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The working of parliamentary government in Pakistan, 1947 - 1958: with particular reference to the central government and major political trends

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  • Political Science


Pakistan came into being in August, 1947 with the marginal characteristics of a developed polity. Despite the apparent existence of disagreeable political phenomena all the components of Parliamentary democracy, and for that matter a developed polity, were beginning to surface in Pakistan as the year 1958 wore on and a general election was becoming imminent. The first significant index of political development was Pakistan's achieving a general ideological consensus and resolution of regional cleavages in the country. On the question of integrative institution - building, the amalgamation of all units of West Pakistan into one unified province was a political landmark. The formula of parity between the two wings in all matters and the machineries for implanting it were am. The period 1956 - 1958 witnessed further strengthening of institutions which were created. The one-unit scheme was further solidified. The edges of centre fugal forces were blunted, and the grievances of the former smaller units of West Pakistan were attended to. The regionalism of East Pakistan, comparatively. speaking, was dwindling. The controversy over was also finally solved with the ushering of a joint electorate system. It can he thus maintained that within the period 1954- 1958, the regional and ideological cleavages were greatly resolved paving the way for a " Common value orientation " - the desideratum for a developed polity. Also there occurred significant change in the political-system, in that the early domination of the Services was: on the wane. The Hindus which were looked upon with jaundiced eye in the early period were given a sense of partnership with the majority community in the use of political power. Similarly, the parliament in the period 1956-1958 made some headway towards the right direction. What is more, the trends, were identifiable in that, the two parties namely, the M.L. and A.L. were emerging as the two major political parties of Pakistan. Despite all these achievements towards political development, Pakistan could not retain the parliamentary apparatus on the Westminster model, for ; some small | group of people who happened to have their fingers on the triggers of power, had no loyalty to democratic institutions and sabotaged the working of the parliamentary government in Pakistan.

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