Government and Politics in South Asia

By Craig Baxter; Yogendra K. Malik et al. | Go to book overview
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Policy Issues

THE POLICIES THAT PAKISTAN'S LEADERS have pursued are as important as the constitutional forms of government the country has had. This chapter traces the policies of five of Pakistan's most important leaders (from 1958) and the effects of their policies on the institutions of the state.

Ayub's Regime (1958-1969): The Military as Praetorians

Ayub believed in centralized authoritarian government. He was convinced that the people of Pakistan were too uneducated, divided, impoverished, and unsophisticated to form democratic institutions. He was also convinced that Pakistan's politicians were merely self-serving parasites on the body politic. The institutions established and the policies pursued by Ayub were reflective of these biases.

The system of government established by Ayub placed great reliance on Pakistan's civilian bureaucrats. To Ayub, bureaucrats were the ideal ruling elite: They were intelligent, well educated, loyal to the state, and experienced in administration. Therefore, the majority of Ayub's advisers and cabinet ministers were civilians with administrative, legal, financial, or agricultural experience. The most prominent group of such bureaucrats was the Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP), the lineal descendent of the Indian Civil Service (ICS). During Ayub's regime the 400-odd members of the CSP came to dominate virtually every locus of authority in government. 1

Despite his military background, Ayub chose relatively few military officers to staff political or administrative posts. 2 The military served in Ayub's government (especially after 1962) as loyal "praetorians" (the emperor's loyal personal guards during the Roman Empire). Their role was to support the regime from the barracks. Ayub accordingly consciously downplayed his military origins.

Given Ayub's distrust of politicians, it should come as no surprise that his regime limited the importance of the legislature, political parties, and


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