Why do Pakistani generals have so much hostility with Imran Khan? Justice Katju's article

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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Why are Pak Generals so hostile to Imran Khan?

By Justice Markandey Katju

I have been wondering why the Pakistan army is so hostile to former Prime Minister Imran Khan ? After all, he has overwhelming popular support in Pakistan, as he is regarded as broadly honest, as compared to the PDM leaders who are perceived by the people of Pakistan to be totally corrupt ( as indeed the Panama Papers and other evidence shows ).

Also, Imran Khan has repeatedly said that he wants good relations with the army, and has offered to talk with the army chief, but the latter has not shown any willingness or inclination..

After a lot of thinking I have come to these two conclusions as to the reason for this hostility :

(1) Almost all senior Pakistan army officers have children or close relatives working on well paid jobs in U.S. Corporations, or are studying in top American Universities like Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, Stanford, Princeton, etc with full scholarship. These army officers have probably been told by the US Govt authorities that Imran Khan is persona non grata with the US Govt, and must not be allowed to come back to power.

The Pak army officers are ingratiated with the favours they have got, and will comply faithfully

(2) Imran Khan believes that the Pak army must be subordinate to the civilian govt, as in USA, UK, France, Germany, India and other democratic countries, and should not not meddle in politics.

This is anathema to the Pak officers, since it will adversely affect their economic interests. The Pak army has penetrated into numerous sectors of the Pakistan economy, and has acquired huge economic vested interests, which it will have to surrender if there is civilian control over it.

Several army generals, serving or retired, and their relatives are multi millionaires or even billionaires.

The Pak army officers spend a large part of the budget on themselves for their life style and retirement benefits. They are some of the richest people in Pakistan, and after joining the army and getting promoted as major and above their lifestyle drastically changes, and they live in splendour, having huge houses, big imported cars, and all kinds of luxuries.

All this will change if there is real civilian control of Pakistan’s army. There will then be accountability, the army officers will then have to live on their pay ( as in all democratic countries ), and some serving and retired officers may even be called upon to return their loot.

All this will be extremely unpalatable to the army officers, and they will oppose it tooth and nail.

These are the two reasons why they are so hostile to Imran Khan.


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