Except for few years of its history of 68 years, there are only two ways Pakistan Army (and not the Air Force or Navy but just Army) ruled the country. One when the Pakistan Chief of Army Staff is on the front seat holding the wheel and second, when he is sitting on the back seat but pulling the strings of the democratically elected Prime Minister who is allowed to sit on the front seat.
No one knows this fact better than the current Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif. It is his third term as PM. During 1980s, he was supported by the 'Internal Wing' of the infamous ISI (Inter Services Intelligence) that gave rise to his political career.
He became PM on November 1, 1990, but developed some differences with President Ghulam Ishaq khan, who attempted to dismiss him (Nawaz Sharif) on corruption charges. When the situation worsened, the then Pak Army Chief Gen Abdul Waheed Kakar persuaded both gentlemen to step down.
During his second term as PM, he dared to assert more civilian control and on 6 October, 1998, he asked for resignation of the then Pak Army Chief Gen Jehangir Karamat because the General was making public statements advocating greater role to the Pakistani Army in policy making. After Karamats resignation, PM Sharif appointed General Pervez Musharraf as COAS over heads of two senior general officers. Perhaps, PM Sharif hoped to have a more compliant COAS, but it did not happen. Gen Karamats resignation and appointment of his chosen candidate gave a false sense of confidence and security to Sharif. He dared to initiate peace process with India and invited PM Vajpayee to Lahore. This did not go well with the Army and what followed was the Kargil war.
Later in October 1999, while Gen Musharraf was in Sri Lanka on an official visit, Sharif again dared and decided to replace Gen Musharraf with Gen Zia-ud-din Bhatt, but the whole process ended with a coup and Gen Pervez Musharraf assumed control of Pakistan.
Fast forwarding to 2013, Sharif became PM for the third time on 7 June 2013 after getting a heavy mandate in General Elections. Soon came the tough time when he had to appoint a new Army Chief. In an interview given to Karan Thapar, Sharif said that he will go by the book while appointing the next chief. But again on 27 November 2013, he appointed Gen Raheel Sharif the new Army Chief over two senior general officers.
Internal Wing was created in ISI to monitor political activities inside Pakistan and to keep political parties under control so as they dont sacrifice `national interests` Of course these national interest like nuclear program, rivalry with India, opposing Indias aspiration of establishing `Hegemony` in the region etc.
In Picture: Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (R) arrives with Pakistan Army chief of staff General Raheel Sharif for a high level meeting at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad in January 2016. Image: Pakistan Press Information Department/AFP