With Tensions Increasing, Pakistan Appoints New Army Chief
Pakistan has appointed a new Army chief, Lt Gen Raheel Sharif, a move which could serve to define the role of the Army in Pakistani politics for the coming years. In 1999, Sharif was forced from office in a military take-over led by Gen Pervez Musharraf.
“The new army chief may also have to launch a new offensive against militants in the Northern Waziristan tribal area that borders Afghanistan, after the civilian government’s attempts at a peace initiative have faltered. The army is known to be wary of the government’s decision to negotiate with the Pakistani Taliban, and if the new chief pushes for military action against the militant strongholds the move could strain the current fragile equilibrium in civil-military relations,” reports The Wall Street Journal.
He comes in to office as tensions increase with India over disputed territory in the Kasmir and terrorists continue to pose an internal and external threat. Zachary Laub of the Council on Foreign Relations examines the broad swath of terrorist groups operating in Pakistan from those with a focus on domestic targets to those using the nation as a base for outside attacks.
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