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Internal Conflict in Pakistan: Impact on the Region

May 29, 2014
By Centre for Land Warfare Studies

Pakistan has been going through a turbulent phase. Although the elections in 2013 saw a change in government through the ballot, the elections took place under the shadow of guns. The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) prevented ‘secular’ parties from having a level playing field. Nawaz Sharif succeeded in gaining a modicum of control by replacing both the Chief Justice and Army Chief, after they had completed their term. His appointment of General Raheel Sharif as the new Army Chief was a master stroke, aimed at consolidating his position vis-a-vis the Army. But fissures have now appeared and today, the Government and the Army do not appear to be on the same page on the issue of tackling the TTP. The case against General Musharraf has also pitted the army against the political leadership and judiciary, with the army is unhappy with the treatment of its former chief in the courts. The attack on Geo TV journalist Hamid Mir and the accusation by Geo that DG ISI was personally involved in the attack has further vitiated the atmosphere. More significantly, for the first time there is a dissonance between the Army and the religious political parties like Jamaat, which have traditionally acted as the stooges of the Army and the ISI. After Hakeemullah Mehsud was killed, the Amir of Jamaat-e-Islami, Munawwar Hussain called him a Shaheed. He went on to say that the army personnel fighting “America’s War” could not be called as Ghazis or Shaheeds. His remarks expectedly drew a sharp rebuke from the Army. Although, he was subsequently replaced as the Amir in an election, the fissures between the religious parties have only increased, as the religious parties have often accused the army of hindering talks with TTP. These developments at a time when NATO is pulling out of Afghanistan and Taliban led by Mullah Omar has started distancing itself from ISI assume salience. Issues were discussed in the RT in the above backdrop.

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