The Political System of
Political and Religious positions
Presented by Frances Hill and Amanda Bailey
Brief History of Pakistan
• Pakistan was first established as an
independent nation on August 14 in
• Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of
Pakistan, emphasised the
importance of Islam.
Religious composition of Pakistan
• 97% Muslim
– 77% Sunni-Muslim
– 20% Shi-a-Muslim
• Remaining 3% Christian, Hindu, Sikh or
Government of Pakistan
Government of Pakistan
• President acts on advice of Prime
• May adopt absolute power to
dissolve National Assembly,
according to the 8th Amendment of
Islam in Government
• Increased involvement of Islam in the
Pakistani Government since 1984
• Enforcement of Sharia or Islamic Law
• Assessment by the Shariat/Islamic Court
regarding federal laws
Military in Government
• The Military long standing force in Pakistani
• The President General Pervez Musharraf was
never elected, came to power after a military
take-over of government in 1999
• Resigned as Army Chief of Staff in November
• Regarding Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan accords
with UN Security Council Resolutions
– developments and changes are to be made
according to the will of the Kashmiri people
• Pakistan is willing to take a bilateral approach
with India in order to begin constructive
dialogues regarding Jammu & Kashmir.
• President Musharraf (2008) says Pakistan is a
peaceful country, but a strong national
defence is important in maintaining peace.
• Musharraf (2008) maintains an adequate
defence force in Pakistan is necessary to
defend the country and to support its
Pakistan’s foreign policy
Pakistan’s foreign policy as proclaimed by Quaid-e-Azam
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, to the people of the USA in February
“Our foreign policy is one of friendliness and goodwill towards
the nations of the world. We do not cherish aggressive
designs against any country or nation. We believe in the
principle of honesty and fair play in national and international
dealings and are prepared to make our utmost contribution to
the promotion of peace and prosperity among the nations of
the world. Pakistan will never be found lacking in extending its
material and moral support to the oppressed and suppressed
peoples of the world, and in upholding the principles of the
United Nations Charter.”
(Muhammad Ali Jinnah 1948, in Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2008a)
Five Principals of Friendly Co-existence
• Mutual respect for the independence, sovereignty,
equality, territorial integrity and national identity of
• The right of every state to lead its national existence
free from external interference, subversion or
• Non-interference in the internal affairs of one
• Settlement of differences or disputes by peaceful
means; and the
• Renunciation of the threat or use of force;
– United Nations;
– Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC);
– South Asian Association for Regional
Cooperation (SAARC); and the
– Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO);
(Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2007, p.1)
2007 Foreign Affairs
• In spite of turmoil and insecurity in Pakistan
• State remained focused on:
• Promotion of regional and international peace and
• Economic and social development of the country
• Welfare of its people.
• Maintained and improved relations with
neighbors and major world powers
(Kasuri 2007, p.3)
Negotiations & Actions 2006-7
• Joined the international coalition against terrorism
• Initiated dialogue with India regarding Kashmir dispute
• Supported initiatives and contributed to reconstruction
efforts in Afghanistan
• Deployed forces to counter extremism on the border
between Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal areas
• Deepened relations with the US
• dismantled the AQ Khan network in Pakistan
• Maintained and developed ongoing relations with
China, Iran, Russia and Japan
• Maintained close relations with their ‘brotherly Islamic
countries including Turkey and special relations with
Gulf countries in particular with Saudi Arabia and
United Arab Emirates (UAE)’ (Kasuri 2007, p.3-4).
Religion in Pakistan politics
Islam in constitution
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973,
• Whereas sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to
Almighty Allah alone, and the authority to be exercised by
the people of Pakistan within the limits prescribed by Him
is a sacred trust…
• Wherein the principles of democracy, freedom, equality,
tolerance and social justice, as enunciated by Islam, shall be
• Wherein the Muslims shall be enabled to order their lives
in the individual and collective spheres in accordance with
the teachings and requirements of Islam as set out in the
Holy Quran and Sunnah.
Constitution Articles pertaining to
• Article 31: relates to supporting the Muslims of Pakistan in
the Islamic way of life.
– the provision of facilities; and
– the compulsory teaching of the Holy Quran and Sunnah, as a
means of promoting unity and the observance of Islamic moral
• Article 40: relates to the strengthening of bonds with other
Muslim countries based on Islamic unity and the promotion
of international peace and security.
• Article 41: states the minimum requirements of an elected
president, which include that he must be a Muslim.
Constitution Articles pertaining to
• Article 227: provides that all existing laws are brought into
‘conformity with the Injunctions of Islam as laid down in the
Holy Quran and Sunnah’.
• Article 228: provides for the establishment of a council of
Islamic ideology( the Islamic Council) and the responsibilities
of the president in relation to the establishment of the
members of the Islamic Council.
• Article 229, refers to the provision that members of
parliament may seek advice from the Islamic Council on
matters regarding proposed law and whether they are
compatible to the Injunctions of Islam.
• Article 230, provides for matters referring to the functions of
the Islamic Court.
Role of Islam in Pakistan
• Islam established as state ideology to distinguish
Pakistan’s identity as separate from Hindu India.
• Islam used as the basis for the creation and
unification of a separate state, not expected to
serve as a model for government (Blood 1994).
• Islam remains an important element of national
identification and is a central issue in Pakistan’s
(Haqqani 2004, pp.87-9)
Controversy over Islam’s role
• Islamic ideology is essential to bind its
culturally diverse people together.
• Insistence on Islamic ideology, in
opposition to regional demands, has
alienated regional groups and eroded
national unity (Pakistan 2008).
Islam in Pakistan
• Islam deeply rooted in Pakistan’s history
• Links to Pakistani military and the Pakistani
elite’s world view (Haqqani 2004, p.85).
• Military rule fomented religious military
presence in Pakistan.
• Islamists gained disproportionate influence
over the country’s overall direction.
• Islam used as the means of achieving a
common bond and unity (Haqqani 2004,
While Islamic ideology remains
important in Pakistan, the
implications exacerbated by military
rule and fundamentalism complicate
Pakistan’s political situation and
reduce its ability to be identified as a
functional modern state.
• Association of South East Asian Nations 2006, Overview, viewed 10 May 2008,
• Bielawska, A 2008, State Church Relations, unpublished.
• Blood, P 1994, ed. Pakistan: A Country Study. Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, viewed
5 May 2008, <http://countrystudies.us/pakistan/>.
• Haqqani, H 2004, The Role of Islam in Pakistan’s Future, The Washington Quarterly • 28:1 pp. 85–
96, viewed 4 May 2008 <http://www.twq.com>.
• Infopak.gov.pk n.d., Information of Pakistan, Basic facts, viewed 4 May 2008,
• Kasuri, KM 2007, in Foreign Office Year Book 2006-7, Message from the Minister of Foreign Affairs,
viewed 10 May 2008, <http://www.mofa.gov.pk>.
• Pakistan 2008, In Encyclopædia Britannica, viewed 6 May 2008 <http://www.britannica.com>.
• Pakistani Student Association 2008, National Emblem, viewed 10 May 2008, <
• Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2007, Foreign Office year Book 2006-7, viewed 10 May 2008,
• Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2008b, Pakistan Foreign Relations 2003-
• 4, Year Book, viewed 10 May 2008, <www.mofa.gov.pk >.
• Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2008a, Pakistan: Brief Introduction, viewed 4 May 2008,
• The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973, viewed 4 May 2008,
• Witte, G 2007, Bhutto Assassination Sparks Chaos, Washington Post Foreign Service, 28 December;
Page A01, viewed 6 May 2008, <http://www.washingtonpost.com> .