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`Copy India to end corruption in Pak military`

Indian Army court martialled Lt Gen PK Rath for involvement in a land scam.

Islamabad: Pakistan should emulate India and act against corrupt military officers, a daily said on Monday, noting that no action has ever been taken against retired or serving soldiers.

"The only way Pakistan can ever become a real democracy is when we stop treating some institutions as `sacred cows`," the Daily Times said in a hard hitting editorial.

The editorial followed the Indian Army`s decision to court martial Lt Gen PK Rath for his involvement in a land scam.

Rath was found guilty over the issue of a no-objection certificate to a private realtor to transfer a 70-acre plot of land adjacent to a military station in West Bengal`s Darjeeling district.

"The conviction of a senior Army officer in India should serve as a wake-up call for Pakistan. We should emulate their example," the daily said.

It said that although India and Pakistan became independent in August 1947, "the way these two countries progressed is completely different".

"India is the world`s largest democracy. On the other hand, Pakistan has been juggling between military rules and inefficient democracies all these years. Even now, it continues to remain under the khaki shadows despite the fact that a democratic set-up is in place."

Noting that there have been many corruption scandals in Pakistan`s military, it said "no action has ever been taken against either retired or serving officers".

"As far as the politicians are concerned, alleged corruption charges against them make headlines but when it comes to corruption scandals in the military, they are either swept under the carpet or never come out in public."

It added: "Land scams are a norm in our military while other corruption tactics involve kickbacks on arms deals... No government, military or civilian, has held any Army officer responsible for the massive corruption that takes place on a regular basis.”

"It is because of the military establishment`s strong hold over our political system and the media. Fear of retribution is one of the foremost reasons why military scandals are always ignored.”

"Transparency in the military, starting from the defence budget, should be mandatory."