New Pakistan Army Chief needs to restore public trust: US media

10:40 AM | 25 Nov, 2022
New Pakistan Army Chief needs to restore public trust: US media
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WASHINGTON – US media also showed a keen interest in the news of new army chief of Pakistan. Generally, the US media hardly ever reports the appointment of an army chief in another country and also shows little interest in such appointments within the United States either.

Pakistan’s new army chief will face two immediate tasks, rebuilding the country’s ailing economy and restoring public trust in the military establishment, says The New York Times.

The Times noted that “many consider” this change of guard as “crucial to Pakistani affairs as civilian political cycles” and that it “comes at a moment of fierce debate over the military’s power in politics”. The report pointed out that the military has ruled for over half of Pakistan’s 75-year history and, even under civilian governments, military leaders are seen as the invisible hand guiding Pakistani politics.

“That political meddling, however, has come under fierce scrutiny this year, after Imran Khan was ousted by a parliamentary no-confidence vote in April that he said was aided by the Pakistani military, the United States, and his political rivals,” the report added.

The Times claimed that Mr Khan’s “relentless criticism of the military has resonated deeply among Pakistanis and seriously damaged the military’s reputation within the country”.

The US newspaper also claimed that the political turmoil “has caused schisms within the military, with many lower-ranking officers quietly supporting the ousted leader while its top brass has lost patience with his accusations”.

The Times noted that the army chief in Pakistan also “influences the foreign policy direction of the country” and the new chief inherits the position at “an exceedingly challenging moment” for Pakistan.

The Washington Post, while explaining why President Alvi endorsed the new appointment, noted that Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said on Thursday that the prime minister had promoted Mr Munir to the rank of four-star general and that he would not have retired this week even if Mr Alvi had delayed the endorsement.

Almost all media outlets pointed out that this week the departing chief acknowledged the military’s role in politics over the last 70 years.

Voice of America (VOA) noted that the new military chief takes charge “amid an intensified debate over the even deepening interference of the institution in political affairs”.

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