Pak army's involvement in ongoing political crisis signals 'soft coup' in country: Report
Pakistan may have transitioned to a democratically elected government from military dictatorship, but the recent political crisis and subsequent intervention by the army is a sign that the country is still under its control.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif recently assigned the army the role of a mediator to broker a feasible solution between the government and protesting parties, PTI and PAT, in a bid to end political deadlock.
But, in return for its intervention, it appears the military has exacted a price from Prime Minister Sharif. According to reports, he has agreed to cede control of aspects of the country's security and foreign policy to the military, the Washington Times reports.
Pakistan's army chief, Raheel Sharif recently held meetings with the two main protest leaders Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri to reach a compromise between the government and the party chiefs.
While last year's election showed that Pakistan was capable of carrying out a peaceful transfer of power between civilian governments, the current scenario shows that the military still has the power to meddle in country's politics.
In 1999, Sharif was ousted by a military coup led by then Gen. Pervez Musharraf while serving his second term as Pakistan's prime minister.
The involvement of military in the current political crisis is a glowering reminder of the army's hold on the country as well as failure on the part of the politicians to resolve the crisis on their own.
(Posted on 30-08-2014)