PARTLY FACETIOUS: The army operates as an institution

“So what’s the latest?”

“Well, the next Panama hearing would be when we have a new Chief of Army Staff (CoAS).”

“Ah yes, but let me emphasise one basic fact: the army operates as an institution not a one man show like our political parties however democratic they may claim to be.”

“I agree, there is much evidence of what you say, but at the same time we, as a people, do back individuals whether they are part of the civilian leadership or the military or even the judiciary right?”

“I agree as far as politicians are concerned, which is why the minus one formula has been repeatedly invoked by the establishment as well as civilian governments; besides don’t forget former Chief Justice Iftekhar Chaudhry was much revered after he was dismissed by Musharraf though that reputation suffered a beating since he retired but how can you say that military personalities matter?”

“Surely they do, Ayub Khan, Ziaul Haq, Musharraf – their personalities shaped our policies and for your information if the military supports minus one formula so do the civilians and need I add Mian sahib is reportedly waiting for 29 November… ”

“Ha ha ha, that maybe true but at least with respect to the military chief the civilian government has to wait till the date of natural retirement…anyway I am not referring to military adventurers in politics, and given their ease in getting politicians to dump their parties at a moment’s notice I sometimes wonder whether adventurer is the right word…”

“How many CoASs that we have had that did not interfere in the domain of civilian governments?” “I am not going to answer that, but surely you agree that Raheel Sharif is one popular guy – he has cleaned up tribal areas as well as extremely settled areas and…” “What’s this with extremely settled?” “That my friend implies major cities and…” “You are being facetious.”

Source: Business Recorder