The military oligarchy occupied a dominant position and has been in effective command of state power ever since the creation of the state. This oligarchy installed politicians and political parties in office to provide a façade of parliamentary government for adecade; it then decided to expel them in 1958, when the prospects of the impending general elections seemed to pose a challenge to its supremacy. The intervention of this oligarchy and more particularly, of the military, became more effective and intensified when the new state started facing problems of vast magnitude. These included inexperienced and inadequate administrative staff, a massive refugee problem, poor economic resources, regional conflicts, the decline of the Muslim League and the advent of coalitional politics and unstable governments. This ultimately led to the collapse of the parliamentary system, the utter failure on the part of the political leadership to provide a functioning civilian government by developing a consensus on the rules of polity, and the total indifference of the elites towards the masses and their problems.
Causes of Military Intervention in Pakistan: A Revisionist Discourse It is interesting that India and Pakistan provide illustrations of the contrasting as well as changing patterns of civil-military relations. The most outstanding contribution of British rule in India in the field of military administration was the norm and practice of civil-military relations which emphasized overall civilian control and the military’s aloofness from politics.1 However, in Pakistan, after little more than eleven years of the façade of civilian parliamentary government, the military intervened and imposed its own rule. On four occasions, the
military intervened overtly and imposed martial law throughout the country: October 1958, March 1969, July 1977 and October 1999. The military justified its extreme action on the ground of instability in the country. In 1958, General Muhammad...
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