Military hangover not over yet in Pak, new PM surrounded by nine men in uniform

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Islamabad, Apr 1 : Though democracy has returned in Pakistan and new democratic government is in place in Islamabad, but the military hangover doesn't seem to be over yet. It could be witnessed from the fact that new Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has nine military officers in his staff who assist him in his day to day work.

According to an article published in The News, if all Army officers are being pulled out of the civilian positions, why the prime minister should keep nine military officers with him.

It said that though in case of President Pervez Musharraf, attachment of 12 officers seems justified, there is no reason to continue with this when there is a civilian rule in the country.

In functioning democracies so many military officers never surround an elected leader as part of his/her personal staff, the article said and added that already questions are being raised about the rationale of keeping such a large number of uniformed officers in the personal staff of the president and the prime minister.

"This could even create misunderstandings between the civilian and military establishments, if these officers start playing games in the vested interest of one or the other side," it quoted a newly elected member of parliament as saying.

The most vital officer with the Prime Minister is his principal secretary, who is a civilian, however, there is no accommodation available for this officer within the premises of the PM's House. It is also attention-grabbing that the security officers from military are housed in the PM's House but those from civilian normally get usual government accommodation in different sectors of Islamabad.

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