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Without Comment: Pakistan general warns civilians not to ‘assume more than one’s due role’

November 6, 2012 1 comment

The Army that ‘owns’ Pakistan has to be weaned away from believing that Pakistan is their fiefdom.

The Tragedy In Pakistan  |  by Zahoor (August 2011). – The Express Tribune

The Tragedy In Pakistan | by Zahoor (August 2011). – The Express Tribune

Pakistan’s powerful military on Monday issued what analysts said was a warning to the country’s civilian institutions not to push their authority too far, after the country’s high court issued a series of rulings holding the armed forces to account for human rights abuses and political meddling.

Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the chief of army staff, issued the warning in a statement that also seemed to be aimed at the government and the news media.

“As a nation, we are passing through a defining phase,” Kayani said. “Weakening of the institutions and trying to assume more than one’s due role will set us back.”

The current civilian government of President Asif Ali Zardari has been in power since 2008, when military ruler Gen. Pervez Musharraf handed authority to it.

The transition from military to civilian rule has not been smooth, with the government, the judiciary and the military all jockeying for the levers of power under the new democratic setup. In particular, the judiciary, led by activist Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, has challenged the authority of both the government and the military and aggressively tried to hold them to account.

Elections are due in the first half of next year, which could see an unprecedented transition of power from one elected government to another.

In a country where the military previously has claimed the right solely to determine the “national interest,” analysts here were unanimous in their assessment that Kayani’s statement, issued by the army’s public relations arm in English and Urdu, the national language, was highly significant, even if its language was indirect and oblique.

“No individual or institution has the monopoly to decide what is right or wrong in defining the ultimate national interest. It should emerge only through a consensus,” said the general, whose term in office ends in November 2013. “Any effort which wittingly or unwittingly draws a wedge between the people and armed forces of Pakistan undermines the larger national interest.”

Last month, the Supreme Court issued a withering judgment on the “illegal” role played in the 1990 elections by the army chief and the head of the military’s Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency at the time, who had helped form a political coalition that won that election. The court ruled that the two retired generals must be prosecuted.

In recent hearings on hundreds of citizens who have disappeared into the presumed hands of the armed forces and their spy agencies, the court has humiliated the military, hearing evidence that it was behind the abductions and subsequent extrajudicial killings.

Coincidently (sic), the chief justice also made a speech Monday in which he said that Pakistan was evolving. “Gone are the days when stability and security of the country was defined in terms of number of missiles and tanks as a manifestation of hard power available,” Chaudhry said.

via Pakistan general warns civilians not to ‘assume more than one’s due role’ | McClatchy – Some links supplied.


Our Man In Pakistan

October 31, 2008 3 comments
Is USA the cause, the solution or the victim (Cartoonist -  Joel Pett).

Is USA the cause, the solution or the victim (Cartoonist - Joel Pett).

State of the Union

Pakistan is actually 5 parts. First is the army and the ISI combination. Then there are the popular politicians who participate in elections. Add the mullah-madrasa-mujahhid combine with a fundamentalist clergy, various terrorist groups – like JeM, LeT, Al Qaida, various Taliban factions et al make up the third.

The fourth part are the 22 families that control the economy and wealth of Pakistan. Mahbub-ul-Haq’s “22 families” speech in Karachi in 1968 highlighted the power and wealth of a few families in Pakistan.

And bringing up the rear there are the rest. No one in Pakistan talks to anyone. Each has contempt for the other four. And all five have separate agenda.

The benefits of being an American ally (Cartoon by Peter Brookes published by The Times.).

The benefits of being an American ally (Cartoon by Peter Brookes published by The Times.).

During this economic crisis

“In the last two decades Mahbub ul Haq has arguably had a greater impact than anyone else on the lives of the world’s poor … it is the Pakistani economist who, by pioneering the human development revolution, has managed to change both thinking and practice.”

In a famous speech he said,“In the next two decades, almost 90 per cent of the additional population will be born in the Third World….it is a matter of power because that is where the markets are going to be….The real problem has been that the world has moved very fast towards interdependence because of technological revolution, without discovering the institutions of interdependence. Three institutions — an international central bank, a system of international taxation…, and global management of scarce resources of the world (including oceanbeds) will simply have to emerge.” He had clearly anticipated four major challenges of our times — the importance of emerging markets, globalisation and its discontents, sustainable development and the current global economic turmoil in the absence of an effective international economic order …

A landmark in his intellectual life was the “22 families” speech he gave in Karachi in 1968 which highlighted the power and wealth of a few families. It was a summery (sic) indictment of the government from within. (via Putting people before GNP Subir Roy / New Delhi October 31, 2008, 0:58 IST).

He died in 1998. And we are still to do something about the ideas this man left us with. And these observations are true for India as well. He was, our man – in Pakistan.

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