Both Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif didn't acquit themselves well in the "trial of democracy" from 1988 to 1993. They did worse confronting the "dilemma of democracy" from 1993-1999 - how an elected government can complete its five year term and also provide a level playing field to the "government-in-waiting" to turn the tables at the end of the period. In consequence, Pakistan was driven straight into the jaws of martial law in 1999.
This volume traces the rise and fall of the second Bhutto regime from 1993-96. It records how, through the good offices of the Establishment, she began on a conciliatory note with Nawaz Sharif by offering to nominate a consensus candidate (Wasim Sajjad) as President in exchange for jointly undoing the notorious Clause 58-2(B) of the 8th Constitutional Amendment which hung like the sword of Damocles over every prime minister. It tracks the negotiations to breaking point, compelling her to nominate her "own man", Farooq Leghari, to the Presidency. It records Nawaz Shun cunning ways to drive a wedge between Leghari and Bhutto, which eventually led the former to use the 8th Amendment to sack the latter.
The major policy issues that preoccupied Benazir Bhutto in her second term were nuclear proliferation, MQM terrorism in Karachi and conflict in Kashmir. The book explains how the US applied economic and military sanctions to pressure Pakistan to cap, freeze and roll back its nuclear programme but failed to achieve its objective. It details how she successfully tackled and put down MQM terrorism through effective use of civil-military power. And it records how she teamed up with the military to promote jihad in India-Occupied Kashmir.
The book is about foul play by both Bhutto and Sharif; foreign policy blues; warlordism in Afghanistan; mythology of Mohajirism; nuclear policy; Mehrangate; General Mirza Aslam Beg's "grand plan"; threat of an India-Pak nuclear war; journalists for sale; pains of privatization; Indo-Pak relations; doctrine of necessity; corruption and Surreygate. The analysis covers the mind of Benazir Bhutto, her Achilles heel and fatal flaws.
It is indispensable reading for the student of history who wishes to understand how and why democracy failed to take root in the 1990s.
NAJAM AZIZ SETHI is an alumnus of Government College University, Lahore, and Cambridge University, UK. He was Alumnus of the Year and Eric Lane Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University, in 2011
Sethi is South Asia's most decorated independent journalist, with three international press freedom awards: Courage in Journalism from Committee to Protect Journalists, New York; Freedom in Journalism Award from Amnesty International; and Golden Pen of Freedom from the World Association of Newspapers in 2009. He is also a recipient of the Hilal i Imtiaz (2012), the highest civil award for public service in "defense of democracy and Freedom" in Pakistan.
He is a Founder-Editor in Chief of The Friday Times. (1989--), Daily Times. (2002-2009) and Daily Aajkal (2008-2009), three leading newspapers in Pakistan He was Pakistan Correspondent of The Economist, UK, from 1990-2009 and of Economist Intelligence Unit from 1997-2007. He is a frequent speaker at International Conferences on Geo-Strategic issues and a regular interviewee on international TV and radio. He has occasionally contributed to The Wall Street Journal, NY, The Independent, UK, The Telegraph, Calcutta, and various other newspaper.
His TV program Aapas Ki Baat (2011-2017) on Geo TV w. the top rated independent political talk-show of Pakistan. He currently speaks on Najam Sethi Official YouTube Channel.
He was interim Federal Minister for Accountability in 1996-97 and interim Chief Minister of Punjab province in 2013, Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board 2013-14 and 2017-18, and Chairman of Pakistan Super [11911 2014-2027.