Friday, May 10, 2013


·                    Healthy civil military relations contribute alot to enhance the efficiency of a nation. In open societies civil establishment and military institutes work in hand and gloves with political government; where political government is having the final control on national decisions. Although, in developed democracies incidences of military over step their powers is common. In 1986 Indian Army Chief planned to convert Army exercise into operation on Pakistan without the knowledge of Indian prime minister, moreover, removal of ISAF command Gen McChrystal from Afghanistan on the pretext that his conduct could undermine civilian control over military are few examples from present time.  Civil military relation is sharing a balance between both the institutions with in their limits without derailing the political process.

·                   Pakistan since its creation has witnessed very dominating military relations with civil government, where the military take overs were common. Political scholars believe that, major causes of military interventions are political and such interventions are primarily due to weakness in political setup rather than desires of military institutions.  So far there has been four military coups in Pakistan; starting from Gen Ayub Khan and last one by Gen Musharraf. Derailing of legitimately elected political government cannot be beneficial for Pakistan, it is important to analyze factors which are contributing in military takeover in Pakistan.

Conceptual boundaries.                Analyze the reasons for civil military imbalance in Pakistan and review present power sharing between civil and military institutions. In the end recommend viable measures to eradicate causes of this imbalance.

  • ·         Weakness in Political System
  • ·         Civil Military relation after 2008 elections.
  • ·         Recommendations

Analysis of weaknesses in Political system.        As it is widely believed by political experts that military interventions and takeover are mainly caused due to weaknesses in political system and not because of the social characteristics of military institutions. Therefore following are few weaknesses which have become glaring in the past.

  • ·         Lack of political leadership.        Quaid-e- Azam died very shortly after the creation of Pakistan, after him Liquat Ali Khan took of the leadership of Pakistan, but after he was shot they was no other prominent political in the screen of Pakistani politics. Pakistan resorted upon Bureaucrats and military generals. Moreover, due to frequent military coups political environment was not created in the country to flourish new leadership.

  • ·         Nonexistence of Political parties. Pakistan Muslim League, which played pivotal role in creation of Pakistan, was deficient of politicians as most of them preferred to stay in Union of India. Feudalists, industrialist and bureaucrats were remained as the only option.  These newly generated/ created politicians were unable to inject political / ethical and administrative norms in Pakistan politics. Once they were in assemblies, were unable to for see the power vacuum they were creating due to internal rifts.

  • ·         Frail institutions.             After partition, whatever share Pakistan received from armed forces, bureaucracy, judiciary and other elements was already in bits and pieces. Pakistan was also lacking secretariat, courts, parliament and other set ups which are important for functioning of government were not fully established. Pakistan had to start from scratch and thereby institutional discipline, norms and cohesion had to be developed. One such case was refusal of Army Chief to send troops to Kashmir to stop Indian aggression as ordered by then Governor General Quaid-e-Azam.

  • ·         Dependency of Civil over Military.          Being deprived of all other institutions, Pakistan Government had to resort on its military components for all civil matter, either it was related to security of people coming from India or helping people of Pakistan against natural calamities. In one way or another, Civil Government handicap towards army become more obvious with every coming day.

Civil Military relations after 2008 elections.        Political and social picture of Pakistan would remain incomplete without taking in to account the military dominance and its role. Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani has supported civil government and his actions speak better than words. However, it is obvious that this state institution is having the capacity, experience and power to overshadow any democratic government.  So what are the factors, which are stopping present military setup? Major factors are explained in detail as under:-
·         Restoring Military Image.           After 2007, Army was more concerned to improve its image in general public. A direct military action was out of question, even though loud and vivid political signals were available.
·         Large Scale proliferation of political activities. Since 2007, social and political activities were at large, restoration of Chief Justice of Supreme Court, probing of Benazir Murder Case was in high tone, and more or less political activities were accelerating in high pace. This all created a difficult situation for military or bureaucracy to show direct involved in Government affairs.
·         Civil military hand shake for War Against Terrorism.    Pakistan Army was actively involved in War against terrorism, and nation consensus was essential to provide national power to military efforts, moreover civil government was also in need to continue these operations. So keeping a civil military equilibrium was a Win-Win situation.
Supreme Court of Pakistan
·         Complex dynamics of military Coup.     Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani remained firm and provided constitutional and democratic support to government despite “memo gate scandal” . Public mood was not in favor of any military intervention, free media and complex national/ international crisis doesn’t advocate such a venture.
·        Hyperactive Judiciary.  Above all, any adventure would turn into misadventure, as it was clear that it would not be supported or promoted by judiciary. Hyper active stance of Chief Justice and suffering from last coup were not diminished from his memories.
Recommendations.        It is well established fact Pakistan cannot sustain derailing of any democratic government.  Few recommendations to ward off this threat in future are as under:-

  • ·         Overlapping decades of dictatorship and elected government had already crippled the political parties. Military interventions can be reduced by addressing the international/ national security concerns of Armed Forces and viable solutions should be worked out mutually.

  • ·        Political parties should follow party code of conduct, where discipline of party members should be scrutinized strictly. Ethnicity, nepotism and religious extremism are required to be flushed out of politics. Strong political parties can provide strong leaders and thereby providing masses a fair choice.

  • ·        National intuitions of security, intelligence, law and order agencies should be strengthen to such a level that calling Armed forces in aid of civil power could be minimize.

  • ·         Military component is the force to implement political Will. Therefore military operations and national policy should complement each other.

  • ·         Positive dynamic social and political activities without disturbing the states affairs has direct bearing in strengthening the democratic process, which is in itself a strong deterrence to avoid any future military intervention.

  • ·         Free responsible media, strong un biased judiciary and nonpolitical bureaucracy would be essential in keeping the balance in favor of democratic government.

Conclusion.        If the intentions are fair and objective is clear, no doubt Pakistan would maintain a positive civil military balance, however, process will take its course. In a healthy free society every institution has its role and cannot be hijacked by other institutions in spite it may seem the necessity of the time.

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