Announcements :
• Dr. Muhammad Hanif Khalil has resumed the charge as Acting Director of the National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad w.e.f. 25-09-2023
• The Institute has announced BS, M. Phil, and PhD admissions (Fall-2023)
National Institute of Pakistan Studies
Name of ScholarSultan Mahmood
Title of Dissertation Nature and Functioning of Democracy in Pakistan: 1985-1999
Issue Date2010
PublisherNational Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

The discourse of democracy has become, in most societies, the dominant discourse of politics. The global political environment has been changed in this period as a result of what Samuel P. Huntington has referred to as ‘third wave of democratization’, which has produced a replacement of considerable number of authoritarian regimes by democratic ones. In 1980 less than 30 percent of the countries in the world were democratic. But at the end of 20th century more than 60 percent have been declared electoral democracies.

Democracy played a vital role in the creation of Pakistan. there are few countries in the world where democratic process have played as vital role in the creation of a country as it played in the creation of Pakistan. Movement for Pakistan was a popular democratic movement, involving mass participation. However, after the creation of Pakistan the state of democracy is not that much strong as it should have. Various issues and problems are weakening the state of democracy in Pakistan. The most power enemies of democracy in Pakistan have been the powerful institutions of military and bureaucracy.

The present study is an attempt to discuss the political development and nature and functioning of democracy in Pakistan during 1985 and 1999. The study is based on historical and analytical approach using both descriptive and analytical techniques alternating in accordance with the requirement of the research. Qualitative method of analysis is dominant in the study but quantitative method has also been employed, especially in the analysis of electoral results.  The study is primarily deductive as nature and functioning of democracy in Pakistan has been analysed in the light of general principles and theoretical concepts of democracy discussed in introduction of the present study. Inductive logic has been used in the conclusion to evolve general principles based upon observation of the democratic process during the period under study. The period from 1985 to 1999 represents very important phase in the political history of Pakistan, which has the rare distinction of being created through democratic process, as majority of the political analysts are of the view that democracy created Pakistan.