Essay Scholarly Article For Civil-Military Relations in Pakistan For CSS, NTS, FTS, ETEA, OTS, UTS, FPSC, PPSC, SPSC, PMS, PSC, KPKPSC, AJKPSC, SOPE Exam Preparation
The article discusses “Civil-military relations in Pakistan. History and importance of civil military relations in Pakistan. Future of Pakistan civil military relations. CSS Notes.”
In spite of different impacts of military political intervention on politics and economy of a state, most of the political scientists agree that there is a direct link between the political culture and socio-economic conditions of the states witnessing the rise of the military to political power. Most of these states fall in the category of the poor and the developing nations.
Some of the important factors that lead military to political power in a state have been highlighted in below paragraphs.
It has been widely observed that military usually took over in states where political stability is inadequate. It put army in difficult situation and they cannot decide how to cope both with internal and external threats at the same time. The army therefore, to bring situation back to normal in country, takes over the government.
When every institution of a state is powerful enough that it check and balance the power of every other institution, only then the state can develop and democracy can groom. The basic pillars of state/democracy/government are; legislative, executive, judiciary and media (in modern world). Military took over in a state when all or most of these pillars are weak, corrupt and not working properly.
Weak democratic structure with many loopholes in the government system and its working, gives military an opportunity to gain strong foothold in country politics and often a chance to take over the government.
Incompetency on the part of politicians and economy too has a strong relation with military intervention in state affairs. We have seen military usually takes over in states with weak economy and incompetent political leaders.
In Pakistan military took over government four times, in 1958, 1969, 1977 and 1999. There are mixed beliefs about military role in politics in Pakistan. Some people believed that military have a strong foothold in country’s politics while others believe the other way.
In 1953, Prime Minister Khwaja Nazimmudin was sacked by Governor General when he slashed military budget by one-third. This not only reinforced military position but also gave her first taste of civilian affairs and political process, encouraged and facilitated her to be aspirant for ruling position.
Then in 1954, Muhammad Ali Bogra on the instructions of Governor General Malik Ghulam Muhammad formed new cabinet after the dissolution of Constituent Assembly. The cabinet formed by Muhammad Ali Bogra included General Muhammad Ayub Khan, the then Commander in Chief of Pakistan army as Defense Minister, Major General Iskandar Mirza as Home Minister and Dr. Khan Sahib. Supremacy of civilian over military was vanished by the induction of army in the cabinet.
Last martial law was imposed in 1999 by General Pervaiz Musharaf. He ruled the country till 2008, when he resigned from presidency and hand over the control of the country to Pakistan People Party (PPP) elected government.
Today a group of people believed that military controlled and run Pakistan Tehrek-i-Insaf (PTI) government from behind the scene. Others believed that as Pakistan army has never remained as supportive and on the same page with a government as it is today so people are misbelieving that army is controlling the government.
Pakistan People Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN) leaders and workers blame army for their ongoing court trials in the country. PMLN believed that army has played major role in over throwing Nawaz Shareef government and in the election of Imran Khan.
Whereas military operations in Northern Areas of Pakistan against militant groups earned great pride and respect for Pakistan army it also led to the development of hatred for army in many groups among people. One such group is Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) that blames army for atrocities and excesses done in Tribal areas such as North and South Waziristan, Swat and other areas of Pashtoon belt. Whereas many people support PTM and demand justice and the recovery of missing love ones, others believed that it is an Indian propaganda against Pakistan army.
Today a group of analysts believed that army is not taking direct control of the government because it has already attained its major objectives that are de-facto control of the country nuclear and missile programs, Key foreign relationships, the military budget and national security decision making. Others believe that the army is not taking direct control of the government because the army herself has observed that its high level of professionalism and all sacrifices have overshadowed due to their political intervention.
The chaotic civil-military relations over the past seven decades have cost Pakistan the loss of its true democratic image internationally, poor economic growth and immense human rights violation. Today for the first time in Pakistan history the army has kept away herself from political intervention for a long time that almost becomes twelve years since 2008. This seems promising for the future development and prosperity of the country.