For all their pretensions about modernity, Pakistan’s first generation of politicians took their cues and were primarily motivated by a romantic interpretation of their Islamic past. Their intimacy with a revered historical tradition provided men of minor stature with an opportunity to rise to heights undreamed of in their local surroundings. But these were persons with little, and in many instances, no real knowledge or experience in governing complex organizations. They failed miserably in promoting the corporate Pakistan design or in adapting Islam to contemporary political circumstances. Personal, regional, and professional rivalries, stereotyped impressions, and an undisguised lust for power and privilege inhibited the development of a kindred spirit. Nor could appeals to Islam conceal the many divisions among the political leaders. Moreover, if Pakistan’s principal officials and personalities were incapable of patriotic displays, if they could not sink their differences and practice the art of cooperative and accommodative endeavour, how was a largely illiterate, impoverished and essentially primitive population to understand its higher loyalties and obligations? Indeed, was it possible for a regionally defined people to identify with a national ethos? The capacity of leaders to bridge a people’s experience with their vision of the nation’s future is the salient test of statesmanship. It is crucial to national survival. Given the history of Pakistan’s initial eleven years as a sovereign state it must be concluded that its political leaders could not cope with issues that they themselves 86were responsible for. The seizure of the government by the Pakistan armed forces was not unexpected. Furthermore, the widespread sense of relief that spread over the country when General Ayub Khan announced that Iskander Mirza had been sent into exile and that political parties must suspend their activity was sufficient evidence that the politicians, given all their references to Islam, had lost whatever confidence the people originally may have had in their leadership. The sister of the Qaid-i-Azam, Miss Fatima Jinnah, seemed to sum up the general disillusionment with the politicians when she stated:

A new era has begun under General Ayub Khan and the Armed Forces have undertaken to root out the administrative malaise and the antisocial practices, to create a sense of confidence, security and stability and eventually to bring the country back to a state of normalcy. I hope and pray that God may give them wisdom and strength to achieve their objective… With Faith, Unity and Discipline let us march forward as one nation. 1

The time had arrived for those more experienced in the craft of ruling to assume responsibility for Pakistan’s political future.