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Civil-Military Fiasco: But What Happened?

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Civil-Military Fiasco: But What Happened?


Background: PML-N party member Cpt. Safdar chanted unethical slogans at Jinnah Mausoleum on 19th October, the next morning he was arrested by Sindh Police from the hotel he was staying in. In the afternoon the opposition leader held a press conference and made an allegation against  Pakistan Rangers. According to the opposition leaders, some officers from Pak. Rangers had pressured IG Sindh to issue an FIR against Safdar. Later that day, IG Sindh and ten police officers submitted their request for leave, right before PPP Chairman, Bilawal Bhutto press conference.

In the press conference, Bilawal Bhutto urged the Army Chief to issue an inquiry to look into the matter. Eventually, the Army Chief took notice of the incident yesterday. 

ISPR issued a statemen that an inquiry committee will look into the matter immediately. COAS also contacted IG Sindh, in result of which he deterred his leave along with the other officers for “larger national interest”. Sindh Police confirmed this decision over their official twitter handle. 

Now what: According to senior Military analyst, Major Gen (R) Ejaz Awan, the Army Chief already took the notice before the PPP Chairman’s press conference. He added that this issue is heavily politicized by the opposition to weak state institutions. In his interview at Ary News, he explained the procedure through which the inquiry will proceed; a committee will be established under Corp Commander Karachi’s supervision which will investigate the incident thoroughly. 

What experts are saying: Media reports and analysis suggest that the country is moving towards a dangerous point where major conflicts are rising between civil and military institutions. In future these conflicts can damage public trust in state institutions. Experts also believe that it is the government ‘s responsibility to ensure the sanctity of civil society and servants. Any compromise on civil servants’ dignity is detrimental to democratic fabric. 

Interestingly, Indian media has portrayed the incident as “Civil War” in Pakistan. Their experts are overselling the civil-military tension and propagating obnoxious information. 

But what the government has to say: Meanwhile the government has a different stance, According to Governor Sindh, Imran Ismail opposition is exaggerating the matter. He further stated that this political shame is orchestrated to drag the federal government into the incident and label them as the perpetrator. The Prime Minister, Imran Khan has not given any comments on the issue yet. 

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