Should Pakistan sever diplomatic relations with Bangladesh - the information portal on South Asia

Independence and founding of the state: 1947

The British claim to rule over the Indian subcontinent lasted for almost 200 years - from 1756 to 1947. After the Sepoy uprising of 1857 (named after the Sepoys, the Indian soldiers of the British-Indian army), the monopoly of the East India Company abolished on trade with India, and the English crown took over India. That wasn't just limited to trading. The Indian Civil Service administered British India, which was divided into provinces. The governor general received the title of viceroy and in 1877 Queen Victoria became "Empress of India".

Favored by the first political reforms, such as the permission to form parties, the Indian National Congress founded. Many Muslims felt that they were in the Hindu majority Congress not sufficiently represented. As a result, in 1906 the All India Muslim League founded. It should represent the interests of all Indian Muslims and serve as a mouthpiece for the minority. When the British colonialists carried out constitutional reforms in 1909, the Muslim League separate electoral lists for Muslims. They got this with the Morley-Minto reform. This ensured that Muslims were represented in regional and national parliaments.

The idea of ​​a Muslim state in South Asia was proposed by the poet-philosopher Muhammad Iqbal at the annual meeting of the Muslim League Formulated as "consolidated North Western Muslim State" at the end of December 1930.

Iqbal believed that the northwestern provinces of British India and the Jammu & Kashmir region should establish such a state. The artificial name "Pakistan", which has since been used to name this political entity, is made up of the first letters or syllables of the following provinces: Punjab, A.fghani - the north-western frontier province, Kashmir, I.ndus, S.indh and baluchistan.

In 1940 this idea was promoted by the President of Lahore Muslim League Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the later founding father of Pakistan, picked up. He officially called for the division of British India and the creation of a separate Muslim state. The demands are summarized in the Pakistan resolution, also known as the Lahore resolution. Talks between the British government and the parties pushing for independence revealed the positions of the Muslim League and des Indian National Congress. The Congress demanded in contrast to Muslim League the territorial integrity of a secular India. However, the British decided to divide the subcontinent.

At the same time as India, Pakistan was granted independence by the British colonial rulers on the night of August 14th to 15th, 1947 as the "homeland of Indian Muslims". The Muslim state known as Pakistan consisted primarily of those parts of the country which, as areas of British India, were predominantly inhabited by Muslims. The part of East Pakistan comprised eastern Bengal with a few parts of Assam. West Pakistan lay in the northwest of the subcontinent. The sometimes seemingly arbitrary boundaries drawn by the British prompted at least seven million Muslims to relocate from India, mostly to western Pakistan, under often bloody circumstances. However, the Muslim population within the Indian Union was about the same as the total population of Pakistan.

When the Indian subcontinent was divided into the independent states of India and Pakistan, the status of the more than 550 princely states had to be clarified. These had become formally independent through the withdrawal of the British colonial power and mostly joined one of the newly created states according to their religious or geographical location. However, problems arose in three princely states.

The Muslim ruler of Junagadh, in what is now the Indian state of Gujarat, wanted to join Pakistan despite his majority Hindu population. India annexed the territory to prevent the formation of an enclave in the middle of Indian national territory.

The Muslim ruler of Hyderabad in the southern highlands of the Dechan, who ruled over a Hindu majority, tried to postpone the decision to join in order to preserve his sovereignty. A thought that India shattered by annexation in September 1948.

The Principality of Jammu & Kashmir in the Himalayan region presented a particular problem. It bordered both India and Pakistan. The Hindu Maharaja Hari Singh ruled over a majority Muslim population (85%). Kashmir initially remained independent. Only after the invasion of Pashtun tribal warriors (from the Pakistani-Afghan border area) who supported Pakistan did the Maharaja feel compelled to ask India for military support. India made aid dependent on the Maharaja's promise that Kashmir would join the Indian Union. Thereupon it granted the requested aid, which developed into the first Indo-Pakistani war (1947-1949). This ended with a ceasefire under the supervision of the United Nations and a de facto bisection of Kashmir. About a third of the area has since been controlled by Pakistan. These are the heavily military-occupied areas of the Northern Areas (N.A.) and the part known as Azad Kashmir - free Kashmir - which is regionally self-governing. The northern mountain regions of the Karakoram, the N.A. have since been administered centrally by the Pakistani capital.

Since then, the affiliation of the Indian part of Kashmir has repeatedly been the cause of political and military conflicts between the two countries. The Kashmir conflict remains a hotspot in the region.

The pre-republican era (from 1947 to 1958)

The first independent government of Pakistan was established by the Muslim League led by Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan. The party initially dominated the political scene unchallenged. Its self-image as a national movement made any possible opposition appear as a betrayal of the founding consensus. The charismatic founder of the state, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, and Liaqat Ali Khan, the first premier, campaigned for a secular constitution, but the self-image of the Muslim League favored the conservative leadership group to establish an authoritarian regime. Efforts to reform the administration and the armed forces appeared subordinate to problems related to the ongoing influx of refugees from India. In addition, there were power struggles between the provincial rulers and the central government, whose authority only very slowly and with many concessions prevailed. Governor General M.A. Jinnah died in 1948. Even L.A. Khan did not succeed in establishing stable political conditions in the country until his murder in 1951.

Overall, the Muslim League no political program for the masses to overcome the economic and social crisis. However, there was next to that League no alternative party that could bring about political stability. The military therefore filled the space created by this power vacuum at an early stage, as it threatened to offer secessionist movements space for articulation. The seat of government at that time was Karachi, the largest city in the country and, as a port city, the first port of call for many Muslim refugees from India.

L.A. Khan's first official state visit to the United States in 1950 brought Pakistan into close bilateral relations with the United States. According to the logic of the Cold War, this meant that while the western great power USA supported Pakistan economically, relations with the nearby Soviet Union deteriorated increasingly.

After the death of the charismatic secular leader M.A. The Jinnahs and Liaqat Ali Khan's Islamic conservative forces gained increasing influence in the country.

Khwaja Nazimud-Din, who came from the eastern part of the country and became governor general after Jinnah's death and later also succeeded Premier L.A. Khan, did not stabilize the fragile political situation either.

Ud-Din did not succeed in the decline in popularity Muslim League staying in the eastern part of the country. Mohammed Ali Bogra, also an East Pakistani who took over the presidency in 1953, also changed the existing situation only slightly. The situation worsened in the eastern part of the country: riots broke out in response to an attempt to introduce Urdu.

The attempt to introduce Urdu as the official language, previously spoken by less than 2% of the population and now intended to serve as Pakistan's lingua franca, met with opposition. Most of Urdu came from those who emigrated to the western part of the country Mohajirs, the Muslim emigrants from India. They dominated the political leadership of the Muslim League. Against this background, the party lost the 1954 regional elections in East Pakistan. The winner there was the opposition Awami Leaguewhereupon the governor general disbanded the constituent assembly as unrepresentative. In this situation, General Iskander Mirza became the dominant figure in Pakistan. As governor of East Pakistan, he tried to counteract separatist tendencies. Much to the displeasure of the Islamic clergy - the Ulama (1) - his stated goals were a stronger central power and a sharp separation of politics and religion. In October 1954 a state of emergency was declared, which is regarded as the height of the domestic political tensions of the time.

In the same year, relations with the USA and its allies were institutionalized: a Turkish-Pakistani treaty on military cooperation was concluded. Another treaty, the Baghdad Pact, provided material and technical assistance from the United States and served as a mutual defense agreement. In addition, the country of Southeast Asian Treaty Organization (SEATO).

In September 1955, the newly elected Constituent Assembly decided that the four West Pakistani provinces would form a political and administrative unit in future.

Furthermore, the assembly decided on March 23, 1956 to proclaim the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The capital of the presidential republic was now the tranquil Rawalpindi in northern Pujab instead of the metropolis of Karachi.

Iskander Mirza, Governor General from 1955 to 1956, played a key role in the creation of the republic and its first constitution. He became the first president with far-reaching powers.

However, the new constitution did not lead to stable conditions in the country either. No party in the National Assembly was able to form a permanent government. Under the influence of the widening domestic political crisis, the President imposed martial law in October 1958, dismissed the cabinet and arranged for the National Assembly and the parties to be dissolved. This also led to the dissolution of the 1906 founded in Dhaka All Indian Muslim League.

Mirza appointed General Mohammed Ayub Khan, the commander in chief of the armed forces, as the "supreme administrator of martial law". Twenty days later, Ayub Khan forced the president to abdicate, proclaimed himself president, and assumed the post of prime minister.

The first military dictatorships (until 1970)

General Ayub Khan ruled Pakistan almost unreservedly during his eleven-year presidency. His initial progress in the form of a land reform, in the course of which around 900,000 hectares of land was distributed to 150,000 tenants, did not, however, manage to overcome the feudal conditions in the country. The 22 families who controlled two-thirds of the property in Pakistan in 1960 largely retained their economic power. After the reform, 6,000 large landowners continued to own three times as much arable land as the area granted to the 150,000 tenants.

Another feature of the new state commitment was the attempt to promote the economic situation on the basis of five-year plans. The more than three-fold increase in development funds for the eastern part of the country is also related to this. The economy of the eastern part of the country visibly benefited from this improved financial position, but could not eliminate the inequality between the two Pakistani regions. In 1961, Islamabad, on the outskirts of Rawalpindi, was founded as the new capital of Pakistan planned on the drawing board.

With the new constitution of March 1, 1962, the system of Basic Democracies introduced, i.e. small, politically manageable constituencies. It was envisaged that 80,000 of these would be nationwide Basic Democracies appointed their confidante in parliamentary bodies at a higher level. These formed the electoral colleges that elected the president and the representatives of the National Assembly and the regional parliaments. In summary, the system of this "managed democracy" can be described as consisting of four levels. The government formed the highest national level. Each level was characterized by specific responsibilities in its administration - in rural and urban areas. This earned Pakistan a reputation at the time for being a model for developing countries by focusing on local units and bypassing the parties dominated by urban elites.

President A. Khan enacted marriage and family laws in 1961, including restricting polygamy, regulating divorce, and strengthening the inheritance rights of women and minors.

The initial relationship with the People's Republic of China was characterized by a military partnership that was a counter-alliance to the Indo-Soviet partnership. Due to the border agreement of 1963 and the joint construction of the Indushochstrasse, the Karakoram Highways (2), has since developed a strategic and economic cooperation between the neighboring countries, which began under Ayub Khan. He also maintained friendly relations with the United States, which provided Pakistan with considerable economic and military aid. However, these bilateral relations deteriorated in 1965 when the general wanted to exploit the (supposed) weak leadership of the neighboring country of India after the death of his long-time Prime Minister Nehru and instigated the second Indo-Pakistani war.

Pakistan's attempt to resolve the Kashmir issue militarily, however, found no support either from the United States or from its Muslim friends (3). By stopping military and economic aid, the US forced an end to the fighting. This became all the more important as a devastating drought could only be averted by US food deliveries at the time. At this point the Soviet Union intervened as a mediator in the conflict and invited Presidential General Ayub Khan and Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri to Tashkent. In January 1966, the two states signed a peace agreement there and resumed diplomatic relations.

Pakistan's industry and trade only got off to a slow start after the development funds from western industrialized countries stopped. Above all, the Green Revolution, an economic breakthrough due to the use of high-yielding varieties in agriculture, led to economic growth rates of over 8%. However, this development was essentially limited to the western part of the country.

However, the Tashkent Accords as a result of the Kashmir War caused frustration among the Pakistani people, who blamed President Ayub Khan for their discontent. The then Foreign Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto left his office and agitated against Ayub Khan's dictatorial administration and the "loss" of Kashmir. Dissatisfaction with social developments and political repression sparked student unrest and a general strike in 1968/69. Giving in to his health deterioration and political pressure, Khan abdicated in March 1969. Contrary to the provisions of the constitution, he handed over the presidency to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan. This suspended the constitution and re-imposed martial law.

The Civil War (1970-71)

The important role of the military at the political level from 1958 to 1970 was justified and justified by the fact that with its help a breakup of the country should be prevented. Nevertheless, General Yahya Khan did not manage to contain domestic tensions and prevent a polarization of political forces, despite some reforms.

Reforms included the removal of 300 senior government officials from their offices and the public announcement of the nearly 30 families who controlled more than half of Pakistan's gross domestic product. Overall, however, these reforms were insufficient attempts on the road to democracy.Neither a regulation against monopolies and trade cartels, nor promises to hand over power to civil authorities, could avert the worsening events.

The leader Awami League in the eastern part of the country, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, openly questioned the unity of the country. He called for a federation in which a practically independent East Pakistan would be bound to the western part of the country in the form of a joint federal government only through foreign policy and national defense. The suggestion that each part of the country should have its own freely convertible currency met with great approval from the East Pakistani.

Realizing that the administration of government would overwhelm and corrupt the military, General Yahya Khan held the first general and free elections in December 1970. These elections to the constituent national assembly, to which the political parties were admitted, were held to "save the unity" of the country. As a result of these votes, Mujibur Rahman achieved a clear victory, with a backing of 55% of the general population. The 167 of a total of 313 seats Awami League meant a clear majority for the East Pakistani party.

Founded in 1967 by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Pakistan People's Party (PPP) became the strongest party in western Pakistan. The elections revealed the differences between the parts of East and West Pakistan.

The unwillingness of the West Pakistani oligarchy and the military to allow parts of the elite of the other part of the country to participate in power made the differences between the parts of the country separated by 1,600 kilometers of Indian territory even more clear.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman later accused the presidential general of colluding with Z.A. Bhutto and established a practically independent government in East Pakistan. The negotiations between Yahya Khan and Mujibur Rahman in Dhaka in mid-March 1971 ended with Rahman's arrest. He was taken to the other part of the country and charged with high treason. The Pakistani army, meanwhile, took action against Rahan's supporters. They openly demanded freedom and independence for East Pakistan and Bangladesh as the "Nation of Bengal". The (West) Pakistani military acted against the independence movement with extreme brutality: Countless people were murdered or fled with the leadership of the Awami League to India, which founded a government in exile there.

India officially intervened in the civil war on December 3, 1971, thirteen days later the (west) Pakistani army surrendered. On December 20, Yahya Khan handed over the post of President to Z.A. Bhutto, who accepted the separation of the eastern part of the country. Thus, with Indian participation, the East Pakistani succeeded in founding Bangladesh in January 1972. In response to Bangladesh's membership in the Commonwealth of Nations Pakistan resigned in protest. The government of the rest of Pakistan, which has since been identical to Pakistan, diplomatically recognized Bangladesh in 1974.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's Years of Power (1971-77)

A number of reforms were announced under President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his PPP. The military has been pushed out of key political positions and appeased by maintaining a large military budget.

Pakistan's new constitution of 1973 was largely created under Z.A. Bhutto and his Pakistan People's Party. Islam now became the state religion. The democratization and social reforms promised by the PPP were partly expressed in the constitution. It envisaged a system of government structured according to civil and parliamentary models. The constitution was characterized by a number of tolerant aspects: For the first time, discrimination based on gender, social affiliation or religious beliefs was prohibited. The established equality of women and men was also historical.

Bhutto became Prime Minister and Fazal Elahi Chaudry succeeded him as President. Z.A. Bhutto's extensive state reforms consisted primarily of land reform, nationalization of banks and industrial companies, schools and universities. Despite Bhutto's policy of "Islamic Socialism", he was quite ready to compromise with the Islamic conservative forces. It cannot be answered here whether mere retention of power was the decisive reason. Bhutto's concessions resulted in a tendency towards the "Islamization" of society, which was also reflected in some new regulations, e.g. dress codes and alcohol bans.

Despite everything, many of the Z.A. Political changes announced by Bhutto as "social reforms" have not been realized. The power of the great landowners (Zamindars) and the military persisted. Bhutto knew how to take advantage of the army's loss of public reputation. But the 1971 war costs and the loss of the "foreign exchange source" East Pakistan, the weakened economy that suffered from his nationalization efforts, alienated former followers. His only rhetorical statements of Islamization caused increasing hostility. The nationalizations and land reforms created opposition from the entrepreneurs. Even the religious leaders - the Ulama - his socialist ideas were a thorn in the side. They accused Bhutto of anti-Islamic policies. His decisive mistake, however, was that he failed to develop a constructive relationship with the opposition.

Based on the PPP as the strongest party in his home province of Sindh, Bhutto developed a personal-authoritarian style of government. Which included, among other things, the oppression and persecution of opposition activists. As a result, riots broke out in 1974/75 in the North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) and in Baluchistan.

For the general elections in March 1977, nine powerful opposition parties joined in the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) and stood against Bhuttos Pakistan People's Party. The result of the vote count, according to which the PNA lost in three out of four provinces, was not recognized by the PNA. She accused Bhutto of electoral fraud, boycotted the regional elections and called for demonstrations across the country that dragged on for six weeks. As a result, there were numerous arrests, hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries.

This prompted the military under General Zia ul-Haq to take power on July 5, 1977. The putschist ul-Haq suspended the constitution and dissolved parliament. Parties and unions were banned. Martial Law - Martial Law - was called out. Zia ul-Haq had his predecessor executed two years after he was arrested in 1979.

The Zia ul-Haq military regime (1977-88)

The tyranny of General Zia ul-Haq, who was sworn in as president in 1978, surpassed previous military regimes in the country on the Indus in cruelty.

General Zia ul-Haq's political goal was to replace the previously unclear concept of a Pakistani identity with a comprehensive one Islamization to reformulate all social and economic areas in the country and to give it a lasting Islamic character. Zia Ul-Haq legitimized his rule by stating that only people who are guided by Islamic ideals are worth serving the public. Therefore he invoked the Koran and the Sunnah (4). Ul-Haq assumed with the establishment of one Nizam-e-Islam (5), an Islamic system to solve Pakistan's problems. Drawing on the military, Zia tried, as he understood it, to model Islamic democracy to the exclusion of political parties. The Pakistani identity as a Muslim identity should be based on the pan-Islamic concept of unity Ummah (6), which should ultimately establish the ideological legitimacy of his military regime. With the Islamization of criminal law, the Sharia (7) Gradually established as the supreme legal institution. This led to Islam, in particular the Sunni Islam ul-Haqs, becoming even more firmly anchored in social life, like the state entry of Zakat (8), the alms tax and the example of "Ahmadiyya ban"(9) showed. Many of the" reforms "carried out under the guise of Islamization were held by sections of the Muslim clergy who Ulama, certified Islamic fundamentalist.

The inconsistent interpretations of the Qur'anic Revelation and the Sunnah led, especially in Pakistan, to the development of the most varied schools of thought, groups and schools, some of which also violently fight each other. Against this background, the policy of Islamization, as pursued by ul-Haq with reference to fundamentalist forces, seemed to have little prospect of success in advance. The Islamization Pakistani society as a power tool of Zia ul-Haq was by no means based on broad social approval.

Parts of the Ulama as well as the fundamentalist Jama'at-e-Islami, who was a dictator even before Zia's time Islamization the society tried to realize, experienced an expansion of its power. The institutionalization of the Majlis-e-Shoora in 1982 - as a people's assembly with 350 appointed MPs - and the nationalization of the foundation system served to expand the power of the central government in Islamabad.

By establishing the religious tax system Zakat and Ushr the central government succeeded in penetrating traditional systems of values ​​and order. This not only emphasizes the Sunni character of this initiative, which was rejected by the Shiite sections of the population, but also led to a division in society and the Ulama.

Through financial support of the existing traditional structures of the religious education system, i.e. the state integration of the Madrassas, this area of ​​education gained in importance. That was through targeted funding, especially with funds from the Zakat possible. However, it does not appear that society was "Islamized" enough to accept the mullahs in any professional position. It seemed that parts of the Arab world, through financial aid from Saudi Arabia and others, were more interested in the graduates of religious schools than in their own society. The state-subsidized ideological training of the students, known as the Taliban, served to prepare them for participation in jihad. The after-effects of this training contain a considerable potential for conflict up to the present day and give religious teachers and their "reproduction centers" not only domestic but also foreign political significance. Large parts of the more than three million Afghan refugees also enjoyed free education in madrassas. The militias that have achieved dubious fame as the "Taliban" are - at least in part - to be understood as the fruits of Zia ul-Haq's foreign policy.

The beneficiaries of Zia ul-Haq's policy were in particular the feudal landowning families, the army and, to some extent, the Muslim clergy. The feudal and patriarchal structures were re-established through a large number of dictatorial measures, especially through the curtailment of women's rights. The Islamization Zia ul-Haqs represented a high point of power in the previous military dictatorships in South Asia.

The referendum in 1984, during which ul-Haq had its presidency confirmed by the people for a further five years, was intended to reduce the population's potential aggressiveness against social conditions without changing the existing power structures. In addition, the general put the approval of the population as confirmation of his Islamization and thus emotionalized Islamic legal policy. Strengthened by this referendum of December 1984 - Zia ul-Haq's power as president at the time was given the position of emir (in Urdu: Amir) compared - after lifting the ban on political parties, he scheduled parliamentary elections for 1985.

After an election without political parties, Mohammad Khan Junejo was appointed Prime Minister by the President ul-Haq in 1985, and martial law was repealed in December. But already on May 29, 1988, President General Zia ul-Haq dismissed him on the official grounds that Junejo's government was involved in corruption. He was held responsible for a lack of law and order in the country. Ul-Haq blamed the prime minister for the deteriorating economic situation. In addition, Junejo's administration was unable to implement ul-Haq's Islamization program. It can be assumed, however, that the reasons were more due to the different views on domestic and foreign policy.

The elections that were then constitutionally scheduled within 90 days seemed to Pakistan's democratic forces a promise that would not be kept. Ul-Haq did not allow the elections announced in 1979 to take place and the previous military rule accounted for over half the time since the country was founded. But Zia ul-Haqs died in a plane crash with numerous high-ranking attendants on August 17, 1988. The cause is still unknown. A transitional government made up of the military took over state power, but ul-Haq's death not only led to the realization of the election promise, but at that time was an unforeseeable event in terms of political effects.

Remarkably, despite an increase in poverty in Pakistan, a small portion of the population has become significantly richer during these years. Also Islamist forces like that Jama'at-e-Islami were able to benefit from enormous foreign financial aid in connection with the Afghan war.

In summary, it can be said that Zia ul-Haq's "Sunni" concepts of Islamization barely left room for a multinational and federal state structure with regional or local autonomy. The multi-ethnic state of Pakistan was originally supposed to unite the different interpretations of Islam in one state. In addition, the opening up of the military to the Islamic clergy included a new potential for conflict, which even today is not entirely foreseeable. Filling leading positions in the military was usually reserved for the sons of the influential families, but the clergy came from the people who previously had no access to the officer level. Since then, clerics seem to have made claims to higher posts within the army. However, in addition to the internal military conflicts over officer posts, there is another danger that should not be underestimated.

Foreign policy aspects of the time of ul-Haq

The entry of Soviet troops into Afghanistan at Christmas 1979 had a direct impact on Pakistan: by 1984 the number of Afghan refugees had risen to three million. Most of them lived along the Afghan border, with makeshift support from the Pakistani government and international aid organizations.

Due to economic difficulties, Pakistan was dependent on financial aid from abroad. However, relations between the US and Pakistan worsened with the execution of Z.A. Bhuttos in April 1979.

Then there were the Pakistani nuclear weapons plans, to which the USA responded in the fall of 1979 by tightening its foreign trade laws. The American attempt to avert Pakistan's plans through sanctions led to the storming and sacking of the American embassy in Islamabad in November of that year. The angry and angry schoolchildren and students let themselves be unhindered by the security forces in sight of the presidential palace. That was the low point in bilateral relations with the United States.

But the dramatic changes in the international constellation liberated Pakistan from its increasingly isolated position. In Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini called one after the "Islamic Revolution" theocracy out. Due to the failure of Iran as a regional regulatory power for the Americans, in particular due to the occupation of the American embassy in Tehran by radicals and the subsequent hostage taking of American diplomats, Pakistan acquired a new geographical and political importance. This importance grew with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan at the end of 1979, which turned Pakistan into a "front-line state". In the early years, Pakistan was largely funded by the US to serve as a refuge for the Afghan people Mujahideento serve the resistance fighters. For example, in September 1981, Zia accepted military and economic aid worth $ 3.2 billion from the United States for a period of six years. The main beneficiary of the key position in this proxy war between East and West was the Pakistani military.

Although the logistical support was the Pakistani secret service ISI (Inter Services Intelligence), who organized the resistance according to Islamabad's security policy calculations, but Zia ul-Haq's policy made the army the most privileged part of Pakistani society. Pakistan was still very aware of the demands of the Afghan government in the 1970s for an annexation of the Pakistani NWFP, in which predominantly Pashtuns live. At that time, the two countries were on the brink of war. This "Pashtunistan question" was tried to get out of the world.The ISI allowed several groups dominated by Pashtuns, which differed from one another in their tribal origins. Durrani Pashtuns, who made up the Afghan royal house and were responsible for the "Pashtunist question" from a Pakistani point of view, were not tolerated in the leadership of the parties. The ISI supported the religious orientation of the Afghan resistance parties, as this was intended to suppress nationalist tendencies.

In August 1983 the seven states Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan founded the in the Indian capital New Delhi South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) as a group for joint regional cooperation in economic, technical and cultural areas.

The monetary improvement of the military, favored by foreign financing, intensified the beginning arms race with the archenemy India. This resulted in violent Indian-Pakistani clashes in the remote area of ​​the Siachen Glacier in June 1984. Some observers assume that without the generous financial support of the Americans, Zia ul-Haq would not have been able to stay in power for long. In addition to European countries, Saudi Arabia is still trying to influence developments through monetary donations. The Saudi government succeeded in providing financial aid to the Afghan government Mujahideento get massive influence in Pakistan. The payments far exceeded those of the Americans by the late 1980s. Not only fundamentalist groups and parties were financed, but also madrassas, for example by providing teaching staff in madrassas of the Ahl e-Hadith.

The Pakistani secret service ISI played a crucial role in the military training of the volunteer warriors.

Shortly before the sudden death of Zia ul-Haq, a huge ammunition depot exploded in Rawalpindi on the outskirts of the capital Islamabad, killing over 300 people. The depot was used by the Pakistani secret service to equip the Afghan Mujahideen. It was suspected that the Afghan pro-Soviet secret service KHAD was behind the crimes.

The Democratic Decade (1988 to 1999)

The strength of the military and the weakness of democratic institutions are characteristic of the previous section of Pakistani history. The military had been an important factor in the Islamization of society, but politicians also instrumentalized religion for political purposes, such as the example of Z.A. Bhutto showed.

Zia ul-Haq's interim successor as President was Ghulam Ishaq Khan, who had previously been President of the Senate, until December 1988. He had parliamentary elections held in the autumn of that year, which were originally scheduled by ul-Haq, but were then postponed again.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's daughter, Benazir Bhutto, who returned to Pakistan the following year after the ban on ul-Haqs was lifted in 1985 and who had taken over the leadership of the PPP in exile in the early 1980s, stood for the elections. Through an excess of concessions and compromises with opposing political actors, their PPP succeeded in winning the general elections in November 1988.

In October 1989 Pakistan became a member of the British again Commonwealth of Nations. From the beginning of 1990 bloody unrest flared up again in Kashmir. In the part occupied by India, an increasing number of Muslim groups took up the armed struggle for an independent state or to force an annexation to Pakistan.

B. Bhutto held the office as the first female head of government in an Islamic state for just under two years. The military continued to be a powerful and influential institution, as was the presidency. It was also the President who overturned Bhutto's government in August 1990 on charges of corruption and abuse of office and declared a state of emergency.

The arrest of Benazir Bhutto, party leader of the PPP, prevented her party from winning again in the October 1990 elections. The top candidate Mohammad Mian Nawaz Sharif's Islamic Democratic Alliance (IJI), an electoral alliance of religious-conservative parties led by the Pakistan Muslim League (PML), won the subsequent elections. Sharif was sworn in as Prime Minister on November 6, 1990. During his tenure, he continued the re-privatization of the state-owned enterprises that had begun in the 1980s and opened the country to foreign investors. Sharif intended, certainly bound by his electoral alliance with the above-mentioned parties, to make Islamic law binding. He also sought to ease tensions with India. But even Sharif did not survive a full five-year term in office. President Ishaq Khan dismissed Sharif in April 1993 and dissolved parliament. Sharif then called the Supreme Court, which found Khan's actions unconstitutional and ordered Sharif's reinstatement as prime minister. To end the subsequent power struggle between Sharif and Ishaq Khan, which paralyzed the Pakistani government, both of them finally resigned in July 1993. Sharif's wing, which has since split off from the PML, the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N), lost in the new elections in October 1993. Benazir Bhuttos won again Pakistan People's Party, which had returned to the top of the party after allegations of corruption were dropped.

Tensions with India increased again under the new head of government as she openly supported the Muslim resistance in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir. In addition, B. Bhutto announced that it would pursue the Pakistani nuclear weapons development program, thereby accelerating the South Asian arms race.

Despite the far-reaching connections of the Islamist parties abroad, which in the 1990s increasingly appeared through military and religious training in connection with international conflict areas, they only won nine seats in the National Assembly in the 1993 elections. Nevertheless, the influence of Islamist activists increased in the 1990s. Since then, there have been repeated reports of attacks against religious minorities.

The state also forced discrimination against minorities: a decision of the National Assembly in 1991 tied the penal legislation to conformance with Sharia law. Blasphemy was punished with the death penalty. The government led by Benazir Bhutto, which had advocated these changes in the law, came under pressure - including from abroad - after some spectacular cases relating to this criminal law in February 1995 (for example the imposition of death sentences on two Christians, including a fourteen-year-old child). The government pushed the decision on a possible revision of the legislation to the Supreme Court. In addition, the government was unable to avert the growing national debt or to contain the communalist unrest in Sindh - especially in Karachi.

After the resignation of Ghulam Ishaq Khan, Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari, who had spent several years in prison under Mohammed Zia ul-Haq as the confidante of the executed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, became the new president in November 1993. In 1994, the religious-conservative opposition under ex-Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for violence against the government of Benazir Bhutto in order to drive it out of office. As early as 1995 it became clear that the prime minister's promises before the 1993 elections to ensure better living conditions for the rural poor would not be implemented. That was certainly also due to the refusal of the large landowners "to give up even one square meter of land".

The social conflicts in the country intensified when fanatical Islamists tried to force the introduction of Sharia law in 1995 by taking hostages and occupying public buildings. Over 2,000 people were killed in religious unrest in the metropolis of Karachi. Overall, the series of religious conflicts increased. For example, 20 people were killed in a mosque in Multan in 1996 when Shiite attackers wreaked havoc among the praying crowd of Sunni believers. As a result, street battles broke out in the city between supporters of radical Shiite and Sunni parties.

Despite the former connection to her father, President Leghari did not see himself prevented from removing Prime Minister Bhutto on November 5, 1996 - for the second time - and dissolving the National Assembly. This decision was justified by the fact that Benazir Bhutto had insufficiently ruled the country. She was accused of corruption among her ministers. Police terrorism was also tolerated by her government, which openly undermines the independence of the judiciary.

President Leghari appointed the eighty-year-old Mairaj Khalid as transitional prime minister. He immediately fired more than 50 officers appointed by Bhutto. In all four provinces of the country high-ranking civil and police officers were relieved and the head of the domestic secret service IB was arrested.

Foreign debts continued to grow and at the beginning of 1997 burdened Pakistan with around 30 billion US dollars.

In the new elections on February 3, 1997 Mian Nawaz Sharifs PML-N obtained a two-thirds majority in coalition with the Awami National Party (ANP) and the MQM. That documented the crushing defeat of the PPP.

The parliamentary strength of the PML-N enabled Nawaz Sharif to fill numerous key positions in politics and business with representatives of his choice. In the course of the meeting of the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan in April 1997, negotiations on the future of Kashmir between the two states, which had broken off eight years ago, were resumed for the first time.

When Nawaz Sharif expanded the power of the Prime Minister to the disadvantage of the President through several constitutional amendments, these new changes led to an open dispute between him and Sajad Ali Shah, the chief judge, in July 1997. This had tried to crush the changes, which Sharif responded with his removal.

After more than 50 deaths in artillery skirmishes between Indian and Pakistani troops in the border region of Kashmir in September and October of that year, the ongoing bilateral peace negotiations suffered a serious setback. Despite international calls, for example during Queen Elizabeth II's multi-day state visit to Pakistan in October 1997, to end the fight for Kashmir and bring about a reconciliation with India, the peace negotiations between the two neighbors were broken off without result.

President Farooq Leghari also resigned in December 1997 after a power struggle with Sharif. His successor was Mohammad Rafiq Tarar, who was elected on December 31, 1997 by an electoral body made up of members of the upper and lower houses and members of the four provincial parliaments as the new president of Pakistan. The former judge Tarar, who was considered a close confidante of Sharif, belonged to the conservative Islamic group Tanzim Ahrar which, according to various Pakistani MPs, should be involved in extremist activities. During his inaugural address, he announced that he wanted to strengthen the role of Islam in Pakistan.

At the beginning of 1998, according to the authorities, the worst flood disaster of this century in the southwestern province of Baluchistan claimed the lives of around 1,250 people.

The first Pakistani nuclear tests were also carried out in this province at the end of May. These should be seen in response to the Indian tests that had taken place shortly before. As a result, the USA imposed economic sanctions on the country, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also stopped the disbursement of previously approved loans amounting to 1.4 billion US dollars.

In October 1998 the National Assembly approved by 151 votes to 16 - 50 MPs boycotted the vote - a constitutional amendment proposed by Sharif, which should make Sharia the sole legal system in Pakistan. Apparently Sharif wanted to accommodate voters from the extreme religious spectrum. The vote of the second chamber of parliament, the Senate, in which Sharif's PML-N did not have the required two-thirds majority, was postponed. As a result, the previous Western law from British colonial times and the Sharia continued to exist side by side.

In November 1998, the country on the brink of national bankruptcy - its external debt had meanwhile risen to 32 billion US dollars - achieved an easing of economic sanctions and the disbursement of IMF loans in the USA. In January 1999, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved new long-term loans amounting to $ 5.5 billion. In addition, the creditor states granted Pakistan a deferred payment until the end of 2001.

By decree, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif established Sharia as the sole legal principle in the provinces bordering Afghanistan in mid-January 1999. As a justification, he stated that the skyrocketing crime rate in these regions could not be contained with the previous laws.

In February 1999, there was a surprising temporary rapprochement between Pakistan and India. Together with his Indian counterpart Atal Behari Vajpayee, Sharif passed a declaration in Lahore in which both sides declared their readiness to resolve the conflict. However, these efforts were soon dashed.

As early as April 1999, just three days after the test flight of the Indian medium-range missile Agni II Pakistan also lit the Ghauri II, a missile for testing purposes. Both missiles have a range of around 2,000 kilometers and can also be equipped with nuclear warheads.

In May 1999 the ongoing conflict over Kashmir escalated dramatically: For the first time in twenty years, the Indian Air Force launched attacks against Muslim rebels who were attacking Muslim rebels from the Pakistani side of Kashmir, which was divided between the two countries, ostensibly on behalf of the Pakistani government India-controlled territory had advanced to establish bases there. The Islamabad government denied any involvement, accusing India of several bombs in Pakistani Kashmir and threatening Delhi with retaliation. Talks in June 1999 between the foreign ministers of the two countries were broken off without any results. While India threatened to escalate the fighting if Pakistan does not withdraw its troops from the Indian part of Kashmir, the leadership in Islamabad denied having dispatched soldiers to Indian territory and accused India of the use of chemical weapons. According to the Indian Foreign Ministry, 510 intruders were killed, including 270 Pakistani soldiers. The situation reached a frightening climax in June when Pakistan threatened the use of nuclear weapons if they did Kargil crisis should escalate further. After conquering the strategically important Tiger Mountain, from which the most important road in the region between Srinagar and Leh could be shelled, the situation threatened to tip over in favor of India. After ten weeks, Sharif gave in to international pressure and ordered a troop withdrawal, especially at the urging of the USA (brief visit to US President Clinton). His "yielding" resented him not only extremists and hardliners - the army also felt betrayed.

These heaviest military clashes since the Indo-Pakistani war of 1971 resulted in the deaths of around 410 Indian soldiers, 135 rebels killed and around 700 Pakistani soldiers.

Another low point in bilateral relations was the shooting down of a Pakistani Navy reconnaissance aircraft by Indian fighter jets in August. Both sides claimed to have recovered the wreckage on their national territory - which should prove the illegality of the shooting. When the Pakistani air defense fired at an Indian fighter plane that was accompanying three helicopters with journalists on board to the site of the downed jet at the border, both the Indian and Pakistani armed forces were put on high alert.

Pervez Musharraf's military government (since 1999)

On October 12, 1999, the army put an end to Pakistan's eleven-year search for democracy in a bloodless military coup. Many Pakistanis welcome the removal of Nawaz Sharif, but at the same time call for a swift return to a civilian government. Outside of Pakistan, concerns grew that the conflict between the nuclear states of India and Pakistan over Kashmir could spiral out of control. As the new "strong man", General Pervez Musharraf took power in the country on the Indus.

In New Delhi, the general was held responsible for invading the Indian part of Kashmir in early summer 1999 by the Pakistani rebels. India expressed extreme concern and, as an initial reaction, once again put the army on high alert.

The military coup of October 1999, apparently well prepared, was General Musharraf's reaction to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's attempt to depose him as Chief of Staff.The takeover of power by the military provoked opposition from the countries of the European Union, Japan and the USA. In their first reactions they called for the reintroduction of democratic conditions.

Although the military and their allies occupied the ministries, there were no fundamentally different tendencies in the country: Topics such as religious and communal conflicts still dominate current affairs. Apparently inevitably, Kashmir stands in the way between the very desirable bilateral relations with India. This issue continued to be central to the media and the focus of public interest in Pakistan. Shortly after taking power, the putschist general made it clear that he would continue to support the separatist movements and groups striving for independence or annexation to Pakistan.

The disproportionately high military budget (unofficially over 50%) weighed on the country's economy, which was groaning under sanctions imposed by the Americans in response to the 1998 nuclear tests. The arms race with India was clearly taking place at the expense of the population. The increasing number of civil war refugees from Afghanistan caused increased problems, particularly in the border provinces of NWFP and Baluchistan, which revealed the country's dependence on foreign support. The social influence of religious and Islamist groups and parties continued to grow unabated under the military rule of Pervez Musharraf. In the moderate sections of the Muslim population, there were increasing fears of "Talibanization". This alluded to the increasing influence exerted by neighboring Afghanistan in the form of a radicalization of Islamic society through the implementation of restrictive Sunni fundamentalist views.

Presumably in response to the United Nations' threat to impose sanctions on Afghanistan if the alleged Saudi terrorist Osama Bin Laden continues to be hosted, rocket attacks in Islamabad in November 1999 hit the US embassy and UN facilities by strangers. At the end of 1999 the Commonwealth the exclusion of Pakistan from the union of states until the return to the required democratic conditions.

After the previous president of the court and five other judges of the Supreme Court in Islamabad refused to take the oath on a provisional constitution in January 2000, they were removed from their offices. The other seven judges took the oath that made the military coup against Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif unpunished. This made General Musharraf's military regime safe from any criminal prosecution. A trial of abuse of power, corruption, attempted murder and terrorism began against Sharif. During a short visit after long stays in Bangladesh and India, American President Bill Clinton called on the military rulers in Islamabad in March 2000 to return to democracy quickly and to enter into a dialogue with India about the conflict in the Kashmir region.

In April 2000, ex-Prime Minister Sharif was sentenced to two life sentences for air hijacking and terrorism, and in July 2000 to 14 years in a labor camp for corruption and personal gain. In December 2000, General Musharraf pardoned his predecessor and allowed him and his entire family to travel to Saudi Arabia.

In June 2001, the military ruler Musharraf dissolved parliament and the provincial chambers, declared Mohammed Rafiq Tarar, who had been in office since 1997, to be deposed and took over the presidency himself.

During a three-day visit to India by General Musharraf in July 2001, no agreement on a final joint declaration could be found in talks with the Indian government. Nevertheless, this first official contact between the two South Asian states was seen as a serious step towards each other.

Pakistan's external debt at the end of 2000 amounted to around 37 billion US dollars, a sum that also shows the current military government that it is dependent on international donors.

The global effects of the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 gave Pakistan a new position in the international world. Since then, Musharraf's difficult balance has secured his country generous rewards for his war followers and international recognition for the dictator (visits to Paris, London and the USA). In the long term, however, this could increase the acceptance of Islamist positions in the population - the majority of whom reject the attacks of the "Alliance against Terror" on Afghanistan.


(1) The term ulama denotes Islamic religious scholars who deal with theological and religious-legal studies (singular: Alim)

(2) The completion of the Karakoram Highway, a year-round navigable connection between China and Pakistan through the high mountains, took place in 1982.

(3) What is meant are those that emerged from the Baghdad Pact Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) and since 1964 the Regional Cooperation for Development

(4) Sunnah, literally: "beaten path", tradition, custom. To Sunnah include both the words and the deeds of the Prophet reported in hadiths. They complement the Koran, the main source of Islamic belief.

(5) This modern term, translated as "Islamic order", is mostly used by Islamists to delimit the Islamic model of society from Western modernity.

(6) The community of Islamic believers. The term is also often used to denote the term nation.

(7) Sharia was derived from the Koran, Hadith - collections of credible tradition of the lived example of Mohammad -, Idjma (Consensus of scholars) and other sources designed as a binding code of conduct.

(8) Zakat (Arabic: Zaka - cleanse, grow) is the duty of man to God to make a social contribution and thus to cleanse his property. According to the Sharia, 2.5% of the annual savings. explained.

(9) The Islamic sect of the Ahmadiyya was founded in 1880 by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad from Qadian in British India. Religious founder Ahmad claimed that the promised Messiah - Mahdi - to be. The Ahmadiyya or Qadjani have been discriminated against since the founding of the Pakistani state and in 1984 under ul-Haq they became "Non-Muslims"


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