Muslim Conference; from Military Democracy to Militant Democracy

By: Imran Khushaal Raja

Catch all parties, usually do not have any well-defined ideologies, because they do not need them, but if by chance, they have one, it would be so something which even philosophers and political scientists are sometimes not aware of. All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference’s military democracy is such a case.


Days ago in a discussion on democracy with our “Civil Society and World Politics’’ course’s moderator, Dr. Ejaz Bhatti, we discussed different types and shades of democracy. I asked doctor’s opinion on military democracy and he was as astonished as anything. Maybe it was natural of him. Maybe someone else in his place would have listened to this animal first time. After all, political scientists are also human beings and not bound to know everything.

Anyways, military democracy a term introduced by L. H. Morgan to designate the organization of power in ancient Greek society at the stage of the disintegration of the primitive commune system and he defines it, “the military state of society, and the system of administration consisting of an elective and removable supreme chief, a council of elders and a popular assembly.”

But a stub article on Wikipedia, titled, “ Atique Ahmed Khan’’, claims that “he is the founder and visionary of the ideology “Military Democracy” (civil-military governance) which is designed to get efficient governance and obstruct martial law or military coup in Pakistan.” Interestingly the term was most definitely coined under some martial law, because Muslim Conference served every dictator, from Ayub Khan to Prevez Mushraf. So the only way of obstructing a martial law as Muslim Conference head proposed, is to make a dictator, the supreme chief.

After reading the Frederick Engels’s characterization of military democracy it seems clear that Muslim Conference’s head, seeks no difference in barbaric Greek Heroic Age and 21st Century, he also finds no difference barbarians of that time and people of this age living in Pakistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. I am afraid he might not also be thinking of Kashmiris as plunders who are not engaged in productive work and in his view are possibly involved in the regular profession of plundering.

According to Frederick Engels, the Greek Heroic Age was a typical example of military democracy. He characterizes it as follow, “The military commander, the council, and the popular assembly formed the organs of military democracy, military because war and the organization of war were now the regular functions of life of the people. The wealth of their neighbors excited the greed of the peoples, who began to regard the acquisition of wealth as one of the main purposes in life. They were barbarians: plunder appeared to them easier and even more honorable than productive work. War, once waged simply to avenge aggression or as a means of enlarging territory that had become inadequate, was now waged for the sake of plunder alone, and became a regular profession. The growth of slavery had already begun to brand working for a living as slavish and more ignominious than engaging in plunder.”

Today on my breakfast table I was smirking on Nawa-e-Waqat’s editorial and columns. Unexpectedly, right there I saw a column of Attique Ahmed Khan, head of All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference and ex-prime minister of Pakistan-administered Kashmir. In his column, there was nothing worth mentioning, but his email address, which is,

So, I started relating the idea of military democracy and the content of his speech in a rally of Jamaat-ud-Dawa in Islamabad lately, in which he has said, Pakistan People’s Party and Muslim League have abandoned us (Muslim Conference) and now we have no option but to stand with Jamaat-ud-Dawa. Now, Hafiz Saeed and Jamaat-ud-Dawa’s democracy is not unknown to anyone who got senses.

So in short Muslim Conference’s head and so-called founder and visionary of military democracy is now protecting that hypothetical supreme chief through militant democracy of true militants.

The writer is pursuing hisMPhill at Iqra University Islamabad, blogs at and works with Institute for Social and Economic Justice (ISEJ). He tweets @imrankhushaal