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Daily Briefs


Photo : Dawn

10 October 2020, Saturday I Vol 1, No.155

Military only skilled to support civilian authorities, not to lead it, says Pervez Hoodbhoy



An opinion by Pervez Hoodbhoy on what role should military play and avoid; a statement by Imran Khan - "I am democracy"; and an editorial highlighting the major challenges facing the PDM.

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

In Focus
Military only skilled to support civilian authorities, not to lead it, says Pervez Hoodbhoy:
Soldiers should stick to what they are good at and paid for — fighting wars rather than running businesses

In his latest analysis published in Dawn, Pervez Hoodbhoy writes "Successful societies know that those who fight wars well are not always best suited for running industries, academia, or government. Therefore, British military officers, whether serving or retired, are not given preferential treatment outside of their specific skills. It is broadly realised that men in uniform can be heroic fighters in wartime but in other situations they can be just as clueless and bureaucratic as their civilian counterparts."

 

Military men no substitute for Professionals 
Pervez says that while military mindsets contain exceptional qualities, such as control and command to logistics and material management, they are not skilled for running civilian government or industries. They can simply support civilian authorities during war or other emergencies such as natural or man-made disasters. Pervez says "Although military men in the age of electronic warfare have to be smarter and better informed than their predecessors, a graduate from some military academy is no substitute for those who have spent their careers honing specific skills in academia, industry, commerce, and a plethora of technical fields."

Lack of competence in Pakistani institutions
Hoodbhoy opines that Pakistani institutions are in desperate need for competent people. He says that retired military or army officers, when placed at the head of organisations, can only make superficial and cosmetic changes. "Soldiers should stick to what they are good at and paid for — fighting wars rather than running businesses or making movies," he concludes. (Pervez Hoodbhoy, "A military is only for war," Dawn, 10 October 2020)

 
"I am democracy," says Imran Khan
Labels PDM an 'alliance of jobless politicians'
Image Source: Dawn

 

On 9 October, Prime Minister Imran Khan stated, "I am democracy," adding, "I was elected after bagging the most votes in Pakistan and won from five constituencies." He made this statement in response to the opposition's allegation of the vote having been stolen in the 2018 elections. Further, stating that if the election were rigged, his party would not need a coalition to form a government.

Terms PDM as an 'alliance of jobless politicians'

PM Khan went on to term the opposition's Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) an "alliance of jobless politicians", stating that the government would allow for the peaceful procession of the opposition, however, the law would take its course if anyone was to break it. Further, while responding to Nawaz Sharif's call to his supporters to take to the streets against the government, he said that PML-N workers would not do so even if they were bribed with money and keemay kay naan.

Opposition's real issue is with ISI

He went on to state that the opposition's real issue with the military is that they are unable to "control" the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) after the agency found out about their alleged corruption. Adding that, the PML-N wanted to "control all the institutions whose job it is to keep checks and balances, except one. They know the ISI is aware of all their theft. They try to control it and that's where the conflict starts." He also stated that the ISI knows that he has never laundered money and that he was a true democrat, which is why they do not have a problem with his government.

Further, while mentioning what he labelled as Nawaz's "attacks" on the Pakistan Army, he said, "If anyone is going around with India's agenda, it is the [PML-N]," adding that "We are safe today because of the sacrifices rendered by our armed forces." Further, he cautioned that if the military was weakened, Pakistan would see turbulence similar to the situation in other Muslim countries. (Malik Asad, "Opposition's real issue is with ISI, says PM," Dawn, 10 October 2020)

 
Challenges ahead for the PDM
"The main challenge will however lie in how many people the opposition parties are able to bring out on the streets" says and editorial in the News.
Image Source: Dawn

An editorial in The News International looks at the challenges of the Pakistan Democratic Movement ahead of its maiden rally. The editorial says the PPP has nothing to gain by bringing down the PTI government since it would regain only the government in Sindh and the PML-N has some chance of regaining Punjab again.

The editorial asks if the PPP would be interested in staying further in the alliance? While efforts have been made to counter the PDM, the editorial says the main challenge lies in how many people the opposition parties will bring out on the streets ahead of their major rally in Quetta. Another challenge is to see whether the PDM would sustain a protest long enough to actually make a difference. ("What lies ahead," The News International, 10 October 2020)


In Brief
INTERNAL
PML-N dissident MPAs face backlash 
Several PML-N dissident MPAs were criticised by the party over changing party loyalties. The MPAs were met with sloganeering and taunts in the House. One dissident MPA Jaleel Ahmed Sharaqpuri lodged a complaint to the speaker alleging he was manhandled by the PML-N legislators including Mian Rauf. He also said Nawaz Sharif's harsh words against the country's institutions were not fair. ("PML-N dissident MPAs face wrath of their own party legislators," The News International, 10 October 2020)

After repeated warnings, PTA bans Tiktok 
On 9 October, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) banned TikTok after several warnings as different sections of society continued complaining against indecent and immoral content on the Chinese app. The PTA had issued a final warning to TikTok in July and in response, TikTok upgraded its community guidelines in September and issued its Urdu version too. ("Pakistan slaps ban on TikTok over 'indecent content'," Dawn, 10 October 2020)

Power shortage hinders Gwadar's progress
An article in The News International highlights the need to address Gwadar's power shortage as the city is poised to be an important hub of the CPEC. The author says progress on the Power Purchase Agreement for the coal power project is slow. The author says relying on China Overseas Ports Holding Company Pakistan's (COPHC) generators for the The Gwadar Port and Free Zone operation increased the operation cost of the operator and negatively affected the operation of the port and free zone development. The author urges authorities to prioritise this issue to usher in potential investors who await the availability of power supply. ("Powering Gwadar for future," The News International, 10 October 2020)

GILGIT-BALTISTAN 
Bilawal pushes for fair elections in GB
In a press conference, Bilawal Bhutto warned that if there was any military involvement in the upcoming GB elections, PPP would react strongly and he would conduct a dharna in Islamabad with people from GB. He criticised the government on the decreasing media freedom, the recent FIR against Raja Farooq Haider. He condemned the government's Pakistan Island Development Authority Ordinance in Sindh and Balochistan. He said, "Through such immature acts of a cricketer, the federation has been damaged. Whole province [of Sindh] has unanimously rejected the ordinance. We will not allow you to take a single piece of land through an unconstitutional ordinance." ("Bilawal warns of backlash if GB polls are rigged," Dawn, 10 October 2020)

PAKISTAN'S WORLD VIEW
Afghan peace: More than a mere US election tool
An editorial in Dawn, in reference to Trump's promise that US troops would be back by Christmas, says that the Afghan peace cannot be reduced to a tool to boost approval ratings for US presidential candidates. The editorial says the US administration must work with the Kabul government and regional stakeholders to ensure that the final withdrawal of foreign troops is an orderly affair and does not lead to further chaos. It ends by saying a peace agreement involving the Kabul government, and not just Taliban, is required to decide the withdrawal of troops. ("Christmas deadline," Dawn, 10 October 2020)

ON INDIA
India should discard Chanakya model, adopt peace: Foreign Office
On 9 October, Foreign Office spokesman said the IAF Chief's statements on India's readiness for a two-front war were provocative and a reflection of the RSS-BJP mindset, a dangerous mix of extremist ideology and hegemonic designs. He said India's defence limitations were "embarrassingly exposed to the world, first during its misadventure in Balakot and more recently in Ladakh." In reference to the India-China standoff, he said India's was destabilising regional peace. About a Foreign Policy Magazine article, endorsing Pakistan's position that India state sponsor of terrorism, he said Pakistan had consistently sensitised the world regarding India's involvement in terrorism to destabilise Pakistan and the region. On Kulbhushan Jadhav, he said "Rather than trying to abuse the legal process, India would be well advised to act as a responsible state and cooperate with the Pakistani courts to give effect to the ICJ judgement." ("Islamabad asks Delhi to adopt model of peace, development," Dawn, 10 October 2020)

 


"All Pakistani institutions are desperately short of competence and sorely need the right people in the right places. Retired officers when put at the head of organisations can make cosmetic changes and may superficially improve institutional discipline but not much else. Soldiers should stick to what they are good at and paid for — fighting wars rather than running businesses or making movies.”

 Pervez Hoodbhoy on the role of military

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