Connect with us

Featured

Pakistan Army Tightens Grip on Country As Imran Khan’s Popularity Erodes – Bloomberg

Published

on

Is Pakistan Army unhappy with PM Imran Khan over limping economy, high consumer prices and corruption? In a report by Bloomberg, the media house claims that Imran Khan is losing influence and popularity as the Pakistan Army looks to tighten control over the country.  

Are China, Russia, Iran & Turkey Exploiting The ‘Collapse of the US’ Amid Violent Riots & COVID-19 Pandemic?

The media house writes that experts have long seen Pakistan army backing as significant for Imran Khan’s party, which holds 46% of seats in the parliament, to hold together a government that depends on various smaller coalition political outfits partners to stay in power.

The Pakistan army is the most powerful organisation in the country and has directly or indirectly controlled the Islamic Republic over for most parts of its seven-decade history.

By primarily selecting Pakistan army officials in key posts in the government, Islamabad is ceding what little space civilians had in nations policy building, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said by phone to Bloomberg.

Turkey Begins Constructing Advanced Warships For Pakistan Navy To Achieve ‘Balance Of Power’ In Indian Ocean

Key roles

Many in Pakistan can see the transformation during government COVID-19 announcements on state television, in which Pakistan army officers are seen supporting the government’s pandemic response.

Retired lieutenant general Asim Saleem Bajwa is now Imran Khan’s communication adviser and also manages China’s Belt-and-Road Initiative program in the country called China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor.

Indian Air Force Has Not Attacked Karachi As Pakistan Abuzz With Rumours

At least 12 Pakistan army patriots in the cabinet also took part in General Pervez Musharraf’s government. That includes Interior Minister Ijaz Shah and Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Khan’s finance adviser.

The increasing involvement of army even has the support of civilian government advisers such as Zaigham Rizvi, member of Naya Pakistan Housing Programme taskforce in charge of running Imran Khan’s key economic project of constructing low-cost houses.

“There was a feeling that if we give the bulk leadership to the army, the army has a good system,” said Rizvi, a World Bank housing expert. “They (Pakistan Army) gets things done.”

Economic distress

PM Imran Khan has long rejected assertions that he was too close to Pakistan army, saying in 2017 ahead of his election win that any assumption that he’s an army stooge was a “bizarre conspiracy.” Last year he told local media “the army is standing with me.”

Indian Army’s ‘Mountain Division’ The Best In World – Chinese Experts Admit

Yet economic crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic is again mounting unease in the country. Pakistan is the most infected nation in Asia after India, with more than 108,000 coronavirus cases and about 2,200 deaths.

The economy is projected to shrink for the first time in 68 years, with the central bank anticipating the economy to contract 1.5 per cent in the year ending June. The Islamic Republic received an emergency loan of $1.4 b from the IMF in April and is among the nations begging for debt relief.

Questions over the Pakistan army’s role in running the government came to the fore when coronavirus started increasing in March. While Imran Khan addressed the nation and recommended people to stay calm, it was the army spokesman who declared the lockdown the next day.

What Musharraf Could Not Achieve Against India, China Is Trying To Do It For Pakistan: Experts

Most of the press statements from the nations’ virus nerve center, chaired by Planning Minister Asad Umar, are provided by the army’s media wing – complete with its byline and logo.

On March 24, Imran Khan was visibly upset when journalists asked him “who is in charge here?” Even though there was no direct reference to the Pakistan army, he threatened to leave the conference.

Then in late May, his aviation minister, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, endorsed the performance of Pakistan International Airlines and its army leadership following the Karachi plane crash. “It’s not a crime to appoint people affiliated to the military,” he said.

Diminishing power

Imran Khan’s premiership is expected to diminish as Pakistan army officers, as well as army-backed political delegates, assume more control, Bloomberg quoted said Arif Rafiq from a risk advisory firm focused on the Middle East and South Asia. He emphasized that Imran Khan will come under more pressure as Pakistan’s economic crisis mounts.

Pakistan Army, ISI Chief Meet Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani For Intra-Afghan Dialogue

The Pakistan army has flagged its displeasure with Imran Khan’s handling of the COVID-19 lockdowns – there are also signs that the army has not been satisfied with the handling of the CPEC as well as governance in Punjab,” Rafiq said. We’ve seen the chief military spokesman brazenly advocate for a stringent lockdown and a retired army officer take charge as a government spokesperson and top CPEC official.

The Pakistan army last year had already begun taking a more aggressive role in policymaking beyond with Pakistan army COAS – Chief Bajwa meeting top business leaders privately to explore possibilities of boosting the crumbling economy.

Pakistan Army, ISI Chief Meet Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani For Intra-Afghan Dialogue

Pakistan’s parliament also approved a law in January giving General Bajwa a three-year extension starting and he was also made a member of a government’s economic board.

While many democratic governments appoint retired military officers, it becomes a problem if the civilian administration is not in control, Bloomberg quoted Michael Kugelman, a Washington, D.C. based South Asia senior associate at The Wilson Centre.

“And herein lies the risk to democracy,” he said. “If retired generals are more influenced by their former bosses than by their current bosses, then democracy is not being properly served.”

Via: Bloomberg

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

FEATURED

US-UK US-UK
Americas7 hours ago

Why UK’s Indigenous Fighter Jet Program Could Endanger Historical US-UK Relations?

The UK’s new and ambitious ‘Tempest program’ to develop a sixth-generation fighter jet that will replace its fleet of Eurofighter...

US-CHINA-INDIA-JAPAN US-CHINA-INDIA-JAPAN
Americas12 hours ago

US Deploys Its First ‘Space Force Squadron’ Outside Country In The Middle-East

US’ newest Space Force, a dedicated military wing to carry out futuristic warfare is now getting serious about its organizational...

j20-vs-tejas j20-vs-tejas
Featured14 hours ago

Six Chinese (PLAAF) Fighters Dangerously Surround Taiwanese Jets To Shoot It Down?

Amidst heightening tensions in the South China Sea that have seen Chinese warplanes repeatedly breach Taiwan’s airspace, recent reports claimed...

Pakistan-Jet Pakistan-Jet
Europe15 hours ago

MiG-21s Again Come Face-To-Face Against F-16s At Thracian Viper 2020 Drills

One of the biggest international air force exercise, Thracian Viper 2020, is taking place in Bulgaria with a host of...

CORONAVIRUS CORONAVIRUS
Featured15 hours ago

Japanese Firm Invents UV Lamp That Can Kill Coronavirus

A Japanese firm has invented an ultraviolet lamp that can disinfect enclosed spaces and kill the coronavirus without harming human...

Rafale-Typhoon Rafale-Typhoon
Featured17 hours ago

‘Neutral’ & ‘Unsure’: Switzerland To Vote On Upgrading Its Air Force As Rafales, Typhoons & F-35s Vie For Business

The people of Switzerland are set to vote on a proposal on September 27, for replacing its ageing fleet of...

rafale-jets rafale-jets
Featured18 hours ago

More Rafales On The Way: Amid China Tensions, India Aims For Complete Air Dominance With 2nd Batch Of Rafale Jets

As the new Rafale jets make a wild card appearance over the skies of Ladakh, more of these advanced 4.5...

Trump-Putin-Meeting Trump-Putin-Meeting
Americas21 hours ago

Donald Trump Is Extremely Pro-Putin & Anti-NATO; Pentagon The Opposite: NATO Expert

The US is following a slightly ‘schizophrenic policy’ towards Europe and NATO, says Robert Dalsjö at FOI (Swedish Defense Research...

ARMY-INDIA ARMY-INDIA
Featured22 hours ago

Chinese PLA Soldiers Gearing-Up For Harsh ‘Ladakhi’ Winters As India-China Talks Hit The Wall

Representatives from India and China held border talks to amicably diffuse escalating tensions in Ladakh on Monday (September 21). The...

putin-russia putin-russia
Featured1 day ago

US Could Eliminate Russian President Vladimir Putin If Washington Had Its Way – Israeli Expert

A civil war is already underway in the United States. This was stated by an Israeli expert, former head of...

Advertisement