Pakistani daily laments civil-military imbalance

Islamabad, Jan 26 (IANS) The military’s announcement that army chief General Raheel Sharif will retire in November only underlines “the enduring civil-military imbalance” in Pakistan, a daily said on Tuesday.

While Gen Sharif’s decision itself was welcome, it was interesting that the announcement came from the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the Pakistani military, the Dawn said.

This has “unwittingly cast a light on the enduring civil-military imbalance in the country”, it said.

Gen Sharif’s decision “seems to have been decided on his terms – and announced by the institution he heads.

“Always marginalized in service decisions, the civilian-headed defence ministry appears to have become a nonentity,” it said.

The editorial noted that the ISPR’s Twitter account had become the de facto authoritative voice on all things military, eclipsing the Prime Minister’s Office and the federal cabinet.

“Perhaps over the last months of his tenure, Gen Sharif will seek to correct some of that military overreach.

“A constitutional, democratic Pakistan would be where individuals are always subordinate to institutions – and all institutions subordinate to a democratically elected leadership,” the Dawn said.

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