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‘Eligible’ army officers

November 16, 2012

I REMEMBER that when I was in Murray College in 1963, a defence forces delegation visited the college to select officers for the army, air force and navy.

Our professor of chemistry and English did not allow a number of students to meet the selection committee. He lectured that Pakistan also needed doctors, engineers, scientists, journalists, teachers, lawyers, businessmen and civil bureaucrats.

He told the class that English families were reluctant to give their daughters’ hand to soldiers because of the fear of seeing them becoming widows at a young age.

I am not sure what is the thinking of English families about army professionals but in Pakistan, the army, air force and navy officers are in great demand by elite families for their daughters’ hand.

During the last forty years, the army institution has become the most powerful and superior national institution. It is self-appointed custodian of Pakistan's ideology, security and national interest which is now being debated and challenged.

It is the first time in Pakistan's sad history that judiciary, an important state organ, has challenged the monopoly of the army establishment.

The Chief Justice has told army generals that they are government servants; thus imposing martial law and removing the political government is high treason. They have nothing to do with politics.

One retired COAS, five retired lieutenant generals and two retired major generals are on trial.

S. T. HUSSAIN Lahore