in all official publications and all statutes is the
Hebrew calendar. No import permits are issued for non-koshur meat.
On the Sabbath life stands still. All public transport ceases, a11 places
of entertainment are closed, no newspapers are published, the radio is
silent, ships are not permitted to dock, the one existing railroad does
not operate: and vehicles, if driven, must bear special authorization.
Post offices do not deliver food packages on the Passover festival.I
An interesting variety of school systems bas existed in Israel for a
long time. Seven different kinds of schools can be distinguished: (a)
Zaram ha-klali, or the "general" schools, which give religious instructions daily, and constitute the largest system of schools; (b) Mizrahi,
or orthodox in character; (e) Agudat Yisrael, still more orthodox, with
Bible and Talmud virtually the only subjects of study; (d) Talmudei
Torah and Yeshivot, even more extremely fundamentalist; (e) Merkaz
he-hinuh shel Zerem 'Ovdim, mildly socialistic; (f) Mapam party,
extreme socialistic schools; and (g) private schools. In 1950-1951, 'onethird children were studying in the first, one-third in fifth, one-fourth
1. The Middle East; A. Political and Economic Survey (London, 1954 ed.), p. 311.
2. Emanqcl Rackman, Israel's Emerging Constitution, 1948·1951 (Columbia,
1955), pp. 11-32.
3~ Ibid., pp. 142-145, and The Times, 24 September, 1958.
Party Politics inPakistan
in the second and third, and others in extremist and· private categories.
The Compulsory Education Law recognized the first, second, third and
fifth categories for. State support; which means that the State undertook
to support party school systems, with the result that the Ministry of
Education consists of men chosen for their affiliation with the secularist,
the religious and the central parties.!
Israel has still not been able to solve the problem of nationality,
Debate has continued op. the definition of a Jew; the 'Government saying
that for civil registration any person desiring in good faith to describe
himself as a Jew- and practising no other religion could do so. TM ..
orthodox point of view is that 'this decision would allow a child to be
registered as a Jew even when born of a Gentile mother; Jewish religious
law recognizes only the offspring of a Jewish mother as Jewish. The
rabbinate is prepared to make the concession that a converted child
should be recognized as a Jew, even if the child's mother. remains
unconverted: The Government and particularly its left wing supporters,
however, do not accept this. This was in July 1958. In December, after
another fruitless attempt at compromise, the debate was adjourned, and
the committee of three Ministers set up to deal with this matter decided
to send letters to some sixty men-Rabbis, Jewish writers, and poets
-in Israel, Britain, France, Switzerland and the United States of
America, asking for their views 'on the subject.t
These 'parallels from other countries have been given to enable thereader to see the problem of "religion in politics" in Pakistan in proper
perspective, They are not meant to justify the unhealthy influence of
the mullah· class on. the country's political developments and policy.3
As a matter of fact, this influence was neither so wide nor so deep as
J. Rackman, op. cit., pp. 136-141.
2. A similar situation arose in f>akistan when, during the judicial inquiry into
the Punjab religious riots of 1953, many ulama, appearing before the court of inquiry.
could not agree .on one d~finition of a Muslim. The Judges remarked on tbi~ :
"keeping in view the several definitions given by the ulama, need we ·make any comment except that no two learned divines are agreed on this fundamental. If we
ati~mpt our own definition as each learned divine has done and that deflniti~n differs
from t~af stven by all others, we unanimously go out of the fold of Islam. And jf,
we ado?t thr definition given by any one of the ulama we remain. Muslims according
to the view of that alim (divine: singular of ulamal but ka/irs (heretics] according to
the definition of every one else", Munir Report, p, 218.
3. «Tue ulama have frai:ikiy told us without the 'blinking of any eye--to say
nothing or tears-that they do not care what happens to Muslims in other ,countries, .
so long as their own particular brand of Islam gains currency here"; J5id., p. 299.
I •'
d ~.
Religion and Politics ·
the preceding pages might have indicated to some readers. The
Jamaat-i-Islami, the only really orthodox, party, was not a large organization and could by no means claim to speak for a sizeable section of
the population. To see this problem irl its proper dimensions, it must
be remembered that an overwhelming majority of the people was made
up of peasants and farmers, who lived all their lives in villages, rarely
visited a town and scarcely thought of politics. Political thinking was,
by definition, limited t6 the urban class, which could be split up into
a number of clearly demarcated segments. At the bottom was the
worker, the petty shopkeeper and the clerk, who rarely found time to
give any serious thought to politics. For them mere survival in an
inflationary world took precedence over everything else. Above them
was the middle class, but it was too small to be the sheet-anchor of
national politics. On the top was the well-to-do class, with the usual
mixture of higher civil servants, businessmen, landlords, 'and professional
'politicians. Among these ingredients, the civil servants were precluded
,by law from taking an active part in politics, the businessmen and the
landlords were the real power behind the throne, while politicians acted
as convenient instruments in the.hands of businessmen and landlords.
Another classification is also possible. In the urban population,
there was the educated class and the uneducated class. The former
naturally wielded more influence, but the latter was more numerous-and it was the latter .which provided a fruitful field for all kinds of
propaganda, It is difficult to say how far orthodox religious views
were held by these two classes, but there is no doubt that the .. educated
class was more liberal in its religious opinions. And jhe continuous
flow of the uneducated class into the educated class, made possible by
the growth of education, must have been a permanent handicap for
the religious parties.. Persons with orthodox views were, of course, also
found in the upper and highly educated classes, as the opinions and
·careers of Khwaja Nazimuddin, Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar and
Chaudhri Muhammad Ali prove. But, on the whole, the "upper classes"
were liberal, not in politics but in religion. That explains the feeble
"influence of the Islamic parties on politics in spite of their remarkably
strong articulation.
The mullahs, who insisted on Islam in every political and constitu-:
tlonal' sphere, were once likened to "those members of the British
Labour Party who press for references to the Socialist State in every
public announcement when they are in power, and would like to begin
parliamentary proceedings with the singin~ of the ·~ed Flag' instead
Religion and Politics
Party Politics in Pakistan
of with prayers't.! But in practice such insistence went beyond mere
formal references to Islam and sometimes constituted a real threat to
normal life.
«If there is one thing which has been conclusively demonstrated
in this inquiry", wrote two judges of the Federal Court, "it is that
provided you can persuade the masses to believe that something they
are asked to do is religiously right or enjoined by religion, you can set
them to any course of action, regardless of all considerations of
discipline, loyalty, decency, morality or civic sense".2
One instance will show how the mullahs could upset the normal
routine of a most respectable branch of national life. Matriculation
and School· Leaving Certificate Examination was ·always held in the
Punjab in the month of March. In 1958, the Board of Secondary
Education announced, as usual, that the Examination would be held
on 26 March; obviously, the Board knew that this date would fall in
the month of Ramadan. On 11 March, four prominent- ulama of
Lahore issued a joint statement expressing the undesirability of holding
the Examination in the month of Ramadan. Their argument was that
if the Examination was held as scheduled, students would face great
difficulty in the performance of their religious duties. Such interference
with a purely educational question was unfortunate; but the ulama
proceeded to make an outrageous suggestion. They appealed to the
imams of alt the mosques in the province to explain to their audience
during the Friday prayer the difficulties that the students would face
and to get resolutions passed in the mosques against the "unsympathetic
attitude" 'of the Board of Secondary Education and to send these
resolutions to the Minister of Education. On 12 March, the Board
promptly issued an announcement postponing the Examination to some
future date "keeping in view the sanctity of the month of Ramadan".
The day the ulama had issued their statement calling for postponement,
the local Headmasters' Association had also appealed that the Examination should not be postponed, as, in such an event schools, teachers and
students would all face difficulties.3 As between these two views, the
Board of Secondary Education chose to accept that of the divines. The
students might have been put to some inconvenience by taking their
examination during the month of fasting, but they must have undergone
at least equal suffering in preparing for the examination during that
1. Economist, 1 June, 1957, p, 796.
2. Munir Report, p, 231.
3. See Pakistan Times, 12 and 13 March, 1958.
month. If school teaching and homework did not interfere with the
sanctity of the holy month, how did the examination do so? Moreover,
the Board's decision meant extra expenses to thousands of parents for
extra weeks of tuition, extra hardship for thousands of children in going
to school and sitting for the examination in gruelling heat, considerable
inconvenience to schools which were required· to provide space and
staff for the conduct qf the examination in the term time, and some
loss of time to the examinees who were delayed in the next academic
year. All this was cheerfully faced by the educational authorities, either
because the Board was not aware that 26 March fell during the
Ramadan, or because it was too afraid of a handful of ulama to stand
by its earlier decision. This interference by the ulama added neither to
their dignity nor to the reputation of the establishment which meekly
accepted the dictation. Such actions create precedents, encourage
pressure groups and destroy efficiency.
In. Pakistan there always has been a small class of the intelligentsia
which wanted a complete divorce between religion and politics. According .to it, religion was a personal matter which had nothing to do with
Public life. In politics it looked forward to the establishment of a
secular democracy closely modelled on modern Western political systems.
But this was a very small class, and very unpopular with the masses,
who charged it with all evils from liberalism to heresy.
The generality of Pakistani Muslims wanted an Islamic State and
an Islamic "way of life". But their leaders could not define either of
the concepts. The dilemma, of wanting something without knowing
what it is, in which they found themselves was well-described by the
Munir Report in a passage which bears substantial reproduction: "Pakistan is being taken by the common man, though it is not, as an Islamic
State. This belief has been encouraged by the ceaseless clamour for
Islam and Islamic State that is being heard from all quarters since the
establishment of Pakistan. The phantom of an Islamic State bas
haunted the Musalman throughout the ages and is a result of the
memory of the glorious past when Islam rising like a storm from the
least expected quarter of the world-wilds of Arabia-instantly enveloped the wilderness. It is that brilliant achievement of the Arabian nomads,
the like of which the world has never seen before, that makes the
Musalman of today live in the past and yearn for the return of the glory
that was Islam. He finds himself standing on the crossroads, wrapped
in the mantle of the past and with the dead weight of centuries on his
back, frustrated and bewildered and hesitant to turn one corner or the
Party Politics in Pakistan
other. The freshness and the simplicity of 'the faith, which gave
determination to his mind and spring to his muscle is now denied to
him. He has neither the means nor the ability to conquer and there
are no countries to conquer. Little does he understand that the forces
that are pitted against him are entirely different from those against which
early Islam had to fight, and that on the clues given by his own ancestors
human mind had achieved results which he cannot understand. He
therefore finds himself in a state of helplessness, waiting for some one to
come and help him out of this morass of uncertainty and confusion.
And he will go on waiting like that without anything happening. Nothing but a bold reorientation' of Islam to separate the vital from the
lifeless can preserve it as a World Idea and convert the Musalman into
a citizen of the present and the future world from the archaic in
congruiry' [sic.] that he is today. It is this lack of bold and clear thinking, the inability to understand and take decisions which has brought
about on Pakistan a confusion which will persist and repeatedly create
situations of the kind we have been inquiring into until our leaders liave
a clear conception of the . goal and of the means to reach it. It
requires no imagination to realize that irreconcilables remain. irreconcilable even if you believe or wish to the contrary. Opposing principles,
if left to themselves, can only produce confusion and disorder and the
application of a neutralizing agency to them can only produce a dead
result. Unless in case of conflict between two ideologies, our leaders
have the desire and the ability to elect, uncertainty must continue. And
as long as we rely on the hammer when a file isneeded and pack Islam
into service to solve situations it was never intended to solve, frustration
and t!isappointment must dog our step~··.z
1. Munir Report, pp. 2310232.
A political sys~em is best judged by the nature of its political
parties, and it is in terms of political parties that we discuss its success
or failure. Party system is considered to be so indispensable to selfgovernment that the British Secretary of State for Colonies had to write
to the Governor of Gold Coast in 1949 that the British Government was
not prepared to endorse that part of the Caussey Constitution Committee's recommendations which dealt with the method of appointing
the Leader of the House of Assembly until party system was introduced
at the elections. "l have carefully considered these proposals", wrote
the Minister, "but I do not believe that the institution of a Leader df
· the House would work effectively in the absence of an established and
well-tried party system, by which I mean a system where through usage
over a period of years parties have become generally accepted as
necessary and integral parts of the constitutional machinery of the
country."! Consequently, Dr. Nkrumah sent instructions to his supporters from the prison that they should fight the election on a party basis,
and this forced his opponents to appear as rival groups with their own
party manifestoes.
This account of the origin of parties in Ghana may seem unusual
but in .new democracies parties have sprung to life in many a strange
way. In Indonesia, the K.N.I.P. announced on 3 November, 1945, that
it "favours the establishment of political parties, because with the
existence of political parties all currents of thinking which are to be
found in society are able to be canalized into a regulated' force." Most
of the Indonesian political parties were born in November and December
1945, e.g., the Partai Nasional Indonesia (P.N.I.), the Madjelis Sjuro
Muslimin Indonesia (Masjumi), the Partai Sosialis (Socialist Party),
the Partai Kommunis Indonesia (P.K.I.), and a number of religious
groups like the Christian Party and the Catholic Party.2 In Pakistan,
political parties were in the main children of frustration. The Mu'slim
League ru1e was not found to be satisfying, and new parties were formed
1. Colonial Officedispatch quoted by George Padmore, The Gold Coast Revolution (London, 1953), pp. nr-nz,
2. D. Woodman, The Republic of Indonesia (London, 1955), pp. 346-347,
Party Politics in Pakistan
Anatomy of Party Pb/ides
out of the discontented League following. Thus, while in Ghana parties
were ..made" by the British Government and in Indonesia by Parliament, in Pakistan they were born, at least in part, of disillusionment.
of distinct parties with visible rival programmes.! Perhaps Duverger's
description was more applicable, and the country was still in the "prC..:
historic era" of parties. where opinion was divided amongst several
groups which were unstable and fluid. This state of affairs prevailed
in Central Europe between 1919 and 1939 and obtains today in some
States in Africa and many in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.
The political groups of Pakistan were, strictly speaking, not parties.
They ·might have been on their way to becoming political parties,
but they were, at best, centres of opinion and at worst feudal clans, or
phantom groups, or religious associations.
The existence of a two-party system in the Anglo-Saxon world has
been explained in at least three ways. American authors present it as
a manifestation of the genius of the Anglo-Saxon people. Salvador de
Madriaga makes a more imaginative suggestion: it is a result of the.
Englishman's sporting sense to see all political campaigns as a match
between rival teams. Andre Maurois attributes it to the rectangular
shape of the House of Commons.
The growth of a multi-party system; in Pakistan can be explained
in a more pedestrian way. It was caused by factors like fundamental cleavages in social structure, differences in religion, culture and
classes, and the fact of the political revolution not coinciding with
social transf ormation. Precisely these factors have produced similar
results in France, Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Far East at
different times. Austria-Hungary had 25 parties on the eve of the First
World War; Czechoslovakia had 14 parties in 1938; Spain had 17 in
the Constituent Cortes, 20 in 1933, and 22 in 1936 ; France had U in
October 1958. Pakistan took official notice of 9 parties in July 1958.2
Many .observers have commented on the undeveloped state of
parties in Asia. The existing: party organizations have been called
nothing more than "coteries of co-operating office-seeking politicians".
Such groups do not define the issues and policies which they own or
canvass, nor can these alternative policies be easily communicated to
politically inexperienced peoples. Moreover, fundamental popular
loyalties usually relate to religious and tribal associations.!
In Pakistan parties were in existence and they' participated in the
democratic process, but the system in which they operated was not a
familiar one. Party discipline was almost non-existent, with the obvious
result that every major shift in party loyalty produced a veritable crisis.
These crises appeared so frequently that The Times offered the provinces
of Pakistan as an almost classic example of what Aristotle had called
$tasi~-thefactional unrest which is the most dangerous enemy of
constitutional and orderly government.s
Another journal felt that
Pakistan was badly in need of parties based on something more than
sectional interests.t Sir Ivor Jennings likened Pakistani parties to the
"conpexions'' of eighteenth-century England; "lists of members never
agree and nobody knows from week to week who belongs to what. A
Government attracts support because it is the Government, but an
Opposition party attracts support if it looks like forming a Government.
The only thing certain is that a Government must be either a coalition
or a minority and therefore unstable't.s Professor Beloff called the
Pakistani multi-party system "highly kaleidoscopic" in which it was hard
to disentangle issues of principle from clashes of personality.t
Mlllti-Party System
One difficulty ju any discussion about the party system of Pakistan
is that of giving it a commonly understood name, Superficially, it may·
be called a multi-party system, but politics were made up more of a
large number. of leading persons with their political dependants than
1. John F-.Cady in P. W. Thayer (ed.), Nationalism and Progress in Free Asia
(New York, 1956)1pp.124-125.
2. Tiie Times, 25 May, 1954.
3. Economist, 3 November, 1956.
4.' Jn revie~ing Callard's Pakistan : A Political Study in Political ·Quarterly,
Vol. 29, No. 2, p. 192.
s, M. Beloff, The Party System(London, 1958), p. 12.
1. In West Africa political parties have often been groups of followers of
outstanding individuals, R. K. Gardiner, "Relationship between political parties and
the Government in West Africa" in What are the Problems of Parliamentary Govern·
ment in West Africa'! (London, 1958), p, 82.
2. This was done in connection with the allocation of special car Import
Licences to parties in preparation for the coming election. The allocation reflected
the official estimate of the size and importance of the parties :
Muslim League
Awami League
Krishka Sramik Party
National Awami Party
Pakistan Na.tional Congress
Scheduled Castes Federation
West Pakistan
East Pakistan
Party Poliiics in Pakistan
JbratomJl of Party Politics
The -immediate impact of this system was on the making ·and work·
Such bewildering diffusion of power precluded
any promise of effective policy formulation. The making of important
decisions was transferred from the electorate to the parliament. Parliament, · in its turn, contented itself with a government" by the formation
of coalitions. ·Paul Reynaud once remarked ruefully attwenty ministerial crises in ten years : "The Assembly can overthrow as many
Governments as it pleases without any other motive than the opportunity of its members to satisfy ambitions overstimulated by the very
frequency of the crises."
This was equally true of Pakistan where
governments were short-lived because they were weak. They were weak
because, with I;\ short life-expectation, they normally avoided unpopular
choices and postponed decisions. Instability is the mother of irresponsibility, Rarely did ·any cabinet formulate a long-range programme
or take 'a prompt decision in fear of secession among the groups con·
stituting the shaky coalition. This partial paralysis· would have been
bad at any time in any country ; it was lethal in Pakistan which was
a new and relatively undeveloped country. Another result was 'that
the weakness of the executive gradually created among the people
distrust of parliamentary democracy. That was how persons and
groups with ready-made authoritarian solutions found it easy to persuade
public opinion.
irresponsible statements all over the country because it knew that it
would never be able· to form an administration and thus called upon
to fulfil its promises. Civil servants were hardly ·less fortunate in
their independence of Ministers and in their ability to pursue their
own small intrigues. No wonder the public felt a little giddy in this
Welter of mutually independent empires. Vested interests had a fair
field to entrench themselves in all . branches of politics and administration, where they revelled in exercising pressure on public 'servants
and party managers. One remedy for this plethora of groups could
have been the reduction 'of the number of parties contesting an
election. This method of reducing the number of parties is practicable
but it has -two disadvantages.
The authority entrusted ·with the
decision, however non-political and impartial, may abuse its powers;
and, secondly, the policy may result in the forced disappearance of a
party which may have .something valuable to say in spite of its small size
and apparently poor prospects.
Ing of Governments.
'One-Party Rule
The system added to the difficulties of the government. Uncertain' of its tenure it faced problems as they came, tried first to .spot
a convenient and generally palatable solution and passed on all thorny
problems to its successors. This happened to such vital and immediate
needs as the rehabilitation of refugees and the solution of the 'tand
problem. Irresponsibility did not end at this level. Ministers had
neither reasonable security nor confidence in their supporters. Parliament had' vast opportunities of harassing the administration by turning
down urgent measures or denying the government legislative initiative.
Parties lost all sense of loyalty to the electorate and regarded themselves as free' to make and unmake coalitions without electoral
sanction. The Muslim League, the Awami League and. the Republican
'Party played the game of coming together and then parting, not only
without any- reference to the people whom they· claimed to represent
but also without consultation with the party membership whom they
pretended to lead. Opposition groups were.in the.:iiappy position of
not being called upon to make any constructive criticism, for they
were not the alternative government. The National Awami Party, for
example, could make wild promises in "west Pakistan and issue
Generally in all emerging States we can discern . a pattern of
linear development in the historical growth of· the nationalist movement. This movement pas~es through three clearly marked stages.
The first is that- of a pressure group, when the organization endeavours to influence, but not to control, the government on behalf of
the special interests it represents,
Many examples of this can be
quoted. In 1906-09, the Muslims of India, through the Muslim League,
influenced the Briti~h Government to grant separate representation
to them in the Legislative Councils. In 1911, the Hindu extremists
of Bengal forced the British Government to annul the partition o(
that province. In 1920~i922, the Muslims of India persuaded the
British Cabinet to revise its-attitude towards Turk~Y· The early protonationalist organizations of educated African elites on the west coast
and of European residents ill Dakar, Nairobi <J~d some other places,
would also be included in this category.
Such groups .press "for
favours, or for the redress of grievances, within a status quo" which
they do not. challenge.! The second stage is that of the nationalist
movement, when the status quo is fundamentally challenged in the
process of realizing a purely political objective, generally independence.
Examples of such nationalist movements abound : the AU-India
Muslim League from 1940 to 1947,. the Convention People's Party
1. See James S. Coleman, "The Emergence· of African' Political Parties" in
C. G. Haines (ed.), Africa Today(Baltimore, 1955), pp. 22~227.
Anatomy of Party Politics
Party Politics in Pakistan.
sanctions", to the more conventional propaganda-work, and the C. P. P.
was found to have used Government funds, made bogus appointments,
created sinecures, and exploitedGovernment contractors.!
in Ghana from 1950 to'1957, the R. D. A. in French Tropical Africa
since 1949. The last stage is that of a political party, when the organization competes with similar other organizations in periodical elections in
order to influence, change', or control the policy of the country.
The Muslim League ,passed through all these three stages between
1906 and 1958. It was first a pressure group (1906-1940), then a
nationalist movement (1940-1947), and lastly a political party (19471958). The last phase can be sub-divided into two periods, the early
years (1947-1954) when it was practically the only party in the country,
and the;Iast four years (1954-1958) when it was one of many parties
operating and· competing. The period of its unchallenged supremacy
presents a fruitful study of a peculiar kind of one-patty rule.
A .single-party regime can come into existence in two ways. There
are single parties.set up in the previously democratic.and plural systems,
~.g., Germany and Italy; and there are single parties established in
countries without previous experience of self-government or pluralism,
e.g., Turkey, Pakistan, India, Burma, Ghana, etc. In the latter, thy
single party represents 19e modernization of the archaic autocracy it
has inherited, just as in countries like Britain the plural parties seek
to replace a traditional aristocracy by new popular movements, In
both cases, the new system can be either provisional or permanent.
The 1947~1954:period in Pakistan was provisional and therefore potentially more democratic than a permanent single party rule would have
been. It was transitional and only a stage on the road to pluralism.
Modem history furnishes many parallels to this, e-s-, the supremacy of the
furkish People's Republican Party between 1923 and I94G and, to some
~xtpnt, the National Union Party of Portugal. The Muslim League
won all the provincial elections of 1951, 1952 and 1953, because of its
past record, its possession of patronage, and the absence of serious
opposition. Similarly, the p. N. I. of Indonesia came on top in the
1955 election because of Dr. Sukarno's glamorous reputation, the
party's patronage machine, and the inefficiency of the opposition.'
Th~ Muslim League 'was said to have employed unfair means in
winning elections; similarly in Ghana the campaign methods of parties
are reported to have varied from outright intimidation by the use of
gangs,' through "bribery, blackmail, economic pressure, deliberate'
circulation of misleading rumours, invocation of fetishes, ju-ju, tribal
If the domination of one party lasts too long, the opposition is
either reduced to impotence. through sheer despair or, losing all hope
of entering office, turns violent. The second danger is more real in
emerging countries, and that is what. happened to the Communist
Party of Pakistan in 1951 and to the Ahrars in 1953. The Muslim
League of I947J1954 showed an astonishing similarity with the presentday Partido Revolucionario Institutional of Mexico, which, under
various names, has been in power since the Mexican Revolution
of 1910.!1925. Like the Muslim League, the latter is not so much a
political ,party as an establishment which has to be joined by all who
aspire to enter the government or the civil service. Even the complaints
in the two cases are the same : nepotism, long tenure of office by
politicians who no longer represent the people, and the soaring cost
of living. Further, in Mexico, as it was in Pakistan in that period, most
of the discontented want not so much to overthrow the government as
to shake it out of its smugness and to see it examine its own conscience.t
But a more serious consequence is that people .lose 'all interest in
political propaganda or in. elections in the knowledge that what they say
or do would not affect the future of th(partY, in po~er. 'From 1874
onwards the Radical Party ruled alone in Switzerland; and since the Civil
War the Democrats have 'been dominant in the SouthernStates of the
United States of America. Similarly, in Pakistan when the Muslim
League' Wl\S in the ascendant it crowded out all other groups into an,
opposition that was more of a conglomeration of .several disgruntled
elements than a group supplying an alternative administration. The
discontent was aggravated by the absence of general elections. If the
elections· had been held before it was too late the various. groups might
have settled down in their electorally determined positions.
Absence of Effective Opposition
The one-party rule, which, we have been discussing so far, was
fortified by the absence of an effective opposition. In the first seven
years, when the Muslim League held unchallenged sway, ~h~ opposition
l. · H. E'. Gosnell, "Indonesians go to the Polls: the Parties and their Stand on
Constitutjon~l Issues", Midwest Journal of Political .Science, Vol. II, No. 2. May
1958, pp. 182-183.
1. See H. L. Bretton, "Current Political Thought and Practice in Ghana", American Political Science Review, Vol. LU, No. I, March 1958, pp. 58-59: 1
2. See the interesting dispatch of the Mexico City Correspondent: The Times,
18 September, 1958,
Party Politics in Pakistan ·
was neither numerous! not strong enough to influence decision-making."
Moreover, iri 'that period of recurring crises-s-the rush of refugees, the
Kashmir problem, Jinnah's death, and Liaquat Ali's assassinationand unbounded enthusiasm·for the newly-won country, criticism of the
Government was sometimes equated with treasonable conduct. Still, the
opposition in the Constituent Assembly openly spoke out against the
Objectives Resolution in 1949. But that was not the normal state of
The opposition was not treated with respect, and one manifestation
of this attitude was the grossly insufficient time allowed by the Government for: discussion on the budget. According to· rules, voting on
demands for grants could extend over 15 days, but 7 days was the, maximum ever allowed in the Central Legislature} All the budgets, .Central
1. The strength of the opposition in various legislatures was as follows :
Year Government Opposition
First Constituent Assembly
National Assembly
Punjab Legislative Assembly
East Pakistan
" Pakistan
" Ahmad, op. cit., pp. 130-132.
Figures quot~~ in"Muneer
as well-as Provincial, were passed under the guillotine.! Another manifestation was the large number of ordinances issued during the long intervals between short' parliamentary sessions.s When issuing a batch of
ordinances or extending existing laws by executive fiat it never occurred
to the Government to convene the legislature and to let it discuss the problem. "Very few" adjournment motions were admitted or allowed to be
discussed.t All questions, were not answered.? Reports of Public
Accounts Committee were published late.5 It was quite common for the
Government to take up official business on a non-official day. In
February 1958 the Government declared in the National Assembly its
intention to take up the non-official day for "urgent and 'pressing"
1. Muneer Ahmad, op. cit., p. 57.
2. The various legislatures passed Acts·in the followfog proportion to executive
'· · .
C.A. (Legislature)
National Assembly
Punjab Legislative A~sembly
West Pakistan
. .
2. The true position occupied by the opposition in Pakistan legislatures was
beautifully, though perhaps unwittingly, described by Allah Nawaz Khan, the Speaker
oftbe N.-W. F. P.·Legislative Assembly, when he said, "The Opposition is an ornament of the House". Frontier Legislative Assembly Debates. VoL XV, No. 12, p. 608.
3. The following table (Muneer Ahmad, op, cit., p. 51) illustrates this :
Voting an Demands
of Budget
for Grants
On Ma~ 8, 1948, ~2.~~II?pds .wer~passed in 20 minutes arid 19 seconds, K.B.
sayc:ed, op. eit., p. 330.
Anatomy of Party Politics
. 139
~ .•.
This practice
For a more detailed table sec Munecr Ahmad. op. cit., p, 127.
~r relY.ing on Ordinances began after Jinnah's death. He was opposed to it and once, when
a p~~vincial Government asked for his assent to the promulgation of an Ordinance a
few days before the provincial assembly was to meet, he refused to give it and to
countenance the by-passing of the legislature. S. M. Yusaf, "Quaid·i·Azam as Governor
General", Dawn (Quaid-i-Azam Supplement), September 11, ]949.
3. Muneer Ahmad, op. ctt., p. 68.
4. Tbe number of questions asked and that of questions answered were :
First C.A. (Legislature)
Natiooal Assembly
West Pakistan Leg. Assembly
Ibid., p. 73.
S. · For example the report for 1949-50was presented io November 1953, and that
for 1952-53in February, 1957. Mr. Ahmed Jaffar, a member of the Public Accounts
Committee, told Parliament that in reply to his request to the Foreign Office for the
Audit Report of the Ministry, an Under Secretary of the Ministry had written back say·
ing that the Ministry was not prepared to send him the Report. Mr. J~fi'ar was also ~.
member or' the Standing Advisory Committee for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Constituent Asnmbly of Pakistan Debates, 11 November, 1953,·Vol;11, ·No. is, p: 1488.,
Party Politics 'in'Pakistan
Anatomy of Parly Politics
official business. 'But' on the previous day the Government had proposed
to send the House to a 5-day recess to enable the Ministers and the Treasury benches to witness the Horse and Cattle Show at Lahore. This made
could agree on criticizing the government out not on suggesting alternative policy. There was, thus, destructive criticism galore but no serious
attempt to think of a different approach. The opposition sometimes
acted in a manner that betrayed the ·irresponsibility of their conduct.
Superfluous questions were raised, such as that the Budget speech should
have been read in Bengali or thatthe Finance Minister had not concluded his Budget speech with saying "Pakistan Zindabad" .1 Opposition
groups were as far away from each other as they were from the government. In 1955-1957: West Pakistan was an excellent example of a twoparty .system: the Muslim League and the Republican Party were. the
only two large groups. But then they were so well-balanced that a government by an; one of'them would have lived in the shadow of defeat by
a~other! It is, therefore, misleading to attribute all that happened to the
mete e~istence of a multi-party system. The evil lay deeper than in mere
some private members wild, one of whom commented, "Non-official
members should be-at par at least with horses't.t
Nor was it rare to- find' the Government bringing unfounded 'criminal
cases againsttheir political opponents with at view to prevehting them
from attending the session.s Some examples may be quoted here. Mir
Ghulanr Ali Ta1pur, the Speaker of the Sindh Legislative -Assembly, was
arrested along with a. few opposition members on 2i' March, 1955.3
Qazi Fazlullah, a member of the Sindh Legislative Assembly, was arrested
onthe door-steps of the Assembly building a few minutes before the
Assembly was to elect its representatives to the, second Constituent
Assembly+ Among the legislators who were kept in detention for varying periods were Abdul Ghaffar Khan (Red Shirts), Abdul Saftar "Khan'
Niazi (Muslim League), Fazlul Karim (Independent) and Mahmud Ali
(Gantantari Dal). After his release Mahmud Ali disclosed in the Parliament ttiat while under detention he was interrogated by the Intelligence
Branch of the East Bengal Police as to why he had opposed the One Unit
Bill during discussion on it in the Constituent A'.ssembly.s
With the o~erthrow of the Muslim League, people looked forward
to a well-knit, hard-hitting and sensible opposition that would keep the
'Government on ·its mettle. Their hopes were belied by the configuration·
of partiesafter 19S4.6 The country underwent an almost overnight change
from a one-party State to a multi-party one. It may, be argued that an
-effective opposition is only possible under a -two-party system. But.
certainly no opposition worth thename can appear in a country where
political power is fragmented. The line of demarcation between· government and opposition was never clear. Shifting minorities supported
succeeding governments. Alliances were altered, un-made and overthrown. What was more serious, the opposition itself contained elements
perhaps more heterogeneous than those in the government. Such a group
Partial Speakership,
Another factor working towards the eclipse of the opposition was the
frankly partisan attitude adopted by the Speakers of various legislatures in
the country.
In the legislature' the Speaker is usually considered the custodian of
the rights of the Opposition. But unfortunately in Pakistan the tradition
of an American-type partisan Speaker was established, though the pre1947 parliamentary training under British supervision should have led to
the practice- of a British-type, cross-bench, presiding officer. In this matter politicians aqd legislators betrayed a typical human frailty. The party
in power elected one of its members to the Speakership and expected him
to support·his party on all points. The Opposition protested and reminded the Speaker that he was. expected to be an impartial figure. When
political fortunes changed and the opposition came to be the ma~or~ty.
party, their roles in this controversy were reversed. Now the majority
party behaved like its predecessor while the Opposition repeated the sa~e
old complaint. Outside the assemblies there was general sympathy with,
the Opposition. The Press, except when the -issue was made a party matter was always critical of the Speaker's partisan ways. This shows that
for some reason everyone (except the party in power) expected the trfditions of the British House of Commons to prevail and was surprised and
plained when this did not happen. The protesting Opposition changed its
views when it sat in the seat of authority- This was the paradox- that
~· See Dawn, 19 February, I958.
2. For details of such complaints see the debate on the Constituent Assembly
(Proceedings and Privileges) Bill, Constituent Assembly Debates, 12-14 July, 1955,
·3. See Sfndh Legislative Assembly Debates, 21 March,_1955.
~- Mum:~r Ahmad, op. cit.; p, 88.
S. Constituent .Assembly Debates, 1 February, 1956.
6, ~owe,ver,,on$=healthy development took place after this date, 'The office of
~h~ f;.cadero~ the Opi;qsition was, for the first time, given legal recognition in, 1955,
The Leade» of the Opposition (Salary and Allowances) Act, 1955.
1. Muneer Ahmad, op. cit., p. 64.
Party Politics in Pakistan
~natomy of Party Politics
while every party bemoaned the existence of a partisan Speaker, none
behaved differently when in office.
The party in power worked in devious ways in influencing the elec·~ion of the Speaker. When, for example, a newly-elected assembly met to
elect its Speaker the Governor of the province nominated a temporary
presiding officer. This could be, and was, used to influence the decision
in favour of a particular party. In two cases zhe temporary Chairmen
themselves were candidates : Allah Nawaz Khan in the N.-W.F.P. and
Ghulam Ali Talpur in Sindh. Both were elected. When the West Pakistan assembly met to choose its Speaker, the Governor nominated, as the
temporary president, Mumtaz Hasan Qizilbash, who then helped the Re-publican Party candidate, Chaudhri Fazl-e-Elahi, to get elected by giving
him his casting vote. Qizilbash was later appointed a minister in the
Republican Government. When election to the second Constituent
Assembly was complete M.A. Gurmani was appointed its temporary president, and he continued in this office for more than a month.1 At this
time Gurmani was not a member of the Constituent Assembly. Furthen,
he was under the rules ineligible for membership because he was holding
.an office of profit (Governorship of West Pakistanj.s Similarly the appointment of Fazlul Haq as temporary Chairman of the East Pakistan
Legislative Assembly, on 5 August, 1955, "was evidently a partisan and
improper act. "3
Once elected ihe Speaker, often' 'acted as an active party member.
Tamizuddin Khan, the President of the first Constituent Assembly, admitted "tha~ his active participation in the election campaign of the Muslim League in the Bengal elections in March 1954, was a departure from
the British parliamentary custom, and that he had also been attending
the p~rty meetings when he was tlie President of the Constituent Assembly
of Pakistan. But this, he claimed, did not affect his impartiality in the
House't.s A Punjab M.L.A. once maintained that the "dissociation of
the Speaker from a political party was a Western type of democracy. It
was not necessary for us in Pakistan to follow the example. Association
with a party actually means association with the programme of that,
party. So Jong as that is so there is no harm in the Speaker b!lin&
1., Notification of the Ministry of Law dated 5July,1955, under Governor General's 'Order No. 12of1955, paragraph IO.
2. Protests were made against this in the first session of. the Assembly, see Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, 7 July, 1955, Vol. 1, NO. 1, pp. 2, 5·6.
3. Muneer Ahmad, op. cit., p. 42
4. In an interview with Muneer Ahmad, op. cit., p. 47,
a partyman" .1
In themselves these views were not reprehensible: they were only unBritish (that is, uncharacteristic of parliamentary convention). But confusion was created by incompatible claims, practices and expectations.
On his election the Speaker invariably made a short speech, thanking the
House for electing him, pledging to uphold justice and fairplay, and undertaking to behave as if he belonged to no party.2 But in practice he always sided with his party, and, on occasions, participated in the debates.3
His party expected him to be loyal to it; all others hoped that he would
cease to be a party man.
The direct result of this partisan attitude was the curtailment of the
rights of the Opposition.
Besides partiality, the Speakers were also guilty of some other unbecoming acts. The East Pakistan 'Speaker, Abdul Hakim, appointed
his own relatives and political supporters to many well-paid offices in the
'secretariat of the provincial assembly.t The Speaker of the National
Assembly, Abdul Wahab, is reported to have refused to sanction the publication of debates of the House for the month of April 1957, because
they included unfavourable remarks about him made during a discussion
on a motion of no-confidence against him.5 The Speaker of the N.-w.F.P.
assembly, Allah Nawaz Khan, imposed a unique tax of two to eight annas
on every entrant to the Visitors' Gallery of the Assembly; the money, he
explained, was required for the Quaid-i-Azam Relief Fund.~
This did not add to the prestige of the. Speaker, and many derogatory
epithets flung at him by members reflected the low opinion in which he
was held. In the East Pakistan Legislative Assembly the Speaker was,
at different times, told that, "you of course are the headmaster here",
'~you are like a drill master", and "Mr. Speaker, you are the servant of
the Government" ,7 In the Punjab Assembly a member who was expellQuoted in ibid•• p. 47.
2. The Speaker of the American House of Representatives never makes this protnise. So there is some point in maintaining that it is wrong to compare the Pakistani
Speaker with his American counterpart.
3. Forexample, Allah Nawaz Khan; see Frontier Legislative Assembly Debates,
Vol. XV, No. 8, pp. 422, 457.
4. See The Report of th» Enquiry into the incidents that took place on 20th and 23rd
September, 1958, in the Chamber and premises of the East Pakistan Assembly,· Dacca
Gazette (Extraordinary),9 May, 1959. The inquiry was held by Mr. Justice Muhammad Asir of the East Pakistan High Court.
S. Reported in Muneer Ahmad, op. cit., pp. 49-50.
6. tu«, p. 50.
7. Pakistan Times, 2 October, 1956.
Party-Politics in Pakistan
Anatomy of Party Politics
ed by the Speaker (K.halifa Shuja-ud-Din) shouted, "you are a disgrace to
the House, a disgrace to the people and the province you represent. "1
We have already seen- how the Spaeker of the Sindh Assembly was arrested
in March 1955, and how.the Deputy Speaker of the East Pakistan Legislative Assembly was murdered in the House in September 1958.
The absence of an effective opposition, however, was not peculiar to
Pakistan. A large number of new democracies have faced a similar
hiatus .in ·the conventional equipment of parliamentary· government.
From 1947to-1952 the Indian Legislature consisted almost entirely of the
Congress supporters, and even later the opposition was never strong. In
Ceylon, the opposition groups were so disunited that for a long time they
could not agree on the official leader of, the opposition, until in June
.]950 the matter was decided with the appointment ofN. ¥· Perera.s In
Burma there was no sign of an effective constitutional opposition. The
attitude :of the, Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League to potential rivals
was not encouraging. U Ba Be and his associates were arrested on' the
charge of treason in December 1954; and E. Maung of the Justice Party
was served with a notice that action would be taken if criticism of the
A-F.P.F.L. went too far. The only parliamentary opposition w~
B'.w:P.P: caucus which wanted a Communist revolution, and the ArlJka9
group with-its regional appeal. Till 1957, the A-F.P.F.L. leaders talked
of twenty, forty or fifty years of A-F.P.F.L. rule.3
t- , :{
Regional Politics
'Regional rivalries in Pakistan constituted an added complication.
The Red Shirts wanted an autonomous Pukhtoonistan, some Baluchi
Ieaders aspired for an autonomous Pushtoonistan, and a number of
Sindhi politicians looked 'to Sindh ·as a "national homeland".
'Muslim League in the Punjab was provincial-minded, too. In its 1950
Election Manifesto appeared these passages: "Let us not repeat. the
importance of the Punjab. lt has been said often enough that we are
the heart, the brain-and the sword-arm of Pakistan. Our contributions
tq·tbF achievement of Pakistan also are now a matterof history. Withqut
'our decisive and critical struggle, Pakistan would not have realised lsic.].
1. Punjab Legislative AssemblJ( Debates, Vol. IX.,No. 7, p. 445.
2 •• S. D. Bailey, Parliamentary Government in Sotahern Asia (London, 1953), p. 51.
3. H. Tinker, The Union of B11rma(London: 1957), pp.' 384-385. In Ghana the
Convention People's Party supporters sometimes collectively labelled the opposition
parties· as "Ghana Opposition Parties AmaJgamated" (G. 0. P.A.), J\. ~krumah,
Autobiography (London, 1957), p, 215.
Our human material is of the choicest. The army of course gives an
overwhelming proof of it.: But in the arts and the sciences, in the general
1evel of intelligence and political perception, in the grit, determination
and sanity of our masses, we stand in the forefront of Pakistan".
"Yes there is amongst us a sense of frustration, we will not go into
its causes, one of which is that the people of the Punjab are more
advanced, more intensely critical, more politically alive, more intensely
conscious of standards and values than the people anywhere else in Pakistan .... But there is also a feeling amongst us that attempts are sometimes
made to deprive us and our men of the significance and share to which
our merit, our work and our importance entitles [sic.] us. Such attempts
the Punjab Provincial Muslim League pledges to its people it will never
allow to succeed". But in the next paragraph provincialism was condemned :' HProvincialism we regard as treachery. It is a symptom of
discontent and decay. It is the very antithesis of national solidarity· and
disperses and dissolves in conflict the energy which we require for the
building up of Pakistan". Then followed the threat that "we in the
Punjab have sufficient patriotism and self-confidence to revive it", and
finally "but we must not at the same time stand for or allow provincialism in others. "1
Above all, some East Pakistanis clamoured for a "fully and completely" autonomous eastern Zone. We have already seen how people
like Maulana Bhashani and his associates talked glibly of "two peoples",
"two countries" and "independence". A Member from East Pakistan,
Ataur Rahman Khan, who was shortly to become the Chief Minister of
his province, once took the Parliament into his confidence : "As a
matter of fact· I may tell you, it may be ~ great weakness with me that I
feel a peculiar sensation when I come from Dacca to Karachi. I feel
physically, apart from mental feeling, that I am living here in a foreign
country. I did not feel as much when I went to Zurich, to Geneva or
Switzerland, or London as much as I feel here in my own country that I
am in .a foreign land" .2 Barely a month before the October 1958 coup, an
East Pakistani Minister issued a statement which, after enumerating all
the grievances of his province, ended with this paragraph : "l am sure
there can be nothing more preposterous, outrageous and inhuman than
the treatment which has been meted out to the people of East Pakistan
by the Central Government. I fail to understand what do they want:
The Election Manifesto of the Punjab Mus/Im League, December 1950, pp.,6-7.
2. Constituenr Assembly of Pakistan Debates, 19 March, 1956, vet, 1, No. 4,
p. 216.
~ Party Politics in Pakistan
Anatomy of ]!arty Politics.
Do they want complete frustration, ·and chaos and. confusion in the
country? I do not believe they do. But tlren.why do they not respond
-to the just and legitimate demands of East Pakistan?" 1
· Such statements can be multiplied manifold- and it is hard to find
.justification for these extremist views. The usual West Pakistani reply
,was that Bangalis had a majority of seats in the first Constituent
Assembly and one-half of the total in the second, and that, except for a
.short period, they always had one Bengali either as Governor General or
.as Prime Minister. The East Pakistanis put their case in, different ·t~nns:
When Khwaja Nazimuddin was Governor General real power lay in the
bands of -the Prime Minister, Liaquat, Ali Khan. Wheµ Nazimuddin
.became Prime Minister, real power Jay in the handsof the Governor
General, Ghulam Muhammad. The next Prime Minister was -again a
Bengali, but Muhammad Ali Bogra was a personal nominee of Ghulam
Muhammad and therefore enjoyed noreal power. The .Muslim League
.partyhad been routed in the 1954 election, but its Bengali nominees· ponr
tinned to represent the province in the Constituent Assembly for another
year. The Basic Principles Committee did not contain -a majority of
Bengali members, nor did its sub-committees.s For instance, the impertant · sub-committee "On Federal and' Provincial -Constitutions and Distribution of Powers contained 9 ·Bengalis out -of 20 members. The chief
Bengali demand for complete provincial autonomy was.net entertained
by the Central Government 'or .the' Constituent Assembly. Their demand
'for the recognition of Bengali as a State language was, at first, not only
rejected, but the advocates of Urdu conveyed' the impression that any
defence of Bengali was both un-Islamic and anti-national+ Bengalis had
little. share in the Central Superior Services which ruled the whole
1. Statement of M· A. Khaleque of 6 September 1958, as reported by the
Associated Press of Pakistan.
2. In addition to the statements and speeches referred t~ above, see A. R. Khan,
Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, 7 September 1955, Vol. 1, p. 530: Azizuddih
Ahmad, ibid., 1 March, 1948, Vol. 1, p. 82; A. Mansur.Ahmed, ibid., 16 January, 1956,
Vol. r, pp. 1818-1819; S. A. Khondkar, East Bengal Legislative Assembly Debates 16
~arch, 1949, Vol. III, pp. 164-165; and Round Table, March 1956.
. ' '
3. Prof. I. H. Qureshi and Prof. Mahmud Husain, two members of the basic
Principles Committee, were elected from Bengal but were not Bengalis; and 'Be~g~lis
did·no l regard them as champions of their interests.
•·4. This view was attributed to Liaquat Ali Khan and to some Ppnjabi leaders
ljy At'auil ltahman ..Khan, Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, Debates. 6 September,
1955, Vol. I, p. ~: 8.
country including East 'Pakistan.! Gradually they came to believe that
they were being denied the status of equality to which they were entitled,
as a province which contained a majority of the total national
This regional rivalry was accentuated and aggravated by the absence
of a national countrywide political organization.
All the parties were
regional or s,e~tional or sectarian. The Pakistan National Congress was
a sectarian body, so werp the Jamaat-i-Islami, the Nizam-i-Islam, the
Khilafat-i-Rabbani and even the Muslim League. The Awami League
was strong only in E!!-st Pakistan and the Muslim League only in West
Pakistan., Tbe Republican Party never extended the scope of it&
activity Jo the eastern zone.s This largely accounts for the absence of
any -. broad-based and nationally accepted policies. . No Central
government.was able to satisfy both the wings of the country, because
it W?-S either made up of a coalition which was, by definition, notoriously weak, or of a party .which belonged to one wing only and
therefore suspect in the other. A number pf factors were responsible
for this unhappy aspect. First; the federal structure of the country
might have been an .ob~tacle, in . the way. of a national party.l
Secondly, Pakistan was a qiJingual country and there was a lack of one
nationally used or understood language. Finally, the ge~graphicai
peculiarity was perhaps a strong deterrent to any such. attempt.
Mergers and' Alli~ccs
Attempts were made to overcome this han~icap in a different way,
Parties with similar .outlooks merged to form a 'larger national organization. In a ,way~ all nationalist movements are mergers. In the search for
unity :in opposition, to the ruling 'foreign power, the nationalist' movements
in Asia exerted every effort to bring together all factions and groups. The
1. "Officers who were under' the direct control of the Central G~vemment
but were working in that Province refused to carry, out or obey the orders 'of
Ministers or the Provincial Cabinet or thye Provincial Legislature because they
believed that the Provincial.Government had no power to take any action again~t
them if t9ey violated orders or' the Ministers or the Ministry", Sl,)e,ikh 'Mujibu}
Rahman (a former East .'Pakistan Minister and Secretary of the Awami League),
Corstituent Assembly uf Pakistan Debates, 9. February, 1956, Vol. I;' •No.· 68, pp{
2. In May 1958 there were only 2 members of the Republican Party from East
Pakistan in the National Assembly; M.A. K. Sumbal, op. cit., p, 35 .
3. For the difficulties involved in organizing and working a party irl a federal
country see ·Towards a More Responsible Two-Party System : A Report of the. Committee on'PoliticalPanies (American Political Science Association,.1950), pp. 26-21;
Party Politics in Pakistan
Anatomy of Party Politics
Muslim League, the Indian National Congress, the Indonesian Nationalists, the Ceylonese Nationalists, and.Burma's Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League, were all built on such a principle. But after independence
these movements were naturally apt to break up, with groups of minority
views leaving the movement to form new political parties.
An almost similar process in the reverse took place when a number
of political parties combined to oppose a particular party which was in
power or did not satisfy all shades of opinion. Five such mergers can. be
noticed in Pakistan. In 1953-54, most of the opposition parties in East
Pakistan combined in the United Front to oppose the Muslim
League. In 1955, the Azad Pakistan Party and the Gantantari Dal decided to explore the possibility of co-ordinating their activities in national
affairs. In 1956, the Azad Pakistan Party, the Red Shins, the Sindh Awami
Mahaz and a few other minor groups, merged to form the Pakistan
National Party.1 In 1957, the dissident Awami Leaguers of East Pakistan
joined hands with the Pakistan National Party of West Pakistan 'to
form the National Awami Party. Add in J958, the Nizam-i-Islam of East
Pakistan merged with the Tahrik-i-Istehkam-i-Pakistan of West Pakistan
to establish tlie Pakistan Nizam-i-Islam Party. In February 1958 there
was a move in East Pakistan to merge the Awami League and the Congress.?
Similar examples may be quoted from elsewhere. The Ghana Congress Party was established in May 1952 as a merger between the rump
of the United Gold Coast Convention, the moderate National Democratic
Party and a few dissident leaders of the Convention People's Party.>
~ithin four months, however, the new party ran into rough weather when
intellectuals started fighting for leadership and the United Gold Coast
Convention and the National Democratic Party refused to disband themselves. An unsuccessful attempt had been made earlier by Dr. Danquah,
when, in December 1950, he proposed to form a Gold Coast National
<?ongress headed by the Asantahene. In Sudan, the National Union Party
was established in 1953 as a result of the merger between the Ashigga and
other minor parties and groups supporting the principle of a constitutional "link" with Egypt. In Burma, many opposition groups, including'.
the B.W.P.P. and other Jeftist bodies, formed a National United Front in.
1956, and though the Fr~nt secured only 47 seats against 145 of the'
A-F.P.F.L., it polled 1,139,286 votes against 1,743,816 by the A-F.P.F.L.
The causes of this electoral reverse of the A-F.P.F.L. were exactly the
same as those of Muslim League's defeat in 1954, viz., arrogance, selfseeking and indifference of most of the leaders; the decision of many
independent leaders of public opinion to line up against the party in
power; and discontent of the people over the long-drawn out deficiencies,
frustrations and miseries of everyday life.!
These fronts and mergers, however, do not have a long life. Either
the new combination wins the election, in which case its component elements start quarrelling over the spoils of office; or it loses the election,
in which case the smart of defeat ·is enough to scatter the frustrated elements once more. The United Front in East Pakistan disintegrated within a year of its formation when the Awami League, its major component,
walked out.
Similarly, the Ghana Congress Party disappeared within two years
of its birth when it failed, in the 1954 election, to represent the Ashanti
aspirations and was replaced by a new body, the National Liberation
Movement, which expressed the long-felt Ashanti sense of national pride.2
I. Dawn, 9 August, 1956.
2. See-Pakistan Times, 17 February, 19
3. ThomasHodgkin. "A Note on West African Political Parties!' in What are
the Problemsof Parliamentary Government in West Africa ? (London, 1958), p. 54.
Relationship between Party and Parliamentary Representatives
The problem of reciprocal relations between party leaders and parliamentary representatives is one of the essential problems of democratic
politics. Democracy requires that the parliamentary representatives take
precedence over party leaders, but practice has rarely conformed to this,
Jn the Muslim League, we can see a development from a stage (1947-1951)
when parliamentary representatives dominated the party, through a stage
(l951-1955) when the two bodies competed for power and were veritable.
rivals, to the stage (1956-1958) when the party leaders were in the ascendant. In a party in which parliamentary representatives dominate the
party, and it was true of most of the Pakistani parties, participation in
elections and in the working of.the parliament constitute the very aim of
its existence. All its effort is concentrated on getting as many representa-,
tives elected to parliament as possible. Naturally, therefore, these repre-,
sentatives occupy positions of power in the party. Four reasons can,
be given for the domination of the parliamentary representatives in the.
party counsels in Pakistan: (a) the prestige of their office; the rank and file.
of the party looked to them with respect and envy; ( b) their natural capaH.' Tinker, op. cit., pp. 89·91.
2. John Seeking, "High Tide Along the Gold Coast", Race and Power ; Studies
of Leadership in Five British Dependencies, pp. 51-53. ..
Party Politics in Pakistan
city; generally they were abler than the leaders outside ; (c) their capacity
to manoeuvre ; being used to lobby intrigues they managed to outflank
their adversaries within the party ; and (d) patronage in their hands ; by
dispensing favours they could buy over many colleagues and outside
At the same time, the opposite tendency of attaching too much importance to the party's Committees and Councils and ignoring the parliamentary party was also visible. Jn June 1958, for, example, the National
Awami Party in the East Pakistan legislature wanted to support the
Awarni League coalition Ministry, but a directive came from the central
party organization asking it to vote against the Government. Earlier,
as we have seen, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan -had declared before
the Muslim League Council that he was primarily responsible to the party
and not to parliament.
This has been characterized by a foreign student as a unique performance by.the Prime Minister of any constitutional State.1 But the Labour
parties of Australia and New Zealand and to some extent of South Africa
tiave shown a distrust of parliamentary leadership, Caucus control flourished in New Zealand from 1939 to 1949 to such an extent that Sir Gilbert Campion recorded his opinion that New Zealand bad a composite
Cabinet andcaucus ,system instead of a genuine Cabinet system. When
Labour was returned to power in 1946, for some months the Prime Minisfer "gave an account of his administration only to secret meetings of his
caucus without holding a parliamentary session and without facing parliatnentary criticism". Moreover, the Chiefs of Staff of New Zealand armed
fQx:ce~ were summoned to report directly to the Labour caucus.s Similarly, the Ihdlan National Congress has been reluctant to make a sharp dis~
tinction between the leader of the party in parliament and the Chairman
of the party outside. Jawaharial Nehru had maintained that the Congress Ieaders in the Government and the Congress Working Committee
should be intimately related.s In Burma, the A-F.P.F.L. parliamentary
body took aH decisions and the parliament rubber-stamped them: more·
over, opposition parties were completely excluded from the important
committees of the'House+ The president of the Muslim League and the.
Prime Minister (when the· Muslim League was in power) were the same
person till 1956 ; but the most glaring example of the domination o~ the
1. K. Callard, op, cit., p. 38.
A. Brady, Democracy in the Dominions (Toronto, 19.52), pp. 314-315.
3. S. D. Bailey, op. cit., ·p. S4.
4. H. Tinker, op, cit., p. 84.
Anatomy of Party Politics
Working Committee over the Parliamentary party was that of Chaudhri
Muhammad Ali who was forced to resign jn September 1956.1
The Muslim League tried, in its own way, to tackle this problem.
Jinnah was the first President of the Pakistan Muslim League. He was
succeeded by Chaudhri Khallquzzaman. This arrangement, under which
the Prime Minister was not the leader of the party outside parliament, was
felt to hinder smooth-decision-making and in October 1950 the constitution
was amended, permitting cabinet members to hold party offices. Liaquat
Ali was then elected president of the party. Thus possible friction was
avoided by concentrating both governmental and party powers in the
hands of a single person; Liaquat was President of the Muslim League,
Prime' Minister 'of the country, Chairman of the Party's Central Parliamentary Board and chairman and nominator of the Central Working
Commi~tee. But after Liaquat's death the Working Committee set up a
committee to examine the practice in Britain, the United States and other
cou~tries ~nd to make recommendations. In the meantime Khwaja
Nazimuddin had succeeded Liaquat as president of the party. After the
new president's dismissal in 1953 Muhammad Ali Bogra, the new Prime
Mini'ster, was elected president. But on his resignation from Government
the constitution of the party was once again amended to revert to the
position of 1948 by which party office could not be combined witq
Governmental office. Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar was accordingly
elected president, while Chaudbri Muhammad Ali continued as
Prime Minister. This, as we have seen, led to a serious clash which
resulted in the Prime Minister's resignation.
Comparable changes in the provinces meant more serious consequences. Mamdot was the first chief minister of the Punjab, and under the
pre-1948 Constitution, also the President of the Punjab Muslim League
The amendment of 1948 divorced these offices and Mian Daultana was
elected President, on 28 November, 1948, by the small margin of 198 to
votes.s This developed into a Daultana-Mamdot rivalry which subs~quently led to the suspension of parliamentary government in the province. In Sindh, Khuro, the deposed chief minister, was elected president
in December 1948 by 72 votes
35,3 and re-elected in 1950. During
the period when he was president but not chief minister he was continu-
1. A comparable case was the expulsion of the N .c.N .C. ministers by the party's
National Executive in 1953; for a first hand account of this incident see Okai,Arikpa,
"On Being a Minister". West Africa, 14 August, 1954, p. 151.
2. Dawn, 29No"l[ember,1948.
3. Jbid•• 6 December, 1948.
Party Politics in Pakistan
Anatomy of Party Politics
ously plotting against provincial cabinets which belonged to his own
party, the Muslim League. In October-1950 he went to the extent of
directing the Working Committee to establish a 9-man supervisory committee to watch the activities of the Government.1 This conflict was not
resolved till Khuro himself became the chief minister in 1951. But his
supremacy was short-lived, for in the same year parliamentary government was suspended in the province for nearly two years.2
In other parties the presidential system of organization obtained.
Suggestions were made from time to time to end all personnel duplication
between party leaders and parliamentary representatives; but leaders
objected to them on the ground that it would be unprecedented to lay
down statutory restrictions on parliamentary representatives not to hold
any office in the partY,. But a number of examples can be quoted of
parties which forbid parliamentary representatives from managing the
party. In the Italian Unitary Socialist Party the role of member of parliament is incompatible with that of member of the party management; in
.the Belgian Socialist Party, the member of a Bureau who becomes a
Minister loses his right to a vote and must be replaced; similar arrangements exist in the Austrian Socialist Party for the members of the National
Council, the administrative committee and the control committee.
One Unit "must go".1 In September 1958, the General Secretary of the
Krishka Sramik Party suspended the Karachi branch of the party; but
the office-bearers and members of the suspended branch described the
directive as "illegal, unconstitutional, untimely and arbitrary", and refused to obey it.2
Party splits are, of course, not rare.in other countries. In 1952, the
Masjumi Party of Indonesia split in two groups. When the left wing gained control of the Executive Council of the party, the extreme right wing,
the Nahdatu1 Ulama, withdrew and made an alliance with the Partai
Sarekat Islam Indonesia and the Partai Islam to form an All-Indonesian
Muslim League.s In India, the Congress 1egisiative assembly party of
Uttar Pardesh was split into two camps in 1958, and the Manchester
Guardian correspondent commented, "The row in Uttar Pardesh is nothing
unique in today's India, where Congressmen quarrel Right, Left and
Centre".4 In 1958, in Burma two groups existed within the A-F.P.F.L.,
one led by the vice-president, U. Kyaw Nyein, and the other by the Secretary, Thakin Kyaw Htun.s The National Council for Nigeria and the
Cameroons was torn by a major split in 1953, which gave rise to the United Nigerian Independence Party,6 and again in June 1958, when 31 members of the party demanded Dr. Azikiwe's resignation, who fought back
by. expelling all the leading participants in the revolt. The expelled members at once formed a reform committee, and three trustees signed
resolution dismissing Dr. Azikiwe as party president." The United Federal Party of Rhodesia was split in 1958 when Garfield Todd and six southem Rhodesian M.Ps resigned from the party. The Australian Labour
Party had till this time experienced three major splits: in 1916, when
W.M. Hughes tried to make it accept conscription, in 1931 when some
members of the Scullins Government defected to the Nationalist Party,
and in 1954 when the Democratic Labour Party split away. Breakaway
Labour Parties have caused the defeats of Labour Governments in Victo-
Lack of Discipline
The most" conspicuous feature of Pakistan's party politics was a lack
of discipline, loyalty and sense of responsibility. We have seen, many
examples of this in earlier chapters: Mian Jafar Shah's opposition to the
'One Unit' Bill a year after he had extolfed the proposal to the skies,
Suhrawardy's volte face on the same issue, etc. It was not uncommon to
see the leaders of the same party contradicting each other on public issues,
different regional branches of a party taking opposite sides, legislators
on the same benches clashing on fundamental points, and so on, ad nauseam. The Republican Party did not decide until August 1958 that the
future of "One Unit" was an open question, and till then it was publicly
committed to its retention. But on 16 February, 1958, the West Pakistan
Minister of Excise and Taxation declared in Peshawar that "One Unit"
was harmful to national interests and enumerated its defects.3 TWo
months later, the Deputy Minister for Health said in Rawalpindi that
1. Begum Mumtaz Jamal's statement, reported on 29 April, 1958, by the Associated Press of Pakistan.
2. Full statement of the suspended branch published in Pakistan Times, 8 September, 1958.
3. D. Woodman, op. cit., pp. 357-358.
4. Manchester Guardian, 6 November, 1958,
5'. See The Times,24 April, 1958.
6. Thomas Hodgkin, "A Note on West African Political Parties .. , What are the
J?roblems?IParliamentaryGovernment in WestAfrica 1 (1958), p. 54. He mentio'zis another instance, too: the split within the United Gold Coast Convention in 1944', which
led to the creation of the Convention Peoples Party.
7. Th,e Times, 17 June, 1958.
1. Dawn, 18 October, 1950.
See Supra, pp. 107-110.
3. Arbab Nur Muhammad Khan's statement, reported by the Associated Press of
~ .. - -
Anatomy of Party Politics
Party Politics in Pakistan
ria and Queensland and helped to keep the· Labour Party from office in
the Federal election of 1958. In 1938 the Wafd Party of Egypt had split
and Ahmad Mahir Pasha and Mahmud Fahrni Nuqrashi Pasha had with·
drawn to form the Saadist Party. Again, in 1944> William Makram
Ubaid Pasha, a Copt and a former Secretary General of the Wafd, left the
Wafd to form the Kutla Party.! Many members of the Ivory Coast territorial assembly elected on- the Ressemblement Democratique Africain
ticket detached themselves from it in 1950, attached themselves to the
U.D.S.R., and fought the 1951 election on that basfa.2
Splits in parties may be caused by many factors. The R.D.A. split
of 1950 was due to a difference of opinion between 'the right wing which
favoured the, policy of compromise with French administration and the
left wing ~hich favoured a policy of fighting till the end. The National
Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons split on the rock of tribalism and
communalism., The United Gold Coast Convention broke up :Q:iainly on
divisiohs over issues of strategy and tactics between the older leadership
under Dr. Danquah who believed in going slow and the newer leadership
under Dr. Nkrumah who believed in forcing the pace. The Sudanese
Graduate'sCongress split over a complex of related questions-ideological (radicalism g!aduali~m), tactical (union with Egypt v. independence)
and relfgious1 (Khatm(yya, supporters of Syed Ali al-Mirghani, v, Ansar,
supporters of Syed~Abdur Rahman al-Mahdi). The Convention People's
Party of Gbani.split in Ashanti and Togo1and on tribal 'and regional
Splits are sometimes due to sheer loss of dynamism and consequent
isolation ofleadership (i'om the rank and file, as in the case of the. Muslim League after 1952. Sometimes the split is caused by the left wing,
which arpes .tliat the reyoiution has been betrayed and that there. is no
radical improvemerit in the cbndition of peasants and workers, as in the
case of the Azad Pakistan Party splitting away from the Muslim League.
'Revolts can also take place- over a tactical issue, e.g., the Muslim League
split in J956 when some supported Prime Minister Chaudhri in .his
appointment ot Khan s'ahib and others insisted on the party ruling the
new province. The .Azad Pakistan Party split in I 955 over the questiorr'cf
leadership: the dissidents charging the established leadership with ~i~atorial
conduct and intent. The United Front split in 1955, when
.. the
1. The 'J{itJ!fle Eafl : ,of Political and Economic Study (1954 ed.), pp. 181-182.
2. Kenneth Robinson, "Political Developments in French West Africa", in C. W.
Stillman (ed.), Africa in the Mo1fem World (1955), pp. 175-176. But this was a result of
every kind of pressure by the colonial administration.
3. T. Hodgkin, Nationalism in Colonial Africa (London, 1956), p. 167.
- -- -
Awami League left it, was due to fundamental differences in policy. The
Awami League, in turn, split in 1957 when Bhashaniand his followers
left it, alleging that it had failed to uphold the 1954 manifesto. It appears
as if there was no leader intelligent -enough to realize the need for discipline and strong enough to impose it.
Allied to the splits and revolts is the defection of members from their
parties. It is perhaps not far from the truth that more legislators and
ordinary members left their parties to join others without resigning their
seats or giving any valid reasons in Pakistan than in any other country in
the world. With a few exceptions, like Qayyum Khan, Chundrigar and
Daultana, all important leaders transferred their loyalties once or twice
or more l:etween 1947 and 1958. A few examples taken at random will
illustrate this. Sardar Shaukat Hayat Khan was first in the Muslim
League, then joined the Azad Pakistan Party, then re-joined the Muslim
League, and finally retired from politics. Fazlul Haq was first in the
Muslim League, then founded his own Krishka Praja Party, then went
over to the Krishka Sramik Party, then led the United Front, then came
back to the Krishka Sramik, and finally ended up as a Governor from
which post he was dismissed in 1958. Firoz Khan Noon, 'Sardar Rashid
and a host of others left the Muslim League to join the Republican Party.
Maulana Bhashani left the Muslim League for the Awami League and then
left the Awami League for the National Awami Party. But in this race
all laurels belong to the Khan of Mamdot whose record is something like
this: started in the Muslim League, then founded his own Jinnah Muslim
League, then merged with the Awami league, then came back to his
Jinnah Muslim League, later re-joined the Muslim League, then acted as
Governor of. Sindh (a non-party office), and finally came over to the
Republican Party.
Two observations are relevant here. First, it is remarkable that when
a Person left bis party to join another, the receiving party, exultant in its
hour of triumph, forgot that the new recruit would also leave it with equal
impudence if the occasion arose. Secondly; the receiving party accorded''
to the newcomer the same status as he had enjoyed in his own party: if a
person who had been a minister in the Muslim League Government went,
over to the Republican Party he was at once made a minister in the
Republican Government. These transfers of loyalty were certainly un-:
reasonable and undemocratic and are hard to justify by any standard. Butiwo things may be borne in mind. In the first place, at least some of
these floor crossings were caused by the high-handed and autocratic
action of the Central Government, when it dismissed a number of Provincial ministries not because they had ceased to enjoy the confidence of
- -
Party Politics in Pakistan
their respective legislatures but because they refused to say yes to every
Central policy, e g., Rashid Ministry in the Frontier Province, Pirzada
Ministry in Sindh, and Noon Ministry in the Punjab.l Under such circumstances, the victims of unjust and uncalled for dismissals had often
no choice but to leave the party as a mark of protest. But what surpasses
understanding is that all these dismissed chief ministers=dismissed because they had refused to support the establishment of West Pakistanwere later called upon to serve on the Cabinet of the same province, and
a time came when the entire West Pakistan ministry consisted of those
who had bitterly opposed the creation of the province which they now
administered. In the second place, the deserters could always plead, with
considerable show of justification, that, as all politics rotated' round
'pe,rsonalities, they were free to transfer their allegiance to another leader
and that the process did not involve any betrayal of principles.
The only efficacious remedy of this would have been Iegislation to
the effect that every member of an assembly must resign his seat if he
changed his party loyalty. This was fair to the member concerned and
to the people who had elected him on a particular ticket. In fact, such
a measure was proposed by a Muslim League member, Chaudhri Aziz
Din, who introduced a Bill in the National Assembly on 5 September,
l958, seeking to amend the Representation of the Peoples Act, 1957. The
statement of objects and aims of the Bill deserves full quotation: "The
greatest single factor which has contributed to fall in the prestige of Pakistan is the instability arising from the defection of members from the
Parliamentary party or group which helps them to get elected to the
National Assembly or the Provincial Assembly and thus betray their
constituencies. This irresponsible state of affairs requires an immediate
and drastic remedy. If a member disagrees with his Parliamentary party
1. Tbe control exercised by the Central Government over the Provincial Governments went beyond the limits of constitutional, or even political, propriety. Provincial
Governments were suspended on many occasions, but only once was this done as the
result of a legislative vote, i.e.; on 31August,1956, in East Pakistan, when A.H. Sarkar's ministry failed to obtain a vote of confidence in the assembly. Tbe Governors of
the Punjab and N.-W.F.P. presided over meetings of provincial ministries. The Governor
of East Pakistan was directed by the Prime Minister "to keep an eye" on the provincial
Ministers. The Frontier Governor was in touch with the members of the Assembly
and particularly the Muslim League Party and he kept the central Government fully
informed of the various developments in the party, When Yusuf Haroon became the
Chief Minist~r of Sindh on 18 February, 1948, he "consulted Liaquat Ali Khan in the
matter of selecting bis ministers and allocation of portfolios''. The Chief Secretary
of East Pakistan used to send fortnightly reports to the Central Government on the
activities of Provincial-Minii.ters.
K. B. Sayeed, op. cit., pp. 261-262, 264, 311, 385.
II {:
Anatomy of Party Politics
or group which helped him in his election to the House, he is honour·
bound to resign from the Assembly and seek re-election from his constituency. In case he is not prepared to do so he should not be allowed
to barter away public interests for personal gain. The provisions of the
amending Bill will have a salutary effect in ensuring stability in Pakistan.'
Another Muslim Leaguer, Yusuf Haroon, also introduced a similar Bill,
with the same intention. It is not without significance that both the Bills
were introduced by Muslim League members, for all the defections had
been at the cost of the League which bad hardly gained a single member
during the eleven years. The sentiment behind the Bill was admirable,
but it would have been more honourable if the parties had themselves
made a rule of self-abnegation by which they refused entry to such turncoats.!
Similarity of Programmes
Another source of confusion was the absence of any marked
differences in the parties' programmes. Party conflict can be on three
levels: on no principle, as in the United States and Pakistan; on general
and social principles, as in Britain and Scandinavian countries; and on
fundamental principles, as in Italy and France. In Pakistan, party
manifestoes revealed a surprising similarity bordering on identity. If the
programmes of all parties were to be mixed up and the names
groups removed from the covers, it is doubtful if the party leaders them·
selves would have been able to discover which manifesto belonged to which
party.2 The only noticeable and distinguishing features were to be found
in the Islamic parties. Each party was solemnly pledged to agrarian reforms, refugee rehabilitation, "independent" foreign policy, encouragement of cottage industries, development of social services, eradication of
corruption, rapid industrialization, guarantee of fundamental rights,
1. Under Article 16 of the constitution of the .French Socialist Party, candidates
have to give their word of honour that they will resign if they leave the party. In some,
other parties candidates are compelled to sjgn, before their election, an undated letter 0£
resignation; the party fills in the blanks and forwards the document if the member
changes his party loyalty.
2. "In neither Nigeria nor Ghana are party affiliations based on class or based on.
attractive programmes.
A study of election manltestoes will show thar except in 11 few
traditional matters, the party programmes are indistinguishable",
Ofori-Atta, (of
Ghana) commenting on Mr. Hodgkin's paper, What are the Problems of Parliamentary
Government in West Africa? (1958), t>· 63. But he hoped that this feature was
characieristic of "colonial days" and would disappear after "self-Government".
I.! . .
Party Politics In Pakistah
solving the Kashmir problem, etc., etc.I This masterful identity confused
the electorate, facilitated floor crossing, and killed party individuality,
It made personalities more important than principles; for if all parties:
had the· same aims the· .citizen might well vote for the 'leader he liked
more .or from whom he expected' the maximum benefits.
And that was not all.' After laying down identical policies, the
parties proceeded to ignore them systematically. All parties underlined
the urgency of rehabilitating the displaced persons, yet after eleven years
that huge mass of uprooted humanity stayed where-it had been since
1947. All of them promised fundamental rights and repeatedly announe=
ed. the need.for'repealin$ an security laws, but the Safety, Act 'was in full
force when they were' wound up. Each one of them professed to be a
sworn enemy of landlordism, and yet not a single agrarian refortn was
introduced or even contemplatedby any Cabinet.
~hlf ting Pollcles
Besides ,this glorious vagueness, the parties were also in the habit o~
shifting their policies with the rapidity of a conjurer, but without his skill;
The attitude of the various parties to the "One Unit" issue is a good
ex~mpl~ of this.
The, Republican Party had come dnto ,existence virtually for the
express purpose of safeguarding the scheme, But in September 1957, it
voted in-the West Pakistan Legislative Assembly in favour- of a resolution
recommending the establishment of a -sub-federation of. autonomous
units in place of the integrated province. Later its ranks divided and the.
party expressed, through the agency of different leaders, a bewildering
variety of views on the problem. Finally, realizing that, the issue was
causing a fatal split in. the party, it was announced in ·September 1958
that it was an openissue on which each party member .could follow his
own conscience.s The Muslim League, on the other h~nd, worked the
}· A similar performance, but in a slightly different class, is that of the French
party, Union pour la Nouvelle Republique, which won an overwhelming tnajority·iii the
election of November 1958 without a published programme to canvass. The Republican
party had form~d its government' in Wesf Pakistan a year before issuing its first manifestot
·2. When the tliscrepancy between the party programme and the policy adopted'
in the provincial and central legislatures was pointed out to Dr. Khan Sahib he
reported-to have given the remarkable explanation:
''.:.he said, the policy "and the
manifesto of a political party.had an unquestionable
supremacy over the decision taken
l~gisl~ture/' Da":"~ 31Ocfober;1956.
If this is accepted as true, two revolutionary
principles follow 1 First, that the party attached no importance to legislative decisions;
and·there~~re legislatures were at best redundant bodies. Secondly, that the party chose
• .• . ~
[contd. on p. 207]
:A.l)atomy of Party Polities
. other way round. It was a Muslim League Government which had
-conceived the idea of mergingthe western·areas into one province. In
lits September 1956 manifesto, however, "One Unit" was made an open
·issue.1 Subsequently, in October 1957, the 'party decided to retain the
integrated province.s 'Still .many -elements in it continued to oppose the
·"One Unit". The Awami League's record was· one of no less vacillation
and opportunism. 'Its members were neutral when the scheme was first
circulated, but 'later opposed it bitterly when the nieasure was debated
'in the-Constituent Assembly. Its East Pakistan Council promised that,
on assumption of power, the party would consult the people and decide
the issue according to ,their wishes. This commitment was abandoned
when Suhrawardy became prime minister; in fact later he. became a
stout champion of "One Unit". And all the phases of this zigzag
progresswere hailed by the faithful rank arid file of each· party with
'almost "ieligious ardour. However, this lack of critical faculty was not
-unique in 'Pakistan. Michels tells 11s how the German socialists behaved:
a similar ·way ·when in the Bremen Congress of 1904 they
... rejected the idea of the general strike as a general absurdity; at Jena, in
1905,·they acclaimed it as an official weapon of the party; at Mannheim,
In 1906, 'they deCl~ed it to be utopian''.3
-Another example can be quoted from Sindh. On '23 October,
'1954, Pirzaaa Abdus Sattar, the Chief Minister, obtained a signed
statement from 74 of the'llO members of the Sindh Legislative Assembly
saying that they were opposed to the integration of West Pakisran.s
'shortly afterwards Pirzada was dismissed by the Governor and Khuro
Was appointed in his place. 'Under the new chi~fininister's persuasive
'influence the' same assembly approved, on "I 1 December, 1954, the proposal for the integration of West Pakistan by JOO votes to 40.S
The Awami League's foreign policy -provides 'still another instance,
As we · have seen, the party was stoutly opposed to the official pro-:
West policy and frequently demanded withdrawal from alt alliances and
pacts. But when Subrawardy became Prime Minister in 195~, he not
[t;o7Jtd. from p•. 206]
to be)J:!dged,by its theoretical manifesto rather than by the practical decisions, ·This
thesls makes nonsense of parliamentary sovereignty as .well as of ,par!Y· responsibihty,
;r,he fy{~lim..League entertained similar Ideas, see supra •. p. 106.
I., Dawn, 26 September, 1956.
'· ..
2.. Ibid.; 13 October, 195'Z._..
3. R. Michels, Political Parties (London, 1916), pp. 151-152~
,, ... 4. . Dawn, 24 October, 1954•.
5. Ibid., ~2 D~!ll~r, 1~~4.
Anatomy of Party Politics
Party Politics in Pakistan
only continued the policy of his predecessors but defended it as desirable
on practical grounds. His stand was approved by the East Pakistan
Awami League Council on 13 June, 1957, when only 25 out of 750 odd
councillors voted against his policy. The council also complimented
the Prime Minister on the "great success" of bis foreign policy.1
The last example is taken from the Nizam-i-Islam party. On 25
August, 1957, Maulana Athar Ali Khan, President of the Nizam-i-Islam,
declared in Karachi that his party had signed the United Front 21-point
manifesto of 1953.2 But on 8 May, 1958, Farid Ahmad, an M.P.. and
the General Secretary of the party, said in Lyallpur that the party had
never signed that manifesto and never s bscribed to it.3
Oligarchy in Organization
It has. been said that every party organization represents some sort
of oligarchical power. Democracy is- incompatible with "strategic
promptness" and parties generally exhibit "if not unconditional caesarism,
at least extremely strong centralizing and oligarchical tendencies" .4
This is certainly true of political parties in the new democracies. In
Burma, the Central Executive and other leaders of the A-F.P.F.L. were
elected by a "process of inner selection" rather than by election, and alf
political.decisions were taken in the meeting of the Executive Committee.'
In Ghana, the Central Committee of the Convention People's Party's
National Executive consisted of the Leader and eight other members
him.6 There was not even a pretence of democratic control
in the selection of leaders and the formulation of policy in such other
Ghanaian parties as the National Liberation Movement, the Northern
People's Party, the Togoland Congress and the Muslim Association
, 1. Dawn, 14 June, 1957. According to Shaikh Muiib-ur-Rahman, General
Secretary of the party, the voting was 800 to 46, Pakistan Times, 15 June, 1957.
2. Dawn, 26 August, 1957,
3. ue; 9 May, 1958.
4. R. Michels, op. cit., pp. 47-48.
s. H. Tinker, op. ett., pp. 68, 83.
6. For full text of the party's constitution see G. Padmore, op. cit.; pp. 254-260.
In May 1961 Dr. Nkrumah took over full executive direction of the C.P.P. "to
give personal and executive direction to the party and the government". Already the
founder and life chairman of the party, he now assumed the posts of General Secretary
and Chairman of party's Central Committee. He claimed that he had taken over the
charge at the request of the Committee. Reuter's report from Accra, Dawn 3' May
7. H. L. Bretton, "Current Political Thought and Practice in. Ghana" American
l'olitical Science Review, Vol. Lil, No, I, March 1958,pp. S~S7.
Similarly, in Pakistan the Central Working Committee of the Muslim League consisted of 22 members, all nominated by the president of
the Party. In the provinces, the working committees were partly elected
and partly nominated by the provincial party chiefs.! At least two parallels to this rule of co-opting members along with those elected may be
given here. The famous Birmingham Caucus had at its basis district caucuses composed of delegates elected by the party members and of as many
co-opted members as the elected members wanted to nominate. On the top
was the Executive Committee of 110 members, of whom 48 were directly
elected by the members in each district, 32 elected by the district caucuses
and 30 co-opted by these 80. In the French Popular Republican Movement, the National Committee includes IO co-opted members and the
administrative Committee. In the Belgian Christian Social Party, the
committees 'on commune and arrondissement level had the right to 'co-opt
members to a number equal to that of the elected members; in the
centre tlie General Council included l2 co-opted members out of more
than 100 and the National Committee 4 out of 21.
In the same category, comes the refusal of any Pakistani party to
recognise the right of referendum to modify or suppress a decision taken
by the Council or the annual session. When, for example, the Republican Party was very near splitting on the "One Unit" issue, the wiser
course should have been to hold a referendum of all the party members
to decide the issue. This would have saved the party from the charge of
being undemocratic and of sacrificing principle to expediency. Similarly,
before the Bhashani group deserted the Awami League, the League might
well-have held a general vote on the point at issue, viz., the party's failure
to implement the 1953 21~point manifesto
Such a method of holding a
popular vote on a crucial issue within the party is by no means an innovation. In the Swedish Social Democratic Party a referendum can be
held not only to intervene in a matter on which the party Congress has
not.come to a decision but also to change -or annul a decision reached
by it. The Party Executive decides if a referendum is to be held, but it
becomes obligatory if 5 per cent of the members ask for it. In the Swiss
Socialist Party, the decisions are subject to a general vote. if two-fifths of
the delegates or a quarter 'of the branches (speaking for at least one-tentfi
of the members) demand it; in practice, however, a referendum has not
1. "At one time the provincial branches of the Muslim League in the Punjab and
in Sindh were dissolved and their qrganization was given in the hands of actipg fresi~
dents and Secretaries appointed by the central leadership", Muneer Ahmad, op. cit••
Party Politics in Pakistan
been used since 1921.t
Some parties never came to the point of having an organization
based on the constitution. Ad hoc committees were created .and con·
veners elected themselves. In some cases this tentative arrangement
continued till the end and proper general elections to choose party officials
never came to be held. For example, the Pakistan National Party declared that elections to all offices and committees would take place after the
completion of the membership campaign, but the campaign never finishe~
and therefore elections were never held.
Two reasons may be given for this lack of democracy within the parties. One is that all the parties, except the Muslim League, were new
parties and, like all fresh organizations, allowed their zeal to run away
with democratic discretion. A fighting political party which has no traditions is bound to be more oligarchical than democratic. The second
reasori is that some of these parties were born of earlier semi-political
associations. In a sense, the Muslim League itself was a child ·of the
nineteenth-century Aligarh Movement, which was more of a cultural an~
educational group than a political movement. Similarly the Jamaat-iIslami and the Ahrar Party were mainly religious organizations which
strayed into politics almost by accident. Such groups do not change
their constitution or their pattern of activity when they changetheir;
aim or their field of activity. Many examples of such transformations
cometo mind. The Patti Democratique de la Cote d'Ivoire formed in
,1945 was the child ~f the older Syndicat Agricole· Africain. The Kamerun National Congress was a direct descendent of the Cameroons
Development Corporation Workers' Union. The Action Group of Nigeria formed in 1951 is often asserted to be the offspring of the Yoruba
Cultural Association, Egbe Omo Oduduwa (society of the descendents of
Oduduwa); and the Northern People's Congress of 1951 is a Muslim,
predominantly Hausa, cultural
society-the Jamia re-named and
adapted. The Sierra Leone People's Party established in 1951 was a
development of the earlier Sierra Leone Organization Society, -a pody
formed to promote co-operatives in the Protectorate.
Party Militia
Militia has played an important part in Pakistani political parties.
The Muslim League had its Muslim National Guards, Ghaffar Khan had·
his Red Shirts, and the Ahrars had their own uniformed members.s .We
I. M. Duverger, Political Parties (London, 1954), pp. 172-173.
2. In Burma the Socialist Party had its Auxiliary Union Military Police and the
A.B.P.O. its Peaco Guerillas.
Anatomy of Party Politics.
have already seen bow these parties had sharply reacted to the Government's order banning military wings of political groups. These uniformed
wings, though obviously corresponding to some·sort of Fascist doctrine,
were not often violently disposed. They took out processions, paraded
the streets, presented guards of honour to leaders. saluted the flag of the
party and kept order in public meetings. The origin of the Muslim
League National Guards lay in the pre-1947 period when the Muslim
League was afraid of Hindus breaking up.its meetings. To that period
.also can be traced the organization of the Khaksars.
Apart from the activities mentioned above, these paramilitary
organizations also did some useful social work, e.g., maintaining sabils
(kiosks supplying cold drinking water in summer), searching for lost
children in big fairs and melas, keeping order on Pakistan Day and Independence Day, controlling traffic outside big prayer grounds on Eid Day,
collecting goat-skins for charitable purposes on Baqr Eid, feeding vie·
tims of floods, etc.
Party Fonds
Parties in Pakistan did not disclose their sources of funds, and there·
fore it is difficult to comment upon the problem of party finance and its
implications for .party structure. It is a fair guess that much more money
. was collected at the centre than in the districts, with the result that the
-party tended to be more centralized. More money was donated by pros·
perous industrialists and landlords than by the common member through
normal subscription.! which made the party more subservient to its
-wealthy patrons- and more divorced from its own rank and file.
Party Articulation
The basic unit of administration in Pakistan is the district, as it is
the department in France, the arrondissement in Belgium, and the canton
Jn Switzerland. The parties were therefore organized on the district level
of articulation, but this articulation was we~k. The district or tahsil
branch was less vocal and assertive and more vague and weak than the
central organization. Duverger may ascribe it to the electoral system,
1. "There were no party funds, except a few donations given by few [sic.] Indus..
.trialists", Mir Abdul Qayyum, ex-General Secretary of the Republican Party, quoted
in M.A.K. Sumbal, op, dt., p. 24.
2. In West Africa, "it was significant that a wealthy candidate, though he might
be patently undesirable; was often successful over a poor ~~n, except where pa~y
feelings and loyalties were very strong", Chief Enahoro (Mrmster of Home Affairs,
West Nigeria) in What are the P,r:oblems of Parliamentary Government in. West Africa l
(London, 1958), p. 142.
Party Politics in Pakistan·
Anatomy of Party Politic!
since the single constituency system generally weakens the party articulation; as was proved in Europe by the weakly articulated French
parties of the Third'Republic and is still illustrated by the weakly articulated parties of the United States of America. The British Labour Party
appears to refute this theory, but it is a Socialist party and all Socialist
parties tend to be strongly articulated; in the Conservatives Party the
branches are certainly weak in relation to the central organization. A
second reason for the weak articulation of Pakistani parties was the strict
control exercised by the higher leadership coupled with a lack of sound
leadership on the local level.
Unit" issue or the electorate problem or the ways and means of rehabilitating refugees or solving the land system. It is true that research centres
attached to parties are mainly a European institution, where one finds
such efficient offices as the Em,ile Vandervelde Institute of the Belgian
Socialist Party, the British Conservative Political Centre and the British
Labour Party's Research Department. But Pakistani parties should have
borrowed this technique from the West along with so many other practices they copied from, Europe.
Absence of Research'
Another significant feature of the party system was the total absence
pf any kind of association between the parties and the intellectual section
of the people. , There were no societies or associations of intellectuals or
iearned "men exerting influence on the parties, with the single .exception of
the Progressive Writers' Association which was a Communist Group.!
There was, for example, no such influence as that of Freemasonry on
the, French Radical Party in 1900-1910 or that of the Fabian Society on
the British Labour Party in 1890-1920. This absence of an intellectual
flank in the parties can be explained in two ways. First, the parties theniselves were too divorced from doctrinal debate to attract any intellectual
or support. Secondly, free public opinion was muzzled by vari1~tt~ntion
ous administrative and executive devices.
As the parties were deprived of intellectual -advice, they ignored one
very important aspect of their activity. There were no research centres
attached to any party; the Jamaat-i-Islami being the only exception
which regularly issued pamphlets and books embodying its views on current issues. The other parties- never thought of approaching the intelligent voter in any other way than the usual manifesto; even these programmes were hard to get. Now it seems almost unbelievable that, con'.fronted with so many-conuoversial and vital problems, the party managers never thought of expressing the party's views on, let us say, the "One
1. To some extent it may be said that a section of orthodox public opinion o'r the
learned class supported tbe Jamaat-i-Islami.
2. The Republican Party may perhaps be counted as another exception, f~r it pubIished a feo/ pamphlets, e.s., Pakistani DasturaurMakhloot Intikhab (The Constitution
and Separate Etectorates) by Ismail Zabih ; Republtdm Party Maidan-i-Amol Main tThe
Republican Party ln Action) by Ghulam Yazdani; Fermooda-l-Dr: Khan Sahib (Statements
of JA;. Khan,Sah'ib) by Ismail Zabih; Chaudah Nekati Programme (Tlfe 14-Point P10gamme) by Abid Husain ; etc. They were all -printed at the Ilmi Printing Press and issued
from the Republican House, Lahore.
Press and Radio
In the absence of research and of an intellectual group of supporters,
the parties tended.to depend more and more on the daily press. It is relevant here,'to review the status and political affiliation of the leading
newspapers of the period. We will begin with the English press of West'
The Dawn of Karachi was for many years a deciding influence in'
cabinet-making, and its editor, Altaf Husain, liked to be called the "kingmaker."! But the Muslim League was then continuously in power and'
the Dawn, being its mouthpiece, could only advance personalities, not'
canvass principles. In economic and social matters it usually adopted
a conservative attitude and was opposed to radical changes. In industrial disputes it "would be inclined to side with the empl~yers''.2 Though
its editor was a Bengali, it did not always side those who demanded for
Bengali the status of a national language.
The Times of Karachi was said to have the support of big money and
therefore supported big industrialists and capitalists. Conservative, almost reactionary, in social matters, it stood for an Islamic constitution.
It wanted Urdu to be the only national language. It looked with disfavour upon the United Front and the Muslim League, and had the reputation of being a "Punjabi" paper. Its outstanding characteristic was its
bitter opposition to the Communists. Under an ambitious editor, Mr.
Z. A. Suleri, this paper also ·tried for a time to play the king-maker's
game, but with little success.s
The Pakistan Times of Lahore was established in February 1947. It
was.uncompromisingly opposed to all official policies on the domestic
1. A French parallel is that of La Depeche de Toulouse and its editor, Maurice
Sarraut, who exercised a veritable moral sway over the French Radical Party without
having any official position. See Duverger, op. cit., p. 150.
2. Majid Nizami, The Press in Pakistan (Lahore, 1958), p. 14.
3. Both Dawn ("Unity: the First Step", 2 October, 1955) and the Times of Karachi
("A Dream Come True", 2 October, 1955) welcomed the integration of West Pakistan.
Anatomy of Party Politics
Party Politics in Pakista~
front. Courageously supporting progressive ideas against heavy odds it
was decidedly a leftist organ. Generally considered to be a Communist
paper (its editor, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, was involved in the Rawalpindi conspiracy case), it supported the Azad Pakistan Party, the Red Shirts, the
V/rore Pushtoon, the Pakistan National Party and the Pakistan National
Awami Party. It favoured a joint electorate and opposed "One Unit". Another Lahore English daily, the Civil and Military Gazette, Rudyard Kipling's paper, supported the Muslim League till it changed hands.
It had opposed Mian Daultana, the Punjab Chief Minister, in 1953, but
i,ts general policy was to play safe and to humour the party in power.
The comparatively unimportant Sind Observer of Karachi was owned
and edited by Pir' Ali Muhammad Rashdi. It was in general allied to
the Muslim League and in particular to the views of Rashdi. In early
1954 the Muslim League started a daily from Karachi entitled Pakistan
Standard. It proved to be the wrong moment for such a venture, for the
fortunes of the League were then fast waning, and within a year the pa·
per was forced to cease publication on -account of a serious dispute between the editor and the management.! The only English daily in the
former North-West Frontier Province was the Khyber Mail, which was
converted from a weekly into a daily in 1950. It was a pro-Government
µewspaper and for long pro-Muslim League.s
In East Pakistan it was comparatively easy to identify newspapers with
party politics. The Morning News, originally started in Calcutta in 1942
and later shifted-to Dacca in 1949,3 was a Muslim League paper, edited
~y Abdur Rahman Siddiqi. It neither supported the popular movement
!n favour of the Bengali language nor stood for narrow provincialism. Its
stand on the language controversy enraged the supporters of Bengali so
much that> they set fire to its press and offices. 4 But that failed to influ1. As a Muslim League paper it naturally supported the "One Unit" scheme. See
its editorial, "Pakistan Reborn", of 2 October, 1955.
2. Nizami, op. cit., p, 11. According to another source, however, it pursued
"no defined line of policy'' and claimed to be =independent in its approach to political and social problems of the country", S.M.A. Feroze, press in Pakistan (rev. ed. August 1957). p. 173.
3. Feroze, op. cit., p. 174. However, another source claims that it was started in
D~cca .oy Khwaja Nur-ud-Din in 1948 as a weekly and was later converted into a daily,
Nizanu, op, cii., p. 24.
4. Compare with Burma where "it has been an unpleasant political habit to
break up the offices of any paper whose criticisms are unwelcome. In I9A8 three news~ape~ were broken up for criticising the Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League" ;
n~ m 1950 monks smashed the office of the Oway, because they did not like its
attitude to the Sasana, See H. Tinker, op. eit., pp. 78-79.
' I
ence the paper's policy. Later it was published simultaneously from
Dacca and Karachi, the only newspaper in the country to be issued from
both wings.1 The other English daily, the Pakistan Observer, was started
by Hamid-ul-Haq Chaudhri in 1948.2 For long it was a Muslim League
paper, or rather the representative of the left wing within the Muslim
League. It demanded provincial autonomy. Later it changed its policy
_in accordance with the change in Chaudhri's politics, and became an organ of the Krishka Sramik Party.
Among the Urdu press of West Pakistan the two politically important newspapers were Imroze and the Nawa-i-Waqt, Imrose was the
Urdu version of the Pakistan Times and faithfully-followed a leftist and
anti-Government policy, It was published simultaneously from Lahore
and Karachi and maintained its reputation as the finest non-English newspaper' as regards get-up .and news-giving efficiency. The Nawa-i-Waqt
supported the Muslim League during the period immediately after 1947,
then extended its support to the Jinnah Muslim League of the Khan of
Mamdot, and went on supporting Mamdot when he had left the Awami
League. After 1953 it gave up its role as an opposition paper and
generally supported the provincial and central administrations. It was
unusually kind to Gurmani and. his politics. During Chaudhri
Muhammad Ali's prime ministership it supported the Premier but was
critical of the Muslim League. During the last one or two years it was
again pro-Muslim League. It was consistently in favour of "One Unit"
-and against a joint electorate. Afaq began as a pro-Muslim League
paper, and was generally believed to be Daultana's organ. For years
before 1953 its policy was controlled by the Director of Publi~ Relations
of the Punjab Government.3 It was banned by the martial law authori, ties in 1953 after the anti-Ahmadiyya riots. When it re-appeared in 1954
it was purchased by Saeed Saigol, a millionaire industrialist of Lyallpur,
and became a staunch Republican supporter. Ehsan was another
Muslim League paper which flourished under the patronage of Daultana
and his Government. Zamindar and Shahbaz were also pro-Muslim
League. Tasnim was' the semi-official organ of the Jamaat-i-Islami.
Al-Jamiat Al-Sarhad of Peshawar represented the views of th(? ulama.
Anjam and Jang were the two leading Urdu dailies of Karachi. Botp.
were pro-Government, both supported the cause of Urdu as the only
l. But, "the policies of the Morning News of Karachi do not necessarily correspond with those pursued by its counterpart in oacca", Nizami, op. cit., p. IS.
2. Feroze gives the date as 1948, op. cit., p. 174 ; while Nizami lllaf:es i~ 1949,
op. cit., p, 25.
3. See Munir Report, pp. 83-86.
Party Politics in Pakistan
Language Dailies Bi-Week
'Grand Total
Circulation figures of some of the leading dailies were ·:
Dawn (English, Karachi)
Pakistan Times (English, Lahore)
Morning News (English, Dacca)
Pakistan Observer (English, Dacca)
Jang (Urdu, Karachi)
.A.njam (Urdu, Karachi)
Nawa·i-Waqt (Urdu, Lahore).
Imroze (Urdu, Lahore)
Azad (Bengali, Dacca)
The largest circulation figures for the newspapers of various languages were as follows at the end of 1956: 3English
1. This was obviously not acceptable to Pakistan Times, which always carried on
s forehead the information: "National English daily with the largest circulation".
Dawn did the same with a slight variation: "Circulation and readership exceed the
circulation and readership of all dailies in Pakistan".
2. Report of the Press Commission, p, 9S. "We tried to collect from the office of
the Principal Information Officer figures of circulation of newspapers, the miines of
owners or proprietors or Managing Directors of newspapers and the· regularity or
otherwise of.their publications, but we were told that information on these subjects was
not available in that office", Ibid., p. 14. However, the Commission did not reveal its
. source of information for the figures given by it.
3. Feroze, op. cjl., p. 190. No daily was published in Pushto, the language of the
Anatomy of Party Politics
Combined circulation of newspapers of different languages on the
same date was like this : 1
The Press in Pakistan was not free. There were a number of strict
press laws which were not infrequently invoked, mostly without adequate
reason. The Pakistan Public Safety Act was enacted soon after Independence. In 1949 the West Punjab Safety Act was passed, which was followed by similar laws in all provinces. In 1952 the Security of Pakistan
Act was put on the statute book. In 1955 the Official Services Secrets
Act of 1923 was extended to the Press. Their combined effect on the
freedom of the Press was summarised by the International Press Institute
in these words: "The Government is the sole judge of what is prejudicial
to the defence and security of Pakistan, and to its relations with foreign
States; it may order the seizure. of an issue of a paper infringing the law
and search its offices; it may also temporarily suspend publication of a
paper or submit it to censorship; it may require the editor of a paper to
disclose his sources; the accused has no right of appeal and cannot be
released on bail except at one stage of the hearing. "2
The Civil and Military Gazette was banned for 6 months in 1949. In
1950 official patronage was withdrawn from the Pakistan Observer which
was later banned for an indefinite period. In 1951 the declaration of the
Nawa-l-Waqt was cancelled. Jn 1953 restrictions were placed upon Dawn
and the Evening Star. Among other newspapers against whom legal
action was taken were the daily Azad of Lahore, the Al-Jamiat Al-Sarhad
of Peshawar, Nat Roshni of Karachi, and Pukar of Lyallpur. During
1952-53 fifty newspapers were warned for violation of press laws.3 In
1. tu«. It will be noticed that the total circulation of Bengali newspapers ~s ~
little less than half or that of Urdu dailies, though Bengali was the language of a DUIJOnty of Pakistanis. Obviously Bengali papers commanded smaller circulation. Accord-:
ing to an official publication, the combined circulation of the four leadmg Benga 1
dailies did not exceed 50,000; East Pakistan : Two years of Jndependence._ 1941-1949
(Dacca. 1950), p. 23.
2. International Press Institute, Government Presliures on the Press (Zunch, 1955),
p. 15. National Newspapers frequently protested in strong terms against such restrictions on their freedom; for example, see editorials in Dawn (J.1 JaOUB!)', 1956) and
f'akislan Times (7 February, 1956).
3. See Comt/tuent Assembly (Legislature) of Pakistan Debates, 28 June, 1954, Vol.
I, No. 23, p. 1357.
Party Politics in Pakistan
Anatomy of Party Politics
February 1957, the Minister for the Interior declared in Parliament that
security had been demanded from 39 papers.! There was a passage-atarms between the Minister (Mir Ghulam Ali Talpur) and Pir Ali Muhammad Rashdi on the Government's demand for security from the Qaus-eQazah even before the paper started appearing. The Minister was asked
how it was possible "for the' authorities to determine even before a paper
is started that it is likely to infringe the provisions of the law". The reply
was, "In order that these mushroom papers cannot come into existence
which blackmail the Government." When the questioner persisted and
asked how a baby could be convicted before it was born, the Minister
could onlysay that this was "the ordinary procedure" under Section 7,
sub-section 1, of the Press Emergency Act.2 In the North-West Frontier
Province the opposition Press was muzzled and only the Muslim League
papers were allowed some freedom of expression. But even within the
Muslim League Press those newspapers which supported the anti-Government faction were forced to close down.t
Further, as all political activity was confined to individuals and their doings, the influence of the Press was limited to personal remarks instead of
Invocation of press laws was only one form of coercion. More subtle and' more oppressive methods were also used. "The Government is
sympathetic only towards those papers which remain at its beck and calt.
Such papers have been receiving the 'reward' of their obedience to the
Government .... As the newsprint is allotted to the various newspapers on
the basis. of audit circulation' and as to check that no audit bureau exists,
governmental favouritism and blackmarketing in the newsprint is [sic.]
alleged to be prevalent. Then there is the power of imposing restrictions
on the issue of new declarations. This power Ms always been grossly
misused to favour yes-men and to retaliate against political opponents".4
It mustbe emphasized here that the daily ·Press did not exert as much
influence on day-to-day politics as the above treatment and facts and figu ..
res may suggest. This can be explained.· The percentage of literacy being very low, only a few could· be expected to read, and be influenced by.
what the newspapers said and wrote. Gpneral poverty and absence of the
habit of paper reading were other ~bstacles in the way of large circulation.
reasoned argument.
.. .
. .
The only news agency with full facilities for collecting and distributing news. was the Associated Press of Pakist~n. I~ was ~ntrolled by the
Eastern News Trust, a body formed by Malik Ta3-ud-Dm, former_ly the
Lahore manager of the Associated Press of India. It started . working on
t September, 1949.1 Till its take-over by the Government m 196~,the
A.P.P. was heavily subsidized 'by the State. As a matter of fact, it d~pended "for its very existence on the financial help of the Government ;
his financial dependence ·had "sapped the A.P.P.'s independence"
an d t
., 2Th p
and turned it into a virtual "propagator of Government news ·
e ~ess
Commissio"u also recorded that the Agency bad not succeeded in =wtnn· th
probation of the press". They found that "all the newspapers
mg e ap
which we were able to contact, in every part of the country, ~re issatisfled with the manner in which this agency has been operating. Every~here and over and over again, we beard the comment that the A.P .P.
was content to allow itself to be mainly concerned with the collection and
distribution of press notes and official handouts, that its coverage of other
home news was inadequate and dilatory" .3
• •
Broadcasting was a Department of the Central Government in Palmexcept that the
t an, and therefore could play no part in party politics,
party in power always found a handy, ready-made an efficient mac nery
of propaganda for itself. The opposition parties· were never allowed to
use the radio for party programmes. Nor did the party in power do so.
But the Government could always advance its interests by the process of
ti n and omission of. broadcasting' material. No political
discusselec 10
'sions.even academic in nature, were permitted on the air. T~1s ma e
radio bulletins suspect and radio employees open to party mfl~ence.
Broadcasting as a party propaganda instrument was blunt because u was
one-sidedSectarianism in Politics
Sectarianism in party politics is not a rare phenomenon.. I~ Cana~a,
for example, parties have skilfully exploited sectarian and racial Jealous1~s.
no less' active
l n Q uebec, Roman Catholic associations have been
f bili
in arousing sectarian passions, often on the issues o
1 _mgu ism ~n
denominational schools. "Sectarianism early introduced into Canadian
1. National Assembly of Pakistan Debates 20 February, 1957, Vol. I, No.11~
p. 797.
2. Ibid.
3. For a pst of these papers see Nizami, op. cit., p. 12. Also see his account
of a similar policy ~n Bahawalpur and'Baluchistan on pp. 20-22.
4. Ibid., p. si, This is support~ by the findings of the Munir Report, which
discovered that four second-rate Lahore dailies received from the Government a total
aJJlo~t o'tRs. 1,05,000indirectly to fan the anti-Ahmadiyya agitation. For details see
Munir Report, pp. 81-86, 101·111, 337-346.
l. Fero:ze, op. cit., p. 157.
2. Nizami, op. cit., p. 36.
3. Report of the Press Commission, PP· 48-49.
Party Politics in Pakistan.
Atlatoiny of Party 'Polltics '.
politics and below the surface remained a force, periodically exploited in
'all provinces, especially when it is linked with racial prejudice't.! Precisely the same two issues existed in Pakistan. There were riots in East Pakistan on the language issue and some parties did not miss the opportunity
to exploit the controversy for personal advancement. In West Pakistan
religious sentiments of',the people were traded upon by the Jamaat-iIslami, the Ahrar Party and the Muslim League. The Red Shirts, of
Ghaffar Khan were preaching the gospel of Pukhtoonlstan and arousing
the Pathans against thePunjabis. The Sindh Awami Mahaz clamoured
for a Sindhi homeland, and certain Baluchi leaders demanded a Pushtospeaking area. But the most ominous attempt to fan the feelings of provincialism was made by a section of the Awami League, which later
formed the National Awami Party, which demanded "independence" for
East Pakistan.
of France and the Communist Parties. of "Britain, Belgium.I
Holland, Western Germany and the Scandinavian countries.
(d) Personality parties or retinue parties, which consisted of a.
number of followers of an influential leader. The Krishka Sra-:
mik Party was thus tied to Fazlul Haq; the. Red Shirts to Khan
Abdul Ghaffar Khan, the Jinnah Muslim League to the Khan ·
of Mamdot and the East Pakistan 'National Awami Party to
Maulana Bhashani. Similarly, the Lloyd George faction of the·
British Liberal Party in 1931 was composed of his close followers.
(e) Satellite parties which gravitate round some star of greater lustre,
e.g., the Jinnah Muslim League round the Awami League and·
the Scheduled Castes Federation round the Muslim League.
Corresponding Western examples are those of the National
Liberals round the British Conservative Party and the Union of
Progressive Republican round the French Communist Party .
'The first three of these categories were the most demagogic of all
minor groups. If they had a majority in a certain area, their attitude:
became autonomous and at times defiant or even secessionist. For exam-:
pie, the Sindh Awami Mahaz called for a Sindhi-speaking autonomous
area, the Wrore Pushtoon and Red Shirts for some kind of a Pathan
homeland, and the National Awami Party for an "independent" East:
Pakistan. Similar trends were visible in Europe in the case of the Alsatian Party in Germany and the Sudeten German Party in Czechoslovakia. The last two categories suffered from a different defect, viz., they
were open to the patronage of a flnaacier. This.thowever, was in a way
true of all minor groups, and will be considered later.
The political psychology and the tone of the manifestoes of these'
minor groups were determined by their chances of coming into power.
Small groups with little prospects-like the Azad Pakistan Party, the Jamaat-i-Islami and the Pakistan National Congress-rarely adopted a realistic attitude. They knew that their programmes would not be put to the
test of realization. If they behaved in a demagogic way, they knew that",
demagogy would riot recoil upon them. The voters could not corner them
or call upon them to fulfil their promises, for they would never be in
office. Consequently, they could afford to make generous promises which
they had no serious intention of keeping. Sometimes, as in the case of
the Jamaat-i-Islami and the Nizam-i-Islam, they placed greater stress on
theoretical questions than on concrete problems; they underlined great
revolutionary principles which-were difficult of application and did' not
emphasize precise and· definite reforms. Even the not very minor parties
behaved· irresponsibly because they knew that they alone would neve'i:
.Minor., Parties
. Minor parties have played a not insignificant part in Pakistan's politics; .by minor parties is here meant all the groups except the Muslim
League, the Awami League, the Republican Party and the short-lived
United Front. These minor parties may be classified as follows for con-
.(a). Permanent minority parties based on religious minorities, e.g.,
the Pakistan National Congress, the Pakistan Buddhist Congress, the Scheduled Castes Federation and the Pakistan, Christian League. In Europe their counterparts may be seen in the
Protestant parties in Holland between 1919 and 1939 and in some
continental Christian parties of today.
'!(b)" Permanent minority parties. based on geography and ethnology,
e.g., Sindh Awami Mahaz, Wrore Pushtoon and the Red Shirts.
Some similar groups in Europe have been the Irish Party iP,
Britain at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century, Basque and Catalan parties under the Spanish
Republic, Bavarian Christian Party in the Bonn Republic, tl1e
Sudeten German parties and Slovak parties in the pre-1939 Czechoslovakia and the Algerian and African parties in France.
(c). Permanent minority parties based on political views, e.g., thy
Communist Party, the Azad Pakistan Party, .the Pakistan Socia.list Party and the National Awami Party. Their Western parallels
are the American Socialist Party, the Progressive Christians
l. See A. Brady, op. cit., pp. ll0-111.
2. Partly based on Duverger, op: cir.;,.nn. 29Q.299,,
Anatomy of Party Politics
Party Politics in Pakistan
bear responsibility but would, if it came to that, share ,power in coalitions. This applies to practically all the parties, including the major
ones, between 1954 and 1958. They were aware that their programmes
would never have to face facts, because they would always share the responsibility with allies; therefore it was always possible to throw the blame
of failure on the partners. A coali~ion is an agreement, and all a~~eements
imply mutual concessions; the programme of each of the coalition partners would, therefore,~ndergo considerable change.
This trend towards demagogy among the minor and the not-so-minor groups also infected major parties. The latter had to. become. demagogic, partly in self-defence against the intensely ~~~ttgogic ca~patgns ~f
their rivals, and·partly because some demagogy is inescapable ma multiparty-system. Reckless bidding is not possible in a two;par:y system
campaign where office will go to one of them and th~t one will be. fu~ly
responsible for, its actions. In Pakistan no party was in a clear, majority
and this division of responsibility for governance augmented the demago~c tend~ncy of the parties in power. In a way, th~y were both in: office
and' in opposition-each claiming credit for the virtu~s and blaming ~4~
partner for tbe ..vices. The Republicans and the Awami Leaguers were at
loggerheads even within the coalition Government, and ea~h of :hem gave
an exhibition of demagogy which was in no way less discreditable than
minor groups.
This plethora of groups, none of which w~s.~apablf of musten?g a .
clear majority, resulted in the minor parties assumm~ the role of arb1t~rs
in tight situations .. It happened in British History in 18~5.' 1892 an~.
1910 when the Irish Nationalist Party came to hold the position of arbite~. 'In l945, the Muslim Deputies in. tl).e<French Constituent Assembly
created a similar situation, and the 1946 draft.was humorously ca~led the.
"Muslim Constitution of France". In Pakistan a number of times the
gap between the majority and the minority was so small that the attitude
of a single minor group sufficed to alter the balance of power; two examples being that of the Pakistan National Party in West Pa~istan Leg~lature and that of the National Awami Party in the East Pak1sta? Legislative Assembly. In such situations the fate of the Govern:nent. and the
country depended on the will of a small group,.somet1mes h~tle ~or_e
-than 'a clique, which was no better than many other groups m pnnc~ples orvpopularity, and which was quick to appreciate its fav?urable _position and exploit itto the full. The National Awami Party _tned to dic~ate
the- East Pakistan ministry and to the Awami League its own radical
terms before.coming to,their rescue- The Pakistan National Party forced
the -Republicans to oppose the =One Unit" before agreeing to support
them and save them from d,efeat in Wes! J?akJstan. By definition, such
a situation encourages intransigence and exaggerates the value of votes:
Therefore such groups 'demand seemingly"inlpossible steps: in 1946, the.
French Right campaigned' fora return to' an-entirely free economy, and'
in 1949 the Belgian. l:.iberals .demanded a 25:per cent- reduction in all
Between the clearly major parties, like. the'Muslim League and the
Republicans, and'the minor groups, like the Azad Pakistarr'Party and the
United Progressive Party, there were also what may be called "medium"l
parties, Iike-the Krishka Sramik Party and the Pakistan National Congress. Their capacity for bargaining. was not as limited. as that of the
minor 1 groups, but their influence was much less than thlit of the major
'parties. Their predicament was a curious one. In coalitions," their share
was necessarily small'; outside the Government they .did not find any
opposition.to coalesce with them. Either they.had to follow the lead, of
a major 'party or else keep the opposition divided;'Whether these parties were small or medium, in practice they boded
iJI, They forced the majority to compromise on vital 'doctrines, -delayed
the formation of governments for dangerously long periods, caused the
imposition of Governor's rule' on the provinces, and made- demands that
no self-respecting party could accept without committing political suicide.
"Grey Eminence8'"
Too many minor groul?s also facilitated the.work of'finencial backers, I~ is al"}'a};S difficult to influence Q.f control a ~ig party from the
outside; it is too vast to ~e wholly, bought over and t!)O discipline<!_ to be
widely corrupted. Small parties are prone to external monetary influence
for a number of very good reasons: relative poverty, ambition to outstrip their rivals, lack of discipline, small size, etc. And if the small party
happened to hold the balance in parliament, it had a field d,ay in demand-'
ing.its own price. But the mere possibility of its being an arbiter o:p.e
day. was enough to whet the, appetite of any financier .~it4 a P?l~vcal ..
string to his bow. Business magnates vied with each other in controlling
. party factions and rich· land-holders intrigued to buy Cabinet 'seats.·
Pakistan was, 'in short, familiar with'. all "tlie horrors that Bryce saw
i;noney\fower letting lobse in politics. In such cases, the real iauth~rltY
in the party ~as v.ery different f1'.om the ti~Ular authority.
. !'
. l
·:fl ;~;
1. Some: European examples' of intdium parties were : Belgian ; Liberal :Part~,
1919-1936; Christian Historical Party of Holland, 1919-1936; French Radical •Yarty,
1946-1951; Swiss Peasant and Bourgeois Party; and the present-day Radic"fand'Conservative parties o& Denmark.
Party Politics in Pakistan
AnatcJmy of Party Politics
It was not always ea5y to point out the power behind thethrone. lt
is not difficult to state· that Ghulam Muhammad was the real fount of
power in 1953-1955 or that Iskandar Mirza was the only de facto authority after !955. But
enter the realm. of uncertainty when we try to
recognize and identify the people behind the party facades. It was widely
known that a family of big textile manufacturers had considerable say in
the counsels.of -the 'Republican'Party.!
Some merchants of Karachi and
some landlords of 'Multan and Sargodha exercised at least as much
control over the, Muslim League as did the members of the party's
.Working Conrmittee. Manylandhoklers of West Pakistan could change
the fortunes of patties by a nod of the head,
Bur. Greyi Eminences, by definition, remain hidden o't half-concealed
·and preciseodnformation .about such powers is difficult' to obtain.2
Nevertheless, their existence was real, and tlils duality of power vitiated
'the'democratic essence of'politics, 'more so in1 a country where political
parties were yet in a stage of uneasy transition. Sometimes a direct pro·
.portion.was visible between the amount of donations and the influence
'of the'donor in a party's programme and policy. Subsidizers exercised
-considerablepressure particularly on issues which touched them personally, ~.g.;.campaigns against certain taxes or in favour of repealing certain
imposts." The·West Pakistan Government, for instance, did not renew the
lapsed Rent Restrictions Ordinance for many years obviously . because i1
depended heavilSr on the people who possessed most of the propl?tty in
Lahore and other big cities. For a satisfactory history bf these 'Grey
'i;minences wehave to waif
a utopia 1~ which donfessfons, ~11~ be as
numerous 'as true=-btit'thea there will be no Grey Eminences in such a
u~~pia t
Max Weber once laid down three stages of party development : from
aristocratic cliques to parties of notables and finally to plebiscitarian
democracy. In Pakistan the party evolution was still in the intermediate
1. The reference is ,to tbe Sa.igols or Lyallpur.
"It is correct that Mr.,Muzaffqt
Ali Qizilbash was.the Chier Minister of the Province and was in support of the Republifan Party,,a.nd Miao.Saeed Sa.igolheld the upper strings of the part:r, prob~bly as Finance Secretary, but I know Mr. Yusuf Salge! was President of the Republican Pafo/
in Lyallpur. It is correct that Mr. Yusuf Saigol was and still is a great' friend of Qizil~
,bash", evidence of the former.Superintendent of ;i>olice of Lyallpur, in 'the court. ~r tbe
District Magistrate, Lyallpur, during the "Dilbar Murder Case" hea.riog,,s~ Pakis_f{ll,f
Times, 28.June, 19~1.
2. ·For an interesting account of Grey Eminences see Uuverger, op. cjt., p. 146.
stage. The question mayhere be asked, why did this stage -last so long
in Pakistan 'l Was it inevitable for .this stage- to be characterized by false
promises and irresponsible actions ? Was the stage also preparing the
people for an easy transformation into the democratic stage 7 A part of
the answer lies in a consideration of following factors.
In the first place, suffrage, which.. was gradually introduced in the
West as sections of the population fitted themselves for it, was forced at
once on Pakistan. There was a paradox here; Leaders, who had no love
for democracy and did not practice it even within their parties. ipsjsted on
giving.every citizen the right to vote. This myste!f. can be solved by looking at aduft suffrage from the party politician's point of view. He knew
wen that people were yet unprepared for properly exercising the vote, but
'this was precisely what he wanted. Let every man and woman have a
vote, arid-then let the.party gain by it. It took something away from the
irksome task of convincing a small but in~Uigent electorate and added to
·'the facility with which an immature but huge voting ma~s could be cajoled
by slogans, shibboleths, catch-words, and all .the armoury of demagogy.
The Muslim League began to rule Pakistan in 1947 by the right of
occupation: it-was the only party in existence. The first three years. of
its rule were the least objectionable. In that period i~ was identified 'Yi.th
the epoch. · Its doctrine and ideas, its style and ,accent, coincided with
"those of the time. People accepted it wholeheartedly; enthusiastically,
'almost passionately.! But the League lost Jinnah in 1948, and it never
recovered. ·Jinnah's successors were second rate men who could lead an
established party without a serious mishap but were incapable of inspiring the party with imagination and vision. Simultaneously the politicians
bega'.n to look more to their personal security than to· the national
(interest.2 From that moment theMuslim League began to disintegrate,
'and the parties that succeeded it did not" even equal its record. Moreover,
'except the Muslim League, the Jamaat-i-Islaml, which was a religiou~
body till 1947, and the Ahrars, who were with the Hindus before J?a~t~J. Similar position bas been held in Europe by the French Radical Party of the
Third Republic. t~e British Libera! Party in the later half of the nineteenth century:
the Swiss Radical Party from 1874 to 1919. To some extent the C.P.P. Qf Ghana and
the de Gaulllst"party of France fall in
2. "The general pattern of the politics of Pakistan bas been for individual leaders
to attempt to'establish their'personal ascendancy while those who are left out of office
or become disappointed with tqeir 'share of the Power and prestige form together in ~
temporary alliance to dislodge the ministry. Thus no basis for a lasting consolidation
-of political groups has emerged or seems likely to emerge", Keit~ Callard, ·~'l}ie Volitical Stability of Pakistan", Pacific Af!Clirs, March 19~6,,p. 12.
Anatomy of Party Politics
Part)' Po]jtics in Pakistan
tion, no party could trace it<( origin to the pre-independence period •. Lack
of tradition added to the'confusion already created by the splitting of the
Muslim League.
In Pakistan, further, there is a clear dichotomy between urban and
rural sections of population~ Politics was mainly an urban pastime, but
politics was mos~ly controlled by the landlord. The villagers were politically dead, while their masters were more interested in the town life, which
provided not only entertainment but also political· profit. Thus feudalism
not onlystood' between the people of the town and the people of the
village's', ~ut also between·the'parties and the honest. clean citizen. Few
intelligerlt middle class voters' could-'entertain the' idea of entering politics
so long as politics was moulded by, the feudal lord. 'The Muslim £.eague
was beaten in East Pakistan ih 1954 because there were no big zamindars
in 'that pr9vfuce. The same party won all provincial . elections in West
;paki~tarl .because the Iandlord was there to supply it with money as well
as votes.
~arty in'the world will break the power on which depends
its existence' and· ascendancy.
' The i~telligentsia was Westernized, completely urban, partly nnemployed; and mostly frustrated. But it was not vocaJ,1 partly because of
its economic dependenc1fwhich is the greatest' enemy of freedom of speech
and' expression, and partly 'because of its radical views which made
authority look askance at it. The parties generally discouraged this ele•
inent fo/twD'reasons. The petty leadership of the party
afraid of.the
far superior calibre of the intelligentsia ; and the party Yias ,no~ prepared
to accept intelligentsia's views. O}l such issues as agrarian, reformsv, ~e
diVorce•betw~n'the political groups .and the- intellectual and educated
sections of the•people·was complete. Party workers were mostly recruited
frbm'the semi-educated unemployed' ; this -was considered safe. The
workers were too happy with their meagre salaries to desert the party, too
conservative to challenge its. programme, and, too uneducated to. influence
its tdne. Other recruiting grounds were those of the lawyers, journalists,
students a;nd small traders and businessmen ; but here selection was limited by
(actors. ''bnJy th'9se wlio·showed a subservient tendency were
.aceeptable and intellectual capacity was, a dlsqualiticatlon. The business
class which joined a party s9on constituted itself into a pressure gfoup
witliin the party and extracted .coocessiqns as the price of its sup.port., ·~
One reason for the common man having. never, seriously protested
aga~J?.St the uoscrupulous and undignified pat1Y• politics or 'the corrupt
adminis~ratio~ was his temperamental subservience to authority. Historically
this habit
, can·- be traced to British rule when the Deputy Co mm1s·
stoner was the "mother and father'" of the populace. Even if the officer
~as ~rrupt ~nd agg~essiv~, ~e ordin~ry man never thought of disobeymg ?Im or dm:gard1p~ his wijl. Thi.s habit, hardened by a century of
fore1~n ru,1~, y.rilJ. t~e time to go. It 1s already disappearing in $e cities,
and 1t was ~ the cities that the most serious protests against the parties
. were heard.
1. ~PolitiCal partlcipaticn bas not proceeded apace with urbanization, and certain·
ly not with the dem,9cratizatioz1 of the franchise~·,Binder, op. "cit., p. 319•.
P~tterns of Political ua<tership
The importance' of t~e leader was exaggerated in party politics.
There were too many "important" figures and too few sensible ideas,
Politics were personal, intensely personal, not doctrinaire.! Parties fought
around a leader, as armies used to do around a king in medieval times,
not around .an issue. Statements issued to the press by the politicians
contained a great deal of abuse, persona) attacks and accusations of
dishonesty and other vices, but little of the principles involved or of the
issues at stake. Thus. party lines became tenuous' and clash of personali. ties became superficially significant. A by-product of this was that when
a leader crossed over to another party his entire following accompanied
It may be that the power of the leader was directly in proportion to
the organization of the party; the stronger the organization the greater
the leader's control. Thus the Azad Pakistan Party and the Jamaat-iIslami were the two most tightly organized parries, and their leaders enjoyed almost unchallenged power within their respective groups. Or,
sometimes the exceptional personality of a leader placed him above official rules, e.g., Liaquat Ali Khan in the Muslim League, Suhrawardy in
the Awami League and Maulana Maudoodi in the Jamaat-i-Islami,
Similar examples elsewhere have been those of Jaures in the French
Soclalist Party, Branting in the Swedish Social Democratic Party, and
Sir Winston Churchill in the British Conservative Party.
The Cult of Personality
'This pre-eminent position enjoyed by leaders may be ascribed to six
causes. First, popular attitude to the leaders was coloured by religious
feelings, as in the Islamic parties. To his followers Maulana Maudoodi
was not only a political chief, but also a religious thinker and a divine.
Secondly, most of the leaders were also founders of their parties, and so
enjoyed a special prestige that attaches to a Lenin or a Jefferson.2
l. ..The conclusion seems unavoidable that a group of about twentY individuals
made all important political and governmental decisions at every level", Caltard, op.
elt., pp, 25-26. "Personal rivalries and motivations are the rule among the politicians of
Pakistan", Binder, op. cit., p. 379.
2., In the 1954 and 1956 Gold Coast elections "there was a general impression that
people were voting for or against Nkrumah"; West Africans generally vote "for the
. party leaders rather than the local candidates", What are the Problems alParliamen·
tary Government in West Africa ? (lolldon, 1958),p. 76.
.Suhrawardy was the father of the Awanii <League, ffiikh3.ruddin · founded
'the Azad Pakistan Party, and Mauiana Maudoodi started the Jamaat-i'Islami; and these leaders had a status higher than those of other leaders
in the party. Thirdly, parties generally-adopted the presidential fortn
organizationwhereby the leader of the parliamentary party was ntso tht
chairman of the organization. This augmented his power and added to
-his popular "image". Fourthly, political immaturity and general Iack'()f
education made; the.rank and file more subservient to leadership and 1~
cr~tical of its conduct. fifthly, the country was continually passing through
.cnses (partly caused by the leaders themselves), and- in such conditions people normally tend to herd together behind the leader. Finally,
there were no effective or able leaders at the second level who could work
in the local or provincial field; thus public -gaze as ~ell as practical
power was concentrated in· higher leadership.'
One manifestation of this ,cult of personality was the association of
-Ieaders' names with political parties. When the Khan of Mamdot left the
'Muslim.league to form his own group, he named it the Jinnah Muslim
.League, and a little later Suhrawardy chose to ~esignate his new party
-as the Jin?~h Awam] Muslim League. The National Awami Party ,of
'East Pakistan was commonly known as the "~hashani Party," after the
.name of its supreme leader, Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani,
Similarly, followers .,of the Jamaar-i-Islami ~ere gene~aIIy referre'd t~ as
-Maudoodiites. However, this was not unique. Europe provides-many
comparable instances. Jn Germany there were, from 1863 to 1875
Lassqllistis and.Marxists; in France there were Broussists, .puesdis,ts and
.Jauresists ; and in Britain, one heard of Bevanites and Gaitskellites in the
Labour Party. Ther,e may be, in this, .an analogy of party with religiou~
~~ts and monastic orders; Yves Guyot pointed out in '1897 that parties
1m1ta,t~d the prac~ice of th~ medieval monks who, "while faithfully
following the teachings of their respective masters.called themselves afte~
St. Benedict, St. Augustine and St. Francis".2
. Jinq~ had.bee1:1" given'!he title of Quaid-i-Azam jthe great leader) h¥
the ~usl1ms
India. This was n~t an official bestow~l but a s}rmbol
people; s affection and regard; showmg that he was held in higher esteem
fhl:\n were other contemporary MusI!m leaders. After Liaquat A.I{
Jth!lp's. death in 19511 some ~f his adl}l~rers, particularly those whq
pad ~!grated from the United Provinces in India, began to call hiiq
1. 'I'his-is also true ofindia where in 1958 the entire Congress party reacted with
helplessnessbordering on panic to Nehru's announcemea of his intention to talc'e a long
2. See R. Michel, op. clt., p. 69, fn. J.
"Party Politi<:s in Pakistan
Quaid-i-Millat (leader' of the nation), and though many ·objected to this
the title stuck and even the Government used it on occasions. When the
.United Front won a great victory in East Pakistan in 1954, Maulana
Bhashanl was addressed publicly as Quaid-i-Mazloom (leaders of the
oppressed). The Jatest addition to. this calendar of leaders was Suhrawardy,
who was called Quaid-i-Pakistan (Leader of Pakistan) in August 1958.
This may have been an unconscious or sub-conscious attempt to
imitate Jinnah, but it was certainly a reflection of party aspiration to see
its leader recognized as the leader. This hero-worship appeared in many
"guises. ;.Shops and business establishments were named after leadersthere was a Jinnah Cloth House in Lahore. Children were christened
after Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan, as mothers had named their newborns after Mu~tafa Kamal in the 1920's. Leaders' photographs appeared
on calendars and were wid~ly sold in expensive frames. Sports tournaments were called after them, and so were· roads, parks, townships,
hospitals; co1lege8 and schools. Michell mentions many European paralleis. - Idolatrous worship was· paid by Frenchmen fa the Department of
the Nord (the· most advanced industrial region of the country) to Jules
'ouesde. Lassalle was· ca'iionized after his death in Germany. Socialist
parents in certain parts of central Italy called their ·boys .LassaJJo and
their girls Marxfua. In'America~· Itafy and the Slav countries, "Karl Marx
liqueurs" and ,;Karl Marx outtons'1 were offered for sale/and' advertised.
An analogous spirit was atwork when people refused to listen to any
criticis_nt,however well-fourided, of their leaders. There was a phrase long
eurrent in Italy, "'He spolle evil' of Garibaldi", signifying "thal:- the person
in questi~n
committed the most horrible crim~. This is a true description of party feeling iO: Pakistan in -respect of their own Ieaders. Loyalty
to a 199er was more often. a fanatic attachment' than a political affiliation;:
This was specially true 'of the followers of Liaquat Ali Khan, Suhrawardy
and Maulana Maudoodi.
~ more sinister aspecf of this craze for personal politics was, what we
in'ayi_~Jl,· "imposed leadership", If the parliamentary party chooses i~
own leader, at least the goddess. of democracy is· pacified. It is their
ch:oi~. a11Cl even "if a b~d one, it is an evil that they have themselves
cbosen11 • "Efficiency in 'this case may suffer but public opinion ·is
appeased: But when leaaers· are brought from outside and parliamentary
partiea a~e forced to accept them "the result is neither efficient nor demo,~~tic., S~ch Ieaders imported from outside·and foisted on provincial. and
, central; parliani.en'tacy 'groups might have" 'been able and experienced,
R. Michel, op. cit., pp. 71·73.
Patterns of Political Leaefership
though some of them were not, but the very fact of their imposition from
above in place of election from below made their locus standi suspect,
Many such cases can be quoted. In 1953, the Governor General
dismissed Khwaja Nazimuddin from Prime Ministership, brought
Muhammad Ali Bogra from the United States, and made the Muslim
League parliamentary party in the federal legislature accept him as their
leader. It is true that Bogra had once been a Muslim Leaguer, but at the
time of his elevation he was Ambassador to the United States, which is a
non-party post, and had little following among the people. In fact, a
number of members of the federal assembly had never before heard his
name. In the same year, Mian Daultana was made to resign bis chief
ministership of the Punjab after his.mishandling of ~he religious riots, and
Firoz Khan Noon, who was then Governor of East Pakistan, was
appointed in his place. The choice was made by the Central Gover~I?ent,
not by the Punjab Muslim League assembly party. In 1953 when Khan
Abdul Qayyum Khan gave up the chief. ministership of the F;ontjer Pro~
vince to j_oin the Central Cabinet, his J?lace wa~ given to Sardar ~bdur
Rashid, who was till that day a police officer m the same province.I
Similarly, Khan Sahib was imposed aschief minis~er on West Pakistan
in 1955. The latest example was that of SaadulJah .Khan, a son of
Dr. Khan, who was appointed a Deputyi Minister in West Pakistan in
1958 after bis father's assassination. He was till then a civil servant, but
was at onceelected to the legislature from his father's con~tituen~.
These persons who were brought from outside and put atthe head .of
Central or Provincial admlnistrations, were not only accepted . by parliaroentary parties but also by the p·arty organizations, and the ne'! lead.er
was immediately chosen not only the leader of the parliamentary partY,
but also the president of the party organizatio~.2 And party members
J. n is said that Prime·Minister Muhammad Ali Bogra bad sent inst~ctioos to
the N.~w.F.P. Governor to form a Ministry "in accordance with the wishes ~nd
desires" of Abdul Qayyum "'.a~st
the convention of consulting the leader, of ~c
majority of the members of the House". Qayyum came to Peshawar and cons~:zlted
the Ministry, After a long discussion the Cabinet decided to delegate to Qayyum the
authority to nominate "any honest and independent man from the serviceswho "".as not
a politician". Qayyum suggested two names: ·~Gbulprn lsbaqueKhan, a member o~
Provincial Civil Service; and .Sardar Abdur Rashid; 11 member of Provincial PoUc:ci.
Eventually. the latter was chosen. and a ~stry
was formed by him on 23.
April, 1953. Mian Jaffar Shah's testimony before the West Pakistarr El.ect.iveBodies;
Disqualification Tribunal, Pakistan Times, 23 February, t961.
..• '
2. Suhrawardy was perhaps rigbt when be described the office of ·Prime , Mupstet·
ship :in these terms, "So, Sir, to be the Ptime Minister of Pekistarswhich has been
. ·: .• ,
[t;ontd~qn_ p. :2~4] •
• Party Politics in Pakistan
Patterns of Political Leadership
.and legislators , neither protested against the procedure
nor withheld their
Analyses of Leadersh.ip
\Yhat sort of people were these leapers 7 How did they get to the
,FopJ To answer questions like these we must make asocial analysis of
some of the public figures who were active between 1947 and i958.
The following table is intended to ,throw some light on .the social
background, educational attainment, professional. status and age group of
50 leaders; belonging to all.parties, who represent a fair cross-section of
·,political leadership.!
·~. H. Sarkar
'A. x, Bn;ihi
f..; ?4·
Mid die
Ma1ik.f\bdul Ghaffar
.Abdul Hamid
· • Kha'Q ':Bliashani
• University
~bdul Hamid
~~ •
·1. \
;· Politics
~buf Ala
: ~·Mf,1.udoodi,
, Middl~
Civil Service
Landlord University
lield by certain· Honourable Gentlemen who have been tilrned out, taken by'the tars amt
0\it by ruling coterie, ·.is not a matter or vety great honour",' 'Constitueftt
A.ssemblyp/.Pakiitan Debates, 10 S~ptember;J955, Vol. I, No. 21, p; 652.: History has
tt11' irohies. Suhrawardy~ accepted the -office rn 1956 and ·was duly, \'thrown out"
in 1957.
· ''i. Gaps 'in. the table indicate lack of information,
~· ~· Tfie'first-figtlre indicates' bis age .at .first appearai;iceJ11 -Pakfstan p_oJitics1 and .tire
stcond bis IMt appearance before 1958.
Abul Mansur
Ali Muhammad
Amir Azam Khan
Amjad Ali,
Ataur Rahman
Fazlul Ha9, A. K.
Fazlullah, Qazi
Fazlur Rahman
Firoz Klian
Ghulam Ali
Ghulam Muhammad
Habib Ibrahim
Husain Shaheed
I. H. Qureshi
.Ab~ul 'Qayyum
A~'clur Rab .
· 'Nishtar
Xii9ur 'kashid,
i; S~rdai
~Abdus Sattar
Middle Landlord
Civil Service 57-65
I. I. Chundrigar
Landlord School
Iftikhar Husain
Landlord University
Ilahi Bukhsh, Pir Landlord University
Iskandar Mirza
Wealthy School
J affar Shah,
Liaquat Ali Khan Landlord University
Ali Landlord University
Civil Service 55-59
I .
' · Par~y Politics in Pakistan
Muhammad Ali,
Muhammad Ayub:
Husain, Chattha
Mujibur Rahman
Mumtaz Ali Khan
Mumtaz Muhammad Daultana
Mushtaq Ahmad
GurmaniMuzaffar Ali
Nurul Amin
Sardar Bahadur
Shaha bud din,
Tamizuddin Khan
Yusuf Haroon
Zafrullah Khan
Patterns of Political Leadership
Civil J)ervice 46-57
46~57 .
Landlord . University
Landlord University
Landlord University
Landlord . University
Aligarh University
Bombay University
Calcutta University
Cambridge University
Dacca University
London University
Oxford University
Punjab University
} f
The 50 politicians treated above fall into two categories if we make a
distinction between leaders and rulers. For a further study of the political
elite we will consider only those leaders who were the "rulers", i.e., held
important offices between 1947 and 1958. Power in these years lay in the
hands of 25 leaders, who· have already been socially analysed in the foregoing tables. If they are now analysed by experience of public life and
public office, we get this result :1
Date of Joining
Muslim League
Experience of Public Highest Office
held before 1CJ47
A.H. Sarkar
Abdul Hamid
Khan Dasti
Abdul Qayyum
4 years
Abdur Rab
t. Gaps in the table indicate lack of information.
A further break-up: o( the 38 University' graduates shows the following interesting afflliation: .~
Agra University
,, 60 " 70 ,,
Above 70
No Information
,, 50 ,, 60 ,,
Social Class
No Information
A break-up of this table gives the following results :
Middle bas's
Civil Service
Between 30 and 40 years
Minister, Interim
Govt • .194,6-47.,
Patternsof Politicai Letsdershtp
'Party Politics in Ppkistan
· Date of Joining
Muslim League
Public Office
Abdur Rashid,
Amjad Ali, Sayyid
Ataur Rahman ;Khan
Fazlul Haq, A. K.
23 years
Fazlur Rahman
1 year
Firoz Khan Noon
20 years
Ghulam Muhammad
Husain Shaheed
Iftikhar Husain
Mam dot
Iskandar Mirza
Khan Sahib
Chief Minister.
Bengal, 1937-43
Minister, Bengal,
Member, Viceroy's
Council, 1941-45
Chief Minister,
Bengal,' 1946-47
IO years
··10 years
I year
1Muhammad Ali Bogra 1940s
1 year
Liaquat Ali Khan
Minister, Sindh,
1 year
Nazimuddin, Khwaja
' Nurul Aniin
i(.~ Haroon
7 years
18 years
Social Class
Middle Class
Minister ,:Punjab,
Chief Minister, .
Bengal, 1943-45,
Their universities were as follows.:
Lona on
.. Chief Minister,
· N.-W.F.P., 1937·39,
Minister, Interim
Govt., 194p-47
Minister; Bengal,
Muliammad Ali,
Muhammad Ayub
Mµm~az Muhammad
\ 'Daultana
Mushtaq Ahmad
Muzaffar Ali Qizilbash
Analysed by the factors employed ih the earlier table a break-up of
these 25 "rulers" produces this result :
Highest Office held
before 1947
Civil Service
No .information
Age Group
"Between 30 and 40 years
,, 4o· ,,
56 ,,
" 60 .. 70
Above 70'.
No information
. Eight of these "rulers" belonged to East Pakistan and 17 to West
Pa.kistan. The latter divide as follows among the provinces of the West
Wmg : 9 from the Punjab, 4 from the Frontier Province 2 from 'Sindh
and 2 from unspecified areas. Among them
·• '
6 were Prime Ministers
3 ,, Governors General or· President
Party Pottttcs in Pakistan
Patterns of Political-Leodership
15 were Cabinet Ministers
16 ,, Chief Ministers
6 ,, Governors
5 ,, Provincial Ministers.
In terms of length of. tenure they held office as follows :
I held office for 1 year 1
2 years2
" 3
4 u
,." 4 "
;, 7
Most of them held more than one office during this period.
ing to number of offices held, they classify thus :
The foregoing analyses reveal certain marked trends. Nearly half of
the "rulers" were either rich landlords or wealthy businessmen. A great
majority of them had had good university education, seven holding degrees
from Oxford (5), Cambridge (1) and London (1). Nine of them, the most
P,Owerful,had no profession but politics. Another nine were lawyers by
profession, but some"of those whose profession was politics alone also
had law degrees, e.g.,,Daultana and Qizilbash, Four were ex-civil servants, two of whom became Governors General (Ghulam Muhammad
and Iskandar Mirza), one Prime Ministe~. (Chaudhri ~u~!l~ad Ali)
and one Chief Minister, (Sardar Rashid). Of the three ablest me? (Ghu.lam, Muhammad, Chaudhri Muhammad Ali and Suhrawardy), two we~~
former civilservants and one a lawyer; none of them w_as _a landlord or a
business magnate. The largest category (9) were between .. 50 and 60
- years of age ; they were either retired civil, servants
old. Muslim ~eaguers, Only two were really young, i.e., between 30 and. 40 years, and
, only one of these (Daultana) was influential. . Only 7 w_ere old Muslim
Leaguers; 6 were freshmen, dating their membershipfrom. 1940. Six w~~
either ex-civil servants or part of.Jhe ~re-1947 British administrative
machinery. Two wer~ ex-Congressmen, who had always opp'?sed the
creation of Pakistan. TWo were former U nionists, .who had little Jove for.
.the. Muslin; League, Twel.ve had no experience at. ali of any: public office,
and another four had held office for oniy one year prior to 1947. . Only
.5 had long experience; one of these had- had all hi,s experience under the
.Con~ess, one in the Brit!s~ Indian Government, and only three (all Bengalis) under the Muslim League. Four were former Chief Ministers,
'three ~f Bengal and one of the Frontier Province.
Yusuf Haroon.
Sarkar, A. R. Khan and Muhammad Ali Bogra.
Amjad Ali, Qizilbash, Khan Sahib and Suhrawardy.
Liaquat, Fazlul Haq, lskandar Mirza, Khuro and Daultana.
'Sardar Rashid and Chaudhri Muhammad Ali.
Sardar Nishtar, Fazlur Rahman, Mamdot and Nazimuddin.
Qayylljll Khan and Nurul Amin.
Dasti, Gurnlani and Ghu1am Muhammad,
Daultana, Fazlul Haq, Khuro, Mamdot, Nazimuddin and Sardar Rashid.
Iskandar .Mirza.and Noon.
of 'Leadership
What does all ~lijs add up to 7 Some observations may be made in
'Jh~ light of available information.
The landlords' bad a much greater hold on politics thanthe foregoing
analysis might suggest. '!'he reason 'for t~is was obvious. :u.aders on the
'top may not have been landlords themselves, but they were dependent on
landlords' votes in central and provincial assemblies. In West Pakistan,
a large·majority of provincial legislators were landholders and '.no administration could take office without their support.! Thatalso 'accounts for
the fact that no government seriously tried to grapple with the problem
land reform. Even the casual talk of such a project would have directly
alienated the sqlid. v~te ~f.ih~'landlo~ds. and. ledto the-"fall of the government. It will not be'untrue to saythat in West Pakistanrio government
could last a day unless a majority of landholders extended it their support. Further, the landed classes were also indispensable to :party lead:
I. Soon after Independence, when Pakistan was ·11ear collapse under tbe weight of
refugees, Mian Iftikharuddin.Jlre West Punjab :Ministerfor Refugees and Rehabilitation, suggested that the only way of getting about,the business of settling the uprooted
was the breaking -up of the large estates and distributing the land among the refugees.
This y.ras immediately turned down by the Provincial Government which included such
big landlcitds as the Khan of Mamd_ot, 'Mian Daultena and .Sa;"dar Sbaukat Hayat
Khan, K. B. Sayeed;· op, cit., p. 288. ·
Party Politics in Pakistan
ers, and this for two reasons. The party needed funds; and only the
landed aristocracy could supply them. The party also needed followers,
and again the landlord could ·provide this in the shape of the people liv~ng
and working on his land. Thus party politics and government-forming
came to be the exclusive 'pastimes of the landlords. The word "pastime"
'is used deliberately, because the landlord had rarely any profession and
could therefo~e attend to politics as a full-time vocation.
· Professional politicians constituted a class of their own in public life.
'Most of· thein were landholders who, leaving the management of their
property .in the h~nds of professional caretakers, had the leisure and the
inclination to devote themselves to the art of party politics. They had
ample money, unlimited leisure, vast influence and considerable "fol.l~wing" in their villages. It was but natural for them to enter politics.
'The small fry contented itself with municipal councillorship where lo~a,l
influence was easy to come by. The more ambitious entered the provin. cial legislature, where chances of a ministerial post were not small. In
politics generally, they introduced a note of conservatism and a shade of
Another large category was that of lawyers. They dominated politics
at all levels. From members of district boards and small municipalities
'to prime ministers and chief ministers, the largest contribution was
made by the legal profession. Probably it was so because tbe lawyers are
'the only people who have. good education, reasonable leisure and freedom
to participate in political activity. Doctors and engineers have no liberal
education; they are "experts" and therefore less fitted to deal with the
'public. Lawyers nave a declamatory training and a forensic skill, too,
which other professional people (except teachers) lack.
•. Teachers, of any level, were conspicuous by their absence in politics.
'only two university professors, I. H. Qureshi and Mahmud Husain, were
active in the field ; but both entered it by the back door. They were not
public men in touch with the people, but ministers appointed by the
prime minister for personal reasons. The biggest reason for this absence
of teachers was that, barring the persons employed by a few private educational institutions, 'all of them were in government service. And civil
servants could.not take active part in party politics. The intelligentsia
was thus disqualified from not only entering politics but also giving an
~ intellectual lead to politicians and parties.
In the labour movement workers were, dissatisfied with their leaders ..
Except a few _,genuine trade unionists, labour leaders generally belonged
to one of three classes: philanthropists, who ha,d nothing to do and who
joined the movement "to satisfy their ego" and "to make a show of their
Patterns of Political Leadership
contribution"; politicians who exploited the workers for their political
ambitions; and others, who made trade union leadership a source of income. The rank and file of the workers did not trust their leaders. This
was particularly true of the All Pakistan Confederation of Labour which,
suffered from an ever-widening gulf between the top leaders and the ordinary members. The freshly acquired wealth of some of the A.P.C.O.L.
leaders was attributed to "government patronage and the alleged misuse
of the monetary aid given by certain international organizations". Trade
union leaders ·who "could not afford to move out of their home-towns,
are now the most frequent visitors abroad. Every now and then there is
some labour conference at one place or the other in America or Europe
and these representatives of labour are always ready to go there".1 The
tragedy of the labour movement was its failure to produce good indigenous leadership and its inability to keep itself immune to official pressure.
There seemed to have been no great enthusiasm in Pakistan among
the young for political responsibility. This was broadly true of Asia as
a whole. There had been little new blood in Japan. In India, neither
the Congress nor the Socialists attracted the best of the young. In Indonesia, the youth was equally dissatisfied with both the· Nationalist and
Masjumi parties. In Burma, the disastrous split in the Anti-Fascist
People's Freedom Leaguewould not have occurred or at least would have
been less dangerous had a younger generation been ready to share political responsibility. In Pakistan, as we have seen, there was hardly any
young set of leaders. The difficulty was that most of the political parties
were, to varying degrees and for various reasons, selfish and corrupt, and
since the young could only enter politics through them, the new blood;
or the little of it that there was, was contaminated from the start. Further, economic plight and lack of education were instrumental in keeping
many a potential leader away from the political arena. There were no·
men of tomorrow, and without them prospects for clean politics and.
bealthy democracy were far from happy.
Lack of young leadership may also have been due to another factor.
Local parties were too weak and initiative was in the hands of the centrar
organization. A realiy able person could not begin at the bottom, for
there ~as hardly any chance of his being· heard by those on the top~
Therefore, new leaders had to be either wealthy persons who could buy
promotion with funds, o,r religious persons who could use religious senti-.
ment, Second-level leaders were of very poor quality,
Most provincial·
1. Khalid Mabmud, op. cit., p~. 99·100.
Pattems of Political Leadership
i.: ·Party Politics iii Pakistan
Ieglslators were uneducated, many Were ignorant, and some were even
illiterate. Several provincial ministers were no better. To decide whether
local and provincial leadership was inferior because power lay with the"
central' organization, or that the-central organization was strong becausesecond-level leadership was incapable, we must have more knowledge of
the inner working of the parties 1han is available at present.
One unhealthy influence on politics was that of the pseudo-religious
leaders-not the leaders of the religious parties, but the pirs and sajjada
nashins who exploited religious feeling for personal political ends. In most
parts ofthe country there were persons who were in charge of religious
shrines and other holy places. Their office was often hereditary, usually
lucrative and generally influential. They were held in great esteem by
most of the superstitious villagers, many of. the poorer urban. classes and a
few educated but orthodox townsmen. Finding themselves so highly
regarded by a section of the' population, many of them were tempted to
add political prestige to their-personal esteem. It was not difficult. for
them to get votes, for the unsuspecting and politically unawake admirer
considered it his· moral duty to come to their help. In the political field·
these pirs always joined forces with the landlords, because both shared·
certain values, both were rural "leaders", and the pirs were themselves
small land-holders. Their joint impact on politics was far from liberal.
Without entering into the controversy whether the mismanagement
of public affairs was due entirely to politicians' ."misdeeds"! or that a
large share of responsibility must be borne by the civil servants, who made
, 1. The post-1958 revolutionary regime issued the Elective Bodies (Disqualifica.
tion) Order in 1959, according to which Elective Bodies Disqualificlttion Tribunals
coiptituted in the Provinces as Well as in the Centre. They screened tl).e records or all
fqm1er:,politicians who were then given the option either to retire from public life for a
~riod of six years or to fa~ the charges levelled against them by the Referring Authority. tpe West Pakistan Tribunal (consisting of one retired Supreme Court Judge, one
SeniOr Civil Servant and one Army Officer),' working from 14 January, 1960 to 27
April, J 961, was sent cases concerning 55 former politicians. Five or these were trans·
ferred to the Central Tribunal ; of the remaining 50, 38 accepted the option of retiring
voluntarily from public life till 31 December, 1966, 10 decided to contest charges and
pr~ceedings against two were held ex-parte, The 38 who agreed to retire included 10
Qiief Ministers (M. A. Qizilbash, Hasan Mahmud, M.
Khuro, Yusuf
Harqon, Pirzada Abdus Sattar, Pir Ilahi Bukhsh, Qazi Fazlullah, M. K. D;iuftana,
Khan of Mamdot, anr;l Abdul Hamid Dasti), Those who contdted the charges
included M: A. Gurmani, M. K. Leghari, Abid Husain, M. H. Chattba, 'Gbulam
MUhammad Lundkhaur, Shamsul Haq and Fazal Elahi Piracha. Ex-pdrte proceedings
were held against Abdul Qayyum Khan and Begum Salma Tasaddaq Husain. In all 48
persons were disqualified, only A. M. Qureshi and Fazal Ilahi Piracha being exonerated.
For details sec Dawn, 29 April, 1961, and Pakistan Times, 20 May, 1961.
made a fetish of the ~rinciple of obeying their political superiors, it might
be pointed out that civil servants were on an average more capable" and
therefore more-powerful than politicians, They had the double advantage
of better education and longer experience. And some politicians realized
this, which only· helped to undermine their self-confidence. But that
should not mean-to imply either that as a class civil servants were more
honest and industrious than politicians or that the .civil servants-turaed
politicians were better politicians. The political career of Chaudhri
Muhammad Ali is a salutary reminder of the fact that a civil servant, who
has spent his working life in the ordered world of files and more files
hardly makes an adept politician.
It might be relevant to point out here that the pattern of leadership
in Pakistan corresponded with the pattern of leadership in Muslim
India before 1947. In both periods, leaders were supplied by two main
classes, the landed aristocracy and the legal profession. The better class
of Muslims and the better preferred careers in civil service and army to
those in trade, commerce, teaching or politics. It was considered respectable to be soldier, and to join the civil service WaS the '~right. thing".
This tendency continued after independence, and the better boys were
attracted more by the civil and military services than by the lure of
But this must be read with one significant qualification. Trade, com·
merce and banking was an exclusively Hindu province before 1947. When
independence came and all Hindus fled from Pakistan the entire field was
left empty for Muslims to fill. Shops were allotted· to Muslims, trade
passed into· Muslim hands, and banks and insurance companies employed Muslim workers. This practically overnight change, though
it was unavoidable, brought disaster to politics. People started making
quick money, and with prosperity ambition was born. Their thoughts
turned to fresh pastures and the political field appeared to be the most
accessible. Many of the new post~l947 politicians belonged to this class,
Jn one respect they lived· with the spirit of the times .. The idea of personal
advancement was in the air. Everyone wanted to be "something". Civil
servants wanted accelerated promotion. Politicians desired higher offices,
The trader was keen for quick dividends. The. small refugee was in search
of a bigger house. "Get rich quick" was the slogan of thehour, and no
holds were barred in the scramble. The nouveaux riches saw their chance
and entered politics. Money earned in dubious deals was freely spent on
political prizes. Corruption entered politics on a large scale, .and
brought with it inexperience and inefficiency. Perhaps nothing helped
more to bring down the standard of political warfare than the incursion
- ...
{ Patty Politics in Pakistan
into politics of this class of refugee-politician.
Pakistan had no women leaders on the top level and only a few on
the provincial and local levels. In 1954 twenty-one seats in various legislatures were reserved for women. In 1956 twenty such seats existed, but
actually there were 23 women legislators : one in West Pakistan and 2 in
East Pakistan, had been returned from male constituencies," All three
were non-Muslims. As a matter of courtesy or encouragement women
were usually nominated on the panel of chairmen in the legislatures.
Begum Shah Nawaz presided over the first Constituent Assembly and the
West Pakistanlegislative assembly. Begum Tahira Agha once presided
over the election of the Speaker in the Sindh legislative assembly. Three
women were appointed Parliamentary Secretaries in East Pakistan in
November 1955. Four were made Deputy Ministers in the West Pakistan
Republicanministry: Begums G. A. Khan, Zeenat Fida Hasan, Mumtaz
Jamal and Salma Tasaddaq Husain. During the entire period about 30
women sat in the Iegislatures.s Most of the important women leaders were
wives of politicians and senior civil servants, e.g., Mrs. Shaista Ikramullah Suhrawardy, Begum Almas Daultana and Begum Zeenat Fida
Hasan. They were not public women, and owed their rise in .politics
·µiore to their husbands' official position and influence than to political
skin or public touch. Otherwise, women did not enter the political field.
Many factors were working against female entry in politics. First,
religious orthodoxy eonfi.ned the woman to the householdand looked
with disfavour at her entry into public life. We roust recall here that
~aulana Maudoodi and other religious leaders were against giving
women the right to stand as candidates in any election.
the general conservative spirit in the country weighed against female
emancipation: it would be a rare father who acquiesced in his daugther's
adopting a political career. Thirdly, lack of education among women
(even more than men) was another discouraging factor. Fourthly, some
aspiring women might have been dissuaded by the way in which the game
of politics was being played in the country. It may be that politics would
pave improved its respectability if more women had participated in it, but
the fact remains that, conditions being what they were, women were, scarcely attracted to public life. Finally, we must remember that women did
not have those qualifications which, as we have seen, were pre-requisites
of political success, viz., membership of either landed aristocracy or legal
1. The law reserved seats for women which men could not contest; but women
were allowed to stand from male constituencies.
2. Muneer Ahmad, op. cit., p, 100.
Patterns of Political Leadership
After Liaquat Ali Khan the country could not claim a ' single
."national" leader, and· even during his last days criticism was growing
apace. His successors were all either sectional or provincial leaders;
none of them was a symbol of the country. Suhrawardy had no great
following in West Pakistan, and this was also - true of men like
Muhammad -Ali Bogra and Khwaja Nazimuddin. On the other hand,
'men like Noon and Chaudhri Muhammad Ali were not well-known to
the East Pakistan public. Division of the country into two wings, each
speaking its own language, was at the heart of the matter. Besides, there
'was no leader outstanding enough to bring the two wings together and
to win equal popularity in both. Even within West Pakistan, the
feeling of provincialism was paramount and leaders were seen more
as Punjabis, Pathans and Sindhis, than Pakistanis. The regional basis
of some of the parties aggravated this parochialism. Maulana Bhashani
stood for an "independent" East Pakistan; Messrs. Khuro, Fazlullah
and Talpur considered themselves custodians of the rights of Sindh
above anything else; Ghaffar Khan claimed to speak for the Pukhtoons;
the Baluchi leaders asserted the rights of the Pushtoons; and the P.unjabi
leaders were anxious lest the interests of their province might suffer.
'One of the reasons behind the formation of. the consolidated province of
'West Pakistan was the eradication of provincial loyalty, but, as so often
happens in human experience, constitutional and legal attempts failed to
correct emotional and sentimental defects.
Politics is said to be the art of compromises. But the give-and-take
and the spirit of toleration without which compromise is impossible were
absent. Leaders made many pacts and agreements among themselves,
but they were not so much the result of forbearance as of naked expediency, vide, some parties' attitude towards the questions of electorate and
uone Unit". No distinction was drawn between compromise and
opportunism, and the latter was practised in the name of the former.!
The most serious failing of which all leaders were guilty was the feeling
of self-righteousness. They considered themselves to be always in the
1. See the strictures passed by a judicial tribunal on the Muslim League leaders
. for their role in the Punjab riots of 1953: "We are, therefore, of the opinion that our
leaders failed in their duty and that they found themselves completely unable to rise to
the occasion which demanded foresight, wisdom and a11 the qualities of true statesmanship. Throughout the period not one popular leader dared appeal to the common
sense of the citizen. Even when the conflagration was in its fury, not one of them
condescended to talk to the people and to explain to them that they were being misled
to a course, the only immediate result of which could be the shattering of the country
to pieces", Munir Report, p. 276.
Party 'Politic! in. Pakistan,
-right, The public was rarelytaken into confidence. Constituencies were
never nursed. Mistakes were never a<;Imitted. Public touch gave way to
Nor were social conditions conducive to the making of a national
leadership. A wide gulf separated the rural from the urban and the
, educated from the. uneducated population. In towns and cities, there
was no less a distinction between the working and the middle and .uppermiddle classes. People were very class conscious, and mixing was not
.easy even within, the party fold. A natur.al result of personal politics
was that the well-to-do of one party had more in common- with the wellto-do of another than with the poor of their own party. There was, so
to speak, an unofficial, albeit strong; trade-unionism among the· rich. The
working classes, on the other hand, were not effectively organized and
therefore did'not produce leaders who could speak for them. More serious
still, the peasant class-an overwhelming majority of the total population,
had practically no voice in politics. It' was represented either by the
.absentee landlord who, by definition, CO!Jld not understand its needs and
aspirations, or by.the soft-spoken urbanlawyer, who had no interest in it
.save his O'\Vl} political advancement. Sp it happened that political power
passed into the hands of a few feudal lords and wealthy lawyers who used
it as it please? them, Insidiously, but relentlessly, the fabric of the State
was being corroded at, its foundations, while the people looked on,
waiting, praying, hoping.
Soon ifter the first World· War parliamentary. democracy fell out
of favour in one European country after another. In the 1950s the same
plague struck Asia .'where democracy=-a newl~ lit and-feeble flame-w~
being snuffed out across the continent. Nearly all Asian countries had
.the same problems that faced Europe in the 'Twenties: grinding poverty;
over-population, language quarrels, religious minoritiesc illiteracy, overpowerful and over-rich Iandlords.vseemingly obsolete social relationships,
fear. of hostile neighbours; corrupt and ambitious politicians. Asia felt
some.of these disadvantages more intensely and had, besides, some others
·p~c'uliar..to her situation.
Democracy is an importation in this vast and hungry continent. If
it has 'withered so often in the soil, of its native place, it is not. surprising
'that i,t has.not survived transplantation. Before the second World 'W,ar
most Asian countries belonged to either of twocatcgorles: those under
col~riial rule and those free but without a democratic set-up. The three
'eventful years between 1947and1950 saw a large number.of undemocratic
foreign-ruled ~untries transf~rmed into '~free 'democracies". They were
directly required to change. their ancient traditions and to behave like
adult ~nd responsible democratic states. The jolt was too abrupt ~n4
'sharp. to help adjustment; and produced the uncommon' spectacle of
nearly half the world's population professing democracy and struggling to
work the novel and difficult system, but at the same. tjrne not quite convinced if it would succeed and far fro..m persuaded if it was the best alternative.
Moreover, people of Asia expected of their governments more than the new
democracies of Europe could 'provide to their peoples before the War. Technology had made obsolete the old beliefs and ways of life in Europe and
America; in Asia it combined with the equally revolutionary change. in-the
national status. The impact was shattering.Bqt, for one reason or another,
the new Asian democracies failed to show any solid achievements. The
patience of the people was _in many places exhausted at the sight of
politicians frittering away: in irrelevant parliamentary gam~s, energies and
resources that ought to have been devoted to the good of the country.
The obvious sequence was, therefore, the oft-repeated pattern of corrupt
regimes, near anarchy; talk _of "controlled" and "~i~ed'' democracy,
and Jin~l~y military"rule.
- - ... -
Party Politics in Pakistan
A cursory glance at Asian history of this period will fill in the picture
of this pattern. Starting with Pakistan's immediate neighbours, Burma
was under a thinly-veiled military rule. In 1957 a British student of her
politics asserted that Burma "today is a democracy, beyond question".1
In September 1958, a consultation conference of the "clean" Anti-Fascist
People's Freedom League-one of the two factions into which the party
bad split-was held under U Nu's leadership, and there several members
of Parliament denounced the presence of some troops stationed in the
Sandoway, Hanthawaddy, Moulmein and Toungoo districts as being
partial to the "Swe-Nyein" tactics. An army commander in Toungoo
answered by clarifying his position by launching a poster campaign against
the local politicians, saying that his men were not prepared to die for any
political opportunist. Other similar incidents tended to create bad feeling
between the army and politicians. A few days later the Prime Minister
handed over his office to General Ne Win. Rumour said that this proposal was forced upon U Nu by the army.
A less disguised coup took place in Thailand in October 1958, when
Marshal Sarit dismissed the Government, proclaimed martial law and
abolished all political parties. Once again corruption and bickering
among politicians were ended by military intervention. The pattern was
the same: failure of the politicians who, by corruption, concern for personal power and indifference to national interests, had brought hearty disapproval upon themselves. But Bangkok was different from Rangoon
and Karachi in the sense that the power that really mattered in Thailand
was personal. Sarit was a member of the so-called "coup group" which
had seized power in 1947 and kept it until the leaders fell apart in the
summer of 1957. Then he arranged an equally bloodless revolution to
oust·Marshal Piblu and General Phao, The regime that he displaced in
1958 was largely of his own making, but it was hard to discern what the
threat to his personal Influence was this time.
Immediately after the 1958 coup in Pakistan Prime Minister Nehru of
India made some provocative speeches attacking the nature of the new
regime, and asked if the Commonwealth was flexible enough to accommodate a military dictatorship.s Many Pakistanis suspected that his unfriendly attitude was due as much to his unhappiness at the passing away of
a corrupt and weak regime as to his fear of a similar occurrence in
India. Generally in the West India was then considered as the _one beacon
Of democracy amid the waters of unstable dictatorships. However, a study
_ ... __ --
Prospects for Democracy
of Indian reaction to the change in Pakistan showed that democracy had
far from deep roots in India. The Manchester Guardian's New Delhi
correspondent described thus the mood of introspection in which the news
from Pakistan had thrown the Indian leaders, particularly of the Congress
party : "What the leaders notice is the lack of determination to deal
firmly with unrest prevailing among different sections of the population.
Labour is aware more of its rights than duties. Land legislation has produced more unrest than food or rural peace •... Regional and linguistic
jealousy on one side and· communal and caste prejudices on the other
flourish unchecked. Finally, there is the dependence of the entire country
on the leadership of only one person-and a wide gap in thinking between
him and the vast majority of his followers. Everyone, however, is happy
that there is no prospect of any overthrow of the present Government or
even the present leaders. But how long will it last?"! This despatch was
published under the title "Could it Happen in India?"
Nearly a month later The Times' Delhi correspondent added : "Mr.
Nehru has been quick to rebuke the Indian Press for voicing the question
'Could it happen here?' But one continues to hear it asked a dozen times
each day, sometimes in the form, 'How long before ... ?' Jn either case
the answer is invariably, 'Not while Nehru is there'. But there is widespread recognition that many factors that contributed to the upheaval
in Pakistan are present, at least potentially, in India also; and by cruel
paradox the very tribute to Mr. Nehru's achievement implies an element
of doubt about its permanency. There are indeed few regions of India
where one will meet with no complaints of nepotism and jobbery, of inefficiency and, particularly in the administration, of disruptive movements
tolerated or even encouraged for party ends. If one may rightly attribute
it to Mr. Nehru's vigilance that such factors have so far been kept within reasonable bounds, can there be the same certainty that his successor
(whoever and whenever that may be) will enjoy the same unrivalled authority and influence? Those who incline to the gloomy view argue that if
the circumstances appeared compelling, the Indian Anny would not
shrink from following the example of its Pakistan counterpart-and the
enigmatic personality of Mr. Krishna Menon, as Defence Minister, if it
justifies no firm presumptions, offers them material for unlimited speculation."2 It was also not insignificant that a "Conference of Indian Revolutionaries", consisting of 300 odd Indians who from 1905 onwards
had favoured violence as a means of throwing off British rule, met in
1. Manchester Guardian, 9 October, 1958
1. H. Tinker, The Union of Burma (London, 1957), p, 77.
2. His press conference on 7 November, 1958, Statesman, s November, 1958.
- --
2. The Times, 3 November, 1958.
Party Politics in Pakistan
Prospects for
Delhi in December l 958. Officials of the meeting assured tbe Press that
.the conference had no political significance, but one of the "bomb. throwers" declared that the present form of independence was not what
he had in mind in his youth.!
Iri Ceylon democracy was confined within a strait-jacket of emer.gency· powers almost continuallysince the language riots of May 1958.
-The storm over the Tamil-Sinhalese linguistic issue not only exhibited the
'lamentable.weakness of Bandaranaike's Government but also the deep
'split in the Ceylonese nation.· Complete lawlessness was rampant
'many days and the police· and the army 'idly looked on while people
-burnt, killed and looted. When the emergency was declared the Govern'ment imposed a censorship which was -characterized by the Common ..
-wealtlr Press Union as "almost- without' parallel in a Commonwealth
-eountry in time or' peace. "2
The leaders of Ghana accepted the model of parliamentary democ.racy only because they had no clear ideas for an alternative. Some.
;feared that its premature introduction had actually· ruined its chances to
:strike roots in the country. Cabinet members in Ghana-were attracted to
.the least democratic features of the British model, viz., those identified
:with the term "cabinet dictatorship", without realizing that these features
'severed from their traditional and ideological substrueuire had nothing to
;do with democracy. Dr. Nkrumah accepted the British model .tempora.rily as a convenient means of organizing mass support behind his person.
-Other leaders showed a similar proclivity for "statist" methods. Nkrumah
.himself once coined the phrase "Ghanacracy", meaning a modern version of traditional African· practice; and in the preface to his Autobiography he wrote, •·But even a system based on social justice and a demo-crdtic,constitution may need backing up, during the period following
-independence, by emergency measures of a totalitarian kind."
When the People's Educational Association asked the Governme.nt
'for an explanation for the country's new name, "':1hana", an ~ffi.~1al
spokesman stood up in the National Assembly and chided the Association
for its "impudence". On another occasion a Government member was
.eonstrained to put this question "to the Opposition, "I should like to ask
the hon. members of the opposition to tell us whether they sincerely
believe that the minority should dictate or that the majority ·'ilhould
.1. See Cyril Dunn's interesting despatch in the Observer, 14 December, 1958.
· · 2 · The best account of the riots and their aftermath is found Jn Turzie Vittachi"s
Em~ency '58, Deutsch, London, 1958: for some shorter versions see George Clay,
"Peace at the Bayonet Point .. , Observer, 13 July, 1958, and Colombo correspondent's
"Ceylon after the Storm", The Times, 6 October,·1958.
dictate?" The Government front' bench in the Assembly regarded the
members opposite "as no more than a group· of unscrupulous men wanting to usurp their seats and offices".. The .Convention People's Parfy'~
leadership categorically denied' the right of 'members of a democratic par:
liament to hold the Government to account for its acts and policies.t It
was not an uncommon occurrence in Ghana for opposition party meetings
to be banned, opposition leaders· tried for' sedition, opposition' M.Ps. losing their passports and Government's critics. being deported. When,
November 1958, Nkrumah persuaded the Assembly· to pass a law seeking
to remove all restrictions in revising the Constitution so that in future
changes might be made by a simple majority in the National Assembly
alone, The Times was moved to remark. "What the champion of western
democracy is left wondering is how far the Ghanaians (and there will soon·
be others in Africa with similar problems) will need to stray off· the wellworn- path and still expect . their institutions 'to be called democratic.
Democracy may be a bruised word but it is· not capable of limitless
In the Sudan the coalition Government of Abdullah Khalil ran
into difficulties because the two wings flatly disagreed on)o\v far to yield·
to Egypt's claims on the Nile. The crisiscame to a head'in November
1958, when General Ibrahim Aboud, the Commander-in-Chief; took
over the Government, dismissed the politicians and announced that he
was doing so 'to prevent corruption and to ensure good relations with
Egypt. Aboud's statement on tlie take-over echoed the sentiments
expressed in Pakistan by General Ay~b, "You are well aware of the
state of corrupt.ion and instability which prevailed throughout our
country. All this was due to political parties, each seeking .gains for.
themselves [sic.] by various means, legal and illegal, and through ~he use
of Certain papers to contact foreign embassies. In doing so they did
not favour reforms and did not seek to safeguard Sudan's independence,
or the progress of her people and impoverished inhabitants, They sought
power and' domination ~ver the country's assets. This has continued .
fur a Jong time and the people Il.a~e been ~atiently hoping that conditions
would improve. Unfortunately the situation worsened and people who
had Sudan's interest at heart lost patience. They have now made.their ,
complaint against the prevailing anarchy and corruption. As a result
it is only natural that Army security forces should end the. chaos and
1. Henry L. Bretton, =Current Political Thought and Practii:;e ip ·qhana",
American Political Science Review, March 1958, pp. 51-61.
If •
2. The Times, 8 November, 1958,
'Prospects for Democracy
Party Politics in Pakistan
restore security and stability to all citizens and residents. "1
Indonesia was riven by a civil war and there seemed to be no foreseeable end- to her internal risings. Iraq too experienced a bloody
revolution which appears to have changedthe country from a monarchy
to a republic. Turkey was for many years considered a stable, albeit
one-party, democracy, which spoke weU of the future of popular government in this half-Asian, half-European State. But here too a not
altogether unexpected chain of events swept the Army into power.
Later entrants into this club of the Army-ruled states were South Korea,
Ghana, Nigeria, Syria and a few other smaller African states.
There was a remarkable unanimity among Pakistanis that the "First
Republic", with its cut-throat rivalry among th~ contending parties and
factions and all its attendant evils of political friction, instability and
plain corruption, was worth shedding no tears over. There was some
regret that the change involved scrapping the 1950 Constitution, but it
was said by those close to ex-President Iskandar Mirza that he had
sought, in consultation with the highest legal authorities, for some
formula which would permit him to take the necessary steps within; the
framework .of the constitutional structure, but that the checks and
balances written into the Constitution proved too complete to be evaded.
Pakistan had been trying, for too long, to work a parliamentary
democracy without one of its essential ingredients-an electorate. She
was governed by a relatively, small group of men forming uneasy
.coalitions among themselves. Each government was more short-lived
than . its predecessor and nearly
the .possible permutations and
combinations ofpower had been exhausted. The ruling cabal had nothing.
to show but its inefficiency, incompetency and immaturity. President
Ayub!s ascension to power was a mere recognition of the fact that the
parliamentary system had collapsed under the weight of its own rottenness
and corruption.
Some western minds, looking at the growth of democracy in Asia.
and Africa, may proclaim with Leibnitz, "It is pleasant to me to see in
the gardens of others the fruits grown from seeds scattered by me". But
a closer survey of the non-Western world will make this optimism look
a little premature.s Where in the East has democracy succeeded?
Japan, India and Israel, perhaps. Japan was till recently an authoritarian
monarchy and till more recently occupied by American armed forces.
Democracy there is still a tree of tender growth planted under American
auspices. In democratic experience she has no very impressive record.
India presents a satisfactory facade of parliamentary democracy, but
bow much of .this facade is built up of one-party rule and how much of
it will survive it is a question which exercises the mind of every thinking India. Indian reaction to the changes in 'Pakistan, to which
reference was made above, was an excellent index to a feeling of acute
uneasiness. Israel is a theocracy and it remains to be s~en bow far this
form of government can be successfully combined with genuine
f ''
1. Full text published in The Times, 18 November, 1958.
2. In fairness to my argument it must be stated that by democracy I mean not
only a form of government but also a way of life, a pattern of social Jiving and a mode
of' thought. in fact, the social and intellectual content is more important than the
mc~ly political.
It is probably not far wrong to say that historically democracy has
proved the most inept form of government immediately after the
emergence of a country from slavery OF autocracy.
Africa is just
emerging into the comity of free nations, and its recent hist?ry holds
out little hope of the continent going democratic in any immediate
.future. To call any Middle Eastern country a democracy is Iesemajeste against the language.
Nor does the West .provide a vecy
encouraging scene. Democracy has never struck deep .roots in.Italy
.and Germany. Russia has _managed only to change her masters from
.an autocratic Czar to an equally autocratic Communist hierarchy.
France has pitifully struggled with democracy so long· but JO no avail;
.she finally avoided a military revolt only by giving to General de Gaulle
.what the .rebellion would have wanted him to get. Across the Atlantic,
many Asians.jsensitive to the smallest" signs of racial discrimination, are
'reluctant to include the United States of America in their list or truly
.democratic systems. That leaves only the Scandinavian _countries,
Britain and the old Commonwealth, 'l'iz., Canada, Australia and New
Zealand. It is he;e·and here alone that democracy, ~ot only as a form
~f government but als~ as a state of mind, has successfully entreocbed
itself. It is irrelevant here to inquire into, the causes of this phenomenon, but it is only fair to point out that ittook Britain and Scandimwi~
a few centuries to reach their present mature stage of democracy. Was
it just to expect the newly-emerged countries to catch up with t,hem in
.a decade or two, particularly when. there had been serious cas~alties.
among more enlightened and prosperous candidates?
Pakistan illustrated all the difficulties and perplexities of a· new
country pitchforked into trying a democratic system, through a frial
~nd error method. A large country with-little homogeneity of population,.
a vast illiterate mass of people, dire poverty, total lack
a democratic
Politlcs'in Pakistan
Prospects for Democracy
tradition, fear. of a larger· am! aggressive neighbour, selfish leadership,
corrupt political parties-there _col.!:!~ hardly be worse conditions. for
starting a new experiment In democracy. The rival parties had no real
basis either in. po~ular esteem 9r in coherent policy. The two wings of the
country were'drifting apart, and thereal crisis betweenthem was largely
.one of confidence; . ·Manx in West Pakistan regarded their fellow citizens
in-the eastern wingas volatile, unreliable and potentially disloyal agitators;
'Yhile ip..any Bast Pakistanis returned the compliment by suspecting West
Pakistanis qf being arrogant, boorish and. selfish. exploiters. Instead of
flnding a solution of this . problem by evolving ~ proper. relationship
between the two wings of the country, the politicians rejoiced over its
existence and used it to their own ends.
. -The tep~uitio~ -o°f, Pakistan overseas also - suff~red because of its
proximity to India. if it
situated anywhere else in the East, it
would be regarded as _a nation temporarily bedevilled' by internal
proJ)lems. But, alas, it was always"compared with· India-the India that
'~~well al~ng theroad to political maturity and industrial development
before i •-Pakistan· was · visualised.
It was never, realized that
~ '
.areas <:a~pnsing .t;>aJc,istan -were, for historical and " other reasons, -the
most backward, 'politically and economically, · Sindh was given 1he
status of~ province for :the first time in '1937. The North-West Frontier
Province was ruled hs a special area till the mid 'Thirties. Baluchistan
bad no'reptesentative iov(!rnment of any sort during the· entire British
1'.,ule. Both the old and major-provinces, Bengaf and. the Punjab, were
divided in 1947, thus seriously damaging the little political traditions
'th~y ')iad built up during the early years. Moreover, the part ofBengai
that came over to Pakistan was the poorer portion and ·had not been
given: ruh 'attention since 1911 when the first partition of the province
Was· undone under pressure from Hindu agitators. In contrast, the
areas constituting the Indian Union were, at the time of the transfer of
power, not only economically well off but also politically mature'. . _ To say thls, however, is not to minimize the havoc .wrought by
unscrupulous party politics. "Democracy perished in Pakistan because
neither leaders nor citizens respected its Jaws. Under such conditions
every genuine believer in democracy and the rule oflaw found it difficult
to defend a-system which was rapidly impairing the moral .fibre of
..... Wh~ did. democracy fail in Pakistan?_ Only a few t~ntative
~ .
suggestions may be discussed here.
The political reasons for the failure are more obvious. There was no
'political tradition of democratic experience. As has been said earlier, a
large portion of Pakistan was, till actual independence, untutored in even
elementary lessons of self-government. With freedom came a host of
sorely trying situations in which crisis followed crisis with near lethal
rapidity-influx of refugees, construction of a brand new governmental
structure, lack of finances, strained relations with India including actual
fighting in Kashmir, death of the Quaid-i-Azam, etc. Any one of these
alone was enough to have embarrassed any well-established'and experienced government. In face of their coincident assault the mere survival
of the infant state was a miracle. Men who succeeded Jinnah (none could
replace hiin) were all second-rate leaders, more of politicians than states·
men. 'They might have managed to steer the ship of state through placid
waters of peace and Calm, but on stormy seas they floundered and were
lost. They proved small men on whom blind circumstances had thrust
'great office. The fact tliat political groups to which they belonged were
'ill-organized and at times ·ill-conceived aggravated the situation still
'further. Parliamentary government was practised; but the; absence of
regular elections and a well-knit opposition made it hardly more than an
expensive pretence.
J._ .~. J.'Ne~~n. "Pakistan·~ Preventive Autocracy and its Ca~ ... P~cific
AJfairs, March 19S9, p; 31. ·
• -,
• •.-.:.
' ~
While we are still oonsidering the political reasons it i~ permissible to
dispose of one off-affirmed argument. It ~as been asserted, by many
'scholare Western as-well as Pakistani, that the centuries-old existence of
village local government in this part of ~he world strengthened the roots
of democracy and facilitated the transition to a national democratic
system. The xalidity of this claim.is not beyond question. In the first
place, it is doubtful w~ether the ancient panchayat system was a political
order or a mere communal arrangement. Village life has always been so
intimate and integrated that· the nature and intensity of human.relationships render political bargaining impossible. Jockeying into power and
all other typically political moves are not congenial to the unsophisticated
and morally sensitive villager. To make a political manoeuvre presupposes
· the ,ability to think in curves; the villagers' forte lies in -thinking in
straight Jihes. In the second place, it is difficult to visualise this ancient
village goy¢~nment as a training ground for modern democracy: ; In· the
words of Professor Emerson, '1To extend democracy from tlie ~local t:,a~
to face relationship .to the great national sense- of unknown fu,as~~ ~f men
may well prove to be- not an extension at all but th~ introduction of a new
Prospects for Democracy
Party Politics in Pakistan
and quite different principle" .1
The economic and social basis of democracy was equally non-existent
in Pakistan. Wealth is power -and the concentration of wealth in a few
hands, rich landlords or industrial magnates, meant that a small group
wielded excessive power while the mass of the people did not exercise even
their elementary political rights. There was practically no middle class
in Pakistan, and without this back-bone of good and popular government
.democracy was yet far away. Similarly, lack of education, even of
literacy, made it difficult to work the democratic system. For example,
newspaper circulation per thousand inhabitants was 599 in Britain, 455 in
Australia; 415 in Scandinavia and 357 in the United States; in Pakistan
it was a mere 2. .
Moreover, there-was no national, linguistic or religious homogeneity.
This lack of unity created tension. It was once believed that English
would be able to solve some of these problems at least in, the countries
which were formerly under British rule. But even the English-speaking
politicians showed no national unity. In India the unity of this class of
leaders was shot to ribbons by the bloody.riots set off by the formulation of the States' re-organization scheme. In Pakistan the Englishspeaking West Pakistani leader was no nearer to the English-speaking
Bengali politician; nor was there any more unity or co-operation between
the Punjabis, the Pathans and the Sindhis. In Ceylon, the Si~halese
villager was ~ore Sinhalese than Ceylonese. In Malaya the U~ted
'Malayan Nationalist Organization was as' far from the Malayan .Chinese
Association as the Malayans were from the Chinese.2
Nor were means of communication so common-or efficient in Pakistan. The following tablet sh~ws the position of Pakistan vis-a-vis some
Western countries :-
Per 100 Sq.
Kilos of
Total area
United States
Railway Route Kilometres
'·· .
Per 100 Sq.
Kilos of
Total area
Per 10,000
Registered Radio Sets
Per 1,000
1. Sec Rupert Emerson, "Problems of Representative Government in Southeast
i\sia ", Pacific Affairs, December .1953, p. 292! For an enlargement of this and other
relevant arguments see his stimulating treatment contained in a book of the sam~ titl~.
2. See Ivor Jennings, Problems of the New Commonwealth (Duke University,
1957); pp. 89-90.'
3. Given by Charles Issawi in Walter Z. Laquer (ed.), The Middle East in.Transitlon : Studies in Contemporary History (London, 195!!),p, 38,
Railway Route Kilometres
Per 10,000
Registered Radio Sets
Per 1,000
Political awakening, social cohesiveness and spirit of co-operation are
difficult to attain if media of contact are so scarce.
It ~ not too much to assume that democracy functions better where
an appreciable number of population is engaged in industry and trade.1
Overwhelmingly agricultural countries appear to provide poor soil (or
this imported seed. The percentages of people engaged in agricultural
pursuits for some countries were : Britain 4, United States 13, Australia
15, Switzerland 20, Sweden 21, Canada 24, France 36.z In Pakistan more
than 80 per cent i:ebple were agriculturists by vocation. Industry and
commerce affect political life in several ways. They help to raise the national
income. They weaken the power of the landlord (though they produce
the equally: undesirable business tycoon). They give birth to the middle
class. They encourage urbanization and thus sharpen political awakening. Thd:f produce'trade'unioils and thus train the working classes in cooperative living and bargaining. French trials of strength with democracy
may very well be ascribed to the fact that she has the largest percentage
of agricultural population iri Europe.
, There Iis a commonplace view which argues that Pakistan's unhappy
experiment with democracy was inevitable because she lacked certain
conditions usually associated with democratic success, viz., economic"
advance, material prosperity and widespread education. The preceding
paragraph should not be taken to mean an agreemenrwith this view. It
is an open question whether. material prosperity and a 'high level' of
educational attainment create a favourable atmosphere for thewoi.Idng
of democracy or that they are the result' of a successful democNitic set-up.
In Asia as a whole there is no noticeable relation between· these factors
1. Early history of the U.S.A. is an exception to this rule.
2. Food and A1picultural Organization (U.N.), Yearbook of Food and .t4gricul•
tural Statisti~s. vei. IV, Part! (1950).
Party Politics In Pakistan
Prospects for Democracy
and democratic proficiency; Japan, economically· and technologically. the
superior of the East, is hardly.an unqualified success. In the West, too,
examples of Russia and Germany repudiate the contention that there may
be a causal connection between material advance and democracy or
between educational progress and liberalism.
The real causes of the failure lie much deeper. They belong more
to the realm of sociology or social psychology than to that of political
economy .. They can be summarized as an answer to the vital question:
is there something in the national character a:nd tradition which is
hostile to · a democratic approach to life 'l I~ js a highly sensitive
question, and an honest answer may not be palatable to all Pakistanis.
I,t has been stated by some that the people of the East are individual·
ist in outlook and therefore incapable of achieving the degree of co.
.operation required for the successful functioning of democracy. They
.give allegiance to the small units, like the family, .the clan, th<: tribe or the
religious sects. They seem not to transcend these groups and combine
';n a Iarger association, like the city or the nation. In one word, there is
among them no general will, This statement actually contains. two
assertions: that people of the· East (and therefore of Pakistan too) are
'individualists, and that (therefore) they are incapable of co-operation
?n social .or political level. These two points should be separately
In common parlance individualism may, mean two distinct things.
It may jnean self-centred feeling or conduct (egoism); or it may ~ean
strongly marked individual character or taste (individuality). "Individual·
ism .. , and its derivative "individu'alist", are words which easily lend them·
selves to confusion. Using diffe~ent words, therefore, we may say that
th~ proposition that Pakistanis have individuality is of dubious value.
For the sophisticated and educated mind is always, whether in the East
or in the West, more individual than the unsophisticated and the uneducated, because the former is more sensitive and refined. And as education
and sophistication are more common in the West, we may assert that
individuality is more a thing of the West than of the East. People of
"Pakistan are, therefore, not individual; except a tiny minority among
them who enjoy good education and urban living. But the other proposition seems to be true: people of Pakistan are by and large self-centred
. in feeling and conduct. T.tiey have so far not exhibited any sense of
co-operative living. This calls for a longer notice.
care about what happens to others. Each looks to his own good and
shuffles off the responsibility of social good upon others. This narrow
approach to collective living ca~ be illustrated by many every-day
~ccurrences. Two or more friends come across each other on the road·
~tde and_ start talking in the middle of the footpath; passers-by are
mconvemenced and frown at them, but no notice · is taken of this
expression of displeasure. People waiting at a crowded bus stop will never
form up in a queue, though the first comers are often mortified at seeing
the late comers board a bus which leaves them behind. Similarly in post
offices, banks, railway stations, cinemas and other public places there
is no organization or discipline. The .physically robust or the pushing
type come to the front, the gentlemen meekly take jhelr Jowly place down
the line. "Each for himself .. and "after me the deluge" seem to be the
mottoes .
Probably throughout the East is found a phenomenon which may
be caited 'a perversion of the social theory of individualism. People.don't
26 I.
Now this is not a matter of mere Jack of discipline. Discipline
can be imposed and perhaps also. inculcated by harsh measures. But
that is hardly a lasting remedy for a disease which has a withering effect
on administrative and political matters. The friend talking in the centre
of the footpath is as oblivious of the feelings of others using that pavement
a~ the cler~ of a public office who is indifferent to the call of duty or the
~1gh official who prefers entertaining friends in the office to. signing
important papers. To say this is not to charge the government with
deliberate inefficiency, for it is the people who make the government, but
to point to a national trait. Translated to the political level this foible
produces selfish politicians and self-seeking parties. The point is that
people are deficient in consideration for others, alive chiefly to personal
profit, intolerant of other people's opinions, and reluctant to or incapable
of seemg the other man's point of view. Only a sociologist or social
psychologist is qualified to investigate. into the factors responsible for this
national failing. A political scientist can only bring its existence before
the public eye and relate it to the political perspective. WiU it be too
cynical to remark that to reconcile intolerance with compromise and
amour-propre with political give-and-take is beyond the ingenuity of the
most perfect constitution makers ! Political contrivances cannot remove
infirmities of character.
. :niere is another national peculiarity which may vitiate the purely
poh~1cal efforts at initiating people into the democratic spirit. In
Pakistan the mass of the people are predisposed to accept authoritarian
direction from above. This stems from the prevailing social structure iq
general and from the joint family system in particular. The head·of the
family occupies a unique position, and for other members of the group
Party Politics in Pakistan
to disobey or ignore the wishes of· the paterfamilias is no less than
treachery against consanguinity. The child is brought up under strict
supervision, and even with reaching maturity his sheltered life does not
come to an end. There is too much dependence on elders, parents and
seniors. Young men are not generally left to decide for themselves. In
the school the child is of course not free. In the university he is rarely
permitted to choose his subjects of study. In later life his seniors
determine everything for him from choosing a bride to getting a job.
The faculty of original thinking and planning one's life is never
allowed to develop. He always looks for guidance. Props in life become a second nature to him. Self-confidence is withered before it has
There could hardly be a more improper or inauspicious training in
democratic politics. From dictatorship of the family to political subservience is but a short and natural step. In personal and family life he
depends on his elders, in politics he relies on rulers and leaders. And
just as. the elders are eager to give advice and expect obedience, so the
political leaders are not infrequently ready to supply the desired authoritarian direction. Rarely is this phenomenon even noticed, for the citizen,
ever used to guidance from above, is far from surprised at finding it in
public life and almost eager rto accept it. The leader, used to give
direction in the family circle, is equally anxious to maintain his superior
position in public life and therefore welcomes the opportunity of
issuing commands and enforcing compliance. The younger leader
gives blind uncritical obedience to the senior leader within the party
and therefore ·there is little democracy or free debate within the party.
It is difficult to fight against this coincidence of predispositions. It is not
easy! either to persuade the citizen of his intrinsic worth as a unit in a
democratic machine or to convince the leader that he is an ordinary
person enjoying a special position only by virtue of the trust reposed in
him by the same common man whom he treats with contempt. Democracy does not freely flourish where the leader claims a divine (or, at
least, a traditional) right to lay down the writ and the citizen speaks, or
is asked to speak, more of duties than of rights.
Related to this is the further fact that in Pakistan there is no tradition
of self-help. Voluntary effort is non-existent. People do not co-operate
among themselves to build a dispensary or run a school. They petition
the government to do so. This is due partly to the aforementioned habit
of thinking as an individual rather than as a community and partly to
historical tradition. The Mughals were autocratic rulers who left little
to individual enterprise. The British who succeeded them deepened and
l \
Prospectsfor Democracy
strengthened this usage. The district was the basic unit of administration,
and the district officer was much more than a mere administrator or lawgiver. He took a personal interest in the smallest occurrence in his area.
He toured the district indefatigably, met all sorts of people and
helped them to grapple with every-day problems. When later the foundations of local government were laid, the district officer was made the
president of the municipal committee (urban) as well as chairman of the
district board (rural). Villagers and townsmen were thus trained to look to
him as their guide and mentor. He was the mai bap (mother and father)
of his people. If a hamlet wanted help in fighting a flood people appealed
to him. If a town needed a dispensary it sent a prayer to him. If a city
required a school it made a supplication to him. Practically nothing
happened in the district without his knowledge and sanction.! Such suits
and prayers had become so firmly entrenched in public mentality that
when independence came it failed to be accompanied by that change of
mind which would have facilitated the transition from a "law and order"
state to a welfare one. If vo untary effort on a co-operative basis is a
condition of democracy, then the problem is not so much political as
It is as difficult to cheat history as to live beyond one's character.
Democracy is not a dress which can be imported and donned for the occasion. Democracy is a form of government as well as a way of life. The
form will come with experience, the habit will grow out of a complete break
with traditional modes of thought. All men are prisoners of their environment. Democracy will come when they have constructed a basis for it;
it will not come earlier and it dare not come later. It may not be difficult
to get a democratic system, it is easy to lose it.
I, "A Government which seemed to be all-powerful and of vast resources would
clearly do everything that required collective attention, and private enterprise and
charity in public fields were thus not stimulated ••.• This excessive paternalism of the
Government and its District Officers necessarily broke down the traditional forms of
local self-government in many areas. Panehayatsand similar institutions disappeared,
not for any hostility on the part of the Government, but because they seemed almost
unneccssarr against the background of an all powerful. and ubi.quitou~ government.
People thus lost whatever little they once had of the habit of doing things for them·
selves", Percival Griffiths, The British Impacton India (London, 1952), p. 230.
M.A. Jinnah
1S August, 1947-11 September, 1948
Khwaja Nazimuddin
14 September, 1948-16 October, 1951
Gbulam Muliammad
17 October, 1951-6 August, 1955
6 August, 1955-7 October, 1958
~: ,.
Liaquat Ali Khan
Muslim League
15 August,1947-16
Khwaja Nazimuddin
"Muslim League
19 October,1951-16
Muhammad Ali
Muslim League
Cliaudhri Muham- Muslim League
mad Ali
11 April,1953-7 August,1955
11 August,1955-8 September,1956
H. S. Suhrawardy
Awami League
I. I. Chundrigar
Muslim League
Firoz Khan Noon
Rep~blican Party 1,6 December,1957-7
12 September,1956-11 October,19~7
18 October,1957-11
Appendix III
Liaquat A.Ii Khan: JS August, 1947-16 October, 1951
I. I. Chundrigar
Ghulam Muhammad
Abdur Rab Nishtar
Ghazanfar Ali Khan
J. N. Manda] _
Fazlur Rahman
_ Zafrullah Khan
Abdus Sattar
M.A. Gurmani
Sardar Bahadur
Nazir Ahmad Khan·
A. M. M~lik
15 August,1947-7 May,1948
15 August,1947-16 October,1951
15 August,1947-2 August,1949
15 August,1947-30 July,1948
15 August,1947-15 September;I950
15 August,1947-16 October,1951
27 December,1947-16 October,1951
30 December,1947-16 October,1951
8 May,1948-16 October,1951
· 3 January,1949-30 October,1949;
13 kpril,1950-16 October,1951
10 September,1949-16 Octoh:er,1951
IO September,1949-16 October,1951
20 Septernber,1949-16 October,1951
Khwaja Nazimuddin: 19 October, 1951--:-17 April, 1953
Abdur Rab Nishtar
Fazlur Rahman
Zafrullah Khan
Abdus Sattar
M.A. Gurmani
Mahmud Husain
Sardar Bahadur
I. H. Qureshi
A. M. Malik
Chaudhri Muhammad
26 October,1951-17 April,1953
19 October,1951-17 April,1953
19 October,1951-17 ApriI,1953
19 October,1951-17 April,1953
19 October,1951-26 November,1951 Muslim
19 October,1951-17 April,1953
26 November,1951-17 April,1953
19 October,1951-l7 }\pril,1953
26 November,1951-17 April,1953
19 October,1951-17 April,1953
19 October,1951-17 April,1953
Muhammad Ali Bogra: 17April,1953-24 October,1954
Zafrullah Khan
M.A. Gurmani
17 April,1953-24 October,1954
17 Apdl,1953-24 October,1954
Sardar Bahadur
17 April,1953-24 October,1954 Muslim
I. H. Qureshi
17 April,1953-24 October,1954 League
A.M. Malik
17 April,1953-24 October,1954
Chaudhri Muhammad
17 April,1953-24 October,1954
17 April,1953-24 October, 1954
A. K. Brohi
Abdul Qayyum Khan
18 April, 1953-24 October, 1954
Shoaib Qureshi
18 April,1953-24 October,1954
7 Decembet,1953---'24 October,1954
Tafazzal Ali
Muhammad Ali Bogra: 24 October, 1954-11 August, 1955
A. M. Malik
Ghyasuddin Pathan
Chaudhri Muhammad Ali
M.A. H., Ispahani
Iskandar Mirza
Muhammad Ayub
Ghulam Ali Talpur
Khan Sahib
H. I. Rahimtoola
Abid Husain
H. S. Suhrawardy
Mumtaz Ali K'han
A.H. Sarkar
24 October,1954-11 August,1955
24 October,1954___:11 August,1955
24 October,1954-11 August,1955
24 October,1954-11 AugusJ,1955
24 October,1954-7 August,1955
24 October,1954-l l August,1955 National
24 October,1954-18 March,1955
28 October,1954----11August, 1955
26 November,1954-11 August,1955
18 December,1954-11 August,1955
20 December,1954-11 August,1955
22 Decem.ber,1954-11 August,1955
4 "January,1955-6 June,1955
Chaudhri Muhammad Ali: 11 August, 1955-12 September, 1956
I. I. Chundrigar
31 August,1955-27 August,1956
Khan Sahib
11 August,1955-14 October,1955
H. I. Rahimtoola
11 August,1955-12 September,1956 Muslim
Abid Husain
11 August,1955-14 October,i955
A. K. Fazlul Haq
12 August,1955-9 March,1956
I{, K. Dutta
11 August,1955-12 September,1956 United
Ali Muhammad Rashdi
11 August,1955-27 August;I956
Nhrul Haq Chaudhri
11 August,1955-12 September,1956
A. L. Biswas
11 August,1955-12 ~eptember,1956
Hamidul Haq Chaudhri 26 September,1955-12 September,1956
Amjad Ali
17 October,1955-12 September,1956
Party Politics in Pakistan
M. R. Kyani
Abdus Sattar
17 October,1955-11
17 March,1956-12
H. S. Suhrawardy: 12 September, 1956-11 October, 1957
Amir Azam Khan
Ghulam Ali Talpur
Amiad Ali
Firoz Khan Noon
Abu] Mansur
M. A. Khaleque
A. H. Dildar Ahmad.
Mian J afar Shah
12, September,1956-11
12 September,1956-11
12 September,1956-11
12 September,1956-11
12 September,1956-11
Republican Party
September,1956-11 Octolier,1957 ·
September,1956-11 October,1957
September, 1956-11 October,1957
September,1956-11 Octobt;lr,1~57
1: I. Chundrigar: 18 October, 1957-11 December, 1957
Firoz Khan Noon
Fazlur Rahman
Amjad Ali
Mumtaz Daultana
M.A. Qizilbash
A. L. Biswas
Ghulam Ali Talpur ·
Misbahuddin Husain
Mian Jafar Shah
Abdul Aleem .
Yusuf Haroon
Lutfur Rahman
Farid Ahmad
18 October,1957-11
18 October,1957-11
18 October,1957-11
18 October,1957-11
18 Octobe~,1957-lL
18 October,1957-11
18' October,1~57-11
18 October,1957-11
18 October,1957-11
18 October,1957-11
18 October,1957-11
18 October,1957-11
23 Octol?er,1957-11
December, I 957
December;1957 can Party
December,1957 Nizam-iDecember,1957
Firoz Khan Noon: 16 December, 1957-7October,1958
Amj~d Ali
16 December,1957-7
M. A. Qizilbash
16 December,1957-18
Ghulam Ali Talpur
16 December,1957-7
Mian Jafar Shah
16 December,1957-7
Abdul Aleem
J6 December,1957-7
Rdamizuddin, Ahma- 17 December,1957-7
K. K. Dutta
17 December,1957-7
Appendix Ill
Republican Party
Maula Bukhsh
Mahfuzul Haq
B. K. Das
Sardar Abdur
Amir Azam Khan
M.A. Khuro
Harnidul Haq
Dildar Ahmad
Nurur Rahman
20 January,1958-7
24 January ,1958-7 October,195&
7 February,1958-7 Qctober,1958
~ October,1958-7 October,1958;l October,1958-7 October,1~58
2 October,1958-7 October,1958
29 March,1958-19
29 March,1958-7
8 April,1958-7
16 September,1958-7
Sir Francis Mudie
August, 1947-August, 1949
Abdur Rab Nishtar
August, 1949-November,1951
I. I. Chundrigar
H. I. Rahimtoo!a
1954-November, 1954
M. A. Gurmani
Sir George Cunningham
August, 1947-1948
Sir Ambrose Dundas
Muhammad Khurshid
I. I. Chundrigar
Qurban Ali
1954-0ctober, 1955
Chief Ministers
Khan of Mamdot
Muslim League
M. M. Daultana
Muslim League
Firoz Khan Noon
Muslim League
A. H. K. Dasti
Muslim League
Chief Ministers
Khan Sahib
Abdul Qayyum
August,1947-April, 1953
Abdur Rashid
Sardar Bahadur
15 August,1947-August,1947
IS August,1947-April,1948
G. H. Hidayatullah
Din Muhammad
H. I. Rahimtoola
Kh11n of Mamdot
September,1957-7 October,'1958 r
Chief Minjs_terJ
M. A. Qizilbash
Yusuf Haroon
League ·
M.A. Khuro
Republican .
· Republican
14 October,1955-March,1957
• ~
August, 1947-April, 1948
Akhtar Husain'
Abdtir Rashid
llahf Bukhsh
Abdus Sattar
l4 October,1955-September,19~7;
Khan Sahib
Chief Ministers
M. A. Gurmani
18 March,1958-20 Iuly,1958.
, • l
. '
May,1953-November, 1954
November, 1954-1955
: . , ~ r :.
. ·• ..
15 August,1947-1950
1950-April, 1953
April, 1953-1954
Iskandar Mirza
A. K. Fazlul Haq
1958-7 October,1958
Chief Minist.ers
Muslim League
15 Au~t,1947-September,1948
Nurul Amin
Muslim League
September, 1948-April, 1954
A.K. Fazlul
United Front
April,1954-30 May,1954
United Front
H. Sarkar
A. R. Khan
Awami League
First Constituent Assembly
Firoz Klian
Sir Frederick Bourne
A.H. Sarkar
Krishka Sramik
Awami League
March, 1958-June,l 958
A.H. Sarkar
Krishka Sramik
A. R.Khan
Awami League
_ August,1958-0ctober,1958
Muslim League
Pakistan National Congress
Azad Pakistan Party
Second Constituent Assembly
Muslim League
United Front
Awami League
National Assembly
Republican Party
Awam] League
United Front
Muslim League
Pakistan National Congress
Scheduled Caste Federation
United Progressive Party
Independents '
Punjab Legislative Assembly
Muslim League
Jinnah Awami Muslim League
Azad Pakistan Party
North-West Frontier Province Legislative Assembly
Muslim League
Jinnah Awami Muslim League
Party Politics in Pakistan
West Pakistan Legislative Assembly (1955-1958)
Republican Party
Muslim League
Pakistan National Awami Party
East Bengal Legislative Assembly "(1954) ..
United Front
Muslim League
East Pakistan Legislative Assembly
(6 June, 1955)
Awami League
Krishka Sramik Party
Awami League (Dissidents)
Pakistan National Congress
United Progressive Party
Muslim League
Gantantari Dal
Scheduled Caste Federation
June 1955 Dec.1956 Oct. J9Si Dec. 1951
Muslim League ·
United Front
Awami League
Republican Party
21 .
Azad Pakistan Party
Gantantari Dal
People's Progressive Party
Pakistan National Congress ·
Scheduled Caste Federation
Source : Muaeee Ahmad, Legislature& In Pakistan 1947-58
pp. 130.132.
National Awami Party
Nizam-i-Islam Party
Krishka Sramik Party
Pakistan National Congress
Awami League (Dissidents)
United Progressive Party
Muslim League
Gantantari Dal
Scheduled Caste Federation
Pakistan. Mino'rity Group
Khilafat-i- Rabbani
Pakistan Minority Group
E03t Pakistan Legislative Assembly (6 September, 1956)
Krish~~ Sramik Party
Awami League
Vacant seats
Note: Figures in the first column from Dawn, 22 and 23 June, 1955 ; others from
Pakistan Information J 9J6-19S7, Press Iufor.mation Department, Government
of Paki_stan, Karachi, 1957.
(Lahore, 1960),
Appendix XI .
ABDUL ALIM (b, 1930)., Educated at Hoo'ghly .College, Calcutta.
Publicity Secretary, East Bengal Students Muslim League, 1951-52.
Minister, Government of Pakistan, 1957-58.
ABID HUSAIN (1915-1971). Educated at Aitchison, Forman Chrlstian
and Government Colleges, Lahore. Member, Jhang District Board, 1937.
In-army service; 1942-45. Member, Indian Legislative Assembly~ 1942-47.
Chairman, Jhang District Board, 1948. Member, Punjab Legislative
Assembly, 1951. Food Minister, Government of Pakistan, 1954,
ABUL MANSUR AHMA.:Q (1898). , Graduated front Dacca College,
1921. Joined the Khilafat and non-co-operatioh movements.
journalism, 1922. Graduated in law, 1928. Secretary, Myrnensingh
District Krishka P.roja Party, 1934-38. Joined the. Muslim League, 1943.
Member, Indian Constituent Assembly, 1946. Joined Awami League,
1954. Minister, East Bengal, 1954. Minister, Govemment of Pakistan,
1946: .Minister fdt ~conomi~ .Affain, Pakistan Embassy inWashington~
1950. Amb~ssa_dor~n the'Untled States, U>33-55.· Minister, Government of Pakistan, 1955-58.
A'.fAUR RAHMAN ~H,AN (b.·.1997). Educated, at the Dacca- University. Legal practice, ·1936. · Munsiff i~ Dacca, 1942-44.. Vice-Presi~
dent, Dacca Sub-Dlvisional Muslim League, 1947~ Joined Bast Bengal
Awami- League, 1949; Yice-President, 1953! ¥em~er, East Pakistan
Legislative As~rqbJy, 1954. Member, National Assembiy, 1956. Chief
Minister, East Pakistan, 1956-58 (thrice).
\~BDUL Q!'-!~U~ ~HAN, KHAN (b.,1901). Educated in Peshawar
and the London School of Economics. allied to the bar at Lincoln's
Inn." Legal practice at Peshawar, · 1-927. Joined the .Indian National
Congress. Member, Indian Leglslative Assembly, 1937-46; Deputy Leader
of the Congress Party. Joined the 'Muslim League, 1945. · Member,
N.•W.F.P. Legislative Asbbty,
1946. Chief Minister of ·N.-W.F.P.,
l 947.-53. Minister, Federal-Government, 19 53-54. President. of Pakistan
Muslim League, 1957-58.
!\YUB KHANt MUHAMl\1-':AD(1907~1974).. Educated at Aligarh and
Sandhurst. Commissioned in the army, '192,g, ··Comma.nd~r-in~Chief.
Pakistan Army, 1-951·54, 1955-58. Defence Minister, .Goyernment of
Pakistan, 1954-SS.
· · '·
• ~
B~ASHANI. ABDUL HAMID KHAN (b ). Belongs to Mymensingh
in East Bengal. Participated in the Khilafat movement. Member,
~n_d~an National Congress. Founded a branch of ~amiat-ul-UJ~m~-i-:
Hin~ i~ Assam. Member, AJI India Muslim League, President, Assam
Muslim League. Member, Assam Legislative. Assembly, 1937. I~
prison, 1949-52.
~O~J}A, ¥U11:AMM~D, ALI . (1900-1963}. Educated ~t Presidency
College, Calcutta. Mem~r, Bengal Legislative Assembly, 1937. Parliamentary Secretary to Chief :fy{inister of Bengal, 't~43-4S. Finance and'
Health Minister, Bengal; acted for some time"~s chief minister. Mem-'
ber, All-India-Muslim 'League Council. Member, AH-India Muslim
League Central Parliamentary Board, Ambassador
Burma, 1947-49~
High Commissioner in Canada, 1949.. Ambassador in'the United St14te~,
1951-53.- Prime ~inister, 1_953-S5.
BROHI, A. K. (b. 1915). Educated iri Karachi~ Joined Karachi bar,
J94l. Advocate General, Sindh, 19~1-53. Law Minister, Government of
Pakistan, _1953-54:
AMIR AZAM KHAN ( 1914-1976). Educated at Agra. University in
arts and law. Secretary, Muzaffarnagar District Muslim League. Member,
'United PfoVinceS Muslim League Council.
Member, Constituent
''A.ssembJ1. i95t. Minister of State for Defenoe,.Governinent or Pakistan,
1954. Minister, Government of Pakistan, 1956-57, 1957-58. ·
1;SMAIL. IBRAHIM (1897-1990). Educated at
Legal practice at Ahmedabad. Member; Bombay·
Legislative Assembly, 1937; deputy leader of the ~Mtisli~ League ass~mi
bly party, 1938. President, Bombay Provincial Muslim League, 1940-45:
Member, AU-India .Muslim League wo;king 'Committee, 1943-47.
~ember, Interim Government, 1946-47: "Minister of Commerce:
~aki~tan, 1947-48. Ambassador in Afghanis"tan, 1948-50. Govetnor' of
Bombay University.
AMJAD ALI, SAYYID. Graduated from Government College, Lahore,
1927. Honorary Secretary to Muslim Delegation, Round Table Conference,
London, 1931-32. Member, Punjab Legislative Assembly, 1937. Chief
Whip, Punjab Government, 1942. Member, Indian Constituent Assembly,
Party'Politics in Pakistan
Appendix XI' _
N.-w.F:P.~ 1950.-51.. · Governor of the Punjab, 1951-53. Law 'Minister,
Government of Pakistan, 1955-56~ Prime Minister, October-December
Chief Minister; East B~ngal, Ap-rii-May 1954. Minister, Federal Government, 1955-56. Governor of East Pakistan, 1956-~8.
FAZLULLAH, KAZI (b. 1902).. Educated at Bombay University.
Joined the Khilafat movement, 1920. Legal practice at Larkana, 1930.
Member, Larkana Municipal Committee, 1934. President, Larkana
District Board, 1945. Joined the Muslim League, 1938. 'Member, Sindh
Legislative Assembly, 1946. Revenue Minister; Sindh, 1947-48; Home
Minister, 1949~50~ ChiefMinister of Sindh, 1~50·51.
ABDUL 'HAMID KHAN (SARDAR). Head of the Dasti
tribe of Muzafr~rgarh Baluchis. Educated -at islamia College, Govern·
ment College, and t Law College, Lahore, and the Aligarh University.
Legal practice, 1921. Public Prosecutor, Muzaffargarh, 1936. Member,
Punjab Legislative Assembly, 1946. Chief Minister; Punjab, MayOctober 1955.
GAZDAR, MUHAMMAD HASHIM (1893-1968). Educated at Bombay
University in civil engineering. Founded Sindh United Party, 1937~
President, Karachi City-Muslim League, 1939-42. Vice-President, Sindli
Provincial Muslim League, 1941-43. Member, AU India Muslim LeagueJ.
Council, 1938. Mayor of Karachi, 194l-42. Member, Bombay Legislative Council, 1933-36. Member, Sindh Legislative Assembly, 193.7.
Member, Pakistan Constituent Assembly, 1947.
DILOAR AHMAD (b. 1911). Joined Khulna bar, 1936. Joined
Muslim'League, 1937,. Joined Awami League, 1951. Minister, Government of Pakistan, 2-7 October 1958.
DIN· MUHAMMAD, SHAIKH. Educated at .Lahore. Started legal
practice, 1910. Additional Judge, Lahore High. Court,' 1934, Puisne
Judge, 1937. Chief Justice of Bahawalpur. Member, Punjab Boundary
Commission, 1947. Governor of Sindh, 1948-52.
FAZLUL HAQ, ABUL KASEM (1873-1962). Educated at Barisal High
School and Presidency College, Calcutta.
Deputy Magistrate, 1906-12.
Legal practice, 1912. Member, Bengal Legislative Council, 1913.
Secretary, Bengal Provincial Muslim League, 1913-16. President, AllIndia Muslim League, 1918. Education Minister, Bengal, 192,4. Founder,
Krishka Proja Party . Delegate, Indian Round Table Conference, 1930-32:
Mayor of Calcutta, 1935. Member, Indian Legislative Assembly, 1935.
Member, Bengal Legislative Assembly, 1937-47. Chief Minister, Bengal,
.1937-43. Advocate General, East Bengal, 1948-53. Founder, Krishka
Sramik p'arty, 1953. Member, East Bengal.Legislative Assembly, .1954.
FAZLUR RAHMAN (1905~1.966). Educated at Dacca University. Legki
.practice at Dacca, 1934. Member, Bengal Legislative Assembly, 1937 arid
1946. Chief Whip, Government of Bengal, 1943. Revenue Minister;
Bengal, 1946-47. Minister, Federal Government,
1947-53, October:
December 1957.
at the university of Punjab and Oxford. Called to the bar, 1939.
Member, Punjdb-Legislative Assembly, 1943, 1946. General Secretary,
Punjab Provincial Muslim League, 1944-47. Member, Pakistan Constituent Assembry, 1941. Chief Minister, Punjab, 1951-53. Minister,
Federal Government, October-December 1957.
FARID AHMAD (1922-1972). Graduated in law, 1947. Municipal
Commissioner, Cox's Bazar, 1951. Chief Whip, United Front parliamentary party, 1955-57. Joined Pakistan Nizam-i-Islam, 1952. Member,
Pakistan Constituent Assembly, 1955.
Minister, "Government of
Pakistan, October-December 1957.
GHAZANFAR ALI, RAJA (1895-1963). Educated at Government
College, Lahore. Member, Indian Legislative Assembly, 1923: Minister;
Alwar St.ate, 1928-29 Member, Indian Council of State, 1933. Member,
Punjab Legislative Assembly, 1Y37, 1946. Parliamentary Secretary to the
Punjab Government, ·1937-44: Member, Interim Government, 1946-4'1:
Health Minister, Pakistan, 1947·48. Ambassador in Iran, 1948.
<'.JHULAM MUHAMMAD (1895-1956). Educated at M.A. o. College,
Aligarh. Entered the Indian Audits and Accounts Service. Finance
Minister, Hyderabad Deccan, 1942-46. Director of Tatas, 1946-47.
Finance Minister, Pakistan, .1947-51. Governor General of Pakistan
GU~MANI, ~USHTAQ AHMAD (b. 1905). Educated at Aligarh'
University. Member, Punjab Legislative Assembly, 1937. Parliamentary'
Secretary, Punjab, 1937-4'2.
Director of Recruitment, . Government
. _.
India, .1942-45; and Director General Resettlement, 1945-47. Prime
Minister, Bahawalpur, 1947-48. Mihi~ter without Portfolio,
1949-50. Minister for Kashmir Affairs, 1950-51. Minister of Interior,
1 \
--------Party Politics in-Pakistan
Appendix XI
.}951-54.. Governor of the ruojab,,1954-55. Governor of West P.a~stan~
1955-57. Member, Pakistan Constituent Assembly, 195~-57.
.HAMIDl)L HAQ ·CHAUDHRI (b, -1903). · Educated -at Presidency
College and.UJ,~ (:oll~ge. Calcutta, Legal practice at Calcutta, 1930.
~ember, Bengal Legislative _Assembly,. 1937; Deputy President, 1937.
}?akistan representative before the Bengal, Boundary Commission.. 1947.
Member, Pakistan Constituent Assembly, 1947, 1953. Minister, Federal
Government, 195.5-56,-September-OctoQer 1958.
J!AR~ON •. yu;spF
A~DULL~H (b. 1_917). ~cJlool. education in
J(arachi. Leader, _Sindh Muslim League ~ation~l Guard, 1~~7. Mayor
qf Karachi, 1944. General Secretary, Sindh Provincial' Muslim League,
1942; President, i944--48. Chief Minister of Sindh, 194~-50. Minister,
Government of Pakistan, October-December 1957:
~ ~
0879-1948). Educated ~t.
D. J._ Sindh CoUege, Karachi, and Law College, Bombay. Vice-President:
Hyderabad Municipal Committee, 1904;)ater,i~s first non-official presi~ent .. ,Member, Bombay Legislative Council, 1912.. Minister, Bombay
Government, 1921-28. Member, Bombay Executive Council, 1928~3~.
Pl!~~gate, ·:Indian· Round Table Conference, London, Member, Sindh:
Lefijs1ative Assembty·~ 1937-47. 'Governor of Sindh, 1947-48.
IFTIKHARUDDIN, MIAN (1908-1962). Educated at Aitchison Chiefs
College, nahore, and the University of Oxford. - Joined· 'the Indian'
National Congress. Member, Punjab Legislative Assembly, 1937-46.Secretary, Congress Assembly Party. President, Punjab Provincial
Congress Committee.
Member, Indian National Congress Working
<;:cmlnittee, 1941. Imprisoned, 1942-45. Joined the Muslim League,
1945. Member, Punjab Legislative Assembly, 1946. Minister for'.
Refugee Rehabilitation. Punjab, 1947-48. Expelled from the. Muslim
League. Founded Azad Pakistan Party, 1950. Member, Pakistan Cons..'
tituent Assembly. 1_947-54. Chairman, Progressive.Papers Ltd., Lahore,
\ ,,
•~ ~r•'
ISKANDER MIRZA (1899-1969). Educated at Elphinstone College,'
Bombay, and Royal Military Academy, .Sandhurst .. }forved in the army.
till 1926. Entered Indian Political Department, 1926. ·Secretary, Minis.;.
try of Defe~~ •. Government of Pakistan, 1947-54. ·G~ve~or of East Ben-·
gal, 1954, Minister of Interior Affairs, Government .of .eak:istan,' 19545?.· Governor General of Pa,.istan, 1955-s6: First' President of Pakistan;
1956-58-r•M Lived
in retirement.in London, .1958-69.
· .:;
\, •
;ISPAHANI, MIRZA ABOL HASSAN (b.· 1902). ; Ediicated at tfie
<University of Cambridge. Called to the bar, 1924.· Member, Calcutta
'Corporation, 1933; Deputy 'Mayor of Calcutta,
1941-42.· Member,
· Ben8<11 Legislative Assembly, 1937-46. Member, Pakistan Constitucint
-Assembly, 1947 ... Ambassador in the Udited States, l947. High Commissioner in U.K. Minister, Government of Pakistan, 1954-55...
sHAH~ MIAN (b. 1903). Educated at Is1amia College, Peshawar.
'Presi<f~nt, N.-\Y.F.P.. ~ijrat Committee. Member, N,~W.F.P. Legislative
'Assembly, 1937, 1946. Minister, Federal Government, September 19St'October 1958.
_.-~ ..
JINNAH, M.A. (1876-1948). Educated at Karachi. Called to the 'bar
,in London, 1896. Member, Imperial Legislative Council, 1919. Joined
;~usl~ League, 1913. President, All Imha Musliin.League,.'.1916', ·192.o,
.1934_48. President, Home Rule League, 1917-'.20.· .Oel~gatq, 'Indian
Round Table Conference, 1930-31. President, PakiStan Constituent
"A.s~~bly, 1947-48: Governor General of Pakistan, ]'947-48.
• '
.. - .
KHAN SAHIB, DR. (1882-1958). Educated in Peshawar andLondon
in medicine. Served in the Indian Medical Service (military wing); resignied, 1921. Private. medical practice, 1921-30. Joined· the. Red Shirt
,Move.~ent, J930 .. C.hief Minister, N.-W.F.P., 1937-39, 1945:47. Minister,
Government of Pakistan, .1954-55. Chief Minister, West Pakistan, 1955-57,.
~HURO, _MUHAMMAD AYUB [b, 1901).' Member, Bombay Legisl~
.tive Council, 192~~36. President, Sindh Azad Conference and of Sindb
Muslim Association, 1928-35. Adviser to the Governor
Sindh, '1936:
.37. Member, ·Sindh Legislative Assembly, 1937-47. Minister, Sindh
Government, 1940-41, 1942-44. Chief Minister of ~indh, 1~7-48, MarchDecember 1951, 1954-55. Member, Pakistan Constituent Assembly •. 1955~
Revenue Minister, West Pakistan, 1955. Defence Minister, Government
'of Pakistan, April-October 1958. ·
LIAQUAT ALI 'KHAN (1895-1951). Educated at A.ligarh, and tlie
Universities of Allahabad and Oxford. Called to the bar, 192Z.. Member,
U.P. Legislative Council, 1926-40. Member, Indian Legislative Assembly, 1940-47 ;, Deputy Leader of the Muslim League assembly· party, 1943.!
47. General Secretary, All-India Muslim League, -193~47. Member;
Interim Government; 1946-47. Prime Minister of- Pakistan i947-5l~
.firesident, P~K:istan MuslimLeague, -1950~.51. - · , '. · .. ·' · ; ' '
j •
Party Politics in Pakistan
" • ·Appendix XI
: MALIK, A. M. (b. 1905). Educated in medicine at Calcutta an.d..Vienna.
.Joined All India Muslim League, 1936. Member, Bengal Muslim League
Working Committee. Member; Bengal Legislative Assembly. Member,
i East Bengal Muslim League Executive Committee, 1947-55. Minister,
_ East Bengal, 1947-49. Minister, Government of Pakistan, 1949-5$.
Ambassador in Switzerland, 1955-58.
Co~ncil, 19J6. Member, N:-w.F.P. Legislative Assembly, '1937-45.
Finance. Minister, ·N.-W.F.P., 1943-45. Member, AU India Muslim League
Working Committee, 1944-47. Communications Member, Interim Government, 1946-47. Member, Indian Constituent Assembly, 1945. Minister
for Communications, Pakistan, 1947-49. Governor of the Punjab, 1949Sl. Minister, Federal Government, 1951-53.
.(1905-1969). President, Punjab Muslim League. Member, Punjab Legislativ,e Assembly, 1946. Leader, Muslim League Punjab Assembly Party,
1946. Chief Minister, Punjab, 1947-49. Founded Jinnah Muslim League,
1950. Member, Pakistan Constituent Assembly, 1947, 1955. Governor
. of. Sindh, 1954-55.
NOON, MALIK FIROZ KHAN (1893-1970). Educated at Aitchison
€hiefs College, Lahore, and Wadham College, Oxford. Called to the bar
at Inner Temple, London. Legal practice at Lahore, 1917-26. Member,
Punjab Legislative Council, 1920-36. Minister for Local Self-Government.
Punjab, 1927-30, and Education, 1931-36. High Commissioner for India
in London, 1936-41. Member, Viceroy's Executive Council, 1941-45•
Member ·Punjab Legislative Assembly, 1946. Member, Pakistan Constiiuent As~embly, 1947, 1955. Governor of East Bengal, 1950-53. Chief
Minister, Punjab, 1953-55. Foreign Minister, 1956-57. Prime ¥inister1.
ALI, C~AUDHRI (b. 190~). Educated at Islamia
'College, Lahore. and the University of the Punjab. Entered Indian Audits
and-Accounts Service, 1928. Member, Steering Committee of the Partition Council, J947. Secretary General, Government of Pakistan, 1947.:.5r.
Finance Minister, Pakistan, 1951-54. Prime Minister, 1955-56. Founder,
1957. Founder, Pakistan Nizam-i-Islam
Party, 1958.
NURUL AMIN (1897-1974). Educated at Calcutta University. Legal
practice at Mymensingh, 1924-45. Member, Bengal Legislative Counoil.,
1942. Member, Bengal Legislative Assembly 1946; .Speaker, 1946-57.
Minister of ~ivil Supplies, East Bengal, 1947-48. Chief Minister, East_
Bengal, 1948-54.
·MUJIBUR RAHM.A;N, SHAIKH (1922-1975). Educated at Islamia
'College, Calcutta. Founder-Secretary, Gopalganj Muslim League, 1939.
Member, Bengal Legislative Assembly, 1946. Founded East Bengal
Muslim Students League, 1947. Member, East Bengal Legislative Assembly, 1954. Secretary, East Pakistan Awami League, 1953. Minister for
Co-operatives, Bast Bengal, 1954~ Member, Constituent Assembly, 1955.
(b, 1911).. Graduated in arts and law from
Calcutta University. In local politicsin Bengal, 1937. 'Member, Paktstan Constit~ent Asser;ibly,1955. Minister, Government of'Pakistan, 1955-56.
PATHAN, GHIASUDDIN (b.1903). Graduated from Dacca University in arts, 1921, and law, 1926. In local politics in Bengal, 1931-49.
Member, Bengal Legislative Council, 1946. Member, Indian Constituent
Assembly, 1946. Minister, Government of Pakistan, 1954-55.
NAZIMUDDIN, KHWAJA (1894-1964). Educated at M.A.O. College,
Aligarh, and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Minister of Education, Bengal,
1929-34. Member, Bengal Executive Council, 1934. Home Minister,
Bengal, 1937-41. Chief Minister, Bengal, 1943-45. Member, Indian
Legislative Assembly, 1946. Member, All India Muslim League Working
Committee, 1937-47. Chief Minister of East Bengal. 1947-48. Governor
.General of Pakistan, 1948-51. Prime Minister of Pakistan, 1951-54.
President, Pakistan Muslim League, 1954-55.
PIRZADA. ABDUS SATIAR (1907-1974). Educated at D. J. Sindn
College, Karachi, and University College, London. Called to the bar
Lincoln's Inn, London, 1930. Legal practice at Sukkur, 1930. MemberJ
Sindh Legislative Assembly, 1937. Chief Parliamentary Secretary, 1938..
in Sindh, 1941-42, 1946·47. Food Minister, Pakistan, 1947-53.
Chief Minister of Sindh, 1953-54. Member. West Pakistan Legislative·
NIS.l:l"J;'AR, ABDUR RAB (SARDAR)(1899-1958). Educated at-Edwards
College, Peshawar, and Aligarh Muslim University. Enrolled as pleader,
1925. Member, Indian National Congress, 1927-31. Member, Peshawar
Municipal Committee, 1929·38.
Member, All India Muslim League
Assembly, 1955·58.
QIZJJ.;BASH, MUZAFFAR ALI KHAN (b. 1908) .. Bdncated at, the
Universities of Punjab and Cambridge. Called to the bar, 1932. Member.
Appendix XI
Party Politics in Pakistan
SHAHABUDDIN, KHWAJA. (b. 1898). Educated privately. Member,
Bengal Executive Council, 1936. Member, Bengal Legislative Assembly,
1937. Chief Whip, Muslim League Ministry, Bengal, 193/-40. lndustril(S
Minister, Bengal, 1943-45. Member, Pakistan Constituent Assembly,
1947. High Commissioner in India, April-May 1948. Minister for
Interior and Information, Government of Pakistan, 1948~51. Governor
of N.-w.F.P., 1951~54. Ambassador in Saudi Arabia, 1955-58.
Punjab Legislative Assembly, 1936, 1946. Revenue Minister, Punjab,
1945-47. Joined the Muslim league, 1947. Minister, Federal Government, October 1957-March 1958. Chief Minister, West Pakistan, MarchJuJy 1958.
RAHIM1'00LA, HABIB IDRAHIM (b. 1912). Educated at St. Xavier's
College and Government Law College, Bombay. President, Federation
of Muslim Chambers of Commerce and Industry, 1947. President, Bombay Provincial Muslim Chamber of Commerce, 1944-47. High Commissioner for Pakistan in London, 1947. Ambassador in France. Governor
of the Punjab, 1954. Minister, Government of Pakistan, 1954-56.
RAMIZUDDIN AHMAD (b. 1902). Educated at Dacca University in
arts and law. Joined Camilla bar, 1932. Joined Krishka Proja Party,
J 935. Member, Bengal Legislative Assembly, 1931-45. Member, National
Assembly, 1956. Minister, Government of Pakistan, 1957-58.
Editor, Sirtdh Observer, Karachi.
President, Pakistan Newspaper Editors' Conference. Revenue Minister,
Sindb. Information Minister, 1955-SG. Leader, Pakistan Press Delegation to India, 1950. Ambassador in the Philippines, 1957.
RASHID, SARDAR ABDUR (b. 1906'). Educated at Islamia and Edwardes Colleges, Peshawar. Entered N.-W.F.P. Police, 1930. Inspector
General of Police, 1951-53. Chief Minister, N.-W.F.P., 1953-55. Minister, West Pakistan, 1956-57. Chief Minister, West Pakistan, 1957-58.
Minister, Government of Pakistan, March-July 1958.
SUHRA WARDY, H. S. (1893·1963). Educated at Calcutta and Oxford.
Active in the Khilafat Movement. Secretary, Bengal Provincial Muslim
League, for several years. Member, Bengal Legislative Council, 192l-46.
Chief Minister, Bengal, 1946. Founded Awami League, 1949. Law
Minister, Government of Pakistan, 1954-55. Prime Minister, 1956-51.
SYED, G. M. Belongs to district Dadu in Sindh.
Member, later first
Mus\im President, Karachi Local Board. Member, Sindh United Party.
Member, Sindh Legislative Assembly, 1937. Member, All India Muslim
League Working Committee, 1935. Secretary, Sindh Awami Party.
TAFAZZAL ALI (b. 1906). Educated.at Islamia College, Calcutta, and
Calcutta University.
Legal practice at Calcutta. Member, Bengal
Legislative Assembly, 1946; became Deputy Speaker. Revenue Minister,
East Bengal, 1947. Minister, Government of Pakistan, 1953~54. Ambassador in Egypt, 1954.
Educated at Aliga.rh
Member, Sindh Legislative Assembly, 1937. Parliamentary
Secretary, Government of Sindh, 1937-43. Member, Sindh Legislative
Assembly, 1946. Minister, Government of Pakistan, 1954~55 1956-58.
(b. 1908-1976). Educated at Aligarh
Member, N.-W.F.P. Legislative Assembly, 1939, 1946;
Speaker, 1943-46. Member, Pakistan Constituent Assembly, 1947. Chief
Whip, Muslim League Party in Constituent Assembly, 1948. Minister,
Federal Government, 1949-54. Agent to the Governor General in Baluchistan, 1954-SS. Chief Minister, N.-W.F.P., July-October 1955.
Development Minister, West Pakistan, 1955-56. Leader of the Opposition, West Pakistan Legislative Assembly, 1956-SS.
TAMfZUDDIN KHAN (1889-1963). Educated at Presidency and Law
Colleges, Calcutta.
Legal practice at Faridpur, 1915. Active in the
Khilafat Movement. Secretary, Faridpur District Congress Committee.
Member All India Congress Committee. In prison for two years. Member,
Bengal Legislative Council, 1926, 1930. Organizer and Secretary,
Proja Party. Member, Bengal Legislative Assembly, 1937. Minister,
Bengal, 1931·46. Member, Pakistan Constituent
Assembly, l 947;
Deputy President, 1948; President, 1948-54.
SARKAR, ABU HUSAIN (b. 1894). Graduated in law, 1923. Joined
Krishka Proja Party, 1935. Member, Bengal Legislative Assembly, 1937.
Member East Bengal Legislative Assembly, 1954. Minister, East Bengal,
1954. Chief Minister, East Pakistan, 1955-56, March 1958, and June
ZAFRBLLAH KHAN, CHAUDHRl (b. 1893). Educated at Government College, Lahore, and King's College, London. Called to the bar at
Lincoln's Ion, London. Legal practice at Sialkot, 19t4-16, at Lahore,
1916'-35. Member, Punjab. Legislative Council, 1926-35. Delegate,
Party Politics in Pakistan
Jndian Round Table Conference, 1930-32. Delegate; Joint Select Com~
.mittee on- Indian Constitutional Reforms, 1933. President, All India
··Muslim League, 1931. Member, Viceroy's 'Bxecutive Council, 193S-41.
-Agent General in China, 1942. Judge;-.Indian.Federal Court, 1942-47.
Constitutional Adviser to the Nawab of. Bhopal, June-December 1947.Foreign Mirlistet, of Pakistan; 1947-54..
Abbasi, S. Ghaleb Khan and Abbasi, A de Zayas, 'Ifie. Structure of Polity, Part I: The
One Party System in Islam, Lahore, 1952.
Ahmad, Muhammad Aziz (ed.), Proceedings of the First All-Pakistan Political Science
'Coeference,,Lahore, 1950.
Ahmad, Muneer, Legislatures in Pakistan 1947-58, Lahore, 1960.
Ahmad, Mushtaq.-Governmenfand Politics in Pakistan, Karachi, 1958.
American Political Science .Association, :z:o~ards. a More Responsible Two-Party
A Report of the Committee on Political Parties:New York, 1950.
Amin, Muhammad, Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan, an . uppublished M. A. dissertation,
University of the Punjab, Lahore, 1958.
A'.oter, David, The (lold Coast in 1fansition,,Princet~n. 1955. ,
Awaml League, Pakistan, Charter of People's Demand, published by Qurban Ali,
. M:i...A;, at theParamountfress, Dacca,.1953.
Azad Pakistan Party, Constitution of the Azad· Pakistan Party, published by Sh.
Muhammad Rashid, Secretary; q>nvirning Committee or' the Azad Pakistan
Party, 49 McLeod Road, Lahore, 18 September, 1953.
Bailey, Sydney D., Parli~ntao: Goyemment-tn Southern Asta, London, 1953.
Befoff;•Max, TheParty Sys/em, London, 1958.
Binder, IFonard, Religi01; and Politics in Pakistan, Berkeley, 1961.
Birdwood, Lord, A Continent Decides, London,' 1954.
Bow Group, Rdce and .Powe»: Studies; of Leadership in Five British Dependencies,
London, 1956.
Brady, Alexander, Democracy in the 1Dominions: A 'Comparative Study in Institutions, Toronto, 2nd ed., 1952.
Braunthal, Julius (ed.), , Yearbook of the International Socialist Labour Movement
1956-57, London, 1956,
Choudhri, Ghnlam Wahid, Constitutional- Development in Pakistan, Lahore, 1959.
Duverger, Maurice, Political Parties: Their Organization and Activity in the Modern
State, London, 1954.
Einaudi, Mario and Goguel, Francois, Christian Democrµcy in Italy and France,
-Notre Dam, 1952.
Feldman, Herbert, A Constitution for Pakistan, Karachi,.1956.
Feroze,.s. M. 'A., Press in-Pakistan; Labore, rev. ed., August 1957.
Food arid Agricultural Organization (United Nations), Yearbook of Food. and Agricultural Statistics, New York, 1950.
Gilani; ·Asad (ed.), 'Tahrik-iJJslami Apne Literature ke Aine Men, Lahore, 2nd ed.,
January 1958.
GledhilJ, Alan,.Pakistan I Development pf its Laws and Constitution; London, 19,57.
Griffiths, Percival, The British Impact'on India, London, 19S2.
~aines, C. Grove (ed.)I Africa Today: Baltimore, 1955.
Hansard Society for Parliamentary Oovernment., What are.the Problems -of Parliamentary Government in West Afijca?, The. Report of!'. Conferenc« hefc{,bY_ the.Hansard
s >,
~ oi
Porty Politics in Pakistan
Society/or Parliamentary Government at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, September,
1957,under tke Chairm(lJtship ofGeo.ffeey de Freittu,M. P., London, 1958.
Hodgkin, Thomas, Nationalism i~ Colonial Africa, London, 1956.
Husain, Muhammad Itrat, The ·Muslim League 1906-1956, an unpublished M. A.
dissertation, University of the Punjab, Lahore, 1957.
I~t~rnation~l Press Institute, Government Pressures on the Press, Zurich, 1955.
Jamaat-i-lslami, DaSilll' Jamaat-i-'lslami Pakistan, Lahore, 3rct ed. 1953,
!amaat-i-Islami,Comments and 1-mendments 011 Constitutional BUI, Lahore, lS• January,
Jatoi, Hyder Bukhsh, Democracy and Justice of the Chief Justice, Hyderabad, December, 1956.
.fennings, Ivor, Constitutional Problems in PakistQlt, Cambrid~, 1951.
Jennings, Ivor, Problems of the New'Commonwealth,Duke, 1957.
Jinnah, Muhammad Ali, Quaid·i-Azam Speaks, Karachi, n.d.
Kahin·,George M '(ed.), Major Governments of Asia; Cornell, 1958.
Kennedy, Malcolm}?. A Shprt History of Communism in Asia, London, 1957.
l).irkpatrick, Evron M (ed.), Taiget: The World; Communist' PrqpagQlula A.ctirities in
1955, New York, 195~.
Kirkpatrick, Evron M (ed.), Year of Oisi:r : · Communist Propaganda Activities in 1956,
New York, 1957.
Laqueur, WatterZ.(ed.), 'The Middle East in Transition: Siudies in Contemporary
History, London, 1958.
Mabmud;Khalid.Trade Unionism in Pakistan, Lahore, 1958.
Marshall,Geoffrey,Parliamentary Sovereignty a1ui the Commonwealth Oxford 1957
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Maudoodi, Abu! A'!a, pq/itf/:a/Tke<Jrj of Islam; Lahoretn.d. •(aa addr~s,<jleiiveredi.q
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Maudoodi, Abul A•fu, Nattonalism dniJ India, Pathankote-;1947.
Maudoodi, Abut A'la, Process of Islamic Revolution, Pathankote, 1947.
Maudoodi, Abul A•la, Jamaat-i-Islami, Lahore, 3rd ed. May, 1952.
Maudoodi, Abul A •Ja, Some Constitutional Proposals for the Consideration of the Con·
~tituent Assembly of Pakistan, Karachi, 13' August, 1952.
Maudoodi, Abul A'la, Economic Problems of Man and Its Islamic Solution, Lahore, 2Qd
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Maudood], Abu! A•la, Rasail-o-Masail, 2 vols., Lahore, 1955.
. ..
Maudoodi, Abut A'la, The Message of Jamaat-l-Islaml: A €ontribution towards
Islamic Constitution-Making, Lahore, 2nd'ed. 19.55.
Maudoodi, Abul A•la, Islamic Law and Constitution, Lahore, 2nd rev. cd.1958.
Maudoodi, Abut A'la, First Plinciplesof the Islamic State, Lahore, 2nd rev. eel,
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Maudoodi, Abul A'la, Rights of Non-Muslims in IslamicState, Lahore, Februa.ry i961.
Maudoodi, Abut A•la, Mas'/a-i-Milkiat-i-Zameen, Lahore, n.d.
McDonald, Neil A., A Study of Political Parties, New York, 1955.
Mende, Tiber, Souilt-East Asia between Two Warlds,London, 1955.
Michels, Robert, Political Parties: A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies
of Modem Democracy, London, n.d. (?1916).
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Secretary,Pakistan Muslim League, Karachi, 25 December, 1956.
Muslim League, Pakistan, Constitution and Rules .of the Pakistan Muslim League,
published by Salahuddin Chaudhri, Lahore, n.d,
Muslim League, Punjab,Tiie Election Manifesto of the Pan}ab MuslimLeague, December
1950, adopted by the Working Committee of the Punjab M1.1slim League apd
issued by -Chaudhri Muhammad Iqbal Cheema, Advocate, lticneral Secretary,
Punjab Muslim League, McLeod Road, Labore, December 1950,
Najmuddin; Dilshad, Political Parties in -Pakistan, an unpublished M. A. thesis,
University of the Punjab, Lahore, J 955,
Narasimham, Sarat C. V., Pakistan Nationalism Presents The Other Side, Karachi,
. 1955•
Nizami, Majid, The Press in Pakistan Lahore, 1958.
Noori, Muhammad Aslam; The Aw~mi League, an unpublished M.A. dissertation,
University of the Punjab, Lahore, 1958.
Padmore, George, 171e Gold Coast- Revolution : The Struggle of an African 'People
from Slavery to' Freedom, London, 1953.
Pakistan Nizam-i-Islam Party,'Manifesto, Labore, 1958.
People's National Party of Pakistan/ Draft Manifesto,Draft Report, Draft Programme,
, Draft Constitution, published by the Convener, People's National Party of
Pakistan, 10 Fane Road, Lahore, April 1953.
Qadri, Mahirul, Ma11lana Maudoodi apne aur doosron ki nazal men, Lahore, n.d.
Rackman, Emanuel, Israel's Emerging Constitution 1948-1951, Columbia, 1955.
Rose, Saul, Socialism in Southern Asia, London, 1959.
Royal Institute of InternationalAffairs, The MiddleEast : A Political and Economic
Survey, London, 2od.ed. 1954.
Sarwar, Muhamni'ad, Maulana Maudoodi ki Tahrik-i~Islami, Lahore, May 1956.
Sayeed, Khalid Bin, Pakistan : T1te Formative Phase, Karachi, 1960.
Schattscbneider:E. E. Party Government, New York, ·1942.
Smith, W. C., Model'n Islam in India: A Social An11Jysls, London, 1946.
Smith, W. C., Pakistan as An Islamic State, Lahore, 1951.
Smith, W. C., Islamin Modem Historv, Princeton, 1957.
S~illrna~, Calvin, W. (ed.), Africa in the Modem World, Chicago, 1955.
Sumbal, Muhammad Akbar Khan; Th« Pakistan Republican Party, an unpublished
M. ~ .~isscrtation, Universityof th~ J,>unjab, Lahore, 1958.
~YQ\Ond~, Richard, The Making of Pakistan, London, 3rd ed. 1~51.
Thayer, ~hilip W. (ed.), Nationalism and Progress i11 Free Asia, New York, 1956.
Tink!r, Hush, Tfle Union of Burma, London, 1957,
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Wint, Guy, The Brilish in :Asia, London, rev. c:d'.1954.
' ··
Woodman, Dorothy, The Repubiic of Indonesia, London, 1955.
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Winter 1957.
AbbQt, Freeland K., "M~ulana Maudoodi and Quranic Interpretation", Tiie Muslim
· wor1a;v~1. xtvm, No. I.
Party Politics in Pakistan
Bretton, H.L., "Current Political Thought and Practice in Ghana", American Political
Science Review, March 1958.
Callard, Keith, "The Political Stability of Pakistan", Pacific Affairs, March 1956.
"Ceylon in Perspective", The World Today, October 1958,
Choudhri, G. W., "Tile Constitution or Pakistan", Pacific Affairs, September 1956.
Choudhri, G. W., "The East Pakistan Political Scene 1955-57", Pacific Affairs, December 1957.
Domenache.Tean-Marie, "Religion and Politics", Confluence, Vol. 3, No. 4.
Edelman, Murray, "Sources of Popular Support for the Italian Christian Democratic
Party in the Postwar Decade.", Midwest Journal of Political Science, May 1958.
Emerson Rupert, "Problems of Representative Government in South-East Asia",
Pacific Affairs, December 1953.
Fairbairn, Geoffrey, "Aspects of Burmese Political Scene", Pacific Affairs, September 1956.
Gosnell, H. E., "Indonesians go to the Polls : The Parties and thdr Stand on Constitutional Issues", Midwest Journal of Political Science, May 1958.
Innes, F. M. "The Political Outlook in Pakistan", Pacific Affairs, December 1953.
Kroef, Justus M. van, "Nationalism and Politics in West New Guinea", Pacific Affairs,
Spring 1961.
Maron, Stanley, "The Problem of East Pakistan", Pacific Affairs, June 1955.
Miller, William L., "The Religious Revival and American Politics", Confluence, Vol. 4,
No. I.
Newman, K. J., "Pakistan's Preventive Autocracy and its Causes•', Pacific Affairs,
March 1959.
Rose, Saul, "Left and Right in Asia", Listener, 10 April, 1958.
Sayeed, Khalid Bin, "The Jamaat-i-Isla.mi Movement in Pakistan", Pacific Affairs,
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Tinker, Hugh, "Gunpowder in Asian Politics", Listener, 11 December, 1958.
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Pakistan, Government of, Classified List of Registered Trade Unions in Pakistan, Ministry of Labour, Government of Pakistan, Karachi, 1956.
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Pakistan Press, Karachi, 1959.
Punjab, Government of the, Report of the Court of inquiry constituted under Punjab Act
II of 1954 to inquire into the Punjab Disturbances of 1953, Government of the
Punjab Press, Lahore, 1954. (The Munir Report).
Constituent Assembly <f.-egislature) of Pakistan Debates, Karachi 1948-1954,
Constituent Assembly of Pakistan Debates, Karachi, 1947-1956.
East Pakistan Legislative Assembly Debates, Dacca, 1948-1957.
North-West Frontier Province Legislative Assembly Debates, Peshawar, 1948-1955.
Punjab Legislative Assembly Debates, Lahore, 1948-1955.
Sindh Legislative Assembly Debates, Karachi, 1948-1955.
East Bengal, Government of, East Pakistan:
Two Years of Independence
Dacca, 1950.
East Pakistan, Government of, The Report of the Inquiry into the Incidents that took
place on 20th and 23rd September, 1958, in the Chamber and Premises of the East
Pakistan Legislative Assembly, Dacca Gazette (Extraordinary), 9 May, 1959.
(Asir Inquiry Report).
Pakistan, Government of, The Assassination of Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, Report of the
Commission of Inquiry, Manager of Publications, Karachi, 1952.
Pakistan, Government of, Report of the Basic Principles Committee, Government of
Pakistan Press, Karachi, December 1952.
Pakistan, Government of, Report of the International Labour Organization Labour
Survey Mission on Labour Problems in Pakistan (August 1952-February 1953),
Ministry of Law, Government of Pakistan, Karachi, 1953.
Pakistan, Government of, Report oft he Basic Principles Committee as adopted by the
Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on the 21st September, 1954, Government of
Pakistan Press, Karachi, 1954.
American Political Science Review.
Gazette of Pakistan
Middle East Journal.
Midwest Journal of Political Science.
Muslim World.
Pacific Affairs.
Pakistan Labour Gazelle.
Pakistan Law Digest.
Political Quarterly.
Round Table.
West Africa.
World Today.
·Party Politics in Pakistan
Civil and Military Gazetie, Lahore.
Dawn, Karachi.
Ittefaq, Dacca.
Manchester Guardian, Manchester.
Morning News, J?afca.
Nawa-i- Waqt, J,,ahore.
Observer, London.
Pakistan Observ~r, Dacca.
Pakistan Standard, Karachi.
Pakistan Times, Lahore.
Statesman, Delhi ..
The Times, London. ~
Times of India, Bombay.
Times of Karachi, Karachi.
Abbotabad, 23
Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Khan, 46, 66, 74,
111, 112, J 14, 119, 136, 137, 188, 234,
Abdul Hakim, 191
Abdul Haq, Maulana, 64
Abdul Majid, Shaikh, 66
Abdul Qayyum, Mir~ 105-106, 110
Abdul Qayyum Khan, Khat), 2, 13, 14,
30, 75, 76, 77, 84, 88, 92, 95, 2Q3,
233,234,237,240, 244
Abdul Wahab, 191
Abdur Rahim, Khwaja, 66
Abdur Rashili, Justice, 80
Abdur Rashid Khan, Sardar, 12, 30-31,
32, 33, 37, 64, 65, 106, 203, 233, 234,
238, 240, ;?41
Abdus Salam Khan, 36, 100, 102
Abdus Samad, 130
Abdus Samad" Khan Achakzai, Sardar,
46, 66
~bdus. Sattar Pirzada, n, 13, 28, 207,
.';\bid Husain, Sayyid, 26, 33, 244
Aboud, General Ibrahim,'253
~tion Group,..(~igeria), 210
Adamjee Jute Mills, 126
Adarnjee Jute Mills, riots in, 18
Africa, West: 71
Aga Khan, The: 74 ,
Aguda t Yisrael, I 72-173
Ahmad, Abu] Mansur, 194, 235
Ahmad, Azizuddin, 194
Ahmad, Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud; 16q
Ahmad, Zahur, 130
Ahmad Din, Munshi, 117, 118, 122
Ahmad Mahir Pasha, 202
Ahmadis, th_e, ,8-11
Ahrar Conference, Punjab Provincial,
Ahrar Defence Conference, 162., •
159-163, 210
Akhtar Husain, 6
Akram Khan, Maulana Mohammad, 95,
Al-Jamiat, 139:
Al-Jamiat a(·Sarhad, 215,
Al-Jihad-fil-Islam, 139
al-Mahdi, Sayed Abdur Rahman, 2d2.
al-Mirghanf, Syed Ali, 202
Ali, Aftab, 130
Ali Ahmad Husain Shah oase, 53
Aligarh Movement, 210
Allah Nawaz Khan, 190, 191
Alliances, 195-197
Alsatian Party (Germany), 223
Altaf Husain, 213
Altaf Husain, Maulana, 118
Amir Azam Khan;26, 235
Amir Qalam Khan, 117
Amjad Ali, Sayyid, 46, 235, 23 8, 240
Anjam, 215
Anjuman-i-Taraqqi-i-Urdu, 64
Anjuman-i-Watan (Baluchistan), 137
Anti-Fascist People's Freedom League
(Burma), 80, 192, 243, 250
Anti-One Unit Convention; 65-66
Anwar, Abu Saeed, 130
Area of Pakistan, 1
Asadullah Jan, Sardar, 116
Asaf Jah I, 140
Ashanti, 202
Ashigga, the (Sudan), 196
Asia, 158
Asian Socialist Conference Secretariat,
Asir, Justice Muhammad, 191
Associated Press of India, 27.1
Associated Press of Pakistan; 221
Associazioni Cristiane de'i Laboratori
Italiani, 171-172
4taur Rahman Khan, 30, 37, 43, 56, 193;
• 235, 238, 240
Athar Ali Khan, Maulana, 208
Augustine, St., 231
Austria-Hungary, 181
Auxiliary Union Military Police (Burma);
• 210
Awam, 216
Awami League, 24, 29, 3(Y, 31, 32, 36,'37',
38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 65, 67-68,
69-70, 77, 94, 99, 100, 101·, 109, 127,
130, 168, 196, 197, 198, 203, 207, 20~,
Awami League, East Pakistan, .99, 100,
101, 103, 111
Awami League, Lahore City, 103
Awami League, North-West
Provincial, l 02
Awami League, West Pakistan, 91-98,
100, 103
Awami MusJjiv League, 95
Ayub Khan, General Muhammad, 25, '26,
Azad, 211>'
Azad Pakistan Party, 5, 9, 31, 68, rt,
78, 106, 111, 114-117, 123, 127, 133,
136, 214, 230, 231
Azam, 158
Azhar, Mazhar Ali, 159, 163
Azikiwe, Dr., 201
Aziz Din. Chaudbri, 204
Baghdad>.Pact, 98
Bahiwatpur, 1, 9, 136
:•, I
......... .............,.
Party Politics in Pakistan
Bakhtiar, B.A., 130
Bala, G.C., 68
Baluchi, 6
Baluchistan, 1, 26, 41
Baluchistan States Union, t
Baqar, Muhammad, 155
Basic Principles Committee, 11, 194
Basic Principl~s Committe,e Report• 12,,
27, 49-51, 62, 101, J 32 .
' •
Bavarian Christian Party; 222
Be. UBa,'192
Belgian Catholic Bloc, 1
Beloff. Max, l80 l 1
Benedict, ~t., ~qt
Bengals 9~
, I
Bengal! partitionof (1905), 18~
Bengah language. 6, 7, 15, 32,,64, 104·
Bevanites, the: 231
Bhashani, Abdul Hamid Khan, 3], 43-44>.,
46, 47, 99. 100 ..1103, 104, ll l-114, 129,
193. 203, 231, 232, 234, 24'4
Biharis in East Pakistan, 18
Bijnore, 139
I ,
Binder, Leonard, 10: 17, 60
liirdwood,•Lord, 1
Bfuningham Caucus. 209
Board of Secondary Education (Punjab),
~ogra, Muhammad Ali, 7,'1~118, 24,
,1'29';30, 31; 51, 56, 66, 9z:,' 194,' 199,
,{ 233, 235, 238. 240, 247
.qogra'. Formula~ Muhammad Ali, 51;
Bo~hari, Afaullah shah, f~l
Bostan Khan, ~o·
Bf~1;1er, Dr. Yizbaq, l73.' r • 1•
"Bl:ttish Deputy 'H.1gl:i C6mm1ss10ner. in
Lahore, 9
ro,!:li', .e-..K,1112, 63', 83~ 234
roussists .. the,'231
uddhism, 169 ,
uddrusti,.Cpngress, Pakistani 222
East Pakistan, 16
purmfl, ·l ~9 .
lpaJiard, K~ith:t.s••h1 16 .
Ca'meroons Development
, Workers: \JAiOn, 21,0
Campion, Sir Albert, 198
Catholic Action (Italy), i71
CathOlic Party (Indot}esia), 179
Catholic Social Party (Belgium),.100
Caussey Constitution Committee, 179
ylo~, 169-170,.25~
• ylon, Communists m 127
hakr'avarti, Tirlok' Na{h, 1 is
Cbattha, Muhammad Husain, 236, 244
Chattopadyaya, S.C., 61, 131, 150
Chaudhri, Hamid-ul-Haq,'215;235.
Chbotfa Zamindar; Mpzaria, Paishawar,
Mazdooi; Party: 135-136
Clliragh-i-Rah, 158
Ghishti, Muhammad Ibrahim Ali, 61
Cnoudhri, G.W., 7
Christian Historical Party (Holland), 225
Christian League. Pakistan, 222
Christian Democratic Party (Italy),. 171172
Christian Party (Indonesia), 179
Christian Socialist Party (Belgium), 172,
Christian Trade Union,,170·
Qhrjstia~s 9,f East Pakistan., 16,
Chundngar, I.I., 25, 40, 41, 203, 235
Churchill, Sir Winston,1230
Civil and Military Gazette, The, 214, 219
Cominform, 127
, ,
Commonwealth, British, 9_8, 125, 133
Commonwealth ,Press Union, 252
Commonwealth Relations Office, British,
21 '
Communists, 7, !2
Communist Party, East Pakistan, 16, 104
Communist Party of India, '1)4
Communist farJy of Pakistan, 70, 115,
124~127, J 29, 1~4,185• • )
Confederation of Labour, All-Pakistan,
121, 129:'130, 243
Congress, Pakistan National, See Pakist~n
• National Congress
Congress Committee, All-India, 132
Congress Committee, Karachi District:
Congress- Party, .•Uttar Pradesh (Indid),.
Congress Socialist 'Party '(IndianY, 1171
Conservative P'art~ '(Britain); 230
Conservative Political Ce11tre (Britain),
I. '"
Constituent Asseml;ily, ~ndjaif, 48
Constitution of. tile 'Islamic Republic of
Pakistan (~956), i
a '
Conveniion of Democratic Workers, 113
Convention F'ebple's Party (Ghana), 183];
184,,185,. :t9,2,,l,Q6,.20'1, 208, ~53.
Czechoslovakia; 1~1
Dhumkhetu, 216
Direct Action Day, 124
Directive Principles, 63
Directive Principles of State Policy, 123
Discipline, Party, 200-205
Durand Line, 13 7
Dutta, B.K, 61, 63, 132
Duverger, Maurice; 1s1
East Bengal, 6
East l'aki~tan, 6-8, '14, 15, 93, 95
Ea"st Pakistan Legislative Assembly, 15-17
East Pakistan Ri~es, 18
Eastern News Trust,'221
Economist, The, 11
Ehsan; 21 S ,
Egbe Omo..9duduwa (Nigeria), 210
Eisenhov{er, President, 171,
Elective Bodfes (Disqualification). Order,
' n•
Electorate issue, ;40.41, 108-109,'144
Ji,llis,.JustiG_e, s
' ' ,
I'lmergeQl::y.Powers Ordinance, 52.
Emile Van:derveld IQstitute (Belgium),
Evening Star, 217
Fabian Society, 212
Faiz Ahmad Paiz, 125, !'26, 214
Fareed Ahmad, Maulvf 208
Fascism, 144
Fasci~ts, 140'
F~z(!e-Elahi, fha'u1dhri, 190
Fitzlul'Karim, 32, 88
Fazlul Haq, A.J<;., 16, 17, 18 ,19, 20~ ,28,
29, 30, 43, 63-64, 67. 77, 104, 105, 134,
190, 203, 235, 238, 240
Fazlullah, Kazi,'22, 33•, 31s, 65, 188, 235,
244, 247
FazlµrRahman, n.es, 14, 23, 31, 32,
235,,238 J40 '
Feoeratiorl of Labour, Pakistan, : 28
Federation of· l:abour, East Pakistan,
128, '29
Federation of Labour', West Pakistan,
Feldman Ff., 8
Francis, St., 231
Freemasonry, i12
French Radical Party,·212
French Socialist Party, 120
Frontier States Union, 1
Fundamental Rights, Committee on, 49
~imtls, Party, 211 '
Da.cca,, 6, 7
Daccia. tJhiversity, 7
Daily Telegraph, 26 ~.
Dakar, 1&3
Danquah, Dr.', 196
Dar-ul-Isl:im,·P9, 113
Das, B.K., 65
Dasti, Abdul Hamid Khan,, 28, 33, 237,
240, 244
Daultana, Be~m' Ajrnas; 2,46 ,
Daultana, Mian Mumtaz Muhammad
Kh'an, 3, s, 10, i4, 21, 33,, 34, 62, 8182, 90, 91, 92, 95, 111, ''199, '.f03,"214,
233, 236, 238, 240, 241, 244
Dawn, 2, 213, 218,,219,
'de Gaull7, Gl'nrr~I Charle~ 120, 255
de Madnaga, Salvador, 181
Democratic Labour Party (Australia),
170, 201
Gaitskellites, the, 231
Gandhi, M.K-, 159, 161
Gantantari Dal, 16, 29, 36, 37~ 65, 68.,
104, 123, ]27, 130, i33, 196
Garibaldi, 232 •
Gedda.Tarigi, 171
Ghana, 179,252,254
Ghana Congress Party,} 96.._197
Ghazanfar Ali Khan, Raja, 94
Ghaznavi, Daud, 160
Ghosh Deben, f18
Ghulam Ahmad, Mirza, 8
Ghulam Muhammad, Malik, 6, 11, 1i,
13, 14, 21, 24, 28, 56, 111, 194, 226,
Gibbon, C.E., 31, 88
Gilroy: Cardinal, 170
Gold Coast, 179
Gold Coast ,Nati_onal -Consress, 196
Govemment of India Act (1935), 1, 2, 3,
18, 20, 21, 22, 48, 57
Graham, Billy, 170 ·
Grey Emlnences, 225·226
Guesde, Jules, 232 '
Guesdists, tl:i'et 231
Gujranwala, 160
GulNawaz Khan, 105
Gurdaspur, 139
Gurmani, Mushtaq Ahmad, 13, 25, 26;
28, 33, 38, 39, 56, 81. 105, 106, 111,
Guyot, Yves, 231
Hamidul Haq Chaudhri, 7, 22, 41, 46,
Hari Haqdar, 122
Haroon, Yusbf, 204-205, 236, 238, 240,
Hasan Akh.tar1,Raja, 66
Hasan Mahlnucr, 33, 24'4
Hasan Nizami, Khwaja, 160 ,
Headmasters' Association,Q.'unjab), 176
Hidayatullali, Ghulam Husain, 2
Htssamuddin, Shaikh, 163
Hilter, f\dolf, 140
Hollywood, 170
Horse Cattle S,lJ.ow, 188
flouse 'of Commons, Bdti~h, 189
Htun, Thakin Kyaw, 201
Hughes, w.M., 201
Hyderabad State, 139, 140
Ibrahim, Mirza Muhammad, 130
Iffat, 158
Iftikharuddin, Mian, 31, 32, 61, 62, 63,
Ilahi Bukhsh, Pir, 2, 235: 244
Iflmtrated Weekly of Pakistan, 217
Imroze, The, 115, 125 ,
' '
India, Communists in, 127
Indian Independence Act (1947), 53
Indian National Congress, 122, 124, 130,
131, 136. 159, 161"
Indian Socialist Party, ll8, li2
Indonesia, 170, 179, 254,
Innes, F.M., 15
lnsaf, 216
International Confederation of' free
Trade'Unions, 12i', 129
International Court _of Ju.stice', 2§
Party Politics
International Labour Organization Conventions, 104
International Press Institute, 219
lppi, Faqir of, 136
Iqbal, Sir Muhammad, 139, 160
Iran, Communists in, 127
Iraq, 254
Iraq, Communists in, 127
Irish Nationalist Party (Britain), 41, 224
Isa, Qazi Muhammad, 56
Ishaq Seth, Haji, 94
Iskandar Mirza, General, 20, 22, 25, 26,
27, 28, 34, 39, 40, 42. 47, 75, 76, 81,
105, 106,226,235,238,240,241,
Islahi, Amin Ahsan, 143, 144, 155
lslami Jamiat-i-Tulaba, 158
lslamia College (Lahore), 139
Is'amic Law and Constitution, 145
"lslami;:: Socialism", 123
Islamic Socialist Party of Pakistan, 137
Ispahani, M.A.H .• 26
Israel, 172-174, 254
lttefaq, 216
lit ehad, 216
Jaffar Shah, Mian, 32, 65, 187, 200, 235
Jahan-i-Nau, 158
Jarnaat-i-Islami Pakistan, 5, 9, 69, 99,
123, 130, 139-159, 167, 175, 195, 210,
212, 215. 230, 231
Japan, 254
Jatoi, Hyder Bakhsb, 53, 113
Jauresists, the, 231
Jefferson, Thomas, 230
Jennings, Sir Ivor, 52, 180
Jihad 153-154
Jinnah Awami League, All Pakistan, 5,
6, 16, 66
Jinnah Awarni League, East Bengal, 100
Jinnah Awami League, Punjab, 101
Jinnah Awami Muslim League, 95, 96
Jinnah Awami Muslim League, East
Pakistan, 99
Jinnah Awami Muslim League, Sindh, 98
Jinnah Muslim League, 77, 101
Jinnah, Miss Fatima, 16, 83
Jinnah, Quaid-i-Azrun Muhammad Ali,
2, 4, 6, 7, 14, 56, 60, 71, 79, 82, 91, 94,
96, 141, 160, lS(i, 187, 'i2.7, 231, 232,
Jabbulpore, 139
Justice Party (Burma), 192
Kalat, Khan of, 46
-Kamal, Mustafa, 232
Kamerun National Congress, 210
Karachi, 9, 130, 136
Karachi Municipal Corporation, 25
I< arnafuli Paper Mills, riots in, 17-18
Kashmir, 79, 125, 146, 186, 257
Kashmir agitation (1931), 159-160
in Pakistan
Kashmir Committee, AU-India, 160
Katholioke Valaamsche Volkspartig, 100
Kausar, 158
Khairpur State, l, 136
Khaleque, M.A., 194
I< halil, AbduUah, 253
Chaudhri, 12, 19, 20,
91, 95
Khan, A.R., 194
Khan, Begum G.A., 246
Khan, Ghulam Ishaque, 233
Khan Sahib, Dr., 2, 25, 26, 31, 33, 34,
35, 36, 37. 74, 85-86. 105, 108, 109,
Khangarh, 161
Khatib, M.A., 130
Khatm-i-Nabuwwat; doctrine of, 8
Khilafat Movement, Indian, 159
Khilafat-i-Rabbani Party, 16, 104, 163~
164, 195
Khondkar, $.A., 194
Khudai Khidmatgars, 136-137
Khuro, M.A., 2, 22, 28, 33, 71, 78, 87,
Khurshid Ahmad, Hakim, 105
Kh.l'ber Mail, 214
Kipling, Rudyard, 214
Kisan Mazdoor Party, 134
Kohistan, 216
Kotalawala, Sir John, 169-170
Korea, South, 254
Krishka Praja Party, 203
Krishka Samity, 133-134
Krisbk:a Sramik Party, 16, 29, 36, 37, 38,
41, 42, 43, 44, 46, 77, 104, 134, 201,
203, 215
Kutla Party (Egypt), 202
La Depeche de Tolouse, 213
Labour League, Punjab, 130
Labour Movement, Pakistan, 128
Labour Party (Australia), 170, 198, 201
Labour Party (Britain), 175, 212
Labour Party (New Zealand), 198
Labore, 9, JO, 98, 107
Lahore Resolution, 59
Lail-o-Nahar, 217
Lari, ZH., 90
Lateran Treaties, 172
Leadership, 234-241
Leadership, Patterns of, 241-248
Leshari, M.K., 244
Leibnitz, 254
Lenin, 230
Liaquar Ali Khan, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14, 35, 5960, 79, 82, 91, 92, 94, 123, 186, 194,
198, 199,230,235,238,240,247
Liberal Party, British, 223, 227
Life, 170
Look, 170
Lundkhawar, Ghulam Muhammad, 102,
Lyallpur, 162
Madjelis Sjuro Muslimin Indonesia 179
Mahmud, Major, 8·
Mahmud Ali, 16, 32, 65, 68, 188
Mahmud Fahrni Nuqrashi Pasha, 202
Mahmud Husain, Dr., 13, 194. 241
Majlis-i-Ahrar-i-Islam, 8-11, 162. 185
Malayan Chinese Association, 258
Malik, Dr. A.M., l 3, 26, 234
Malik, Omar Hayat, 87
Mamdot, Khan of (lftikbar Husain
Khan), 3, 4. 5, 14, 22, 33, 71, 77, 87,
95, 96, IOI, 102, 199, 203, 215, 231,
Manchester Guardian, The, 251
Mandal, B.R., 68
Mandal. J. N., 87
Manki Sharif, Pir of, 66, 95, 96, 102
Mannix, Dr. Daniel, 170
Mansur, F.D., 125
Mapai Party (Israel), 173
Maqasad, 158
Maron, Stanley, 16
Marxism, 144
Masjumi Party (Indonesia), 170, 201, 243
Masood Sadiq, 28
Maudoodi, Abu! A'la, 139-159, 167, 230,
234, 246
Maung, E., 192
Maurois, Andre, 181 .
Mazdoor Dunya, 122, 129
Mazdoor Federation, East Pakistan, 129,
Mazdoor Federation, Pakistan, 118, 120,
Menon, V. K. Krishna, 251
Mergers, 19'5-197
Middle East, 15
Militia, Party, 210-211
Minority United Front, East Pakistan,
Miri Fort, 46
Mirzals, the, 8-11
Mizaj Sbanas-i-Rasool, 143-144
Mizrahi Federation (Israel), 172-173
Mohajer, I.A., 77
Mornlng News. The, 214-215
Mountbatten, Lord, 48
Movement Republicaine Populaire
(France), 171
Mubarik. Saghar, 117, 118.121, 129
Mudie, Sir Francis, 3-4, 39, 81
Muhammad Ahsan, Chaudhri, 105
Muhammad Ali, Chaudhri, 6, 13, 25, 26,
28~ 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 67, 74, 79,
85-86, 92, 111, 164, 165, 166, 167, 175,
Muhammad Rashid, Shaikh, 116, 117
Muhammad Saeed, Shaikh, 105
Muhammad YusufKhan, 117, 118, 121
Mujibur Rahman, Shaikh, 56, 195, 208,
Mullahs, The, 174-177
Multan, 97
Mum1az Ali Khan, 26, 236
Murntaz Jamal, Begum, 201, 246
Munir, Justice Muhammad, 6, 9 26 53
Munir Report, 60, 150, 156
Murid Ahmad, Qazi, 105
Murree, 55
Murtaza Raza Cbaudhri, 26
Musheer, 15S
Muslim Association Party (Ghana), 208
Muslim Conference, All India, 159
Muslim League, All India,
48, 59, 94,
1 '4. 130, 136, 141, 159, 160, 183, 196
Muslim League, All-Indonesian, 201
Muslim League, Baluchistan, 56
Muslim League, East Pakistan Provincial,
7, 17, 29
Mus rim League, Jinnah, 215, 231
Muslim League, Karachi, 18
Muslim League, North-West Frontier
Provincial, 6, 95
Muslim League, Pakistan, 1, 2, S, 13, 14,
15, 31, 32; 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38. 39, 41,
42, 44. 52, 69, 70-94, 95, 96, 104, 109,
130, 133, 188, 195, 197-198, 202, 207,
209, 213, 214, 227
Muslim League, Punjab Provincial, 3, 4,
5, 10, 92, 95, 192~193
Muslim League, Sindh Provincial, 2, 78,
Muslim League, West Pakistan Provincial, 24, 28, 106
Muslim League National Guards, 75, 76,
Muslims and the Present Political Struggle,
Mussolini, Benito, 140
Nadvi, Saifi, 165
Nahdatu] Ulama (Indonesia), 201
Nairobi, 183
Nai Roshni, 219
National Awami Party. 37, 38. 39. 40. 41,
43-44, 45, 46, 70, 103, 106, 111-114,
117. 123, 129, 136, 137, 182, 196, 198,
National Awaml Party, East Pakistan,
National Awami Party, West Pakistan,
111. 114
National Council for Nigeria and the
Cameroons, 201
National Democratic Party (Ghana), 196
National Liberation Movement (Ghana),
National Union Party (Portugal). 184'
National Union Party (Sudan), 196
National United Front (Burma), 196
Natum Din. 216
Nau Hila!, 216
Nausher Khan. Rni. 105
Nawa-1-Waqt, 215, 219
Navy, Pakistan, 104
Nazimuddin, Khwaja, 6, 7, lO·ll.12, 13,
14, 20, 21, 23, 27, 62, 92. 94, 175, 194,
Party Politics in Pakistan
Nazi, 140
Nehru, Jawaharlal, 169, 198, 250-251
New Guinea, 170
New Guinea National Party, 170'
New Guinea People's Party, 170
New York Times, 19, :ZO
Niazi, Abdus Sattar K.han, 188
Nigeria, 254
Nishtar, Sardar Abdur Rab, 4, 12, 13, 27,
33, 35, 60, 61, 87, 92, 175, 199, 234,
237, 240
Nizarn of Hyderabad, 140'
Nizam-t-Islam, 216
Nizam-i-Islam Party, Pttkistan, 16. 29, 3637, 42,'44, 67, 69, 123, 164~167, 195,
196,208. '·
Nkrumah, Dt. K. 179, 208 . .230, 252-253
Noon Malik Firo~ Khan, 12, 13, 27-28,
56,65, 77, 78. 81,
87, 91. 92. 94, 1061107, 164, 203, » 233,
North-West Frontier Province, 1, 2, 6,
14, 30-31, 41
N.-W.F.P Legislative Assembly, 23
Northern P~ople's. Coagress ,(Nigeria),
Northern People's Party' (Ghana), 208 1
Nu; U.,"250
Nur Muhammad Khan, Arbab, 33,,200,
Nur-ud-Din, Khwaia,2lf
Nurul Amin, 13, 14, 15, 131,' 216, 236,
<Z:fa, i40
• • •
Nyein, U. Kyaw, 201
Objectives Resolu,tion, 48-49, 59-61, ,62,
O,fficial Services Secrets Act, 219.
One Unit, 30, 31, 32,.38, 39, 41, 44, 5559, 64-65, 111, 206-207
One Unit Bill, 200
P~k!stan Her~lp' Public~ti~ns, 217
Pakistan National Awan'n Party, 65'
Pakistan National Congress,, 36, 41, 44,
65, '66,'6&, 130-133 "''
' '
Pakistan National Party, 37, ·111, 136,
. 137,'196,210,214'
Pakistan Opser_vt;r, The, 215: 21? , ,
Pakistan (Provisional Constitution) Order
' (1947), 2
.' ' ,
.Pakistan-Sociallst Party, 70, 117-123
Pakistan Stal}da/'d, 214
Pakistan Tjmes, The,, 2~, 115, 125, ,213·
Pal\istan-China Friendship Society,'127
Pakistan-Soviet Cultural Associatiop; 127
Partai Kommunis Indonesia, 179,
Partai Nasional Indonesia, 179 . ,.
Partai Sarekat Islam Indonesia, 201
Partai Sosialis (Indonesia), 179
•]?arti Democratlque de la Cote, d Ivoire,
, . • l
t , .' ., :···
Partido' Revolucidaario
(Mexico), f ss
. ..... "
· ~,
Pasban, 216'
Pathan, Ghulam Nabi;22
Pathans and One Unit, 111
Peace Committt9,'Paki~tan,
Peale, Dr: Norman Vlncent, 170
People's Educational Association (GEarla),
People's National-Party 9f.P;i.k'istJin, 137138'
People's Party,,136
.~, , 1
, People's Publishing Houses,1125
People's Republican'Party
(~urkey), 184
Perera, N.M.,•192,
Personality, cult of, 230·23.f
Phao, General, 250
Piblu, Marsbal..250,
Piracha, Fazal Elahi, 244
Polygamy, 152 , ! ,
Popular Republican Movement (France),
Population of Pakistan, 1
Prakrit, 6
Press, 213-221.
,, ,
Press Emergency Act, 220•
Progressive Chnstians (France), 222'
Progressive Papers Ltd., 115, 21 ( '
Progressive Writers' Association,
Pakistaµ, 12..J, 212 ,
Public Accounts' Committee, 187'
Public. and Represeptative Of!ices {pjs·
qualification) Act, 21-22. 24. 87
Public Safety Act, 219
Pukur, 219
,, ,
"Pukhtoonistan'1, 114, 136;137, 192
Pulin De, Professor, 118
Punjab, Tlie, i. 2-5, 14, 39,,41, 91, 95
Punjab, West, 143'
Punjab Disturbances'Inquiry l Comrnittee,
Punjab Kisan Committe,e, 134-135
Punjab J.-e&isfative Asstrnbly, 5. 23
Punjab Pjnd f~n~hayat, 118, 120
Punjab religious riots \1953), 81-a,2
Pushto, 6 ,
1'37, 192
Qadianis, uie, S"..1,J.\ : .,
Qandeel, 211
Qasid, 158 ·
' .
Q1zilbash, , MuzatTar -Ali, 46, 226, 236,
'238, 240, 244 ',.
l ( . .
Qizj]bash. Mumtaz Hasan, 190
Quaid•i-Azam Relief Fund, 191
•fQuaid+ Mazloom ",.99
Quaid-i-Millat, 232
Quaid-i'-Pakistan',' 232
Queensland, 202
Quetta 8
Qurba~, Fazl-i·Ilahi, 129
~urban Ali, 97
Qureshi, A.M., 244
Qureshi, Dr. Ishtiaq Husain, 13;61, 19~
Radical Party (Denmark), 225
Radical Party (Switzerland), 185, 227
Radio, 221
Raghib Ahsan, Allama, 95
Raheel, 158
Rahimtoola, Habib Ibrahim, ;2.6, 235
Rahmatullah, Chaudhri, 130
Ramadan. 176-177
Rashdi, Pir Ali Muhammad, 65; 214,
220, 235
Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case, 126,
Razwi, Jamil Husain, 33, 1q5
Reader's Digest, 170 '
Red Flag, 11s
}\ed Shirts, The, 106, 111, '117, 136-lJ7,
Regionalism in politics,•192-195
l\~nt Restrictions Ordinance, 226
Representation of the Peoples Act (1957),
(Ivory Coast), 202
Rebbblican Party, Pakistan, 33, 34, 35,
37, 38, 39, 40141, 42: 69-70, 74~75, 77,
101, 105-110, 163, 189, 200, 212 •
Rehters,'191' '•
Reynaud, Paul, 182
Roman Catlioliclsm, 170
Rose, Saul, 122
Round Table Conference, 105
Rowlands, Sir Archibald, 56
Saadist Party (Egypt), 202
Saadullah Khan, 233
Saeed Malik, 154-155
Saigol, Mian Saeed, 215, 226
Saigol, Yusuf,.226
Saigols; the, 226
Sajjad Zaheer, 124, 126
Sajjada Nashins, 244
Salma Tasaddaq Husain, Begum, 244,
Samad Khan, Khan, 137
Sangbad, 216
Santa Maria Movement (Australia), 170
Sarat Bose Academy, 19
Sardar Bahadur Khan, 13, 26, 33, 74,
Sarit, Marshal, 250
Sarkar, Abu Husain, 26, 29, 43, 44, 134,
204, 234. 237, 240
Sarraut, Maurice, 213
Sayeed, Khalid bin, 7, 14
Scheduled Caste Federation, 41, 44, 68
Pakistan, 16, 31
Sectarianism, 221-222
Sen, S.K., 68
Shafi, Miap. Muhammad, ·90
Shah Nawaz, Begum, 83
Shahabuddin, Justice, 80
Shahabuddin, Khwaja, 14, 236
Shahbaz, 215
Shamsul Haq, 244
Shanti Sena Committee, 19
Shaukat Hayat Khan, Sardar ..·63, 77, 87;
' 116, 203, 241
Sheen, Bishop Fulton J., 170
Shoaib Qureshi, 13 .
Shuja-ud.Din, Khalifa, 192
Sibt-i-Hasan, 12s
Siddiq Lodhi, 117, 118
Siddiqi, Abdur Rahman, 214
Sierra Leone Organization Society, 210
Sierra Leone People's Party, 210
Sind Observer, 214•
Sindh, 1, 2, 6, 14, 30,41, 91, 98
Sindh Awarni Jamaat, 98 '
Sindh Awami ~aMz,~8~·102,
106, 111,
117, 136, 196.
Sindh Chief Court,
Sindh Dastoor Party, 98
Sindh Hari Committee, 98, 113-114, 1,17,
118, 120. . •
Sindh ~ague, '7g
Sindh Soc/alls( Weekly, The, !17
Sinha: Ram Mohan, 118
Smith, W.C., 161
-;, , ,
Social Detnocratic P;irfy (;:,wed~n), 20~;
Socialist Pady,. Atnerican, 222
Socialist P~rty, (Austria), 200 .
Socialist Party (Burma), 21(),,
Socialist"Party Belgian, 200
Socialist Party, French, 205
Socialist Party of India, 117
Socialist Weekly, The, 117 '
Spain, 181
Speakership, l89·l92
Students' Voice, 158
Sttirzo,'Luigi, H2
Sudanese Graduates' Congress, 202
Sudeten German Party (Czechoslovakia),
Sukarno, Dr., l84
Sulairnan, M., 130
Suleri, z. A., 213
Suhrawardy, Begum Shaista Ikramullah,
Suhrawardy, H.S., 7, 14, 16, 25, 26, 30,
32, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, 66, 68, 72,
77, 94, 95, 96, 97, 100, 101, 102, 106,
111, 168, 207-208, 216, 230, 231, 232,
235, 238, 240, 241, 247
Swiss Peasant and Bourgeois Patty, 225
Switzerland, 185
Syed, G.M., 46, 66, 112, 114, 136
Syndicat AgricoJe Africain (Ivory Coast),
Syria, 254
Party Politits ln Pakistan
Tabligb Con(etei]~, 162'~'
Taft'azal Ali, 7
..... •·••
Tahira Agha, Begum, 246'
Tahrik·i-Istehlulm...i·Pakistan,164, \96
Taj, 139
Taj·ud-Din,Malik:, 221'
Talll\UdeiTorahand Yeshivot, I73'
Talpui, . Mir "Ghulam Ali, 22, 26, I SS:
190, 220, 235, 247
I I t
Tamizuddin Khan·, Maulvi, 25, 52, 236
Tamizuddin KhaD v, the' Federation of
Pakistan, 52-53
Tarjaman-ul-Quran, 139, 158
Taskeen, The, 122 t
t '
Tasnim, 1ss.· rss, 215
The·~qnomic Problem of Man e, and its
lslami~S<?lutfon, 144
The Power of Positive Thin[dng, 170 •. '
The Socialist )22t, . r: • ~ • • • • ·
The Times,1i, 167, 180, 251 ·
Thc;atre As~o~iatioq.,}?akistan, 127
TimesolKarachi, The, 213 ,
Todd, Garfield, 201 ,
Togoland, 20~
, c•
Togol11n;d CQJ?greSS:(Ghaba), 208
Towards Uncferstand111g Islam, J3~
Trade Union Federation, All-Pakistan,
Trade Ulifo'n.Federation, Pakistan, l rs,
121, 127, 128 ',' •
Trade Unions, Pakistan, 127-130
:rutail'.¥uhamJI1ad, Mihn, 99
Turkey, 183, 254
Turkey, CoJ1]1ll\lJlists iJ),
Ubaid Pasha, Wim;}~.M'akrain; 2o2. -.
Union -or
P(ogressive Republicans.
(Franc!'), 223 ·
. '.
Union pour ila Nouvelle Republique
(France), 206
, ,, ~.
Unitary Socialist hrty (Italy),200 ,
United Federal Partx (Rhodesia), 201
United Front, 16; 17, 23, Z4, 29, 30, 3H
32, 36, 37, 44, S6, 651 70; ,72, 77, 98,
)04-105, 111, 133, 134, 196, 202~ 232 •
United' Gold Coast Convention, 19e,
,Lfa!te.cl · Mlll!lyan:Natfon,ali~t Organization, 258
United Nigerian Independence Party,
United Pr~gressivePArty, 31, 44, 66, 68'
Urdu language, 6; 7, 64, 13.S..
Usmani, M.H., 102 .
Usmani, Maulana Shabbir Ahmad, 60, 61
Ustoman Gull, 117
Usu/ Patei v, r~e Crown, 52~
Vatan, 217
Vi~toria; 20'1·202'
Wafd Patty (Egypt), 202
West Bengal Cbn\mu.nist Party, ·127
West Pakistan, Council for the Adlninist..ration of, ~7
West Pak!stan tAppbinln\en{) 0Fqer •. h
West Pakistan Establishment Act, 66
West Pakistan Establishnfent mn- 58
West Pakistan (Establishment) Order, 51
Wc!st Pakistan Legislative Assembly, 32
West Punjab Safety Act, 219
Wid, General Ne, 250. ' •
Women leaders, 246 '
World~Federatidn of Trade Unions, 118.''
Wrofe Pushtoon, 117, 137
Yoruba· cliltura.1 Association (Nigeri~),
"' f
Youth League, East-Pakisfai:i, 127, )34
Zafrullah Khab, · Chaudhrl Xfuhalnmad,
• 9, 12, 13, 14,'26, 60, 162, 23(i
Zakori Sharif, Pir of, 99
Zamlndar, 215 1'.
Zaram ha-khali, 173
Zeenat Fida Hasan, Begum, 246
Zindgi, 216 ...
Zulflqar Ali Khan, Nawab Sir,· 160
"·,.' ...
• '.·· ,,. - . - \ ! ... . ·- . . .. "' ~'
. . . ~~
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