No role in politics

Published Mar 20, 2012 11:30pm

ASLAM Bhootani should know better than to support the idea of the army’s continued involvement in politics. Talking to newsmen in Quetta on Monday, the Balochistan Assembly speaker said the army had a role in the province and that negotiations with the nationalist groups would not be successful unless the military force was involved. In fact such views appear out of place when one considers that the tension that had at one stage assumed the proportions of an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation between the government and the army has been tapering off. The prime minister’s statement in parliament in December that the army had become “a state within a state”, and the army’s warning of “grievous consequences” did not lead to a derailment of the democratic process as many feared at the time. Showing good sense both sides pulled back from the brink. While it may be true that the army’s role in Balochistan is a reality and that GHQ has its own views on the province, even if the intention is to develop a consensus between the people’s representatives and the generals on the Balochistan issue, backing a role for the army in politics can only prove to be counterproductive. One has only to revisit Pakistan’s own history to be convinced of this.

Democratic governments the world over listen to their generals on security matters. But by their very training, military leaders have a one-dimensional mind. On the other hand, an elected government is not worth its salt if it does not take a holistic view, which while accommodating the military’s suggestions is not oblivious to other equally vital matters. As finally formulated, the policy of a democratic government represents the views of all segments of the executive, including the military.

Do you have information you wish to share with You can email our News Desk to share news tips, reports and general feedback. You can also email the Blog Desk if you have an opinion or narrative to share, or reach out to the Special Projects Desk to send us your Photos, or Videos.

More From This Section

Afghanistan deal

Unhappily, three elections into a new era aspiring towards democracy, the Afghan electoral process remains hostage.

Politics & development

Since the elections in 2008 there is some evidence that, politically, Pakistan has made several crucial gains.

Polio emergency

In recent days, almost 20 new cases have been reported across the country — 13 on Sept 16 alone.

Comments (1) (Closed)

Mar 22, 2012 12:58am
Dear editor: Nice thoughtful advise to all concerned. I am bringing to your notice that in your newspaper's web site you are ignoring whole province of Balochistan.No mention of news from Quetta as there are headilines from Islamabad (which is just a repitation)Lahore,Peshawar and karachi. Please rectify this oversight. A reader Boston,USA