ABOUT PILDAT EVENTS PUBLICATIONS VIDEO REPORTS
JOB OPENINGS
MNA DIRECTORY FEEDBACK
 
 
EVENTS

Share on Facebook
> Monitor on Civil-Military Relations in Pakistan |November 2017
   
 
CMR Monitor
December 14, 2017
Islamabad

   

This monitor is meant to identify key developments during the month on Civil Military Relations in Pakistan with selected high-profile international developments included occasionally.

In this Issue:

  1. Islamabad Sit-In
  2. PSP Chairman Mustafa Kamal says Rangers brokered attempted political alliance
  3. COAS asks for more Cases for Military Courts
  4. Corps Commanders' Conference
  5. Continuing Role of COAS in Foreign Affairs
  6. Pakistan Army's Public Relations Efforts
  7. National Security Committee Meeting
  8. PM-COAS Interactions
  9. Zimbabwe's President Steps down after 37 years in power
  10. Indian Army to build bridges in Mumbai

Islamabad Sit-In

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:51:_c1668z143x7w77rpjv5xb9m0000gq:T:TemporaryItems:5a1c8775527cc.jpg
DG Rangers Punjab Major General Azhar Naveed distributing cash amongst protestors after the sit-in was called off

The manner in which the Faizabad sit-in was ended and the terms of the agreement signed by the Government with protesters through the corroboration of the Army - all mark a disappointing watershed in the history of Pakistan. That the Army, tasked by the Federal Government, facilitated an agreement that capitulated the State to demands of a mob has all but disastrous connotations written all over it. Subsequent statements by the leader of the protest and actions, such as the DG Rangers distributing cash amongst dharna protesters, have not only raised serious questions about the writ of the Government and the State but also about the role of the Armed Forces during the protest.

The disturbing facilitation by the Army can be best summed up using the words of Islamabad High Court Judge, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, who termed it "alarming," that a serving military officer signed [the agreement] as guarantor (In fact, the exact word in the agreement was bawisatat or 'through'), and that the COAS and his team were thanked separately in the agreement for helping reach the agreement. " Prima facie, [the] role assumed by the top leadership of army is besides the Constitution and law of land. Armed forces, being part of the executive, cannot travel beyond its mandate bestowed upon it by the organic law of the country, i.e., the Constitution ." Chastising the Army for their role, the Judge said " Army officers eager to participate in politics should first return their guns to the State, take retirement and then join politics ."

The advice by the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, to the Prime Minister Abbasi through a telephonic conversation was made public precisely as the Government carried out an operation on the directives of the Islamabad High Court on November 25. The COAS - "suggested tohandle the Islamabad dharna peacefully to avoid violence from both sides as it is not in national interest" - gave the impression as if the Army has a role above and beyond the executive of the State and that it equated both the State, and the protesters holding the State hostage. Similar advice and the tweet were earlier directed at the elected Government during the PTI-PAT dharna that held the capital hostage in 2014 by an erstwhile DG ISPR during the term of another COAS who advised " all stakeholders to resolve prevailing impasse through meaningful dialogue in larger national and public interest ." [1]

According to the reports in the media, the Chief of Army Staff declined to involve the troops to end the 19 day long sit in at the Faizabad interchange. In a meeting with Prime Minister, he opposed the Army's use of force against its own people since the population's trust in the institution of the Army "can't be compromised for little gains." [2]

Announcing the end of the dharna in a Press Conference on November 27, 2017, Mr. Khadim Hussain Rizvi highlighted the role the Chief of Army Staff played to resolve the issue. He said, "Mohtaram General Qamar Javed Bajwa Sahab ne apne khasoosi numaiinde hamare pass bheje. Hum ne kaha kay hum ne hakumat se baat nahin karni. Ye hamari qatil hai. Hamare beesiyon karkunaan ko unhon ne bilawaja shaheed kiya. Aur mulk kay halaat taizi se kharab hone ki taraf ja rahe thay tou General Sahib ne zaati dilchaspi li, aur apni team bheji, kay hum iss main zamin bantey hain. Aap k mutalibaat hum purey karwatey hain. Unn ki taraf se Mohtaram Major General Faiz Hameed (Director (Internal), ISI) tashreef laey, aur hamara muahida unn kay sath hua. Zahid Hamid ka istifa hamarey Shuhada kay khoon ki qeemat nahin hai. Ye tou Khatm-e-Nabuwwat ka jo masla tha, us ki waja se iss ka istifa aaya… Baqi hum aur bhi mutalibaat kar sakte thay. Iss waqt hum General Sahab ko jo bhi kehtey, unhon ne maan jana tha. Lekin logon ney kehna tha kay ye tou hakumat uthane ke liye aye hain. Hum ne koi aur baat nahin ki hai. Ab jo hamare darmiyaan muahida hua, iss main General Sahab khud bhi zamin hain." [Honourable General Qamar Javed Bajwa Sahab sent his special representatives to us. We said that we do not want to speak to the Government. They are our murderers. They killed tens of our workers for no reason. And the situation in the country was deteriorating fast. So, General Sahab took a personal interest in the situation, and sent his team to us to be guarantors. They said that they would get our demands accepted. From their side, Honourable Major General Faiz Hameed (Director (Internal), ISI) came to us, and we made an agreement with him. Zahid Hamid's resignation is not the price of the blood of our martyrs.  His resignation is to resolve the issue of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat… We could have made further demands. At this time, General Sahab would have given us anything we would have asked for. But then people would have said that we came to dismantle the Government, so we did not talk about anything else. Now the agreement that took place between us, General Sahab himself is also a guarantor in it.][3]

The agreement brokered by the Army and signed by the Federal Government, specifically thanks the COAS and his team for their facilitation.

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:51:_c1668z143x7w77rpjv5xb9m0000gq:T:TemporaryItems:5a1c8775527cc.jpg
The 6-point agreement brokered with the help of Pakistan Army on November 27, 2017

Not surprisingly, therefore, almost nationwide criticism and condemnation was offered on the Federal Government signing an agreement that compromised the writ of the State. The agreement was termed as a complete capitulation to a mob, with serious questions raised on the role of the Armed Forces on its facilitation of an agreement that weakened the writ of the Federal Government and the State.[4]

This dharna has raised very serious questions with grave implications for the stability of the State. All Pakistanis owe it to their country to not only ask these questions but also contribute to the search for right answers to these questions. The Constitution clearly defines all the rules of the game on democratic governance of the homeland. Multiple power centres, resorting to dharnas and weakening the writ have to have an end.

Table 1: Timeline of the Sit-in

No.

Date

Event

     

1

August 07

The Election Bill, 2017 was introduced as a Government Bill in the National Assembly.

2

August 22

The Election Bill, 2017 was passed by the National Assembly.

3

September 22

Senate made a small amendment to Election Bill 2017, and passed the bill. Senator Hafiz Hamdullah of Jamiatul-Ulema-e-Islam (F) pointed out changes in the Nomination form of the candidates, but the House rejected the move by the Senator to prevent the change. The amended bill went back to the National Assembly for approval. 

4

October 02

The Election Bill 2017 was passed by the National Assembly, replacing the original "I solemnly swear" with the words "I believe" in a clause relating to a candidate's belief in the finality of the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) ─ the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath. The Bill was signed into Act by President Mamnoon Hussain the same day.

5

October 05

After raucous by politicians and media, The Elections (Amendment) Act 2017 was passed by the National Assembly after restoring Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath to its original form ("I solemnly swear"). The Senate passed it the next day.

6

October 07

Raja Zafar ul Haq Committee was formed in the PML-N by Mr. Nawaz Sharif to identify those responsible for the controversial amendment.

7

October 13

Raja Zafar ul Haq Committee dispatched its report to Mr. Nawaz Sharif, who was in London.

8

October 30

Tehreek Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) protestors removed from Jinnah Avenue, where they were originally staging protest

9

November 06

A rally of TLYRA and Sunni Tehreek Pakistan started from Lahore with a host of demands, including removal of Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid and Punjab Law Minister Rana Safiullah; Asiya Bibi's execution, cases against religious leaders to be dismissed and the removal of clerics from the Fourth Schedule.

10

November 08

The rally reached Islamabad and protestors blocked Faizabad Inter-change - main gateway between the twin Pakistani cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad

11

November 11

Leaders of protestors threatened to attack families of Federal Ministers in Friday sermon if their demands were not met

12

November 15

Protesting clerics petitioned the Islamabad High Court (IHC) for acceptance of their demands

13

November 16

While hearing the petition, Justice Shaukat Siddiqui directed TLYRA to call off sit-in

14

November 17

IHC directed Islamabad administration to remove protestors by "any means necessary" within 24 hours. Justice Siddiqui, as well as the Supreme Court noted that the task can be completed without the use of bullets. The apex court said in it's order: "Whilst avoiding the loss of life is indeed commendable, but it does not follow that protesters can only be removed by firing upon them." The Supreme Court suggested that, "baton-wielding or even unarmed law enforcement personnel, if they are sufficient in numbers, can undertake such an exercise."

15

November 18

Federal Interior Minister ordered Islamabad administration to defer the operation for 24 hours so the matter can be resolved peacefully.

16

November 21

Supreme Court took Suo Motu notice of the sit-in.

17

November 22

In remarks released to the media, DG ISPR said, 'while it would be preferable to address the situation through peaceful means, the military would abide by whatever decision the government took.'

18

November 24

-      IHC issued a show-cause notice for contempt to the Federal Minister of Interior, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, MNA, and Islamabad district administration issued final warning to protestors

-      IHC declared Faizabad Sit-in "an act of terrorism"

-      Lights around venue were turned off before crackdown

-      Final deadline to protestors to disperse by 7 a.m. on Nov 25 was issued by the civil administration, and was ignored by the protestors

19

November 25

-      Operation to remove protestors commenced around 8 a.m. in the morning

-      As the operation was underway, DG ISPR tweeted quoting the COAS suggesting to PM to " handle the Islamabad dharna peacefully avoiding violence from both sides as it is not in national interest & cohesion ."

-      A media blackout ensued where all T.V. News channels were blocked for airing the operation live. Social Media websites were also blocked.

-      By afternoon it had become clear that the operation launched by the Islamabad Capital Administration to remove the protesters from the sit-in site at Faizabad had miserably failed. Police had to retreat and the sit-in continued.

-      Later, Federal Minister for Interior wrote to requisition Pakistan Army, but the Army, demanded more clarity. The issues were addressed, as Minister Iqbal later told Justice Siddique in the IHC.

20

November 26

A high level meeting was called by the PM attended by the COAS, CM Punjab and Interior Minister, in which Chief of Army Staff reportedly opposed the use of Army to forcibly end the 19 day long sit in at the Faizabad interchange. In the meeting with Prime Minister, he opposed the Army's use of force against its own people since the population's trust in the institution of the Army "can't be compromised for little gains." [5] It was decided in the meeting that Pakistan Rangers, not the Pakistan Army, will be deployed to deal with the protestors.  Major General Azhar Naveed Khan, DG Rangers (Punjab) was appointed as the over-all in-charge of the operation to handle and clear the sit-in. Islamabad and Punjab Police were put under the command of Rangers for one week.

21

November 27

-      Government gave in to demands of protestors, which included resignation of Law Minister, release of all arrested protestors, cases against them dropped, as well as compensation for loss to any government or private property incurred from November 06 till the end of dharna, to be provided by Federal and Provincial governments.  

-      Mr. Khadim Hussain Rizvi, leader of TLYRA, announced the end of the protest in the early hours of the morning. He said that Army Chief and his representative, Maj Gen Faiz Hameed, acted as guarantors for the agreement. He said that special representatives of the COAS came to him and he told them that he would not speak to the Government, as they are murderers. The representatives asked him to ask for anything, but he only asked for Law Minister's resignation because his goals were not political

-      Punjab Rangers DG Major General Azhar Naveed oversaw the release of protestors and gave Rs. 1000 to each released protestor as fare for their travel home

22

November 28

During a hearing on the Islamabad dharna IHC Judge Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui lambasted the Interior Minister for seceding "civilian supremacy." He raised issue with the Army acting as an arbitrator.

23

December 01

Dharna of members of TLYRA that had been taking place since November 25 at Faizabad, ended on December 01, 2017. The protestors were demanding resignation of Rana Sanaullah, MPA and Punjab Law Minister, alleging that he had made comments in favour of Ahmedis. According to agreement a committee will be formed regarding resignation of the Punjab Law Minister. Calls for his resignation from several quarters still persist.


PSP Chairman Mustafa Kamal says Rangers brokered attempted Political Alliance

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:51:_c1668z143x7w77rpjv5xb9m0000gq:T:TemporaryItems:5a1c8775527cc.jpg
Mr. Mustafa Kamal, (centre) Chairman Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), addressing a press conference on November 11, 2017

In a Press Conference held on November 11, 2017, Mr. Mustafa Kamal, Chairman Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP), revealed that the Sindh Rangers brokered the deal between the PSP and Mr. Farooq Sattar's Muttahida Quami Movement - Pakistan (MQM-P). [6]

He said that " today I want to tell all of Pakistan that, yes, the establishment called us and made us meet Farooq Sattar. When we reached, Sattar was already there and it was on his request that we were called. This did not happen a few hours ago. Sattar and his team have been calling us with help from the establishment for the past eight months ."

Previously, on November 08, 2017 both Kamal and Sattar had announced, in a jubilant press conference, to form a political alliance, where Kamal had made it clear that the alliance will be named "anything but MQM." The two parties had announced to join under one party, one manifesto, and one symbol.[7] However, on November 09, 2017, Sattar called another Press Conference saying that, although their alliance with PSP was still intact, MQM-P would contest elections under its own symbol and manifesto.

Responding to the statement by Mr. Mustafa Kamal, Sindh Rangers Director General Major General Muhammad Saeed said that the military establishment did not support any particular political party in Karachi. "We just don't want a clash between them." [8] "Since September 2013, we have had an intense interaction with all political parties that were allegedly involved in committing violence in Karachi. However, we have not dictated any organizational policy for the political landscape of the metropolis." Saeed went on to say that during the meeting [between MQM, PSP and LEAs] a military official might have shared an opinion that an alliance would be in the interest of the city, "but this is not our institutional policy."[9]

Pakistan has experienced a dark history with dire consequences of establishment's political engineering maneuvered in the shape of PML-Q by Major General Ihtasham Zamir; IJI claimed to have been created by Lt. Gen. Hameed Gul; and MQM facilitated as a counterweight to the Pakistan Peoples Party in Sindh under General Zia's martial law. Apart from PSP-MQM-P alliance, serious questions are raised on the role of the establishment in undermining and ousting Mr. Nawaz Sharif, to now pressurizing the PML-N government. Similar past experiences exist of pre-election, election-day and post-election meddling and manipulation. If this flagrant violation of Constitution and rule of law has indeed taken place, proper legal proceedings should be instituted to hold the responsible persons to account otherwise it will raise critical questions on the future of democratic governance in Pakistan.


COAS asks for More Cases for Military Courts

Reportedly, the COAS, in a letter addressed to the Prime Minister, pointed out that military courts had not received any terrorism-related cases since January 2017. [10] This resulted in the Federal Cabinet clearing 29 cases to be referred to Military Courts. Federal Minister for Interior, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, also told the media that 80 more cases were pending approval by the Cabinet and "after this, the Interior Ministry will not have any more cases pending," he said.

The formation of the Military Courts in January 2015 was made possible by the Parliament when it passed the 21st Constitutional Amendment, 2015 (that had a sunset clause of two years and later reconstituted for another two years in January 2017) after the Peshawar Tragedy. The Federal and Provincial Governments have so far failed to reform the justice system so that military courts are not required to deal with the terrorism cases. If the Government is not forwarding the cases to the military courts in time and the COAS has to remind the Government on this count, it indicates a sorry state of efficiency in the Government.

Given the centrality and importance of the 20-point consensus-based National Action Plan (NAP) in countering terrorism in Pakistan, PILDAT has undertaken a citizens' initiative to monitor the progress of implementation of the NAP. PILDAT Quarterly Monitors report progress based on publicly available data in order to promote fact-based discourse on the progress in implementing NAP. While PILDAT has repeatedly asked the ISPR to provide provincial and federal data on number of cases received and tried by Military Courts, the ISPR has not been forthcoming in sharing the required data to allow assessment of the important NAP point number 1 of Implementation of death sentences of those convicted of terrorism. Federal Government may do well by compiling and releasing a periodic progress report on the implementation of NAP.


Corps Commanders' Conference

The 205th Corps Commanders' Conference took place at the GHQ on November 02, 2017. Geo-strategic security environment, with a focus on recent interactions with Afghan and U.S. government, as well as theinternal security situation was reviewed in the conference. [11] The COAS said that while the Army was helping the Government to consolidate operational gains through development in socio-economic domains, 'there will be enhanced focus on similar socio-economic development effort in Balochistan.' [12]

While military efforts for development in problematic areas, such as Federally Administered Tribal Areas are quite commendable, there is a need for the Government to take an active interest in the governance, and development of these areas which are cleared by the military.

 

Continuing Role of COAS in Foreign Affairs

The COAS continues to play an active role in the diplomatic domain. Following is an account of his diplomatic interactions during November 2017:

1.    Two-Day Visit to Iran: COAS meets Iranian President

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:51:_c1668z143x7w77rpjv5xb9m0000gq:T:TemporaryItems:5a1c8775527cc.jpg
COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa meeting Iranian President Mr. Hassan Rouhani at the Iranian Presidential Palace on November 06, 2017.

On November 06, 2017, the COAS General Qamar Bajwa met with the Iranian President Mr. Hassan Rouhani at the Presidential Palace while on a two-day visit to Iran. He also met the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and his Iranian counterpart, Chief of General Staff (CGS), Major General Muhammad Bagheri. Later, he met the Iranian Defence Minister, Brigadier General Amir Hatami. During the meetings 'issues related to geo-strategic environment, defence & security and economic cooperation at bilateral as well as regional level' were discussed. The Afghan situation, growing threat of ISIS in the region, as well as Pak-Iran border security was also discussed. [13]


2.   COAS Meetings with various Ambassadors

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:51:_c1668z143x7w77rpjv5xb9m0000gq:T:TemporaryItems:5a1c8775527cc.jpg
Top Left: US Ambassador David Hale with the COAS; Top Right: Chinese Special Envoy on Afghan Affairs Mr. Deng Xijun with the COAS; Bottom Left: Mr. Kong Xuanyou, Assistant Foreign Minister and Special Envoy on Korean Peninsula Affairs of China, with the COAS; Bottom Right: Mr. Sadik Babur Girgin, Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan, with the COAS.

    1. On November 09, 2017, US Ambassador to Pakistan, Mr. David Hale, met with the COAS, at the GHQ to "discuss bilateral and regional security issues." [14]
    2. On November 17, 2017, Special Envoy on Afghan Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of People's Republic of China, Mr. Deng Xijun, met with the COAS to discuss matters of mutual interest with an emphasis on Pak-Afghan border management and Counter Terrorism efforts. [15]
    3. On November 21, 2017, Mr. Kong Xuanyou, Assistant Foreign Minister and Special Envoy on Korean Peninsula Affairs of China, and Mr. Yao Jing, newly appointed Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan, called on the COAS at the GHQ to discuss matters of regional security.[16]
    4. On November 24, 2017, Mr. Sadik Babur Girgin, Turkish Ambassador to Pakistan, met the COAS at the GHQ to bid farewell to the COAS at the end of his tenure in Pakistan. [17]

 

Pakistan Army's Public Relations Efforts


1.    Corps Commander Appreciates Football Team of Mirpur, AJ&K

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:51:_c1668z143x7w77rpjv5xb9m0000gq:T:TemporaryItems:5a1c8775527cc.jpg
Commander 10 Corps, Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza, with football team of Mirpur, AJ&K

Commander 10 Corps, Lieutenant General Nadeem Raza, met and appreciated young sportsmen of the football team of Mirpur, who won 12th Open All Russia Football Competition - Future Depend on You- 2017 held at Moscow from October 25 - 28 2017. The Commander 'appreciated achievement of the young children and   assured support for their training and assistance.[18]


2.   Students spend a day with Pakistan Army

    1. On November 17 2017, 250 students and faculty members from Institute of Business Administration Sukkur, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, and Degree College Pano Aqil, spent a day at Panu Aqil Garrison to experience the routine functioning of the Pakistan Army. The students witnessed arms and equipment display, small arms firing at ranges and a demonstration on action by Quick Reaction Force.[19]
    2. On November 18, 2017, 400 students and faculty members from different schools and colleges of Rawalpindi also spent a day with Rawalpindi Corps. The students were shown combat worthiness of troops through display of combat riding, unarmed combat and heli-repelling. The students were shown different military equipment and given experience of small arm firing as well. [20]

3.    Commander Southern Command in Balochistan met with students

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:51:_c1668z143x7w77rpjv5xb9m0000gq:T:TemporaryItems:5a1c8775527cc.jpg
Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa while meeting students on November 17, 2017

Besides doing an operational review in Awaran district, Commander Southern Command, Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa, also visited the newly renovated Government Girls High School, Gajjar, which was destroyed by an earthquake. According to ISPR, Pakistan Army has provided furniture, 2 school vans, established Physics, Chemistry and Biology labs and re-built 2 primary schools, as well as established a mini market, Vocational Training Centre and donated an ambulance, complete medical equipment and medicines for the Rural Health Centre. [21]


4.   Youth Delegation from FATA visited ISPR

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:51:_c1668z143x7w77rpjv5xb9m0000gq:T:TemporaryItems:5a1c8775527cc.jpg
Director General ISPR Major General Asim Ghafoor with Youth Delegation from FATA, on November 24, 2017

On November 24, 2017, a youth delegation from the 7 agencies of Federally Administered Tribal Areas visited ISPR to convey their feelings about the future of FATA. Director General ISPR Major General Asim Ghafoor told the delegation that gains made through great sacrifice of the people of FATA will not go to waste, and the Pakistan Army will continue to support state institutions in line with aspirations of the people of FATA. [22]


5.    Cricket Match organized by Pak Army in Quetta

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:51:_c1668z143x7w77rpjv5xb9m0000gq:T:TemporaryItems:5a1c8775527cc.jpg
Pakistan Army organized Inter-University Cricket Tournament in Quetta, which concluded on November 28, 2017

An Inter-University Cricket Tournament organized by the Pakistan Army concluded on November 28, 2017. Provincial Sports Minister Mir Mujeeb Ur Rehman Hasni, Vice Chancellors of all the universities of Balochistan, and senior Army and Civil Officers came to watch the matches. Commander Southern Command Lt. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa gave away prizes to the winners of the tournament.

 

National Security Committee Meeting

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:51:_c1668z143x7w77rpjv5xb9m0000gq:T:TemporaryItems:5a1c8775527cc.jpg
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chairing a meeting of the National Security Committee on November 15, 2017

Chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, a National Security Committee meeting took place in Islamabad on November 15, 2017.

A statement issued by the Prime Minister Office stated that the committee unanimously agreed that Pakistan would fulfil "bilateral commitments" with other countries and take advantage of energy import sources available in the region.[23]  The security situation in Balochistan was also reviewed in the meeting, and the role of Armed forces in improving the situation was appreciated. A commitment of the Federal Government for orchestrating rapid socio-economical development was reiterated. The committee also developed a consensus on providing increased 'development resources' to Balochistan, as well as a "cooperative implementation mechanism for development projects to ensure greater efficiency and transparency so that the benefits of increased development funding flow directly to the Baloch people at the very grassroots level." However, no monetary value of the development funds, or the form of government cooperation to ensure benefit to the average Baloch was communicated after the meeting. [24]  

Earlier, the meeting of the National Security Committee had taken place on September 08, 2017.

 

PM-COAS Interactions

Prime Minister Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abassi and the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa met thrice during the month of November 2017:

1.    On November 10, 2017 Prime Minister Abbasi, along with COAS Bajwa, visited the Line of Control (LoC) in Chirikot sector of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). The Prime Minister was briefed about the situation of the LOC, as well as Indian cease-fire violations targeting civilians. The PM met families of Shaheeds and injured due to Indian shelling, and condemned Indian atrocities. Meeting with troops, he appreciated their efforts and sacrifice to protect the nation. [25] Federal Minister of Defence was not present on the occasion.

2.   Premier Abbasi and COAS Bajwa also met during the National Security Committee (NSC) on November 15, 2017. Chaired by the Prime Minister, the meeting was attended by NSC members including Federal Interior Minister, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, MNA, Foreign Minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, MNA, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Zubair Mehmood Hayat, Army Chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Naval Chief, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi and Chief of the Air Staff ACM Sohail Aman. Federal Minister of Defence was not present on the occasion.

3.    Premier and COAS also met on November 27, 2017 to review the law and order situation in the country, and develop a strategy to deal with the protestors at Faizabad. The meeting was attended by Chief of the Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Naveed Mukhtar, Punjab Chief Minister, Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, MPA and Federal Interior Minister, Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, MNA. [26] The Federal Minister of Defence was not present on the occasion.


International News

Zimbabwe's President Steps down after 37 years in power

Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:51:_c1668z143x7w77rpjv5xb9m0000gq:T:TemporaryItems:5a1c8775527cc.jpg
Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's deposed dictator

Following a military intervention in Zimbabwe on November 14, 2017, President Mugabe was put under house arrest. For the next week, immense pressure was applied on Mugabe to secede power. It was widely believed that the Army stepped in so that Mrs. Grace Mugabe, Mugaba's wife, did not succeed the 93-year-old dictator. [27] Mr. Mugabe finally stepped down on November 21, 2017 succumbing to pressure, when his own ruling party ZANU-PF expelled him, and the Parliament began an impeachment process to force him out. [28]

 

Indian Army to build bridges in Mumbai

After an overhead pedestrian bridge was damaged in a stampede in Mumbai, which left 23 people dead, the Indian Army was given the task of building the bridge by January 2017. While visiting the site of the stampede, Mr. Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister Maharashtra said, "The Army said they can build a bridge in a short span...We are taking the Army's help in building a new foot overbridge at the Elphinstone Road station and at two other suburban train stations in Mumbai." [29]

Widespread criticism came from the opposition on the move saying "will the Army fill potholes next?" [30] Ms. Barkha Datt, Indian journalist, writing in the Hindustan Times, said that "the soldier is not a 'stepney' to be brought in every time the vehicle of civil administration develops a snag; he is not a spare part meant to fix faulty administrative performances." [31]

 
 


References

[1] For details, please see Army calls for restraint, dialogue on August 20, 2014:
http://nation.com.pk/20-Aug-2014/army-calls-for-restraint-dialogue

[2] An overview of the crisis that forced the government to capitulate , Dawn, November 27, 2017:
https://www.dawn.com/news/1373200

[3] Press Conference of Mr. Khadim Hussain Rizvi, November 27, 2017, Islamabad Dharna ENDS Announcement, YOUTUBE, November 27, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cn_RJ1efNE

[4] DAWN Editorial: Capitulation, DAWN, November 28, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://epaper.dawn.com/DetailNews.php?StoryText=28_11_2017_008_001

[5] An overview of the crisis that forced the government to capitulate , Dawn, November 27, 2017:
https://www.dawn.com/news/1373200

[6] Establishment brokered MQM-PSP alliance meet at Sattar's request: Mustafa Kamal, DAWN, November 11, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.dawn.com/news/1369842

[7] 'One manifesto, one symbol, one party': MQM, PSP announce plans for 2018 elections, DAWN, November 08, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.dawn.com/news/1369211

[8] Dunya Kamran Khan Ke Sath - 13 November 2017 - Dunya News, DUNYA NEWS, November 08, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APK_L6_RauQ

[9] Establishment has not supported any particular political party, clarifies DG Rangers Sindh , Dawn, November 14, 2017:
https://www.dawn.com/news/1370273

[10] 29 terrorism-related cases cleared to be sent to military courts: Ahsan Iqbal , Dawn, November 4, 2017:
https://www.dawn.com/news/1368211

[11] ISPR Press Release, Official Website, November 02, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=4355&cat=army

[12] Ibid.

[13] ISPR Press Release, Official Website, November 06-07, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=4363&cat=army

[14] ISPR Press Release, Official Website, November 09, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=4370&cat=army

[15] ISPR Press Release, Official Website, November 17, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=4386&cat=army

[16] ISPR Press Release, Official Website, November 21, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=4397&cat=army

[17] ISPR Press Release, Official Website, November 24, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&cat=army&date=2017/11/24

[18] ISPR Press Release, Official Website, November 7, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=4363&cat=army

[19] ISPR Press Release, Official Website, November 17, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=4386&cat=army

[20] ISPR Press Release, Official Website, November 18, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=4393&cat=army

[21] ISPR Press Release, Official Website, November 17, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=4386&cat=army

[22] ISPR Press Release, Official Website, November 24, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=4407&cat=army

[23] Prime Minister Office Press Release, Official Website, November 15, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
http://pmo.gov.pk/press_release_detailes.php?pr_id=2087

[24] Ibid.

[25] ISPR Press Release, Official Website, November 17, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.ispr.gov.pk/front/main.asp?o=t-press_release&id=4386&cat=army

[26] Faizabad handed over to Rangers, DAWN, November 27, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://epaper.dawn.com/DetailImage.php?StoryImage=27_11_2017_001_006

[27] Zimbabwe's army seizes power, Mugabe confined but "safe", REUTERS, November 15, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-zimbabwe-politics/zimbabwes-army-seizes-power-mugabe-confined-but-safe-idUSKBN1DF025

[28] Mugabe gives up after 37 years in power, DAWN, November 22, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.dawn.com/news/1372072/mugabe-gives-up-after-37-years-in-power

[29] "Will Army Fill Potholes Too?' Mumbai Bridge-Building Plan Criticised," NDTV, October 31, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
https://www.ndtv.com/mumbai-news/mumbai-bridge-where-stampede-killed-23-to-be-built-by-army-by-january-31-devendra-fadnavis-1769188

[30] Ibid.

[31] Disagree with using the Army to build bridges in Mumbai, writes Barkha Dutt, HINDUSTAN TIMES, November 04, 2017, as accessed on December 04, 2017 at
http://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/why-i-disagree-with-using-the-army-to-build-bridges-in-mumbai/story-aU7F0ZY70Kz2oBP0nfnDgK.html