Diogenes 53 (4):102 - 115 (2006)

This paper deals with the nature and direction of constitutional thinking and practice in Pakistan. It is argued that the country reflects a general malaise of post-colonial societies characterized by tension between the locus of power in the politico-administrative machinery and the source of legitimacy in the constitution. In the post-independence period, the State increasingly absorbed pressures from the newly enfranchised public, which sought to reshape politics in pursuit of nationalist goals. The institutional-constitutional framework of the post-colonial state was ill-equipped to accommodate much less to sponsor and pursue these goals in earnest. This led to a general accusation of institutional decay, leading to a crisis of democracy. The inherent institutional imbalance between bureaucracy and politicians in Pakistan made a mockery of such constitutional provisions as parliamentary sovereignty, procedural and substantive aspects of the legislative process at the federal and provincial levels and the principle of the government’s accountability to its public representatives
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DOI 10.1177/0392192106070361
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