Islamabad (MAMOSA Report) April 10: The Pakistani media is showing a lot of restraint in reporting the corps commanders’ conference held at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi. However, one thing is clear in most reporting: the Army generals are still very “upset” for being “unfairly criticized” by a few federal ministers; but they ‘sought to ease apparent friction with the civilian government’ after being assured by the Prime Minister that the members of his cabinet will refrain from making ‘unnecessary’ statements on former president Pervez Musharraf’s treason trial.
Daily Dawn reports that the seething resentment in the military ranks was obvious as generals met for the corps commanders’ conference at the General Headquarters on Wednesday.
Army Chief General Raheel Sharif had already said that army “will resolutely its own dignity and institutional pride”. Gen Raheel’s statement was loud and clear and had ‘effectively blown away the façade of civilian and military leadership being on the same page.’
Although not stated in so many words and masked as “unfair criticism”, the anger is because of former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf’s trial on charges of high treason and what is being seen as his public humiliation by some ministers, story in Dawn points out.
The generals are also said to be displeased with the manner in which the government has proceeded with the peace dialogue despite their reservation. According to “an officer who witnessed the proceedings” of the Corps Commanders Conference, “the intensity of the feelings on the issue remained high.”
“Government quietly informed the military leadership … it had no plan to discredit the army as an institution.. “
“…a senior security official insisted… the army had no interest in derailing the democratic process. However, … politicians should not ‘cross limits’ … “
“The situation can be addressed only once there is realization,” a source said, indicating that commanders were finding the government indifferent to their complaints.
Unlike the media release on Gen Raheel’s comments in Tarbela, the matter was not reflected in the statement on the meeting at GHQ.
However, a section of the media feels that the top military commanders ‘sought to ease apparent friction with the civilian government.’ Express Tribune claims that the Corps Commanders were ‘assured by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that the members of his cabinet will refrain from making ‘unnecessary’ statements on former president Pervez Musharraf’s treason trial.’
The Express Tribune has based its story on information given to them by a PML ‘insider’ and a ‘senior PML N leader.’ The daily reports an interesting claim made by their source that the government had quietly informed the military leadership ‘ahead of the corps commanders’ meeting’ that “it had no plan to discredit the army as an institution under the pretext of Musharraf’s trial.”
The daily says that the Army commanders although expressed concerns over ‘dragging’ their institution into such controversial matters “agreed, however, not to issue any public statement on the matter.”
An Army official also told the daily that “the army had no interest in derailing the democratic process. However, he cautioned that politicians should not ‘cross limits’ in their criticism.”