Islamabad: Retracting statements is a form of appeasement, a daily said on Friday, referring to "unpredictable" Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's U-turn after calling the Army chief and the country's spy chief's court affidavit unconstitutional.
An editorial in the Daily Times on Friday said Gilani was unpredictable -- "one minute he is breathing fire and the next minute he melts like candle wax”.
Gilani had earlier said the affidavits submitted by Army Chief General General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt General Shuja Pasha were "unconstitutional and illegal".
Gilani on Wednesday retracted his statement: "I want to dispel the impression that the military leadership acted unconstitutionally or violated rules...The remarks were made in a different context...The current situation cannot afford conflict among the institutions."
The editorial asked: "What is the message that Gilani is trying to give us here? ...are we to believe that everything is now hunky-dory and the generals were not crossing their limits? If so, why create this confusion in the first place?"
It admitted that the military is the most powerful institution in the country, but "the way this government has dealt with it is not becoming of a democratically elected government".
The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)-led government tried to appease the military from day one but that has not helped it at all.
"The government's flip-flopping has not worked...”
"Demarcation of policy purview must now be done as is the right of an elected civilian government. The Army is subservient to the government under the constitution. Granted that this has not been the case practically but theoretically it is quite clear who should be the boss, ie the executive," it said.
The editorial observed that such statements in recent months by the Prime Minister are examples of the government's adventurism.
"Retracting these statements or taking a U-turn on earlier stands is a form of appeasement. The civil-military imbalance is a fact of life in Pakistan. The only way to change the current status quo is through intelligent and consistent means instead of flip-flopping every now and then," it added.
First Published: Friday, January 27, 2012, 13:05