Political Behaviors of Pakistani Governments toward Islam

By: Mansoor Ahmed  

The dominion of Pakistan that appeared on the map of the world at 14 August 1947 after independence from British was renamed as ‘Islamic Republic of Pakistan’ on 23 March 1956. Since promulgation of its first indigenous constitution till date country went through questionable history one of the reasons for this was contentious role of Islam in the politics of the country. The country went through presidential, military, and parliamentary mode of governments plus multiple constitutions. Among the common provisions in the constitution the most visible ones are related to the establishment of a permanent state institution namely "Council of Islamic Ideology" the subject of this study. It is a permanent constitutional institution that is composed of religious clerics appointed by the governments to send its recommendations in confidential manners of the measures that can be promulgated on the name of Islam. This paper by going through the history of the Council since 1973 till date would attempt to anticipate in general the changes that emerge in polity of the country in response to the process when government uses its vehicle to have control on religious issues as a tool of politics. This study draws extensively on the proceedings of the Council by contrasting them with the legislations, newspaper archives, the legislative Assembly debates. It concludes that political behaviour of Pakistani governments instead of resulting in extending government control over clergy resulted otherwise and it further cognitively fueled fragmentation and fundamentalism in polity of the country.

Governmental, Politics, Islam
The Politics of Religion
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Mansoor Ahmed

PhD student, History, L'École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), France

Phd Student since August 2015