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A Factor in East Pakistan's Separation: Political Parties or Leadership.

Byline: Rizwan Ullah Kokab and Massarrat Abid

The separation of East Pakistan was culmination of the weakness of certain institutions of Pakistan's political system. This failure of the institutions was in turn the result of the failure of the leadership of Pakistan who could not understand the significance of the political institutions and could not manoeuvre the institutions for the strength and unity of Pakistan. Like in every political system the political parties were one of the major institutions in Pakistan which could enable the federation of Pakistan to face the challenge of separatism successfully. This paper will examine how any national political party could not grow and mature in Pakistan and thus a deterrent of the separatism could not be established. The paper will also reveal that the political parties were not strengthened by the leaders who always remained stronger than the parties and continued driving the parties for the sake of their personal political motives.

The existence of political parties in any federation provides the link among various diverse units of the state. The parties bring the political elements of different regions close on the basis of common ideology and programme. In return, these regions establish their close ties with the federation. The national, instead of the regional political parties, guarantee the national integration and become an agent of unity among the units and provinces. The conspiracies against the state often take place by the individuals while the party culture often supports the issue-based politics.

In a Pakistan that was 'moth-eaten,' (as its founding-father Quaid-i-Azam called it) 'geographic absurdity' and divided into two wings with a thousand miles of hostile territory between them1, the deliberate establishment of links between the two wings was very much necessary as the two wings of Pakistan had very little in common demography, topography, geography, or even in culture. The ethnic, climatic and economic distinctions between the both parts of Pakistan were substantial.2 On the other hand, there existed external dangers in the form of hostile neighbour like India and also internal challenge of Bengali separatist movement.

In the result of successful Bengali Movement, Pakistan disintegrated in 1971 when its Eastern Wing was separated and a new state Bangladesh appeared on the globe. During twenty-four years of united Pakistan, its leadership committed many mistakes and various situations were mishandled. The analysis of the Bengali Movement as a whole since its start in 1947 reveals that on many occasions and in many fields, the sage leadership could reverse the course of the events and Pakistan's integration could be saved.

Two limitations of the Pakistani leadership regarding the political parties affected the unity of Pakistan to a large extent. Firstly in a political culture where growth of political parties was barred, the development of national political party was another neglected area that required proper attention and action of Pakistan leadership. The position of Pakistan Muslim League, the only national political party at the time of establishment of Pakistan, weakened in the course of time and no other national party could emerge. Secondly, the parties were less important than the leadership proving that leadership more than the institution of political parties was responsible for the debacle of East Pakistan.

While the national political parties comprising of the political workers of the both wings would have been a consolidating factor and they were very much essential for the unique nature of Pakistani polity, in practical, the problem was that no national party could survive and the regional parties had become stronger than national ones. The development of regional parties proved to be injurious for the federation of Pakistan when in the critical times regional political parties having no following and organisation in the other wing won the elections in their respective areas and no national party could join the people of the country together.

0The obvious division between the political parties of the two wings of Pakistan appeared in sheer and dangerous form when in elections held on 7th December, 1970 for 300 seats of National Assembly of Pakistan, the East Pakistan based Awami League secured 160 out of 162 East Wing's seats. While no West Pakistan based party including Pakistan People's Party, the largest party of West Pakistan and second largest seat-winner in the National Assembly, could bag no seat in East Pakistan. Thus, the division in the political parties proved initial point of the final crisis that ended with the separation of East Pakistan.

Pakistan Muslim League's National Status Declines Pakistan Muslim League (PML), being the founder-party of Pakistan, could be helpful in making a strong and viable bridge between the political groups of both wings. When it succeeded in achieving the country in 1947, it was organized on a national scale with the full paraphernalia of secretariats, working committees, publicity and with corresponding organisation at provincial level sending delegates to the All-Pakistan Muslim League Council. But its organisation was loose, unwieldy and subject to continual internal stress. 3 It lacked the strong party structure to control and enforce discipline over the regional supporters and for expanding the party's influence its central leader was completely dependent on the provincial leaders.

However, the PML enjoyed the mass support behind it in 1947 which could provide any mass leader a strong backing if he worked for the organisation of the Party. Moreover, despite all the faults and weakness in its organisation, PML had the unique status of being the only party in Pakistan what was virtually a one- party state. Almost every figure of importance on both the central and provincial governments was its member. Fifty-seven of the seventy-four members of the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan were affiliated with the PML and it was unconceivable that a government could be formed without its support.

PML also remained the ruling party in Centre for more than seven years after the establishment of Pakistan. With the creation of Pakistan, the All India Muslim League assumed power in the new state, in which Quaid-i-Azam M. A. Jinnah became the first Governor General and Liaquat Ali Khan, the general secretary and leader of the League parliamentary party, formed the first ministry. On the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan in 1952, Khawaja Nazimuddin was elected as the Prime Minister as well as the party leader. When his ministry was dismissed in April 1953, the new Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Bogra was elected the party's president on 18th October, 1953. Muslim League thus remained in power till October, 1954 when the first Constituent Assembly was dissolved. It also remained the ruling party in the provinces in one way or the other till 1954.

But the leadership of PML, in the lust of power, did not learn the principles of party organisation. There can be little honest disagreement with Suhrawardy's indictment of the PML as 'a ruthless oligarchy in which the interests of the country, the views of the people and canons of justice and fair play, were being brushed aside in the struggle for power.6 The party often remained leader centred. The party's council remained in the state of lethargy and it met only four times during six important years from 1949 to 1955.7 The leaders often committed mistakes in party organisation.

In the early months of Pakistan's life, in continuation of the situations during the freedom movement, both Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan exercised a close control over the policy of party to ensure that it was either in line with Government policy or vague enough to be innocuous.8 In February 1948, an organizing committee, with Choudhury Khaliquzzaman as the Chief Organizer, was appointed to supervise the work of restructuring the PML. The process of reorganization took nearly a year and was marked by factional controversies and poorly organized enrolments.9 Choudhury Khaliquzzaman failed to provide the resolute and effective leadership which was needed to transform the PML from a body of agitators with a well defined fighting creed into the leading political party of the new state.

He had reputation for intrigue but commanded otherwise little influence or respect. He appeared to serve chiefly as a pawn in manoeuvres between the provinces and Centre.

The PML leadership, very soon managed to lose mass support in East Pakistan. Abul Mansur Ahmad explains this process of losing the mass following in the largely populated province of Pakistan describing that the newly organized League limited the mass membership in East Pakistan. The PML leaders disbanded the party in East Bengal excusing the division of Bengal; they formed an ad-hoc committee with their own trusted people and they kept the membership books for the new PML under their own control. A. R. Khan in his book, Ojaratir Dui Bachar Dhaka has written at length about his encounter with Maulana Akram Khan, provincial organizer of the League, who managed to restrict the membership of PML in East Pakistan. Mahmud Ali who was at the time President of the East Pakistan Youth League, in his interview with Badruddin Umar, confirmed this.

The PML's influence in East Pakistan decreased also due to a fundamental amendment adopted in PML's constitution in October 1952. Through that amendment, the representation of various provinces in the central council of the party was determined on the principle of parity on the basis of population between East and West Pakistan.

The pre-independence division of PML in East Pakistan into three major factions -Nazimmuddin faction, Fazlul Huq faction and Suhrawardy faction - was there when in the early days of Pakistan, Nazimuddin faction ultimately took hold over party organisation and got the positions in Central League. Surhrawardy faction with its organizational capability enjoyed the hold over the mobilized urban literati groups, especially the students of East Pakistan. The Fazlul Huq faction though organizationally weak yet possessed mass support of Bengalis behind it. These two factions fell out with the central PML hierarchy, one of the reasons being their disagreement over the issue of Bengal's political autonomy. Another group led by Maulana Bhashani, which had its main strength in Assam and Sylhet,14 broke away from the party in February 1948, due to the appointment of Maulana Akram Khan as the provincial organizer.

The parting of the major factions in whole Pakistan deinstitutionalised the Pakistan Muslim League. Khawaja Nazimuddin, in order to become the president of the League, secured an amendment to its constitution which would have disqualified his seeking election to the office. During his tenure as the president of the party he was neither able to establish a properly functioning Working Committee nor to impose his will in the factional clashes of the provincial branches of League.

The institutional foundation of the PML was further undermined when, at its Dhaka meeting of October 1952 over which Khawaja Nazimuddin presided, constitutional provision for the annual election of the office bearers was removed.16 Thus the office bearers could continue enjoying the privileges of the offices of party for a longer period without any mandate from the members of party. Ultimately, the party could easily be driven by the non-elected office bearers.

The hold of premiers over PML till 1955 eventually snatched its popularity. The principle of separation of the leadership of the party from the government offices was relaxed for a long time till Ch. Muhammad Ali took decision in this direction in 1955 when he gave leadership of the party to Sardar Abd-ur-Rab Nishtar. He raised hope that for the first time in the eight years' history of the country, the League would, once again become the vehicle of reconstruction and reform.

Not only did the party's heads of state damage the repute and image of the League, other ruling personalities also played a role to dent this sole national party. Considerable damage to the party took place at the formation of Republican Party by Chief Minister West Pakistan Dr. Khan Sahib under the influence of President of Pakistan General Iskandar Mirza. The power-seeking leaders preferred to leave the PML when the Central Working Committee of the party ordered the ministers in the West Pakistan cabinet of Dr. Khan Sahib to resign or be expelled from the party. PML was hit hard because it had not popular support18 and the leaders who were leaving the party did not fear from any backlash from the workers within the party and their following in general. Those who remained in the party did not have the capability to make it a national force.

In October 1958, Martial Law was enforced in Pakistan and the political parties were banned to function. After the revival of parties that was allowed in 1962, the Conventional Muslim League was formed under the patronage of President of Pakistan General Muhammad Ayub Khan. General Ayub had agreed to revive the party politics as a political compulsion. He did not have personal liking and bent towards the party politics. Therefore, when he was elected party president in May 1963, he did not desire personally to activate any party and due to stronger belief in personal endeavours, he did not try to reorganize the Muslim League. It was why that though he ran 1965 presidential election on the party ticket yet he managed the election campaign on his own. He issued his own election manifesto, which the party later adopted. He waged the campaign mainly on his personal record and performance, and not on the party's record.

In the arrangement of the affairs of the Convention Muslim League too, Ayub Khan as the president of the party was the main driving force and the party was secondary to the personality. The members of the almost all important Committees of Convention League were nominated by the president himself. In East Pakistan, party was divided into two factions; one led by the governor, Monem Khan; the other led by his opponents. Intra-party feuds often made the party ineffective in local elections. Moreover, their support was based not on ideological principles but on the personal gain they could derive from the regime. Additionally, the League had been thoroughly discredited in East Pakistan. Thus, the party's unity and claim to national character depended on Ayub. Without him, "it would crumble," as one observer noted, "like a pack of cards." And indeed, following Ayub's downfall, his party was split into three factions.

Convention Muslim League did not get the image of a national party though its programme was based on the unity of the country. Its leadership often concentrated on the ruler of the country who did not pay attention to the organisation of the party but always made efforts to use the party platform in enhancement of his personal image. Thus, the only expected national party could never be utilised for the purpose of unity of the country.

In the Council Muslim League (CML), the Muslim League formed by the majority of old PML leaders who left over the government-sponsored Convention League in 1962 when in a convention of League workers, Convention League was revived, there was a certain amount of disagreement between the principal leaders of the party and the minor figures who had never been conspicuous for loyalty.21 In the elections of the party in 1967, Mumtaz Daulatana won the presidency of CML and all of his nominees were elected for other offices though there were blames of rigging as bogus votes were cast on the agreement of Daulatana.22 Other three candidates for the presidency of the party - Qayyum Khan, Shaukat Hayat and Khawaja Safdar - gradually left the CML. Qayyum Khan and Khawaja Safdar established their own Leagues. In this way the only national party Muslim League was divided into factions or centred round the personalities.

Leaders Fail to Organize National Parties After gradual weakness or virtual demise of PML - single national party in 1947 - no party emerged on the national basis. The political leaders made very few efforts to develop the political parties on the national level. The possibilities to form a national opposition party, Jinnah Awami Muslim League, during early fifties was dissolved because Nawab Iftikhar Hussain Mamdot and his Punjabi supporters objected to the nomination of East Pakistan Awami League members to the Working Committee of the party, as they did not accept the former as part of the parent body of the party.

In the unfavourable conditions for the national parties, the East Pakistan Awami League during 1960s realized that it must either become a "national party" on paper, like the Conventional League and the Council Muslim League, or re-establish its mass contact and risk forfeiting all claims to being a national party; it chose the latter course.24 The AL's national president Nasrullah Khan, differed with the East Pakistan branch of the party on point programme25 which resulted in final rift on disagreement between East and West wings of the party on joining other parties to form the Pakistan Democratic Movement.26 The leader-based party culture could not let Nasrullah Khan keep hold on both wings of his party.

The National Awami Party could function as national party. Its leadership included nationally known figures from both wings. These leaders also had mass support behind them. In East Pakistan, it had Maulana Bhashani. In West Pakistan, it had Abdul Gaffar Khan, Pir of Manki Sharif, Mian Iftikharuddin, G. M. Syed and Mahmoodul Huq Usmani who represented all provinces of this wing of Pakistan. But the unity of purpose in the party cracked after its revival in 1964, when the split between the pro - Peking and pro-Moscow factions began.27 The split parts of Party could not be useful for national purposes because of the lack of will and wish in leadership as well as government.

One considerable East Pakistani party, Nizam-i-Islam, remained regional since its foundation. It could be called a national party only when Chaudhri Muhammad Ali joined it in 1963. Even then, except Chaudhri Muhammad Ali, it lacked leadership as well as membership on the national level. The strength of the party lay mostly in its prime leader, and its organization in both wings of the country remained nearly non- existent.

There is little difference with the contention of Rounaq Jehan that during General Ayub's government, no political party developed as national institution. The Jamat-i-Islami, the Council Muslim League, and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) were largely West Pakistan-based; the Awami League was East Pakistan-based; and the two factions of the National Awami Party, though had interregional organizations, remained fragmented and weak. The regime did not pay enough attention to building a national party of its own, and policy of repression prevented other parties from developing into broad-based national organizations.

The 1970 elections thus showed that there was no national party which could claim to represent both the wings of united Pakistan.29 Awami League that won the elections in Centre as well as in East Pakistan concentrated in East Pakistan. It placed its candidates on all seats that contested in East Pakistan mainly but it chose to put up only a few candidates in West Pakistan. PPP, the party which emerged after the elections 1970 as second largest party in the Centre and that which could become the majority party in West Pakistan, showed its complete unconcern for East Pakistan during the process of nomination of its candidates; it did not file a single nomination paper from that wing.

Who Could Form National Party?

Provided the free political activities, East Pakistani leaders like H. S. Suhrawardy, Khawaja Nazimuddin and Nurul Amin could establish a national political party. H. S. Suhrawardy had rendered substantial services in respect of organisation of political parties for the cause of Muslims and Pakistan Movement. He was the moving spirit behind the United Muslim Party, which was converted into Muslim League in Bengal.

In 1941, Suhrawardy kept the masses consolidated in support of the League during the critical situation when A. K. Fazl-ul-Huq was dismissed from League. Suhrawardy with the help of Abul Hashim took the League in Bengal to a level of membership that was more than the party's membership in all other provinces in combined India. In April 1946, he led the largest and the most enthusiastically welcomed contingent in Muslim League Legislators' Convention held in Delhi on 8 April 1946,32 where he moved the resolution for Pakistan through which ambiguities of whatever kind existed in the Lahore Resolution (1940) were removed.

In 1949, when H. S. Suhrawardy's supporters had joined the Awami Muslim League, he tried to bring it within the framework of a national party. Suhrawardy, negating the separation of East Pakistan from West Pakistan, tried to establish links with the political workers of West Pakistan through establishing a national political party. In making substantial development to this direction, in March 1950, he formed the All-Pakistan Awami Muslim League.

In December 1952, in order to fulfil his desire to establish an all-Pakistan political party for the sake of integration of Pakistan, Suhrawardy called a convention of the three parties - All-Pakistan Awami Muslim League, Mamdot's Jinnah Muslim League in Punjab and Pir of Manki Sharif's Awami League in the NWFP - at Lahore and a new party, All Pakistan Jinnah Awami Muslim League, emerged which, to keep a semblance of an all-Pakistan character, avoided the mention of the burning national issues agitating East Pakistan. For a time a sort of loose affiliation of the provincial parties was accepted under the umbrella of this new party.34 The Mamdot group departed from the All-Pakistan Awami Muslim League in 1953 and weakened the party in West Pakistan numerically.

Suhrawardy's efforts to establish national Awami League and to make it have coalition with regional autonomists in both East and West Pakistan between 1953 and 1955 also failed35 due to lack of interest from other political and ruling leaders of Pakistan. Then after Martial Law 1958, having tried to establish national Democratic Front, Suhrawardy rejected the plea of Sheikh Mujib for revival of regional Awami League saying that he had given his word to the other leaders of the National Democratic Front and that he would not revive the party without consulting them .36 His attempts were nullified by his death 5 December 1963.

Moreover H. S. Suhrawardy was blocked on many occasions to work for the establishment of national political party. In spite of being the chief executive of the biggest Muslim majority province and despite significant services for All India Muslim League (AIML), he was not included in the Working Committee of the AIML during the critical period, 1945-7 and Bengal was represented in this highest policy-making body of the League by Maulana Akram Khan, Khawaja Nazimuddin, or I. H. Ispahani .

After creation of Pakistan; he was barred to enter into East Pakistan and his membership of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was cancelled in March 1949. In May 1949 he was expelled from the Pakistan Muslim League.

Suhrawardy's case can be cited as an example of how the Bengali nationalists were not co-opted as the Pakistani leadership did in the case of Pakhtun separatist challenge. This failure in co- optation can also be marked in the study of other high ranked leaders like Fazlul Haq, Sheikh Mujib and Maulana Bhashani. The Awami League as a party could be co-opted at least on two occasions, when Suhrawardy was working as Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1957 and when in 1970 it won the majority seats in the elections. The leadership of Pakistan missed both of these chances and faced the failure in appeasing the Bengali Movement. It, in fact, suited the West Pakistan establishment that parties were increasingly regionalised and there were no serious attempts to co-opt Bengali nationalists.

Khawaja Nazimuddin too could not help in transforming the Muslim League into a national party. Notwithstanding, he could not play a considerable role for the development of PML during the time when he was the Prime Minister of Pakistan as well as the president of the party. However, during Ayub period, old-style Muslim Leaguers, who objected to government hijacking of the League nomenclature and formed a separate Council Muslim League, were led by Khawaja Nazimuddin.

Khawaja Nazimuddin emerged from retirement to rally support for the Council Muslim League in West Pakistan in January 1963. 'The receptions accorded to him at Lahore and along the route from Rawalpindi to Peshawar', an American official reported, 'were characterised by scenes reminiscent of the days immediately preceding independence, when the Muslim League's popularity was at its height'.40 Khawaja Nazimuddin died in 1964 leaving Nurul Amin in control of party along with tough task of forming any national political party for him alone because at that time Suhrawardy had also died.

Parties Weakened through Suppression

The absence of free political culture did not let political parties flourish nationally. The leaders also were less interested in organizing any national party - an indicator of the process of national disintegration during the Ayub regime. The regional character of the parties flourished and leaders were unable to stop this trend to such an extent that one of the two largest political parties appeared in the elections of 1970 - PPP - had to wind up the East Pakistan branch in March 1969 and it was reported that it was the Dhaka branch itself that had severed its connections with the PPP.

During democratic and parliamentary period (1947-1958), different suppressive steps were taken to press various political parties. The leaders of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League did not stand even the existence of any other party. Therefore, the foundation as well as the development of any political party other than the ruling PML was discouraged and suppressed in many ways. An incident which can be cited as one of many examples of creating hurdles in the way of free party culture was that the workers of Pakistan Muslim League made failed efforts to break the very meeting in which Awami Muslim League was founded in East Pakistan.

The suppressive measures which were used to curb Communist Party of Pakistan, one of some organized political parties in Pakistan at the time of its emergence in 1947, can be seen as another important example. After armed clashes with the communists in 1949-50 the government, in order to curb their influence, took certain definite steps like keeping an eye on all educational institutions42 that communist activities might not be carried out there. The government did not opt to challenge the influence of the Communist Party of Pakistan on political grounds and finding no national political party to face it, in the final resort, banned the party itself on 4 July 1954.

Another example of the suppression of the government against the political parties can be quoted from the governmental treatment with the Gantantari Dal, a party established in January 1953 with the programme that provided a basis for a united fornt against the Muslim League. The party called for abolition of the zamindari system without compensation; release of political prisoners, adoption of Bengali as a national language and an independent foreign policy.43 In order to obscure the activities of the party, its offices were often searched and ransacked due to its radical outlook.44 Many members of the party were arrested and languished in jail until parliamentary government in East Pakistan was restored in June 1955 .

Such tyrannical actions against the political parties handicapped the development of free political culture in which the political parties nurture and in response strengthen political system. While suppressing the ideologically different political parties, the ruling leaders of the country forgot that in the democratic federal political system the existence of federal political parties is not only a panacea of integration among different federal units but also guarantees the security of democratic set up.

Under the martial law of 1958, political parties were banned. Thousands of political workers and many prominent leaders of political parties were arrested and for four years (1958 to 1962), political activities in Pakistan were virtually silenced.46 President General Ayub had declared on 16 April 1959 that the political parties would be let loose after the launching of the constitution47 but as late as 21st June 1962, he found political parties repugnant.

President Ayub held his views against the political parties despite pressure of his prominent cabinet ministers, Muhammad Ali Bogra and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who argued that political parties, regulated by law, would provide an organizational framework for mass mobilization on behalf of the government.

Misunderstanding that suppression of regional political parties can save the unity of the country, the main political targets of the Ayub regime were the National Awami Party and the East Pakistan Awami League. A large number of leftist workers and intellectuals suffered imprisonment and lost their means of livelihood.

The political parties were allowed to work only when strict restrictions were put under the Political Organization Ordinance May 1962. The politicians were disqualified from becoming members or office holders of any political party till decision was taken in the National Assembly.50 Following this, the Political Parties Bill 1962 was passed, according to which no political party could be formed which would work and propagate against Islamic principles and Pakistan's integrity.

The restriction on EBDOed leaders also did not support the free functioning of the political parties. A prominent political leader from East Pakistan Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy demanded that political parties should not be revived in the absence of EBDOed or arrested leaders. A proper climate for the functioning of political parties was so insistent on the part of political minded East Pakistanis that Nurul Amin, former Chief Minister of East Pakistan, felt that he had no alternative but to fall in line with the demand of lifting restrictions from political leaders along with the revival of political parties if he wanted to safeguard his political future. He was offered the governorship of Eat Pakistan which he refused52 on these grounds.

Leaders Dominate Parties

From 1947 to 1971 in all of the political parties of Pakistan, the authority concentrated on single leader. The significance of a party was in proportion to the significance of the leader. Often it was the leader who was important and not the principle or the programme for which the party stood. Power and personality were in fact personalised.53 There were too many "important" figures and too few sensible ideas. Politics were intensely personal, and not doctrinaire. The conclusion seems unavoidable that a group of about twenty individuals made all important political and governmental decisions at every level.

Personal rivalry and motivation were the rule among the politicians of Pakistan. Parties were founded around a leader not around an issue. Thus party lines became tenuous and clash of personalities became superficially significant. The stronger the organisation, the greater was the leader's control. Sometimes the exceptional personality of a leader placed him above official rules, e.g. Liaquat in the Muslim League from 1948 to 1952, Suhrawardy in Awami League from 1949 to 1963, Maududi in Jamat-i-Islami 1947 to 197955 and Bhashani in National Awami Party from 1957 to 1971.

In Republican Party in 1958, two years after its establishment, its constitution was very much on the paper and the organizing committee whose life was to expire, still exercised all power and authority on the party's behalf. The party enjoyed undisputed patronage of and revolved around President General Iskandar Mirza, the Governor General and then President of Pakistan.

Formally the party was founded by Dr. Khan Sahib, even though it was contended that the party was not formed on the sole initiative of Dr. Khan. The idea of introducing such a party was borrowed from Iskandar Mirza, who wanted to see the continuation of Dr. Khan's Chief Ministership and more so the integration of his favourites into one whole.

Muslim League (Qayyum) and National Awami Party (Bhashani) were all factions of the parties on the name of their leaders. Likewise, the Convention Muslim League was the other name of Ayub Khan.

There was concentration of powers in the Jama'at-i-Islami also and its Ameer exercised all the powers. The party organisation was highly centralised. Maulana Mawdudi was the founder-ameer (leader) and there was no time limit on his period of office. This unlimited tenure was said to be based on the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah. It was, however, upto the ameer to renounce his office if he felt that a person who was more capable than he had emerged in the Jama'at. He had a Majlis-i-Shura whose selection, initially, was left to his judgement; and even when rules were framed for the election of this organ, the finality of the ameer's authority did not change. In organisational matters, the powers of the ameer were absolute, and he could remove even duly elected local ameers for the maslihat-i-kulli (collective good). Members of the Jama'at were enjoined to view disobedience to the ameer as a sin tantamount to that of disobeying God and the Prophet.

In 1942, the Jama'at faced an internal crisis which led to the creation of a department of 'party organisation' (tanzim-i-jama'at) to verify each member's qualifications. After this, final approval for the registration of a member was vested in the ameer-i-Jama'at. The Jamaat had various departments, generally under the direct control of the ameer.58 Moreover the founder of the party, Maulana Maududi, remained the ameer since the foundation of the party until the break-up of Pakistan. Maulana Maududi enjoyed wide "extra" constitutional powers too. His position was extremely authoritative59; the whole politics of the party revolved around one personality and other members who differed with him had to leave the party.

In Z. A. Bhutto's PPP that was established in November 1967, all of the four committees of the PPP constituted in the first convention were headed by Z. A. Bhutto while no other personality was even member of all four committees.61 PPP executive committee was nominated by Bhutto first time, after the establishment of PPP, just a few days before the meeting for negotiations during 1971 crisis. It means Bhutto was all in all in the party.

The party culture in the political system of Pakistan was so weaker than individuals that elections within the parties were distinct. Office-bearers of no party in Pakistan since independence had been elected by the members of the party. In some parties even election was not held and the business continued on nominations only.

The trend of importing leadership from out of party made the democratic process of party more sinister. Leaders were brought from outside and the parliamentary parties were forced to accept them. In 1953 Governor General Ghulam Muhammad brought Muhammad Ali Bogra and got him accepted the leader of Muslim League parliamentary party. The same year Feroz Khan Noon was appointed as leader of Muslim League Punjab in place of Mumtaz Daultana. Sardar Abdur Rashid replaced Qayyum Khan in NWFP. Dr. Khan Sahib's place, on his death, was filled by his son Saadullah Khan. Even the PML leaders like Noon and Nurul Amin confronted the existing president of the party Nazimuddin in order to replace him with the imported Prime Minister Bogra.

Ayub Khan was welcomed in the PML in May 1963 and he was first elected Muslim League Councillor very significantly from Governor Monem Khna's home district. Ayub Khan then as president of party personally decided for the posts of the party.

Like language and provincial autonomy, the absence of nationwide party organisation was one of the factors which became instrumental in the successes of the Bengali separatist movement. The language demand was accepted to a large extent when Bengali language was endorsed as the second national language of Pakistan in the Constitution of 1956. The autonomy was a broader demand that changed into the separatism in the end. The leadership could find some ease in addressing these demands given the nationwide political party would have been working in Pakistan during the time of challenge.

The leaders of Pakistan used and damaged every political party through their domination over them individually. Regional parties were developed and national parties were discouraged in the restrictive atmosphere. When Pakistani culture needed the quest for a national party, Pakistan Muslim League's national status declined and the leaders could do nothing to save it. Very limited efforts, on behalf of the leaders, were made to develop national parties in well-organized manner, in contrary to the organized political parties which could be seen developing in the growth of Bengali Movement.

The restrictions over free development of the parties and domination of the leaders decreased the positive impacts of the parties and increased the negative effects of the rise of incapable leaders. The leaders who could or tried to establish national political parties were blocked in many ways. In this way, the political parties vis-a-vis the leadership weakened and they could not help in restraining the separatist movement.

Notes and References

1. Hakeem Arshad Qureshi, The 1971 Indo-Pak War (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2002), 137

2. M. Nazrul Islam, Pakistan A Study in National Integration (Lahore: Vanguard Books, 1990), 4-5; Herbert Feldman, The Herbert Feldman Omnibus: Revolution in Pakistan (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2001), 169

3. Political Affairs Department UK 'Political Parties in Pakistan', Report, 1953, DO 35/5153, The National Archives (TNA) London.

4. Yunus Samad, "South Asian Muslim Politics 1937-58," (D.Phil. thesis, University of Oxford, 1991).

5. Political Affairs Department UK 'Political Parties in Pakistan.'

6. Mazhar Ali, Pakistan First Twelve Years. "Editorial," Pakistan Times, 10 November 1953.

7. C. A. Thompson, UKHC Karachi to Le Tocq CRO London, 31 January 1956, DO 35/5153, TNA London.

8. Political Affairs Department UK 'Political Parties in Pakistan.'

9. M. Rafique Afzal, Political Parties in Pakistan, vol. I. (Islamabad: NIHCR, Quaid-i-Azam University, 2002), 65.

10. UK DO, Note on Khaliquzzaman, DO 35/3174, TNA London.

11. UKHC Pakistan, OPDOM No. 96, for 26 November to 2 December 1948, CO 537/3540, TNA London.

12. Badruddin Umar, The Emergence of Bangladesh (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2004), 79-80

13. Zarina Salamat, Pakistan 1947-58: An Historical Review (Isalamabad: National Institute of Historical and Cultural Research, 1992), 104.

14. Rounaq Jahan, Pakistan: Failure in National Integration (New York: Columbia University Press, 1972), 38-40.

15. Rafique Afzal, Political Parties, 125.

16. Ian Talbot, Pakistan A Modern History (Lahore: Vanguard Books, 1999), 140-41.

17. Morning News, 4 October 1955, DO 35/5153, TNA London.

18. UKHC Lahore, Fortnightly Report for the period ending 1 May 1956, DO 35/5155, TNA London.

19. Rounaq Jahan, Pakistan: Failure in National Integration, 129.

20. Ibid., 131-32.

21. UKHC Lahore to UKHC Rawalpindi, 8 April 1967, DO 134/33, TNA London.

22. Ibid, 15 April 1967, DO 134/33, TNA London.

23. Mushtaq Ahmad, Politics without Social Change (Karachi: Space Publishers, 1971), 160-61.

24. Rounaq Jahan, Pakistan: Failure in National Integration, 139.

25. Pakistan Observer, Dhaka, 18 February 1966.

26. Ibid., 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 May 1967.

27. Rounaq Jahan, Pakistan: Failure in National Integration, 136.

28. Ibid., 141.

29. Syed Humayun, Sheikh Mujib's 6-Point Formula (Karachi: Royal Book Company, 1995), 317.

30. Syed Shabbir Hussain, Ayub, Bhutto and Zia (Lahore: Sang- e-Meel Publications, 2000), 142.

31. Kamruddin Ahmad, A Social History of Bengal (Dacca: Progoti Publishers, 1970), 33

32. Anwar Dil and Afia Dil, Bengali Language Movement to Bangladesh (Lahore: Ferozsons, 2000), 276-77.

33. Hasan Zaheer, The Separation of East Pakistan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 19.

34. Khawaja Alqama, Bengali Elites Perceptions of Pakistan (Karachi: Royal Book Company, 1997), 171.

35. Rounaq Jahan, Pakistan: Failure in National Integration, 48.

36. Rashid Suhrawardy, "Recollections," in Memoirs of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy, ed. Mohammad H R Talukdar (Dhaka: The University Press, 1987), xiv-xv

37. Times, 12 October 1964, MSS EUR F 158/549.

38. Khalid bin Sayeed, Pakistan: The Formative Phase 1857-1948 (Karachi: Pakistan Publishing House, 1960), 188-9.

39. Yunus Samad, "South Asian Muslim Politics," 118.

40. Ian Talbot, Pakistan A Modern History, 159.

41. Maleeha Lodhi, "Bhutto, The Pakistan People's Party and Political Development in Pakistan, 1967-1977" (PhD diss., University of London, 1980), 252.

42. Badruddin Umar, Emergence of Bangladesh, 110, 112-49

43. Rafique Afzal, Political Parties, 189-90.

44. Zarina Salamat, Pakistan 1947-58, 120.

45. Badruddin Umar, Emergence of Bangladesh, 277; Zarina Salamat, Pakistan 1947-58, 120-21

46. Nazrul Islam, Pakistan A Study, 137

47. UK DO, Report on "Constitution Change in Pakistan Under Ayub Regime," DO 35/8956, TNA London.

48. Md. Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan, Emergence of Bangladesh and Role of Awami League (New Delhi: Vikas Publishing House,1982), 66

49. Zaheer, Separation of East Pakistan, 76.

50. PLD, Political Parties Act, December 1962.

51. Bhuiyan, Emergence of Bangladesh, 64-65

52. Mohammad H. R. Talukdar, ed., Memoirs of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (Dhaka: The University Press, 1987), 177

53. Zarina Salamat, Pakistan 1947-58, 133

54. Keith Callard, Pakistan A Political Study (London: George Allen and Unwind, 1957), 25-26.

55. K. K. Aziz, Party Politics in Pakistan 1947-58 (Islamabad: National Commission on Historical and Cultural Research,1976), 230.

56. Javed Haider Syed, "Pakistan Republican Party," South Asian Studies 22 (January 2007) : 90-91.

57. Aziz, Party Politics in Pakistan, f. 105-6.

58. Rafique Afzal, Political Parties, 35.

59. Aziz, Party Politics in Pakistan, 157.

60. Mehdi Hasan, Pakistan ki Siyasi Jamatain (Lahore: Classic,1976), 197, 216-17; and Rounaq Jahan, Pakistan, 133.

61. Hasan Askari Rizvi, Pakistan People's Party the First Phase 1967-71 (Lahore: Progressive Publishers, 1973), 8-9.

62. Lodhi, "Bhutto, Pakistan," 257, 262, 281.

63. Mehdi Hasan, Pakistan ki Siyasi, 105.

64. UKHC Pakistan (1953) to CRO London, Inward telegrams, 15 June 1953, DO35/5153, TNA London

65. Bhuiyan, Emergence of Bangladesh, 69
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Date:Jun 30, 2013
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