Assurance of no martial law: Has the military really moved away from politics?

Asim Ali Rana
Voice of America Urdu Service



Pakistan Military has given assurance that they will not impose martial in Pakistan.  People in political and diplomatic circles have appreciated this statement in favor of democracy. However, Pakistan’s history is full of military interference in politics. 

Pakistan army has been also accused of covertly supporting political parties. 

Some people say that army cannot ignore political issues. The question is : Why does it want to interfere in political business?

Political analysts allege that army control politicians arbitrarily by keeping records of their mistakes, omissions or corruption through agencies. We have many instances of this allegations in political history.

Political analysts are expressing different views on the assurance given by the Pakistan Army spokesman that martial law will not be imposed.

Has the army really moved away from politics?

The recent political crisis in the country has against started a heated debate on army’s involvement in the politics.

Ayesha Siddique, author of the book ‘Military Inc.’ said in an interview with Voice of America that she does not believe that army will stay away from the politics. She firmly believes that the army is still in politics despite their assurances. 


Politicians and Pakistanis have become accustomed to looking at the army in times of crisis.

Some analysts also say that even if the military wants to stay out of politics, some politicians do not want the military to be apolitical.

According to experts, recently former Prime Minister Imran Khan also sought help from the army to resolve the political crisis.

It may be recalled that the DG ISPR had said in a press conference on Thursday that former Prime Minister Imran Khan had asked the Army Chief to end the political crisis by talking to the opposition after a no-confidence motion was filed against him.

According to some analysts, politicians themselves do not want the military to stay out of politics.
Lieutenant General (retd) Talat Masood says that for the last 75 years our politicians have been looking at the army instead of looking at Parliament or any other constitutional forum during the political crisis.

He said that political parties have the best constitutional forum in the form of Parliament, with the National Security Committee, Parliamentary Security Committee, or other committees having different forums but they still Look at the army.

According to him, the politicians who are still looking at the army are making a mistake. If anyone still thinks so, then these politicians should first look at their collars to see how democratic they are.

Analyst Ayesha Siddique says that Imran Khan is the main reason for the recent statements of the Pakistan Army to distance itself from politics due to which the army has faced many difficulties. Imran Khan was run by the army for many years and now they are also making allegations against him.

Ayesha said that the principle of power is that no one gives up power unless he is forced to do so.

She says there is no pressure on the military in Pakistan to distance itself from political issues. Political parties are still forcing the army to intervene and help us instead of just one party. We will support you. In such a situation, how can the army stay away from politics and power?