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Democracy’s’ tryst with military in Pak

by TrickyScribe
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@ScribeTricky Pakistan is trying to come to peace with the idea of democracy. Democracy is not a persistent phenomenon in this troubled part of South Asian sub-continent. Islamabad announced name of Lt. General Qamar Javed Bajwa to succeed General Sharif whose term is going to end Tuesday come.

Meanwhile, rumours were ripe that Pakistan could witness yet another version of coup d’ etat. General Sharif, fortunately, announced his retirement as per schedule. The popular sentiments in Pakistan were favourable for General Sharif with #thankuraheelsharif trending on social media sites. With a smooth transition of guards on the highest level of armed hierarchy almost on cards, democracy is apparently deepening its roots in Islamabad.

Love-Hate Relation of Democracy and Military:

Ever since the dawn of the Islamic Republic, military establishment has played larger than life role in the political life of the country.

Be it Ayub Khan or Musharraf, Generals have loomed over democratic Pak governments. It is interesting to note here that last government of Zardari-Gilani was first democratic government in Pakistan which could complete its term. Though inner squabble among the political leadership happens to be a persistent issue Military continued to jump in.

Anti-India Sentiments fuel popular imagination of Army:

Pakistan, many have argued, is a state whose existence is based on negative nationalism.  Scholars have argued that Anti-India sentiment is dominant of that negative nationalism. Army plays on the popular perception of dominant India waiting to overrun the Islamic Republic. By projecting the machoism of the Army it defines the role of Army as the sole upholder of the Sovereignty of the e state.

Things are changing for better:

With Sharif neither opting for neither coup nor extension, the political environment of Islamabad is hinting towards a stabilization of democracy but issues are far from being normal.

Political establishment in Islamabad are often in news for scandalous news. From corruption to nepotism, all evils we can name have infected political system in Islamabad.  With Panama Papers being the talk of the hour, PM Nawaz Sharif is facing tough times to establish his credibility in Pakistan.

Time to overhaul:

It is high time for the political elites of Islamabad to go for a long overhaul of the system to establish its credibility.

Pak Army, for a long time, has been a major factor in the political sphere so it would be foolish to assume that civilian government could get its writs run over army. The Civilian-Military authorities would require mutual trust and understanding so that Democracy’s tryst could continue in the hitherto hostile part of South Asia.

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