Military rule damaged Pak Army's image: General Abbas

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Rawalpindi, Aug 24 (ANI): The rule of former Pakistan army chiefs-General Ayub Khan, General Yahya Khan, General Zia-ul-Haq and General Pervez Musharraf had badly damaged the image of the armed forces, according to Director-General Inter Services Public Relations Major- General Athar Abbas.

The views of Major- General Abbas were expressed in an article available on ISPR's website.

"The founding father envisaged Pakistan as a sovereign, modern and democratic state based on the principles of equality and justice. The failure of successive governments to establish a tolerant political culture, viable political system and good governance has driven people to a state of disillusionment," he writes.

"In the past we have tried various systems but have not succeeded. The stunted development of our political system is mainly due to the fact that initially our state developed as a 'security state' due to incomplete partition and no urgency was felt to have a constitution.

"Subsequent corruption and incompetence led to frequent near collapse situations making way for military interventions. As soon as military took over, realising that it could do better, it tended to prolong the stay in power. This led to concentration of power in one hand and eroded the system of checks and balances," Major General Abbas adds.

The unfortunate death of Quaid-e-Azam soon after partition left a political vacuum and chaos. Commander-in-Chief General Ayub Khan's appointment as the Defence Minister, while he was serving, was the instance of the political government voluntarily ceding authority to the army.

The result was a bloodless coup in 1958. His initial period, 1958-1961 was known as golden era. Yahya Khan's brief period from 1969-1972 resulted in separation of East Pakistan.

During Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's regime 1972-1977 the army stayed out of politics. The rigging of 1977 elections brought the army back in politics. General Zia's era (1977-1988) fully entrenched the army in politics and started the era of Islamisation of the society.

During the period from 1988-1999, power kept shuttling between Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. The era where the government functioning came to a grinding halt several times and governance suffered badly due to infighting of politicians.

General Musharraf ruled from 1999-2008. It was a military cum quasi-military rule that achieved many things but resulted in a severe political turmoil and badly affected the image of Army. (ANI)

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