ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A New Pakistan?

The undermining of the military's hegemony has created an opportunity for democratic forces.

May has been a hot month for the security forces of Pakistan and, by extension, the Pakistani state. The heat is on the military establishment and for the first time it appears to be without defence as event after event has scorched the reputation and legitimacy of the Pakistani military as an institution as well as the most powerful pillar of the state.

Osama bin Laden’s killing by United States commandos in a house inside the garrison town of Abbottabad, followed by a few other attacks on paramilitary forces and navy personnel, was capped by a dramatic attack on an important naval base in Karachi which destroyed two front line naval aircraft. These raids have stunned the world and have raised many questions about the Pakistan government and its military and intelligence services. What is unprecedented in these is that none of the answers to the questions which are raised are able to mend the dent in the legitimacy and reputation of the Pakistani military in the eyes of its own citizens. It is not clear how, if at all, the Pakistani military establishment will manage to address this crisis of legitimacy within its own domestic constituencies.

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