DATE=10/15/1999 TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT TITLE=PAKISTAN'S BURDEN NUMBER=5-44527 BYLINE=ED WARNER DATELINE=WASHINGTON CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Military leaders in Pakistan have once again intervened and removed a civilian government, pointing up their continuing power in a politically unstable country. V-O-A's Ed Warner asked two analysts of Pakistan for their views of the intervention and what it may mean for the troubled nation. TEXT: Pakistan had a confused, blood-soaked beginning that it has never been able to live down. How then can you expect its military not to be powerful? asks Khalid bin Sayeed, professor of politics at Queens College in Kingston [Ontario], Canada, and author of "Western Dominance and Political Islam." Pakistan was too hastily put together at the time of partition, says Professor Sayeed. It lacked the opportunity to create a secure foundation and has been shaky ever since: /// 1ST SAYEED ACT /// The demand for Pakistan was made in 1940, and within seven years they established the state, carving a state out of a larger entity. And 12- to 13-million people cross[ed] the frontier and [there was] enormous blood [was] shed -- a state which has had no precedent in human history, in a way. /// END ACT /// Since the beginning, then, the military has been the principal power in Pakistan, even under civilian governments. When offended by one of these governments, the generals have simply returned to overt rule. Samina Ahmed of Harvard's Kennedy Center of Government says Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif deeply offended the military by blaming it for the failed intervention in Kashmir. He then tried to change its leadership: /// 1st AHMED ACT /// The military will not accept any intervention in its internal affairs by any elected leader. Even though nominally the prime minister was in charge of the military, he was not really in charge of internal affairs. That remains an area of special sensitivity to the armed forces. /// END ACT /// Samina Ahmed says the prime minister, intent on accumulating power, was largely responsible for his own downfall: /// 2ND AHMED ACT /// Unfortunately, because [Mr.] Sharif had distorted the Constitution, [and] introduced amendments that made in-house change near impossible, this gave the military an opportunity because it deprived the political leadership - the elected Parliament - of a means of changing a very, very unpopular leader. /// END ACT /// Professor Sayeed agrees the Sharif government made unnecessary trouble for itself. But, he adds, there are other basic problems. In his opinion, Pakistan has suffered from too slavishly following Western constitutional models that may not be suitable for other parts of the world: /// 2ND SAYEED ACT /// The Pakistanis seem to be so trapped by certain formulas and phrases that they have borrowed from the West and which have not yet been absorbed within the social and political fabric of their society. National unity cannot just be promoted by a constitution, by a few phrases. This has to be worked on. This has to be developed. /// END ACT /// Professor Sayeed says Pakistan's ruling elites, in their rush to westernize, have tried to escape the provincialism of their less fortunate countrymen. But that provincialism -- a devotion to a particular culture, language or region -- is at the heart of Pakistan. He believes the country is not governable without including it: /// 3RD SAYEED ACT /// Let us convert this provincialism, which at present seems to be an inimical force, a hostile force, into a creative and friendly force for the development of the country. We have to persuade people who belong to the minority regions to realize that we respect their linguistic, cultural consciousness. We do not treat it as anti-national. /// END ACT /// Professor Sayeed says building democracy is a gradual process, especially in view of Pakistan's historical and current burdens: an exploding population, religious conflict, terrorists roaming the land and a million refugees from the Afghanistan wars still living in the country. (Signed) NEB/EW/WTW 15-Oct-1999 16:04 PM EDT (15-Oct-1999 2004 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .