Poli 322 Presentation
India and Pakistan: interpreting the divergence of two political trajectories (By Christophe Jafferlot)
Presented by: Sheikh Huzaifa Uzair
Main argument of the essay:
By analyzing the impact of historical legacies on the formation of institutions in India and Pakistan, we can
explain the puzzling difference in the political trajectories of the two countries.
Author proposes five hypothesis to analyze the above mentioned divergence:
1. India and Pakistan, despite sharing a colonial past, did not inherit the same political experience
2. Priority given to security was different in the two countries leading to different political trajectories
3. Existence of ethnic groups played out differently in the two countries.
4. The number and the nature of political parties were different in India and Pakistan.
5. Differences in social structures led to different political trajectories in the two countries.
Arguments in favor of Hypothesis no. 1 and 2:
Colonial legacy and its impact on the political trajectory:
- Different regions of the subcontinent were administered in a different fashion by the British Raj. Overall,
the main story is of a gradual devolution of power to the Indians. However, the provinces of Punjab,
NWFP and Baluchistan (all three of which later became part of Pakistan) were administered differently
than the rest of India. All three suffered from a lack of democratic practices, high militarism (observed
more in Punjab and NWFP than Baluchistan) and a political culture based on the lines of paternalism
- Punjabis and Pashtuns = martial races of the empire implications for post-independence Pakistan.
Post-Independence Institutional structures:
- Constitutional structure: India’s one constitution vs. Pakistan’s three constitutions.
- State Machinery: State machinery in India remained functional after independence (including
bureaucracy, army and treasury). Across the border however, Pakistan had to build everything from
- Problems of nation building: Pakistan’s issues over national language vs. India’s 15 official
- Security related issues: Security obsession of Pakistan vs. India’s self-confidence on security
questions. Differences in military expenditures.
- Role of the leadership: appointment of governor generals.
Arguments in favor of Hypothesis 3:
Pakistan’s anti majority syndrome:
Clash between the political elites of east and the west wing of Pakistan over the issues of:
- Constitution proposal’s prescribed mechanics of the legislative assemblies (conflict over the law of
- the national language
India’s Political Pluralism based on ethno linguistic diversity:
Linguistic pluralism leading to political pluralism and democracy by:
- Recognition of 15 official languages,
1 By passing successive acts: 1882 self-government act followed by refo