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Post Partition Pakistan #24 Historical Developments 1990-1995

Pakistan's Political History (1990-1995): The Return of Democracy, Challenges, and Transformations

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The period from 1990 to 1995 in Pakistan’s political history was marked by significant developments, including the alternation of power between Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), constitutional amendments, social changes, religious issues, and economic challenges. This comprehensive article explores key events, constitutional progress, political dynamics, social changes, religious issues, economic developments, and the leadership during this transformative period.

1990:

  • General Elections (October 1990): Pakistan held general elections in October 1990, resulting in a victory for the IJI (Islamic Democratic Alliance), a coalition of conservative parties, and the election of Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister.

Constitutional Developments:

  • Thirteenth Amendment (April 1990): The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, passed in April 1990, curtailed the President’s power to dissolve the National Assembly.

Political Movements:

  • Alternation of Power: The alternation of power between Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif marked the changing political landscape in Pakistan.
  • Nawaz Sharif as Prime Minister (November 1990): Nawaz Sharif took office as Prime Minister following the victory of the IJI.

Social and Religious Developments:

  • Religious Tensions: The period witnessed religious tensions, with incidents like the demolition of the Babri Masjid in India in December 1992 leading to protests in Pakistan.

Economic Progress:

  • Economic Reforms: The government under Nawaz Sharif introduced economic reforms, including efforts to privatize state-owned enterprises.

Leadership and Key Figures:

  1. Nawaz Sharif (1990-1993): Nawaz Sharif served as Prime Minister during this period, marking his first term in office.

1992:

  • Dismissal of Nawaz Sharif (April 1993): President Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismissed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on charges of corruption and mismanagement.

Constitutional Developments:

  • Eighth Amendment (April 1993): The Eighth Amendment to the Constitution, passed in April 1993, sought to curtail the powers of the President to dissolve the National Assembly.

Political Movements:

  • Benazir Bhutto’s Return (April 1993): Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan from self-imposed exile following Nawaz Sharif’s dismissal.
  • Benazir Bhutto’s Second Term (October 1993): Benazir Bhutto was re-elected as Prime Minister in October 1993, marking her second term in office.

Social and Religious Developments:

  • Religious Tensions: Religious tensions continued, with incidents like the Bombay bombings in 1993 leading to increased scrutiny of religious groups.

Economic Progress:

  • Economic Challenges: Pakistan faced economic challenges, including inflation, fiscal deficits, and the need for structural reforms.

1993:

  • Dismissal of Benazir Bhutto (November 1996): President Farooq Leghari dismissed Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto’s government on charges of corruption and mismanagement.

Constitutional Developments:

  • Fifteenth Amendment (December 1996): The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, passed in December 1996, aimed to strengthen the role of the President.

Political Movements:

  • General Elections (February 1997): Pakistan held general elections in February 1997, resulting in a victory for Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N and his return to the Prime Minister’s office.

Social and Religious Developments:

  • Religious Tensions: Religious tensions continued to simmer, with incidents like the Taliban’s rise in neighboring Afghanistan causing concerns.

Economic Progress:

  • Economic Reforms: Nawaz Sharif’s government introduced economic reforms, including efforts to address fiscal deficits and attract foreign investment.

Conclusion:

The period from 1990 to 1995 in Pakistan’s political history witnessed the alternation of power between Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, marked by constitutional amendments, social changes, religious tensions, and economic challenges. The alternation of power between these two leaders reflected the changing political landscape in Pakistan. Constitutional amendments sought to define the roles of the President and the Prime Minister, while economic reforms aimed to address fiscal deficits and attract foreign investment. However, religious tensions and external factors like the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan continued to have implications for Pakistan’s stability.

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