PILDAT Monitor on Civil-Military Relations in Pakistan | July 2019

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This monitor is meant to identify key developments during the month on Civil Military Relations in Pakistan with selected high-profile international developments included occasionally.

In this Issue:

  1. Pakistan Army Special Cell on Missing Persons
  2. Federal Minister for Education, Prominent Scholars, meet COAS to discuss Madrassa Reforms
  3. FBR briefs ISI on export-oriented sectors’ tax regime
  4. 222nd Corps Commanders’ Conference
  5. Army Rescue and Relief Activities
  6. COAS addresses Youth
  7. COAS meets Foreign Dignitaries
  8. PM-COAS Interactions
  9. International Developments

Pakistan Army Special Cell on Missing Persons

DG ISPR, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, in a meeting with Defence of Human Rights’ Chairperson, Ms. Amina Janjua on July 5, 2019, revealed that Pakistan Army had set up a special assistance cell at the GHQ to facilitate the process regarding missing persons.[1] Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor sympathized with the families of missing persons and said that all cases of missing persons could not be attributed to the State. “Those with the State are under legal process”, he disclosed. Ms. Janjua assured DG ISPR that the affected families shall now allow any anti-State force to exploit their emotions.[2]

Chairperson Defence of Human Rights Ms. Amina Janjua with DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor

Federal Minister for Education, Prominent Scholars, meet COAS to discuss Madrassa Reforms

A group of prominent scholars and Federal Minister for Federal Education Professional Training, National History & Literary Heritage, Mr. Shafqat Mahmood, MNA, met COAS Gen. Bajwa at the GHQ on July 17, 2019 to discuss Madrassa Reforms. After the meeting, one of the scholars, Mufti Muhammad Naeem of Jamia Binoria, shared that the COAS said he would ensure that the government allows Madaaris their independence and only asked for the introduction of subjects like Math, English and Pakistan Studies so Madrassa graduates have more career options.

Mr. Shafqat Mahmood speaking at the press conference on July 18

Mr. Shafqat Mahmood said that the government intends to register all Madaaris in the country; however, they would not be under the ministry but only affiliated with it. He said that the introduction of compulsory subjects would allow madrassa students to appear in Matric/FSc exams as well.[3] Addressing a press conference on July 18, 2019, Mr. Shafqat Mahmood said the ministry hoped to finish the registration process within six months.[4]

FBR briefs ISI on export-oriented sectors’ tax regime

On July 23, 2019, FBR Chairman Mr. Shabbar Zaidi, along with his team, visited the headquarters of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and gave a briefing on abolishing the zero-rating regime for five export-oriented sectors on the economy including the textile industry. It was reported that FBR Chairman “assured the [ISI] that rules for release of sales tax refunds would be issued [on, as planned, July 24] and there would be no liquidity crunch for export-oriented sectors during the current fiscal year.” [5]

In June 2019, Prime Minister Imran Khan had made ISI and IB part of his high-powered commission to investigate how the economy had accumulated high levels of external debt.[6]

222nd Corps Commanders’ Conference

222nd Corps Commanders’ Conference was held at the GHQ on July 3, 2019, presided by COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa. The ISPR reported that the forum discussed national and regional security situation. The ISPR also reported that the COAS ‘briefed the forum about the beneficial measures taken by the government to strengthen the national economy.’ [7]

COAS Gen Bajwa presiding over the 222nd Corps Commanders’ conference

Army Rescue and Relief Activities

  1. The ISPR reported that on August 15, 2019, Pakistan Army troops assisted the civil administration in rescuing and providing relief to the population of Laswa village affected by land sliding. Troops also reached to help in providing relief to the people of Nauseri, Neelum Valley affected by flash floods. They evacuated fifty-two stranded individuals in a helicopter to safe places and established relief camps with the provision of food, rations and medical care. A search operation was also held for drowned persons.[8]
Army troops rescuing locals in a helicopter
  1. On July 30, 2019, army personnel rescued people stranded in the outskirts of Surjani Town, Gadap and North Karachi after the city was hit by heavy rain resulting in urban flooding.[9] The city faced massive power supply issues and suspension of water supply in the aftermath of the torrential rainfall, which claimed at least twelve lives. Soldiers also rescued people in Qasimabad and Latifabad near Hyderabad, where they installed dewatering units to drain rainwater accumulated in the area.[10]
Military personnel rescuing locals in Karachi

COAS addresses Youth

The ISPR reported that COAS Gen. Bajwa interacted with youth undergoing annual internship programme at the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). Speaking on the occasion, the COAS reportedly said that Pakistan is blessed with dynamic and talented youth and the future of Pakistan belongs to them. He advised them to stick to merit, the rule of law and avoid taking shortcuts in life.[11]

COAS’ group photo with the interns at ISPR

COAS meets Foreign Dignitaries

  1. General Oleg Salyukov, Commander in Chief of the Russian Ground Forces, called on COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa at the GHQ on July 02, 2019.[12]
General Oleg Salyukov is presented with a Guard of Honor at the GHQ
  1. Mrs. Claire Landais, Secretary General for National Defence & Security of France, called on COAS Gen Bajwa at the GHQ on July 2, 2019.[13]
Mrs Claire Landais with COAS Gen Bajwa
  1. Mr. Lwan Suyudhie, Ambassador of Indonesia, called on COAS Gen Bajwa at the GHQ on July 10, 2019.[14]
Mr Lwan Suyudhie, Ambassador of Indonesia with COAS Gen Bajwa at the GHQ
  1. COAS Gen Qamar Bajwa accompanied PM Imran Khan on his trip to the United States, where he visited the Pentagon on July 23, 2019, and was received by Chairman Joint Chief of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford. He was presented guard of honor with 21-gun salute upon arrival. He also met Acting Secretary of Defence Mr. Richard V. Spencer and Chief of Staff US Army General Mark A Milley.[15]
COAS Gen Bajwa with US Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Gen Joseph Dunford at the Pentagon
  1. On July 24, 2019, COAS Gen Bajwa visited the US State Department and called on US Secretary of State, Mr. Mike Pompeo.[16]
COAS with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
  1. Lieutenant General Azizov Abdusalom Abdumavlonovich, Chairman of the State Security Services of Uzbekistan, called on COAS Gen Bajwa at the GHQ on July 30, 2019.[17]
Lieutenant General Azizov Abdusalom Abdumavlonovich, Chairman of the State Security Services of Uzbekistan with COAS Gen Bajwa at the GHQ
  1. Mr. Turki Bin Abdullah Bin Al Shabanah, Minister of Media, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Major General Talal Abdullah Alotaibi, Military Advisor to Minister of Defence, KSA, called on COAS Gen Bajwa at the GHQ on July 31, 2019.[18]
COAS Gen Bajwa with Mr Turki Bin Abdullah Bin Al Shabanah, Minister of Media, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Major General Talal Abdullah Alotaibi, Military Advisor to Minister of Defence, KSA.

PM-COAS Interactions

  1. COAS Gen Bajwa called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Prime Minister’s Office on July 1, 2019. Reportedly, Federal Minister for Defence Mr. Pervaiz Khattak was not part of the interaction.[19]
Prime Minister Imran Khan with COAS Gen Bajwa at the Prime Minister’s Office on July 1, 2019
  1. COAS Gen. Bajwa called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on July 17, 2019 at the Prime Minister’s Office before his first official visit to the United States. Federal Minister for Defence Mr. Pervaiz Khattak was not reported to be part of the meeting.[20]
  2. COAS Gen. Bajwa, DG ISI, Maj. Gen. Faiz Hameed, and DG ISPR, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at the Prime Minister’s Office on July 30, 2019.[21] Federal Minister for Defence Mr. Pervaiz Khattak was not part of the meeting.
Prime Minister Imran Khan with COAS Gen Bajwa, DG ISI Maj Gen Faiz Hameed, DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor at the Prime Minister’s Office

International Developments

Power-sharing deal sealed between Civilians & Military in Sudan

With the mediation of Ethiopia and African Union (AU), the ruling Military Council and civilian protestors made a power-sharing deal on July 6, 2019 in Sudan. The two agreed on establishing a sovereign council with a rotating president from each side for a transitional period of three years and three months.[22] The transitional period is a compromise between the two parties; the Generals wanted the transitional period to last for two years, however the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) who led the protests, believed the period is too short for laying the groundwork for free and fair elections.

According to the agreement, which was inked on July 17, 2019, the new council will have six civilian and five military representatives. The governing council will oversee the formation of a transitional civilian administration that will operate for just over three years, after which elections would be held.[23]

Ahmad al-Rabiah, the leader of Sudan’s pro-democracy movement and Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan, the deputy head of the ruling military council, after signing the power-sharing agreement in Khartoum on July 17, 2019.
 

References

  1. Dawn.com, [Wesbite], 2019, https://www.dawn.com/news/1492397/army-sets-up-special-cell-on-missing-persons (accessed August 6, 2019)
  2. Twitter.com, [Website], 2019, https://twitter.com/OfficialDGISPR/status/1147133736229715968 (accessed August 6, 2019)
  3. The News, [Website], 2019, https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/499867-army-chief-s-hours-long-meeting-with-ulema-minister-on-madrassa-reforms (accessed August 5, 2019)
  4. Dawn.com, [Website], 2019, https://www.dawn.com/news/1494851/seminaries-to-teach-contemporary-subjects-students-will-appear-in-fbise-exams (accessed August 5, 2019)
  5. The News, [Website], 2019, https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/502725-shabbar-zaidi-briefs-isi-on-export-oriented-sectors (accessed August 6, 2019)
  6. The News, [Website], 2019, https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/483169-pm-imran-khan-announces-to-make-high-powered-enquiry-commission-on-ten-years-debt (accessed August 6, 2019)
  7. Inter-Services Public Relations, [Website], 2019, https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=5354 (accessed August 5, 2019)
  8. Inter-Services Public Relations, [Website], 2019, https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=5362 (accessed August 5, 2019)
  9. The News, [Website], 2019, https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/505936-army-called-out-as-karachi-rain-death-toll-rises-to-26 (accessed August 6, 2019)
  10. Dawn.com, [Website], 2019, https://www.dawn.com/news/1497320/army-evacuates-people-marooned-in-rainwater (accessed August 6, 2019)
  11. Inter-Services Public Relations, [Website], 2019, https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=5385 (accessed August 5, 2019)
  12. Inter-Services Public Relations, [Website], 2019, https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=5352 (accessed August 5, 2019)
  13. Inter-Services Public Relations, [Website], 2019, https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=5351 (accessed August 5, 2019)
  14. Inter-Services Public Relations, [Website], 2019, https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=5361 (accessed August 5, 2019)
  15. Inter-Services Public Relations, [Website], 2019, https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=5371 (accessed August 5, 2019)
  16. Twitter.com, [Website], 2019, https://twitter.com/OfficialDGISPR/status/1153871126885519360?s=20 (accessed August 6, 2019)
  17. Inter-Services Public Relations, [Website], 2019, https://www.ispr.gov.pk/press-release-detail.php?id=5379 (accessed August 5, 2019)
  18. Twitter.com, [Website], 2019, https://twitter.com/OfficialDGISPR/status/1156617199970410496/photo/2 (accessed August 6, 2019)
  19. Dawn.com, [Website], 2019, https://www.dawn.com/news/1491544/coas-calls-on-pm-discusses-regional-peace (accessed August 5, 2019)
  20. The News, [Website], 2019, https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/499868-coas-calls-on-pm-discusses-upcoming-us-visit (accessed August 5, 2019)
  21. Dawn.com, [Website], 2019, https://www.dawn.com/news/1497005/pm-discusses-security-issues-with-army-chief-spymaster (accessed August 6, 2019)
  22. Dawn.com, [Website], 2019, https://www.dawn.com/news/1492451/sudans-generals-agree-to-share-power-with-civilians (accessed August 6, 2019)
  23. Dawn.com, [Website], 2019, https://www.dawn.com/news/1494768/sudan-protesters-army-rulers-ink-power-sharing-deal (accessed August 6, 2019)

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