The Fractious Path: Pakistan's Democratic Transition

The Fractious Path: Pakistan's Democratic Transition

by Raza Rumi

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Since its creation in 1947, Pakistan has oscillated between weak democratic governments and brutal military dictatorships, the latter ruling for about half its existence. In 2013, for the first time, there was a peaceful transfer of power from a democratic government that had completed its tenure to another. The question is: will it last?

To understand this, Raza Rumi examines the crucial years between 2008 and 2013, which marked the transition from General Pervez Musharraf's authoritarian regime to a democratic order. Pakistan underwent a series of turbulent events in 2007, including the assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December of that year. Two months later, the elections returned her party to power, putting in place a hybrid military-democratic government. Grappling with the spillover of conflict in Afghanistan, jihadist insurgency and a fragile economy, Pakistan's democracy had to contend with the imbalances inherent to the country's power structure.

Reporting from the ground as these political developments were unravelling, Rumi provides a unique window on contemporary Pakistan - its democratic transition, internal security, extremism, governance, foreign policy and the future of democracy in the country.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789351777311
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers India
Publication date: 05/10/2016
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 372
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Raza Ahmad Rumi is a Pakistani policy analyst, journalist and an author. Currently, he is the editor, Daily Times (Pakistan). He is Visiting Faculty at Cornell Institute for Public Affairs and has taught at Ithaca College and New York University. Rumi has been a fellow at United States Institute for Peace and National Endowment for Democracy. Earlier, he worked for the Asian Development Bank as a Governance Specialist and an officer in the Pakistan Administrative Service. Rumi is the author of Delhi by Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Traveller, The Fractious Path: Pakistan's Democratic Transition and Identity and Faith and Conflict.

Table of Contents

Preface xi

I Democratic Transition

Introduction 3

1 Pakistan's Ruling Coalition Must Not Splinter 6

2 Suicide Democrats 11

3 To Undo the Vicious Past 15

4 Should We Bid Farewell to Democracy in Pakistan? 21

5 How Instability Is Garnered 27

6 Democratic Governance Is the Only Option 34

7 Pakistan's Democracy Remains Fragile 42

8 Consensus Is Vital for Democracy 50

9 Governance Crises Cannot be Tackled by Old Formula of Changing Faces 56

10 Will the Court Punish Officials Who Violated their Oath? 61

11 Time for Complete Justice 67

12 Challenges of Political Transition 72

13 A Risky Transition? 78

II Security, Conflict & Extremism

Introduction 85

1 On Benazir's Death 87

2 Suicide Bombing-The Narratives of Terror 90

3 Confronting Militancy 94

4 What Is the Threat? What Is the Way Out? 99

5 Salmaan Taseer's Assassination and State Failures 105

6 Address Radicahzation Before It's Too Late 111

7 Karachi Continues to Bleed 119

8 Myth and Reality of Extremism 125

9 The Killing of Shias Is a Rude Wake-up Call for the State and Society 131

10 Fighting the Existential Battle 138

11 Polio. Extremism and a Failing State 144

12 Reassessing Pakistan's Security Paradigm 150

13 Different Strands ofViolence 155

14 Balochistan - Pushed to the Wall 161

15 It's Time to Engage with Baloch Nationalists 167

III Governance, Institutions & Reform

Introduction 173

1 Civil Service Reform for Improving State Capacity 175

2 Poverty and Inequality - The Brewing Storm 181

3 Pakistani Reform - The Task Ahead 185

4 Pakistan's Crumbling Institutions 192

5 Innovations for Public Accountability 199

6 A Reform Agenda to Address Challenges 205

7 18th Amendment - More Questions than Answers 210

8 Devolution - Unpacking the Higher Education Commission Debate 216

9 Devolution of Powers-The Challenges Ahead 223

10 Towards a Decentralized Pakistan 230

11 The Debate on New Provinces in Pakistan 238

12 Tackling the Local Governance Crisis 244

13 Civil Service Is No Longer an Alluring Job for the Youth 249

14 Dealing with the Devastating Floods 254

IV Foreign Policy

Introduction 265

1 Policy Shifts Not War 267

2 Who Will Win the Game? 271

3 1971 - The Forgotten Silence 275

4 Say No to War 280

5 Irrational Discourse on Raymond Davis 284

6 Saving a Rocky Relationship 290

7 Pakistan - Fixing the Civil-Military Imbalance 295

8 No More Escape Routes 302

9 Time to Move On 307

V Media

Introduction 315

1 Pakistan's Media Opinion - The Column Industry 316

2 Beyond Censorship 322

3 Media Should Not Turn into a Holy Cow 327

4 Media Freedoms and judicial Accountability 333

5 Through the Looking Glass 339

6 Responsibility Must Anchor Freedom 343

Epilogue 349

Acknowledgements 355

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