Pakistan Urdu Press: May 16-31, 2013
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  • Pakistan’s Urdu Press has viewed the May 19 meeting between incoming Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and General Kayani as a new beginning in civil military relationship in Pakistan. Almost all the newspapers have welcomed the meeting and hoped that the two pillars of state would cooperate with each other to tackle the challenges facing by Pakistan. Columnist Salim Safi suggests the civilian government to wean the military away from “driving seat” through a gradual process.

    Kayani’s meeting with Nawaz Sharif will bring harmony between the military and civilian leaderships: Ummat

    Editorial, May 20, 2013
    Commenting on this meeting, the Ummat Daily’s editorial says that the meeting will bring harmony between the political and military leadership of the country. The Daily writes that “this was an unofficial meeting but they discussed various national and international issues during their four hours interaction.” The Daily notes that General Kayani took the initiative for this meeting and went to Lahore to meet Nawaz Sharif without a protocol.”

    The Daily adds that since Nawaz Sharif was ousted from power by Gen Pervez Musharraf in 1999, the general impression was that Sharif does not have good feeling about the military. However, much before regaining power, Nawaz Sharif made it clear that he is not against military. He had a problem with a particular person.”

    The Daily writes further that “whether the meeting is unofficial or official, this is a welcome development. To tackle the challenges the country faces today, a harmony between the military and political leadership is needed. This meeting will certainly pave the way for bringing about harmony between the two pillars of the state.”

    Kayani-Sharif meeting, a good beginning: Jang

    Editorial, May 20, 2013
    In it editorial on the Kayani-Nawaz meeting, the Jang Urdu Daily writes that during the meeting “the Army Chief assured the future prime minister of the country that the armed forces are with the democratic government and will play its role for the continuation of the democracy in the country”.

    Commenting on the development, the Daily writes that “ahead of government formation the meeting is a welcome development and will lead to harmony between the two”. The Daily suggests that consultations like this should be expanded to include also the opposition to discuss various challenges the country faces today.

    Kayani-Nawaz meeting will help them understand each other’s perspective: Nawa-e-Waqt

    Editorial, May 20, 2013
    The Nawa-e-Waqt Urdu Daily’s editorial on this issue says that this meeting was an important development as “it would help both the leaders understand each other’s perspective”. Commenting on the role of present day military, the editorial states, “The Pakistani forces deserve an appreciation as they have fulfilled their dual responsibility of safeguarding the borders as well as the democracy inside the country for the last five years”. The Daily adds that “Army has to remain firm and should respect the mandate of the people so that the people benefit from the democracy”.

    The daily has suggestion for the government too; it says that the “new government should also forget bitter realities of the past and move ahead. Be it military or any other department, they are arms and hands of the government and a system can function well if these organs cooperate with each others”.

    Nawaz Sharif should adopt the Turkish model to wean the military away from the driving seat: Salim Safi

    Jang, Opinion, 2013
    Salim Safi, in an op-ed in Jang Urdu Daily, opines that “No one can ignore the fact that during the last 12 years, the relations between Nawaz Sharif and the military was not good”. He adds that during the last five years the civil military relations were not very very good. According to Safi, “Nawaz Sharif also believes that the military helped Tehreek-e-Insaf just to stop him from regaining power.”

    Safi opines that against this backdrop, it is difficult to predict whether his relationship with military would necessarily improve. However, he says, “It would be easier if Miyan Sahab looks to the future and gets over the past”. He should keep in mind that the military’s thinking is not the same as it was 12 years ago. The ground reality is drastically different in 2013 from what it was in 1999, adds Safi.

    Safi opines that General Kayani’s visit to Lahore, without a convoy and on his own initiative, is a sign that “the military leadership wants to bury the past and start a new journey. Therefore, in response, Miyan Sahab should also forget the history”. This does not mean that he should accept the supremacy of the military leadership but should put the military under the limit of the Constitution. However, Safi suggests that Miyan sahib should not think of following the foot steps of Britain. Rather he should adopt the Turkish model. He states that the military is in the driving seat not only on frontiers but also in tribal areas, Balochistan, Karachi and Swat. “Instead of haste, he should gradually wean the military away from the driving seat” argues the writer.