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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid