Pakistan Prime Minister called for national debate on civil-military ties

Islamabad : Pakistan's premier-designate Shahid Khaqan Abbasi leaves after meeting with politicians in Parliament house in Islamabad, Pakistan, Monday, July 31, 2017. Pakistan's parliament will meet Tuesday to elect a new prime minister after the disqualification of three-term prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League party nominated Sharif's longtime loyalist Abbasi for the top slot on Saturday. AP/PTI(AP8_1_2017_000184B)

Vastavam web: In an unusual move, Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has called for a national debate on the future civil-military relations, the role of the judiciary and other state institutions in the country.Addressing a news conference days before the end of his term in office, Abbasi said the issue of civil-military ties would remain there irrespective of who formed the next government, besides the role of other stakeholders like the judiciary, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the media.

When the judiciary interfered in the working of the executive and the NAB crippled the government functioning, no government would be able to work and perform, the prime minister was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper today.Presenting an overview of the PML-N government’s five-year performance ahead of elections on July 25, he said, “There should also be a national dialogue on civil-military relationship.”

The powerful military, which has ruled Pakistan for about half its history since independence in 1947, is considered a major player in the country’s politics. He said countries could not be run like this and governments could not perform if there is a tussle between different state institutions.Flanked by Finance Minister Dr Miftah Ismail, the prime minister said the people voted his party to government five years ago and his government has performed as per the wishes of the people.

He said the political instability had devastating impact on the country and the performance of the government. He cited the 2014 sit-in, the Panama Papers case verdict and the Supreme Court’s judgement removing Sharif as a few events that hampered Pakistan’s progress.Abbasi said that the PML-N has made a significant improvement Pakistan’s economic conditions. By the end of the government’s tenure, the economic growth rate is high while inflation is low, he claimed.