Authoritarianism in Pakistan
Pakistan has remained under both de facto and de jure authoritarian rule for the most part of its existence. It has led to a weakening of institutions, including the media, which is harmful from the perspective of the country’s evolution as a true democracy. It is because of this menace that the country is still struggling to function as a state. Political instability, economic deprivation and terrorism can be laid at the door of this deficiency in our system. Whether Pakistan acquired this authoritarian steak after independence because of the weaknesses of its political parties, mainly the founder of Pakistan, Muslim League, or the vice is rooted in the pre-independence mindset and factors are an enlightened debate. Using an analytical method of inquiry, this article attempts to trace the roots of authoritarianism in Pakistan by using the data in the form of books available on the subject. Authoritarianism is a malaise that has tainted Pakistani politics since time immemorial. Authoritarian rule has also affected media freedom in the country, with negative effect on democracy. The state of the media in Pakistan after independence can vouchsafe for this fact. There are innumerable reasons for this but to understand the phenomenon of political authoritarianism in South Asia, particularly Pakistan; one has to trace its roots to the pre-partition era of Indian Subcontinent. From great Mauryan ruler Asoka to the Mughals, all rulers have practiced authoritarianism in one way or the other. The British were no different. They practiced their own set of authoritarianism. “In the Indian Subcontinent, the whole concept of the power of the monarch differed from that of European feudalism, in which the king had authority over all persons and things in his domain. This authority was delegated to the lords and the barons who vowed allegiance to him....