J K News Today Special
Jammu, September 4:
Military fully backs government’s policies, says Imran. This heading in a Pakistani newspaper on Friday said it all about the state of affairs in Pakistan where military controls everything, however, the apt heading should have been government fully backs military policies.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s interview to Al-Jazeera, Qatar based news channel, is a very candid admission that his government is fully dependent on the army. That is not Imran Khan’s problem. It is Pakistan’s issue with itself. Unless Pakistan finds a civilian and democratic track for itself, it would be lost in the quagmire in which it finds itself today.
Democracy has its own doctrine. Pakistan is yet to learn alphabets of the democratic norms. It is basically because of three factors. One, Pakistan’s civilian leadership from the very beginning, since its independence in 1947, has been subservient to wishes of the army. It has conceded its role so much that it is the army in Pakistan that matters in all affairs. Prime Minister or head of the Government, is a creation of the army, and finally, he/ she is reduced to being a titular head.
Pakistan for its own stake needs to revisit the history; had it not waged a war against Jammu and Kashmir in 1947, things would have been quite different now. It gave an extraordinary role to the army in all issues, and bow it is paying the price- army is dictating all affairs of the government. If there was any doubt, Imran Khan’s statement has cleared all doubts – his government is there because of the army. For any head of the government to make such a statement is politically suicidal, but for Imran Khan it is a vow to survival.
Second, the Pakistani army has created issues for Pakistan that it is unable to resolve because these are armed conflicts. Kashmir issue has been created by Pakistan, though it is not the only issue. It is responsible for troubles in Afghanistan – that is a money earning enterprise for Pakistan army camouflaged as a move to create strategic depth for the country. It is having issues with Iran. Beyond, its boundaries it is now having issues with the US, and its one-time friend Saudi Arabia. What has happened as a result is that army has tightened its stranglehold on Pakistan ‘s polity and foreign policy besides, of course, keeping government under its thumb rule. That’s what is keeping Pakistan unstable. And this unstable Pakistan is more dangerous for the region. An instable and failed nation cannot be trusted for anything and that’s to what Pakistan has been reduced to.
Third, it is extraordinary focus on Kashmir both as its domestic and foreign policy reasons is, for all practical reasons, a theory that has been conceived and implemented by the army. It doesn’t require Einstein to come and tell Islamabad that this approach has boomeranged.
When Pakistan raised a furious hue and cry over August 5, 2019 actions of the Delhi government of scrapping J&K’s special status and bifurcation of the state into two union territories, no nation from the west supported it. Organisation of Islamic Cooperation- the 57-member Islamic countries block of which Pakistan is a founder member, too did not listen to its pleas to convene session on Kashmir. This was not merely turning away from the hearing zone of Pakistan’s plea but a clear snub. Islamabad is now trying to woo, rather beseeching Riyadh for repairing the ties.
It is time for Pakistan to rediscover path of democracy otherwise it will find itself yet again under the direct military rule – its history bears a testimony to that -from Ayub Khan to Pervez Musharraf.