Civil-Military relations

Civil-military relations refer to the power dynamics between civilian leaders and the military establishment. In Pakistan, the military has consistently wield­ed significant influence over for­eign policy and national securi­ty, even during periods of civilian rule. Military leaders justify this dominance by highlighting secu­rity threats, but this imbalance has constrained policymaking in various ways.

Public dissent and debate on crucial issues such as terrorism, relations with India, and nuclear policy are limited. Defence bud­get allocations and militarised re­sponses to domestic insurgencies often go unchallenged. This situ­ation arises from civilian leaders’ dependence on the military for political survival.

To ensure genuine policy re­form, civilian supremacy over the military must be asserted. As long as the military’s inter­ests dictate security, defence, and regional policies, substantive change will remain elusive. True policy alignment with democrat­ic principles and constitutional boundaries is essential for poli­cies that reflect public interests rather than just the military’s in­stitutional interests.



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