5 April 2015

The army has to decide, not (hapless) civilians

April 03, 2015

We should be able to cut through the simulated confusion. If Pakistan gets into any part of the Yemen mess, if Pakistani troops are sent or not sent, if Pakistan gets militarily involved in any way, it will be because the army has so decided, and not because the Sharifs are repaying their obligations to the House of Saud.

The civilian government has received a drubbing – sometimes subtle, at times not so subtle – at the army’s hands for the last year and some more. The government has been taught the limits of its power. It’s been told its place, and it has accepted that position, so much so that there’s no shortage of souls calling this a ‘soft coup’. In any event, it’s clear to everyone that on important questions it is the army which calls the shots. So how come all of a sudden it rests on Nawaz Sharif to decide Pakistan’s approach to the Saudi request for assistance?

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