The Civil-Military Relations in Pakistan

GHQ winning like never before
By Farrukh Saleem, The News, March 29, 2010

ISLAMABAD: What is so strategic about the strategic dialogue? Not too long ago, the Pentagon tried to play with the GHQ’s India-centric national security paradigm. Finally, the GHQ won, the Pentagon had to give in. Not too long ago, the US State Department tried to pressurise the GHQ into submission to civilian executive. Finally, the GHQ won, the State Department lost out.

Richard Holbrooke, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, now says, “How can you have a strategic dialogue without including the military?” The New York Times announced, “Army Chief driving Pakistan’s agenda for talks.” The Washington Post declared, “Gen Kayani is driving the nation’s agenda.” Reuter’s announced, “General Kayani in Washington: Pakistan’s most powerful man.”

Within Pakistan, the GHQ won Operation Rah-e-Rast in Swat, Operation Black Thunderstorm in Buner, Lower Dir and Shangla and Operation Rah-e-Nijat in South Waziristan. Over the recent past, the Pak Army successfully conducted the largest heli-borne operations ever undertaken in South Asia.

Strategically, within Pakistan, real power has already moved from Islamabad to Rawalpindi. The ruling politicians have failed to control events around them and are yet to exhibit any ability to control other powerful entities-one a mere 14 kilometres away from the Presidential Palace. And, unfortunately, the civvies have failed to put together coherent strategies to deal with state actors, the US, India and Afghanistan. On November 2, America votes to elect 435 members of the United States House of Representatives, 36 new members to the United States Senate and 38 governors.

For complete article, click here
Army Chief Driving Pakistan’s Agenda for Talks - NYT
Courting Pakistan - Wall Street Journal
Yet nothing strategic about it! - The Nation
In Afghan end-game, India gets that sinking feeling - Dawn
India outplayed, outsmarted in Afghanistan - IBN Live
A spy unsettles US-India ties - Asia Times


Anonymous said…
A new beginning in the civilian-military relationship has been witnessed after the February 2008 general elections. It can be said that the war on terror has played an integral part in mitigating the tension between the government and the military establishment. The PPP-led government created across the board consensus politically and at the public level against the threat of the Taliban. This made it easy for the military to get considerable local and national support during its offensive against the terrorists. We cannot of course overlook the contribution of the military in breaking the back of the Taliban. We have seen retaliatory terrorist attacks in the actual war theatre as well as elsewhere in the country, but that was not unexpected. What is different this time is that the militants who used to rule the roost in Swat and the tribal areas have now been either killed or forced to flee their strongholds. The government and the military are now on the same page as far as fighting terrorism is concerned. It is also gratifying to know that the armed forces have apparently decided to keep away from political matters. This may just prove to be the best thing to have happened to Pakistan since its inception. A democratic Pakistan with an appropriate civilian-military architecture would go a long way in eliminating extremism from the country and the region.

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