This is apropos of the statement by the ministry of defence that it has no control over operations of the army and ISI. This comes in the backdrop of the chaos that follows the Memogate controversy, another national faux pas in a never-ending list of blunders. This apparently life-saving confession is enough to understand why we are the way we are, entangled in a web of complex problems and having no survival strategy to make our way out of it.

All over the world armed forces are subservient to the civilian establishment and act in line with decisions taken by elected government officials. Pakistan is perhaps the only country in the world where the 'elected democratic government' openly pleads its inability to rein in the armed forces it manages (or is supposed to manage) with its extremely scarce and meager resources. If the government was so helpless, why wasn't this irony pointed out earlier and why did the government wait for almost four years before pointing out the same? Isn't the service chief supposed to report to the defence secretary whose boss happens to be the defence minister and then the prime minister and, finally, the president, the supreme commander of all forces? What are these gentlemen doing if they exercise no control over their subordinates? It is extremely unfortunate that the civilian setup is incapable of handling the affairs of the state and this is used as an excuse by the military establishment to continuously meddle in the affairs of the state. As a forced (salaried) taxpayer may I know who decides to channel my tax rupees through the sacrosanct defence budget?

 TOOBA BATOOL,

Karachi, December 28.