Media leaks have revealed that Pakistan’s powerful army chief General Raheel Sharif has sacked at least twelve senior army officers because of their involvement in ‘corruption’. The army has not provided more details about the nature and scale of corruption these officers were involved in. This is an extraordinary development given the fact that the military, the actual center for political power in the country, has historically silenced calls for accountability and transparency with regards to the perception about widespread corruption within its ranks. In the first place, it requires enormous courage and also involves great risks for journalists and politicians to question the corruption in the army or seek accountability.
In 2007 when the fearless defense analyst Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa published her remarkable book, Military Inc., probably the best account ever about the Pakistani military’s wealth and its internal distribution among the top officials, the army immediately cancelled the book launch. A Chicago Tribune correspondent stationed in Islamabad reported that “all the fancy hotels in Pakistan’s capital decided not to rent out their meeting halls” for the book launch due to pressure from the army.
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