Rasheed Khalid & Asim Yasin
Published Date: Sep 20, 2016
PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar has said that a state will always be on dangerous path unless there are sustainable relations between civil and military leadership. He was speaking at a seminar on “Civil Military Relations: Challenges and way forward” organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute here on Monday.
Senator Babar said in a security-driven state where establishment defines relations with military, ruling the country for more than half of its life, we are leading to deterioration for the last many years for which both Rawalpindi (military) and Islamabad (civilian govt) are responsible adding that the situation worsened after the present government. He said that politicians realised mistakes that is why the Charter of Democracy played its role in protecting democracy during the Dharna. He said politicians and judiciary demonstrated their mind. But there is doubt in the mind about others like who took Musharraf to hospital and took care of him during trial when even his lawyers did not know it. We have to look into who was responsible. Babar said Nawaz Sharif should have consulted other parties but appreciated premier’s courage to pursue the case.
Imtiaz Gull, head of Centre for Research in Security Studies, said that national power of any country comes from different sources and military is just one part of it. Army had collusion with ruling elites; military set the course of political development, education and national power. In the government there is a kitchen cabinet. He also stressed the need of economic democracy in the country.
Veteran journalist Zahid Hussain said that there is no clear direction of policy sayingwe all know that power has drifted towards army. Which Sharif is on driving seat we don’t know. He said that army is entrenched in power structure since Pakistan’s inception. Unfortunately it is a national security state, he said adding that power structure in Pakistan never changed and Afghan war exacerbated it.
He said that year 2008 was a turning point when civilians got power from military. He said the Charter of Democracy was a consensus which was very important and agreed to by other parties also. The Dharna was used by military to gain space but power of democracy saved the system. He said the power is sought through policies and governance and not offered in a plate.
Zahid Hussain said that Panama issue should have been solved immediately but delay gave more space to most powerful institution. He said civil institutions and civilian LEAs should be strengthened.
Gen (R) A Qayyum, former POF chief and now PML-N Senator, said he cannot support army’s involvement in political affairs. He said that views of army meddling in politics or seeing towards the finger from army are extreme steps. He said we should not encourage military leadership to meddle in political affairs.
Defence analyst Dr Aisha Siddiqua Agha said the prime minister is implementing a policy of which he is not an owner. He could not implement his policy to have better relations and trade with India. Problem is that we are going along with good and bad Taliban and banned organisations freely carrying out activities in the name of welfare like JuD, LeT and JeM.
She said two people were killed in Okara but media was not ready to report. Balochistan is blacked out. Self-censorship in media is increasing military power and eroding the civilian one. She said Parliament should have one opinion and Bilawal Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif and Ch Shujaat should stop reading ISPR lines.