Pakistan Army apolitical and guardian of democracy


Salahuddin Haider

ISPR chief Maj-Gen Asif
Ghafoor’s recent state
ments, have been re-assuring of army being not only apolitical but seems determined to be guardian of democracy in Pakistan. All kinds of views were expressed in electronic and print media of the country, skepticism too were there, but a vast majority of the countrymen appear convinced that since Raheel Sharif, army has tried to be away in politics. The legacy left him has remained in vogue uninterruptedly by the current army chief General Qamar Bajwa.
This was re-emphasized by chief of the military’s publicity wing after Maulana Fazlur Rehman, revengeful as he looks after losing his national assembly seat in 2018 elections, that pointing fingers at the khaki tantamounted to disservice to the country.
Pakistan’s currently is the sixth largest army in the world due to its active military personnel. According to Global Firepower, they are ranked 17th in the strongest armies of the world for 2018. However, Pakistan has the largest army in the Muslim world. There could be a number of reasons, but principally these are, which supports this argument. Its Intelligence services, ISI is ranked as the number 1 spy agency in the world and it also has been named the fittest and best agency, according to American crime news, Pakistan being the only nuclear power in Muslim world, and the special services group commonly known as SSG or the commandos, ranking 8th among the top elite forces of the world. They are also known as Black Storks since these commando’s have unique headgear.
In order to become a SSG, a person has to go through tough training which includes a 36-mile trek in 12 hours and a 5-mile run completed in 50 minutes, done in full gear. Pakistan forces are also famous for the discipline and the love they give for their country. For any army to be successful the dedication needs to come from inside. The army personnel are trained to follow strict rules and regulation. They so well trained that their discipline even reflects in their personal life as well.
Easier it would seem to apportion blame for its duties in ensuring peaceful elections, But Asif Ghafoor’s assertion that army’s role in elections are not of its choosing. It performs that duty when called upon to do so. As for its support to democracy, it was clarified very clearly that army backs a democratically elected government. Nevertheless it sees street agitation for fulfillment of political gains with disdain, and does not wish to see country plunging into chaos and disorder.
Peaceful agitation is never objected to, said the ISPR chief. In fact Asif Ghafoor’s interviews or remarks, has cleared the air from getting poisoned against a force which is professional, regular, and disciplined in character. All doubts about its duties and obligations should now disappear, experts genuinely believe.