Strange things happen in the Islamic (military) Republic of Pakistan. For the first time in Pakistan’s history, a meeting of federal secretaries was presided over by a military chief in a civilian set-up. Where are we heading to? Have our real masters in the GHQ decided to be a bit more candid in demonstration and exercise of their power? Was that a signal to civilian bureaucrats about whose interests they are ‘expected’ to serve (i.e. ignore your civilian rulers; generals call the shots in the land of the pure). Here is a news report in Dawn which is worth reading and worrying.
First secretaries’ meeting chaired by army chief
By Khaleeq Kiani
Wednesday, 17 Mar, 2010
ISLAMABAD, March 16: Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani presided over on Tuesday a meeting of key federal secretaries at the General Headquarters (GHQ) to finalise agenda for the upcoming strategic dialogue with the US administration.
According to sources, federal secretaries for finance, foreign affairs, commerce and agriculture, along with the secretary in charge of information technology and petroleum, attended the meeting.
The meeting was part of a consultative process of civil and military bureaucracy to forge a consensus on key security and economic issues confronting the nation amid ongoing efforts against militancy and for strategic relations with key world powers.
The sources said the meeting had exchanged views on what should be the country’s priorities in the light of public demands, Pakistan’s anxieties and long-term national interests.
A secretary said the meeting was originally scheduled to be held at the ministry of foreign affairs, but was subsequently moved to the GHQ. He said it was the first-ever meeting of federal secretaries presided over by a military chief in a civilian set-up.