ISLAMABAD: This is with reference to Kamran Shafi’s article of December 2 titled “Will the posturing never stop?” The writer is well meaning and an honest commentator, but the impression that he is giving, that civilian governments have always been helpless in controlling Pakistan’s powerful military is a bit exaggerated.
The incumbent president has missed several opportunities himself and is now paying the ‘price’, so to speak. After all, it was the civilian government that gave an extension to the army chief and it didn’t take the lead in forming a commission to probe the May 2 raid in Abbottabad in which Osama bin Laden was killed. The problem is compounded by the fact that, ministers in charge of crucial departments seem ill-equipped to do anything as far foreign policy and security issues are concerned. The civil-military imbalance will not be corrected by sermons. This can only be done over a period of time through the political process and for this we will need political parties and charismatic individuals. In Turkey, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party managed to do that, and it had full support of the people.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2011.