The civil governments and the military have always been in each other throats. For the very first time in the history of Pakistan, we witnessed an air of credence, trust, and confidence between the military and the civil. The newly elected prime minister, Imran Khan played an intensive parley at the GHQ and ISI headquarters at Islamabad. It was indeed an excitement for both the government and the citizens.
From the history, we have learned that the stability of any government in Pakistan depends upon its relationship with the military. In most of the cases, they haven’t been on the same chapter, and that’s one reason for constant military dictatorship in Pakistan.
Let’s take a look at the past events:
In 1954, the Constituent Assembly of Feroz Khan was dismissed by the military general Iskandar Mirza who appointed Ayub Khan as the chief martial law administrator. Then in 1977, General Zia ul Haq abolished the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who was elected on people’s vote. Later, Nawaz Shareef was toppled over by Pervaiz Musharraf in 1999 because the Shareef tried to dismiss him from his position. So after a long time, the two bodies are finally standing on the same chapter.
It is evident that the generals are very positive with the new civilian dispensation merely because they don’t carry any past baggage. So why is it important for both the institutions to have the good relationship in determining future years of Pakistan? Before I answer this question, you need to realize the damage that has already been done in the past 71 years.
- The shareefs added a whopping $45 bn dollar to the country’s economy with no plan to pay it back. Almost a $12.1bn loan was taken between 2016 and 2017 leaving Pakistan to a total debt of 115 trillion rupees. There is no doubt that the economic factor is the sole concern for the civil body, and the military shall have no right over it. However, with Pakistan already placed on the grey list, there was a huge danger for the national security of the country.
- There have been heavy losses in the exports as it falls from $25 bn to $21bn during the 5-year tenure of Nawaz Shareef. There isn’t any science in understanding that exports have a direct link with the economy. The shareef played very little attention to this matter and were never found to be concerned regarding the declining exports and the tedious loans.
- The shareefs had been involved in the massive corruption that left unnoticed in the first years of their rule until Imran Khan began his next struggle. All the institutions that were made to keep a check & balance to these authoritative people were either been replaced with the man of government’s choice or were they incompetent to rule anything against the powerful civil government.
There has been much criticism on the new government in its very first week as according to the insinuations of some top leaders, the military was working behind the scenes to engineer an electoral person. Some of them even claimed him as the army’s blue-eyed boy. However, this isn’t important.
The point is, Pakistan is facing external and internal challenges as described by the newly elected PM, so there was an immense need for both the institutions to have the support of each other and sort out things with a cohesive national approach. National Security was in fact at a huge risk. Pakistan is already been placed on the grey list. `A black would do much harm than anything else.
Think for a second:
You have to pay a tedious loan that you have been taking from a long time. As far as the IMF is concerned, Pakistan is liable to pay back a loan of 115 trillion rupees. Moreover, the interest keeps on rising! You don’t have the money to pay the loans back. Your exports are almost 0.
You don’t have the resources to cover the debt. Corruption is already on the skies. From head to toe, finding an honest politician in Pakistan is like finding a needle in a stack of haystack. If Pakistan failed to pay back the loans, it eventually has to gift his national security to the borrowers. And this is how nations become slaves.
There is no doubt that the military is highly cooperating with the new government in fighting against the powerful corrupt elites of the country, which is in fact very positive because this is the only way Pakistan can recover money immediately. With corrupt politicians going in jail, some of them are already been called by the courts; all of these things are showing a very positive sign for the betterment of the country.
The charisma and Supreme self-confidence of Imran Khan can be a liability to the military if they tend to dictate him the policies. However, it is yet too early to make a bold statement about this issue. Both the institutions are now working together on the project of CPEC. The government has to make sure that the interest of Pakistan is kept on the top, and there are no threats to our security.
International Monetary Fund has already denied any bailout package for Pakistan. This move has its own reasons. Since Imran Khan has denied any military assistance to the United States in future and has clearly said “No more”. He stated about the sacrifices of Pakistan in fighting other’s war and the grave losses suffered by the country. The army on the other end seemed to back the stance, which is surely angering the powerful entity, living on the other side of the globe.
History may not repeat again, but it can certainly rhyme. Whoever has stood against America and it’s policing have suffered badly. From Jinnah to Liaquat Ali Khan to Zia ul Haq, we lost some of the precious leaders in the very first phase of our independence.
Let’s hope a long life for the newly elected PM.