It is quite appreciable and good to note that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has once again reiterated his unflinching belief in democracy and supremacy of the parliament.
He said this emphatically in a rare and in-depth interaction between the top military leadership and the senators in an unusual and first-ever in-camera interaction in Islamabad the other day.
According to the reports in the media, during this extraordinary session, firstly Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza gave a lengthy briefing on a wide-ranging issue relating to national security. Then, the Army Chief, held three hours long question answers session during which he responded even to a number of tough questions from some senators quite wittingly in a satisfactory manner.
The Army Chief said that the parliament is the supreme institution of the nation, and the army has no desire for a supra-constitutional role. He further reiterated that the military would abide by the policies formulated by the parliament. Talking about the regional developments, he said that Pakistan could not let Iran and Saudi Arabia go to war.
Senators who were approached by the media afterward said, satisfactorily, that whatever questions they had asked were answered by the COAS and the DGMO, and they are now quite updated on the security-related matters.
This rather rare and in-depth interaction between the members of the Upper House of the Parliament and top military leadership held in a free, frank and cordial atmosphere will certainly give a much desired new lease to the constitutionalism and democracy in the country.
MUHAMMAD ZAHID RIFAT,
Lahore, December 20.