World News/Pakistani Politics


QUESTION: Sir in Pakistan Imran Khan is making democracy week. He is calling for army take over. Pakistan is fighting 13 yr old war against terrorism. Under these circumstances is army takeover beneficial against proxy wars?
Or Army take over can damage Pakistan role in these wars?
Also in case democracy is gud how can govt under current scenario save itself from Imran Khan's protest politics nd call for army ?
Thanks in advance sir

ANSWER: Countries with overpowering militaries tend to lack the strong political and civil society institutions required to underpin a stable and functioning democratic system. I see this in Pakistan. The army (and its powerful intelligence service, the ISI) have had and continue to have too much power over both the politics and economy of Pakistan. Why is this? Externally, the military feels it is in their self-interest to project India as a dire existential threat - even though civilian leaders and young people have demonstrated an urge to move past old hostilities with New Delhi and forge a constructive relationship. The army's counterproductive Afghanistan policies also foster a belligerent stance by insisting on projecting "strategic depth" in that nation and by supporting various militant Islamist groups while fighting others - again counter to a more engaging approach favored by Nawaz Sharif. Internally, the army fears civilian government - sometimes for valid reasons. Therefore, they use the ISI to manipulate domestic policies and show favoritism to the relatively unpopular and erratic Imran Khan and Tahir ul-Qadri. The result: violence and instability. The Pakistani Supreme Court, at least in the past, has also tended to side with the military.

For his part, Nawaz Sharif's dogged pursuit of treason charges against Pervez Musharraf only serves to goad and antagonize the army more. Are his motives in the best interests of society, or are they personally vindictive?

In sum, Pakistan needs to focus more on building those civilian institutions which constitute the bedrock of any democratic society: legislative, judicial, executive, not to mention strong and independent NGO's and news media. One only has to look east to India for comparison. It is up to Pakistan's younger generations to push for these goals.

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QUESTION: Sir i am grateful to you for ur reply.
Sir as "to live" comes first and then freedom of knowledge , rights ... nd everything els and everything wise.
Sir U.S is building extension of it's embassy in Pakistan. which is a kind of military base. It seems that it may weaken the defense of Pakistan. and may result in too much of foreign interference in the internal matters of the country.Based on ur learning and knowledge. what type of government can resist too much of U.S involvement in the country ?

I am highly thankful to u for ur response
Mahreen Junaid

It is very difficult to predict what will happen in any country's political situation -- but especially Pakistan's. To answer your question in general terms, for a political system to be effective, there must be a "social contract" between the people and their government, one which enables the people to be able to genuinely select their government leaders and representatives. That also means civilian oversight of the military. I don't see this in Pakistan. Rather, throughout its history, Pakistan has been mostly ruled by the military.

As for Pakistan asserting its sovereignty vis--vis the U.S. and defending its national interests, this requires strong but wise leadership. Both countries have had plenty of frictions over this issue. That relations have remained firm speaks to both countries managing these frictions more or less successfully.

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James Bruno


Diplomacy and foreign affairs. How government decision-making takes place. Interactions of the White House, State Dept., Pentagon, Congress and CIA in formulating policy. How governments deal with each other. Area expertise includes Afghanistan, Indochina, Europe, Cuba. Served in Guantanamo. Currently a member of the Diplomatic Readiness Reserve and Standby Response Corps.


23-years as a diplomat with the U.S. State Dept. Previously at the Defense Dept. Prior to joining government, worked as a journalist with major news organizations.

CBS-News, UPI; various newspapers. Published novelist: PERMANENT INTERESTS and CHASM.

M.A. - U.S. Naval War College
M.A. - Columbia Univ.
B.A. - George Washington Univ.

Awards and Honors
Various in government.

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