Pakistan has a history of military coups, both successful and unsuccessful, starting from the year 1948 itself after the partition in 1947.In 1958 commander-in-chief General Ayub Khan deposed the government and became the President. Then Yahya Khan succeeded him and ruled from 1969-71. General Zia Ul Haq dislodged the Bhutto’s government in 1977 and declared martial law. Later Bhutto was hanged in 1979 despite international pressure. In the year 1999, when the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif started to restructure the political and electoral systems, General Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency and took the reins. In June 2001, Musharraf named himself as president and was sworn in and remained in power till 2008.
Thus Democracy in Pakistan has always remained in the shackles of military law, whenever the structural reforms were pushed, the coups were staged. The divide between religious and moderate segments of Pakistan also has allowed military to rule Pakistan.
The problem is more complex and grave this time as situation is at flash point and many parties are involved.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yosuf gilani were under tremendous pressure after the killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011, and after memo gate case Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI Chief Lt Gen Pasha are accusing them of conspiring with the US against the army. Gen Kayani’s trip to China and sacking of defence secretary are aggrevating crisis.
Supreme Court chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhary’s looking after the corruption charges and memogate case has also hinted at sacking the government.
Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif wants fresh poles as this situation might help them to gain power.
Ex-President Musharaf wants to end his exile in London and return back to Pakistan.
With US-Pakistan ties are at the lowest point, their fight against terrorism will be inversely impacted in Afghanistan also.
The power of military has grown mainly on account of fear and relationship with India. Whenever such coups and disturbances were observed Wars in 1965, 1971 and Kargil took place. In the past, people considered it a strong non-corruptible institution but with time people have come to see it as a one of the root causes of country’s problems. India on the other hand had to douse this fire in the neighbourhood as it may also adversely affect it.