WION Edit: General in his labyrinth

WION
Delhi Updated: Oct 03, 2019, 08:33 PM(IST)

File photo of Pakistan Army chief Qamar Bajwa. Photograph:( ANI )

Story highlights

Decades of army rule have eroded democratic institutions in Islamabad. Moreover, General Bajwa always held more power than Imran khan.

The most trusted institution, the most powerful institution in pakistan is its army. In fact, political succession does not happen through democratic processes along in Pakistan.

Since 1947, Pakistan has spent the bulk of its existence under army rule.

Despite that dodgy tradition, when the business community goes to Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for ideas instead of the elected prime minister, it gives rise to some serious questions.

Is Pakistan a country with an army? Or is Pakistan an army with a country?

On WION Edit, we will specifically explore these questions in the context of the economy. When Imran Khan came to power, he came on two tall promises.

1, Rooting out corruption
2, Ushering in an era of economic growth

It is safe to say that the Pakistan Prime Minister has failed on both counts in a spectacular fashion. But still, can General Bajwa revive the economy?

Here, we have to understand the political dynamics in Pakistan.

Pakistan's army runs the country's economy. The Fauji Foundation is the second-largest conglomerate in Pakistan. It controls everything from the food sector to energy. And guess who runs it - the army

Decades of army rule have eroded democratic institutions in Islamabad. Besides General Bajwa always held more power than Imran khan.

Imran Khan calls himself the ambassador of Kashmir. In truth, he is just a spokesperson of the Pakistani army.

So would things change now, given that General Bajwa looks set to take economic decisions?

The straight-forward answer is 'no', not a chance.

Pakistan's economic troubles run deep and are structural. Right now, Pakistan is running on external money and debt is soaring.

And Imran Khan has no clue, no say, and general Bajwa will continue to protect the army's interests. Already, he has linked the economy with national security.

Unless Pakistan gets a semblance of democracy, the welfare measures will not reach the common man. With a more prominent role for General Bajwa, Pakistan's sham-democracy is unlikely to deliver growth.

Unless public investment and private investment picks up, unless wealth creation is prioritised, Pakistan's economic problems will continue.

And when you are an army with a country, the country will be forced to serve the needs of the army and not vice versa.

(Disclaimer: WION Edit is the channel's take on the big events of the world)

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