On Wednesday 16th February Professor Talbot spoke about Pakistanís First Experiment with Democracy 1947- 58í which were the first 10 years of Pakistan's existence. He based his talk on the premise that although people speak of a "golden age of Pakistan democracy", there has never been such a time. There were many factors contributing to the difficulty of establishing democracy in Pakistan. Areas of Pakistan were some of the most underdeveloped in the Sub-continent at the time of Independance. The influx of a massive number of refugees was just one of the humanitarian and political problems faced by the fledgling government. Added to all this was the difficulty of a physically bipartite state, not only separated by distance but by language. There was no history of political institutions in Pakistan. The colonial rule had been more about control than government, and this was backed up by the feudals. There was increasing centralisation of the bureaucracy and the administration. These were just some of the problems facing Pakistan at its inception.
Professor Talbot reminded us that his talk was concentrating on the first 10 years of Pakistan's existence. He summarised by saying that the key to democracy in Pakistan is peace with India. This would lessen the power of the army. He answered many questions at the end of the talk, stressing that he was an historian, not a seer.