Pakistan on cusp of a defining moment: Daily

December 24th, 2011 - 3:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Yousuf Raza Gilani Islamabad, Dec 24 (IANS) Pakistan may be on the “cusp of a defining historic moment”, said a daily over the tension between the army and the government.

An editorial in the Daily Times Saturday said that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s “unusually blunt remarks the other day about moves to oust his government implied that the usual cast of suspects were once again up to their tricks”.

It said this candour sent alarm bells ringing throughout the country.

“The received wisdom was that the prime minister, known for his soft demeanour and reconciliatory manner, had come out swinging against the military establishment and this inevitably meant that the latter would retaliate in customary style,” it added.

Despite the alarmist prognoses, it must have come as “a bit of a dampener to learn that (army chief) General (Ashfaq Parvez) Kayani had categorically refuted all such speculations, stating that the military had no intentions of staging any intervention, direct or indirect, and that it respected democracy and the mandate of the people”.

It said that scepticism can hardly be blamed, “given the dark history of the country where military domination of national life has become a seemingly irreversible fact since the late 1950s”.

“However, this may not be a 1958, 1969, 1977 or 1999 moment.”

The daily noted that “a tectonic shift below the surface of things, albeit still embryonic and halting, appears to be emerging”.

It went on to say that “…one is tempted to venture that we may be on the cusp of a defining historic moment, one in which the legacy of military domination can no longer as confidently call upon the services of one section of the political class to topple a sitting democratically elected government”.

“In the civil-military relationship, badly skewed in favour of Rawalpindi in our history, is there a shift in perception and thinking?,” it asked.

And responded: “Only time will tell.”

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