ISLAMABAD - The Pildat Public Forum on Civil-Military Relations and Democratic Consolidation in Turkey was held here on Thursday to discuss ways and means for creating harmony in the civil-military relations while learning from Turkey’s successful democratic evolution.

Chaired by Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Defence Production, the session had the participation OF several legislators, social scientists and people from different walks of life.

Speaking on the occasion, Senator Mushahid said Turkey’s democratic consolidation was an example for the countries where democracy was flourishing. “We need to learn from the Turkish experience, to bring harmony in civil-military relations in order to consolidate democracy here.”

Senator Farhatullah Babar said despite many similarities in Pakistan and Turkey, Pakistan’s unique challenges include the large footprint of military in state and commercial affairs as well as the role of non-state actors in Pakistan. He said the internal factors contributing to democratic consolidation in Turkey include economic development and political stability followed by constitutional reforms.

Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Moinuddin Haider, former governor Sindh and former federal minister for interior, said the Turkish success at democratic consolidation showed the dividends of performance legitimacy. He said that there is a lot to learn from Turkeys’ experience in the fields of political stability, civil-military relations, economic reforms, municipal services and quality education. “Having attained political stability, extensive economic reforms were undertaken in all sectors of economy. Turkish political parties are well organised and receive state funding according to the number of popular votes won in the elections. Political parties are linked to think tanks and have their own think tanks also.”

Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Humayun Bangash, former ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey, said his thoughts were reflected in his research paper on the subject and Turkey has “seen tremendous progress, which has contributed to reversing the role of military in politics.”