The post explains “Role Of Military in Politics Of Pakistan. Role Of Military in Pakistan Politics. Causes of military intervention in Pakistan politics. Role Of Military in Politics Of Pakistan. Role of army in Pakistan Politics. Role of Pakistan army in politics.”
Role Of Military in Politics Of Pakistan
The British Raj of India had maintained its control over the area primarily by the use of military force. This was because of two understandable reasons; one that they wanted the people of India to remain subdue. Secondly they had no interest in the political uplift and empowerment of the people of Sub continent in real terms. They only wanted to extend their rule over the area and for that they used many political and strategic tactics like one of the most well-known was ‘divide and rule’. This greater reliance on military created an imbalance in institutions in Sub continent. The army became more powerful and organized than any civilian institutions in the British India. This tactic should have ended with the end of British rule in Sub continent but unfortunately their legacy continued particularly in Pakistan.
Since the establishment of Pakistan, the army has continuously intervened in the political system of the country, either directly or indirectly. There are many reasons behind it, some of which have been discussed in below paragraphs.
The foremost important factor that led to the foothold of army in politics of Pakistan was the untimely demise of the founding fathers. Both Quaid e Azam and Quaid e Milat died when Pakistan was merely an infant. Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah died nearly after an year of the creation of Pakistan, on 11 September 1948. Liaquat Ali Khan, the first prime minister of Pakistan was assassinated on 16 October 1951 in Rawalpindi. The real culprits behind planning his assassination are still at large. Many analysts and political leaders even today raise questions on the role of military establishment of Pakistan who couldn’t stop the assassination or arrest the real culprits.
Immediately after the creation, Pakistan was faced with many problems of internal instability. Some princely states refused to be part of the country. Similarly many ethnic riots were on the rise in the country. Pakistan also received a huge flux of immigrants from India. Their settlement and rehabilitation in society needed fund which Pakistan lacked. Among these problems some were of grave danger to the national security of the country such as Urdu – Bengali language clash. Some of these riots were cooled down by the use of military force. In 1953, ethnic and communal riots in Punjab reached to a climax that forced the ruling elites to imposed Martial Law in several cities with Major General Azam Khan as Administrator in Punjab. Limited though, it gave military its first taste of the political process and civilian power.
Just like internal threats, Pakistan was also faced with some external threats of grave danger. The most important of all was threat to its own existence from one of its immediate neighbors, India which had not yet accepted its existence wholeheartedly. Consequently the war of 1948, 1965 and 1971 were fought. It was mainly because of this reason Pakistan had to maintain relatively large army than its need which was a burden on the weak economy of the country. The factor of external threat also raised the importance of military in the country.
One of the major reasons of military regular intervention in the politics of Pakistan, since its creation to this day, is the incompetent political leadership of the country. Our political leaders either due to mutual conflicts or incompetency involved military in the politics of Pakistan.
After creation of Pakistan, the country unfortunately inherited British Raj legacy of more powerful army. The country received an army more powerful and well organized than any civilian institution in the country that has yet to be created. This let the military to intervene in the political system of the country from time to time.
Our political leaders delayed in constitution making and installment of political structure which gave military a chance to strengthen its roots in the political system of the country. The constitution which had to define the limits and responsibilities of every single individual and institution in the country couldn’t do so because of the delay and incompetency of our politicians.
Greater reliance on military by our political leaders in decision making and in the event of a national disaster has maintained its strong foothold on the political system of the country. At the time of creation of Pakistan, the country had limited resources with no proper infrastructure and trained administrators. Today the country has all resources but the political leaders are so incompetent that they could not craft vibrant, well organized institutions in the country. Consequently the country even today relies on army in state of emergency.
Since army has strong foothold in the political system of the country from the beginning, it has successfully extended its influence over all other institutions of Pakistan. Legal status to Martial Law and dictators has always been granted by the judiciary of the country. Even today the verdicts of Supreme Court and high courts in some political cases have been reported as biased and altered by the military of the country.
It is crystal clear that corrupt leaders of the country have an important role in the increased interference of military in the political system of Pakistan. They due to their corruption have always remained mere puppets in the hands of army which has made decisions by them of its choice.
In the increased interventions of army in the political system of Pakistan, the role of some major international events cannot be overlooked. One such event was the blockade of the expansion of United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). Another great example is war on terror against Taliban in Afghanistan.
Today even if the military allows elected leaders to come to office; it overshadows the decision-making process. This overshadowing does not allow political leaders to secure their power by diminishing the power of military. When a democratically elected leader tries to increase the control and power of civilian leadership by challenging the influence of military establishment, the military uses it’s tactic of “power without responsibility and accountability” and decrease the power of civilian leadership and removed them of the office.
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