THIS refers to my letter ‘Gen Powell: a lesson for Pakistanis’ (Nov 8). I was reminded of how a hero of the World War II and probably the most successful and popular general in US history was relieved of his command by Truman because of his differences with the American president over the conduct of the Korean war.

Civilian control over the military was an American tradition dating back to the founding of the republic. In his 1956 memoirs, Truman wrote:

“If there is one basic element in our Constitution, it is civilian control of the military.

Policies are to be made by the elected political officials, not by generals or admirals. Yet time and again Gen MacArthur had shown that he was unwilling to accept the policies of the administration.

By his repeated public statements he was not only confusing our allies as to the true course of our policies but, in fact, was also setting his policy against the president’s...

If I allowed him to defy the civil authorities in this manner, I myself would be violating my oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.”

This should be an eye-opener for all of us.


More From This Section

Pakistani dramas

IN almost every drama serial, I see a ‘baychari’ (deprived) woman who is often beaten up by her husband or one ...

White is black

A SALARIED private militia maintained by Nawab Akbar Bugti had killed 231 security personnel of our army, FC, police...

Living in fear

I REMEMBER going to see my grandparents in southern Punjab every summer holiday. Unlike many other schoolchildren, I...

CNG supply

THE government recently announced that there would now be a continuous supply to CNG stations in Punjab, with a...

Comments are closed.

Comments (6)

Naeem Malik
November 13, 2012 12:20 pm
So why is Truman so ineffective in Islamabad?
November 13, 2012 1:14 pm
The General did not end up with plots of land, and houses in DHA and other benefits.
November 13, 2012 1:28 pm
I completely agree. Army should be under civil control but for that our politicians need to prove that they are sincere to the country and not just to their own greed.
Agha Ata (USA)
November 13, 2012 6:18 pm
Yes, the brain should rule the brawn. And, by the same token, some women can rule men (A feminist)
November 13, 2012 2:43 pm
Pakistanis are not capable of learning anything.
Aizaz Moin
November 13, 2012 2:23 pm
YES I completely agree. I believe that the military is but a tool of deterrence in the hands of the President, who is the actual Commander in Chief, even in our constitution.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Front Page