Open Questions to Pakistan’s Military from a Citizen

A few concerns about the military's undue role in Pakistan's political and economic system.
Image by the author, copyrights belonging to Effective Thoughts

As a citizen of Pakistan, I have a social contract with the state. The Constitution allows me to voice my questions about any institution or person of the state, as per Article 19 – the clause of Freedom of Speech.

As I have no direct voice in the Parliament to ask my questions, I am using this platform to lay them out. These questions pertain to the military’s standing in Pakistan’s political, economic, and social system.

  1. What is COAS’s (Chief of Army Staff) constitutional role? What are its limits?
  2. When former-Prime Minister Imran Khan stated the foreign policy during his tenure, why did COAS share a contrary position? Is that constitutionally “treason” against the head of the State?
  3. Why doesn’t any ex-COAS live in Pakistan?
  4. Why are rangers and ISI involved in internal security when their constitutional role is external security?
  5. Why do triple brigades provide security to the Prime Minister and not a civilian security force?
  6. Why has martial law been imposed so often in the history of Pakistan? And how does the military respond to their previous leadership imposing these martial laws?
  7. Why does COAS make foreign visits to different countries other than those meetings that are with their foreign armed forces? Is that his constitutional duty?
  8. Why was the high court opened at midnight when the Imran Khan’s government was ousted?
  9. What is the difference between mudakhalat [interference] and sazish [conspiracy]? If the military’s rhetoric is that there was interference in the internal matters of Pakistan, why hasn’t any investigation taken place after that?
  10. Why do we have CANTT (cantonment or military quarters) inside the cities?
  11. Why are GHQ (General Headquarters) and JS HQ (Joint Staff Headquarters) near the capital, Islamabad? Why was Karachi shifted from its metropolis status, and Islamabad made the capital instead?
  12. What is Milbus (Military-Business)? What is its constitutional standing?
  13. What is the criterion for becoming a general? And specifically COAS?
  14. What is COAS’s response to the hashtags on Twitter against him?
  15. Why did COAS visit LUMS before the government was removed?
  16. Why is the Wagha Border there? What is its strategic and practical purpose?
  17. President is in charge of the country’s armed forces; does all military acknowledge this?
  18. What is the relationship between border forces and customs?
  19. Has the military ever threatened its citizens with a gun? If yes, what guarantee is there that it won’t do so again?
  20. Are all soldiers & military leadership submissive to Civilian Supremacy?
  21. Are all soldiers & military leadership submissive to the Parliament?
  22. What is the allocation of the defense budget? What is the allocation of military aid? How are they spent, for what purposes, and what’s their justification?
  23. What is COAS’s response to his land in Belgium? Is it morally okay?
  24. What is the military’s response to its proxy warriors in Kashmir?
  25. What is the military’s response to the tragedy of missing persons?
  26. Is the military happy to salute a prime minister who is on bail at the moment?
  27. Who was responsible for the separation of East and West Pakistan?
  28. Why did the soldiers rape women in Bangladesh? And what is the military’s take on their past members’ behavior?
  29. Why is ISPR involved in drama shows? Is the military’s constitutional role there too?
The views presented in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Effective Thoughts.

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