Course: Political Parties and Pressure Groups in Pakistan (545)
Level: M.Sc. Semester: Autumn,2022
ASSIGNMENT No. 1
Q.1 political party is the basic component of democracy with reference to this discuss the objectives of formation of political parties. Explain the functions of political parties and also discuss the democracy within political party.
A political party is defined as an organised group of people with at least roughly similar political aims and opinions, that seeks to influence public policy by getting its candidates elected to public office.
Parties tend to be deeply and durably entrenched in specific substructures of society in a sustainable and well functioning democracy. They can link the governmental institutions to the elements of the civil society in a free and fair society and are regarded as necessary for the functioning any modern democratic political system.Political parties perform key tasks in a democratic society, such as Soliciting and articulating public policy priorities and civic needs and problems as identified by members and supporters. socialising and educating voters and citizens in the functioning of the political and electoral system and the generation of general political values balancing opposing demands and converting them into general policies.
Q.2 Elaborate the elements of pressure groups. Describe in detail the types of different pressure groups in Pakistan and also explain their role in developments of public opinion.
§ A pressure group is a group of people who are organised actively for promoting and defending their common interest. It is called so, as it attempts to bring a change in public policy by exerting pressure on the government. It acts as a liaison between the government and its members.
§ The pressure groups are also called interest groups or vested groups. They are different from the political parties, as they neither contest elections nor try to capture political power. They are concerned with specific programmes and issues and their activities are confined to the protection and promotion of the interests of their members by influencing the government.
§ The pressure groups influence the policy-making and policy implementation in the government through legal and legitimate methods like lobbying, correspondence, publicity, propagandising, petitioning, public debating, maintaining contacts with their legislators and so forth.
Q.3 Discuss in detail the interaction and interrelation process between the political parties and pressure groups during 1956-1977.
One might think that casting a vote might make them a responsible citizen. However, this is only partly true because healthy democracies rely on voters who regularly question their government and express views on its policies or become involved in pressure groups or political parties.
Pressure groups and political parties are co-dependent for achieving their goals. Pressure groups consider the parties to be an important method of gaining access to those in power and political parties need the support of groups of people who share one or more interests and influence each other to get elected and maintain themselves in power. The nature of the federal system fosters a chain of a continuous relationship between the two bodies
In your daily life, you might have come across news like “RSS’s statement on Tablighi Jamaat” or “FICCI’s call for government support in the Aviation industry”. Maybe, you would have wondered like me about what these associations actually are, what are they trying to do, why the media is covering them, etc.! So, these associations which have a group of people with a common interest that try to secure their interests by influencing the formulation and working of public policies can be understood as examples of Pressure Groups. Pressure Groups always have people with the same ideology. Pressure Groups are also known as Interest Groups
Q.4 Identify the elements of public opinion. Elaborate the role of public opinion in developments of democracy.
The term “public opinion” was derived from the French opinion publique, which was first used in 1588 by Michel de Montaigne in the second edition of his Essays (ch. XXII).
The French term also appears in the 1761 work Julie, or the New Heloise by Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Precursors of the phrase in English include William Temple’s “general opinion” (appearing in his 1672 work On the Original and Nature of Government) and John Locke’s “law of opinion” (appearing in his 1689 work An Essay Concerning Human Understanding).
The emergence of public opinion as a significant force in the political realm dates to the late 17th century, but opinion had been regarded as having singular importance much earlier. Medieval fama publica or vox et fama communis had great legal and social importance from the 12th and 13th centuries onward. Later, William Shakespeare called public opinion the “mistress of success” and Blaise Pascal thought it was “the queen of the world”.
Q.5 What were the causes of formation of Pakistan National Alliance against the Bhutto government?
The Pakistan National Alliance, was a populist and consolidated right-wing political alliance, consisting of nine political parties of the country. Formed in 1977, the country’s leading right-wing parties agreed upon to run a political campaign as a single bloc against the left oriented PPP in the 1977 general elections.
Despite each parties standing with a different ideology, PNA was noted for its large physical momentum and its right-wing orientation, originally aimed to oppose Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the PPP. Despite its right-wing populist agenda, the alliance performed poorly in the 1977 general election and levelled accusations of rigging the elections. After months of spontaneous violent political activism, the martial law came in effect under chief of army staff General Zia-ul-Haq who made call for a political retribution. By 1978, the alliance met its end when parties diverged in each of its agenda. The left-wing parties later would form the MRD alliance under PPP to oppose President Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s and the right-wing forming the IDA alliance under PML.
The PPP came in power politics after the loss of East-Pakistan in 1971. After uplifting the martial law in 1972 and promulgating the constitution in 1973, the PPP made slow efforts to advance the “Islam and democracy” in the country, but intensified the socialism with a vengeance. First and foremost, the nationalisation program was carried out to centralised the large-scale industries, private-sector and commercial corporation to set up the strong state sector. Resentment and heavy disapproval came from the elite corporate sector and PPP intensified its public programs at the social circles. Although the general elections were to be held on half of 1977, Bhutto made a move and called for holding the general elections on 7 January 1977.