Supporting the political process in Balochistan... By Nida
08 October, 2012
Given the number of times military officials have suspended and tampered with the constitution in the past, it is difficult to take any comments made by military officials at face value. But, considering the current military policy of maintaining a strict 'apolitical stance', the remarks of COAS Kayani that "the army will extend its support to a political solution to the Balochistan problem, provided that the solution is according to the constitution of Pakistan.
However, any step, which goes against the constitution, will be unacceptable," can surely only be taken at face value this time. This comment just goes to show that the proverbial tiger is losing its stripes after all. First, the army stands behind the politically elected government with minimal interference and now the military leadership promises supporting the political process in Balochistan, provided it is within constitutional limits. The statement may be symbolic in nature, issued to delink the armed forces from all the allegations that are being thrust upon them, but it is surely a clear departure from the dominant military mindset that has led to military interventions and takeovers in the past.
It is time the civilian leadership stands up to take hold of the situation and reverse this mindset by exhibiting its competence in governance matters. The means of reinstating the supremacy of the civilian regime is dependent upon its achievements and success in winning the hearts and minds of the people. The only solution to the Balochistan problem is political in nature and the government ought to take steps in the right direction so that it is sure to succeed with the full support of the armed forces.
Dr Nida Shami