The Military And It’s Relevance In Pakistan’s Democracy

Posted on March 7, 2013 in GlobeScope

By Manisha Chachra:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross on iron.”- Dwight Eisenhower.

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The prowess of Military in Pakistan needs no introduction. If I have to turn the pages of history it might become tedious and dull for the readers. If I trace the footprints of partition it will be nothing but an unfortunate and bitter taste to be gulped down. Nonetheless, Jinnah the founder of the notorious two-nation theory would have never thought that his vision of largest Muslim state will be muddled in such a way that exploitation of its people will become an occasion of celebration for military. If one has to scrounge for the reasons as to why the military has become so influential in Pakistan one major reason are the conflicts and wars that Pakistan continues to fight with India, Afghanistan or Kashmir. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that it has been poking nose in almost everything.

Whether it is mass killing of Shias or the Pakistani Christians who bear the brunt of country’s blasphemy law, the military continuously targets speaking in Locke’s language the people’s natural rights. The domination of military over Pakistan politics has played a crucial role in worsening its relations with India. The recent military exchange in which soldiers on Indian border were chopped off their heads and killed mercilessly indicates the dangerous role that military continues to play. It will be a repeated fact if I assert that when military does anything that doesn’t suit its purposes it is bound to create havoc in the country. That is why Mahatma Gandhi wanted the army to take part in many other productive activities when the defense purpose has been served.

The military intervention in politics has caused revolutions in countries to fight for democracies. For instance, Myanmar’s recent upsurge for a democratic state, rise of Aung San Su Kyi is a change where military acted as a catalyst though a negative one.
As political science is about predicting and I am predicting a change on the part of civil society which will have to recognize its rights and unite irrespective of the political, religion and regional cleavages.

What shocked me as an Indian is the truth that we don’t seem to be concerned. We are half of the time cracking jokes on India-Pakistan, or other cricket related jokes where India is so naive that it seeks to improve its relations with Pakistan by that sport which will not fetch anything. I will be called an idealist after this write-up. However, I truly appreciate all the policies India executes in order to better the relations with Pakistan. Yes, we are highly ignorant if we don’t wish to notice the differences between the political structures of two countries. The background from which both of them started might be the same, but the two have moved into different directions. All those bitter reasons why we don’t maintain healthy relations with Pakistan, are the reasons that lurk behind the negative development that Pakistan internally continues to deal with. It is the very influence of tarnished leaders like Pervez Musharaff without whom the concept of ‘Indian Mujhadeen’ would have remained unseen. The civil society of Pakistan, at least who really wish for peace, excluding the fundamentalists, are same like you and me. They also want to have contented lives where government can ensure them their rights rather than seize them. It is for this humanity that I want to think beyond those extremist barriers which curb the chances of development inside or outside the country.

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