Pakistan has alternated between military dictatorship, legitimately elected administrations, and mixed regimes throughout its brief and volatile history. A famous saying in Pakistan is that prime ministers administer the nation’s leadership with the assistance of the three A’s: Allah, America, and the Army. Pakistan faced tremendous issues relatively easily when the military and civil cogs of the government system work in tandem. It would not have been feasible to deal with natural disasters such as the floods (2010, 2022) and the 2005 earthquakes, manage the locust attacks, and the COVID-19 pandemic, integrate CPEC, obliterate terrorism, and overcome international challenges such as grey-listing of FATF, and avert multibillion-dollar Reko Diq and Karkey penalties without a harmonious civil-military relationship. One thing is evident after a couple of decades of democratic rule: the state’s delivering services arm, or the executive hand, cannot operate effectively or fulfill its goal on its own. It just lacks the capacity to deal with the massive difficulties and natural calamities that Pakistan has experienced.
The incumbent army chief, Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, will step down at the conclusion of his extended term later this year. In all these years, the military provided unwavering support to the former PTI administration, assisting it in navigating a slew of political, security, diplomatic, and economic issues. But unfortunately, the instant Imran Khan caved in to pressure from a highly divided opposition coalition, his followers started a menacing campaign on social media against national security agencies.. The army, which is the centre point of this algorithm, requires an authority that does not contest the military’s pertinence in power politics; can properly manage agreements with global authority to keep Pakistan significant, and can preserve the military’s legitimacy indigenously by making sure that competitive rivalry with other politico-economic rivals does not devolve into an unwieldy conflict. Whatever else the future brings, it will not involve autonomous political parties challenging one another or any resemblance to a democratic system. Instead, the politically strong military will clear out an alternative that is advantageous for it organizationally and serves its long-term objectives. There is no doubt that the military leadership has helped out Pakistan through aggressive in-sync diplomatic endeavors with the democratic agent of the government every time the state faced a financial crisis or the possibility of international condemnation. The military engagement has been invaluable in reviving a fragile IMF contract, FATF, or CPEC, or in reviving military and socioeconomic relations with the UAE, China, and Saudi Arabia.