When it comes to “military intervention,” traditionally, such a method was instrumental when a nation used its military might to interfere in the domestic or external affairs of another state, which could likely be a rival or a potential threat. Several Western core states still view this traditional approach as the only reasonable means of neutralizing a possible threat, which most likely consists of a periphery rogue state or a potential rising power. In Pakistan, the term “military intervention” has another meaning; here it is the use of military power to challenge the ruling democratic government for various reasons, reasons that at some point in the past were justifiable. For many people in Pakistan, especially when they are learning the political history of our country, a common question that comes to everyone’s mind is: Why does the military always intervene in our political affairs?
It is a controversial question, a question that, at certain times, leads to a chain of events that will head towards unfortunate incidents. It is important to understand that in the past, military intervention was acceptable because such intervention targeted politicians with questionable motives. Such politicians were easy to remove from power since the public hated them due to their policies and corrupt practices.
To the public in the past, the military was the ideal choice for leading the nation, and it was true if we look at the economic and foreign policies of those times. Sure, there were some mistakes, but Pakistan was still better off compared to what we have now. In the past, political infighting and corrupt practices led to weaker civilian institutions. The existence of corruption from the upper echelon of civil bureaucracy to the lowest level created a situation where civilian power structures collapsed, creating a vacuum that was later filled by military bureaucracy.
Now another question pops in: why has recent military intervention backfired and is causing instability within our nation? Well, for starters, there are various factors. This time the person they targeted for removal was liked by the public, even though his rise to power was because of the support of the establishment in the first place, whether we like to admit it or not. The second reason wasn’t because of social media and public awareness but was simply because of the sloppiness of the powers that be.
Bringing back the individuals who were for many years portrayed as menace to our society and suddenly showing them as our saviors or better versions compared to the ones who have the support of almost all the nation, especially the young population. It’s a decision made by powers that be, which was never to be on the table in the first place. Yet the all-knowing establishment decided to go with this plan, and we all are very well aware of the end results.
The policies of the powers that be, instead of creating an impact on the opposition and the public, backfire in a spectacular fashion in such a way that the most hated and feared individual in the political sphere is more popular with the public than ever before. His popularity has now become a single threat to the system, which is doing everything in its power to reduce his popularity, but instead, it is only pushing that individual to new heights. Such developments in the long term will only hurt the upper echelon of the system.