Vol. 4 No. 3 (2021): Pakistan Journal of International Affairs

Authoritarian Regime of Zia-ul-Haq and its Consequences for Federalism in Pakistan

Published 2021-09-27


Whenever authoritarian regimes control the federal democracies these caused the unrepeatable damage to the existing political system. Pakistan is one of major example of this phenomenon. Ayub Khan led martial law laid the foundation of disintegration of political process and federalism of the state that was completed during the martial law of Yehya Khan. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto led the federation of Pakistan towards the democratic path by giving a constitution with bicameralism for the first time in Pakistan but Zia ul Haq’s Martial Law once again deteriorated the parliamentary democracy and indulged the state into a proxy war against Russia in favor of America. Zia’s Martial Law destroyed the democratic norms of the country that resulted in the weak political system and fragile democracy during the 1990s. Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif both enjoyed two terms of premiership of Pakistan but federalism was never strengthened. Political system remained under the constant threat of