v13_2002g - 6 BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN Cameron...

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Unformatted text preview: 6 BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN Cameron Ma‘cKenzie Despite the historically poor performance of democratic gov— ernments in Pakistan, its current military government has promised democratic elections in October 2002. This article examines President Pervez Musharraf s roadmap to democracy and the role the United States can play in bolstering his efforts. The events after 1 1 September and the war on terrorism have complicated the American goal of fostering democracy abroad and increased uncertainties and worries regarding Pakistan’s domestic situation and its transition to civilian rule. Despite these complications, the Unites States should become actively involved in helping Pakistani society build a lasting democracy. INTRODUCTION In 1630, John Winthrop declared that the Massachusetts colony would be a “City upon a Hill,” to serve as a model for other countries of the world to follow (McDougall 1997, 17) . The attitude expressed here exemplified a belief that the American way of life, particularly its democratic form of government, was exceptional. In the twentieth century with the advent of Wilsonian diplomacy, the United States has sought to export this demo— cratic way of life. This Wilsonian or internationalist tradition, which remains a powerful influence in US. foreign policy, insists that the U.S. goal of spreading liberal and democratic values abroad creates a coopera- tive and peaceful world, promotes long—term US. interests, and economi- cally benefits other countries (Smith 1994; Sen 1999; Russett 2001). However, the ideological goal of supporting and encouraging foreign democratic institutions often conflicts with more immediate and practical Cameron MacKenzie, MA student in International Aflairs, Elliott School of Interna- tional Affairs, George Washington University Building Democragjl in Pakistan 105 national security interests. The current U.S. relationship with Pakistan demonstrates the chal— lenges the United States faces when it tries to pursue both the promotion of democracy and the nation’s strategic interests. As long as the United States is conducting its war on terrorism in Afghanistan, it needs Pakistan as an ally. Realizing this, Pakistan’s current president, General Pervez Musharraf, staunchly allied his countrywith the United States. Musharraf has also worked to improve Pakistan’s domestic situation and to stabilize the region. He has undertaken domestic reforms in education and governance, garnered aid packages from Western nations, and de-esca- lated Indian-Pakistani tensions. Nevertheless, it was a military coup that brought Musharraf to power, and although national elections are sched— uled for October 2002, Musharrafwill likely remain the chief executive for five more years. Despite active planning for the October elections, Musharraf has not yet established a clear political framework for Pakistan’s future, and Pakistanis and outside observers have begun to doubt the sincerity of his commitment to build a democracy. Thus, for U.S. foreign policy, a conflict exists between the short—term goal of maintaining stability in Pakistan and the region and the long—term goal of promoting democracy. After examining the fundamental causes that contributed to the col- lapse of Pakistan’s most recent democratic governments, this article will outline the steps that Musharraf has taken to build a democracy that will not succumb to the difficulties of previous governments. The events after 11 September drastically changed Pakistan’s international position and also raised new questions about Pakistan’s domestic political situation. Examining the different policy options the United States can follow through its revived friendship with Pakistan highlights the difficulties and challenges of preserving stability and building a democracy in Pakistan. The United States can resolve these conflicting aims by supporting Musharraf and concurrently using diplomatic pressure to ensure that the Pakistani president remains committed to democracy. By engaging the Musharraf government rather than isolating it, the United States can help to improve Pakistan’s economy, foster a democratic culture, and build a modern Islamic state (U.S. Congress 1999). Although the Pakistanis are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of democracy in their country, the recommendations of this article aim to help the spread of democratic values to all levels of society, to create a better life for Pakistanis, stability in the region, and to develop a strong ally for the United States. 1 06 Cameron MacKcnzic IMMEDIATE BACKGROUND The Pakistani government has lurched between democracy and military rule during its 54 years as an independent nation. On 12 October 1999, General Pervez M usharraf s coup ended this Muslim country’s latest effort to create a government by the people. A personal confrontation between Musharraf and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resulted in Sharif's decision to fire Chief of Army Staff Musharraf. It was this incident that sparked the military takeover, but many underlying factors contributed to the insta— bility of Pakistan’s democracy. First, Pakistan’s military has always been engaged in a power struggle with the civilian leadership. Pakistan’s insecurity stems from its hostile relationship with India; this relationship has historically forced the country to rely heavily on its military. Defense spending accounted for approximately 30 percent of the federal budget, and the army’s institu— tional interests often superseded the interests of the nation as whole (Stern 2001). During the years ofcivilian rule from 1988 to 1999, the military often dictated policy, as evidenced by Prime Minister Sharifs acquies- cence to the military’s planning of the Kargil operation in Kashmir in May 1999.1 Although Sharif provoked the army to stage the most recent coup, his removal by Musharraf demonstrated the army’s position as the most powerful actor in the country. As it has done at other times in Pakistan’s history, the army intervened in politics because it believed that Sharif was threatening its pre-eminent position within the Pakistani government (Chadda 2000). As U.S. Assis- tant Secretary of State Karl Inderfurth explained at the time, “Pakistan has yet to develop a consensus about how to share responsibility among civil institutions, nor has it forged a clear and accepted divide between civilian and military responsibilities (U.S. Congress 1999, 5).” Second, widespread corruption and self-interested politicians ruined any chance of effective governance, while bureaucrats, police, and other public servants failed to deliver badly needed public services. For example, some teachers paid a portion of their salaries to their superintendents in order not to teach, and police supplemented their meager income by taking money for releasing wealthy criminals (Survey of India and Pakistan 1999). Thus, the politicians took no interest in reforming the government institutions because such action would have meant ridding these institutions of the politicians’ own political machinery (Burki 1999; Chadda 2000). Finally, Pakistan’s economy had reached its nadir. Pakistan’s external debt exceeded 30 billion in U.S. dollars, and the economy only survived Building Democracy in Pakistan 107 because of foreign bailouts and debt rescheduling (J. Malik 2001). Sanctions enacted by the United States and other developed countries in response to Pakistan’s nuclear program further reduced foreign aid. Because of corruption, the power of rich families, and a failure to accurately document goods and services, less than 1 percent of Pakistanis paid taxes (Constable 2001c). Real growth in Pakistan’s largest economic sector, agriculture, declined after 1997, and investors faced a slumping economy, a lack of infrastructure, and bad governance (U.S. Department of State 2000; Weinbaum 1999). Thirty-five percent of the population lived below the poverty level, and young men could not find work (Burki 1999). These destabilizing factors caused some impoverished Pakistanis to turn toward militant Islamic groups for the promise of education at religious schools called madmmzs, participation in the jihad movement, and financial assistance (Stern 2000). THE ROADMAP TO DEMOCRACY When he took power in 1999, General Musharraf promised to improve the economy, restore civilian rule, and establish a true democracy. In order to realize these goals, he quickly formed the National Accountability Bureau to prosecute corrupt government officials. Two months after officially assuming the presidency on 20 June 2001, he announced that he was “giving out a clear roadmap for putting in place an elected government by October 2002 (Musharraf 2001a).” The first phase, labeled the devolution of power to the local level, actually began a month after Musharrafs coming to power in 1999 with the establishment of the National Reconstruction Bureau. This agency was tasked with reconstructing the government and preparing for a return to civilian rule, beginning with elections at the district level. These local elections commenced at the end of 2000 and were completed by the formal announcement of Musharraf s roadmap on 14 August 2001. Arguing that former US. Representative Tip O’Neill’s statement that “all politics is local" applies to Pakistan, Assad Hayauddin (2001), press attache for the Embassy of Pakistan in the United States, stressed the importance of building democracy from the grassroots by returning governance issues to local representatives. The second phase began in October 2001 with the formation of an Electoral Commission to register voters. Musharraf also promised that the public would have an opportunity to debate constitutional amendments that defined the specific powers of the different branches of government (Shaikh 2001). After the adoption ofthese amendments on 30 June 2002, 1 08 Cameron MacKenzie the third phase would begin. This included the elections for provincial assemblies, the National Assembly, and the Senate. Nominations for offices would take place in August, and elections would be in October. Finally, the fourth phase, the transfer of power, was slated to occur in November as the newly elected representatives would take their oaths and choose their parliamentary leaders (Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs 2001). Several factors motivated Musharraf to outline steps toward democ- racy. When he took power, the Pakistan Supreme Court’s issued a directive that limited the military government to three years. This term will end in October 2002. Thus, Musharraf ordered the national elections for that time. Moreover, in the wake of the coup, the United States imposed sanctions on Pakistan, and the British Commonwealth sus— pended Pakistan’s membership (Constable 2001b). Musharraf felt con— siderable pressure from both these governments as well as other interna— tional donors to restore democracy in order to receive foreign assistance (Burns 2001b). Both the United States and the United Kingdom responded with cautious optimism to the announcement of the roadmap (Bokhari 2001). While it represented a positive step, it also failed to resolve many important political issues, such as Musharraf s role after the elections. Many Pakistani and international observers doubted the government’s commitment to democracy and its ability to establish a viable democracy even if its commitment were genuine (Khan 2001). THE EFFECT OF THE WAR ON TERRORISM New Relations with the West The terrorist attacks and the American response vaulted Pakistan to a new position of importance, and President Musharraf surprised many U.S. officials with his strong public support for the war on terrorism and acceptance of allAmerican demands (Bulz, Woodward, and Himmelman 2002). Pakistan first served as the diplomatic channel through which the United States tried to pressure the Taliban to surrender Osama bin Laden; Musharraf also allowed the U.S. Army to use his country’s airfields. He began to purge Pakistan’s army and intelligence of Islamic fundamental- ists by forcing the retirement of important officials in these two organiza- tions. After prodding from the United States, the Musharraf government ended the news’ briefings of the Taliban’s ambassador in Pakistan, and at the beginning of January, the ambassador was deported (Constable Building Democracy in Pakistan 109 2001d). Musharraf s actions are all the more remarkable when one realizes that the United States took actions against Pakistan’s stated interests on a number of important military and strategic issues, such as bombing during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and allowing the Northern Alliance to capture Kabul. Pakistani actions taken in support of the United States changed both the country’s international standing and domestic situation. Internation- ally, the United States ended Pakistan’s political isolation. As a result of President Musharraf 5 support for the war on terrorism, Western leaders praised and feted the previously shunned Pakistani leader (Constable 2001b). In order to reward Musharraf for his “bold and courageous decision,” the United States waived nuclear and democracy sanctions, offered over $1 billion in economic assistance, and rescheduled debt payments (Powell 2001b). The United Kingdom also agreed to fund poverty reduction programs and Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan, and Japan lifted its own economic sanctions and rescheduled Pakistan’s debt of $5 billion (Kahn 2001; Pakistan to Receive Extra Pounds 2001; Japan to Consider More Aid to Pakistan 2001). President Musharraf 5 domestic reforms—fighting corruption, fixing the tax collection system, and increasing social spending—require foreign aid from international lending organizations, like the International Mon- etary Fund (IMF), the Asian Development Bank, and the Work Bank, pledged their assistance (Hasmi 2001). After delivering the final install— ment ofa $536 million loan to Pakistan, the IMF approved a new loan in December of $ 1 .32 billion for the recently established F und-Bank Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility, a program designed to increase growth, attack poverty, and keep inflation low (N. Malik 2001). Pakistan also secured what Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz described as an “unprec- edented package” from the Paris Club that rescheduled $12.5 billion in debt for as many as 38 years (ul Haque 2001). The international commu— nity clearly recognized the necessity of preventing an economic collapse in Pakistan (Burki 2001). The United States needs Pakistan as a coalition ally for the war on terrorism. Many Pakistani journalists have surmised that the United States favors a stable and loyal leader in Musharraf rather than a democratic process that could elect a government less enthusiastic about the war. Statements and actions by Western officials help fuel this speculation (Salahuddin 2001). The Washington Post (Constable 2001b) quoted a Western diplomat as saying, “I used to think he [Musharraf] was a dictator, 1 1 0 Cameron MacKenzic pure and simple, but I was wrong,” and Harry Thomas (2001), a member of the National Security Council staff, compared the charismatic Pakistani leader to Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian president who allied with the United States and made peace with Israel. These statements highlight the reversal that has occurred since 1 1 September as foreign economic aid and international legitimacy no longer depend upon a democratic government in Islamabad. Domestic and Regional Considerations If the American bombing campaign in Afghanistan brought the war on terrorism to Pakistan’s doorstep, December saw the war on terrorism burst through Pakistan’s front and back doors. As the United States and its allies removed the Taliban from power and destroyed the al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, many terrorists—including possibly bin Laden—tried to escape into Pakistan. About 60,000 Pakistani soldiers were deployed along the Afghan border to stop fugitives, and Musharraf promised to turn over bin Laden if the Pakistani army captured him (Cody 2001). Western leaders’ initial fears about the stability of the Musharraf government during the bombing of Afghanistan overestimated President Musharraf s opposition. Religious parties consistently protested the government’s support of the United States; however, after the fall of Kabul, these protests declined significantly (Constable 2001a; Onishi 200 1 Nevertheless, on 13 December, some of these religious organizations carried out a terrorist attack against the Indian Parliament, which almost brought India and Pakistan to war. The protests and the terrorist attack against India prompted the Pakistani president to move against Islamic militant groups because he felt that, if left unchecked, they could reverse the progress of his domestic and political reforms. Therefore, on 13 January, Musharraf (2002) delivered a speech in which he denounced Islamic fundamentalism and renewed his commitment to making Paki— stan a modern and secular nation. As an example of this new Western— oriented policy, Musharraf government now requires the madrassas to register with the government and teach basic subjects like reading, math, and writing (Pak to Close Down Madrassas 2001; West 2002). Because of the political risks involved in cracking down on Islamic militants, the president began to elicit the support of the major political parties (Burns 2001a). Many Pakistanis, especially those of the educated middle class, favor the president’s alliance with the West and his new policy toward the fundamentalists. Building Democracy in Pakistan 1 1 1 Building upon his increased popularity following 1 1 September, Musharraf- moved ahead with his roadmap to democracy, but undemo— cratic elements have also appeared in his roadmap. The president has allowed greater freedom of speech than previous governments, helping to create a climate where citizens feel more at ease in debating political and social issues among themselves (Dohad 2001). Musharraf answered questions about his position after the elections by declaring, “I will remain as president. That is for sure (Musharraf 200 l b).” Although the political parties objected to this decision, many Pakistanis and foreign governments tacitly accepted this undemocratic announcement because ofMusharran actions since 11 September. While the Election Commission continued the process of registering voters according to the second phase of Musharran roadmap, it also proposed constitutional amendments in January? According to these new electoral proceedings, the National Assembly’s seats would increase from 237 to 350, including 60 seats reserved for women and 25 reserved for “technocrats” or specialists in areas like finance. Mandating these seats for technocrats would allow many ofMusharran capable cabinet officials to run on ballots that are separate from the other seats so that theywould not be dependent upon a corrupt political machinery for their elected offices (Constable 2001c). An education requirement of at least a high—school graduate will probably also be enacted for anyone seeking a seat in the National Assembly (Shaikh 2002). Most importantly, the election will occur on a joint electorate. Since 1985, the non—Muslim minority could run for only a select number ofseats, but many political observers argued that these separate electorates discriminated against the non~Muslim minority (Ali 2002). With a joint electorate, it will be more difficult for major parties to ignore the non—Muslims as they have in the past because these parties will now be competing for non—Muslim votes (Zaman 2002). The inclusion of women, minorities, specialists, and educated Paki— stanis will also help fulfill MusharraPs goal of creating a modern National Assembly. Many Pakistanis and outside observers applauded these consti— tutional amendments and hope that they will facilitate the election of a new generation of political leaders who will replace the former corrupt establishment in the National Assembly. Although Musharraf might try to manipulate these new election procedures to fill the National Assembly with his own supporters, the potential benefits of a parliament that more accurately represents Paki— stani citizens outweighs the negative consequences of this potential outcome. However, political parties and some journalists have com— 112 Cameron MacKenzie plained about the president’s means of amending the constitution. Musharraf, through the Election Commission, proposed significant changes which will be enacted for the October elections. When Musharraf outlined his roadmap for democracy in August, he promised that the public would have an opportunity to debate the constitutional amend- ments. Thus far, much debate has occurred within the press, but no forum has appeared for those outside of the government who would like to amend these rules (Constitutional Changes 2002; Alam 2002; Amend— ments Draw Mixed Response 2002; NGOs Welcome Electoral Reforms 2002; Bhatty 2002). In this context, Pakistan’s future political setup is becoming clearer, but Musharraf s commitment to democracy is ambiguous. Elections will occur in October, but the president’s unwillingness to step down could also mean an unwillingness to cede power to elected Officials. After the elections, Musharraf, who will almost certainly assume the presidential power of appointing a recently elected Official to form a coalition govern- ment, will presumably choose a prime minister that agrees with his reforms. While the next government focuses on completing Musharraf s domes- tic reforms, the president will remain the head of state and focus on establishing broad policy and directing Pakistan’s foreign and military affairs (Hayauddin 2001; Dohad 2001; Mateen 2002). As long as the international situation remains volatile, many Pakistanis and the interna- tional community will prefer keeping Musharraf in power, at least for foreign policy and security issues. However, in the long term, depending upon the relationship between the president and the future National Assembly, Musharraf s presidency could fail to establish a system of governance that survives his departure. U.S. OPTIONS IN ITS FOREIGN POLICY TOWARD PAKISTAN Defining the options Two broad frameworks, each with different priorities, can help formulate US. policy toward Pakistan: support Musharraf as president and overlook his anti—democratic ways, or work toward a true representative democracy and ignore short-term stability concerns. The first Option prioritizes stability and Pakistan’s support for American military action. The United States would continue to support Musharraf s decision to hold elections but would not require that he be democratically elected. The United States has followed this type of policy in its relations with Saudi Arabia and Egypt Building Democracy in Pakistan 113 (Fisk 200 1 The second option, supporting true democracy, risks losing Pakistan’s support for American military action because elected leaders may or may not follow Musharraf 5 current foreign policy; however, this option also remains true to the principle of letting citizens choose their leader. Within this option, the United States could pursue a strategy of engagement or isolation. Engagement would seek to work with M usharraf to restore democracy, and the United States would remain committed to a democratic Pakistan but would use persuasion rather than coercion. The United States could make more international aid contingent upon a return to civilian rule as well as using international and diplomatic forums to emphasize the importance of the restoration of democracy in Pakistan. Conversely, a policy of exclusion or isolation would involve sanctions and ending aid if Pakistan did not restore democracy. President Musharraf would again become an international pariah if he refused to either step down or become an elected president. However, these steps could have a considerable short— term cost because of Pakistan’s importance to the war effort. The two options of working toward democracy or allowing President Musharraf to follow his own domestic path lose their practical distinction if Musharraf fulfills his promise of restoring democracy. Because of his announcement to remain president and the uncertainty surrounding his commitment to democracy, the United States will have to choose among these policy options in order to best promote stability in the region and democracy in Pakistan. Implications of options The first option could potentially be the easiest for the United States to undertake. Unconditional support for Musharraf 5 domestic policies would strengthen renewed American—Pakistani ties in the short run. This option rewards Musharraf for decisively allying with the United States, and reduces the short-term fears that Pakistan might destabilize. More— over, if the United States begins to push Musharraf on issues of democracy, he might be less likely to continue helping the United States. This option might be the safer choice for maintaining regional stability. However, in the long run, this policy could potentially harm Pakistan- United States relations. Shortly after taking office, Secretary of State Colin Powell announced, “We are going to show a vision to the world of the value system of America, what we are all about, what democracy and freedom is all about. It works (Powell 2001a).” A policy that accepts 114 Cameron MacKcnzie President Musharraf 5 status as a military dictator belies those words. The United States appears hypocritical when it espouses democratic principles but sacrifices democracy on the altar of political expediency. The longer President Musharraf governs without a mandate from the people, the more he risks destabilizing the country as political parties and the Pakistani people tire of a military government that fails to honor its promise of a return to civilian rule (Aliriza and Al—Hamad 2001). Pakistan itself may be more stable in the long term as a democracy. Poverty reduction, social and economic development, and foreign investment are more likely to succeed in a country with a stable, uncorrupt, democrati— cally elected government (Friedman 2001). Amartya Sen (1999), a specialist in development in Asia, argues that impoverished people desire political freedoms, and he refutes the thesis that political freedoms hamper economic development. Instead, Sen concludes, democracy gives people the opportunity to petition the government for policies that improve their economic well—being. Many theorists in international relations also sub- scribe to the democratic peace theory, which maintains that democracies do not fight one another. Bruce Russet (2001), a professor at Yale University, argues that the compromise necessary within the domestic sphere carries over into relations among democratic countries. Pakistan’s past experiments with democracy have not brought signifi— cant economic development or peace with its democratic neighbor, India. However, the failure of Pakistan’s past democratic governments to achieve peace and prosperity does not disprove these theories. Rather, it demon— strates the necessity of building a democracy founded on the rule of law and civic duty and openness. As Musharraf has repeatedly said, democracy involves more than elections. Repairing the infrastructure, improving the economy, educating the citizens, and ridding the government of corrup— tion are all requirements for a successful democracy. RECOMMENDATIONS The responsibility for Pakistan’s future ultimately rests with the Pakistanis themselves. Exploring the positives and negatives of the possible policy options demonstrates that the United States can best help Pakistan establish a lasting democracy by remaining actively involved. Sanctions and the isolation of the Pakistani government would lose Pakistan as an ally and threaten to destabilize the country by worsening the economy. However, if the United States remains engaged with the current govern- ment, it can maintain Pakistan as an ally and also influence the govern— ment to maintain its commitment to democracy. Building Democracy in Pakistan 115 The United States has already undertaken measures that will aid Musharraf and his country in building a successful democracy and eliminating radical Islamic elements. Ambassador Chamberlin, who has had frequent discussions with President Musharraf on the problems that Pakistan faces, outlined three key areas where the United States has been providing aid: education, law enforcement, and trade and investment (Eckholm 2002). These positive actions should be the beginning of a comprehensive policy to help Musharraf succeed in his goal of improving Pakistani society and establishing a true and working democracy. The elements of such a plan include: Continue and expand economic assistance. A prosperous economy helps stabilize the government, and the success of democracy in Pakistan depends largely upon economic development. Foreign aid supports Pakistan’s economy, so the international community should continue its economic assistance and encourage private foreign investment. On 13 November, U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (R—Kansas) intro- duced a bill to reduce or suspend duties on textile products made in Pakistan (U.S. Congress 2001). This bill seems unlikely to move out of the Committee on Finance, but the administration could use its “fast—track” trade promotion authority to negotiate a beneficial trade package with Pakistan. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration has taken very few steps toward negotiating a trade agreement that is productive for both countries. Along with increasing trade and assistance, the U.S. government should continue its efforts to ensure that the Pakistani government is using foreign assistance wisely. Money should be spent on well-structured development projects (i.e., improving irrigation for farmers, building infrastructure, establishing schools, and providing support for industries) and not be wasted on military or bureaucratic corruption (DeYoung 2002) . President Musharraf has introduced ambitious social development projects, and some of his economic reforms are beginning to produce positive results. The United States and the rest of the international community can help turn these positive signs into real improvements (LePoer 2001). Increase cultural exchanges. Assad Hayauddin (2001) emphasized the importance of cultural exchanges and called for a wide range of programs including technological exchanges, interaction between political leaders of both countries, and scholarships designed both to enable Pakistani students to study in the United States and to assist American students to study in Pakistan. 1 1 6 Cameron MacKenzie During President Musharraf 5 visit to Washington in mid-February, the two nations agreed to establish a joint economic forum to discuss economic cooperation; a joint working group on law enforcement to coordinate counter-terrorism and anti—narcotic operations; and a defense consultative group to further military—to-military contacts. The third item included the restoration of the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program, which will enable members of the Pakistani army to train in the United States (White House 2002). Pakistan’s participation in this program will teach Pakistani officers about the military’s role in a democracy and allow the U.S. military to become acquainted with the next generation of Pakistani military leaders. The IMET program could help solve the problem of the military-civilian power struggle through increased exposure to and knowledge of the rule of law (U.S. Congress 1999; Defense Security Cooperation Agency 200 l). War/e with non-g0vernmentalorganization5 (N 60:). NGOs have worked on developmental projects and democracy instruction programs in Paki— stan for many years and continue to provide valuable services. For example, during the devolution of power phase, the Asia Foundation held meetings to discuss local governance and reached more than 10 million citizens (Dohad 2001). The National Democratic Institute (NDI) fol- lowed a multi-pronged approach including discussions of the political process with governmental officials, politicians, andjournalists and helped to observe elections in the past (National Democratic Institute 1999). Although NDI is not currently working in Pakistan, plans are afoot to reinvigorate its involvement (Stone 2001). NGOs offer an avenue for the international community to work directly to improve social institutions and infrastructure like schools and hospitals, especially in rural areas (NGOs Urged to Focus on Rural Areas 2002). The United States should encourage and help fund NGOs to allow these organizations to work toward “creating an environment where political formations are possible (Dohad 2001).” Remain engaged with Pakistanfiir t/ae long term. Time is required for the government, the military, and the citizens to acquire democratic habits. The recent past has caused Pakistanis to become disillusioned about the political process and to view the United States as “a fair—weather friend” (Dohad 2001). The Bush Administration can work on dispelling both sentiments by remaining involved in Pakistan and working toward a viable representative democracy for Pakistan. The United States must work with the future democratically elected government both on domestic issues like corruption and education and on international issues like terrorism and Building Democracy in Pakistan 117 Pakistan’s relationship with India and Afghanistan. To the extent that the United States can help reduce Pakistan’s insecurity, the army’s importance might decline and democracy’s chances may increase. Economic opportu— nities, like an oil pipeline through Pakistan, could benefit both countries as Pakistan’s youthful population (40 percent of the population is 14 years or younger) could provide a labor force for American production facilities (US. Central Intelligence Agency 2001). Put pressure on the current government to commit to democracy. Interna- tional observers should verify that the October elections are free and fair because complaints arose that the army interfered in the voting during the local elections (Label of Democracy? 2001). At the end of March 2002, the Pakistani press reported that Musharraf was planning to hold a referen— dum on staying president for five more years. Some Pakistanis correctly complained that Musharraf is seeking a referendum simply to justify his remaining in charge. A competitive election for president would be the ideal method of choosing a president. However, if the referendum is conducted fairly, the United States should support this election because Musharraf would have symbolically recognized that his authority comes from the people, a fundamental tenet of democracy (Sharif 2002; Ziauddin 2002) . However, if Musharraf manipulates the results of this referendum or the elections in October, this action would clearly dispel the ambiguity in his attitude toward democracy, in which case the United States should revisit some of the benefits it has recently bestowed on Pakistan. CONCLUSION President Musharraf has proven himself to be an effective leader. He has handled the latest and ever-evolving crises more effectively than Pakistan’s recent democratically elected governments probably would have (Masood 2002). He has taken full advantage of the increased attention on the region to ally with the West, won economic support, and implemented difficult domestic reforms. However, despite the prepara— tions for elections, Pakistan’s political future remains unclear, and if the current government does not clearly establish the constitutional frame- work for future governments, then Pakistan will regress back to the instability of previous years. Although the United States has and should recognize the positive effects of Musharraf s presidency, he will not stay in power forever. Therefore, the establishment of a democratic culture, which Musharraf says he favors, is crucial for a successful future for Pakistan and for the Pakistan—United States relationship. 1 1 8 Cameron MacKenzie The United States has a golden opportunity to play a leading role in assisting Pakistan’s transition toward a well—functioning democracy. By remaining engaged in the process for the long term, even after elections in October, the United States can build upon the recently created strategic alliance and help spread democracy in Central and South Asia. Economic aid, cultural exchanges, NGO work, and an emphasis on democratic values are necessary for fostering a democratic spirit within Pakistani society and the government. This long process will encounter difficulties, and the success of the project will ultimately depend on the Pakistanis themselves. However, the window of opportunity that has recently opened requires cooperation among Pakistan, the United States, and the rest of the international community. Democracy can succeed in Pakistan, and the United States can help make it happen. NOTES ‘ Pakistani-supported guerilla fighters invaded India’s Kargil Mountains in the India-controlled part of Jammu and Kashmir. This was the bloodiest military encounter between India and Pakistan since the 1971 war (Stern 2001). 3 When Musharraf announced his roadmap, he never gave a date for the announce- ment of the constitutional amendments. The president only announced that the amendments would be adopted before the end of the second phase in June 2002. REFERENCES Alam, Imtiaz. 2002. Authoritarian or Democratic Modernisation. News (Karachi) , 21 January. 25 January 2002 <http://www.jang-group.com>. Aliriza, Shaha and Laila Al-Hamad. 2001. Freedom Seekers on Hostile Ground. Washington Port. 22 October 2001 <http://www.washingtonpost.com>. Ali, Rafaqat. 2002. Next polls on basis ofjoint electorate: NA to have 350 members, 60 seats for women; at least graduates to contest. Dawn, 17 January. 20 January 2002 <http://www.dawn.com>. Amendments Draw Mixed Response. 2002. Dawn (Karachi). 18 January. 20 January 2002 <http://www.dawn.com>. Balz, Don., Bob Woodward, and Jeff Himmelman. 2002. Afghan Campaign’s Blueprint Emerges. Wm/az'ng‘ton Post, 29 January, A1, AlO—Al l. Bhatty, Maqbool Ahmad. 2002. Positive Electoral Reforms. Dawn (Karachi), 28 January. 5 February 2002 <http://www.dawn.com>. Bokhari, Farhan. 2001. Pakistan Tries to Shine as It Comes under World Spotlight. Financial Times (London), 4 September. 1 1 September 2001 <httpz/ /www.ft.com>. Building Democracy in Pakistan 119 Burki, Shahid. Javed. 1999. Pakistan: Finy Years of Nationhooa’. Boulder, Colo— rado: Westview Press. . 2001. Economy after September 2001. Dawn (Karachi), 27 November. 27 November 2001 <http://www.dawn.com>. Burns, John. 2001a. 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Total Search. 26 October 2001 <http://www.ft.com>. Friedman, Thomas. 2001. Today’s News Quiz. New York Times, 20 November. 27 November 2001 <http://Www.nytimes.com>. 120 Cameron MacKcnzie Hasmi, Faray. 2001. Allocations for Social Sector Doubled. Dawn (Karachi), 29 November. 29 November 2001 <http://www.dawn.com>. Hayauddin, Assad. 2001. Phone interview by the author. Washington, D.C., 20 November. Japan to Consider More Aid to Pakistan. 2001. News (Karachi), 2 November. 2 November 2001 <http://www.jang—group.com>. Kahn, Joseph. 2001. US. Is Planning an Aid Package for Pakistan Worth Billions. New York Times, 27 October. 2 November 2001 <http://www.nytimes.com>. Khan, Kamran. 2001. Roadmap: A Confusing Scenario. News (Karachi), 15 August. Foreign Broadcasting Information Service F BIS—NES—ZOOl—OS l 5 (16 August 2001): SAP20010815000014. World News Connection. 20 Septem— ber 2001 <http://wnc.fedworld.gov>. Label of Democracy? 2001. 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v13_2002g - 6 BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN PAKISTAN Cameron...

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