Political process in Balochistan

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Given the number of times the military officials have suspended and tampered with the constitution in the past it is difficult to take comments made by military officials at face value. But considering the current military policy of maintaining a strict apolitical stance, the remarks of the COAS that “Army will extend its support to a political solution to the Balochistan problem, provided that the solution is according to the constitution of Pakistan. However, “any step which goes against the constitution will be unacceptable” can surely be taken at face value this time.
This comment shows that the proverbial tiger is losing its stripes after all. First the army stands behind the politically elected government with minimal interference and now the military leadership promises of supporting the political process in Balochistan, provided it’s within the constitution. The statement may be symbolic in nature, that may be issued to delink the armed forces from all the allegations that are being thrust upon them, but it is surely a clear departure from the dominant military mindset that has led to military interventions and takeovers in the past.
It is time that the civil leadership stood up to take hold of the situation and to reverse this mindset by exhibiting their competency in governance matters. The means of reinstating the supremacy of the civilian regime is dependent upon its achievements and its success in winning the hearts and minds of the people. The only solution of the Balochistan problem is political in nature and the government ought to take steps in the right direction and is sure to succeed with the full support of the armed forces.
DR NIDA SHAMI
Ontario, Canada