Sunday, September 20, 2020


Also Read

Mayank Kumar
Independent Columnist and researcher in Delhi University.

Pakistan’s lack of good governance required me to play a role as “a soldier-statesman”, these were the words of Raheel Sharif at the Royal United Services Institute, a defense think tank in London. For any country which claims to be democratic and run by an elected government, these words of the army chief raises many questions on the country, that is it really a democracy and sets alarm bells across the globe. In November 2015 when Raheel Sharif visited Washington a senior official said “what the civilian entities don’t have is the ability to deliver on things, at this point, Mr. Raheel can deliver”. It means the head of nuclear armed Pakistan military has eclipsed the role of the democratically elected lawmakers over the important issues of security, the foreign policy, the fight against Islamic terrorists.

The way Raheel was projected as a hero when the army took control of the most important and violent city of Karachi with a massive crackdown on MQM and other violent groups is shocking. This exercise under the leadership of the 59 years old general from Kunjah near Gujarat, is aimed at projecting him as the man who can restore normalcy more effectively than the elected government. According to many like Aqil Shah who teaches politics at the Princeton University and author of the book The Army and Democracy: Military Politics in Pakistan “The surge in his popularity is due to projection by the army’s public relations wing-(ISPR)-and ISI”. The campaign in media is such that what Raheel ‘can do’ the civilian leadership is “incapable in the face of an existential threat to Pakistan”.

No one can ever the question that on the matter of foreign policy and internal security, he and his GHQ kitchen cabinet are the sole decision-makers. It is evident from the fact that when Ashraf Ghani first visited Pakistan in 2014, he went directly from the airport to the General Headquarters Rawalpindi (GHQ) to meet General Sharif before meeting the other Sharif, who is the so-called most important person in Pakistan. How powerful is the military during this period is also shown by the interview given by senator Mushahid Ullah Khan in August 2015, in which he claimed that an audio tape was obtained in which Zaheer-ul-Islam, the then director general of the Inter-Services-Intelligence (ISI), could be heard giving instructions to raid the Prime Minister Office. This tape was given to Nawaz Sharif. Even the Defence Minister of Pakistan Khawaja Asif on record named two very senior military generals behind the political unrest created against Nawaz government and attempts to throw him out of power. But the army boss, is so powerful that Khawaja was sidelined and according to reports subbed like a gate keeper at a dinner with army generals.

The military under Raheel is cleverly using Zarb-e-Azb, National Action Plan (NAP), actions against bandits in Punjab-Sind belt, Karachi crackdown, 21st Amendment in the constitution to corner Nawaz government from all sides or say using these to legitimize their role of guardian and chief officer of struggle Pakistan. When Raheel Sharif started Zarb-e-Azb, a massive crackdown against Taliban in Waziristan, he did not think of seeking any permission from the democratically elected government which claimed to be in command. In Musharraf’s trial; Nawaz Sharif personally tried to trouble the former dictator, but again the present general came to his rescue which resulted in Musharraf shifted to Clifton and Defence Housing Authority (DHA) neighbourhoods. This episode is a clear case of the power Raheel Sharif has over the civilian government.

Through the NAP (National Action Plan) and 21st Amendment military shiftily took the judicial landscape through military courts and dominated the administration through setting various committees at central and state levels. With all these attempts, it is clear that Raheel Sharif is the man who is calling the shoots in the affairs of Pakistan and it is not an exaggeration that he is the man in command.

  Support Us  

OpIndia is not rich like the mainstream media. Even a small contribution by you will help us keep running. Consider making a voluntary payment.

Trending now

Mayank Kumar
Independent Columnist and researcher in Delhi University.

Latest News

“UPSC Jihad”: A tale of ignominious judicial capriciousness

The Indian judiciary appears to lose all semblance of nuance so soon as the word, “minority” appears. This is yet another problem in the Hollow Republic of India — and I use that term after prodigious consideration.

Bappa Rawal – The legend untold

Bappa Rawal in a sense had broken the myth that Indian Kings could not unite against foreign invaders to protect the mother land. The fake narrative to divide and derecognize them has been in history books for too long

वो यात्रा जो सफलता से अधिक संघर्ष बयाँ करती है

आज भारत विश्व में अपनी नई पहचान के साथ आगे बढ़ रहा है। वो भारत जो कल तक गाँधी का भारत था जिसकी पहचान उसकी सहनशीलता थी, आज मोदी का भारत है जो खुद पहल करता नहीं, किसी को छेड़ता नहीं लेकिन अगर कोई उसे छेड़े तो छोड़ता भी नहीं।

One nation, one market 2020: Will the dream come true?

New policies of Modi govt for farmers is for their betterment. However, as always, the opposition just does not want the farmers to be better.

Lessons from Sweden

What happened after seventy years, which is making Europe moving for right wing and Nationalism again? Why is a country like Sweden today feeling the heat? What changed in past decade that made liberal society to change?

Mirror of self-discovery in pandemic

This year has been really horrific. Obnoxious amount of sadness, sickness and death. Nature forced us to confront ourselves in a lot many ways. But hope prevails. The waves of faith keep crashing the beach.

Recently Popular

5 Cases where True Indology exposed Audrey Truschke

Her claims have been busted, but she continues to peddle her agenda

Mughals are NOT Indians

In this article we analyse whether Mughals were Indians or invaders who stayed because of the vast wealth and resources and also the power it gave them in the Islamic world.

Daredevil of Indian Army: Para SF Major Mohit Sharma’s who became Iftikaar Bhatt to kill terrorists

Such brave souls of Bharat Mata who knows every minute of their life may become the last minute.

Digital service delivery will bolster an Atmanirbhar Bharat

A clear vision of the Digital India program has stimulated the efficiency of digital service delivery by ensuring development at the grassroots level via the formulation of 796 digital villages and more than 3.6 lakh functional common services centers offering digital access points for the delivery of essential public utility services

पोषण अभियान: सही पोषण – देश रोशन

भारत सरकार द्वारा कुपोषण को दूर करने के लिए जीवनचक्र एप्रोच अपनाकर चरणबद्ध ढंग से पोषण अभियान चलाया जा रहा है, भारत...