The Generals and the Art of Undermining Democracy in Pakistan

In April 2017, the Supreme Court of Pakistan set up a team to investigate the allegations against Mr. Sharif and his family arising out of the Panama Papers. Surprisingly, the investigative team included officials from Pakistan’s spy agencies — Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence.

Three months later, the Supreme Court disqualified Mr. Sharif from holding public office on account of a misdeclaration. The court ruled that Mr. Sharif had not been “honest” and “truthful” — necessary conditions to hold public office, according to the Constitution of Pakistan. He resigned as prime minister. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a minister from his party, was appointed in his place. Mr. Sharif and his family members are being tried for corruption in a lower court.

Mr. Sharif understands the ways of tutelary democracy well because his party was the military favorite in the

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