While Pakistani citizens admire the Army and usually celebrate a coup thinking it will be a fresh change from corrupt civilian regimes, the truth is something totally different.
A look at 7 ways in which the Army is actually destroying Pakistan...
1. Reared terrorists that destroyed Pak: Till 1991, both India and Pakistan shared parity and our neighbour was actually ahead in many indicators. But after that India liberalized and Pakistan terrorized, thanks to the Pakistani Army.
While they managed to bleed India till 2001, after that it all backfired. Since 9/11 more than 50,000 Pakistanis have died in terrorists attacks and the Army is still clueless with its "good terrorists" and "bad terrorists".
2. Lost Bangladesh: The absolute brutality of the Pakistani Army in East Pakistan led to a chain of events that made them lose the region for good. Operation Searchlight was launched in March 1971 which in effect was genocide.
Lakhs were killed and millions fled to India and we had no choice but to intervene and liberate Bangladesh. Asia Times reported that General Yahya Khan declared at a meeting, "Kill 3 million of them and the rest will eat out of our hands."
All the General rulers boast of some loss or the other...
General Ayub Khan lost the 1965 war.
General Yahya Khan lost the 1971 war.
General Zia-ul-Haq lost the Siachen Conflict.
General Pervez Musharraf lost the Kargil War. (Even though Nawaz Sharif was in-charge, it was Musharraf who masterminded it).
General Raheel Sharif is losing Pakistan's War Against Terror.
3. Made the State fundamental: The founder of Pakistan Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a liberal secular Shia who loved Western clothes who drank alcohol. A far cry from the Pakistan of today! One by one the military rulers went far away from Jinnah's vision and made Pakistan more and more fundamental with Zia putting the final nail in the coffin.
In fact recently The Dawn carried an article titled "Would Jinnah have lived as a Shia?"
4. Skewed foreign policy: Every country usually follows a policy that is favourable to it. Like India is much more powerful than Pakistan and there is no way it will let go of Kashmir. A strong and continuous civilian government would have realized it.
India and Pakistan can have very strong trade and cultural ties and most Pakistani citizens hate America. However if there was peace with India, then the Pakistani Army would lose all power and so conflict is in their interest.
Enmity with India, playing a junior role with America, pandering to China... It all suits the Pakistani Army and not the common citizen.
5. Lack of economic strategy: The Pakistani Army cares two hoots about a long-term economic strategy that would save the country. No civilian government has lasted long enough to rid Pakistan of all its economic ills.
As long as the shadow of the Army falls on every Prime Minister, he or she will hardly be able to set a good economic agenda.
6. Indirectly leads to corruption: The Pakistan's budget that goes directly or indirectly for the Army is in the range of 20%, much too high for any developing country.
On top of that, the Army has something called "welfare foundations" worth tens of billions of dollars.
Pakistani officers get a share in myriad companies, in addition to the handsome salary, perks and privileges they get by virtue of their uniform.
For the civilian government that is as good as corruption and they are too busy trying to match up.
7. Butchered democracy: The route followed in Pakistan is usually...
Step 1: Democracy is nipped in the bud by the Army.
Step 2: Army rule collapses under its contradictions.
Step 3: Democracy begins afresh.
Step 4: Go to Step 1.
A fledgling Pakistani democracy saw Iskander Mirza (a former major-general and the great grandson of Mir Jafar) impose martial law in 1956 and was soon deposed by General Ayub Khan.
Ayub was under great pressure to quit in 1969, but he handed over power to General Yahya Khan who didn't last two years. The moment Zulfikar Ali Bhutto faced problems, he was deposed by Zia.
Nawaz Sharif was not allowed to function properly by Musharraf and he took over.
Even today General Raheel Sharif is seen as more powerful than Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The Army will ensure that democracy will never flourish in Pakistan.
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The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogs here.