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• 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
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National Institute of Pakistan Studies
Name of ScholarAkhtar Hussain
Title of Dissertation Politics of Alliances in Pakistan (1954-1999)
Issue Date2008
PublisherNational Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

The role of opposition is very important for the successful working of liberal democratic institutions. Its constructive criticism can promote democratic values in society. However, the party in power Pakistan deliberately discouraged the growth of opposition parties and these have never been allowed to take roots firmly. Resultantly political parties and leaders have no other option but to strike deals either with the civil-military bureaucracy or join hands with fellow politicians and form various forms of alliances to gain some sort of political advantage in different political institutions. Political history of Pakistan shows that the country witnessed the formation of diverse kinds of alliances amongst the political parties and had left marked impacts on Pakistani politics both during civilian and military regimes.

The various types of alliances experienced by Pakistan include opposition, electoral and governmental alliances. Out of these the opposition alliances worked mainly during dictatorial regimes of the military adventuress. However, so far, no objective study of these alliances has been made. Questions like, What are political alliances?, What are the various types of alliances that emerged in Pakistan?, Why they emerged?, How they ceased?, What is their contribution to Pakistani politics?, How these are influenced by Pakistani political culture?, What are the characteristic of the alliances formed during the military and civilian regimes? etc. are some of the questions that ae frequently asked while discussing the political system of Pakistan. The present study will be an attempt to answer some of these questions.

The main focus of the present study entitled “ Politics of Alliances in Pakistan: 1954-1999” which consists of six chapters focuses on the following main questions; political compulsions and circumstances that promoted the formation of alliances among the divergent parties and political groups? What was the political strategy of these alliances? What were the political gains and weaknesses of these alliances? The present study is limited to alliances that plated important role in national politics. Alliances with regional support having the backing of small political parties or splinter groups have been ignored.