Pakistan Recent Politics

By | November 6, 2021

The governments of Benazir Bhutto and M. M. Nawaz Sharif (1988-99)

After the PPP’s election victory in November 1988, Benazir Bhutto became the first female prime minister in a Muslim country in December; in August 1990, however, she was dismissed by the President on charges of abuse of office and corruption. The October 1990 elections were won by the Islamic Democratic Alliance; Prime Minister was M. M. Nawaz Sharif. His government led inter alia. a reprivatisation of large industrial companies. A power struggle between President Ishaq Khan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ended after mediation by the army with the resignation of both in July 1993. The parliamentary elections in October 1993 were won by the PPP; Benazir Bhutto became prime minister again. Fought by the opposition under Nawaz Sharif, it was unable to dampen the national debt or the political and religious unrest (especially in Karachi). On charges of corruption and mismanagement, she was again prematurely dismissed in November 1996 by President F. A. Leghari (in office from November 1993). After the PML’s election victory in February 1997, Nawaz Sharif took office as head of government for the second time. In the political power struggle with Leghari, he achieved his resignation (December 1997). The former judge Mohammed Rafiq Tarar (* 1929) became the new president on January 1, 1998. Also in the second term of Nawaz Sharifthe domestic political situation quickly came to a head again: the economic misery brought the country almost to the brink of national bankruptcy, the political and religious unrest in Karachi, but also in Punjab and others, accompanied by numerous acts of violence. Provinces could not be contained. With the aim of further Islamization of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif brought the heavily controversial draft of a constitutional amendment to parliament on August 28, 1998, with which the Basic Law should be made subject to the Koran and the Sunna. In April 1999, Benazir Bhutto, who had fled abroad, and her husband, who had already been imprisoned, were found guilty of corruption and sentenced to five years in prison; in addition, Benazir Bhutto was withdrawn the parliamentary mandate and banned her from exercising public offices for five years.

In addition to armaments efforts in conventional areas, according to philosophynearby, Pakistan continued to develop its nuclear armament program as a nuclear emerging country, which led to tensions with the USA and India, with the latter again in 1998, when Pakistan carried out its own nuclear weapons tests on May 28 and May 30, following the one previously carried out by India conducted nuclear tests reacted. After international protests, sanctions imposed by the USA and a condemnation of the Indo-Pakistani nuclear tests by the UN Security Council, Pakistan announced a nuclear test moratorium on June 11, 1998.

Recent domestic political developments

The PPP candidate, Asif Ali Zardari, won the presidential elections on September 6, 2008. B. Bhutto’s widower received a total of 481 out of 702 votes in the election meeting (took office on 9 September 2008). In March 2009, Chaudry and the other Supreme Court justices were reinstated. On April 19, 2010, a constitutional reform came into force, including severely restricted the powers of the president and strengthened the position of the provinces vis-à-vis the central government. In February 2012, the Supreme Court brought charges against Prime Minister Gilani for disregarding judicial orders. The judges had asked him two years earlier to apply for a retrial against President Zardari in Switzerland. In 2003, Zardari and his wife Benazir Bhutto, who was murdered in 2007, were sentenced to six months in prison on probation for money laundering, but both appealed against them. Due to an amnesty given by the then President Musharraf, Pakistan asked Switzerland in 2007 to drop the case. This amnesty was declared invalid in 2009. The court then ordered Gilani to re-approach the case, citing Zardari’s immunity but refused. Gilani was sentenced on April 26, 2012 for disobeying the court. Since he refused to resign, he was deposed on June 19, 2012 by the court. On June 22nd, 2012 the parliament elected the PPP politician Raja Pervez Ashraf (* 1950) as his successor.

Parliamentary elections were held on May 11, 2013. Despite the tense internal situation, this meant that for the first time in Pakistani history an elected government had survived a full legislative period. In the elections, the opposition PML-N, led by former head of government Nawaz Sharif, became the strongest parliamentary force in front of the ruling PPP party, which suffered heavy losses. The PTI, led by former cricket star I. Khan , became the third largest party. The PML-N held an absolute majority of the seats in the National Assembly. On June 5, 2013 the parliament elected Nawaz Sharif as prime minister. With Mamnoon Hussain the PML-N candidate was elected President on July 30, 2013. The PPP had boycotted the election. A commission of inquiry assessed the course of the election in July 2015 as largely correct. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came under domestic political pressure from 2016 because the names of his children appeared in the so-called Panama Papers. The opposition raised allegations of corruption against the head of government. In April 2017, the Supreme Court ordered the establishment of a commission of inquiry, which presented a report in July 2017, in which inter alia. It was stated that the origin of the Sharif family’s assets could not be adequately proven. On July 28, 2017, the court ruled that Nawaz Sharifis no longer suitable to exercise the office of prime minister. This then announced his resignation. On August 1, 2017, parliament elected the previous oil minister, SK Abbasi , as the new head of government. Nawaz Sharif was sentenced to ten years in prison on July 13, 2018. From the parliamentary elections on July 25, 2018, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), under its chairman I. Khan, emerged as the strongest party with 116 seats in the National Assembly, but failed to gain an absolute majority. The PML-N, led by Shebaz Sharif since March 2018, fell back to 63 mandates, while the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was led by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari came to 43 seats. The turnout was around 55%. The losing parties accused the election winner of election fraud. Nine million women had registered as voters for the first time. Imran Khan was elected the new Prime Minister on August 17, 2018 by the Pakistani National Assembly with 176 votes.

Pakistan Recent Politics