Elections in Pakistan 16 - 19 November 1988 and the Pakistan Muslim League. [PAK1030]


The attached reports form the Far Eastern Economic Review, 1 December 1988, The Economist, 26 november 1988 and the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), 17 and 21 November 1988, all confirm that elections for the national assembly of Pakistan were held on the 16 November 1988.

No information could be found regarding violent conflict between the Pakistan Muslim League and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) although these two are the major political rivals in Pakistan.

The Pakistan Muslim League (PML) was the dominant political party in Pakistan from 1986 until 29 May 1988, when Zia ul-Haq dissolved the government of (former) Prime Minister Mohammed Khan Junejo (PML party). Before the end of August 1988, the PML had broken into two factions. [ "Pakistan Moslem League breaks into two factions", Globe and Mail, 27 August 198; Husain Haqqani, "Shifting Sands of Patronage", Far Eastern Economic Review, 22 September 1988, p. 35; Husain Haqqani, "Power up for Grabs", Far Eastern Economic Review, 1 September 1988, p. 12.] The two groups were the "Fida" faction (led by Mr. Fida Muhammad Khan, the former governor of the North-West Frontier Provinces, and Mr Nawaz Sharif, the Chief Minister of Punjab province), and the "Junejo" faction (led by former Prime Minister Mohammed Khan Junejo). The Junejo group joined with the Tehrik-i-Istiqlal and the Jamaat-i Ulemi-i Pakistan on October 9 to form the Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PPA, Pakistan People's Alliance). [ Keesing's Record of World Events, Volume XXXIV, December 1988, p. 36347.] The stated aim of the PPA was to work for an Islamic, welfare, parliamentary system. [ Ibid.] The Fida faction had joined with seven other parties and groups to form the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI, Islamic Democratic Alliance). The other parties in the IJI included the Jamaati-i Islami, the National People's Party, the Jamiatul Ulema-e Islam (Darkhwasty Group), the Markazi Jamaat-i Ahle Hadith (Lakvi Group), Jamaat-ul Mashaikh (Sahebzada Fazle Haq Group), Hizbe Jihad, the Azad Group, and the Nizami-i Mustafa Group. [ Ibid.]

On 15 October 1988, the Junejo PML faction joined the IJI, and its former alliance partners formed the Pakistan Awami Ittehad. [ Ibid.] The IJI won 54 seats in the November elections, but the Pakistan Awami Ittehad gained only three. [Ibid.] Benazir Bhutto's party, the Pakistan People's party, won 92 of the 205 seats. [ Ahmed Rashid, "Testing time, again", Far Eastern Economic Review, 26 January 1989, (the Keesing's article indicates 93).] Nawaz Sharif was the only leader of the IJI to gain a seat in the national assembly. [ Keesing's, p. 36348.]

The attached Keesing's Record of World Events from December 1988 gives an account of Muslim League activities during the November 1988 election campaign. None of the reports available for the 21 November 1988, indicate that recent outbreaks of violence in Pakistan were a direct result of PPP and Muslim league political rivalry and none mention the town of Attock.