Country Report Pakistan
- ID: 2101420
- November 2015
- Region: Pakistan
- 25 Pages
- The Economist Intelligence Unit
On November 18th the chairman of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, backed a statement made by the chief of army staff, General Raheel Sharif, that the administration needs to demonstrate better governance.
General Sharif's comments, made on November 10th at the end of a conference of army corps commanders, have provoked a frisson of discussion about civil-military tensions and have revived a dispirited opposition. Given its history of repeated military interventions, Pakistan is extremely sensitive to suggestions that the army is displeased with the performance of the civilian administration.
Both the fevered dissection of General Sharif's comments and Mr Khan's manoeuvring highlight the influential role of the military in politics. General Sharif's criticism of the administration reflects military frustration with the government, but is not a signal that a coup is likely. However, it is a clear warning that the military does not feel sufficiently supported by complementary government action. In General Sharif's view, the government has failed to match significant military successes in the Zarb-e Azb counter-terrorism campaign with effective measures to reform obsolete colonial-era laws in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, or to repatriate and rehabilitate people displaced by the fighting. General Sharif also decried the government's slow progress in implementing the National Action Plan, designed to crack down on terrorism, agreed in January 2015.