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Senior officers business has altered Pak militarys image: Book
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Senior officers business has altered Pak militarys image: Book

A new book by a security analyst and strategic affairs columnist of Pakistan, Ayesha Siddiqa, says the involvement of senior military officers in profit-making activities has altered the character of the army as an institution.

Islamabad, May 23 : A new book by a security analyst and strategic affairs columnist of Pakistan, Ayesha Siddiqa, says the involvement of senior military officers in profit-making activities has altered the character of the army as an institution.

The book-- Military Inc., inside Pakistan's Military Economy --says the interest of senior Generals in profit-making activities has led to the formation of a group of capitalists with the power to exploit the financial resources of the country.

The Daily Times quoted the book as saying that the senior generals used the army's influence to further their financial and political power, emerging as an "independent class with well-defined rules and control markets by institutional mechanisms that protect its political and economic interests".

"Today, the acquisition of perks and privileges is taken for granted. Housing schemes, agricultural land and other facilities such as subsidised electricity, water and gas supply to armed forces personnel are justified as part of the necessary benefits which ensure greater commitment to work, namely the 'defence' of the state," it adds.

Siddiqa says the root of the prevailing corruption in the military is the lack of transparency of the defence sector. Besides, the political and financial autonomy of the military is also impacting their professionalism in strategic terms.

She further adds that the military's involvement in economic ventures and its financial autonomy severely affects its sense of judgment regarding the political control of the country.

Pointing out that "the financial cost for the army to withdrawing from politics is very high," the book says the 1999 military coup has weakened civilian institutions further.

She writes that at this point of time, it is almost impossible for the military to totally withdraw from the government by restoring democracy.

"The issue, thus, is not about the military being a better performer than the political governments, but about all the dominant classes contributing to creating a predatory cycle of politics," says the book.

"The national security paradigm has been marketed so effectively that there is hardly any cogent element in the country that could challenge the basis for the military's existence or its dominance of the state and its society," it adds.

ANI

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