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The News

Published Date: Nov 30, 2012

SDPI HOSTS DISCUSSION ON CIVIL-MILITARY IMBALANCE

Renowned columnist and PML-N MNA Ayaz Amir has said that the so-called intelligentsia who are passing strictures against politics and political parties do not have the grit to go out and participate in political process.

Addressing a roundtable discussion on “Civil-military imbalance and its policy implications”, organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) here Wednesday, Ayaz Amir said that members of this intelligentsia club are all concentrated in three cities of Pakistan, i.e. Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi and even in these cities, they mostly live in posh sectors.

None of them, he said, is in a position to contest local council elections, let alone anything bigger, yet they are so free with their denunciation of political parties.

Ayaz Amir also said that he himself had been in the army and can say with some assurance that khakis’ performance over the years had not been impressive and many of the problems we face today are because of the so-called strategic decisions it took over the years.

He, however, said that political parties have the capacity to organise rallies, collect funds etc and are juxtaposed with the inability of the civilian governments to act while in power.

PML-N leader Khurram Dastgir said that the divide between armed forces and civilian outfits is a clash between the elected representatives and those who have preponderance over the policy making, i.e., khakis.

He said that freedom of speech and action are tools to empower civilian actors to bring about a certain balance in the civil-military divide.

Gen (R) Talat Masood and Gen (R) Umar Farooq talked of diversity of opinion and sentiment existing in the Army “making the subject of civil-military imbalance a far more complex issue than what meets the eye.”

Activist Tahira Abdullah cited allocation of resources to military which was discussed in detail by the participants. She said that feudalism, hold of tribal leaders, and Peeri-Mureedi system prevalent in the country compromise democratic set up.