South Asia Monitor: Pakistan's Upcoming Elections: Controlling Democracy - October 1, 2002
October 1, 2002
Anyone who expects the upcoming Pakistani elections to make major changes in the way Pakistan is governed is likely to be disappointed. The elections for the National and Provincial Assemblies of Pakistan, described by President Musharraf as a step toward "true democracy," will be a transition to civilian rule under Musharraf’s control, rather than a transition to fully functioning democracy. Musharraf and his elected colleagues will still have major problems to deal with, the most pressing being to rebuild the institutions of the state, meet the increasingly brazen challenge of the militant organizations, and encourage investment in the real economy. Historically, Pakistan has not used transitions of this sort to strengthen its institutions. Pakistan's future may hinge on whether this time is different.