Civil Military Relationship in Pakistan

In the modern state of the post WWII, the armed forces occupied a unique place in the social and public setup of the state.

In this setup, the armed forces and allied institutions are placed under the command of civilian setup responsible for running the country. The armed forces are not considered a separate branch of the government. Rather, they are the [art of the defense setup headed by a minister that is responsible to the leader of the government.

This arrangement of things has resulted in a state of affairs where the armed forces follow a set procedure of reporting to the government. This also means that the armed forces solely concern themselves with the offense and defense of the national borders.

Army Chief General Kayani (right) with Pakistan former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani

In the context of the state of Pakistan, this arrangement is enshrined in the constitution of Pakistan. The armed forces report to the Minister for Defense and the service chiefs are appointed by the PM.  In theory, Pakistan follows the same model as the rest of the civilized world. We inherited this model from the British and saw no reason to change it.

In reality, the armed forces are a major stakeholder in all political events that has happened since 1947. In cases where the hand of the armed forces is not visible, the covert presence is so thinly disguised that anybody in Pakistan could point out the interference and its implications.

Why is it that the armed forces in Pakistan got to dabble in politics while their brethren across the border could not?

The answer is very complex and warrants a closer look at major incidences in the history of Pakistan. Suffice to say, the incompetency of the politicians is a major factor in the equation. The mismanagement of the country both politically and economically has resulted in the breakdown of the chain of command.

Could anyone predict the next military led coup? Not really!

Would there be a military led coup in Pakistan? Quite Possibly!

Zafar Iqbal

Zafar Iqbal

Zafar Iqbal is Contributing Editor of Awaz e Pakistan. He strongly believes in the power of words and words represent ideas that cannot be suppressed.
Zafar Iqbal



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