Islamabad: The last thing that Pakistan needs at this critical juncture is institutional infighting, said a Pakistani daily as it reminded the military that "its definition of national security led to the loss of half the country in 1971 (and) led to a disaster called Kargil".
An editorial in the News International said that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani`s remarks about a "state within a state" caused quite a sensation in political circles.
"It looked as if the premier`s indirect reference to the military and the ISI was a challenge to the establishment," it said.
Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani`s statement the very next day about the Army being cognizant of its constitutional obligations and responsibilities was welcomed by the Prime Minister.
Gilani later also made it clear that there is no clash between the government and the military.
"Some analysts have called it a `retreat` by the federal government even though it was only logical that the Prime Minister would accept and welcome the Army Chief`s positive statement at face value.
"But it is important to read between the lines... Tensions may have been defused but there are some questions that were left unanswered."
The editorial went on to say that General Kayani`s statement the other day referred to national security and how no compromise would be made on this issue.
"In Pakistan, `national security` has always been defined by the military even though in any modern democratic state, it is defined by the government in consultation with its subservient military.
"The military in Pakistan considers itself a state within a state and uses the jihadist networks to defend its national security paradigm," it said.
The editorial added that it would not be wrong to "remind the military that its definition of national security led to the loss of half the country in 1971, it led to a disaster called Kargil, and the same `national security` is now responsible for the kill and dump policy being pursued by our military in Balochistan".
The Kargil conflict between Pakistan and India took place in 1999.
"It is time to allow the democratic government to define what constitutes national security instead of making one blunder after another... The last thing this country needs at this critical juncture is institutional infighting," the editorial said.