Ever since the genesis of Pakistan, the governance in the nation has always been maintained in a poised balance due to the combined efforts of not only the elected government but also the Pakistani military – the brave men who have guaranteed the permanence of Pakistan’s sovereignty by laying down their lives. It is because of these efforts, the people of Pakistan and the civilian government much autonomy in recent years even with looming threats from a plethora of non state actors. The military has not only created a space for the political leaders and participatory political responses but also proliferated the scope of political freedom and the infrastructure of the civil society.
In retrospect, General Qamar Javed Bajwa came at a time when General Raheel Sharif had helped Pakistan to gradually escape the icy clutches of terrorism. General Bajwa came at a time when continuity was required due to the riding threat from Afghanistan. With keeping a lid on a national crisis such as extremism, the army sought to mend ways that were beneficial for the betterment of Pakistan. This pragmatic approach by General Bajwa was one such betterment. In essence this approach saw an end of an era of seven decades of jingoism and ushered in an era of pragmatism.
After seventy years, it was the military and not just any ersatz political party that sought for peaceful coexistence with our neighboring countries. This was the army of the people of Pakistan. Surely by now, the army has now become the most democratic it ever had been and the military’s approach was to be envisioned as a rationalistic and logical credo that highlighted the democratic future of Pakistan. The aspects of this new creed and the army under General Bajwa believed how the constitution of Pakistan played a cardinal role for the country. This doctrine has been faithful to the constitution, thus pointing out how mature and ideal the army has become.
Apart from upholding an environment where the democratic and constitutional nature of the country could work efficiently, the military of Pakistan has also been steadfast in countering a surfeit of threats from many non state actors – Perhaps our greatest concern now is India, that has been pushing its luck out of spite to create an atmosphere of anarchy within the state such as several alleged accusations and malicious propaganda under the umbrella of the fifth generation hybrid warfare. If it hadn’t been for the military, the civil society would had succumbed to the propaganda and had never seen the light of day where they could live under worry free skies. Indian involvement and RAW funding of various terrorist factions such as the Baloch separatist groups has become quite axiomatic for the state. This military however, understands that there should be no war between two neighboring nuclear countries as the aftermath of war could be quite appalling and horrendous. It can be postulated that the reason why India has shifted into fifth gear regarding extremism is due to the rather zealot Modi regime. It is evident, that while the military is not opposed to any Indo-Pakistan rapprochement, it is actually concerned that the civilian government must not ignore what they see as India’s ‘hegemonic’ agenda. Therefore, strong and credible conventional defense and nuclear weapons capabilities are considered vital to ward off Indian pressures and to enable Pakistan to conduct independent foreign and domestic policies.
There is no denying that Pakistan’s civil order and domestic political economy has always been in turmoil. Widening ethnic, regional and religious-sectarian cleavages, the aftermath of the Afghan War, the proliferation of weapons and the dawn of terrorist activities have always posed serious challenges to the government. Without the military, curbing these chaotic activities within the country would had been impossible. As of now, the Army is more deeply involved than a decade ago in support activities for the civilian government. These include relief operations after natural disasters – like the time when the Pakistan Army launched relief and rescue operations following the death of 21 tourists who had been left stranded in their vehicles . The military has also helped it’s netizens through the use of its organizational and technological resources for public welfare projects such as the medical camps set in FATA under the Federal Area Tribal Area Development Works, which have treated 235,324 patients. Moreover, eight free eye camps functional within FATA have been set up under the military that have treated 825 operation of eye surgery and have provided treatment to 11,484 patients.
Moreover, in absence of any financial backing from the government of Pakistan, the military of Pakistan and Frontier Work Organization have worked in unison to build, develop and maintain cardinal communication networks that encompass roads and tracks in Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas. These include Laswa and Kiran Bypass, among other difficult terrains. The entire civil population in the area is dependent on these roads for their daily supplies. Furthermore, the military also set protective walls around vulnerable sectors of the roads in Kel Sector, to protect civilian and military traffic from hostile fire. Moreover, in Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas, the Pakistan Army has also been providing tremendous medical and education services to the civilians.
The military has also been working for the betterment of Balochistan by initiating various water management projects. This includes the Wali Tangi Dam, Islam Kach and Levy Post dams and water supply and tube well schemes in Cholistan. Pakistan Army has also made development in the land reclamation process in in the shape of SCARP Projects, which helped to create 12 miles long drain from Tando Muhammad Khan to the Arabian sea, to help reclaim water logged areas in the vicinity. These are few of the many initiatives the military has taken when it comes to the betterment of Pakistan. We cant deny the sacrifices the Pakistan Army has taken just so we can live in a free and peaceful country unaffected by foreign propaganda. Therefore, the military also expects the civilian government to ensure socio-economic stability in Pakistan.