Interview/Quotation with Deutsche Welle, conducted by Shamil Shams:
Pakistan’s former army chief Raheel Sharif has been appointed to head a Saudi-led military coalition. Analysts say this could jeopardize Pakistan’s ties with Iran as the 39-member alliance is heavily involved in Yemen. Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has confirmed that General Raheel Sharif is to command the 39-member Islamic Military Alliance. The alliance was formed by Saudi Arabia to deal with conflicts in the Middle East, particularly to quell the Iran-backed Houthi insurgency in Yemen. Continue reading “Pakistan’s ex-army chief General Raheel Sharif to lead Saudi military alliance”
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a multi-billion dollar infrastructure investment project, is heralded as a ‘game changer’ for Pakistan’s economy and regional cooperation. Being a crucial part of a major development initiative led by China, known as‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR), to connect Asia with Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, the CPEC is much linked to hopes, interests, as well as regional and global geopolitics. However, such a mega project never comes without challenges and critical questions. Besides the puzzle of the feasibility of its implementation, or potential impacts on the regional cooperation, it seems that the CPEC development has severe negative impacts on the country’s traditional unhealthy civil-military relations.
Pakistan, which has been ruled by military forces for around half of its existence, is considered to be a classic example of a praetorian state. The country’s military perceives itself as the sole guardian of national sovereignty and moral integrity, the chief initiator of the national agenda and the major arbiter of conflict between social and political forces. Over time, the armed forces became so deeply and widely entrenched in every sphere of the Pakistani state that, today, they do not depend on any formal prerogatives to exercise influence over the political decision-making process or to secure their corporate interests. It can be stated that Pakistan has never experienced ‘civilian supremacy’ with regards to its civil-military relations. Continue reading “Pakistan: Ending the Semblance of Civil-Military Cordiality?”