Pak Army exploiting people support by keeping its policies India centric: Editorial

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Islamabad, Mar.14 (ANI): One of the major factors that the Pakistan Army continues to enjoy popular support in the country is that it keeps India in the center of its policies, a noted Pakistani columnist Munir Ataulluh has said.

"One reason the army is the single-most powerful institution in the country is the high threat level it perceives from India, and skilfully exploits domestically," Ataullah said.

He goes on to say: "Only those who live in their own mad ideological world now believe that India is still not reconciled to the existential fact that is Pakistan."

An article in one of Pakistan's leading English dailies, The Dawn, said the Pakistan Army has been using the infighting among the country's politicians to its benefit and tighten its grip over the nation's foreign policies.

"Apart from using this perceived threat from India to justify the enormous burden the defence forces have placed on a poor country's resources, our generals have exploited divisions among our politicians to grab and retain power. But that's the nature of the beast: a power vacuum is filled by any force organised enough to exploit it," the article said.

The current brick batting between the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the opposition led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has not helped the country's cause either.

When the PPP government was formed, it was believed that stability would return in the country after years of turbulence under the military rule, but nothing much has changed, in fact the situation has worsened.

President Asif Ali Zardari has been unable to rise above his level, and has committed a number of blunders in a bid to consolidate his grip on power, the article said.

"In doing so, he alienated the powerful chief justice, Nawaz Sharif and the army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani. To alienate so many power centres simultaneously takes talent. Now, he stumbles from one self-created crisis to another, spending more time on apologies and damage control than he does on formulating policy, and providing leadership," it added.

Zardari's inability to cope up with issues and pull the country out of trouble has made Pakistan look like a "rudderless ship," the article said.

Pakistan is already facing a number of issues, foremost is the existential threat posed by the extremists groups, which were once nurtured by the state. So, the political leadership must put an end to the war of words and hatching conspiracies against each other in order to prevent the country from falling apart.

"Despite their rivalry and differences, both Zardari and Sharif need to send out a clear signal to the army and the people of Pakistan that unconstitutional steps will be firmly opposed," the article concluded. (ANI)

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