The definition “democracy is a government of the people, for the people and by the people” stands true for the system of merit in state institutions, and to be precisely, in the armed forces. The recent announcement by Gen Kayani that he would retire on November 29 speaks of the ‘democratic’ mindset that believes in following the law and normal procedure. If not followed in true letter and in spirit, not only the entire system faces disequilibrium, but the future of democracy in the country is threatened. It was perhaps the sanctity of this system that Gen Kayani opted not to get another extension, because it could have made things abnormal.

The generals, more than the politicians, throughout their career wade through strict process of scrutiny, filtering and learning. Pakistan’s armed forces are probably the best because the sense of unity of command has prevailed throughout, which has obviously led to making the institution strong, despite fatal blows on other sides.

F Z KHAN,

Islamabad, October 14.