Civil-military leadership come on same page
Monday, May 20, 2013 – ARMY Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who demonstrated his pro-democracy credentials during the last five years, went a step ahead in contacting Raiwind, and had a lengthy meeting with Prime Minister-elect Mian Nawaz Sharif in Lahore on Saturday. The three and half hour meeting provided them ample opportunity to put across their point of view on defence and security related issues and according to media reports there was convergence of opinion on major challenges.
In view of the checkered civil-military relationship history and especially the widespread impression of suspicions between PML-N and the Establishment, Nawaz-Kayani meeting was epoch-making and sent right and positive signals for not only direction of the relations between the new Government and the Army but also for the overall good of the country.
Some forces have been conjecturing that Imran Khan was the favourite of the Establishment and that Mian Nawaz Sharif would not enjoy smooth and harmonious relationship with the Army. One must appreciate the initiative and goodwill gesture of General Kayani as it would become a trendsetter and provide basis for smooth and harmonious relationship between civilian and military leadership.
Though in other democracies it is normal for heads of state institutions to brief the incoming elected leadership about different aspects of policies and governance but in view of peculiar nature of situation in Pakistan, Nawaz-Kayani meeting assumes special significance. Kayani has dispelled the impression of creating any hurdles in the working of the new Government and assured the Army’s continued support to the democratic process.
Pakistan’s enormous challenges require complete understanding among all institutions and organs of the state to tackle them and hopefully the Model Town meeting would have laid strong foundations for the purpose. There are already indications that both sides are on the same wavelength as far as addressing crucial issues of extremism and terrorism are concerned.
Apart from this, General Kayani has tried to convey the impression that Army has no qualms against PML-N or its leadership and we hope that Mian Nawaz Sharif, who has started treading the new path cautiously, would see to it that the gains achieved in Lahore are carried forward for the sake of the country and strenghening of the democracy.(Courtesy: Pak Observer)