The military has no role in Politics
ISPR has recently repeated over and over that the military has “nothing to do with politics,” leading some to believe that institutional boundaries will (in the future) not be crossed. True, the last few months worths of internal political events have revolved around this argument. However, it’s difficult to break ingrained routines. The desire to “shepherd” issues that belong in the realm of civilians has reemerged.
New York by Nikkei Asia
A report from New York by Nikkei Asia states that earlier this week, Gen. Qamar Bajwa called US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to ask for help in expediting the release of IMF funding. The “dwindling foreign reserves” have reportedly caused “a scurry in Islamabad to prevent a default,” according to the report’s sources in the US and Pakistan.
Pakistan’s economic condition is terrible
Certainly, Pakistan’s economic condition is terrible; grim enough to make individuals, or organizations, believe it deserves an all-hands-on approach, which was likely the rationale behind Gen. Bajwa’s move to have the IMF bailout accelerated.
Rawalpindi in the House
However, the problem of the delayed transfer of the funds is Islamabad’s responsibility, not Rawalpindi’s.
Advisor to Prime Minister
When Tariq Fatemi, an advisor to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, met with Ms. Sherman in Washington earlier this month, he attempted to deliver a message to the U.S. official that was similar to that of the army chief.
A sad scenario has arisen as a result of years of institutional fuzziness and even open military takeovers. civilian governments are seen as perpetual underlings of the security establishment, unable to make independent choices without the backing of the latter.
Indeed, politicians have occasionally given in to unelected forces for the sake of convenience, exacerbating the divide between the civilian population and the military.
The military has frequently exploited its coercive authority
Instead, the military has frequently exploited its coercive authority and a sense of entitlement borne of having been in the driver’s seat for much of Pakistan’s history to force its way into sectors that should properly be considered part of the civilian sphere. Learn More
Army involvement in non-security-related issues
In some respects, Gen. Bajwa has gone even further afield than his predecessors in terms of his involvement in non-security-related issues. The general and his institutions made a mistake by allowing themselves to be associated with the struggling economy by participating in the PTI government’s National Development Council in 2019.
Imran Khan has voiced his disapproval of the army chief’s decision to call Ms. Sherman
However, Imran Khan has voiced his disapproval of the army chief’s decision to call Ms. Sherman. Mr. Khan was content to let Gen.Bajwa “guide” him as prime minister during his trips to Saudi Arabia and China to seek financial aid and streamline the CPEC projects, respectively. Read More
Army chief’s recent economic diplomacy
Although the army chief’s recent economic diplomacy was motivated by worry, it nonetheless demonstrates the enormous influence that the military has in Pakistan. What message does this send to the world about who really controls this country?