Civil-Military rift is not a new phenomenon in the country but in recent years the proxy war has turned into a face to face confrontation.

The widening gap clash between politicians and establishment may lead to serious threats to the very existence of state itself.

Whether it is a minor political setback or any other major development, both the parties waste no time in dragging out cannons.

For instance, the recent revelations of Dr. Shahid Msood turned into a conflict, when he claimed the accused of Zainab’s murder was having 35 bank accounts.

One segment ridiculed him- not only for his unverified news story -but due to his history of continuously bashing on government and his support for the establishment.

His supporters on the other hand furiously defended him with whatever arguments they could come up with. The past few years witnessed many similar episodes.

With the rapidly changing dynamics of international politics - the role of countries of this region is changing fast- with abnormally growing trade deficit and security challenges, can a country afford to waste its resources on meaningless internal clashes. It may seem confusing but both the parties have their own reasons.

The civil military tension has deep rooted history as old as the state itself, starting from early post-colonial era. Many believe the military’s decision of joining western block against the wish of political government to become an ally of Russian block – was the first incident where the divide was born.

Unrealistic expectations from the infant democratic institutions to deliver precisely -resulted in shaping the impression that the politicians are corrupt, incompetent and not trust worthy with state secrets.

After ruling the country for years in long intervals, military, finally realized that they should leave the governance to politicians and concentrate on their basic job - defending the country.

But the bitterness continued as the politicians tried to explore new avenues on international arena, against the will of security establishment.

Giving list of Sikhs to Indian government, cultivating close relations with Iran, on the cost of Saudi Arabia and recent government’s efforts to cultivate close relations with the India are some of the reported events – during last two decades- which made the establishment unhappy.

The result was defaming campaign against the politicians – which they retaliated with the same intensity. Memo Scandal - Dawn leaks and numerous other similar incidents brought bad name to the country internationally.

In this maligning crusade both sides used generous funds and resources- media was bought- think tanks were established and a never ending war erupted on the cost of undermining international role.

The spy agencies chasing politicians and journalists overlooked evolving modern warfare - the potential increase in the engagement of proxy strategies by states- the global recession, and the politics of power and resources of international players, the rise in prominence and importance of Private Military Companies (PMCs) to contemporary war-fighting and the increasing use of cyberspace to wage indirect wars.

The overnight shift in the state policies – the state sponsored Jihad and then declaring them terrorists was difficult for many to digest.

The insulting attitude towards politicians - use of excessive force against citizens- missing persons- tortured dead bodies of journalists and political activists’ further deepened the civil military gap.

In today’s global politics, the influence of the Military is not only limited to the decision making but it has spread to the threat assessment, resource allocation or policy execution.

If someone is asking to put army under civilian role, it is not going to happen. Likewise, army should also understand that they are trained to defend the country and they have no expertise to rule the country.

It is the job of politicians -they must be given time to evolve.

The energies spent on internal campaigns must be turned towards external audience. Instead of repeating Pakistan’s sacrifices in local media, establishment should outreach international players and present its case in an effective manner.

For the improvement in system, a strict and brutal accountability is a must. The assets of politicians, journalists, Judges, civil and military bureaucrats should be made public.

In today’s fact paced world no army can survive without a political face. Either it was Siachen or recent clashed at Pak- afghan border the conflict was resolved through politicians and diplomacy.

The judiciary also must concentrate on their primary job of interpreting the law, protecting civil and human rights, guarding the Constitution and conflict resolving.

Individual or certain group specific decisions may give instant popularity but the long term respect could only be earned by providing timely justice to all.

Any impression of siding with any party or institution may tarnish the image of the pillar of the state.

The time is running fast. Weak states become easy prey of hunger and brutality of the world powers.


Writer is staff member of The Nation.