It was quite embarrassing to hear the news of a letter written by General R Aslam Baig to current COAS, asking National government via Military intervention...
We want to move forward, enough of this military intervention in our National Political lives. do you duty of defence for which you are heavily paid by this poor Nation... and leave the rest to Nation... let it decide its fate for once..
rather it would have been better if the R General had asked COAS to control and punish the corrupt in Army's ranks and had asked the General to quit WOT and start focusing on rebuilding good relations with the tribes and Pakistani militant outfits who they created and later displeased by taking loads of dollars.....
THE lessons of the past seem to be escaping us once again. A number of prominent voices have called for military involvement in the task of governing the country. Having failed to learn from our unsuccessful experiments with military intervention, these recommendations are even more dangerous for being vaguely defined. A retired army chief has published an article in national newspapers and defended it on television arguing that the armed forces must, while honouring the constitution, help punish the corrupt and ensure that Supreme Court judgments are implemented. What was left unclear was how the military could do so without overstepping its boundaries. In response, a prominent columnist has advocated that the military should limit its role but nevertheless “put its weight behind forces trying desperately for correction of the course”.
Without saying exactly what they mean, recommendations such as these are not only undemocratic in themselves but also leave the door open to full-blown military coups, despite being positioned — like interventions in the past — as attempts to strengthen the political process.
This line of reasoning holds that some interference is required to prevent a coup or complete collapse. And while one defence analyst has openly called for an all-out intervention — one that somehow avoids the flaws of past coups — he has suggested a quick return to civilian rule. The undeniable lesson from the past, though, is that neither the extent nor the length of such interventions can be controlled once they begin.
There is no question that the country is in a precarious state. From Karachi to Dir, citizens are vulnerable to various shades of violence. The economy is faltering, power is in short supply and Pakistanis are confronting high unemployment and rising prices. Corruption plagues government dealings and governance is interrupted by frequent personnel changes. Some Supreme Court decisions continue to face resistance from the government. But the past has shown that when they are finally wound up, military interventions leave the country with new governance problems, institutions and policies that lack civilian support, and, most damagingly, a weakened democracy that has to start from scratch the process of using votes to demand, and eventually obtain, improved performance from elected representatives.
What provides some hope is that the army doesn’t seem to be interested in interfering, perhaps because of the distaste for military intervention left behind by the Musharraf years and due to recent security lapses that have forced it onto the back foot. But it is unfortunate that for some the solution to Pakistan’s problems continues to lie in the painful and failed experience of interrupted democracy. DAWN