Monday, October 2, 2017

Erring On Both Fronts: The Civil Military Divide Is The Biggest Hindrance In Putting The House In Order

Mahboob Mohsin,

Sharif image from
On the domestic front, former PM Nawaz Sharif’s aggressive posturing towards the “deep state” has created more polarization and uncertainty, aggravated further in part by sensationalism in partisan media.

Moreover, ahead of the next general election in 2018, political parties are shaping up their fierce rallying narratives to woo the voters. The rhetoric is one full of vitriolic blame-game and confrontation especially in wake of Nawaz Sharif’s ouster. And it is to become more hostile and pungent as we draw closer to the electioneering season.

Then there is the dangerous political mainstreaming of radical sectarian and militant groups that may eventually amount to radicalizing mainstream politics itself.

These indicators together paint a dismal picture of overall domestic political landscape that features political uncertainty, friction among institutions and fear of rise of radical religious right.

Similarly, on the external front, especially in wake of Trump’s announcement of South Asia strategy, the ongoing diplomatic row has turned up the heat that needs to be handled with sober and thoroughly thought out public diplomacy. On the external front, although a full-time Foreign Minister took charge and things have started moving, our approach remains largely reactionary and not proactive. Recently, the Foreign Office and the diplomatic machinery seem to have jolted into (re)action only after Trump’s announcement of South Asia strategy and BRICS summit. ...

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