Pakistan is India’s neighbor, but that about is the only similarity as the government and people of Pakistan have chosen an entirely different path. India with all its flaws is a functional democracy, while Pakistan has been under the boots of the army for almost half of its existence. Ever since General Ayub Khan seized power in 1958 after a military coup, the politics and the sinews of power is with the army. This has had some extremely adverse effects both on the army and Pakistan itself.
The Pakistan army indulging in politics and running the country has had an effect on the professional competence of the army. Thus the Pakistan Army has invariably given a poor account on the battlefield and also lost half the nation with the creation of Bangla Desh in 1971. It has also been found wanting in subsequent conflicts and became the laughing stock of the world with their failure to detect a raid just 60 miles from the Pakistan Capital.
But the Army led by general Kayani and his senior generals are not much worried about the efficacy and professional competence of the army, intent as they are on keeping a finger on the lines of power in Pakistan. The recent Memo gate scandal has thus to be seen in this light. This is the handle the Pakistan army is using to oust the Peoples Party and its leader Ali Zardari (President of Pakistan). The memo gate scandal as we know was a secret memo to Mike Mullen the US Chief of Staff to stop a coup by the army after the raid on Osama Bin Laden.
This incident has now become an ogre and refuses to die away. Also throwing his hat in the ring is the Chief Justice of Pakistan Choudhry. He has an inherent dislike of Zardari and is expected to rule against him. Kayani and his coterie are waiting in the wings for this to happen. It is a pity that the Pakistan army instead of looking for the reasons of their debacle on various fronts is more interested in politics and keeping a hold on power. This in the long run is disastrous and could well spell the death of Pakistan. The challenges in Pakistan of poverty, corruption and above all Islamic terrorism in the guise of the Taliban are the more urgent problems than memo gate and trying to make capital out of it. Unfortunately nothing much can be expected from short sighted generals whose horizon is limited.