Due to the historical development of Pakistan, over the years the Pakistan’s army has become a powerful government force and one of the actors in political life. But unlike political parties whose purpose is to become the head of the executive and legislative branches of government, generals of today’s Pakistan are not creating such prospects. Maintaining stability and the rule of law is their primary task except for, of course, when the country is threatened by a collapse from internal or external threats.
Over the course of nearly seventy years of the country’s history, the federal army has acted in support of the political processes occurring in Pakistan: Islamisation in the 1980s, in the 1990s – protection of the interests of the democratically elected civilian government; in 1999, once again, as in the 50s-70s it supported the military coup and further, in the first decade of the 21st century, the military-civilian administration. From 2008 to the present, the army has been the guardian of society’s democratic gains. Soldiers have always “played a role in shaping the course of history” of the state. This is the position of the Army Chief of Staff General R. Sharif. In other words, the army has stood for retaining the existing order in the country, supported and maintained the status quo existing at the time.
For many decades, the army has been the main stabilising force of the state. This concept in Pakistan’s recipe, as stressed by the generals, consists of several components: repulsing external aggression, maintaining the internal security regime, setting and implementing national objectives and/or mitigating natural disasters, such as floods and earthquakes, the army always lives by the aspirations or expectations of the nation.
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