History Evaluation And Development Of Federalism Politics Essay

This study is an analysis of the Federalism in Pakistan which is of one of the most important topics that requires detailed analysis for its failures and ambiguity. This paper develops a conceptual outline to analyze the problem of responsibility which depends on democracy and to identify different ways to overcome it. An important proposal derived from this outline is that effective federalism can be continued only when government’s “hierarchical control” over public service provider is unbreakable by the public’s motivation (democracy) and ability to apply pressure on the providers to perform along with appropriate checks and balances over the public’s demands. The study attempt to analyze the federalism in Pakistan.

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1.1 Statement of Problem:

The main emphasis of this study is to analyze federalism obstacle that strengthen uncertainty in Pakistan. The study is motivated by three simple but important questions:

Is federalism is impressive for Pakistan?

Why federalism is not providing required fruits?

Is the control of federal agencies over legislative, economic and administrative powers have built a sense of dissatisfaction for federating units?

1.2 Objectives of the Study:

The objectives of the study is to throw light on the federal system of Pakistan through

clarifying the center and province relationship by providing suggestions to overcome the problems which are the obstacles in the federal system of Pakistan.

1.3 Significance of the Study:

This study makes an important contribution to the literature and debate on federalism because it directly estimates the relation between center and province to increase its significance and effectiveness of institutions.

1.4 Hypotheses:

After 18th amendment the future of federalism in Pakistan is more bright.

Federalism is depended on good center province relationship.

Democracy and federalism are correlated.

Federation depends upon good governance.

1.5 Research Methodology

This research is based on analytical and qualitative scale.

This paper is based on secondary research. It will help us to do general research. However the problem with secondary sources is that most of the articles and books are based on external intellectual work.

1.6 Literature Review:

The outcome of federalism on welfare of a country is uncertain. There has been a lot of literature written on positive as well as negative aspects of federalism. Kidane Mengisteab says that the process of state building through federalism have been widely resist by many African leaders and scholars. She (qtd Nkrto conceive economic development and democratization without a viable and active centre. Majority African leaders viewed federalism as a disruptive arrangement that would lead to secessions. As a result, a unitary centralizing strategy of state building was widely adopted in the continent. He himself concludes that it is hard to think about that solutions to the wide spread ethnic conflicts and crisis of state building would be fulfilled in the continent (Africa) without some type of federalism.

Discussing relationship between federalism and economic performance, Erik Wibbels says that federalism has negative impact on economic performance and reform. He mentions that to accommodate interests of individual provinces, it becomes very difficult for center to implement disliked policies. Wibbels argues that the macroeconomic and fiscal inequality experienced in federal nations are due to devolved political and fiscal institutions that create incentives for sub-national (provincial) governments to avoid the political costs of fiscal adjustment. Contrary to fiscal federalism theory.

On the contrary Robert P. Inman concluded that federalism has a unique contribution “to make to a society’s ability to enforce property rights, to protect political and civil rights, and then because of such rights protection, to enhance private sector economic performance. He says that due to protection of rights thorough federalism, economic performance of an individual increases, which finally led to welfare of a country. Similarly it is also argued that in Pakistan provincial governments are better able and efficient to collect small taxes. Central government has a good infrastructure but they are inefficient in collecting small taxes. The responsibility of tax collection should be in hands of provincial governments.

Katherine Adney argues that in Pakistan, ethnic conflicts can be resolved even in a non-democratic setting if there is representation of the provinces in the bureaucracy and the army. She says that for resolution of ethnic conflicts, democracy or federalism; which ensure provincial participation and devolution of subjects from centre to provinces, is not necessary. Equal representation in army and bureaucracy is necessary to accommodate interests of provinces. In other article Adney says that federalism is not able to resolve ethnic conflicts in heterogeneous province; a province in which there is significant amount of minority group beside ethno-national group. Presence of minorities with in a province leads to serious conflicts and it is almost impossible without genocide and forced population transfers to avoid the existence of some peoples who do not belong to the dominant ethno-national group within the heterogeneous province. She says that national and ethnic groups should not be allowed to govern themselves unless interests of minorities within a province are secured. He also discusses limitations of federalism in a country of homogenous provinces. It is argued that federalism leads to ethno-nationalistic conflicts in a country of homogenous province due to resources, legitimacy and dominancy that some ethnic groups attain; a major cause of secessions. It shows that there are limitations of federalism in both the homogenous as well as heterogeneous provinces countries. This argument of heterogeneous province can be applied against implementation of federalism in Pakistan.

1.7 Organization of the Study

Chapter 1 indicates introduction, statement of problem, objectives of the study, significance of the study, hypotheses, research methodology and literature review regarding federalism in Pakistan. While 2nd chapter describes the federalism theoretically by discussing the history evaluation and development of federalism, its meanings, characteristics, conditions, success and failure of federalism. Pakistan faced the issue of an unbalanced federal structure from the beginning because of the demographic preponderance of the province of East Pakistan with 55% of the population. The ruling elite based in the West wing, which enjoyed economic, political and administrative power, shunned the grim prospects of rendering a permanent majority position to the East wing. Chapter 3 explains the historical view, development of Federalism in Pakistan, federalism under different constitutions and eras. This chapter also outlines some of the approaches that are most widely used. These are intended only to illustrate the range of possibilities and should not be treated as a blue-print, for automatic adoption. The potential benefits of decentralization and the pitfalls to be avoided depend on the circumstances of each state. Arrangements for decentralization necessarily differ between states, in order to respond to the needs of each state and its peoples. Chapter 4 enlists the Character of Democracy, Constitutional Reforms Committee, National Finance Commission, Baluchistan, Current insurgency in Baluchistan and Special Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms (SPCCR), Standpoint of Political Parties on Concurrent List, The Reform Package, Gilgit Baltistan and Self Governance Order 2009, Fiscal Federalism under democratic government, 18the Amendment and its responses. Chapter 5 will conclude the research report and will give the findings and recommendations.


Ahmed, Iftikhar, Usman Mustafa, Mahmood Khalid, National Finance Commission Awards in Pakistan: A Historical Perspective, No 2007:33, PIDE – Working Papers, Pakistan institute of Development Economics, 2007 pp 12-19

Ahmed, Syed Jaffar, Federalism in Pakistan: A Constitutional Study, Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi, 1990 pp 1-23

Bhattacharyya, Harihar, ‘Multiculturalism in Contemporary India’, in John Rex & Gurharpal Singh eds, Governance in Multicultural Societies, Ashgate, 2004

Dawn, 22 June 2010

Full Text of Balochistan ‘Package Is Enough?

http://pakistaniat.com/2009/11/24/balochistan-package/, 24 November 2009

Halepoto, Zulfiqar, `18th Amendment: do more’, (Letter to the editor), Dawn, 16 April 2010

Erik Wibbels Department of Political Science Duke University Fiscal Decentralization and the Business Cycle: An Empirical Study of Seven Federations.” With Jonathan Rodden. Economics and Politics (March 2010): 37-67

Beyond the Fiction of Federalism: Macroeconomic Management in Multitiered Systems,” with Jonathan Rodden. World Politics (July 2002): 494-531.

Bailouts, Budget Constraints, and Leviathans: Comparative Federalism and Lessons from the Early U.S.” Comparative Political Studies (June 2003): 475-508.

Decentralization and Federalism in Comparative Politics.” Annual Review of Political Science (June 2006): 165

Business Cycles and the Political Economy of Decentralized Finance: Lessons for Fiscal Federalism in the EU.” With Jonathan Rodden. 2006. Fiscal Policy Surveillance in Europe. Edited by Peter Wierts, Servaas Deroose, Elena Flores and Alessandro Turrini.

Decentralization, Democracy, and Market Reform: On the Difficulty of Killing Two Birds With One Stone.” In David Samuels and Alfred Montero, eds. Decentralization and Democracy in Latin America: Causes and Consequences. 2004.

Chapter 2

To analyze the development of federalism in Pakistan, we need to study the colonial heritage as well as the two phases of pre-federalization (1947-71) and federalization (1973). The first phase was characterized by centralization of authority and removal of the federal structure within West Pakistan. In the second phase, federalism bounce back and gradually moved forward in the face of disturbing challenges from the centralist framework of state authority.

2.1 History Evaluation and Development of Federalism

Development of federalism in British India took a quantum rise forward in the form of the 1935 India Act that required to accommodate the mixed regional aspirations across the Indian sub-continent through provisions for provincial autonomy. The Muslim League high command avoids the territorial conception of federalism because it did not control the Muslim-majority provinces. Punjab never had a Muslim League government. NWFP was ruled by the Congress. Bengal and Sindh produced weak coalition governments, sometimes operating outside the command structure of the Muslim League. However, the party was finally obliged to accommodate the demands of the Muslim majority provinces if it wanted to gain the support of the Muslims in these provinces. The 1940 Lahore Resolution passed by the Muslim League demanded `independent and self-sufficient states in Muslim majority areas’. This resolution was outdated by the resolution passed by the 1946 Muslim Legislators’ conference that required consolidating the areas covered by the former into one alarming entity. However, the Lahore Resolution has been celebrated because it publicly efficient the nationalist agenda of the Muslim League. It also underlined the (con-) federalist goal of Bengali, Sindhi, Baloch and Pakhtun nationalists who understand it as the foundation of a new social contract among provinces, to become part of the new state. Elements from the ethno-nationalist leadership claim that: i) Jinnah imagine confederation for Pakistan, ii) the 1935 India Act provided no role for the Centre, and iii) autonomous and independent provinces entered into a agreement to establish the new federation. However, according to normal constitutional thinking, the supreme authority of the state after partition in 1947 devolved on two rights in a top-down style rather than in a bottoms-up process. The supposed federal provisions of the Lahore Resolution remained stopped at the national level even as it continued to serve as a Magna Carta for ethno-nationalists of various categories. The fact that the two wings were considered weak to the supposed aggressive designs of India pushed the ruling best towards the centralization of all meaningful power in the hands of Karachi and later Islamabad. The centre total vast powers under Sections 9 (5), 8 (2), 102 and 92 (A) of the 1947 Independence of India Act. Thus, Pakistan was born into an irregular political situation that led to two contradictory approaches: i) making federalism the only option for a viable form of government, and ii) making it as toothless as possible.

2.1.1 In search of inter-wing parity: 1947-1971

Pakistan faced the issue of an disturbed federal structure from the beginning because of the demographic hold of the province of East Pakistan with 55% of the population. The ruling best based in the West wing, which enjoyed economic, political and administrative power, avoid the harsh prospects of picture a permanent majority position to the East wing. It pushed the agenda for inter-wing parity in terms of equal representation in the parliament. The principle of parity highlights the 1952 Nazimuddin Report that provided for a bicameral parliament with 60 and 200 members in the upper and lower houses respectively for each wing. Later, the 1953 Mohammad Ali Bogra formula provided 10 and 165 seats for East Pakistan in the upper and lower houses respectively and 40 and 135 seats for West Pakistan. East Pakistan thus had a majority in the lower house, but not in the upper, although provision was made for a joint sitting of the houses in the case of disagreement. This scheme was not adopted. The Punjab chief minister Noon strongly follows a parallel proposal for a zonal sub-federation for the West wing, which was however soon put back.

The merger of the provinces and territories of West Pakistan into One Unit in 1955 as a mega-province to achieve parity with East Pakistan served as the basis of the federation for both the 1956 and 1962 Constitutions. Punjab in general, and Commander-in-Chief General Ayub and President General Iskandar Mirza in particular, championed the cause of One Unit and steamrolled opposition from Sindh, NWFP and Baluchistan. West Pakistan had its capital at Lahore in Punjab. In 1960, the capital of Pakistan moved from Karachi to Islamabad, also situated in Punjab. These federalist arrangements were widely perceived to be a sign of the Punjabization of Pakistan. National integration had ostensibly been the rationale behind the adoption of One Unit, but it led to fierce backlash in the form of ethno-nationalist movements in Sindh, Baluchistan and NWFP. The last provinces of West Pakistan were restored in 1970, when Baluchistan was created as a province for the first time.

Provinces in Pakistan, unlike in India, were not re-organized on the basis of language. Apart from their center communities, these provinces contained large ethnic minorities, which keep provincial goal of their own, e.g. Pakhtuns in Baluchistan, mohajirs (Urdu speaking refugee from India) in Sindh, Siraiki-speakers in south Punjab and Hindko-speakers in the Hazara division of NWFP. The ruling best in Pakistan found language undesirable as a lawful source of identity. In India, language was in and religion was out as a constitutional group. In Pakistan, religion was in, but language was out because of its supposed potential for political damage. This discounted the agenda of creating language- based provinces. The requirement for a two-third majority in the two houses of parliament to create a new province, in addition to the permission in the assembly of the provinces concerned, as made the creation of a new province extremely difficult. In contrast in India, a simple majority of the Lok Sabha is required – although the opinion of the state administration must be required.

The 21-Point Program of the United Front in East Pakistan in 1954 insists the establishment of the federation on the basis of the Lahore Resolution. In 1966, the Awami League’s Six Points Program again required to completely redefine federalism by demanding: mature franchise in a parliamentary structure; two subjects for the Centre, i.e. defense and foreign policy, along with communications; two controvertible separate currencies or one currency to be handled by two separate reserve banks for the two wings; power of taxation for the provinces; right of provinces to handle foreign exchange and foreign trade; and paramilitary forces for East Pakistan. In the absence of an agreement on the quantum of provincial autonomy between the two wings and the rejection of Yahya Khan and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to allow the Awami League to form a government after the elections of 1971, the federation aggressively sick in 1971.

2.1.2 Majority Constraining Federalism

The separation of East Pakistan guide to a new thinking about federalism as Punjab now signify the position of one-province-dominates-all at 58 per cent of the population. The smaller provinces were loyal to restrict the majority of one province in the parliament. The presence of other ethnic communities separate from what was left of Pakistan after Bangladesh appears large on the possibility. The best of Sindh, NWFP and Baluchistan pressed for some kind of majority-constraining federalism. Prime Minister Z. A. Bhutto, himself from Sindh, was able to accommodate the demands of the provinces for a bicameral parliament hold a population chamber (the lower house) and a territorial chamber (the upper house). Provincial languages were known. However, only Sindh approve a provincial language – in 1972 when Sindhi was given the status of official language. Urdu was, by default, derecognized as a language of Sindh. Its negative argue on mohajirs led to language riot, followed by decades of ethnic trouble between the two communities.

Just as the 1956 Constitution was lead by the Murree agreement between the Bengali and Punjabi groups, the 1973 Constitution was preceded by the 1972 agreement between PPP and ANP-JUI unite. The 1973 Constitution offer for a National Assembly where majority feel right to Punjab and the Senate where all the four provinces enjoyed equal representation at 19 members each, with 8 seats for FATA and 3 for Islamabad. This so-called demos-constraining role of the upper chamber has the potential of balancing the majority of the lower house. However, the impact of the improved symbol of smaller provinces in the Senate has been offset by the asymmetrical policy scope of the two houses. The Senate has no control over money bills. The national budget could be sent for consent of the President after passage through National Assembly, even avoids the other house. The 2003 17th Amendment based on Musharaf’s 2002 Legal Framework Order, increased the membership of the National Assembly to 342, including 272 directly elected members, 60 reserved seats for women and 10 minority seats, and delayed the size of the Senate to 100, with 22 seats for each province, 8 seats for FATA and 4 seats for Islamabad. It became fixed to present the money bills to the Senate, if not to get it approved by that house.

The voters for the Senate include MPAs, along with MNAs from Islamabad and FATA. Being indirectly elected under PR-STV system, Senators are double removed from the public and thus have a low representative character. Over time, the election of the Senate for 6 years, with half of the house chosen every 3 years, has become practical `selection’ by the political parties through proposal of their candidates. The condition of election for the 8 Senators of FATA by 12 MNAs is considered silly. Since elections for the two houses were held at different times, it was not scarce to see the majority party in the National Assembly to have a minority representation in the Senate. This regularly happened in the 1990s. After the 2008 elections, the PPP and its partners managed to get a exposed majority in the Senate only after elections for half of the house in 2009. Sometimes, this situation blocked legislation from moving outside one house. This happened in the case of the 1991 Shariat Bill (the aborted 15th Amendment). During the period of diarchy (1985-1999), the 8th Amendment gave the President power to dissolve the National Assembly and thus discharge the federal government. Consecutive presidents Zia-ul-Huq, Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Farooq Leghari use these powers in 1988, in 1990 and 1993, and in 1996 respectively. Both Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Farooq Leghari were able to activate the support of definite political parties from the smaller provinces represented on the floor of the Senate in order to counter the majority in the National Assembly lead by either Benazir Bhutto’s PPP or Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N. While the Prime Minister describe on the critical support of Punjab in the lower house, the President relied on the understood support of smaller provinces in the Senate. In this way, bicameralism became trapped with diarchy representing division of powers between the two houses of parliament and between the leader of state and the chief executive respectively.

The federal construction of the 1973 Constitution make bad ethnic conflict by creating de jure respect of center linguistic communities recognized with their respective federating units. Thus, Sindhis, Punjabis, Pathans and the Baluch got their `homelands’ legally accepted as federating units of Pakistan under their respective provincial governments. However, such `legal’ increase of ethnic groups representing majority communities in these provinces, such as Sindhis in Sindh, in turn disenfranchised minority groups, such as mohajirs in that province. In other words, the federal project merge the Sindhi identity and within a decade and half created a mohajir ethnic characteristics with the opening of a part system along ethno regional lines, complete to rural and urban sectors in Sindh matching to Sindhi and mohajir communities, federalization distinguish against advantage and further make worse ethnic awareness among mohajirs.

Juridical equality of the federating units in the Senate largely improved the visibility and validity of ethnic majorities in provinces. Bicameralism itself is no guarantee of fair allocation of resources, nor is the equality of the federative sign. Indeed, the probability of federalism to increase secession away has not been noted nor does federalism provide the way to democratization. Pakistan stays a federation under military rulers. It was General Yahya who breaks up One Unit and returns the four provinces of West Pakistan that arrange the foundation for the 1973 Constitution. Federalization is not democratization. The argument of `prefectural federation’ in India is based on the Centre’s power to reduce provincial autonomy, impose into the legislative domain of provinces sometimes through pre-emptive action, and put provincial legislation on hold in certain cases.

In Pakistan, the Centre operated in an even more penetrative and powerful way. However, the weakness of the normal federal parties PPP and PML vis-a-vis the army has opened up space for their coalitional partnerships with ethno regional parties that made it possible to relax the hold of the federation over provinces in recent years. India’s move to alliance governments including regional parties has resulted in a similar style.

2.2 Epistemological Meaning

The word federal introduced to English through French next from Latin -federates having meaning “bound by treaty” is derived from foedus mean treaty and fidere giving meaning to trust. So it is clear that federalism means treaty of units. Federalism is a theory develops as response to the ancient but often asked questions “what is a way to link and regionally diverse society together to safe such objectives which are unattainable in variety without losing their individual identities.

2.3 Defining Federalism

A system of government which has created, by written agreement, a central and national government to which it has spread particular legislative (law-making) powers, and called the federal government, and regional governments (or sometimes called provinces or states) governments to which is distributed other, specified legislative powers.

McLean and McMillan define it as a form of government stresses both vertical power-sharing across different levels of governance and, at the same time, the incorporation of different territorial and socio-economic units, cultural and ethnic groups in one single polity.”

A division and distribution of law-making (aka legislative) powers between a central and national government with law-making powers in areas of national range, and protective governments, with limited law-making powers in areas of law-making more regional in claim.

Also known as a federal form of government, or a federation, and where the written agreement is called a constitution.

In Wheaton’s Elements of International Law:

“The federal government created by the act of union is sovereign and supreme within the sphere of the powers granted to it by that act….”

In Constitutional Law of Canada, author Peter Hogg wrote:

“In a federal state, it is common to speak of two ‘levels’ of government.

“The metaphor is apt in that the power of the central authority extends throughout the country, and is in that sense ‘higher’ than the power of each regional authority, which is confined to its region.

“Moreover, in every federation, in the event of inconsistency between a federal law and a provincial or state law, it is the federal or national law which prevails.

“But to speak of the central authority as a ‘higher level’ of government must not carry the implication that the regional authorities are legally subordinate to the center; on the contrary, they are coordinate or equal in status with the center.”

Federalism usually comes about by a contract or constitution between the territorial governments to unite and form, in specified areas, a central set of laws, such as to represent all internationally, and in national legislation re criminal and commercial laws.

In Reference re Secession of Quebec:

“In a federal system of government such as ours, political power is shared by two orders of government: the federal government on the one hand, and the provinces on the other. Each is assigned respective spheres of jurisdiction by the Constitution Act, 1867.

“(F) Federalism is a political and legal response to underlying social and political realities.

“The principle of federalism recognizes the variety of the constituent parts of Confederation, and the autonomy of provincial governments to develop their societies within their respective spheres of jurisdiction. The federal structure of our country also facilitates democratic participation by distributing power to the government thought to be most right to attain the particular public objective having view to this variety. The scheme (is) not to join the Provinces into one, nor to subordinate Provincial Governments to a central authority, but to establish a central government in which these Provinces should be characterized, delegate with exclusive authority only in affairs in which they had a common interest. Subject to this, each Province was to keep its independence and autonomy….

“Differences between provinces are a balanced part of the political reality in the federal process….

“The principle of federalism eases the search of collective goals by cultural and linguistic minorities which form the majority within a particular province.”

Later, in 2001, the Ontario Court of Appeal:

“Federalism, the division of legislative power between the Parliament of Canada and the provincial legislatures, reproduce a basic fact of Canada’s constitutional and political structure.

“Federalism represents the constitutional definition of that feature of our political life that unites us while defend suitable scope to accommodate and to enhance the varied social, cultural, and economic realities of the varied and characteristic provincial communities that make up our nation.

“Federalism is aˆ¦ a legal response to the fundamental political and cultural realities that exist at Confederation and continue to exist today. Federalism was the political method by which diversity could be resigned with unity.”

2.4 Conditions of Federalism

We need to go further than this in our search to identify the conditions of federal states if we are to move closer to a practical explanatory framework of analysis for comparative purposes. First, it is clear that only one of our four authors, namely, Thomas Franck, directly address the question of what ‘success’ and ‘failure’ could mean in the context of federations. But it would also appear that the other three providers automatically assume that failure meant either the collapse of the state or the secession of a constituent part or parts of it, while success was official to both the configuration of a federation and/or its following endurance or long life. This, I think, is a different, although clearly related, subject and it need not detain us here. Secondly, it is important to emphasize the significance of the case studies selected for comparative analysis. Franck, for example, based his comparative survey on developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean islands and certainly the conclusions that he represent were shaped and determined by this particular empirical focus. As an American scholar, he was mainly inspired by the apparent failure of what he called ‘classical federalism’ in many of the ‘new’ nations that had attemptd to implement something that he because of his own national identification – regarded as a ‘beneficent instance of federalism’.

At this point I think it is suitable to bring into focus the emphasis that Anthony Birch first made over forty years ago because it has a direct approach on the nature of this project in relative analysis. Rejecting Riker’s approach which he believe to be beset with natural difficulties, his own preference was for a study that took as its starting point ‘the existence of somewhat similar arrangements which have develop or have been construct in a limited number of countries, themselves not completely different, to meet similar needs’. Franck, in his Why Federations Fail, certainly matches to this approach. The common factor of failed federations and the limited number of case studies that also shared many similar circumstances and arrangements enabled him, as we have seen, to identify a number of conditions of success and failure that guide to a possible conceptual framework of proportional analysis. But it hold its boundaries. The empirical focus effectively restricted the comparative analytical possibilities. The real reason for the failure of federalism lay somewhere else. Franck himself acknowledged that ‘classical federalism’ of the American type could not simply be export to developing countries because there were ‘fewer factors operating for, and more factors operating against, unity’ among such nations than there were in the United States of the 1770s. Consequently any historical parallels or similarities that such countries shared with America’s past experience were not necessarily helpful:

The similarities which it accepts to the present do not necessarily provide the past to be a guide to the future