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Research Proposal


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Election 2008: A Case Study of Pakistan People’s Party in Punjab

Prof.Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Chawla

Ahmad Abrar Rana


Master of philosophy

Muhammad Iqbal Chawla Ahmad Abrar Rana 09 Master of philosophy Department of History University of the

Department of History

University of the Punjab



The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking

down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because

they are different from other men.

“Studies of voting behavior in this country are conspicuous by their absence.”

There are few countries in the world where elections have played as critical a

role in the establishment and subsequent political history of a country as they

have in Pakistan. In the elections of 2008, held in Pakistan gained its

independence; the central issue of the Pakistan People’s Party campaign was

the demand for Democracy.

Elections have therefore played a central role in Pakistan's creation, its break-

up, and its extended experiences with military dictatorships. According to

elections history in the state, Pakistan had many national elections as it did in

the previous years, by the standards of Pakistan's turbulent electoral history,

the elections of 1970,1977,1985, 1988, J990, 1993, 1997,2002 and 2008 were

remarkably uneventful and in each case led to peaceful changes in government.

Pakistan's march towards electoral democracy has been characterized by

constitutional break-downs, military coups, civil war, frequent dissolution of

parliament and arbitrary electoral reforms. Infect. Politics of elections in

Pakistan can be analyzed largely in terms of incessant efforts of the military

bureaucratic elite to stall the electoral process within the framework of

parliamentary democracy.

The 2008 elections in Pakistan are important in two ways: First, they represent

the crucial continuity factor in the post-1970 democratization process, given

the fact that Pakistan has a chequered history of democracy characterized by

recurrent phases of military intervention in politics. The fact that these

elections have been held smoothly and relatively transparently reflects the

democratic potential of the Pakistan society.

What do elections mean for growth of democracy in Pakistan? How to describe

the impact of elections on the political system of this country? Has Pakistan

moved in the direction of a civil society after going through a process of












significance of Islamic sectarian loyalties, caste and tribal influence, class

interests, partisan commitments, leadership factor and civic consciousness in

general in shaping the electoral behavior of the voting public? How far can the

outcome of elections be related to the prevalent electoral system based on the

first-past-the-post system and the majoritarian principle? Is there room for

electoral reform? Can we say that the 2008 elections have made a positive

contribution to political stability in Pakistan? How does it help the latter attain

a higher level of acceptance in the world community as a democratic country?

Do international election observers matter in shaping the world opinion in this


Indeed, for most of its sixty-one years history, Pakistan effectively has been

governed by a military-bureaucratic oligarchy. For more than half of this

period, military governments have ruled directly and at other times as thinly









supremacy has been challenged by rising middle class politicians and urban

party leaders, which have 'come to power' through elections.

The best chance during this half century for a political leader to permanently

curb the power of the military-bureaucratic oligarchy occurred in December

1971, when Zulifkar Ali Bhutto was named President and Chief Martial Law

Administrator. Two unprecedented developments of enormous consequence

had occurred in Pakistan. First, in the 1970 elections, Bhutto had led his

Pakistan People's Party to victory in the country's key province, Punjab, by

galvanizing the

common man behind his programme of Islamic Socialism and promise of roti,

kapra, makan ('bread, clothing, housing'). Never before had the rural peasant or

urban worker so broken with his customary leadership, the rural landlord and

the urban union godfather, to assert his independent political rights as he did in

1970. Second, in having lost East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, and a war with

India, the military was completely discredited. In the end, of course, Bhutto

failed to finally curb the power of the military-bureaucratic oligarchy, a failure

which cost him his own life at the hands of a General.

We come now to the final part of this study, where some conclusions and

perspectives are required about the Pakistan People's Party and its place in the

political development of Punjab, Here, in the form of an Epilogue; we shall

take a general look at the post-election development of the PPP. This will

enable us to extend our observation of the party to its period of organizational

decline and the decisive shifting of its social base. These perspectives should

help to confirm what we will describe about the character of the PPP, its

manifesto of 2008 elections, its campaign in the election, and the achievement

in urbane and rural areas of Punjab.

This is meant to answer some of these questions. In order to understand the

problem of electoral democracy in general and the political significance of the












framework. During the last two hundred years, conceptual understanding of

democracy has moved from a moralistic and philosophical approach to an

empirical and procedural approach. The foundation of the classical theory of

liberal democracy lay in the belief in man's rational faculties.

Statement of the Problem:

Studies of elections in Pakistan are few in number. This is not surprising in

view of the fact that relatively few elections at the local, provincial and

National level were ever held in the Country, especially in the first two decade

after independence. For a long time, Pakistan was considered a typically non-

election country. Accordingly, it attracted few scholars to take up serious

academic investigations into the electoral phenomenon as and when it unfolded

in Pakistan. Secondly, elections were held under different legal-constitutional

systems which were often arbitrarily imposed on the nations. The present

research is an attempt to fill some of these gaps in the study of elections in

Pakistan. The research seeks to provide a historical and structural perspective

on the phenomenon of electoral politics. It then moves on to look at the

determinants of the 2008 political crisis, followed by a discussion of the

attitudinal characteristics of the caretakers Governments. It analyzes the

elections campaign the major actors on the political scene and mod of

electioneering at macro and micro levels.

In order to build an analytical framework for our study of the 2008 elections,

we drew upon the contemporary theoretical approaches to elections on the one

hand and the comparative perspectives on elections in Punjab . Our purpose is

to draw a comprehensive picture of the 2008 elections and project their

meaning for the genuine reader. In the following sections, I will summarize my

observations in an attempt to define the macro and micro level electoral

behavior respectively.

Review of literature:

This is a fact that there is a great number of material available on this topic but not very much. There are many books been written on the Election but we have not enough Information about the philosophy of election, phenomenon of election and the typical situation of elections in Pakistan.

There have been many debates in the different school of thought on the election but this is evidently clear that election traditions are so different in every place or country. I divide my concerned books in two groups because will be definitely easy to the research. One group of books deals with the importance of election in the society. A group of books will describe the history of elections in Pakistan and the role of Pakistan People’s Party in the politics. Somehow there are few books that can be very useful to highlight this research.

The 1993 elections in Pakistan by Mohammad Waseem is a beautiful description of the politics of Pakistan. The author has elaborately discusses the philosophy of election and phenomenon of the Pakistani politics and also discuss the impact of elections on the country.

The Pakistan People’s Party: Rise to Power by Philip E. Jones is also a valuable asset for any researcher. It is a licit and vivid description of the foundation and origin of the Pakistan People’s Party. This study describes well the problems of from and substance of the Pakistan People’s Party

Pakistan: A modern history by Ian Talbot is an inquiry into the historical inheritance of Pakistan. The writer has given a due importance in ever- decreasing circles of Pakistani politics and the political problems and confrontations of the country.

The military and politics in Pakistan 1947-1997 by Hasan Askari Rizvi is another book under my consideration. This is an excellent work in which the author described a many aspects of the military intervention in the politics. He explained very skillfully the influence of the military on the Pakistani politics and the responsible factors of the political crisis in Pakistan.

Tentative Outline:


Statement of the problem Review of the literature

Chapter 1: Electoral Politics: A Conceptual framework.

This chapter will briefly cover the philosophy of elections in the world, the

method of electoral politics in Pakistan especially in Punjab and the electoral

phenomenon in Punjab politics.

Chapter 2: Pakistan People’s Party: An overview.

In this chapter I will try to delineate the formation of Pakistan People’s

Party, its discipline and objectives of politics. The chapter three also describes

the Campaigning for the restoration of democracy from Pakistan people’s party

in the past and 2008 elections.

Chapter 3: Electoral politics: A Historical Context.

This chapter discusses the history of the election in Punjab province in the

Light of 1970 elections, 1977 elections, 1988 elections, 1993 elections, 1999











awareness of Political parties and their campaign for the elections.

Chapter 4: Performance and achievements of 2008 elections.

This chapter includes the almost whole details of 2008 Elections and the

all political parties’ participation in the election. It will also give a wide picture

of the Manifesto and the results of this election, the response of people and the

Achievements in the election 2008.







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