“Any military commander who is honest will admit he makes mistakes in the application of military power.”

–Robert McNamara

It was today, in 1958, when Pakistan experienced its first military coup d’état. Iskander Mirza, the first Governor-General turned President of Pakistan, having abrogated the constitution, dismissed the government, dissolved the National Assembly and declared martial law in the country. Twenty days later, Iskander Mirza was convinced to resign from his position and transfer all power to Ayub Khan, the Chief Martial Law Administrator, initiating the first military rule.

It is interesting to see how far we have come from the year 1958. Through amendments to the constitution, a considerable amount of political power has been taken away from individuals and given to institutions. In spite of relentless support and praise for the current army chief, our society has, more or less, come to accept that the path of democracy must not be obstructed.

Recently, the rift between the army and the civilian leadership surfaced through an incident termed as ‘Cyrilgate’. Had this happened in the 60s or 70s, it might have led to a spontaneous military offensive. But the times have changed, for better or for worse.