The paranoia of military takeover

There is an increased hysteria among certain ‘experts’ pertaining to a military takeover in Pakistan. This frenzy can be attributed to their conflicting preconceived notions about the institution and its rising public support. In a recent article, one particular analyst known for her anti-military slant stressed how the failure of civilian government is actually a myth fabricated to show that the government is incapable of dealing with the menace of terrorism without the support of the army.

The fact of the matter is that the politicians have lost public support after Peshawar attack and this trust deficit has led people to look up to the military in its fight against terrorism. It was the civilian leadership which created a vacuum during the political deadlock and more so after Peshawar attack leaving the military with no choice but to fill in and take charge.  While the federal and provincial KPK governments were extremely occupied with the political crisis, the army was battling on the frontline against terrorism in North Waziristan with some 10,000 soldiers deployed internally according to Interior Minister.  Therefore, in recent times, the military is indeed the only institution which appears to be fully functional.

Coming to military courts, their establishment has invited a lot of undue criticism. The narrative that the political parties have links with militants and the civilian judiciary has proven to be incompetent in punishing them can be affirmed by the cases of Saulat Mirza and Mumtaz Qadri. Sentenced to death by anti terrorism court, Saulat Mirza has still not been hanged after 16 years of conviction because of reported pressure from MQM. Similarly, Mumtaz Qadri is not only being defended by former chief justice of Lahore High Court but also hundreds of lawyers. These cases highlight the urgent need to reform institutions particularly judiciary but what do we do in the short term? Should terrorists be allowed to take advantage of the weak political and judicial systems and roam the streets freely?

The writer goes on about India-Pakistan relations highlighting how General Raheel Sharif has a personal vendetta against India.  Both states have long been traditional enemies and the personal loss of Army Chief in 1965 war against India has little to do with that equation.  It is surprising that the writer while rebuking Indian involvement in Peshawar attack comes up with her own conspiracy theory to justify her point.

One expects a better piece of writing from someone who is foreign qualified and claims to have an expert opinion. The writer neither offers constructive criticism nor presents an alternative to the problem. The whole article thus appears to be a paranoid rant against the army when the focus should be on promoting institutional harmony to safeguard the interests of Pakistan.

  • Zafar Ahmed

    Anyone who has read Dr Ayesha Siddiqa’s book knows that contrary to the created impression that her intention was to cover activities of military worldwide, her book massively targets Pakistani military. Most of her writings are based on assumptions and conspiracy theories only to target the army.

  • Salman Azeem

    No points for guessing who this expert is. She is known for spewing venom against the Pakistani army. Nobody should take her rants seriously.

  • Omar Farooque

    These are difficult times for Pakistan and we are counting on Pakistan army to fight this menace of terrorism. The nation stands with General Raheel Sharif.

  • Khaled Hossain

    I totally agree with the writer that our focus should be on promoting institutional harmony in these difficult times. Such rogue elements like Ayesha Siddiqa and Hussain Haqqani who are working against the state should be exposed.

  • Muzaffar Sheikh

    Judicial reforms are the only way forward in the long term but military courts are the need of the hour. It is time that Mumtaz Qadri is executed through a military court.

  • Riaz Bhatti

    Is it Hussain Haqqani or Ayesha Siddiqa the author is referring to in this article… actually it could be either of them. Time for Pakistan bashing and military bashing is over and thing of the past… these authors need a reality check and learn how the people of Pakistan feel about their armed forces… even the current government has accepted the important role military plays in the stability and security of the country.