News / Asia

Pakistani Army Chief Disapproves of Critics

Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani salutes while reviewing the passing out parade of newly recruited soldiers during a ceremony in Quetta, October 11, 2011 file photo.
Pakistani Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani salutes while reviewing the passing out parade of newly recruited soldiers during a ceremony in Quetta, October 11, 2011 file photo.
TEXT SIZE - +
Ayaz Gul
— Pakistan’s military chief has issued a veiled warning following reports that army officers are upset at how authorities have treated former military dictator Pervez Musharraf since his return from self-imposed exile. General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani told an audience in Rawalpindi, where the army is headquartered, that retribution and threats alone will not “end the game of hide and seek" between democracy and dictatorship.
 
Pervez Musharraf (R) is escorted by security officials as he leaves an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad, April 20, 2013.Pervez Musharraf (R) is escorted by security officials as he leaves an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad, April 20, 2013.
x
Pervez Musharraf (R) is escorted by security officials as he leaves an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad, April 20, 2013.
Pervez Musharraf (R) is escorted by security officials as he leaves an anti-terrorism court in Islamabad, April 20, 2013.
​Musharraf returned in March after four years of self-imposed exile to take part in the national elections scheduled for later this month.

But election authorities disqualified Musharraf because of pending court cases against him. He is currently under house arrest for offenses including treason that the former military leader allegedly committed while in power. On Tuesday, a Pakistani court imposed a lifetime ban on Musharraf from contesting elections, dealing another blow to his attempts to make a political comeback. 

Discontent brewing

The legal challenges and political criticism that greeted  Musharraf’s homecoming reportedly prompted army officers to complain about the way armed forces are being treated by politicians and the domestic media.

Pakistan’s military has ruled the country for almost half of its existence as an independent nation. It remains the country’s most powerful institution, and is widely believed to set the country’s foreign and security policy.  But during the past five years of civilian rule, the army has come under criticism for political interventions that some say have stunted Pakistan’s democratic development.

In a nationally televised speech Tuesday night to pay tribute to fallen Pakistani soldiers, Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani did not approve of the criticism of his institution.

General Kayani said that “it is not merely retribution, but awareness and participation of the masses that can truly end this game of hide and seek between democracy and dictatorship”.

Mushahid Hussain, who chairs the Senate Defense Committee, also attended the ceremony. He later told VOA that the army chief in his speech was referring to the scathing criticism of the armed forces and was not specifically referring to Musharraf's treatment by civil authorities. 

"But the context was clear that if we are focusing only on revenge and retribution, as he put it, and we are looking back, then the current, contemporary and future challenges will be undermined and adversely affected. And I think that in that context you can relate it to what has been happening to his predecessor," said Hussain.

 May 11 elections

Pakistan’s recent legislative National Assembly has completed its full five-year term in March. The country now stands on the brink of the first transition between democratically elected governments when elections are held on May 11.

As voting nears, Taliban and other insurgents have stepped up attacks on candidates and political workers across the country, raising doubts about whether elections will go forward as planned. General Kayani in his speech dismissed those fears, saying the army will extend full support to election authorities to ensure the process goes ahead on time.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid