I read recently that PM Imran Khan literally holds no power in Pakistan, and that every decision he takes is drastically influenced by the military. How?

  1. Isn't the military, owned by the government?
  2. Even if the military controls the government, who in the military does the controlling? The chief, i.e. General Qamar Javed Bajwa? Subordinate officers? Wouldn't there be ideological differences within the military?

Please, I'm an absolute amateur to politics.

  • A well documented current situation of a civilian leader not having control over their country's military, and thus having their country run by the military, is Myanmar with Aung San Suu Kyi. I'd suggest reading some articles about that
    – Gramatik
    Oct 23, 2018 at 15:43

1 Answer 1

  1. To answer your first question no one "owns" the military in Pakistan (or any other sovereign state as far as I know). The military is theoretically subject to civilian control (the President of Pakistan in this case holds the post of Commander-in-Chief [which means that all authority for commanding the military theoretically originates/belongs to him]) but the military does not have to obey orders from their Commander-in-Chief (see the recent coup in Zimwabwe for an example of a military disobeying their Commander-in-Chief)

  2. No specific person or body in the military can be clearly defined as controlling the military. The people who get the most respect from commanders (for example the Chief of Army Staff) may be able to use their influence to sway commanders toward a specific viewpoint but the idelogical viewpoints of commanders and those that the commanders successfully get their men to believe will define who controls the military (if commanders can get their men to believe a viewpoint which will make them loyal to the commander then the commander can get a potentially more powerful role if conflict occurrs [see the example of Sulla conquering Rome])

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