The Pakistani government has admitted to the country’s highest court of law that it has no control over its own military, thus telling us what we’ve already known. From Dawn:
In a late night development on Wednesday which added yet another twist to the memo scandal, the federal government, through the Ministry of Defence, conceded before the Supreme Court that it had no operational control over the armed forces as well as the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
A one-page reply by the defence ministry said it was not in a position to submit any reply on behalf of the armed forces and the ISI.
Earlier on Dec 15, the government had submitted its reply on behalf of the ministries of interior and foreign affairs. It requested the court to dismiss the petitions over memo scandal.
The filing of the reply by the defence ministry has heightened apprehensions, with many interpreting it as a telltale sign of friction between the civilian arm of the government and the military over the memo matter.
By the way, this helps explain why Ahmad Mukhtar is never mentioned when issues of Pakistan’s national security are discussed. Nor do US officials court Mukhtar when attempting to influence policy in Pakistan. Mukhtar is Pakistan’s Minister of Defense. Since the civilian ministry has zero influence over its own military, he is an afterthought. If you want to try to influence policy in Pakistan, you go to the real power brokers: General Arshaf Kayani, the Chief of Army Staff, or Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate. Even Prime Minister Gilani and President Zardari are just window dressing for the Pakistani military.
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.