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Pakistani PMs cannot last a term, but Imran Khan?

  • Published at 07:11 pm August 25th, 2018
Liaquat Ali Khan,Pakistan’s first prime minister, was assassinated. Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in the same location as Liaquat. Nawaz was disqualified before the 2018 elections. Imran is the incumbent prime minister of Pakistan | Photos by AFP

Heads of the Pakistani government have a tradition of never completing a full term

The incumbent prime minister of Pakistan is Imran Khan. The 22nd person to hold the position, he has displayed remarkable suavity in making the transition from a cricket World Cup-winning captain to a successful politician. However populist his victory may be, Pakistan politics is a nightmare for any analyst. Till date, not a single Pakistani prime minister has been able to complete their whole term.

Since Pakistan’s independence after the 1947 Partition, one head of government has been assassinated once, resigned on six occasions, and 12 times removed by either the president or the court or their own parties.

Yousuf Raza Gilani has had the longest term with four years, two months, and 25 days. The shortest tenure belongs to Muhammad Khan Junejo with a shocking six days.

Foreign Policy has prepared a beautiful infographic which details chronologically the terms of the prime ministers, including the length of terms and conditions surrounding their inevitable removal from office.

Although Imran has been sworn in as the prime minister after much negotiation with smaller parties to form the majority, the world watches with sceptical eyes how long he can hold on to his seat. For wizened political analysts who have studied Pakistan, the question is not “if” he can finish his term, rather “how” he will be removed.