Pakistan’s “Armored” Democracy

Issue Date October 2003
Volume 14
Issue 4
Page Numbers 26-40
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

Has General Musharraf restored “real” democracy or is civilian rule merely a cover for institutionalizing the military’s political dominance? What explains the stunning electoral performance of the religious parties in the country’s western provinces of the North West Frontier and Baluchistan? Will their newly found political power affect the state and civil society in Pakistan? If so, how? This essay examines the state of democracy in Pakistan in the wake of the deeply flawed general elections held in October 2002. The nature of the political party system is discussed, and the prospects for democratization and its consolidation, as well as structural reforms, are explored in light of the military’s continuing hegemony over the state.

About the Author

Aqil Shah is Wick Cary Assistant Professor of South Asian Politics in the Department of International and Area Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He is a nonresident fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the author of The Army and Democracy: Military Politics in Pakistan (2014).

View all work by Aqil Shah