A farewell to hybrid democracy – Pakistan Today

Leave politics to politicians  
The establishment’s experiment of running the country jointly with the PTI’s civilian government, with both sides reading from the same page, was bound to turn sour. Bad governance in Punjab, the largest province of the country, marked by too frequent bureaucratic reshuffles, gross mismanagement of the national economy leading to wheat, sugar and fertilizer shortages, and a defective foreign policy leading to complaints from friendly countries, led the Army to belatedly realize that it was bound to be criticized for the failures of the PTI government. The patronization of the PTI however continued till then PM Imran Khan was seen to be interfering in the Army’s sphere. The PTI chief refused to allow the ISI chief to be transferred in accordance with the schedule announced by the ISPR. With the opposition trying to dislodge Mr Khan, he maintained that he needed the spy chief he relied upon to counter the opposition’s machinations. This was something unheard of in matters related to army transfers. The experiment in hybrid democracy was harmful as it led rulers to rely on, and look up to, the establishment rather than the people. Similarly it led to relaxation in Army discipline.
As the opposition initiated the no-confidence move against Imran Khan, the Army decided to turn neutral. Mr Khan reacted strongly against this. According to the PTI leadership it was the duty of the Army to act as a vigilant watchmen to foil the conspiracies hatched by dacoits and looters. Mr Khan referred to the no-confidence move as a foreign conspiracy and accused the ‘neutrals’ of playing the role of Mir Jaffar and Mir Qasim.
Instead of burning its fingers in political experiments like hybrid democracy or government by technocrats, the establishment would do well to look after national defence and help the affected population facing the rain-cum-flood disaster. The army possesses the necessary training and has the required means to help the suffering millions. It should leave politics to politicians. With the courts and the Election Commission of Pakistan working freely and the media performing its duty without restrictions, the system is capable of rectifying any abnormalities and meeting major challenges.

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