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The Politics of Corruption and Its Impact on Democracy in Pakistan (1988-1999)

By: Bakhtiar Khan, Saeed Ahmad, Arif Khan*

Pakistan, an important state in South Asia, is known for its unstable
democracy. Pakistan and its institutions have gained less familiarity with
democracy as its 70 years history has been experiencing with half military
and half, the so called, democratic rule. The craze ofpower politics among
politicians have reverted the state machinery to mal-practices and
corruption. The post General Zia period aroused sentiments for the revival of
democracy in the country. It was hoped that Pakistan would become fully
democratic onward. But the expectations did not last long. The menace of
corruption, favouritism, misuse of public office, retaliatory politics,
supporting party loyalists’ etc. could not materialize the idea in true sense.
This paper argues that democracy and democratic institutions in Pakistan
could not strengthen as the politicians and political elites have preferred their
personal interest over the welfare of the masses as well as of the state. This
paper highlights the democratic period of 1988-1999, in the perspective of
politician’s involvement in corrupt practices and abuse of public offices which
had overshadowed the desired goal of full democratization. To answer these,
archival sources supplemented by secondary sources are consulted in this
Key Words: Politicians, Corruption, Political Parties, Democratization,
Pakistan Peoples, Party and Pakistan Muslim League (N).