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Wed. October 04, 2023
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Around the World, Across the Political Spectrum

Nawaz Government and the Pakistan Military: A Note on Current Politics


For a good while, the de facto ruler of Pakistan has been the military, while the civilian government is only effective in its given sphere of administration structures. The current PMLN government is trying to assert civilian supremacy over the military but failing due to its own weaknesses. One of the main issues is that the PMLN lacks the credibility to turn the tables on the military. In 2013 it had an opportunity to do so but failed miserably. The civilian government needs to adopt a unified approach encompassing all political forces, media and civil society in order to be successful. In principle, the civilian government control over the military is a fundamental requirement of democracy and the constitutional system. However, given the myriad weaknesses of the Pakistani civilian government, the military has continuously encroached on civilian space. However, a reversal is possible, although it will not be an easy feat. To say the least, Pakistan’s democracy is becoming very problematic.

Meanwhile, the performance of the PMLN is dismal at best. Pakistan’s democracy shouldn't be just about government majority. There is system of checks-and-balances where the judiciary checks the power of the executive branch. Nawaz Sharif was ousted from power by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in July 2017 during the famous Panama Papers trial, but has once again become the head of his political party. Sharif is now desperately asserting his influence in Pakistan in an unprecedented bid for power by challenging the authority of the Army which controls the real power in the country. The irony is that he lost the opportunity to do so as he has lost both the opportunity and his credibility. In the past, hecould have put the Army in its place as it has no role in politics whatsoever. It is now too little and too late.  The political climate in Pakistan can go from bad to worse; if there is a complete collapse of government, chaos, and anarchy, the military will take over the country yet again.

Dr. Sohail Mahmood is a faculty member at Oxford Higher Academy, UK and Professor & Board Member, Department of Political Science, Faculty UniVirtuelle, Methodologica Universitas.

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Tue, December 05, 2017 01:49 AM (about 51110 hours ago)
Dear Sir,
your essay reflects that you have no working knowledge of Pakistan society, government and the failure of the state to deliver to its peopl
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