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.
    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

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    Iran Orders Social Media Sites to Store Data Inside Country

    New requirements are expected to affect the instant messaging app Telegram, which has more than 20 million users inside Iran

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora