Thursday, September 9, 2010

Civilian Governments Cut Short - Quoting Numbers to Emphasise the Strength of Pakistan's Military-Bureaucratic Elite

This is a direct quote from Kamran Shafi's column of 26th January 2010, where he begins with citing the length of time that various governments in Pakistan's history have lasted. The column was called Of This and That:

Below, without comment a list of Pakistan’s various governments and the approximate periods of their rule, or misrule if you will. ‘Caretaker’ governments or those such as Mr Mohammad Khan Junejo’s, Mr Zafarullah Jamali’s and the Private Banker’s have been excluded from the list because army dictators ruled the roost then. The periods of dictatorships are in italics:
Liaquat Ali Khan: 1,500 days; Khwaja Nazimuddin: 900 days; Mohammad Ali Bogra: 840 days; Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy: 390 days; I.I. Chundrigar: 60 days; Malik Feroz Khan Noon: 300 days; Iskandar Mirza, Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan: 4,745 days; Zulfikar Ali Bhutto: 2,205 days; Ziaul Haq: 4,015 days; Benazir Bhutto: 635 days; Nawaz Sharif: 880 days; Nawaz Sharif: 56 days; Benazir Bhutto: 1,125 days; Nawaz Sharif: 970 days; Pervez Musharraf: 3,285 days; and the present one whose several obituaries have already been written: 720 days.

Major Kamran Shafi is a Retired Officer of the Pakistan Army.
In the nineties, he worked as a speechwriter for Benazir Bhutto, and subsequently is a PPP supporter.

Although, with the degeneration of the Pakistani state's capacity to deal with various crises, one has to wonder how much strength the state has in comparison to say, the Islamists, who seem to have set as their goal the destruction of Pakistan's military and police forces so that they may eventually rule parts or all of the country. We know that the state's bureaucracy/military is powerful in comparison to the political parties, but it would be fascinating to get a firm number on how much more powerful than the state the combined Islamist forces are.

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