Tuesday, February 24, 2009
What's wrong with this picture?
The civilian-military alliance in Pakistan
What we have here is the Pakistani foreign office delegation on a visit to the Washington DC on February 23, 2008. The person on the right is the foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi. The gentleman to the extreme left is a foreign office representative. Sitting next to him with his hand reaching toward his face is the Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States, Hussain Haqqani. Seating comfortably between Qureshi and Haqqani is the Director General of the Inter Services Intelligence, General Shuja Pasha.
It appears that the current civilian government is willing to share the stage with the military elite in Pakistan. Is this arrangement a result of the tumultuous situation in Pakistan where the writ of the stage has been challenged by the extremists in almost all corners of the country? Or is this arrangement a result of the understanding reached between the late Benazir Bhutto and the former President General Musharraf that guaranteed the military a free hand in matters related with defence and foreign affairs of Pakistan. While Qureshi may seem to be the one talking, its the General who does all the thinking!