Throughout the chequered political history of Pakistan two factors have remained decisive: Islam and the army, in collaboration with civilian bureaucracy and feudal aristocracy. The intact feudal structure and religious institutions all worked in tandem for common interests in retaining the status quo and still pose a threat to any real social transformation. The dubious ruling regimes and opposition movements trying to dislodge them, both exploited Islam to the utmost. Those in power, used "religious" sentiments of ignorant masses to maintain their power and those thirsting for power, exploited the same sentiments in an attempt to manoeuvre their way in.
The hierarchical system established in Pakistan, which benefits from its close relations with its benefactor and guide, the super power, is based on two major well organized institutions of the establishment -- the civil and the military bureaucracy. Both are closely related and inter-connected in their ideological and political properties. Their major social base is the feudal and the post-feudal landlords class, although a strong admixture of the commercial and industrial bureaucracy has also become gradually a shareholder and partner in the spoils.
One of the important ingredients to this mix of which the Pakistani establishment is composed comprises the religiously scholarly class, the mullah and the religio-politicial parties -- all veering in the direction of rightist, pro status quo causes. The cultural and social ideas on which the ideological structure of the state has been formed are provided by this group of religious element. But what is not clearly recognized is that both the civil and "military" bureaucracy and the affluent elite are intimately integrated with the ideological structure and political values promoted by the religious-cum-political elements.
Hence, the process of the so-called Islamisation worked to the satisfaction of all privileged segments of the society, namely military, "bureaucracy", land owners and industrialists. The military elite found status quo continuation easy with Islamization as the economically deprived lower cadres of the army got solace in it, thanks to their traditional background. The civil bureaucracy  that has learnt the art of surviving in all sorts of governments found it safe and secure, since Islamization has not substantially altered the socio-political realities in Pakistan. The land-owning and business classes enjoyed enough protection in legitimization of unlimited private property. The nominal land reforms introduced during Ayub and Bhutto's era were reversed in the name of Islam.
During the last five decades a small privileged minority -- feudal aristocracy strengthened by the induction of retired army officers and civilian bureaucrats -- reaped the benefits of economic gains in terms of better training and education, economic prosperity and political participation. The promised and actual economic gains never reached the deprived masses. The United Nations Development Program reports affirm this assertion and lead us to the painful revelation that Asia has marched forward on the road to economic progress, while Pakistan is lagging far behind.  The sacrosanct constitutional provisions and shameful political intrigues made effective political participation of the people impossible. The masses are effectively disenfranchised through illiteracy and the barriers erected by the supremacy of the English language, the elite classes face virtually no competition in the higher spheres of social, political and economic activity. Cliques or coteries, representing one vested interest or another, governed in the name of the people. A real sense of participation in the affairs of nation still did not percolate down to all levels of the people.
The five elections held since 1985 have returned to the assemblies legislators committed to retain the feudal-dominated political system in the name of democracy. Sworn political enemies share common ground against land, labor and taxation reforms; against devolution of power; against liberalization of laws and the independence of judiciary and distributive justice. The failure of the popular and mass movements led to a loss of faith in change and modernization. Consequently, the masses with a traditional background took a negative turn and in total dismay sought refuge in the religious sentiment. This was actually desired by the deliberate policies of the ruling elite.
Almost two years after independence, aberrant and freakish turn and twists of the national politics ended with the real state power resting in the hands of senior civil servants and army generals. Political power and authority were no longer in the hands of politicians after the assassination of Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan in October 1951, as it had been snatched away by bureaucrats and generals.
The Constituent Assembly" was dissolved in 1954, with the backing and blessing of the Army Commander-in-Chief, General Ayub Khan. The autocratic move was condoned by the judiciary under the doctrine of necessity. The political process started defaulting with the army-hatched conspiracy, popularly called the "Rawalpindi Conspiracy Case." The process came to a complete halt with the usurpation of power by General Ayub Khan in 1958. The hasty retreat of army to the barracks after the tragedy of 1971, when the military junta presided over the permanent severance of the most populous province of the country, proved to be a tactical maneuver.
In July 1977, General Ziaul Haq again usurped power from an elected government. In 1989, Army Chief of Staff, General "Aslam Beg" himself intervened against the restoration of this process by stopping revival of the Junejo Assembly, dissolved illegally by his predecessor General Zia.  Then General Beg helped President Ghulam Ishaq Khan -- an ex-bureaucrat -- dissolve the succeeding Assembly in August 1990. President Ishaq Khan resorted to the same practice against the Nawaz Assembly till he was sent home by General Abdul Waheed_ along with Nawaz Sharif in July, 1993.
Pakistan started with the ideal of a democratic state that promised the people material advancement and the realization of social justice as enjoined by Islam. What this meant was that the instruments of a liberal parliamentary system would be used to achieve egalitarian goals. No contradiction was admitted between political apparatus of a democratic state -- exercise of power by elected representatives, subject to limits laid down by them in the basic law -- and the objectives of the state. However, our civil as well as military rulers treated the constitutions as experimental devices. Finally, General Zia subverted the state's ideology  and as a result Pakistan acquired the ideology of a theocratic state.
After nearly half a century of independence, Pakistan does not have the appearance of a country that was envisaged by the nation's creators, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Dr. Mohammad Iqbal. The Lahore Resolution of 1940, popularly known as Pakistan Resolution, makes no mention of a specific ideology for whatever was the future constitutional structure for the Moslems of the sub-continent. However, religion has come to be accepted as the ideology of today's Pakistan, with attempts to give Islamsomewhat tyrannical interpretations.