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Both India and Pakistan got independence at the same time and started their progress, but there is a clear contrast between Military's involvement in Politics/Establishment between the two countries.

Military Coups in Pakistan

  1. 1958 Coup - Sikandar Mirza dismissed the assembly and within fortnight got dismissed himself by Martial Law Administrator Ayub Khan.

  2. 1977 Coup - General Zia ul Haq dismissed the assemblies and ordered arrest of Bhutto, his ministers and other leaders - Bhutto would be hanged later on.

  3. 1999 Coup - Musharraf arrested Nawaz Sharif and his ministers.

Not only these, but there have been some unsuccessful attempts of coups as well.

Ironically, in 1971, president of Pakistan (Yahya Khan) was also a military general whose poor planning and diplomacy lead to huge loss of Pakistan.

Military Involvement in India

On the other hand, there hasn't been a single attempt of coups in India (as a funny contrast to Pakistan, there is not even a Wikipedia entry for that). Even Indira Gandhi is believed to have kept Gen Arora Singh standing for hours in her wait for just one statement post-1971 war while we never see Pakistani governments finding courage to see in the eyes of army?

And not only military coups, army always has been active in Pakistani establishment, why there is so much contrast in these two countries?

  • I would move "even" to the other side of Indira Gandhi. And would go so far as to suggest an ode to her wouldn't be an unreasonable answer if you aren't interested in making fun of the Indian army. – user9389 Sep 21 '17 at 3:23
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    I know nothing whatever about this, but I suspect it has to do with the fact that in 1948 the Indian government took over an existing and accepted structure, with well-established power centres. Pakistan had to create something from scratch. Comparable might be the period after 1789 in France, after the entire political edifice had been thrown in the air. It took decades, and military dictatorships along the way, until things became more settled. – WS2 Sep 22 '17 at 8:51
  • @TalhaIrfan, give me some example from India. – user4514 Sep 22 '17 at 10:27
  • @WS2, good point noted. That will help me to strengthen my own theory. – user4514 Sep 22 '17 at 10:33
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As WS2 pointed out,

... I suspect it has to do with the fact that in 1948 the Indian government took over an existing and accepted structure, with well-established power centers. Pakistan had to create something from scratch. Comparable might be the period after 1789 in France after the entire political edifice had been thrown in the air. It took decades, and military dictatorships along the way until things became more settled.

It's because of the power vacuum created after a series of unnatural deaths and assassinations of high-profile Pakistani politicians.

  1. 1948 - Muhammad Ali Jinnah died because of tuberculosis and lung cancer.
  2. 1951 - Liaquat Ali Khan was assassinated.

(As an analogy, think of killing Mohan Das Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru only three years apart.)

These two deaths were the inception of military rule of Pakistan. It has been speculated that the death of Liaquat Ali Khan was plotted by the rival politicians, but, these deaths gave an opportunity to Iskander Mirza(1956 – 1958) to seize power. These deaths also gave an opportunity to Ayub Khan(1958 – 1969) to keep himself at the helm.

Unlike Jawahar Lal Nehru whose family ruled India's politics for decades, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan failed to give rise to any veteran politician from their families. Descendents were either not interested in politics, or, the prolonged military rule of both Mirza and Khan was able to break down country's democratic structure.

The following two deaths may or may not be accomplished by Ayub Khan.

  1. 1963 - Hussain Shahid Sohrawardi died because of heart failure. He was exiled by Ayub Khan.
  2. 1967 - Fatima Jinnah was assassinated. Official declaration was heart failure.
  • are you sure that Jawhar lal nehru was assissinated ? – sparrowTrajon Sep 22 '17 at 9:26
  • Thanks! Pretty good explanation. I second you on Fatima Jinnah being assassinated by Ayub but how will you explain post-1971 era as Bhutto's family/PPP had lot of veteran politicians, so did Nawaz Sharif when coup of 1999 took place - even just a year ago, military was able to pressurize Nawaz enough to let Musharraf flee – Failed Scientist Sep 22 '17 at 9:53
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    @TalhaIrfan, Benazir was the last true politician of Pakistan. Nawaz was a businessman and still, he is. Otherwise, I would tell you to rephrase your comment. Abbasi is a businessman. Zardari is a businessman. Imran Khan is an alien who came from cricket. – user4514 Sep 22 '17 at 9:55
  • @anonymous I agree you there as well, but even Bhutto was ousted and Benazir herself couldn't do much during Musharraf reign – Failed Scientist Sep 22 '17 at 9:56
  • @TalhaIrfan, why would Musharraf seize power in the first place? Coz, Pakistan's democratic structure was weak. That was even weaker than 2013. – user4514 Sep 22 '17 at 9:58
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You are very true with the facts, Both country start together, now there is a large gap bw the two countries development, status, economically stability and financial stability.

One and important reason for the Pakistan's political instability is that there is no centralization of Power, there are many centers(military, Govt, ISI, other ethnic group) which feels the power in their hands.

Other reason is as far as I know there is not even a single elected govt in Pakistan which completed its full time tenure. So if this is the situation then how can govt would be so confident to control the all powers in action.

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    Centralization of power means an authoritarian regime and absence of democracy. You should study to know how a federal republic works . – user4514 Sep 26 '17 at 18:08
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    @user4514 being a federal republic often results in separatism movements and general instability – JonathanReez Aug 8 at 14:01
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Army deals with other countries according to foreign policies that’s why Pak Army indulge in government policies and see the matters of boarder according to democratic policies. The second thing is that army replies to other countries according to diplomacy and to keep in mind the boarder situation and country situations

protected by Community Aug 8 at 9:12

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