The recent controversial remarks made by two important government ministers, Khawaja Asif and Khawaja Saad Rafique, have adversely affected the already-troubled civil-military relations. At present, in the face of rapidly-changing geo-strategic realities, Pakistan is facing some serious internal and external challenges. We as a nation are in a state of war against various violent anti-state elements. All these challenges essentially require a harmonious and strong civil-military bond. Therefore, such irresponsible remarks are totally uncalled for. The ill-timed Musharraf trial, and ill-conceived and ill-executed dialogues with the militants, happen to be the major irritants between the military and the government.

In view of its sensitivity and importance, the ministry of defence has often been retained by the prime minster itself. This ministry also acts as a bridge between the military and the government. Before entrusting this portfolio to anyone, his aptitude for the slot and attitude towards khakis should be taken into consideration. Likewise, khakis should also not harm their institution for the sake of targeting a single individual. This institution should adhere to its constitutional role of defending the country against any aggression. Instead of considering any change-over, they should stay tuned to their political leaders. It can only be possible when both civil and military leadership will be on the same wavelength.

MOHSIN RAZA MALIK,

Lahore, April 18.